Time and energy for reading comes and goes in seasons, with a new baby, big change or new schedule goes time for reading. We’re a couple years past new baby times but headed that way again. The benefits for my brain and soul that come from taking the time to read I’m starting to realize make it a priority regardless of the season. Funny how the old phrase “You make time for what matters to you” rings true almost every time.
My pattern over time has leaned toward reading books and not the Bible (gasp!). As I read other people’s perspective about such and such thing, if I am not rooted in truth then it can be pretty easy to adopt their way of thinking about something without wondering why. It can be easier and more engaging to pick up a riveting novel or hot new book about something of interest. I’ve been on a quest to curb this for several months, mainly because I truly believe that the Bible is the best food for my heart and spirit, even when it might not seem interesting every single day. By having written down what I’m reading for each day and/or listening to the Bible in the car and/or just reading one verse because that’s all I can do, it has become more of a habit than at any other time in my life.
So currently, finding the balance between Bible and books is a continual thing but making time to read is a constant. With little kids it’s easy to mentally check out and not challenge your thinking. Pregnant brain turns into new baby brain and it all can seem like mush! Even if it takes a month to read a book, I would argue it’s still a worthy investment of time. Especially if it makes you ask questions, makes you laugh or encourages your heart.
Last month I read Palmer Chinchen’s True Religion in 3 days. I was captivated by his heart and message. Though I can’t pack up and move to India tomorrow, I can still “take pieces of heaven” to people or places around me that need it. I agree so deeply that our hearts should hurt for the hurting in the world, that we should care about poverty and injustice, not just because it’s hip or trendy but because GOD DOES. If I want my life to be spent for Him, then I have to let Him grow my heart and that means hurting and caring about “hell on earth”. It means sponsoring two more children through Compassion International. It means looking again at how time and money are invested and what that reflects.
A couple weeks ago I also read Mary DeMuth’s Thin Places in a couple days. It is an incredible first person memoir account of one woman’s life journey. Her experiences of sexual abuse as a five year old girl broke my heart. But the way Jesus found her and led her to encounter the deepest, heart level healing. It is an incredible picture of redemption. We all have places that ache and burn and long to be redeemed. Even though her story isn’t like mine, it reminded me of all the ways I’ve watched God weave beauty out of ashes in my life and so many around me. It is one of the great mysteries of life and I will never tire of reading or hearing it.
Next up this fall is The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wells, highly recommended by my friend Tina and Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream by David Platt. I’m still wading through Future Grace too, by John Piper. Super deep and profound and blessing my socks of but slow reading, even for me!