If you’ve known me even in the slightest way, you know I love to watch things grow. I like to be a part of the process. Whether it’s planting a seasonal garden or starting a new facet of ministry, cultivating is ingrained in me, an intense desire and need to work diligently to understand, to know, to grow, and to do my very smallest part to encourage things while they grow.
In 2014 I had to nearly halt one of the ways I grow the most, from reading. It was hard and painful. I felt a bit envious and jealous at times because I was physically unable to read much, while others seemed to do it with endless ease. It was as if I was disconnected from one of the prominent ways God speaks to me and from a place that once brought me much joy. My eyes were injured from a condition that had developed that year and I had some severe temporary vision loss, but also some minor permanent loss.
And my eyes didn’t focus often. I lived nearly an entire year not knowing that one of the major issues was that my eyes were not able to focus, so I was taking in far too much light and exposure and details (like words or small objects on the floor) were often blurred. My eyes were dilated too much. A few weeks ago I had a minor procedure that helped to correct some of this. And alas! I can read better.
So here’s to reading some good books the last few weeks and to ending this first half of the year with a few good books under my belt and in my heart (and the ones that I’m half way through…):
- Love Letters from the Edge by Shelly Beach & Wanda Sanchez
- Eat with Joy by Rachel Marie Stone
- Fight Back with Joy by Margaret Feinberg
- The Spirit of Food by Leslie Leyland Fields
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero
- Spiritual Friendship by Wesley Hill
- Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist
- If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski
- Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
- Innocence Stolen, Hope Restored by Sarah Browning
- The Migraine Brain by Carolyn Bernstein
- Restoring the Christian Soul by Leanne Payne
Beyond books, articles and blog posts have been especially meaningful to me.
- This one is meaningful and personal. It hits home and affects not just me, but several women I love : How to Talk about Suicide on Father’s Day
- I’ve appreciated these photos and her work: She was tired of letting depression consume her, so she set up her camera and took these
- I wasn’t in the foster care system because families of my church helped to oversee my care, but I was a foster child in the church and there’s a lot I just didn’t learn or understand and still don’t: The Little Things that Elude Foster Youth
- What it Means to Hold Space for People
- Hoping for Love
- We Need to Stop Eating Our Own
- How Cancer Changed the Way I Read my Bible
- Adoption Doesn’t Fix Kids
- When Doubt is More than Just a Season
- When Grief Won’t Relent
- The Friends who Pursues Us
- A Very Happy Brain