Starbucks, worth the bucks.

Today i went to starbucks and was impressed, yet again, by the conversation i had there. I've always been a little skeptical of the whole "you are paying for the conversation atmosphere thing," but i can doubt no longer. Its true. Some of the most influential times of discussion and conversation can be pinpointed on a map.

[St. Louis]
-Chestefield Aiport Road in the Commons
(jenna--shed motherly wisdom in the area of family relationships)
(alexandra, katie, rachel, meredith--discussed what it means to truly be in community with your close girl friends)

--Delmar Road in the Loop
(Maria and i talked about the ways the church has hurt and destroyed its relationship with the people who need it the most)

--Olive Road
(Annie P and i talked about education and where its gone wrong. She told me about the approach of her classical school, and her opinion as a teacher and mother. I loved it.)


--Habor Road
(I talked with a Jehovah's Witness and began to understand just a bit what good looks like when it is severely tainted. Realized the necessity of every word in the Bible.)
(My parents took me to breakfast and told me i would be moving to St. Louis for my senior year if i so desired. I desired.)

--Fairview Road(Deitrich's Coffee, oops!)
(I read more books in the coffee shop than i've ever read sitting in my own room.)

[Gas City]
--Well, the only Starbucks in Gas City.
(I've sat with many a girl and had many a conversation this year, too many to count really.)
(Today, i went with Andrea DiSanto. In the 3 hours we sat talking, i was so encouraged by her insight and fellowship.]

So anyway, i thought i would document for myself the ways in which Starbucks (or Deitrich's) have been essential in the formation of my mind and thought process. The more i think about it, the more i don't see all these conversations as separate entities, filled with a conglomeration of ideas that i just stuffed into my mind for use later. They really have been integral in the process of forming my mind, molding and reminding my mind, making it different today than it was yesterday.

On this note, two things popped into my head after Coffee with Andrea today.

1. For this summer i have decided to live a "Holistic Summer" while i am home.

(Body)This will kick off by my attendance the holistic doctor to work at relieving my poor body of the harm it incurred/i forced upon it this year. Also, I will go to bed before midnight 6 nights a week and get up before 9. I will eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. I will train (providing that my ankle is better) for half marathon with my sisters. I will eat naturally as much as possible (hello lots of fruits, veggies, and hummus). No soda, no chips, no ice cream, no candy, no silliness. My body deserves a break from these things.

(Mind)I will read a book every week, and hopefully more than that. At the top of the list will be anything written by Neil Postman (possibly "The Disappearance of Childhood" first.) I will have conversations. I will blog.

(Soul)As i don't consider my soul to be entirely separate from mind or body, it think that both of the lists apply here. Also, i hope to do time in the word with my sisters in the mornings. (before our run?) Also, if i get up early enough, i'm going to go to San Clemente and sit on the lifeguard stand and read out loud from the Word. I love hearing the Word read in large passages out loud.

So there that is, you'll hear more this summer.

2. Today I pondered which 5 books had the greatest impact on my life, and why. Here they are, in a very particular order.

a. A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken. (read in 2007) It doesn't matter who you are, this book will mean something to you. I heard today that it has been used as a marriage counseling book, it used to be used in the Foundations of Christan Thought Class, it was a part of my Junior year curriculum, and if you like a good story, this will do more than suffice. Old men like the book, middle school girls like the book. Its not really just a good story though. What impresses me most about this book is the fact that it was written. Weird, i know. But, its not a made up story, it is a man (sheldon vanauken) reflecting on his life with a certain aptitude for incredible synthesis and Godly understanding that is altogether quite uncommon. He writes about mercy in the most "graceful" way i've ever experienced (pun very much intended).

b. The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis. (read in 2006) Becoming real, need i say more?

c. Descent into Hell, by Charles Williams. (read in 2006) Biggest thing i learned here--Terrible Good. Perhaps this is when my love for paradox in the Christian faith began. Also, coming face to face with yourself (your doppleganger) is a scary, scary thing.

d. Letters to a Diminished Church, by: Dorothy Sayers. (read in 2006) If nothing else, the chapter "The Dogma is the Drama" is life changing.

e. Technopoly, by: Neil Postman. (read last week in 2008) Awareness. really, this man just wants people to wake up and see the way that visible and invisible technologies have changed our lives and motives. Thanks to him, i woke up a bit. Thanks to this man's inspiration, i didn't do my homework one night. I was altogether too aware of my faulty desire to have a positive quantification of my thoughts--an A+ on my understanding of Hegel's philosophy. (ok, maybe this wasn't Neil's fault, maybe i just didn't want to do it.)

My blogging addiction is somewhat out of control. Its good though, now i have to focus and finish the work that i was going to do in 3 hours, in 1.5 hours. :)

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