Twitterature February 2014

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Well, my month has completely gotten away from me, and blogging has slipped to the wayside. I still wanted to do a Twitterature post, though – sharing my most recent reads and my progress towards my 2014 reading goals. Here we go!

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

I became familiar with David Sedaris through the NPR program This American Life. I love Sedaris’ storytelling and sense of humor and this book made me love him even more. I especially enjoyed the chapters about living as an expat since I could relate to it. I’m so glad I finally read this after having it on my list for a really long time!

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Willy and I watched the film adaptation of this book about a year ago, so I was familiar with the story, but reading the book has helped me understand the film so much better. I find myself very engrossed in this book whenever I read it, and I think having seen the film, I have a very clear mental imagery of everything that happens in the book. It’s a great piece of fiction that leaves you with a lot to think about.

Why Have Kids? A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti

I grabbed this from the New Nonfiction section at the library and was intrigued by the title. The author provides a critique of how we view motherhood in the US and what we can do to create happier parents, mothers and relationships. I appreciated hearing the parenting perspective of someone who has the rights of women in mind, and reading the book has helped me to think through and articulate some of my own thoughts on the subject.

And that’s all for this month! Currently I have read only 7 books towards my 50 book goal this year, but I’m not too worried. There were a few books that I started and had to get back to the library before I could finish them, but I wasn’t making much progress with them, anyway. I just brought home a new library stack today and am excited to start reading!

What have you been reading this month?

deciding on joy

“We are inclined to think that when we are sad we cannot be glad, but in the life of a God-centered person, sorrow and joy can exist together. That isn’t easy to understand, but when we think about some of our deepest life experiences, such as being present at the birth of a child or the death of a friend, great sorrow and great joy are often seen to be parts of the same experience.

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it everyday. It is a choice based on the knowledge that we belong to God and have found in God our refuge and our safety and that nothing, not even death, can take God away from us.”

–Henri J.M. Nouwen, Here and Now

(this inspiring quote was copied directly from Emily at chatting at the sky)

I admit that I often choose sorrow and negativity over joy these days. The knowledge that I am God’s doesn’t often spring to mind first, though it does come eventually. So instead of choosing joy in the face of discouragement, I choose self-pity. I believe the worst. I eat my feelings, or at least, I justify what I want to eat by how I’m feeling. I see what’s lacking instead of what is abounding. I sometimes choose to feel alone instead of opening up. And it’s no way to live.

I need to go back to where I’ve been and rediscover the knowledge of being loved and accepted by God, and let that influence how I feel and what I do. I have let myself believe the lie that I’ve become a cast-off, an ill-fitting piece – much like the clothes in our garage that have sat in boxes for the past two years: in a dormant, in-between stage that currently has no end in sight. They are still “ours” but are unable to currently be used. How long will I lie in wait, rather than realizing I still belong to God, no matter how imperfect I am for the moment?

Make me joyful, oh God. I long for moments of joy, affection, generosity and playfulness. Let me choose that even when it’s most difficult. Let me not believe the lies: that I don’t belong, that my cards have all been played, that I’ve made the wrong decisions. Let me delight in the little things even in the midst of frustration and sadness.