Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bittersweet and More

Book recommendation for you! This is actually my newest favorite. I just picked it off the shelf at the library in the 'religious help' section. It's called Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. Shauna loves food and makes it and writes about it with enthusiasm, detail and love, she loves people and she loves God and is learning to thank him for change. Wow, I want to learn to do that.
Here are some of my favorite quotes and I'd seriously quote the whole book if I could! She's really that good.

If arithmetic is numbers, and if algebra is numbers and letters, then grace is numbers, letters, sounds and tears, feelings and dreams. Grace is smashing the calculator and using all the broken buttons and pieces to make a mosaic.

We create because we were made to create, having been made in the image of God, whose first role was Creator. He was and is a million different things, but in the beginning, he was a creator. That means something for us, I think. We were made to be the things that he is: forgivers, redeemers, second chance-givers, truth-tellers, hope-bringers. And we were certainly, absolutely, made to be creators.
If you were made to create, you won't feel whole, and healthy, and alive until you do. I think for most of us, it's hard work, fraught with fear and self-consciousness, and that it's much easier to make dinner or mow the lawn or reply to emails. We make art by putting the time for it on the calendar with all the glamour of scheduling a dental cleaning. We sit down and work. We pray and stare out the window and force ourselves to keep tying. We stay in our chairs and fight the urge to fold the laundry, desperate for something to control, something orderly and safe instead of the wild, untamed world of our own secret feelings and imaginations. And we do it because it makes us feel aware and alive and created for a purpose more than almost anything else in our lives.
(talking about the things she doesn't do to make room for the things she really wants to do) I don't make our bed in the morning, standing firm on the adolescent belief that there's no sense in doing something you're just going to undo at the end of the day.
Speaking of making beds, guess who moved back into her room! Yes, I'm back once more into my tidy, cozy kingdom and couldn't be happier. (and yes, I made my bed just for the picture.) There are so many things I love about this room. The Fishy Quilt on my bed is one my Oma made for me. I'm playing Sanctus Real on my stereo and note Winsor III on the wall at the foot of my bed. Everyone in my life has tried to talk me out of liking that ship, but I persist in loving it. I love the chair in the right foreground. It's where my siblings lounge when they come and talk to me. I love the verses, notes and pictures taped to my wall. I love my colorful wardrobe!

Someone recently said that America is the Disneyland of the world and it. is. so. true. I am just noticing and reveling in all the things that are so readily available and even taken for granted in my life. Like having my very own room, hot water for a shower, libraries with shelves and shelves of books, vehicles that run and are relatively safe, and enough food and incredible varieties of it! We Americans are intensely, insanely blessed and I pray, oh God, I pray that we will not be selfish or ungrateful. God, let us give from the gifts you've given us.


189 headlights and starlight
190 the immediacy of prayer
191 silver-blue Christmas lights
192 God's plan amidst brokenness
193 old wedding pictures
194 only minor car accidents
195 sunrooms that get warm in the winter
196 first cousins
197 an extra pillow
198 feeling my dependency on God
199 watching God do wonderful things with broken people
200 birthday wishes from friends

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