Good morning sweet girls.
I imagine that I’m up before most of you on this Saturday morning, but maybe not, we do have two mothers of young children in our midst. One of the blessings of a home filled with adolescent young men is the quiet of Saturday mornings. No one will stir around here until noon or so, and with Philip off at meetings all day, I’m enjoying a morning of solitude.
As you know, one of our first books was Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen. I wanted to start somewhere unusual, on ground you might not have walked on before. Henri has become a dear friend to me, and has served as a gateway in my life to many authors I might not have found otherwise. I used his references to spiritual friends to start down different rabbit trails, that, in the end, have been amazing personal journeys. Never ever underestimate the value of spiritual reading. Authors can and should grow you with their thoughts and struggles and insights. A deep life means you spend time in the deeper waters, you learn to swim there, you gain strength. Facebook posts and Twitter feeds are for the most part very shallow, anyone can get wet in the splashes of Pinterest and the like. The depths are different, you have to train yourself to get out beyond the break, and it is not easy. When we came to Costa Rica, I started reading more. I’ve always been a reader, but I went deeper. I collected books, I read things I didn’t necessarily understand just because one author recommended the other. I followed rabbit trails. Even when I didn’t completely agree or understand, I immersed myself in the process. And all I can say, is that I’m much stronger than I was before. I can swim out there longer without getting tired. I know this because in recent months I’ve been rereading books. It’s quite amazing how much more I’ve been challenged by them the second time. I’ve decided it’s because there is more space in my soul to accommodate them, the ideas mix and meld up against other thoughts from time out beyond the break, and so, a rereading is filling in the GAPS.
We’re going to take a little turn this autumn and read a more contemporary woman author for a few months, but don’t be afraid to keep a little stack of books in a safe place. Most spiritual reading can be tackled a paragraph here, a small chapter there. I’ve just finished rereading Home Tonight by Henri, which is a delightful second pass through many of the ideas of coming home and being the beloved, and this morning, I pulled from the shelf The Only Necessary Thing – Living a Prayerful Life. It’s a compilation of many of Henri’s writings on prayer, edited by Wendy Wilson Greer. It will probably be showing up in this space alongside our book study. Consider yourself forewarned.
So interestingly enough, I’m about to announce the book that was my strongest nudge to ever gather this group in the first place. You all were named by this book from the very beginning, you just didn’t know it. All my folder tabs and desk notes refer to you six using this metaphorical language, but you have not known that until now.
Time to wake up sweet women!
Get yourself a copy of Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere. I’ll be writing about Chapter One in the coming days.