books and songs of spring 2022

Well, folks, we are back. And by we, I mean me! Yes, I sometimes speak about myself in the plural. It’s not any less weird than someone speaking about themselves in the third person. I did this last spring and of course, it’s a recurring series on the blog, so I could not resist doing it once again for spring 2022. It’s also nice to make this a marker of time, and I will definitely do this again in the summer for reasons I want to keep to myself for now.

Related Post: Books & Songs for Fall 2021

Books baby it’s just books

The Stranger by Albert Camus

“I explained to him, however, that my nature was such that my physical needs often got in the way of my feelings.”

The Stranger is a very absurd read. I’d highly recommend it, even if you feel like it’s weird. Monsieur Meursault has such a nonchalant tone that it’s almost captivating. His lack of ties to another and anyone makes him a compelling character, but it’s so abnormal to what normal characters in literature are like. 

I resonate with this quote in the opposite sense. College has often felt like I needed to get things done by disregarding my physical well being. And by this, I mean like the stereotypical lack of sleep college students usually get. The lack of boundaries between school and friends and organizations. The cycles of work and play without any time for reflection in between. Camus is right too though. At times, our physical needs go against what we desire and either way, we have to wrestle to make sure we have what we need.

Moral of the story: Check in with yourself. What are you validating more? Your physical needs or your emotional needs?

Suffering by Dorothee Soelle

“Our whole life consists in despairing of an answer and seeking an answer.”

Dorothee Soelle’s book Suffering is worth reading. She attacks the traditional Christian reasons for suffering while holding on to a key principle of suffering with those who suffer. It’s a rich text with a lot of references to Nietzsche, Freud, and even Dostoevsky. 

I feel like if there’s a quote for my life then Soelle’s quote is it. For a long time I looked for an answer, and then found God. And now that I have God, I despair at Him as an answer. Believing God is real now means I have to reconcile the hope I have in him with the broken part of my own family and life and the world around me. This balance of despair and seeking is not something I’ve quite got a handle on.

Moral of the story: We have to sit in the tension of despair and hope.

Related Post: simple rituals and rhythms | quiet winter series

Songs of spring 2022 (let’s get bloomin’)

PSA: All of these songs are worship songs. I haven’t been listening to secular music due to the Lenten season. Just to warn ya!

Strong by Oaks Worship

I trust you now

I trust you always 

In every season

In every moment

Have been singing these lyrics so much this past month or so. These have just been words that I needed to hear, to be repeating. No one tells you how uncertain your last semester of college feels. I just know that I am not quite ready to enter into what is next. I’m definitely not even ready to start processing what I’m leaving behind, what I’m losing. The loss feels so big and the gain feels nonexistent (especially with nothing lined up for me yet). But this song is an anchor. Hope it’s one for you too~

Ever Present Always True by Rachel Morley

Breathe the breath I breathe, receive the songs I sing. Would you come near?

Come and meet my gaze, sit here face to face, can we stay here?

Rachel Morley will be in my top 5 of artists this year. She’s just all I’ve been listening to since January. Her songs are filled with such praise and adoration that I am just overwhelmed with how much beauty there is and how much I want to direct that adoration above to God. This one is worth sitting down and listening to.

Related Post: Fighting for faith on a winding path | quote series

Awaken Me by Bethany Barnard

Come awaken me

Wake me from my sleep

Come awaken me

There’s more than I what I feel or see

The piano is so perfect. This song is soft and compelling. I listened to a ton of Bethany Barnard in the fall, and then via Spotify recommended her older work and this song caught me off guard. It reminds me of a slow drive down a highway, wind blowing, that point in the drive where you’re both silent-it’s peace.

No One Like Me by Upperroom

No one like You

I could search all of heaven above

And never find another like You, another like You

I just want to say that this album by Upperroom Love Note has a like on EVERY single song in my Spotify. Safe to say, I really like this album. Every few weeks or so, I latch onto a new song I just keep replaying. Lately it’s been this one. Simple start. The words repeat through the whole song. But I appreciate that. An external truth trying to worm its way into my shifty heart.

Make Room by Meredith Andrews

Here is where I lay it down

Every lie and every doubt

This is my surrender

I have missed Meredith Andrews. Before I was a Christian, I would listen to her music. Christian music can be very encouraging even if you’re not a believer. I’m glad she released something new. This song is about clearing out the old to make space for Jesus to enter in (or to see how he enters in). The vocals are incredible on this track!

Another In The Fire by Hillsong

All my debt left for dead beneath the waters

I’m no longer a slave to my sin anymore

And should I fall in the space between

What remains of me and this reckoning

Either way, I won’t bow

To the things of this world

And I know I will never be alone

I can’t explain why this song slaps. Maybe it’s because I’ve sung in with my IV friends (even recently at a worship night we had). But Taya’s vocals hit at this part. This second part is so so good. We aren’t shackled to the past anymore. We can move forward from what imprisons us. And we’re not alone when we do so.

Related Post: justice in Richmond: spring break edition

Jireh by Maverick City Music

You are Jireh, You are enough

Jireh, You are enough

And I will be content in every circumstance

You are Jireh, You are enough

This song is taken from Matthew 6. It’s a passage about releasing worrying because of God’s intentional provision. Jireh comes from Jehovah-Jireh which means The Lord will provide. Given the uncertainty about what comes next, this song is a great reminder to my worrying soul. And it’s a promise to God that I will recognize what I have in each circumstance.

Nothing Without You by United Pursuit

Oh, God, peel back the layers of my heart

I want communion, I want fellowship

I wanna be with you where you are

Will Reagan knows how to write an intimate worship song. This song has been on my mind and heart. There’s devotion and intimacy here. This song is a crying out for greater connection and I love it. Once again, a simple, repetitive groove, but with lyrics that mean so much more. Reagan is honest and real and that makes the best music.

Happy spring 2022, gentle reader!

Hope your allergies are nonexistent and your sun be bright!

Signing off, 


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