The Beauty of Revisiting

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I am a bit of a book hoarder. I’m in recovery these days since I’ve found my overwhelming large book collection drives my husband bonkers. Honestly, I can’t say that I’ve read every book in my book collection. There are some I’ve picked up over the years either as a gift or at a conference, that I picked up and began, only to find that they just didn’t speak to me. So after drudging through a few chapters and capturing nothing of substance I could use at the time, I retired them to the shelf for future reference. Surely, someday I’d pass them along to someone or actually read them. I have a feeling I’m not the only one who does this.

This week, I came across a book I my collection that just wasn’t relevant to my life when I purchased it. But this week, it called from the shelf and begged to be revisited. The words jumped off the pages and into my soul. The time for this book was most certainly now. Meanwhile, going through boxes still lingering from my recent move, I ran across another book I hadn’t thought of in years. This one I had read but it was long forgotten buried beneath years of life and experience. I began to read and the words sang to me. Their importance, timely and fresh for today.

I’m not advocating hanging onto every book or article that’s ever passed through your fingers. What I am saying is there’s a beauty in the timely leading of the Spirit who leads us to the right source every time we are in need. There’s a beauty in being able to wait on the shiny new books Amazon dropped on the door step a few days ago while I drink in life wrapped and waiting for me in my own collection. The beauty of grace brings us what we need when we need it and all we have to do is listen and drink in the wonder.

I have been changed this week, not by my dusty book collection, but by a God who brought me beauty when I was falling to ash. I’ve been changed by inspired words that convicted me and woke me to remember who I am and who I am to become.

Writers, keep writing. Your words mean so much and someone needs them desperately. Readers, keep reading.There is life hiding in stacks just waiting for you.

There is power in the written word and I am thankful for it.

Book Blessings

A good book is both a blessing and a curse. I love a good book! There’s something enchanting about getting lost in the pages, absorbing the verbiage. I’m completely elated by the inspiration and revelation I gain and gather up like a proud mama rounding her little ones up. I’m in love with well spoken words and poignant metaphors. I gobble up good books.

That’s where the curse comes in, I often become so engrossed that I neglect all of my domestic duties. Who wants to do laundry and dishes when there’s a book on the table calling out, begging to be the center of attention? This is especially troublesome when I get close to the end. I always reason with myself that it’s better to just finish it up so I can accomplish something. Of course, when I’m finished with one good book, it inevitably leads to beginning another…and the cycle continues.

One might think that such a pattern would enhance great knowledge and wisdom. On the contrary, I find that the more I read, the more I realize I don’t know as much as I thought I did. This realization only leads me to seek more knowledge and read another book. Maybe learning to acknowledge that I know little is wisdom after all.

Ah, and then there’s the sensory benefits of a good book. I love old books! I love the way they look. I love the way they smell. I become giddy when I walk into old libraries. I can feel the history awakening joy deep within my soul. The curse in this is that I long ago ran out of shelf space to house my expansive book collection and needed an intervention from my husband to convince me that I probably didn’t need to hang on to EVERY book that makes its way through my open hands. I’m forcing myself to avoid the bookstore and embrace the library and even (gasp) read Ebooks instead.

I know I’m not alone in this love affair. I’m sure many of you also put off mundane things for a little more time curled up on the couch with the written word. My daughter is the perfect example of this. I know that I shouldn’t plan on seeing much of her after a trip to the library. Even if she is in the room with us, she will be so engrossed in the book before her that she won’t hear anything else happening around her. I love this about her though I have to remind myself of that occasionally when I’ve repeated her name louder and louder ten times trying to pull her out of her trance to come to dinner.

As in everything else in my life, I’m attempting to learn balance. I hope to learn to accomplish great things and still fulfill my calling as a wife, mother and servant of the Lord while being able to devour every good book I come in contact with. I’m optimistic that this is an attainable goal. So I “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of  God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) With book in hand and appetite steadily growing, I will accomplish great things today. Happy reading everyone!