A Wednesday list...

1. "Back to life...back to reality..." We were on vacation last week, a trip out to Atlanta to visit some good friends. When we planned our trip we were looking at just a long weekend, but it was so much cheaper to fly out for a whole week we decided to just make a vacation out of it. And really, it's hard to beat a family trip that involves both fun and friends. We relaxed, played outside, went to playgrounds, the Children's Museum and the Georgia Aquarium, played cards, ate good food, and of course had lots of great, leisurely conversations (as an aside...sometimes leisurely conversations feel like such a luxury, and something I want to prioritize in my life). We got to meet new people, and unexpectedly got to visit with some other friends who now live in Charlotte. I have a full heart!

2. A full heart is good because I also have a little kiddo who has some kind of sickness. I'm praying hard that I've sprayed enough Lysol around the house to spare the rest of us. Sometimes, my brain likes to play tricks on me and convince me that if I just did all the right things my family could avoid all illnesses. Ha! Except that we don't live in a bubble so...I have to give myself a little truth pep talk and humbly remind myself that illness is just kind of part of life.

3. I started reading The Journey of Desire, by John Eldredge - a recommendation and loan from the friends we visited last week. It's thought-provoking and I'm enjoying it a lot so far.

4. Speaking of stories, I've also been slowly making my way through the new Star Trek: Discovery series on CBS All Access. The tone is somewhat cinematic, and similar to some of the more intense and dramatic seasons of Deep Space Nine. Discovery certainly started off with a bang, and I wasn't quite sure what direction they were going to take, but it has the heart of Star Trek -- compassion, curiosity, adventure, relationships, and asking big questions through small stories -- so I'm here for it (I have less enthusiasm to the visual re-imagining of the Klingons, but I guess that was inevitable).

5. I'm searching for an agent at the moment, but have also started a new story. It's in the newborn stage at the moment, and while I'm thinking it's going to end up being a young adult novel, I'm not one hundred percent sure. I know it has siblings, friends, and music. I'm not breaking any new ground, but as a creative writing professor once told me -- there are no new stories, just fresh ways of telling them. I've also been trying to think of other ways to use this blog besides just an outlet for my random thoughts every week and the occasional longer book review. I'm toying with the idea of finding weekly or bi-weekly creative writing prompts and playing around with those on here, just to use my writing muscles in a slightly different way. Anyway...it's just the start of a thought.

p.s., here's a quote from The Journey of Desire that I keep thinking about:

"Christianity is not an invitation to become a moral person. It is not a program for getting us in line or for reforming society. It has a powerful effect upon our lives, but when transformation comes, it is always the aftereffect of something else, something at the level of our hearts. At its core, Christianity begins with an invitation to desire."