As I continue through my giant purge (I really need to get a name for it.), I am reminded that I need to get this post written (sooner rather than later). Don't worry....I am not purging any of my books. ;)
So....I am working on a draft now, but I wanted to give everyone a snippet for those who want to get started checking some of them out. When I look back, there were three books that started the beautiful spiral...John Eldredge's "Beautiful Outlaw," Brene Brown's "Daring Greatly," and Katie Davis' "Kisses From Katie." These three books are highlighted, dog-eared, marked up, and banged up. It actually looks like I didn't read them as much as I might have devoured them. To me though, that is the most beautiful sign of a well-loved book.
For me, books have always been a source of new ideas, a time machine, thought-provoking, eye-opening, and a source of laughter, smiles, tears, and hope. Some books I struggle to get through...the ideas so breathtaking (good and bad) that my mind (and heart often) need time to let it all sink in, but eventually I do go back and dive in again. These first three books were difficult reads for me....both due to where I was in my life at the time I read them AND because they forced me to look at myself through a new lens. I have since read all of these, in part, again, and I gain something new each time. To me, that is always the sign of not only a good book, but a book that will stand the test of time.
My father taught me to read before I even entered Kindergarten. I still have two of the books he taught me with, and I will treasure them always; I will always love him for triggering my deep love of books and reading. I still treasure those original books not because of what they say, but because of what they represent. Reading gives us freedom...both inside our own minds...and in this great big world.
While in Haiti recently, I had the privilege of touring Papillon Enterprise founded and run by Shelley Clay. I have a whole post I am working on where I hope to share more of the photos and stories I learned that visit about this remarkable company that is, quite literally, changing lives in Haiti. Rich, the boutique manager, gave our team a tour of the operations, we got to meet the workers, see how they do the amazing and beautiful pieces they create, and I saw something else that brought tears to my eyes...a library. Rich told me that Papillon has the largest library (of books in English) in Haiti. The room was 20x10 if it was a foot, and it was the most beautiful library I have ever seen (and yes, I know that I have walked up and down the library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland). Papillon's library represents...Hope. Effort. Work.
In the poorest orphanage I have ever visited (and went to this last trip to Haiti), I read a Mickey Mouse book, in English, with full facial animation, and those kids were putty in my hands. They were laughing and smiling...and it was a reminder that words matter EVEN when you don't understand them because you can feel the love (or the hate) behind them.
...and I have digressed...
I love books. I love words. I love books that I don't agree with or even like. Books matter. Words matter. These three books have made me think, challenged me, made me laugh, brought tears, changed me, grown me, and helped me heal. I hope that you will check them out. For those of you waiting for the more exhaustive list, I promise it is coming....the purge is helping me to pile them all up in a special place so that I can list them all out...they are also bringing up a sweet reminder of the growth along the path I have trod these past few years. I am grateful for all of these words that have been delivered to my heart, soul, and mind...the sweetest gift.
I so want to go read right now, but I have more purging to do. Somebody out there read a book for me today. :))))
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)