We are on the highway somewhere between Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Arizona border. There is nothing but gold sand, sage brush, and red flat-top mountains stretching out to the horizon on every side. The sky is a pale blue dome above us and thin, white clouds hover at eye level. Herds of horses and cows graze in small clusters across the fields.
Although we didn't spend this Easter morning in a church pew, I am overwhelmed by the power and beauty of God's love for us, reflected in the earth around us. We are often so caught up in the chaos and commotion of life that we can be easily distracted from seeing God in everyday things, but no one has ever stood in the wilderness and denied the presence of something so much greater than themselves. Worldly worries, possessions, fears, and successes fade with every passing mile of a land stark and empty, yet immeasurably rich.
It's easy to forget about all the "stuff" that fills up our minds, ears, eyes, and closets when looking at an expansive, perfectly painted landscape, and yet we are cruising along in a car that is stuffed to the gills with boxes, suitcases, and bags full of stuff. Meanwhile, a massive freight truck is carrying the rest of what we emptied out of our house, on the 1000 mile journey to our new place in California. Despite the value we place on objects, and our dire dependency on material things, this morning I am content simply watching out the window as the most beautiful slideshow of God's creation flashes by. He didn't have to make the world beautiful, but He did. He didn't have to make our eyes able to see vibrant color, but He did. He didn't have to make our senses able to smell, taste, hear, and touch the earth around us, but He did. He didn't have to save the world by giving us His only son so that we could have everlasting life, and live it to the fullest... but He did.
beautiful, joyful, happy Easter everyone!
March 31, 2013
March 25, 2013
March 19, 2013
March 15, 2013
Tyrone Wells, The Soiled Dove
March 12, 2013
March 08, 2013
the Keystone condo
2 tbsp plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp coconut oil
1 c spinach
1 c coconut milk
1 c frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc)
drizzle of honey
March 05, 2013
Summary: Set in the deep south and narrated by the book's main characters, a husband and wife share the story of how they found each other, married, and eventually built a once in a lifetime love, and ultimately coped with losing it.
What I loved: Being able to recognize who was speaking by subtle nuances in their language and tones, the pure simplicity of the story, the raw and tender moments as the characters processed their grief was heart-breakingly honest.
Not so much: The author plays on the deep southern stereotypes of evangelical Christians and uses one character as the target of mockery in the story. Though I actually found it funny it also makes me sad that the behavior of other's (however well-intentioned) can cloud people (even fictional characters) from seeing and accepting God.
Summary: A daughter suffers through a life of slavery and solitude as she is forced to witness her lover marry her sister, manage the family ranch, and care for her aging tyrannical mother, finding comfort in the only thing she enjoys: cooking. Spending hours pondering and preparing recipes passed down to her from previous generations, Tita finds that through food she is able to communicate to her ancestors, family members, and most importantly, her beloved.
What I loved: The traditional Mexican recipes, setting, and characters are so rich and vibrant, the different personalities come through so clearly through the writing, and the whimsical storytelling felt like I was sitting in Tita's kitchen listening to generations-old folklore. It's ultimately a love story with a kick. If you love Amelie, you'll love this.
Not so much: The story is beyond-fictional with bizarre and unrealistic events at almost every turn which made me set the book down and roll my eyes once or twice but I read the entire thing in a few hours and it felt like watching a quirky independent film.
Summary: The author presents an idea of three distinct leaders based on the Biblical Kings Saul, David, and Absalom and questions the reader about whose rule they are under. By expanding on Biblical events, the author creates fictionalized dialogue and actions that help create a better understanding of how and why each King acted as he did and how we can discern such behaviors in our lives today.
What I loved: The book is written in two parts with the first being primarily teaching, introducing the reader to the various behaviors, actions, and personality types. Part two is mostly the fictionalized story of how the Three Kings came to be and how they each ruled their kingdoms. It made me step back and consider how I choose to lead my own life and how I perceive the actions of those who are in leadership positions in our world today.
Not so much: It was an oversimplified quick read, designed for everyone to understand and relate to, but it is repetitive and somewhat lacking in context. It reminded me of "The Shack", with the fictionalized ideas of the Trinity, which left me at the end with a giant "huh?" all over my face.
. . .
Strangely, I have discovered I have very few, if any, favorite books by contemporary male authors...
I havent been able to finish East of the Mountains by David Gutterson and can't get through any Malcolm Gladwell's, much to my poor husband's dismay. I don't know what it is but I find that I can't hear their voices like I can with female authors, and their language, slang, characters, or style rarely connect to me.
March 01, 2013