Saturday, September 7, 2013

The one with the books I could have written

I've been reading highlighting a couple books lately. Seriously. Someone should have given these books to me completely highlighted. Because that's what I've been doing. Almost every chapter.

With each page I read, I think to myself "I could have written this. This is me."

A few examples of sentences that express exactly how I feel (and have a friend who is working on some art work for statements like this to hang in my kitchen!) 

  • Preparing food and feeding people brings nourishment not only to our bodies but to our spirits. Feeding people is a way of loving them, in the same way that feeding ourselves is a way of honoring our own createdness and fragility.

  • Feeding people I love is a hands-on way of loving them. When you nourish and sustain someone, you're saying that you want them to thrive, to be happy and healthy, and able to live well.
  • There's something about seeing your house filled with people you love, something about feeding people, especially on days when it seems like you can't make a dent in any of the larger, more theoretical challenges in life.
  • There are a lot of things I don't know....I do know how to make dinner, and to see the people I care about gobble it up makes me feel like something is right, even when it seems like nothing is.
Or how about this one:

When you can invest yourself deeply and unremittingly in the life that surrounds you instead of declaring yourself out of the game once and for all, because what's happened to you is too bad, too deep, too ugly for anyone to expect you to move on from, that's that good, rich place. That's the place where the things that looked, for all intents and purposes, like curses start to stand up and shimmer and dance, and you realize with a gasp that they may have been blessings all along. Or maybe not. Maybe they were curses, in fact, but the force of your belief and your hope and your desperate love for life as it is actually unfolding, has brought a blessing from a curse, like water form a stone, like life from a tomb, like the actual story of God over and over....There is something just past the heartbreak, just past the curse, just past the despair, and that thing is beautiful. You don't want it to be beautiful, at first. You want to stay in the pain and the blackness because it feels familiar, and because you're not done feeling victimized and smashed up. But one day you'll wake up surprised and humbled, staring at something you thought for sure was a curse and has revealed itself to be a blessing- a beautiful, delicate blessing.
I could keep going. Really. I could. Ok, fine, I'll post one more:

I don't know what you've lost this year: a life, a friend, a child, a dream, a job, a home. I don't know what's broken your heart this year.... But I believe deeply that God does his best work in our lives during times of great heartbreak and loss, and I believe that much of that rich work is done by the hands of people who love us, who dive into the wreckage with us and show us who God is, over and over and over. 

Take my advice. Read the books. 


  1. Hi Minda,

    You have no idea who I am but I've been following your blog for over a year now. I really enjoy your take on life, and many of your posts have spoken wisdom into a situation that I've been in.

    I was heartbroken for you over the fire - I can't even begin to imagine what that would be like - I'm so, so sorry. I flat out loved the story of the family cookbook, what a wonderful gift from your family and friends.

    It was this post that compelled me to come out of the shadows - I am currently reading Bittersweet and could be highlighting as much as you! I haven't lost much this past year, but over the last few my Dad died, my marriage ended, I moved yet again to a new city. And now I'm looking at packing up again and moving back to be near my family. I understand the stress!

    Thank you for being who you are and for being honest about life. I'll be praying for you, that He will continue to uphold you through all these changes and the grief that goes along.

    (Victoria, BC Canada)

    1. JoAnne! I love that you have come out of hiding and commented. First. Thanks for reading! 2nd. Thanks for sharing a bit of what YOU are experiencing. That is a LOT of stress, as well!

      One thing I've been reminding myself is I am not alone in my 'stress.' I know so many others have experienced MUCH worse than I have. And that thought alone reminds me I CAN get through this.

      Your comment is so encouraging to me. Thank you for commenting and I hope to hear more from you!


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