WhatIveBeenUpTo

Photo by Molly McMillan

Hey there, I wanted to wish you a happy Easter and give you an update. Some of you have been asking if our daughter and son-in-law’s baby has been born.

 

Nope! She’s amost two weeks overdue. March has been a good month, but a long one. We wait with eager anticipation. She’s scheduled to be induced on Thursday night but we’ll see what happens in the meantime.
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What’s Been Keeping Me Busy

We got to enjoy our annual Irish dinner with our friends Jim and Jancy. Jancy is the world’s greatest cook and every year she makes corned beef, mushy peas, carrots, colcannon, and Irish brown bread. We went to Ireland nine years ago with Jim and Jance, and another couple, so we get together every year to reminisce.
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We went to The Soiled Dove—a terrific venue for seeing live music—last Friday night to see an Irish band called The Elders. They sing a song called Men of Erin. We had dinner beforehand and talked with friends about the research that says people get happier as they age. They didn’t believe me so I sent them this video clip.

The week before Easter my friend Diane had a few girlfriends over for tea. We watched her make these subtle-colored eggs. She put food coloring in Cool Whip. Then she set the eggs in the whipped cream for 20 minutes. She rinsed them off and voila!
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What I’ve Been Reading

Night Driving by Addie Zierman – In the emotionally-charged, fire-filled faith in which Addie Zierman grew up, the answer to this question was simple: Because you’ve FELT him. Now, at age 30, she feels nothing. Just the darkness pressing in. Just the winter cold. Just a buzzing silence where God’s voice used to be. So she loads her two small children into the minivan one February afternoon and heads south in one last-ditch effort to find the Light. In her second memoir, Night Driving, Addie Zierman powerfully explores the gap between our sunny, faith fictions and a God who often seems hidden and silent. Against the backdrop of rushing Interstates, strangers’ hospitality, gas station coffee, and screaming children, Addie stumbles toward a faith that makes room for doubt, disappointment, and darkness…and learns that sometimes you have to run away to find your way home.

 

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Finding God in the Ruins by Matt Bays – When the reality of your pain doesn’t line up with what you’ve been taught in church, then what? While many abandon their faith or embrace hopelessness, it is possible to discover the God who heals your heart in the midst of the pain. Matt Bays has been where you are. His unforgettable stories of loss and healing will usher you into a life where gratitude overpowers anger, hope overcomes despair, and hunger for God replaces indifference to God. With a fresh and original writing style, Bays demonstrates that true redemption is far more powerful than the temporary fixes of sanitized Christianity.

I’ve been listening to an audio book called A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations. This novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).

 

I’m finding a lot of good books to read on the podcast What Should I Read Next? Anne Bogel who blogs at ModernMrsDarcy is the hostess. Each week I can hardly wait to hear her next episode. I wish I could get interviewed by her. You tell her three books you loved, one you hated, and she will suggest some books for you to read next.

 

What is Keeping Me Sane (while I wait for my first grandchild)?

One of the key ingredients for happiness is friends. Check out this TED talk: What Makes A Good Life: Lessons from the lonest study on happiness.

In addition to spending time with friends, walking, and doing yoga, I would have to say beauty! I absolutely must have beauty to counter the daily news filled with horror stories of ISIS and terrorists. Have you seen Louie Schwartzberg’s photography? He has some short movies on Netflix. All you do is go to Search, start typing in his name and it will list him on the right hand side under “people.” Click on that and it will take you to his movies.

 

These photos were taken on my iPhone, but I’ve been taking an online photography class to help me get better with my DSLR camera in Manual Mode.

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Favorite Foods This Time of Year
You know Facebook has an app that lets you livestream from your iPhone (right now it’s only iPhones that have the ability). All you do is go to your status like you’re going to post something and then click on the red man icon. So when our neighborhood Trader Joe’s opened last week I livestreamed my visit. My Facebook friends all chimed in with their suggestions of what to buy. I ended up buying milk, three kinds of cheese, tulips, mediterranean hummus, bananas, chicken apple sausage, risotto with asparagus, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, honey sesame almonds, eggplant parmesan, and marinara sauce. All of it was delicious.

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What I’ve Been Watching

I have this friend whose taste in movies mirrors my own. She’s made some wonderful suggestions lately:

If I Were You 

The Station Agent 

The Shipping News

I found a movie that cracked me up. I can handle crude if it can make me smile. I watched it twice. It’s called Man Up.

 

Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”

-Psalm 126:2

 

That’s it from here. What have you been up to?

——


Lucille Zimmerman is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Littleton, CO and an affiliate faculty teacher at Colorado Christian University.

She is also the author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World. Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves. Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice."