Jesus nurtured our family with the grace of green pastures and still waters, and— by his mercy— our children were not living on the outside of the gate looking in. They were with us in the midst of the visible church. Here, in this metaphorical pasture, we would sing the love songs of our shepherd over them and wait in great hope for the day when they would hear His voice and respond in faith—embracing all of the promises of Jesus that were spoken over them at their baptismRead More
Our family took a hike this fall up the craggy paths of the North Georgia mountains. We knew our end: a precipice overlooking the hills of bronzed and coppered leaves. But there was a long path between us and that view, and it was not a level one. We couldn’t walk in our normal, easy stride with our heads up. Our bodies would take quick, forward lurches as toes came into contact with inlaid stones. Our ankles would tangle with roots. The ground begged that we take notice of it. The rocks stubbed our toes and asked us to consider them.
Poetry is like that.Read More
Many who graduate with any type of degree in literature let out a knowing sigh when others share about their need to "take a break" from reading after college. I'm no exception to this rule. After graduation, I wanted to read for pleasure, but also really did not want to read for pleasure. The voices--I knew those voices would come back, whispering in my ear: "Deconstruct!" "What growth are you seeing in this character?" "What's the underlying subtext?" "Tell me your visceral reaction to this line." (I had one professor who loved the phrase "visceral reaction.")
I've had some pretty dry years of reading since then, though the stream of longing for good and nourishing words has slowly and steadily begun to grow again.
Last December, I made a goal to read my age in 2018: 34 books. I didn't make a list; I just wanted the books to come to me as they came to me. I definitely read some duds, but I also read some books and met some characters that will stay with me forever. Some I will re-read. I broke them up into categories for my own sake, but also for yours if this is your kind of thing!Read More