Podcast Top 5: New Faves

Podcast Top 5: New Faves

I love podcasts. It started with two heavy hitters: Serial and Sorta Awesome. Not too long after I found gems like the epic true crime comedy podcast My Favorite Murder and the enthralling fictional show Limetown (that strikethrough is part of the logo).

These are still favorites, and there are many more I’ve listened to and loved, but I thought I would share my favorite newer (at least to me) shows that I cannot get enough of:

Against Diet Culture

  • Food Psych Podcast – Christy Harrison is an an anti-diet dietician on a mission to help people develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies through intuitive eating and body acceptance. This podcast really does go a long way to accomplishign that. Not every episode is going to be directly relevant to every listener – but the ideas of intuitive eating make a lot of sense, and seeing them applied across circumstances by different people is really helpful.

On Books

  • Currently Reading – This podcast has literally transformed my reading life. I used to read a LOT more 2-3 star books, but hosts Meredith and Kaytee have led me to better-fit books for me over and over again in the last few months, and that’s leading to more joy in my reading as well as a willingness to DNF books that aren’t working for me, for whatever reason. As I’m learning with intuitive eating, when you know you can have “the good stuff,” you are less likely to fill up on stuff that isn’t so great. (Don’t worry; there’ll be a post about books coming soon.) Their bookish moments of the week make me feel less crazy, too.

On True Crime

  • The Murder Squad: Jensen & Holes – Is there any doubt that the rising star of true crime podcasts is this collaboration between two men – one a writer, the other a detective – who were instrumental in the identification and apprehension of Joseph DeAngelo, the alleged (but come on, he clearly did it) Golden State Killer?

On the Enneagram

  • The Enneagram Journey with Suzanne Stabile – If you’ve heard of the Enneagram, odds are good someone has mentioned the book The Road Back to You and told you to read it. Suzanne coauthored this book which has introduced so many of us to the ideas behind the Enneagram and how it can be useful. This podcast is a delight. Suzanne usually interviews a Christian with a big platform (pastors, writers, musicians, podcasters, etc.) about how they are their type in the world and in relationships. She also does Q&A episodes with her producer-son that are really helpful and insightful.
  • Typology with Ian Morgan Cron – Ian was the other half of the authorial team that brought us The Road Back to You, and while his podcast is similar to Suzanne’s, it has a different feel and approach due to his 4-ness (vs. Suzanne’s 2-ness). I would say he is more exploratory, while she is more therapeutic. I really appreciate both of these shows as I learn more about what the Enneagram has to offer us – and myself specifically – in terms of self-knowledge and paths to growth.

On the Christian Life

  • Thirty Minutes with the Perrys – Preston and Jackie Hill Perry, a married pair of spoken word poets whom I admire greatly, come at the dilemmas of life with humor, thoughtfulness, and a whole lotta Gospel. They started their podcast with a two-part episode on how they navigated Preston’s recent addiction to pornography. They are raw, intense, and real, and their understanding of God’s grace as mighty and transformative is really helpful. I freaking love them, and this podcast is phenom.
Back in Black

Back in Black

Well hello there, gentle readers!

It’s been far too long since I wrote on here, but the truth is, I have a lot to say. A lot of questions to answer?

Like, what should one do with the garlic parsley escargot in oil from Whole Foods?

Why is my Williams-Sonoma quarter-sheet pan the #1 kitchen item I wish I had more of?

Is the complementarianism vs. egalitarianism debate actually a false dilemma?

Is Breckenridge Brewery really that great?

Why did I not remember that Mama Day mostly takes place in New York City, and why does it always make me cry?

What are the three most beautiful places I’ve been, and why are they not the same as my three favorite places?

What is the enneagram teaching me?

Stay tuned, friends.

What Is Even Happening Here?

What Is Even Happening Here?

Warning: This post is one of them “awareness raising” posts. It’s about “women’s issues.” Endometriosis, PCOS, periods, ovulation kits, sonograms, all that stuff. It’s not gonna be that gross, but there will be a fair amount of gross. So if you’re easily queasy on account of good ole Aunt Flo, you might want to pass on this one. 

You want to know something crazy? Last Sunday was the seventh Sunday in a row I’ve made it to church. I’m pretty sure that hasn’t happened since I hit puberty.

So you would think that means I’m doing well, right? But unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

The trend of late has been fewer days in debilitating pain, always a good development. (My normal the past few years has been about 8 days down, and recently I’ve gone from 11 bad days down to 3! This month has been worse though.) But my cycles are all over the place – the last three have been 37 days, 44 days, and 26 days. I’m on Day 24 of my current cycle, but I’ve been in horrible pain for several days and spotted from Days 17-21. This premenstrual spotting thing is new, as of last month. As in, it’s never happened before.

I’m not ovulating, and according to the vaginal sonogram I had done on CD* 14, my body isn’t even really trying that hard.

This is so freaking confusing and frustrating. I used to be able to reasonably predict my bad days. I used to be able to prepare. The apple cart may have had some sketchy looking apples in it, but at least it was upright. Now the dang thing has flipped over and I don’t know how to do life like this. I barely sorta knew what I was doing before; now I’m all at sea again.

The next step involves something I didn’t know existed: meds to force my body to do what it’s supposed to do. We’ll force a period, force ovulation, and find out whether, once my body is doing what it should be doing, life isn’t less painful.

But – and here’s the really fun part – it looks like we may not have much time to work this out. The parent organization of the hospital where my doctors work is in negotiations with my insurance company, and if an agreement is not reached by May 1, I’m gonna be back at Go without collecting $200 when it comes to Houston doctors.

“Normal is just a setting on the dryer” indeed.


*that’s Cycle Day, for you normal people

 

The Fear That Makes Us Judgy

The Fear That Makes Us Judgy

 

Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks that in many areas our culture has gone bananas with the harshness.

You know what I’m talking about. Trump makes a nasty comment about Fiorna’s looks. People say negative things about Beyoncé’s thighs after her Super Bowl half-time performance. (I mean really. Body-shaming BEYONCE? Are you insane?) Somebody posts a picture of the gorgeous slice of cheesecake she got, and several folks weigh in below, commenting on her weight and the importance of a healthy diet.

Think of all the Mommy Wars stuff. Breast-feeding or bottle-feeding? Vaccinate or don’t? Public, private, religious, or home schooling? To spank or not to spank? Should your teenagers get jobs or do extracurriculars? Pick the wrong answer and you’ll be summarily shot. (Spoiler: there will always be somebody who thinks you picked the wrong answer and is willing to tell you all about it.)

It’s everywhere. If you drive a Land Rover, you must be an entitled snob who doesn’t give a rip about the environment. If you have a Kindle, you are trying to take down the publishing industry. If you serve your kids box mac and cheese, you are contributing to childhood obesity. If you are comfortable in your skin, you are a mean person shaming anyone who doesn’t look like you – who isn’t your body type or shape or size or color. If you say Black Lives Matter, you clearly think all the other lives shouldn’t. If you are a Republican, you want to oppress the poor; and if you’re a Democrat, you are clearly a communist, and lazy to boot.

We are so quick to jump to judgmental conclusions about each other based on tiny amounts of data – like our choice of vehicle or where our kids go to school. And I think what it all comes down to is that we are afraid. We are afraid that if someone is doing something different from us, one of us must be wrong. 

There certainly are plenty of wrong things to do out there, and I’m not saying that we should just let those go. (That is often more appropriately done in private in the context of a friendship, not Tumblr, and especially not to someone you don’t even know.) But when we keep the main things as the main things, and stop making everything else so doggone black and white, we’ll start to see things differently. Breast- and bottle-feeding parents are both lovingly feeding their children.

If you’re a Christian like I am, then there’s another layer we can see going on here. God calls different people, different families, to different things. Maybe the Hoopers are buying that big house for the kingdom, planning to use it to serve their community as they host events, house missionaries on furlough, and become family to foster children. Maybe the Maxwells are sending their kids to that pricy private school with a missional mindset – private school families need Jesus too, after all.

People who are shopping at Whole Foods are just trying to feed their families well, just like the folks shopping at Kroger and HEB and Walmart and Central Market and the farmers’ market. And sure, there are people blindly buying  – and you can share cool articles about avoiding preservatives and or eating organic. That’s great. But hopping on somebody’s Facebook post about the amazing deals they got at Walmart to lecture them about the evils of “cheese products” smacks of a harshness and judgment that we have way too much of right now.

That podcast I’m really into, Sorta Awesome, celebrates the idea of “sorta.” We can’t do everything, y’all. We can’t raise chickens AND read the classics to our children AND work full-time AND run the community garden AND have a profitable Etsy shop AND be PTA president AND take our kids to all the national parks AND sleep 7-9 hours a night AND run marathons. So we figure out what works for us, and we do that as best we can. We do sorta. For me lately, that looks like embracing the fact that eating an apple is better for my body than eating a box of Mike and Ikes, even though there’s obviously sugar in the apple too. It looks like trying to move my body more, even if I can’t really pull off a proper “workout” most of the time.

Would it be so hard to give other people the benefit of the doubt? To assume that they have actually thought about these things? Do we really so desperately need to be right about every little decision to the exclusion of all other options that we are a bunch of meanies? Is Mean Girls our new model for adult behavior, but instead of keeping nasty comments in The Book, we publish them far and wide?

Our quickness to condemn others shows our fear of condemnation. It doesn’t smack of grace, y’all. It doesn’t even smack of justice. Instead of wanting to assess the situation for what it is, this disposition is actually looking for faults, hypercritical, and often hypocritical. Word Hippo (my favorite thesaurus) brings words like censorious, carping, hair-splitting, persnickety into the conversation.

I’m not okay with being persnickety, and for a person who has been given immeasurable grace, it’s exceedingly unbecoming. Remember Jesus’s parable about the servant who owed the king an obscene amount of money and, when he pled for mercy, saw his debt forgiven? But then he went and got a colleague who owed him a comparable pittance thrown into debtor’s prison? And the king found out and revoked his debt-forgiveness program? It is a warning to us.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. That should to reorient our hearts and make us gracious. If the Gospel is deep in our hearts, then it will ooze out of us. So if you, like me, recognize this harshness in yourself, the answer is the Gospel.

The answer is always the Gospel. Drive it deeper into your heart.

In Which I Am Super-Jazzed About Life

In Which I Am Super-Jazzed About Life

This week is all about new things for me – I’m in the process of establishing new habits and routines with some inspiration from the Sorta Awesome podcast, which, more often than not, is also keeping me entertained while I do my thing. I’ve also binge-listened to Serial, knocking out the first season in the last three days, which has made all the laundry and dishes and cleaning and organizing and putting away and throwing away a LOT more bearable.

Other than podcasts, here are some of the things I’m excited about right now.

  • Bullet Journaling – This seems SO up my alley. I am actually over the moon about giving this a try. I may or may not have
  • Intuitive Eating – I’ve been able to look back on my college experience and identify some disordered eating for quite some time, but only recently have I realized that my issues with food have been evolving and persisting throughout my adult life. It kind of hit me over the head a few months ago – I am not able to stop eating those Hershey’s nuggets with the toffee and almonds. I am drinking obscene amounts of Dr Pepper when I’m in pain, because emotionally it’s like Linus’s blankie. That was not okay with me, and I’m trying to figure out how to heal that. Intuitive eating is something I’m exploring as a possible way of restoring a healthy relationship with food and my body. [Incidentally, I gave up DP in November – not the first time I’ve done so – and have pretty faithfully stuck to my guns, drinking the occasional beverage that’s fresh and real (like fresh-squeezed lemonade), tea, alcoholic beverages, and LOTS of water. And I feel fantastic. Better than I’ve felt in a long time. So even if I had a DP every now and then (which is honestly not even tempting at the moment), I think the water drinking is here to stay.]
  • I’m reading a brief biography of John Chrysostom (that someone mysteriously gave me, along with a couple other, less random books, as a wedding present), and I’m really fascinated and encouraged. I think the whole biographies of awesome people bandwagon might have something legit going on.
  • Waking up! I am not a morning person AT ALL. Except I’ve started to get up in the mornings with my husband – and if I need a nap, I need a nap, no harm done – and I’m LOVING IT. What on earth??
  • Tea – I got a tea kettle as a wedding gift – actually, we got several tea-making items, but I’m talking about the classic tea kettle I got from my sweet friend B – and I have been using it and LOVING it. When you’re drinking water, water, and more water – cucumber water, lemon-lime water, regular water, fizzy water – tea, even black tea without any additions, is so luscious. I’ve started drinking a cup or two a day. My go-to is peppermint tea, but sometimes I also will drink some decaf Earl Grey (I know, I know – it’s still got caffeine, but it’s Earl Grey, people! It’s worth it!)
  • My husband refused to buy me a Squatty Potty for Christmas, so I used the Amazon $$ his parents gave me to buy one for myself, and it arrived today, and I am actually beaming with excitement, which is super weird.

Well, that’s what’s floating my boat these days. What are y’all into? I’d love to know what’s making you buzz like a bee!