So I initially had this as part of my 52 Photos week 13 post but it ended up being too long and too off topic so I decided to turn it into a separate post.
These are all the books I am currently reading and each in some way is playing a significant role in my story right now. I have already admitted to having a problem reading multiple books at once. In this case, however, the books are complementing each other really well and providing a great backdrop for this season of my life. But since awareness is the first step to recovery….Hello my name is Makeda and I seem unable to read only one book at a time 🙂
Anyhoo, here is a pic of my current reading list again, followed by a brief description of how each book is impacting me and contributing to my unraveling.
In no particular order:
Immortal Diamond by Richard Rohr – I have really been drawn to a more contemplative approach to spirituality lately and people like Rohr, Buechner and Keating are all authors I’ve taken to reading lately. What drew me to Immortal Diamond was the idea of excavating the True Self. I feel like that is a perfect description of my journey right now. From Chapter One
“I promise you that the discovery of your True Self will feel like a thousand pounds of weight have fallen from your back. You will no longer have to build, protect, or promote any idealized self image. Living in the True Self is quite simply a much happier existence”
See why I am in love with this book?! This is a slow read and I am taking my time to digest his words. I borrowed this copy from the library but I will definitely be purchasing my own because it is taking everything in me not to underline every page in this book
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero – I am only a few chapters into this one. A friend recommended it to me awhile ago but I only recently felt as if the time was right to read it. This book deals with the idea that spiritual maturity and emotional health go hand in hand. If we try to do all the activity typically associated with spiritual maturity without dealing with the emotional stuff, we will end up feeling burnt out and exhausted. The trick is that true emotional health can only be achieved at a deep level and the author argues that contemplative spirituality is really the best way to get there. I did not realize this book was about contemplative spirituality so it was a pleasant surprise to pick it up now and discover this fact. Love when God does things like that.
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning – I have owned this book for awhile and honestly thought I had read it but when I picked it up recently there was not a single mark in it. I don’t read books without making some sort of mark in them so clearly I had not read it yet. This book is all about the radical message of Grace that the Gospel is really all about. I struggle to give myself grace in the areas of my shortcomings so I’m reading this book along with What’s So Amazing About Grace to help me discover what it looks like to offer grace to myself.
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault – Centering Prayer is a new spiritual discipline that I am just beginning to explore. I plan to do a whole post on the idea of Centering Prayer because it really does deserve its own special attention. I will say this though, this discipline has probably contributed the most to the unraveling I am experiencing and while it is scary I love what is happening in me as a result.
To Be Told by Dan Allender – Dan Allender is most known for his work The Wounded Heart. But in this book, he offers up the idea that God is inviting us to co-author our futures with Him. If we listen and pay attention to the themes that are already present in our story we will discover how God is leading us into the rest of our story. It’s been a really powerful book for me and helped me see certain threads in my story. I’m not done with it yet so I don’t know how the threads will tie into my future story but uncovering the threads was HUGE for me. I will share more soon I promise 🙂
What So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey – I haven’t started this one yet but as I mentioned above, it’s in my pile because I believe it is a tool that can help me rediscover what grace looks like in my own life.
Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me by Ian Morgan Cron – this is my current light read. I fell in love with the author after reading his book Chasing Francis, see below. He is funny and his writing style is VERY easy to read and understand. I am really enjoying this “memoir of sorts”, as he calls it. My goal is to have at least one light read in the middle of all this deep reading I’m doing. Sometimes a girl just doesn’t want to have to think so hard 🙂
My iPad – I had to include my iPad in this pile because I have a digital copy of Chasing Francis on there and that book has been INCREDIBLE!! It is by Ian Cron, the author I mentioned above, and seriously I felt like my inside were coming alive as I read each page. It is a work of fiction that tells the story of a pastor who goes on a pilgrimage where he learns about St. Francis of Assisi. If you get a chance, you should read it. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.
My Bible – The New Living Translation is my current translation of choice . I alternate between it and NKJV but for the moment the NLT has my heart so this is the hard copy I use when I would rather not look at the digital version 🙂
Last but certainly not least is my journal. This is where the magic happens. I read a quote once that said something along the lines of when I journal it’s as if my pen has eyes that see into my soul. This is how I feel about journaling. Every single time I put pen to paper I learn something new about myself. I typically start a new journal with the start of a New Year but when January 2013 rolled around this journal didn’t feel complete so I kept going. It has now been almost a year that I have been writing in this one and I am grateful I took the time to document my journey these last 12 months. It’s been neat to see how God has been preparing me for the change coming for me. It’s also been good to see how I have moved from total angst over this whole situation to complete peace. God is so good!
Well there you have it. This was a much longer post than normal. I still plan to talk in more depth about my unraveling. A lot of it I can’t share yet but until then I wanted to share a little peek at some of the tools helping me to navigate this space. Thank you for patiently reading through this post.
How about you? What books are you reading right now?