Books I’ve Read This Summer: 2017

Hello readers, and welcome back to meganlouann! I last left you with a heartfelt retelling of a huge 180 in my life in my most recent post You Were Made to Be Courageous. Since writing that post back in May, several new happenings have come up including landing a new job as a Spanish teacher and making the decision to post-pone graduate school a semester. More on that in a future post. You may have noticed I did a little revamping on the site. My old tagline “a college student trying to find her place in this world” didn’t feel 100% appropriate any longer, and I want to switch the focus of my blog a bit away from college, to doing ‘life’ in my twenties. I am so happy to still have loyal readers like yourself who want to hear about my life and where I’m headed. I truly intend to upscale my content both in quantity and quality. I hope you all will join me in that journey — your support has always meant the world to me. Now, without further ado, here is my second installment of “Books I’ve Read This Summer”. For the first installment, click here.


This summer was a pretty successful summer as far as reading books go. Now that I’m not in school, I hope to continue my success with reading for “fun” well into the end of this year. I plan to have a post sometime in December to update you on which books I’ve read since now.

The Decent Proposal – Kemper Donovandecentproposal

I read this book in roughly three days. It is the perfect mix of romance, mystery, and light-heartedness. It was unexpected, and the ending left me pondering the entire book for days.

The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

hatinggameThis book was impossible to put down. It was an easy read, but the tension between the two main characters was the perfect blend of a love/hate relationship. I will put out there that this book is definitely for a ‘mature’ reader if you’re picking up what I’m putting down.

Teaching Spanish: The Essential Handbook – Rachel W. Kirk

So I didn’t spend the whole summer only reading for fun, although I did breeze through this book devouring everything it had to say. I wanted to be as prepared as possible for my first few weeks teaching, and I definitely think this book gave me some essential tools to start with for topics such as classroom management, lesson planning, etc.

Everything, Everything – Nicola Yooneverythingeverything.jpg

I have to say, out of all the books I read this summer, this one was probably my least favorite. However the mere fact that I read it all the way through says something, as I’m one to pick up a book and stop reading it half-way through if it’s not doing it for me. This book was very easy to read and fast paced, but definitely a little predictable. I think it’s geared for a younger audience, so that may be part of the reason I didn’t love it.

The Shack – William P. Young

shackI can’t really even put into words what this book means to me. It is a book unlike any other that I’ve read. When I first purchased it, I sat in Starbucks for three hours because I literally couldn’t put it down. The first half of the book is tragic and gut-wrenching, but it is so worth it for the ending. If you are a Christian or even someone who has a lot of questions about God, you need to go read this book. It gave me a whole new perspective on God and how He loves us. Trust me on this one, you will remember this book for the rest of your life. I haven’t watched the movie yet because I’ve heard controversial things on it, and I don’t want to ruin what the book did for me. It is incredible, and hands down my favorite book that I read this summer.

Currents: Currently I am bouncing back and forth between two books. The first is called Alex, Approximately, and I’m not too far into it so I will have to include my thoughts in another post. The second is called The Shack Revisited, and it is a deeper look into the theology behind the book. I’m telling y’all The Shack is insane, and I needed more.

That’s all I have for now. Thank you so much for reading, and if you have any really good book suggestions please comment them down below! Like I said, I have a lot more time to read during this fall and winter season than I normally would, so I’m always looking for another great book.

Stay tuned for posts in the near (I really promise!!) future on my first few weeks teaching in a traditional classroom and some thoughts on random stuff I’m currently enjoying.

Besos (kisses),

Megan LouAnn

 

You Were Made to Be Courageous

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The story I am about to share is probably long overdue. Over the past two months, I’ve tried to sit down and write a blog post about it, but I just couldn’t find the right words. Today, I had a random spark of inspiration to try again, and as I logged on to WordPress, I had a notification that today is my blog’s anniversary! Funny how things work out like that. So back to the story at hand…

About two months ago, I felt God calling me to lead what my church calls a “journey group”. Basically as a church, we spend 6 weeks exploring a topic through the weekend message, individualized reflection, and small-group discussions. This year’s journey was called the “I Am” journey, and it was all about digging deeper to learn about who God created us to be. We were pushed to learn about ourselves wholeheartedly —  the good, the bad, the ugly.

Going into the journey, I had just landed an amazing ‘big-girl’ job that would have transitioned to full-time right after I graduated. It was a high-paying job at an amazing family-owned company with a lot of opportunity to travel. After deciding that I no longer wanted to pursue the medical route, it was a dream come true.

However, throughout the six weeks of the journey, I really started to feel unsure about this new venture, and I felt lost. I knew God was trying to tell me something, but I wasn’t quite sure.

During the fifth week’s service, He spoke loud AND clear. Memories and recollections of events in both recent and very distant years started flooding in my mind all at once —  all memories that had tied into my long lost dream of becoming a teacher. I can’t really explain the sensation I felt, but out of nowhere I felt tears rolling down my cheeks because I was invigorated by this message from God but also so, so scared.

I brought it to my small group first, and they all undoubtedly encouraged me to think a lot more about this message, and they believed that it really was from God. So the next step was perhaps the hardest for me. I had to muster up the courage to sit my parents down and tell them I was considering furthering my education to pursue a career in teaching.

Keep in mind this would mean giving up an amazing job opportunity that every parent wants for their child coming right out of college. I was so afraid they would be upset or think I’m crazy, but after dinner one night, I broke down and laid it ALL on the table, and you know what? I am SO blessed to have such supportive parents who took it all in, encouraged me to take my time to think about the situation, but assured me they would back me 100% either way. I felt so free and relieved that I could start putting this new plan from God into action.

The following weeks weren’t easy as I frantically searched for a job more related to the education field, applied to the Master of Teaching program, and made a few difficult phone calls in regards to the ‘big-girl’ job. But I can surely tell you that the uncomfortableness, stress, and confusion was all worth it.

Two months later, I have landed an amazing job working at a Montessori school where I am surrounded by phenomenal coworkers and children who teach me countless new things each and every day. Finding my current workplace was a God send because it has been such a good fit mutually, and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been in a workplace. I can’t explain it, but I can come home from an eleven hour work day absolutely exhausted but energized all at the same time. It’s a beautiful thing that only comes from finding true enjoyment in my job. I let my visions of job and financial security go in pursuit of the plans that my Father had for me.

Time and time again in the last few months God has proven to me that He is pleased I took this leap of faith, and now I really feel like we are walking through life together. Now, let me assure you, everything isn’t all flowers and roses as I have a lot of decision-making to do with exactly what direction I want to pursue with my educational future, but I strongly believe that God has something amazing in store if I continue to rely on and trust in Him.

Friends, I didn’t share this story because I want you to quit your job tomorrow because you aren’t in love with it. I share this story because I want you to be COURAGEOUS like our Father made you. Whatever that looks like for you, if God is calling you towards something, don’t let fear get in the way. I assure you His plans are better than anything you could dream for yourself.

Love always,

Megan LouAnn

Reflections

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Original image from zrysxw.com

It’s been all over social media: 2016 needs to die! Worst year ever! And hey, maybe it was the worst year ever for some people, but I’m willing to bet it was the best year for others. There’s really nothing magical about the difference between December 31st of one year and January 1st of the next, but I do think it’s important to take a step back and reflect on the past year, how it’s been, what you learned, and what you want to do better next year. There’s nothing wrong in admitting that everyone has something (usually many somethings) that they need to work on, so I’m all for New Year’s resolutions.

Overall, this year was pretty good to me. Although nothing can top my Spain trip from last year, I was still able to make it to Florida and North Carolina on mini vacations this year, making new memories with people I love. I completed my CNA certification, and although I’m not actively working as a CNA (bless those of you that do), I learned a lot in that course and gained a respect for all CNAs out there because it’s one of the toughest jobs one can do. Unfortunately, I also got to see the ugly side of some health care facilities which was hard, but educational.

I started my senior year of college, and although it was my heaviest course load to date, I finished with a decent GPA. I took the GRE in preparation for the possibility of grad school and scored well above what I needed to. I started actually volunteering at church in their Kid’s Club and have been inspired by several little 3rd graders. Those kids are crazy smart, let me tell you. I’ve gone through a few spiritual dry patches, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t mean that God is any further away than normal but that maybe I’m not spending enough time looking towards Him. Our world is a continuum of distractions, and it’s so important to find time to detach from those distractions and just be. I think I got very distracted this year. It’s nearly impossible to be 100% on fire for Jesus 24/7, but I did learn that spending quiet time with Him every day can help.

Looking to 2017, I think the biggest thing ahead for me is graduation. *gulp* Lots of emotions surrounding that one which I’m sure I’ll touch on in a later post, but there is one huge thing I’ve realized. I’m going to have to change my tagline! “a college student trying to find her place in this world” is no longer going to cut it. So I plan to spend now until May 7th thinking of a new tag line and more importantly, a refreshed direction for my blog. I’d really like to see it take off next year, but I’m going to have to dedicate the time into helping it do so. Unfortunately one post every month or two isn’t going to draw in readers, but I think after graduation I’ll have the time I need to make something happen. *fingers crossed* I genuinely hope that each and every one of you reading this had a happy holiday season and will have an even better 2017.

In case you missed it, here is my previous post, Finding Unwavering Joy.

Stay classy,

Megan LouAnn