breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life
First of all, I would just like to celebrate the fact that this may very well be the first non-fiction book I've ever finished. Seriously. And I'm hoping to improve on that record.
Paige (and Todd) got me this book, breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life (along with another similar book, rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity) for Christmas. I stuck these books on my amazon.com wishlist after Paige and I had dialogued a bit about the Sabbath and it's relevance in today's culture.
It took me about a month and a half to get through all 250 pages. The book mostly consisted of stories about women trying to "ruthlessly eliminate hurry" from their lives. I found a lot of golden nuggets (as I like to call them) and really enjoying reading about different women with different situations trying to slow down their lives in different ways. However, the same things I liked about this book are the things that made it generally long and arduous to get through. As I mentioned above, it took me a month and half to get through.
All the same, if you're looking for a good read on simplifying your life, I would recommend this book. Here are some golden nuggets:
"She seemed to be the epitome of unselfishness-always doing for others. Looking back, Laura says, no one really knew the anger and resentment that bubbled below the surface. 'I wanted to give people the perception that I was available,' she says. 'I said yes mostly to validate my importance.' In other words, she was bearing burdens she was never meant to bear. And doing it because she thought it would please God." (pg. 64)
"'...I would get these leadings...maybe leave them a gift, or send them a note, do something nice for them.' She still does these things, but lately, 'I've been practicing secrecy...it really tests what drives me: God's approval or other people's.'" (pg. 72)
"The opposite of simplicity is not complexity but duplicity. Duplicity means we are divided-we have a split personality. We don't have a singular focus but rather multiple focuses, which create a feeling of being pulled in a thousand directions." (pg. 75)
"If I say I would 'like to' spend time alone with God, but I don't actually do it, there's this disconnect, this duplicity, in my heart...When we actually take steps to live out the things we say that we value, we are moving toward simplicity." (pg. 145)
My personal favorite quote:
"'The Sabbath command is especially relevant to contemporary life. How difficult it is for people in our achievement-and-production-obsessed culture to rest. Keeping the Sabbath means trusting God to be God, recognizing that we are not indispensable. When we refuse to take a single day a week for genuine refreshment and rest, we try to outdo even God! In the light of God's rest, our anxious, compulsive activities may be exposed as little more than efforts to stay in control, or to fabricate life's meaning out of constant activity.'" (original quote from Soul Feast by Marjorie Thompson, pg. 164)
Check out Keri's blog at Deep Breathing for the Soul!