a glimpse of me through the books i read

by willeya

asking someone what books they read is like asking them, “who are you?”.

what’s important to you?

why is it important?

how is it changing you?

so tonight when my dinner-mate casually asked “if i’ve read any good books lately?” you can imagine my response.

i am pulled from the fly across the room’s buzzing and landing patterns to look full in her face.  totally engaged.

the answer, long and round, was a way of getting to know myself; the things she said in response a way of knowing her too.  every minute glorious.

the conversation served as a catalyst to more thoughts, a desire to see the question all the way through.  what developed was a very personal book review:

this book was given to me by a dear friend {elisabeth}.  it literally chased me around the united states before it caught me.  i am grateful for its persistence and timing, as i needed what it gave, where it gave it: at home.

i won’t give you lengthy beautiful quotes {though there are many} but i will say that this book is helping me to be happy where i am, not reaching outside the limits of the moment to find joy, as i normally do.  she poses that finding the 1,000 gifts in our real life will make me much happier than looking for the thousand that – no matter how hard i wish – just aren’t there.  through poetic words and sweeping images, i am learning how to reach to the outer edge of each moment {but no farther} through full attention and unconditional thankfulness.  she makes contentment so appealing that i’ve been compelled to try.  just yesterday i thanked God for the sound of car wheels through a puddle. i’ve not realized how much i enjoy that sound before.
                                                                                                                                              this book has heightened my senses for what is in front of me and distracted me away from what is not.  it is my newest “gift” and i am thankful for it.

this book outlines a very specific way of eating but not before laying a foundational philosophy of health through layers and layers of provocative information.  it dares to put food allergies, autism, depression, eczema, depression, pms, schizophrenia, crone’s disease, adhd, and many more conditions under one umbrella.  to connect them all through our digestive system.

go ahead. call me crazy. i can take it.

but this stuff resonates with my common sense, my basic premises of holism, my “gut” if you will. i really enjoy being confirmed in the many changes we have made and learning about the many things left to do.  the connection between our environment, our bodies, and our health is a vast playground for me and this book is a most fun, engaging apparatus {a swing, maybe?}

i haven’t actually cracked this one yet.  but it’s sitting on my night stand as a bright spot in my future.  this book has rave reviews by one of the broadest readers i know – my 9 year old niece.

book club leader, serious fantasy lover, and even published author, this girl knows her stuff.  and this is her favorite series.  her mother {where she gets it all from} calls it the modern day little women. i squeal. {good} fiction is the one non-reality that enhances my real reality, making more things possible. it’s a high that neither comes nor thrills cheaply. thus my unashamed, non-quenchable thirst for more. crossing my figurative fingers, i have high hopes for this one.

and now for the book that is barely a book to me – it is more like spiritual food. one that i am perpetually eating reading …

 “the love that came to you in particular, concrete human friendships and that awakened your dormant desire to be completely and unconditionally loved was real and authentic.  a love that comes to you through human beings is true, God-given love. death or absence does not end or even diminish the love of God that brought you to the other person. the task is not to die to life giving relationships but to realize the love you received in them is part of a greater love. this process is painful – very painful – because the other person has become a true revelation of God’s love for you. but the more you are stripped of the God-given support of people, the more you are called to love God for God’s sake.” (pg 28&64)

sitting in my apartment more alone than i have been in five weeks, my most profound expressions {besides ben} of love 17 hours away, feeling like i might just die without them, henri suggests that their love for me is really God’s love for me.  that maybe just maybe God took a piece of his heart, placed it in theirs, and allowed them to express what is actually His.  if this is true {and i daresay it is} then they can leave – forever even – and i still not be disconnected from the deep part of them that fills the deep part of me, which is love. because God is love. and God, in His love, is here with me, so close He’s inside.  and oh that you could feel the warmth that returns to my lonely limbs…God’s love has never been this real – this quenching – before.

and so this book goes in my life, to my most messed up, longing places.  time and time i learn from this man. his pain is profound and his pathways to God even more. the inner voice of love has turned out to be a very meaningful way His love has gotten through.

thank you – dear mother in law – for asking {and listening too}. what a perfectly lovely, delightfully rich question – a meal in itself.

and now that you’ve listened this long, it’s only polite to ask {plus i really want to know}…

read any good books lately?