What I’m reading this summer (part 2)

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Have I mentioned that I love to read???

And now, on to part 2 of What I’m reading this summer

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott  (1994)

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Bird by Bird (Some instructions on Writing and Life) is my first book by Anne Lamott, but it won’t be my last.  Other writers have mentioned her in their blogs, so I finally picked this up.  As a writer wannabe, I am always looking for good books on how to be a writer.  Turns out, even with a little talent, you still have to sit down and write (who knew??).  I am only 1/4 of the way through this book, but I have laughed and nodded  my head and thought Oh yeah many times.

In the long introduction (but one you won’t want to skip) Lamott writes, “Later that summer…I read Catcher in the Rye for the first time and knew what it as like to have someone speak for me, to close a book with a sense of both triumph and relief, one lonely isolated social animal finally making contact.”  Although Catcher in the Rye did not speak for me (maybe I should have read it as a teenager!!), there have been other books, poems, authors who have spoken for me, words that I did not know how to say myself.  I would love to be that writer for someone else some day, to put into words exactly what they are feeling but don’t know how to say.  And maybe this blog is the beginning of that .??.

In the meantime, Lamott is writing what I don’t know how to say, and I’m loving every page.  Her practical advice on writing and on life are just what I need right now.  This is one of those books that will be marked up and read many times.

Everything by Mary DeMuth (2012)

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Everything — what you give and what you gain to become like Jesus.  This has been my heart’s cry this summer…to become more like Jesus.  I want to know his heart, to hear his voice, to soak in his presence, to see others through his eyes, to hunger and thirst after his righteousness.  As scary as it is, I want him to have everything.  And because it’s scary, I haven’t started reading this book yet.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Made to Crave Devotional by Lysa Terkeurst (2011)

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I read the book Made to Crave earlier this year and was very challenged by it.  One of my greatest weaknesses is filling my empty spaces with food instead of with Jesus.  I crave food more than I crave communion with God, and it shows in many areas of  my life (physically and spiritually).  I am not legalistic about food and I enjoy all types of food and drinks.  However, I don’t like that food has control over me.  It’s like I can’t stop myself.  And that’s where this devotional comes in.

My original plan was to make this my summer devotional.  60 days would be perfect.  But even thinking about starting it made me grumpy.  I don’t want to deny myself of food, ever.  Even so, my greater desire is to crave Jesus above all else: above food, relationships, books, facebook, Doctor Who, sleep, friends, family (you get the picture).  So I finally started the devotional and it has been quite a breakthrough.  It is not a diet.  The concept is that we are made to crave a relationship with God.  “God made us to crave so we’d always desire more of him” (page 38).  Unfortunately, we fill that craving with things that are not healthy for us.  Through scripture and wise words, Terkeurst reminds me of God’s faithfulness in meeting all my needs, but I have to turn to him and not food.

I try to think of food as nourishment instead of recreation.  I am changing habits slowly.  Instead of a steady stream of ice cream cones, I might have a peach or a cup of coffee.  Sometimes when I am craving food (and I know I’m not hungry or need nourishment) I pray and tell God that I WANT to crave him more than anything.  And many times the food craving goes away.  Honestly, my weight and waistline have not changed, but I’m not grumpy about food and I have much more peace.  I would love to lose some weight, but I remind myself that this is more about craving a relationship with my Savior and Redeemer and less about my physical appearance.

Because my biggest eating challenges happen after 3:00 pm, I usually read this devotional in the afternoon or evening.  The timing has really helped.  I am currently on Day 24.  Every day is a challenge and brings hope.

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My screened in side porch: my favorite place to read. 

Where do YOU like to read?

I have read (and am reading) more books this summer, so I guess there will be a Part 3 coming up soon!!

Same bat time!  Same bat channel!