Summering with Joy!


I’m so happy you stopped by. Listen in to the podcast above to hear about my Summer Book Club, live Speaking with Joy events near you, and more!

Hello, Friends!

After a short (and unexpected!) break, I’m happy to say that Speaking with Joy is back and brewing with Summery goodness. This recent furlough was as surprising to me as to you— I was buried in Phd-ing you, see, and rather than make a half-hearted podcast on a topic I loved, I decided to wait till I had enough time to do it justice. So, did you all miss me? Selfishly, I hope so…

In the meantime, I’ve been writing furiously on my Phd, sniffing roses in Vienna (not at the same time), and plotting the summer episodes of Speaking with Joy. Which is why I am so very excited to announce the return of …

Reading with Joy, a summer book club!

Some of you may remember that I hosted a book club last summer on C.S. Lewis’ strange and wonderful book The Great Divorce. Both at random, and when I have asked for feedback, many of you have requested that I host another book club this summer, and it is my great pleasure to do so!

I’m so excited.

This year, we’ll be reading G.K. Chesterton’s excellent book Orthodoxy


Despite Chesterton’s rather foreboding glare in this image, this book is an absolute delight.

I wanted something that would be fun, accessible and enjoyable to read, but also foster good conversation and sustain it for 9 weeks. I think this book is just the ticket. It chronicles Chesterton’s gradual journey to Christian belief. It is like a mixture between an intellectual biography, a book of apologetics, a personal testimony of conversion to Christianity, all while managing to contain some of the most delightful, dizzying essays about fairy tales and natural law.

I hope I’ve made you want to read it.

It’s really marvellous.

By G. K. Chesterton

This is how the book club will work…

Each week, you will read one (1) chapter. I will summarise the chapter, and then discuss it in the podcasts (if you don’t get a chance to read the chapter, still listen in because I’ll try to provide a pretty full summary). I will post discussion questions for you to contemplate in the show notes on this website, and then I will open up discussions on my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages, where you can discuss each week’s chapter with other readers.

I’m bringing back the book club by popular demand, so I hope many of you listen in. Oh, and one other thing: I highly, highly suggest using this as an opportunity to meet up with friends and discuss the book in real life! It’s a pretty easy read, and low commitment. Just meet a friend or a few friends at a coffee shop every week. It would make me so happy to think of summer friendships developing because of this. :-)

I think it will be so much fun.

Expect the first episode to air on June 17!

your job: read chapter one (“In Defense of Everything Else”) by June 17.

Also! You can find the book for free on Project Gutenberg!

Oh, and I have something else fun to announce..

Speaking with Joy is going on the Road!


With the help of some friends, I’ll be hosting Live Speaking with Joy evenings in Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Colorado in the first two weeks of August.

My idea for the events would be to host a “live” episode, and make it an immersive, inspiring evening— not just me lecturing. I will explore why cultivating the good, true, and beautiful in our lives is not a frivolous pursuit, but a battle cry against the cynicism of the world. Like in my podcast, we’d explore that through works of literary, visual, and musical art.  I’m planning on bringing Joel with me for the musical portion (and we may sing some of our Two Benedictions stuff). My hope is that people would leave feeling refreshed by a reprieve from the weariness of the world, and that they would leave inspired to go cultivate spaces of beauty and wisdom in their own lives. This is generally my hope with the podcast :)

So keep your eyes peeled for more info, and join me in real life!


Help me forge the road ahead!

Last year I made a big decision. I was nearly drowning as I tried to do a good job on my Phd, keep Speaking with Joy running, and work enough to support myself and pay tuition. When I prayed about it, I felt deeply that God was calling me to throw myself into my Phd and the podcast, and to trust Him to provide for me financially. As a step in that direction, I stopped my other work and started my Patreon, asking anyone who was willing to sponsor the podcast and help me complete my Phd.

Patreon is a way for people to support me as I produce the podcast and work on my Phd.

It’s also a way for me to connect personally and provide fun podcast extras.

Every month, as a thank you for the support, I post a

Joynal: my monthly newsletter about what I’m learning, thinking about and enjoying,

Playlists: I’m always making playlists for my most recent mood, or the oncoming seasons, or themes I’ve explored in the podcast. I love to share these on the Patreon with my dear supporters.

Monthly Reading Lists: each month I post the books I’ve reading for pleasure and what I’ve thought about them. And I love to hear what you’ve been reading too.

Secret Podcasts: sometimes these are uncut interviews with people, or an exploration of something I’m exploring in my phd, or, like this week a Virtual tour of Vienna, with history, pictures, and food descriptions included. These are usually less “polished” than my normal podcasts, and I really enjoy speaking in a different mode.

right now, about 3% of you keep the entire show going! You’re amazing!

However, as I go into my final year, it would really help me if that number were closer to %5. This would help me not have to take out any more student loans, and be able to pay all my expenses.

In short, it would mean a lot to me if you would consider checking out the Patreon.

(okay, I’m done making my pitch, carry on with your lives)


Well, that’s all for now, friends! I hope you’ll spend the summer with me.

So much love,