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5 Quick Things #259 💪
community, education, concentration, & struggle
It’s admittedly taking me a long time to write today’s letter… Not because I don't have anything to say, but probably because I have too much going on in my brain. My noggin is taking up a full stock of plot points and genre-bending ideas for my fiction... A good thing, I suppose, but a bit overwhelming when I sit down to say hello to you all. So, hello! How are you?
Midway through writing this, I went on a long walk with Ginny, and I'm glad I did. Not only did it help clear my mind, but Kyle called to tell me a cold front was coming through about an hour later, and sure enough, here it is. The trees shiver outside the windows of this coffee shop where I type, as do the patrons who arrived in shorts and sandals. I opted for layers, sweating when I arrived but glad I've got my sweater now. Central Texas is weird, man.
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. 🎧 New epsiode of A Drink With a Friend! 🎧 I wasn’t able to make this chat, unfortunately, because it’s so good… Seth talks with Myles Werntz about community—specifically, what's the real difference between in-person and virtual communities? What do screens provide a community when they're needed, and what do they rob us of when they're not?
2. I was, however, recently on the Anchored podcast, where I talked with CLT head Jeremy Tate about the value of cross-cultural experiences, pilgrimages, and generally what good education looks like. I enjoyed this conversation!
3. A beautifully written piece on enjoying small moments even when you’re missing someone you’ve lost: “It makes no sense to feel guilty for still living and trying to learn to enjoy my life as God has allowed it to enfold, but it is still messy in my heart.”
4. Want to read more challenging literature but find your modern mind resists the attention required? You’re not alone. Dr. Holly Ordway gives some practical tips for upping your concentration game—after all, the habit of attention is just that: a habit.
5. And finally, for the next few weeks we’re discussing the virtue of grit in a leadership class I teach at my school, leaning heavily on Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena speech. You’re probably familiar with it, but listen to it again… I bet you need it. (I’ve listened to it about ten times this week.)
Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 📚
This week there’s been a great book chat happening for Commonplace subscribers, and as always, I’ve added a bajillion more books to my already toppling-over TBR stack. You all have such great reading recommendations! Come join the conversation.
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“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”
— Stephen King #
Beach or Mountains? 🏝🏔
I’m Team Mountains all the way, but hear me out… a grassy-green, insect-free shoreline for a crystal-clear freshwater lake surrounded by mountains.
Find this week’s poll here.
Quick Links 🔗
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16 Days Until Advent! 🕯
Believe that👆or not, right? Advent begins Sunday, November 27 this year, and if you haven’t yet, now’s the time to order your copy of Shadow & Light to make sure you have it in plenty of time. Because if you’re like most of us, Advent completely sneaks up on you. Consider this your reminder so your future self will thank you.
I’ve been blown away by the kindness this book has received, from individuals to families to book clubs and Bible studies. I wrote it specifically for someone like me: spinning many plates but still wanting a simple-but-rich, open-and-go Advent guide for reflection. If that’s you, you’ll probably appreciate S&L.
Question(s) For You to Ponder… 🤔
What’s something you delightfully care “too much” about? What’s something you could probably stand to care a little less about?
Have a good weekend,