11 August 2012

{inspire} books I'm loving

Books have been feeding my soul lately. Oh the feel of the pokey grass on my bare legs as I sit in the shade, listening to happy kids playing together and read. It's pretty heavenly.

Speaking of heaven, Mark Buchanan's book, Things Unseen, is powerful. I read today about our heart's built-in yearning for something more, something better. How God has actually programmed us to never be satisfied here on earth. We catch glimpses of beauty and get little peeks of eternity that make our hearts ache and our souls crave. That's heaven talking. Keep thinking about heaven. Don't forget this isn't our home.

{Reminds me of that song by Steven Curtis Chapman -- Long Way Home}
but I know we're gonna make it
and I know we're gonna get there soon
so I'll keep on singing and believing
what all of my songs say
cause our God has made a promise
and I know that everything He says is true
and I know that wherever we go
He will never leave us
cause He's gonna lead us home
every single step of the long way home
When I read the following passage in Mark's book, I was like "yeah, that's totally me!". The yearning for adventure and then the urge to return home to somewhere familiar is like a pendulum swinging inside me. And to think that both of these God-given impulses can be satisfied at the same time?? That's earth-shattering. Heaven is going to throw a monkey wrench in what we think is normal. It's going to be AWESOME.
"We are born with two impulses. These jostle each other from womb to grave. They make us constantly restless, anxious, weary, cranky.

The first impulse is to go beyond. We seek novelty. We hunger for new beginnings. We crave discovery, conquest, adventure--to find that which has never yet been seen.

The second impulse is to go home. We cherish the familiar. We long for the way we were. We seek safety, domesticity, serenity--to find again that which we've lost.

Why won't be be bored in heaven? Because it's the one place where both impulses--to go beyond, to go home--are perfectly joined and totally satisfied."
taken from Things Unseen by Mark Buchanan

I've been saving Anne's book for right before bed...it's jam packed with tender morsels for mothers craving a bit of peace, quiet and wisdom. She understands me. Understands my needs. Gets what it is like to be that forever sacrificing mother who ends up dry. She has words for women like me.
"Is this then what happens to woman? She wants perpetually to spill herself away. All her instinct as a woman--the eternal nourisher of children, of men, of society--demands that she give. Her time, her energy, her creativeness drain out into these channels if there is any chance, any leak.
Traditionally we are taught and instinctively we long, to give where it is needed--and immediately. Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim."
taken from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow

And because it's always good to consume a bit of parenting inspiration, I've been reading {off and on} Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. It's slightly controversial...for parents who are pretty dead set on doing a stellar job at parenting their children. All by themselves. And taking all the credit for it. Which is what I, unfortunately, tend to try to do.

The wisdom in this book is that children will be so much better off if they have positive role models and coaches {if you will} in their lives IN ADDITION to their parents. Parents cannot and should not try to be everything to their children. Pastors, teachers, their friend's parents, etc. can guide and direct a young person, in some situations lending more influence in a child's life than their own parent. Surrounding our children with other people to grow and learn from, people we trust, people who are going to speak truth to our kids--this is good.

And then, taking it one step further, we must leave the rest to God. We must leave a lot to God.
"As strange as it sounds, I think I sometimes make the mistake of trying to compete with God. Instead of pointing to Him, I try to be the hero. There is a key difference between being an influencer or leader in my kids' lives and trying to be everything to them. Wise parents will strive to make sure they are not trying to become a substitute for God."
taken from Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof

That's what I've been loving lately.

What books have you been loving this summer?