Being back in the States provides a wealth of opportunities to catch up on reading. Though, I tend to bite off more than I absorb at a time and literally surround myself with reading material. Just for fun I counted…6 books on my bed, 4 on my nightstand, and even more on my bookshelf’s to-read section.
Last night, I finally moved one of the books to the done section. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. The book made me want to jump up, find a sunny, cute little writing desk and pour out all the thoughts jumbling in my head into written words. I also found myself tossing around some quotes from the book. Here are a few that stuck out:
“Now he has a world. What can he possibly do with it? He has no muscle tone on his wings. They are atrophied, probably beyond hope of recoevery. Where his pectoral muscles should be, he has a breast weighed down with words of human beings: by words interred, free-as-a-bird absurd, unheard! Sometimes he flaps his wings as if he nearly remembers flight, as he did in the first jubilant terror of his release. But his independence was frozen in that moment.”
“Can’t they be patient? Could you be? If your belly was empty and you saw whole baskets of bread on the other side of a window, would you continue waiting patiently, Beene? Or would you throw a rock?”
“Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you are good, bad things can still happen. And if you are bad, you can still be lucky.”
Have you read it? If so, what did you think? If not, what are you reading or what else should I add to my stacks of books??
Love this! Here are some of my favorites with my comments in italics:
I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.
Lord, here I am, send me. Keep breaking my heart for what breaks yours. Let Your love overflow.
No moment from my God is a rock of burden…it’s just a rock waiting to be broken apart into stepping stones.
Even this moment…this moment when I’m laying on the floor crying. You are using it to make a stepping stone toward something beautiful. You are the potter. I am the clay.
here am I. I choose You tonight and Your joy.
if what you do does not resonate with you… it is not really going to matter to anyone else.
talking about passion gets me energized and makes me come alive. talking about kids and life changes and God completely invading your heart…yeah, that’s the good stuff.
some pursue happiness..others create it
I may not control the circumstances, but I choose joy and I choose to let God give abundant life in Him.
fashion your life as a garland of beautiful deeds.
let everything I say and do be a reflection of You.
If you know me even a little, then you probably know that I tend to think….think a lot. Sometimes to the point where it gets in the way and puts up walls (not a good thing) and stops things from going from my head to my heart. The last few days I got all caught up in the thinking. The heady, here’s what experience tells me. I “know” the truth, but I couldn’t shake the all over the board emotions ranging from confused to frustrated to happy to disappointed to sad to lonely to okay to everything else. I bounced around and couldn’t find my footing on the solid rock.
Until today. I sat in class and I tried to pay attention and engage in conversation, but every once in a while my thoughts would overwhelm me still. Until I heard these words, “Follow Me.” Funny thing is that we were talking about ministering to youth and I really don’t remember how that fit in and neither does my roomie (I asked her later). So then, God immediately brought to mind the verse below:
“…what is that to you? You follow Me!”
My reaction: Whoa. Lord, you are so here. You are so getting my attention. Because really. What is it to me that ___ is doing this or that God is working in that way in their lives. Even, who is that to me and what is that to you that I’m working in a way you didn’t expect. When all I need to focus on is following Him then everything else fades away. Africa fades away. Lindo fades away. Thrive fades away. Hope House kids fade away. Marriage fades away.
Yes, good things and yes, serving is good, but He just wants me to “be.” He loves me when I’m just sitting on the floor with Him leaning against my bed. He wants me to follow Him and be with Him. He wants to step out only on His firm foundation.
“It had opened her eyes to the fact that right down in the depths of her own heart she really had but one passionate desire, not for the things which the Shepherd had promised but for himself. All she wanted was to be allowed to follow him forever. “Nothing else really matters only to love him and to do what he tells me.” -Hinds Feet in High Places
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3
A Little Climbing Adventure with Matt and Jen
Determined to find a way up the rock, I forged through bushes and trees. I found myself standing on a little tree trying to pull myself up and over. I could see the footholds and handholds clearly before me. The way was set. Yet, I hesitated. I attempted, but lost my footing and thought I might not quite possess enough upper body strength with slippery footholds. Discouraged, I tried again. I talked myself out of a third attempt and fought back through the tangled mess I came through. We almost moved on to another rock until Matt saw that another way looked promising. With the sting of defeat fresh on my mind, I pushed forward through more brush. My legs regretting the choice of my green shorts the entire way. Whacking a few branches, getting hit in the face with one, and crawling under a tree culminated in being able to step and jump onto the rock quite easily. Eventually, all three of us made our way to the top of the rock only to find an amazing crevice on the backside. Of course, Matt decides to go down this way instead of going back the way we came. He gets down fairly easily and then asks us to come down. I whip out the “Are you kidding me? Do you know how far of a drop that is?” look and then proceed to stare down not moving. Then Jen out of nowhere decides to go down. I’m still skeptical even after she gets down. Yet, at this point, I’m the only one left. I have scared myself by staring at the obstacles to either side rather than focusing on the rock. Eventually, I make a decision to focus on each step in front of me rather than looking down. I get down only to wonder why I ever worried about the drop. If I had focused on the things to the side instead of the steps I needed to take in front of me, I would have missed out on exploring the crevice like cave and finding a new way out with the encouragement as well as help of those with me.
Oftentimes, I act this way with God. I see all the big scary “what-ifs” rather than focusing on Him and the steps I need to take each day. I look too far ahead only to scare myself. I discredit the voices around me or worse yet refuse their help and encouragement. Though, as I said here, I’m learning to trust all over again and I’m waiting. Waiting, trusting and resting in Him.