Dearest Addie . . . (a letter, a book review and a synchroblog)

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Do you remember this lovely box, exploding with sunshine?

I surely do. It arrived on my doorstep in the earliest days of my recovery from nasty foot surgery, in mid-June, 2014. I’d injured myself and then discovered there was a whole lot more goin’ on in that dang foot than what I’d done to it. I was facing into a long recovery (much longer than we knew back then) and I was feeling L O W.

And then a lot of my internet friends did some remarkable things, and YOU were among the first. YOU sent me this box of yellow love. Every bright and lovely piece of this glory broke right through my sadness, my loneliness, my pain (both physical and emotional), and helped me to hang on during a long and difficult time in my life.

Now, sweetheart — look again at that date up there, okay? 2 0 1 4. Just a few short months after the journey you took with your boys, that long trek to Florida and back, the one you’ve written about so magnificently well in this new book of yours:

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I had no idea you had struggled so earlier in that year. But somehow, it seemed important, as I write this strange epistle/review/blog post, it seemed important for me to remind you of how good, kind, thoughtful, insightful, intuitive and gifted you are even when you’re in the middle of a long, dark season in your own spiritual journey.

BTW, that cover? One of the best depictions of what’s actually inside the book that I’ve about ever seen. Genius! Not all of this tender journal was easy to read. I hate that you do battle with depression, that you sometimes have such a low view of your own, wonderful self. So some of this was painful to read. 

But all of it was so good to read. Because what you come to, where you arrive, as you drive through the cold and the dark, as you deal with two pre-schoolers caged inside a small space for hours at a time, as you read your first book aloud in small town libraries and book stores and church basements, as you stay with friends and family, as you struggle to get those boys to sleep, as you eat at way too many MacDonald’s, and do a little bit (a very little bit) of sight-seeing — what you come to, in the end, is yourself. 

And that, my dear, is the point. The goal. The reward. In this second book, you continue to do the good work started in “When We Were on Fire,” the good work of jettisoning the crap gathered in way too many rah-rah, emotion-heavy, guilt-inducing, misguided youth events. And you begin to see the light. The LIGHT. The truth that the Jesus walk is not so much about ‘re-discovering’ the emotional highs of adolescence, but about the steady, day-by-day commitment to putting one foot in front of the other.

It’s about seeing the light in small things, like the sun shining on your son’s hair, or smelling the first real cup of coffee after too many cups of tea, (or, if you’re a tea-drinker like I am, savoring the spicy scent of chai after too many stale coffee-breath greetings from friends!). It’s about accepting the truth that ‘success’ and ‘failure’ are pretty much meaningless terms when we’re talking about real life. It’s about letting go of the lists — you know the lists! Those things we’re ‘supposed’ to do to be ‘good’ Christians, the things we’re supposed to feel, or even believe, in order to pass muster.

It’s about letting go of all of that, and leaning hard into the truth of grace. It’s about learning to trust that there is not one thing we can do or not do that will make God love us any less or any more than God already does. It’s about breathing in and breathing out and saying the name of Jesus when we do. It’s about seeing and being seen. It’s about really, really, living. Not ‘living it up,’ not living on an emotional high forever, not even ‘living for Jesus,’ whatever the heck that means.

It’s about living real. Because I’m here to tell  you, there is NOTHING more real than God, even when God seems absent, even when you’re driving in the dark of night, even when you’re struggling hard to re-create old experiences that simply are no longer possible or even desirable. You put it beautifully on page 225 (and a lot of other places, too, but this one’s the shortest:

“It’s not up to me to flip on the lights. the Light is already here.”

YES, Addie!! Yes, yes, yes. The Light is already here.

Thank you for writing this searingly honest book, for owning your own weaknesses, for showing us the shadow side. And here’s why I thank  you — because with  your exceptional writing grace, your skill, you illustrate this powerful truth: the shadow side is our teacher. Yes, there are parts of the shadow that we need to shine a bright, harsh light on, that we need to clean up and clear out. BUT . . . those shadow parts of us are also primary avenues through which God can show us more about grace, more about love, more about the human condition, more about truth than anywhere else. Like Barbara Brown Taylor (another one of my FAVES) in “Learning to Walk in the Dark,” you have shown us more about the light than any 1000 titles about sunshine-theology. 

So, I thank you. I thank you for the box of sunshine at a dark time in my own journey. And I thank you for this beautiful book. May you be blessed beyond measure by the way people respond to it.

Much, much love,

Diana

Oh! Before I go, I wanted to share with  you a couple of quotes that landed in my inbox today from a journal I subscribed to for many years, one that I used frequently in sermon prep and for devotional reading. It’s called “Weavings,” and if you don’t know it, I highly recommend it. These were in a monthly devo kinda thing, but each of them spoke to some of what “Night Driving” deals with, so I thought maybe you might enjoy them:

As people of faith, we need to remember that the resurrection tosses out all standard expectations and measurements of failure and success. Neither failure nor success is good or evil; both can result in growth, stagnation, or regression. In our struggle with failure and success, we may find a hidden strength as we commend our spirits to our Creator and seek to yield our lives to love. Our challenge is to have faith—in failure, in success, in whatever life brings. The unexpected turns, the painful endings, the precarious beginnings are all part of the path of faith, where we are reminded with each step that the resurrection did not happen only once long ago—it happens each day of our lives.  — Jean M. Blomquist, “Weavings”

Pure faith hears the full silence of God, and believes—for the absence of God touches one’s thirst more than the presence of everything else. “In the desert we go on serving the God whom we do not see, loving [the God] whom we do not feel, adoring [the God] whom we do not understand, and thanking [the God] who has taken from us everything but [God’s self]” (Charles Cummings,Spirituality and Desert Experience). In time, the search becomes the goal, the longing becomes sufficient unto itself, and the perseverance transforms the meaning of success. Then some quiet evening, perhaps by full moon, it becomes strangely self-evident that we would not be searching had we not already been found. And the desert blooms when we find ourselves willing to be last—not because the last may become first, but because the game of “firsts” and “lasts” is no longer of interest.” — W. Paul Turner, “Weavings.” 

Eyes to See — A Book Review . . . and a Giveaway!!

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This book is a beautiful and deeply true gift to the world. It is a book to be savored, read over time, with pen in hand and fingertips at the ready — ready to bend down corners of page after page after page . . .

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Christie Purifoy invites us into her life, one year in her life, to be exact. Moving through the seasons from autumn through summer, from late pregnancy to early toddlerhood, from the wilderness of Florida to the welcoming joys of a very old house on a hilltop in Pennsylvania, she lets us see life through her eyes.

And what beauty-seeking eyes she has! Her reflections on the life she lives are deep, rich, honest and gloriously articulate and thoughtful. Maplehurst is an old, brick farmhouse, now surrounded by a brand-new neighborhood of tract homes, a place far from family, yet a place that becomes home in every way you can think of.

Along the way, she reflects on things like post-partum depression, sleep deprivation, gardening (oh my, gardening!!!), the liturgical year, life, death, joy, sorrow. She reflects on this life we live, all of us, but she does it in a way too few of us take the time to — and with a skill very few of us enjoy. 

I’ve pulled out some sloppy photos of a few favorite passages, but believe me when I tell you this — there are too many to count. 

On what following in the steps of the Magi might really be about:

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On caring for the dying of things as well as the living of things:

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On enjoying beauty — the beauty that is easy to spot and the beauty that we must earnestly seek, each and every day.

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I am delighted to offer a brand new copy of this remarkable book. If you are interested in having your name dropped in the hat, please say so in the comments. I’ll select a winner one week from today and post your name on the blog and on Facebook. I can’t think of a better gift to offer you, my friends. Truly.

“Coming Clean” — A Book Review

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This year, I have said ‘yes’ to too many friends about reading and reviewing their books. I love doing it, I do. But suddenly, at this point in the year, I am feeling overwhelmed, more than a little bit guilty, and very, very late. Seth’s gorgeous book debuted at the end of October.

Sigh.

And I LOVED it.

Sigh, again.

So . . . better late than never, right??  RIGHT??

This book, this amazing book — “Coming Clean, A Story of Faith” — is its own strange and wonderful animal. Part memoir, part journal, part devotional, ALL honest and true. And so very, very good. In fact, this is one of the best books I’ve read. Ever.

And I’ve read a whole lotta books.

Seth has really important things to say and he says them so well. He had me at the preface, which contained this gem of a chunk, to which I wrote a very large, very red YES in the margin:

“Read this less as a book about alcoholism and more as one about the pains and salves common in every life. My alcoholism is not the thing, see. Neither is your eating disorder, your greed disorder, or your sex addiction. Your sin is not the thing. The thing is under the sin. The thing is the pain. Sin management without redemption of life’s pain is a losing proposition.

“There is an antidote for the pain. It was taught to us, commanded of us. It is simple in word and sometimes impossible in deed. It is free, but it isn’t cheap.

“Are you ready to explore with me? Are you ready to find the medicine?

“This is an open invitation to come clean.” (pg. 14)

And the book continues to unfold exactly what he means by these words. Journeying through it is at one and the same time delightful and exquisitely painful. Why? Because I recognized myself on almost every page — and I have never had an entire drink of alcohol in my life. “My alcoholism is not the thing, see.” 

Oh, yeah. I see. I see.

The pain became overwhelming for Seth when his youngest son Titus was critically, unexplainably ill. Going from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital, finding no answers. None. They watched this beautiful little boy slowly wasting away. And to stop the pain, Seth began to drink, finding in alcohol a friend and a comfort and a salve, albeit quite temporary, for the ache inside.

Seth is a thinking Christian, an intelligent man and a loving one, and as he walked this hard road, he began to wrestle with the things he had always believed. He saw no sign of an active God in his world or anywhere else. He knew that his own personal battle with the bottle would not be a welcome topic of conversation in most church gatherings — sad, but oh-so-true, I am sorry to say. And he began to journal. Early in that process, he found one person who was safe, a person who had walked the road to sobriety before him, and with her gentle help, Seth slowly began to turn in a different direction.

Here’s what I love about this story. First of all, it is masterfully written. Seth has taken his journal entries from the first 90 days of his ‘coming clean’ journey, edited and thought about them and created a small work of art in these 219 pages. Just for the language choice and the thoughtfulness, this is a worthwhile read.

In addition, he has told the truth as he was learning it. He asks the right questions and he wrestles hard with the answers, freely admitting that he cannot always find them. The journal moves into memoir when he writes of his early life, especially of his early faith, of meeting and knowing God in the sound of wind through the mesquite trees of his Texas childhood. He remembers his own early feelings of tranquility and assurance that all is right with the world because there is a benevolent God present in it. 

Thirdly, he frankly admits and swears by the therapy he received in this process. I am a big believer in good therapeutic intervention, having found it to be life-changing, maybe even life-saving. And Seth writes it true, true, true. A good therapist asks the right questions and listens beyond listening, getting to the heart of things in ways most of us either cannot or do not. An encounter with a faith-healer in childhood, and the skillful way in which his therapist wove together technique and prayer to help him understand why that experience was so deeply formative, is a wonder to behold and a critical piece in Seth’s recovery process. I believe that reading some of these scenes in a group setting could be liberating and life-changing for many, and I was delighted to read that this book will be part of a group study in an Indiana prison.

That’s  the kind of book this is, my friends. An instrument of grace, a means of revelation and a call to honesty, openness and hard, personal work. Read it.

And then do it.

You won’t be sorry.

One of a Kind: A Book Review . . . Bandersnatch!

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My friend Erika Morrison is one of a kind. Earthy, funny, stubborn, passionate, highly intelligent and filled to the brim with Jesus-love. And I thank God for her!

She has written a lovely, challenging, heartfelt book that is just like she is.

Bandersnatch — An Invitation to Explore Your Unconventional Soul, is 230 pages of alliteration, story-telling, question-asking (and answering), and thought-provoking ideas. It takes time to read this book, time to absorb it properly, and those questions she asks will stick with you for a long time after you close the cover.

Her basic premise is one I’ve been gently espousing here at my blog and in my work as a spiritual director: discover who you are, the one God loves, the one God designed, and become that person with your whole heart. Of course, Erika being Erika, she says it a whole lot better than that and she surrounds that central point with four lovely facets, each one offering a challenge to re-think who you are and how you live as a follower of Jesus.

This is her 4-part “A” list: Avant-Garde, Alchemy, Anthropology, Art — and she delves into each one with her characteristic verve and insight, offering personal stories and asking soul-searching questions from all four compass points. She borrows her title from a character in Carroll’s, ‘Through the Looking Glass:’ “A bandersnatch is . . . a rather untamed and frightening beast with unpredictable habits and unconventional attitudes, he is also good because his fierceness, his troublemaking, his nuisance-bearing disposition is . . . submitted to a better cause — the dominion of the kind and good white queen.” (pg. xii) 

She boldly calls us to become like that bandersnatch — submitted to the dominion of the Kingdom, sold out to Jesus, and in touch with who we are, how we’re wired and how we might best bring that Kingdom into the lives we live, the worlds we inhabit, the people we meet, and the families we create.

I would not call this book an easy read. But it is a good read, a challenging one and potentially, a life-changing one. I highly recommend it. It’s available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble and wherever Christian books are sold. 

“Every Little Thing” — A Review, and a Give-Away

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When you read a book written by a friend, you can feel a little nervous, you know? What if I can’t get through it? What if it’s tough to find something positive to say? How do I handle it if I really wouldn’t recommend this to anyone else?

Well, my friend Deidra Riggs has written a book that is launching next week. And, yes, I was a tad nervous as I began the rough draft I received as an advance copy (only the format was rough, by the way — not the writing!). You know what? By the first sentence, I was hooked. And also? Relieved and so very grateful.

“Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You are,” is a gem of a book. An absolute gem. Every page glistens with love, attention to detail, lovely writing and thoughtful theology. Yes, theology. Deidra would tell you (and she does) that she is ‘no theologian,’ but I beg to differ. She is the best kind of theologian, in my book, because she takes the truth that she finds in scripture and the truth that she discovers in her own walk as a follower of Jesus and she wrestles with it, distills it, and serves it up with joy and delight. That’s what I call theology. She lets her own experience of the surprising grace of God shine through her words, looking at characters in scripture and telling pieces of her own story along the way.

The heart of her message is exactly what the church needs right now: the beauty of the ordinary, the truth that small acts done in love can change the world, that no one is unimportant to the work and health of the kingdom in this place. “Every little thing” done with heart and commitment is what it’s about, beloved church. Every.Little.Thing.

Not big programs
Not big numbers
Not a business plan
Not even a visioning process.

No. The simple, beautiful truth is that WE — you and I, every single one of us — are the church, the hands and feet of God, the living, breathing presence of grace and gospel good news in this world. And none of us is too little, too unworthy, too insignificant for the task and the joy that is ours. Not one.

Every chapter is rich, but the two on wilderness and breathlessness are simply stunning. And I mean that with everything that is in me. Stunning. And exactly what I needed right now. Maybe you need them, too? If you would like to be entered in the drawing for the beautiful, brand new copy I have in my hands, just leave me a comment and I’ll pick a name from a hat and send it off to the lucky recipient. Last date to leave a comment is Launch Day, October 6th – that’s next Tuesday!

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I have six typed pages of favorite quotes from this little book and I’ll leave you with one from each of my two favorite chapters:

“I have to be honest and tell you that a God-sized dream might surprise you because of its smallness. It will push you to the very edge of your comfort zone and right into the desolation of the wilderness. And it won’t always stop there. . . the wilderness is uniquely suited for putting us in a situation where God can get a hearing from us. Without resources, stretched far beyond our abilities, and with hope consigned to the garbage bin, we want out of the wilderness, but God desires to bring us through. And he is right there with us. He doesn’t send us into the wilderness and wait for us to emerge on the other side. No. God walks every step of the wilderness journey with us, and he shapes us as we make our way through.”

“God is in the wilderness. Go there. You can trust him to meet you right in the middle of your wild and worn and weary places. Take off your shoes. Tear off your pretense. Skip over the polite conversation. It’s you he wants. Simply you.”

And from the one on breathlessness:

“Sometimes breathing is the only prayer we can pray, and God hears our sigh and once again breathes the breath of life into us. We exhale, and it seems like such a little thing. But some days, it is everything. It is communion — intimate and more than breathing oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. It is sacred and it is holy: this agreeing with God that we need God, for all of everything, and his joyful entering into our lives and ourselves and our very souls to make us one with him.”

Yeah, you need this book. You really do. I happen to know and love Deidra. But even if I didn’t – I would be thrilled to send you this book. And if you don’t win? BUY ONE. You will not regret it.

 

And the Winner Is . . .

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Today was the day!

The Big Drawing for a copy of Jessica N. Turner’s fabulous new book, “The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You.”

It has been delightful to read through the comments on the original post and to have the opportunity to help out one young mom with a free copy of this good book. Our commenters ranged from not-yet moms all the way to grandmothers-wanting-to-help-granddaughters. 

And I am DELIGHTED to tell you that a longtime reader here — and another grandmother, one who has grandkids even more grown up than mine – is the winner.

Please congratulate CAROL J. GARVIN!! I’m so happy to send you this book, Carol. Please give your grandgirl my very best wishes when you give it to her.

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Book Review Tuesday: “The Fringe Hours” by Jessica Turner AND a GIVEAWAY!!

There are a lot of blogs that are written by and for young moms. A LOT. But a few of those rise to the top of the popularity heap, for a variety of reasons. Jessica Turner’s blog, “The Creative Mom,” is consistently at the tippy-top of that heap.

For good reason.

Jessica is lovely in every way I can think of and she manages to do a whole lot of livin’ within a tightly constricted lifestyle – constricted in the most joyful and meaningful of ways (she is raising three tiny children with her husband, Matthew Paul Turner, and she works full time at a job she loves and is good at) – but constricted nonetheless.

When I was a young mom . . . back in the days of covered wagons and ornery cattle . . . I would have deeply appreciated this book, these words. I never had a paying job outside my home until my kids were raised and gone, but I had three babies in four years, was an active volunteer at our church and in the broader community, tried to have a healthy marriage and was layered with local family commitments on all sides. The beautiful little book she has written would have found a most welcome place in my life back then and I highly recommend it to anyone with young children. It’s called The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You.

I know what she means when she writes about finding ‘fringe hours’ to spend on ourselves, making and taking time to honor the person God has created and gifted each one of us to be before we are friend, wife, mom, daughter, sister. There is a whole, complete person inside every mom who needs tending from time to time. But too often, women in general — and women who are moms in particular — put themselves at the very bottom of the list, most often trailing off into the dust, never to be seen or acknowledged again until all the kids are out of the house.

And that is not right. Nor is it healthy – for anybody in our homes. The old saying about giving as good as you get can be applied in all kinds of ways, and one of the truest is the one that Jessica writes about in the pages of this encouraging book. Unless moms figure out ways to give to themselves, they will have very little left to give to anyone else.

This little blue book is full of helpful hints and good reasons why finding those fringe hours is so important. Jessica surveyed a couple of thousand other mothers and weaves her findings throughout these chapters. (She also details those findings at the end of the story and those are fun to read through!)

And she looks squarely at some of the biggest obstacles to doing fringe hours well: guilt, procrastination, self-imposed expectations, comparison and stubbornness. That last one involves the willingness to admit when help is needed and the wisdom and humility to ask for it, something that seems to be exceedingly difficult for most women I know.

She also encourages moms to build and maintain community as an effective means of finding ways to delight and encourage ourselves. Sometimes the very best medicine for a tired mommy is a coffee date with a good girlfriend. And then again, sometimes it’s doing something we love all.by.ourselves when the house is quiet. Jessica finds those hours in the early morning — I found them late at night. Whatever works, DO IT. 

This book is written for a very specific audience — mothers of young children — so it doesn’t directly apply to me at the stage of life I am currently enjoying. Nonetheless, this is a book I would happily give to every young mother I know. In fact,  I HAVE A COPY TO GIVE AWAY THIS WEEK!!

SO, leave me a comment and let me know if you’d like to be entered in the drawing and I’ll pick a winner and announce it one week from today.

Please hurry on over to your favorite bookseller and order a copy for yourself or a good friend. This one’s a keeper. 

 

I received an advance copy of this book to read early, but no other compensation for this review.

FRIENDS, THIS DRAWING WAS CLOSED ON MONDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 23RD AND THE WINNER IS CAROL J. GARVIN. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION.

The Day the Angels Fell — A Book Review

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It all started with a tree, didn’t it? And that theme of trees winds its way throughout scripture and throughout our lives, unfolding in myriad ways — as metaphor, sustenance, shade, comfort, even horror. The tree.

Shawn Smucker has woven a fantastic and beautiful story about a particular tree, a re-imagining of the story of the tree of life. The story begins unpretentiously, maybe even a little slowly, but if you’ll settle in, let the beauty of his words flow in and around you, I will guarantee you that you’ll be hooked.

Hooked, I tell you!

This is masterful story-telling — intriguing idea, fascinating characters, great conflict and an empathetic look at how very difficult it is for us to lose someone we love. This is, in many ways, a story about death. But do not be deceived: the book is definitely not a downer. It’s a grab-you-by-the-throat, make-you-think-as-well-as-feel, turn-our-ordinary-ideas-on-their-heads kind of book and I highly recommend it to you. Highly.

Samuel is both an old man and a 12 year old boy in this story, an old man looking back at a pivotal summer in his life. A hot, drippy, menacing summer in the valley between two mountain ranges in central Pennsylvania. He has a good friend, a girl named Abra (which happens to be the name of one of Smucker’s daughters, as Samuel is the name of one of his sons). And there is a mysterious neighbor, an even more mysterious stranger, a grieving father, and the memories of a beautiful and loving mom. There is also a carnival, three very strange old women and an antique store, to say nothing of thunder and lightning and ancient, broken trees here and there.

And there is a search here, too, a search that reveals the true hero of this piece. There is also an epic battle between good and evil, and like all good fantasies, some dang good, nail-biting, cliff-hanging scenes sprinkled throughout.

I LOVED this book. And there is just a hint, at the very end, that there just might be more of them in the future. Oh, glory!

Get thee to a bookstore or over to Amazon and order this one ASAP. And carve out some weekend time to devour it. Because I’m here to tell you – it’s a tough one to put down!

Top Ten Posts for 2014 — and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

IMG_4635 This is a very small blog, as blogs go; I don’t get a ton of traffic. But I do have readers who are kind, intelligent, compassionate and faithful, so I thought maybe you might like to know which posts over the last year spurred the most interest. I was actually a bit surprised. The series that I did at the beginning of 2014 drew in more readers than I thought and most of those posts landed on this list. There is a homily, a book review and a very personal, family post on this list, too. See what you think:

1. Delving into the Mystery — Introducing Q & A

This was the introductory post for the series I did one year ago, and it’s on the top of this list. Hmmmm. . . maybe the content since then has gone straight downhill?

2. The Turning Point

One of two posts about journeying with my mother through dementia. I have stopped writing publicly about her as I am contemplating a longer format story, possibly for publication at some future point. This was a very tender turning point for us.

3. The Beauty that Remains

An earlier post about mom that landed right behind the one above.

4. Q & A — Week Two: Fear of Abandonment

The second big “Q” in the Q & A series landed ahead of the first one – just barely! This essay works through some of my own personal struggles with learning to trust God.

5. Q & A — Week One: Letting Go of the List

The first long format post in that series is here. And this sort of sets the stage for where we’re headed in the entire discussion — learning to step into grace and release worries about performance.

6. Q & A — Week Four: The Gift of Tears

And the fourth one is right behind it! I talk about the cleansing, rejuvenating power of tears in this essay.

7.  FOUND: A Story of Questions, Grace and Everyday Prayer — A Book Review

A review of a beautiful book by my friend Micha Boyett. If you have not read this book, YOU REALLY SHOULD.

8. Q & A — Week Three: Remembering What Comes First  Coming in at number eight is the third essay in that long-ago series — about keeping love in the top spot. Always.

9. Remembering Her: Kathryn Ruth Byer Trautwein, January 3, 1914 – May 25, 2014 

Remembering and honoring my amazing mother-in-law during the week that she died.

10. Living with the Truth

This reflection was written after the terrible news that began coming out of Iraq began to surface. It included a sermon summary and a word of hope in the midst of so much confusion.

I think one thing I’ve learned from doing this compilation is that L O N G posts are often the most read. And that is a huge surprise to me. I’ll keep plugging away at this over in my corner of the world. And I’ll be grateful to all who stop by, especially those who let me know that they’re here.

MAY THE NEW YEAR BRING HEALTH, FULFILLMENT AND JOY FOR ALL OF YOU. Thanks so much for your faithful partnership in this internet experience.

31 Days of Looking for the Little: Playdates + a Giveaway!

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Sometimes I read my friend Laura Boggess’s words and I wonder, “In some alternate universe, are we related?” Because this woman writes my heart, and she writes it beautifully.

And this little book is a gem. A GEM. Laura tells us stories about her life, she quotes lots of great authors, she plumbs mysterious and wondrous truths from the worlds of psychology, theology and ministry — because that’s who she is. She is a psychologist, a closet theologian, and a pastor.

I adored every page of this book, and I read it in one sitting. She asks terrific questions and she finds meaningful answers all the way through. I highly recommend that you order a copy today and plan to use what you find there as you walk out your days. She helps us to re-think how we live by doing one of the things I’m writing out during this challenge: focusing on the ordinary, the small, and discovering God, right there. Right there.

I received a free copy and I also ordered one and that one I am giving away! So if you would like your own copy, please leave me a comment and I’ll enter your name on a slip of paper into my famous name-pulling hat. It’s definitely a worthy read. A little book that can.

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