What I'm Into (February, 2015 Edition)

February Snow

It's been a long, COLD, snowy February in the Chicago area, making me extremely thankful I purchased a winter maternity coat. 


Cold, snowy nights have been perfect for curling up with a book by the fire. This month, here are the books I've been into: 


Life Intended

Without a doubt, The Life Intended  was my favorite fiction read this month. I loved Kristin's characters. The subject matter - how to live well when life turns out different than you expected - was both relatable and fascinating. I'll be thinking about this one for a long time (and recommending it to everyone I know). I'm guessing this will land on my favorite books of 2015 list. 

All My Puny Sorrows

As a result of perusing last month's What I'm Into's, I stumbled upon All My Puny Sorrows. Well-written and engaging, the subject matter of All My Puny Sorrows - suicide - is heavy yet thought-provoking. 

This month, I also enjoyed Tami Hoag's Cold, Cold Heart, a sequel to The 9th Girl. I also read two books that countless people have recommended to me - The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Although I liked The Goldfinch, it fell short of my expectations of it. I did not, however, care for We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves, though I also can't seem to stop thinking about it. 


This month I read three non-fiction books I really enjoyed. 

Where The Cross Meets The Street

Where the Cross Meets the Street by Noel Castellanos is an incredible book that combines Noel's story with a practical theology of justice. (You can find my full review here.) 

Even though I didn't always agree with Becca Stevens' theology, I thoroughly enjoyed Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling , which tells the story of Thistle Farms

To Be a Friend Is Fatal: The Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind by Kirk W. Johnson is a book that haunts me. It tells the story of how poorly we treated the Iraqis who worked for the United States during our military involvement there. Look for a full review soon. 


 TV: Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Best New Restaurant, Modern Family, The Amazing Race, and of course, Downton Abbey (though this season has been a bit slow in our opinion). As lovers of Breaking Bad, we've also begun watching Better Call Saul, which we've really enjoyed. It's got the same quality writing and acting as Breaking Bad. 

Things I Love: 

Gjmaui Image

Since January, I've been using the videos from Dare 2 Share's Gospel Journey Maui as the basis for our high school youth ministry's Sunday morning conversations. The conversations sparked by these videos have been incredibly rich. 

Baby Clothes

Tiny baby clothes. Our due date is 3 months away and so we're starting to accumulate baby stuff - including these adorable clothes. 

Mom And Dad Painting

Home repairs. I love and appreciate how hard my husband, parents, and friends are working on our upstairs renovation to get our house ready for baby Bradbury. 

Piano Romance

Piano. I've played piano since I was 5 but unfortunately, I don't play a ton any more. However, I'm knee-deep in preparations for Youth Sunday with our high school teens, which means I've been busy rehearsing a variety of pieces with various teens. Each time I sit down at the piano, I'm reminded of how much I love playing. Now it's especially fun because the baby kicks every time I hit a loud chord! 

What I'm Into Button

Today I'm linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I'm into this month. You can join the conversation here.

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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