Once again I’m going to tell you just how marvellous it is to be part of a book club. We call ourselves The Romans 12:2 Project, because we’re all keen for this “renewing of the mind” business. Especially when it comes to seeking God’s will for our lives. We’re a rabble of women, meeting every five weeks or so, spurring each other on as we sink our teeth into a feast of words, glorious words!
Here are the books I’ve read this year. Not in any particular order.
- Healing Begins in the Heart, by Karen Mace.
- Moving Mountains, by John Eldredge.
- The Sacred Year, by Michael Yankoski.
- Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist.
- Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity, by Kerri Wyatt Kent.
- Revealing Heaven, by Kat Kerr.
- Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
- The Passion of Dolssa, by Julie Berry.
- Wearing God, by Lauren F. Winner.
- My Seventh Monsoon, by Naomi Reed.
(I also read Congo Dawn by Tasmanian author Katherine Scholes, which was a great fiction novel! Good for holiday escapism!)
The exercise of writing these book titles down is revealing. Each name evokes some of the learnings, a whiff of the changes that were prompted by the text. Not all of them do this, mind. But I believe that, subconsciously, every single book has contributed to who I am today, to my weltanschauung, my worldview.
I have to admit, I’ve forgotten the content of many of these books already! I have a terrible memory. But I was reading the other day that forgetfulness is a sign of intelligence, right? As in, our brain is discerning enough to ditch the information that isn’t immediately useful, and retain that which is. Sounds plausible, even if I did read it on Facebook.
That said, there are a handful of these texts that I want to mention in particular. Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity was the catalyst for a new family tradition. We try to keep Sundays free of anything that feels like work so that we can focus on family and quality time together, all without getting too wrapped up in the rules of how Sabbath was kept in Biblical days. Because we’ve been set free from the old law, after all.
The Sacred Year had a similar vein: exploring age-old spiritual practices in order to rediscover their potency for deepening our relationship with God. I loved this book. Beautifully written, Yankoski takes the reader on an intensive, year-long journey of sampling different practices to reshape and revive his faith. The benefits of silence and stillness (learning to be comfortable with it in a fidgety world) were particularly poignant to me. A book that needs re-reading every year.
And finally, real life stories always move me. Healing Begins in the Heart was a raw window into the heart of a woman who managed to reconcile her faith with the tragic death of her two daughters while working as a missionary in Ecuador. My Seventh Monsoon is another missionary’s tale, this time into the poverty and culture-shock of Nepal. Both challenged me.
So there you have it. My year in books. Looking forward to being absorbed into many more in 2018. Any recommendations?