30 days of thanksgiving, volume 5 (the book edition)

See post #1,  post #2post #3 and post #4. Fields

In case you haven't already noticed, I am a bibliophile. A lover of books of all kinds.

Man with Book Sitting in Chair

As I mentioned in a previous post, I  relate to the writing of Lauren Winner in her memoir, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, where she said that every book is a self-help book.

I say this because in my life books challenge, ignite passion, entertain and edify, scold and challenge, reenvision and reframe, educate and spur growth, and most importantly: they have given me the quiet joy of consolation and comfort amidst the storms of life. They have mentored me, held me, and shaped me.

And for this, I am exceedingly thankful. Where would I be without my books? (Well, in a library of course, using someone else's books.) But I digress.

This week's giving of thanks will highlight seven quotes from books that have impacted me or the lives of a few of my friends at the Redbud Writer's Guild. Enjoy. And share the gratitude and happiness by sharing your favorite quotes or books in the comments below. Pull your chair up to the table—this is a book lover's feast.

  • And now, we give thanks for good books and powerful words:

#22: -Mark Twain. "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." (Nominated by Shelly Wildman at shellywildman.net)

#23: -Paul David Tripp. "The provisions of your Heavenly Father are not limited by the size of or your awareness of your need." (Nominated by Johannah Reardon at johannahreardon.com)

#24: Sheldon Van Auken. "There might be no certainty that Christ was God—but, by God, there was no certainty that He was not. If I were to accept, I might and probably would face the thought throughout the years: 'Perhaps, after all, it's a lie; I've been had!' But if I were to reject, I would certainly face the haunting, terrible thought: 'Perhaps it's true—and I have rejected my God!

This was not to be borne. I could not reject Jesus. There was only one thing to do, once I had seen the gap behind me. I turned away from it and flung myself over the gap towards Jesus." (A Severe Mercy)

Books I've read, skimmed, or would like to read one fine day.

#25: CS Lewis on Aslan. "Ooh!" said Susan. I'd thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"That you will, dearie, and no mistake, said Mrs. Beaver, "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."

"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you." (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe)

#26: -Flannery O'Connor. "When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God's business." (dedicated to my writer friends)

#27: Annie Dillard. "If the landscape reveals one certainty, it is that the extravagant gesture is the very stuff of creation. After the one extravagant gesture of creation in the first place, the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever-fresh vigor. The whole show has been on fire from the word go. I come down to the water to cool my eyes. But everywhere I look I see fire; that which isn’t flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames." (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)

#28: -Jesus. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)

*I still believe that gratitude makes room for the gift of his presence, and that it reminds us we are all needy, every one. And that being carried by a generous and gentle Shepherd might actually make our brokenness a gateway to the next gift. Will you join me?*

Come back next Monday for #s 29-30 on the gratitude list, and please know you are invited to add your own giving of thanks.

Your turn: For what book or quotation are you most grateful for on this day?

On #ReclaimingEve: “I recommend this resource for every daughter of Eve!”
— Nancy Beach, leadership coach, speaker; author, Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church
Reclaiming Eve Small Group DVD sample here. Includes print Bible study piece. Order here.