March was an amazing month in the Hagaman home, as we welcomed our first born, Hudson, into the world. As we celebrate his arrival, and try to figure out life anew, I’d like to share with you what I'm reading, pondering and enjoying. This was something that only email subscribers received, but is now a main stay on the blog. The last Monday or Thursday (or Friday as this week would have it) of each month I peel back the layers even more than usual to share the things that had the greatest impact on me that month. I hope the resources I share with you are helpful and brighten your day. If you do enjoy it, feel free to pass it along to family and friends.
Verse I'm Chewing On
“Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” - 1 Samuel 12:24
I’ve been meeting with a group of guys each Monday over the past month or so. We are reading through Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life together and encouraging one another to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness. One way we have done that is through the memorization of Scripture. 1 Samuel 12:24 is one of the verses we memorized this month. It has been a solid reminder of God’s faithfulness to His people.
What I'm Reading
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - Long has this book been upon my reading list, which I finally picked up this month. The ending appendix entitled A Reader’s Guide to Using These Ideas may be all you need.
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney - I continue to read this with a group of guys and am loving it. This past week, we read about silence and solitude which is a discipline I certainly should lean into.
The Way of the Writer by Charles Johnson - My wife has long known that I’m a sucker for good design and marketing. Chalk this one up to a well designed cover. As I fanned the pages I soon found myself thankful for Johnson’s counsel on the craft and the flow of ideas that came my way with the turn of each new page. The chapters are small—most of which can be read in a single session—and brimming with helpful advice on among many things the delineation between teachers and mentors, and the risks a writer takes.
Night School by Lee Child - I’ve been a reader of the Jack Reacher novels for the last several years. In fact, I credit their oozing forth from the brain of Lee Child with my return to the fiction reading world. That said, any new release containing Reacher soon finds its way on my reading list. While not my favorite Reacher book, it still gets the job done in quintessential Jack Reacher style.
What I’m Listening To
The Cheerful Visit - Our deer friend Andi launched a new podcast this month. In it she interviews believers all across the creative landscape about their journies, work and faith. Andi was kind enough to interview Hannah and I a while back, which you can now find up on show. Enjoy!
Back In Black - You’d quickly realize I listen to a broad array of music, if you were to take a look at my Spotify listening history. This past month’s training was powered by the stylings of AC/DC. I’d turn on Back In Black and crank the dial all the way up, with each heavy set.
New Practice I’m Trying
Keeping a Writer’s Notebook - Charles Johnson mentioned the keeping of such a book countless times throughout The Way of the Writer. A writer’s notebook is where we capture, “images, ideas, scraps of language, character sketches, overheard dialogue, and so forth,” to be used as we revise and rewrite our work. More than just a notepad for writing down things to do, it serves as a repository of language and thought to be dipped in and drawn from as we sit down to construct prose and story alike.
My most recent entries have been new words I’ve learned of late. I’ll share two of these new entries to my vocabulary with you here.
Oeuvre - the works of a painter, composer, or author regarded collectively; body of work
Raconteur - a person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way
From the Internet
Why You Should Not Be Running by Mark Rippetoe - Most of us associate exercise with some form of endurance activity. Perhaps it’s time to rethink that paradigm and associate it with the lifting of heavy things. I know that’s not popular, but it might be exactly what we need.
Permission by Austin Kleon - I’ve read so many books, but the ones that have impacted me the most, have been those that have left me with a feeling of freedom to be, do or pursue something I previously thought I couldn’t. In a word, they gave me permission; which is a different way of saying that they inspired or gave me the kick in the pants I needed. Austin’s book, Steal Like An Artist, did this for me in January, and his blog continues to do the same on a more regular basis.
Weekly Questions - This is an oldie, but a goodie. Hannah and I were first introduced to this set of questions as we went through Merge a little of five years ago. They have been of great help to us these last several years, as we have sought to pursue one another relationally and otherwise, and build a strong marriage.