November 2016 Month in Review

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December is here!! Which means Christmas!!

I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday and so as soon as Thanksgiving is over I’m in full holiday season mode. Advent candles and devotionals, great music, decorating…I love it all!

November was a month of writing, primarily. This month, I wrote a novel from beginning to end, banged my head on keyboards, and then changed the plot completely to redraft the whole thing later. I saw my school musical, Godspell, and was pleasantly surprised by how respectful and accurate it was! (Let me know if you want more thoughts on this). Thanksgiving, of course, was a wonderful day of family time and delicious food.

And now, as we move on to December, I’m so excited to enjoy Christmas and the last month of 2016!

This Month’s Devotions

I finished reading through my Bible!

For the majority of the month I was in the book of Revelation. And while I was a little scared to start reading this notoriously difficult book, it turned out to be one of my favorite books in the entire Bible.

Why? Because it’s such a beautiful picture of the hope we have as Christians.

And that, I think, is the key to enjoying Revelation. Don’t try to decode every symbol or analyze every vision. Read it all with the overall message in mind: Christians will be persecuted, but it will not last forever. God will return, and He will judge the world and bring justice to His people. Through Christ’s amazing sacrifice, we will live forever in heaven, a place of such beauty we cannot even imagine it here on earth.

If you read Revelation that way, I think you will find it much more enjoyable.

Bloggings

god is in control2.jpgthere was an election that happened this month and please remember this simple truth

Purposeful Pages Memethe last linkup: an inspiring website, how blogging has impacted me, what I would tell my younger self

gratitude2having gratitude in the midst of our entitled culture

from other blogs…

Honestly just read everything Amanda wrote this month. Slowly. Digest it and reflect on it. Such good posts that I couldn’t pick just one or two!

I love the idea of doing a one second every day video project. Don’t know if I could actually pull it off, but it is a really cool way to record memories!

This short story is so beautiful I can’t even…agh. So good. The concept and the twist and it’s just…read it.

And finally, two things to get you in the Christmas spirit: YA books paired with Christmas songs and December Song, Peter Hollens’ new Christmas single that is absolutely gorgeous.

Readings

The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and ExercisesThe Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #3)Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2)

Three really good books that I read this month; all pretty quick reads, since I was writing up a storm and didn’t have a lot of spare time.

  • The Art of War for Writers: 4 stars. A really handy little book that I will be referencing often. Read my review on Goodreads here.
  • The Body in the Library: 4 stars. Love me a good Agatha Christie when I need something quick, light, and engaging.
  • Hollow City: 5 stars. I was worried it wouldn’t be as good as the first one, but it drew me in just like that one did. I love this series so much!

Watchings

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(yes, I watched two things with Benedict Cumberbatch in them. don’t judge me.)

  • Sherlock: again, I only watched one episode of this in the entire month. Seriously. I just don’t have time to watch TV, even such epic TV as this. The one episode I did watch was the wedding episode (fellow Sherlock fans know which one I mean?) and it was just the BEST ever. All the cuteness!!
  • Hamilton’s America: yes, I have joined the madness of being obsessed with Hamilton. Even I, the one who hates rap with a passion, love it, and I think that says something! Anyway, this documentary was really great for some behind the scenes and clips of the musical as well as historical background. Highly recommended if you love Hamilton as much as I do!
  • Doctor Strange: 4 stars. Another great Marvel movie, as usual. Benedict Cumberbatch incredible, as usual. And if any of you are Marvel fans but afraid to see this one because of the supernatural elements, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Not any different from Thor or Guardians of the Galaxy, really, and any problems I had with the movie were for different reasons altogether.

Listenings

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  • Godspell: As mentioned before, this was my school’s musical, and in addition to being much more accurate and respectful than I expected, the music is SO good. Listened to it obsessively after seeing the show!
  • Greatest Hymns: One day I got fed up with generic Christian music and wanted to go back to the old school songs, so I looked up hymn albums that I might like and found this one. It was exactly what I needed to refresh my soul.

Here’s a song that just makes me want to dance:

This is kind of the theme song for my NaNoWriMo (in addition to just being beautiful):

And another song I listened to on repeat while writing this month (love, love, love!):

Upcoming in December

  • Mini-reviews of favorite Christmas books, movies, and/or music
  • Um…an as-yet undetermined post about Christmas? Advent? Something? Who knows.
  • The 2016 Book and Movie of the Year! I can’t believe it’s already time to do another one of these.

 

I hope you all had a wonderful November! See you next week with some Christmasy stuff. Have an amazing December and enjoy the holidays!

love, grace

It’s My Blogiversary!! (+ Updates and Plans)

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I’M BACK!

(Temporarily, that is. But we’ll talk about that later.)

And why am I back? Because it’s my blogiversary! (It’s actually tomorrow, but shh. Since I don’t post on Sundays, we’re celebrating a day early.)

One year ago, on August 7, 2015, I pushed the publish button on my “Welcome” blog post, and True and Pure was born. I’ve grown so much over the last year and have definitely improved my writing. My articles have gotten longer, deeper, and more polished, I hope. And I hope I’ve accomplished something of what I stated as my goal in that first post:

  • To examine Biblical truths,
  • Bash cultural beliefs,
  • Encourage you,
  • Inspire you to do great things,
  • And challenge you to live your daily life for Christ.

A Quick Review of the Last Year 

Since I started this blog, I have posted 99 posts, and, fittingly, this post will be my 100th. 

I have a total of 48 followers, 4,346 views, and 359 comments.

The series posts I did this past year included Prayer, New Years’ Resolutions, Feelings (miniseries), How to Witness (miniseries), and most recently, Modesty.

Popular stand-alone posts (that received the most views or comments):

Most popular book reviews:

What’s Been Happening Lately?

As you all know, I have been taking an extended break from blogging since early July. It’s been really nice to not have to worry about getting posts up in the midst of everything else that’s been going on, but I do miss it.

I’ve been reading a lot, so if you don’t follow me on Goodreads, you should. Here are a few of the reviews I’ve posted recently:

What’s Next?

I will be taking a break for one more week, as I’m still teaching a camp for another week and it’s not a good idea to try and get back to posting until that’s over.

After that, I’ll be getting back into posting. I’ll try to participate in the August Purposeful Pages that just came out, and probably put up a review of Divergent that I started drafting before my break. If I can collect my scattered thoughts, there may be a review of the Red Queen series or just a post about some of the problems I’m having with these books in general. I’ll also be doing some sort of back-to-school series during the rest of the month as well.

You can expect posts Mon/Wed/Sat again starting August 15! It’s going to feel great to get back to blogging again.

So goodbye for one more week, and I’ll see you soon!

love, grace