Hello fellow journeyers,
Another month in the 2022 books. Chapter five starts tomorrow. This month was one of very early mornings (4 a.m. early), crazy train rides (shootings and all), skipped lunches (gonna work on that), and plenty of court time. Not only was I in court for my cases, but I have been engrossed in the Johnny Depp defamation trial. Binging it. I haven’t missed a minute.
I did an interview with Professor Karen Swallow Prior (second interview) that I am really proud of. Linking it here. We talked about abuse, disillusionment in the church and so many other complex and deep topics. I loved it. I have completed 33 books contributing to my yearly goal of 100. Currently, I am learning a lot and savoring an Eric Metaxas book on 7 Women. The Johnny Depp trial also took me back to Hunter S. Thompson and thinking about how weird it is when someone reads your text messages out loud with no context.
And here we are. The world sort of gets more maddening with every passing minute.
This month’s most read post was Safe, all about my crazy missed train experience. Additionally, below you have some of the quotes that caught my attention and the things that stirred my heart in April.
“The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.” C.S. Lewis
I found this quote to be profound. God is so loving– we can’t understand it. His desire for us is liberation and true freedom. As humans, our softness often turns into a laziness and neglect that allows for weeds to take over our mental garden. God takes the time to weed us. We get annoyed when he rips out a chunk, until we realize the weeds he took out were suffocating us. They were blocking the light and stealing from us all along.
“We need to cultivate a peace of mind that neuters fear and fosters discernment.” Jeff Krasno
First of all, the book the quote is pulled from is written like a devotional of sorts, and it begins April 9 (for some reason), and I happened to pick it up off the shelf on that exact date. I took it as a sign and have continued to read it since. ‘Discernment’ has definitely been a word of focus this year. It keeps coming up because it feels like it’s what society lacks the most. Half of the messes we find ourselves in as a society stem from man’s inability to be grounded and secure in something, regardless of the thoughts of others (very Blaise Pascal-y of me, I know). We have allowed fear to drive us to the point of illogical attitudes and beliefs. Fear has made men into shells, rather than authentic versions of themselves. We then get lost in the justification of the shell, not realizing we aren’t really living.
“If you are struggling to trust God, it may be because you don’t really know God.” Martha Tennison
This quote again pointed me to God’s love. We distort who we are, and then are surprised to see that we have distorted the image of God in our minds, too. One of our greatest goals and prayers should be to see God as He truly is. Even if it’s just a glimpse. It really does change everything.
“I am left, yet again, with a sense of wonder at the strange hospitalities of my own country, of these places that are becoming mine as I walk them. Or perhaps I am becoming theirs.” Katherine May
Katherine May’s last book really irritated me. She is still a brilliant writer, but it was basically one long complaint. This line was refreshing. I love to walk. Do places become ours or do we become theirs? Or both? My vote is with both.
“Have some humility. Clean up your bedroom. Take care of your family. Follow your conscience. Straighten up your life. Find something productive and interesting to do and commit to it. When you can do all that, find a bigger problem and try to solve that if you dare. If that works, too, move on to even more ambitious projects. And, as the necessary beginning to that process… abandon ideology.” Jordan B. Peterson
“Whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” C.S. Lewis
If anything has stood out in this Johnny Depp defamation trial, it’s that truth is simple but often in the nuance, and it fears nothing. We’ve seen countless of witnesses tell their stories and recount memories. They corroborate each other and each person and how they expressed it is original.
Truth gives a refreshing originality that is rare. Hoping more people can dare to be original, no matter the price, in a world that celebrates and accepts what is “same.”
“Faith is about how you live your life in the meantime, how you make decisions when you don’t know for sure what’s next. What you do with yourself between the last time you heard from God and the next time you hear from God is the ongoing challenge of a life of faith.” CeCe Winans
I was talking to someone about what we do when we feel God is silent. I told her about that dark faith concept, where you continue to move and live with the knowledge you have about God rather than based on where you feel He is or how He is behaving toward you. Then, I read this quote. It once again confirmed that idea to me. That faith is made up of the dark, in-between moments and what we do with them. This is where we show what we truly believe.
“I find it hard to believe that people can content themselves with unsubstantial things when there is so much wonder in the world.” Katherine May
As someone who can be easily entertained by a misplaced object or funny looking cloud, I believe Ms. May captures the thought well. There really is so much wonder in the world. If only we would look past the frivolity.
As we move toward the new month (my favorite month), I hope we can look beyond the unsubstantial, and see the substantial. Wasn’t it Antoine de Saint-Exupéry who said that the essential is seen with the heart and not the eyes? It’s one of my favorite lines from Le Petit Prince. The substantial and essential holds mysteries for us to unlock. And I am convinced that in mysteries we find lessons we cannot come across otherwise.
Be well, dear friends.