July 15, 2016

Instagrammers you should follow, In This House of Brede, and a few other bits and bobs

1 - I heard this song on Lark Rise to Candleford, hunted it down, and taught it to my kids. It's a fun song to sing, though my husband thinks I'm nuts and typing it all out makes me feel really lame.

2 - Two years ago this August I ran a series called Instagrammers You Should Follow and highlighted the IG account of Anna Hatke. If you didn't begin following her then you really should now. Each summer she and her girls return to the storybook Italian village where her family's roots are. Sometimes her husband, author and illustrator Ben Hatke, comes too but this year it's just the ladies. And the pictures are gorgeous and magical. Follow her.

3 - And while you're over in Instagram land, I am also going to recommend you follow my friend Shana. She's just a mom and a wife and a woman who loves Jesus. She also happens to have a great sense of humor.

The funny thing is I never knew Shana before but I knew OF Shana. She was like a legend, a demi goddess. In high school one of my best friends was LB. Her older sister's best friend was Sarah. Sarah mentored LB and me a bit through a Christian youth program and we both thought Sarah was so cool. Shana is Sarah's older sister and everyone thought Shana was outrageous and amazing and the. coolest. person. ever. Ever.

So enough about 16 year old Bonnie and 21(?) year old Shana. She's pregnant and funny and lovely and real now. You can follow her here.

4 - A few months ago a friend mentioned a brush to me and encouraged me to buy one off Amazon. "It's great for detangling wet hair," she said, and I will admit I did not believe her. I think she sensed that so she bought one for me and she was 100% correct. The (affiliate link) Wet Brush is fabulous. It's not as great on dry hair, or at least not on my dry hair, but on wet hair it is better than the combs or picks I had been using. I love it for me and my girls.

 5 - Last night I stayed up until midnight so I could finish the book In This House of Brede. I enjoyed reading the novel tremendously and I sorta saw the end coming but when it got there I was... disappointed. Now let me do my best River Song impression:

Spoilers. ;)

I'm assuming that if you're still reading this take you have already read the book and so I won't be ruining the ending for anyone. So here goes: They get on a plane?! That's how it ends?! With them getting on a plane?! No. (head shake) No. (head shake)  No. (head shake)

I think I wanted to see them there, in Japan. I wanted it to end with Phillipa looking out into the Japanese gardens or something. Maybe that would be tidy, but it felt tidy having Penny and Donald there watching them board. And I don't really understand why McTurk went with them. hmmm... If you've read it what do you think?

PS - I did love Cecily and how she made her choice and how her prayer was answered. That was wonderful.

6 - One week from today I'll be leading a Blessed Is She workshop on Building Intentional Community. I'll be sharing what I've learned from leading, founding, attending, and belonging to various groups, ministries, and gatherings over the years. Personally, I found it to be difficult to find where I fit in as an adult and while I definitely haven't figured it all out I have gotten some things right while learning from few mistakes I've made along the way.

I think this workshop will be really useful if you are looking to join or form a ministry / book club / mom group / young adult group OR if you are already actively involved in one. If you signed up for the BIS Membership you will already have access to the workshop but if you aren't a member you can still watch. To sign up for the Membership click here or to pay the $15 and sign up for the workshop click here.

7 - Finally, I wish I could hug the world. The refugees, the LBGT community, the black community, police officers, and now the people of Nice, France. How can such a beautiful world have so much pain and ugliness? I don't have any answers but I promise that I am trying to become a better person and I'm trying to raise my children to be good people - the kind who fight for justice, who stand up and speak up, who are merciful and loving. And in the meanwhile I am praying with my very heavy heart.
Jesus, I trust in You. Come, Lord Jesus.+


  1. I'm really looking forward to your workshop!

    1. Thanks, Ann-Marie! I'm glad you'll be there!

  2. I was just commiserating to my hair dresser about the awesomeness of the Wet Brush!!! It's amazing. Now I'm trying to convince everyone I know to buy one because they're so great!

  3. I liked the uncertainty of the end of Brede. Completely new, fresh; I felt exhilarated at her taking off on a plane and taking off on a new chapter neither reader nor Phillipa can imagine. She had shed so much pain and so much of her personal life, it's like a Phoenix rising from the ashes to begin anew.
    I could ramble on forever about how much I love this book.

  4. I'm with you Bonnie. The Cecily story line was powerful. But the ending was just.....unfinished? Even if it would have ended with them just walking out of Brede to go to the plane, instead of the actual plane. McTurk coming was weird.