June 2020

I cried my way through June. That’s the simplest explanation. I made a lot of biscuits, experimented with sourdough (thanks, Mo!), shot the hooch, and took a week of vacation. I finished two books, spent a lot of time with Lottie James and the whole Nicholls crew before they moved back to Atlanta, and finally found my way to the Harpeth. I had a lot of conversations about why social justice is important, the inequity of a lot of laws and policies, and the unspoken fear-mongering of Confederate monuments. 2020 feels like when Peter said gold is refined by fire and impurities float to the top.

#10 Beth Moore’s Chasing Vines
I’ve loved Beth Moore for a long time. When she releases a book, I’m 9/10 going to buy it pretty quickly. When I heard about this one, a book about how vines/vineyards appear throughout scripture and ALSO WINE, I knew I had to read it. She discusses a lot of viticulture (you know, grape cultivation), but also how they recur from Genesis to Revelation. There were so many good lessons and nuggets in her words, per usual. I definitely recommend this one. Read it all the way to the end.

#11 Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy
I’ve wanted to read this for a while, but my TBR list is so long. I snagged a copy in December and, given current events, decided it was time to actually read it. This eye-opening book from EJI‘s Bryan Stevenson exposes so many issues with our justice system and the epidemic of mass incarceration in our country. I paused every few pages to look up new stats and additional information on stories. It’s absolutely WILD that this is the country we live in today. If you’ve ever wondered why some people are so outspoken about the justice system and incarceration in the United States, this is a great place to start.

Notes on Vacation: I finally took a “real” vacation from work after a year plus without more than a day or two off here and there (mostly because of migraines). I spent a few days in north Georgia finally hugging people I haven’t seen in six months (and meeting baby David!), then traveled south to visit family. Overall, a pretty great vacation. I can’t explain how desperately my brain needed a break from conference calls and work projects. It felt a bit bizarre to take time off without plans to go to the beach or fly somewhere, but in 2020 we do what we can, right?

What’s saving my life right now:
1. Not being on social media – I deleted all the apps before vacation and haven’t reinstalled them. I have no regrets.
2. Pantsuit Politics – Sarah and Beth celebrated their 500th episode last week. In listening to their recap of the last 499, I realized how much I have learned from their insight, nuanced conversations, challenging questions, and the community as a whole. I can’t recommend their podcast(s) enough.
3. Hamilton on Disney+ – I would be remiss if I didn’t add this. Watching this on Thursday was amazing an I can’t wait to watch it again tonight and again in the days to come (and eventually on stage in real life). I’m real familiar with the soundtrack, but watching the action around the songs – whew. King George is still A1 to me. Quiet Uptown is even more devastating in context. If you haven’t watched this, quit waiting and go do it.

Notes on where we go from here:
Wear a mask in public places.
Be teachable.
Get outside for a while.