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

 

Finding Unwavering Joy

candles.jpg

Hi friends, it’s been a while, but I’m happy to be making the time to sit down and write again finally. I can’t believe it’s already November! I swear I blinked, and this fall semester just flew by! I guess that’s what happens when you are a senior in college and not only trying to maintain a good GPA but also trying to figure out what the next step is after you walk across the stage at graduation. I have less than six months until I’m a college graduate, and I have no idea how to feel about it. Actually, to be honest, I feel everything about it if you know what I mean. Relief, sadness, anxiety, exhaustion, joy. Everything. But today I want to talk all about one of those feelings – joy – and not just in the context of graduation.

In this day and age, it’s really hard to have joy in all situations. Social media has become a ‘joy-sucking’ funnel in many cases. FOMO, fear of missing out, has become a serious issue for all users of social media. You can watch snapchat story after snapchat story of people hanging out together and having a good time, and sometimes you can’t help but wonder why you’re sitting in your pajamas at 6pm on a Friday night. Aside from FOMO, social media is like a drug that we just can’t get away from. We are constantly checking our phones to see who liked our picture, who said what about the election, how are people reacting to XY and Z. Social media is like a cold that you can’t quite shake. We are a generation who puts so much emphasis into how we portray ourselves via social media and how others perceive us. And let me tell you something, it’s sucking the joy out of our lives.

Now, I like Snapchat just as much as the next person, and I’m guilty of over-thinking about if I should post a picture to Instagram or not for fear no one will ‘like’ it. But when I sit here and say that, I can’t help but think about how silly I sound. Because the truth is that our joy will never come from how many Twitter followers we have or if so and so liked our Instagram picture. That is all 100% fabricated joy, and it’s dependent on our situations and circumstances. What if it were possible to have joy in the midst of no matter what trials we go through in life?

It’s a very hard value and lesson to learn, but it is possible. When we put our hopes and dreams not in the people surrounding us but in our Father’s hands, only then can we have true, complete, unwavering joy. Despite our circumstances, despite what is going on in the world around us, we can have joy through Jesus at all times. This is not a naive way of life, but a Christ-like one. Put your faith in the One who made you, and I think you’ll find that there is immense power in not caring what other people think of you. When you’re able to walk through life only caring to please your God, you will be able to conquer anything.

Unfortunately, this joy isn’t something that can be found over night, and it can be lost much easier than it is found, but I encourage you to seek out that unwavering joy that can only come from the one true King because it will be a journey that takes you much farther than you can imagine.

I hope you all have a blessed week and Thanksgiving, and thank you for reading!

Stay classy,

Megan LouAnn

What’s Your Talent?

The following is a reflection from this weekend’s message from Crossroads, so feel free to watch the service via crossroads.net to have a little bit of background on where I’m coming from!


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Original image from crossroads.net

You know those quizzes and surveys that float around Facebook that tell you what your major should be, what Hollywood actress you’re most like, and what kind of tree represents your personality? I’m addicted to them. I know that for the most part, they’re kind of silly and don’t usually represent anything that remotely resembles the truth of who you are, but they’re fun. I think a lot of people enjoy taking those surveys because we desire to learn more about who we are or who others perceive us to be. But it’s weird — we seem to spend the majority of our time engaging in friendships, relationships, etc. while trying to learn all about other people, but do we really spend an adequate amount of time reflecting on who we really are? Because we are so much more than a ‘science major’, ‘Audrey Hepburn-like’, ‘pine tree’ type of person.

I can list off a lot of things that I am, a lot of things that I like, dislike, places I like to go, movies I like to watch, etc. but it’s not so clear when I try to think about who I am at the core. What talents has God instilled in me, specifically, to share His word with the world? What about me is different from most others around me? What do I bring to the table? Those questions dig a whole lot deeper than what’s my ‘favorite this or that’, and because of that, they’re so much harder to answer.

However, God has given each and every one of us a unique ‘spark’ and a unique way of functioning. If we were all the same, could you imagine how dull this world would be… Sure, there probably wouldn’t be nearly as many arguments, fights, etc., but would you want to live in a world where everyone did what everyone else was doing? Everyone thought what everyone else was thinking? Of course not. Our differences are what makes this world utterly beautiful despite all of the inherent brokenness. The best teams are made up of very different individuals who all bring a specific edge to the group in order to achieve a common goal.

I believe that God is never going to shout down to us and say something like, ‘Hey Megan! I gave you the unique ability to do XY and Z, so start doing that more!’. He might – I mean that would be pretty wicked – but I think God’s desire is for us to go through trial, error, and exploration to figure it out with his guidance. So where do we begin? I think a good place to start is to take a survey developed by the Crossroads team that addresses five true talents given in the Bible from Paul in Ephesians 4:11-13.

I know what you’re thinking… ‘Megan, you literally just said five minutes ago that online surveys are silly and don’t tell us anything about who we are!’. I know, I did say that five minutes ago. However, this survey comes from a context that can certainly help us discover more about who we are, and although the ‘True Talent Indicator’ isn’t necessarily a perfect representation of who you are and what your God-given talents are, it’s an excellent place to start. I encourage you to take the time to do the survey and then more importantly, take the time to reflect on your results and what they might mean for you. Pray about it. Talk about it. Think about it. Here’s the link:

crossroads.net/truetalentindicator

As for me, I had a near tie between Futurist (prophet) and Trainer (teacher). I plan to reflect on this over the next week and return here on Sunday to flesh out some of my ideas. Let me know your results in the comments below! Thank you all for reading, and I hope you have an amazing week!

Love always,

Megan LouAnn