April and May Reads


The Barefoot Sisters Southbound was one of the most interesting and disgusting books I have ever read.  It was written by these two sisters (Lucy and Susan Letcher) who walked the length of the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia…barefoot (although they did wear shoes in the worst of winter).  Things I learned from this book:

1.  People who walk the entire Appalachian Trail smell really bad, but they do not care.  They make up cool Trail Names for each other, connect with each other, and help each other out along the way.

2.  A hiker’s appetite is a beautiful and disgusting thing to behold.  I’m talking…whole pizzas, onion rings, half gallons of ice cream all in one sitting.

3.  Not only is walking the AT a physically demanding thing to do, but it is a mentally demanding thing to do.  But, everyone says it is extremely worth it and everyone who has hiked it once, longs to do it again.

Susan and Lucy actually yo-yo’d and hiked back to Maine once they reached Georgia.  If you are interested in hiking, the Appalachian Trail, or interesting reads, I would highly recommend it!

*Note: This is not a Christian book, so it does have language in it.
love idol
I am a people-pleasing perfectionist, and I have waged a battle with it my entire life.  I hate when people get upset at me, which kind of sucks when you own a business, because there are times when people get upset at you because the buck stops with you (and then turns around and goes back out again, haha).  I care deeply about the people who are a part of Reverence and I strive to be a servant leader.
But, I am human.  And so whenever I inevitably make a mistake, no matter how hard I work or what I try to do to prevent it or correct it, sometimes people get upset at me and I cry in my room at night about it (haha). My mom always calls and says,”Are you human, Kirsten? Did you do the best that you could do and release it to The Lord?”  Seth always goes,”You don’t need to be Superwoman, you just need to be my woman.” Haha–what would I do without my voices of reason?
Thankfully, the Lord has been setting me free from that over the past few years, but it definitely is still a daily struggle.  That’s why this book came along at the right time–a time when I was majorly struggling with letting people down.  I know in my head all the verses about pleasing God above others, but this book was a great encouragement to me that it’s time to release all that.  If this is a struggle for you, I would encourage you to pick up this book!  I’ve been learning to daily surrender my need for approval so that I can humbly receive compliments when they come and not be crushed by the criticism. And it feels great!
duck commander
Ya’ll (see how I did that?) know how Seth and I love Duck Dynasty.  We laugh so hard every week!  This book was my pre-recital treat to myself, and it was SO good!  Each of the women tell their stories and give insights into life and family and faith.  Great read!
And finally…the one fiction book that I’ve read in these past two months…
Bodie and Brock Thoene ALWAYS deliver on fiction.  This was another great read!


Is it really the end of April?  Is it really almost the end of the school year?  Time surely is a-flyin’ by and most of us don’t stop to realize how quickly it passes each moment…each hour…each day…each year.  One of my goals for 2014 is to stop and savor every moment…the large and the small, for they are all valuable and precious.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -Cecil Beaton

Even though we had snow and ice on April 1 (April Fool’s from Mother Nature, haha), the past few weeks have been shaping up to be beautiful.  We’ve had 80 degree days, 50 degree days, and a myriad of weather in between, so Seth and I have been trying out some different hiking trails in Central PA.  We love to hike, be together, and unwind from the week.

hiking 6

hiking 3

hiking 2

Prince Caspian has been thrilled that we’ve been able to have the windows open. He loves to creep on the neighborhood from his little bubble.

hiking 4

hiking 5

I always hesitate to write about how busy things are because, let’s face it…everybody is busy.  I don’t want to be the subject of a meme! :)  But, things are busy.  This is my ultra-busy season of the year, but it is also the most fun!  I love, love, love our recital season at Reverence because God always does incredible things!  It is so awesome to see the fruit of the labor the students, staff, and I have invested in throughout this school year.

Time is so precious! I pray that you would each savor every moment and live life to the fullest for His glory!


Kirsten :)

If you’re happy and you know it, read a book!

March book 1

I made Prince Caspian pose with March’s books.  Can’t you see how excited he is?  Oh how I feel for him.  I remember what it was like to have dignity…Notice the giant paw smudge-print on the window behind his head.

I feel like March has just flown by, don’t you?  I know it’s not over yet, but wowzers!

March book 2This month has been full of good reads for me!  I discovered Laura Frantz from another blogger, and picked up this first book in the Ballantyne Legacy series because a) I LOVE historical fiction–particularly the Revolutionary War period, and b) It takes place in York County, PA, which is where I am originally from!  I will warn you in advance…Love’s Reckoning is kind of a downer throughout most of the book, but it picks up in the end!  A great read!

Seth had bought Wife After God for me for Christmas this past year because I had asked for some devotional books on how to be a superfantasticProverbs31 wife!  Seth said that I didn’t need to learn how to be a better wife (isn’t he dreamy?), but I know better.  This book is written by Jennifer Smith who manages The Unveiled Wife blog, and it’s a 30 day devotional series–each day takes a perfect 15 minutes for me and is a great supplement to my morning quiet time.  Some days definitely review basics and things that I had already studied, but I truly believe that you can read the same Scripture over and over again and the Holy Spirit can reveal new things to you through it.  I’ve felt very encouraged as I’ve read it each day this month.  And hopefully I am a better wife! Grin…

March book 3

I Am Malala has been on my reading list for the past several months.  I realized that it had been a while since I had read a biography or anything “current,” so this seemed like a perfect choice.  I really enjoyed it!  I learned quite a bit about the Pakistani culture (something that I did not know a lot about) and grew to admire the courage of this young woman who spoke up for the right for girls to get an education.

Band of Sisters is a novel that piqued my interest.  It is set in the early 1900s, New York City, and tackles issues of human trafficking, the dignity of all people, and the infamous question “What Would Jesus Do?”  It was a GREAT read…I would put it up there among my favorite books and absolutely a re-reader!

Whatcha readin’ this month?

Books of the Month {February}

I was really excited to receive Notes from a Blue Bike in the mail, because Tsh Oxenreider is one of my favorite bloggers.  We are cut from the same cloth–the desire to live intentionally amidst the crazy world of being an entrepreneur and a family person.  This book chronicles Tsh’s own journey and is a whimsical glance at her family’s life lived all over the world.  And…bonus…Tsh and her family are taking a year and traveling all over the world, which is awesome and a goal that Seth and I have at some point.  Check it out–it’s a great read!

notes from a blue bike

This month I did some re-reading of one of my favorite series of books:  These Highland Hills by Kathleen Morgan.

afirewithin childofthemist wingsofmorningI LOVE these books and can reread them over and over again.  They are set in 16th century Scotland amidst the powerful Campbell Clan, and they are sooooooooooooo good!  If you like historical fiction, they are a great read!

Seth and I also committed to reading one marriage book a year, and this year we decided that we wanted something different.  We chose this:

beyond-ordinary-cover2“Beyond Ordinary” is a neat, different marriage book.  The authors do it in a “he said/she said” format and honestly take the readers through their own personal journey of heartache.  Thankfully, God turned their heartache into a beautiful story of redemption and they use their trials to teach the readers how to have a marriage that is extraordinary.  Seth and I started reading it together in January and it took us about 7 weeks to finish together.  Good read!

So…whatcha reading this month?

Books of the Month {January}

This month I started to tackle the stack of books that I was blessed to receive as Christmas gifts from people who know me well…

Book #1:  The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey





I enjoyed this book immensely.  It was a “deep” read, one that challenged my typical way of thinking and one that aligned with my way of thinking.  It had a lot of cool quotes in it, but one of my favorites is where he writes, “Yet as I read the birth stories about Jesus I cannot help but conclude that though the world may be tilted toward the rich and powerful, God is tilted toward the underdog.”

Book #2:  Return to Me by Lynn Austin
return to me



I love a good historical novel, and Lynn Austin is one of my favorite fiction writers.  This book is set in the time where the Jewish exiles were returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, and it follows a Jewish family.  Great read–I literally could not put it down!

Book #3:  The Fruitful Wife by Hayley DiMarco
the fruitful wife




I’ll be honest…I took a break from reading marriage books for a bit.  We were inundated with them when we were going through our pre-marital counseling, and they all blurred together after a while.  But, I like to go through some books personally so that I can keep growing, and Seth and I like to go through a marriage book together once a year.  I have always enjoyed Hayley DiMarco (I use her books quite a bit with the students at the studio), and asked for this book for Christmas.  It was very enjoyable and thought-provoking read!

Book #4:  The Duck Commander Family by Willie and Korie Robertson




It’s no secret that Seth and I highly enjoy the show “Duck Dynasty,” and this was a really fun read (Seth is now reading it)!  I learned so much about the history of the Robertson family–they truly are a rags to riches story, and I admire that.

How about you?  What are you reading this month?