How IN THE WORLD is it October already?
October is one of my favorite months in the whole year, and I am not taking it for granted.
Before we wholeheartedly plunge into October, let’s look back at the two books I finished this month. Spoiler alert: I highly esteem and recommend them both. One takes a detailed look at racism, the other invites us into a life of stillness and abundance. They transcend into all life stages and have something to say to all of us!
22. Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian by John Piper
That I am chosen for salvation in spite of all my ugly and deadly sinfulness, that the infinitely precious Son of God secured my eternal life through his own infinite suffering, that my rebellious and resistant heart was conquered by sovereign grace, and that I am kept by the power of God forever – if these truths do not make me a humble servant of racial diversity and harmony, then I have not seen them or loved them as I ought.
When the three-day consecutive shootings happened this summer, I found myself in a constant tension – wanting to somehow fix an issue that has been raging for decades on decades. Or at least to help people see that it is an issue. But more than anything, I found myself weeping. And I found myself reaching for this book on my shelf. John Piper does an impeccable job of laying the foundation of what racism is, giving a broad history, providing statistics, adding in modern arguments, and relating every turn to the gospel of Christ. It is a book of history, of theology, of inspiration, of rising up. It is about the obstacles in our way, and how we can become a people that eat together and worship together, no matter what side of town we grew up on or what the color of our skin may be.
RECOMMENDATION STATUS: I believe that we all need to take a step back, realize how much we can not understand about racism, and say “I want to begin building bridges. I want to start mending torn places and cleaning wounds. I don’t want to be silent anymore.” For me, this book was my first step. For some, it might be the first step to looking at the problem intellectually without the biased opinions of a Facebook feed. If you are finding yourself contributing to any conversation about racism, I suggest you take the time and make your way through this hefty read.
23. Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
This isn’t about working less or more, necessarily. This isn’t about homemade or takeout, or full time or part time, or the specific ways we choose to live out our days. It’s about rejecting the myth that everyday is a new opportunity to prove our worth, and about the truth that out worth is inherent, given by God, not earned by our hustling.
My first thoughts on this book: Cute cover! I really should read one of Shauna’s books someday! I wonder why the whole world is in love with it. It’s probably terrible. Second thoughts: This is just a more poetic version of The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst and it is a waste of my time. To me, it seemed like a heart-level, get-down-to-your-identity version of The Best Yes. I was pleasantly surprised to see it had lived up to the hype. My ONLY comment of negativity on this book is that she often stated how women struggle with hustle and finding their identity in their work more than men – I see a sliver of truth in it, but on the whole disagree and thought it was unnecessary. Shauna’s writing style is so unique, inviting, and moving. Present Over Perfect gives you the grace to exhale in knowing your worth and the permission to live a life you’ve only dreamed of.
RECOMMENDATION STATUS: If you subtly or strongly find yourself addicted to noise and busyness, you need to meditate on these pages!
Titles I Put Down This Month:
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. At first I LOVED it and blitz through the first 80 pages, but I was around 180 pages in and found myself confused and stressed because I hadn’t finished it. I decided that because I have so many types of books that I love on my shelves, I should dedicate my time to them instead of feeling guilty for the ones I’m just not into. I would love to read more World War ll literature in the future, but this one just wasn’t for me. Did anyone have a similar or different experience with it? Have you devoured any great World War ll novels?
Miracles by Eric Metaxas
The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp
The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen
I am considering getting through as many new books as I can in October and only rereading my favorites in November, because I haven’t reread one of my favorite books since I was a little kid!
Whether it’s with new titles or old favorites that greet you like a friend, here’s to reading during the most gorgeous, coziest time of the year.