What I’m Not Reading

I’m home.  Home to my little house in my “Mayberry” neighborhood and my community filled with people who cheer and frustrate, and are broken and in the process of being put back together just like me.

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The past two months have been rich and stimulating and very, very full.  Full of new relationships and places and ideas, and stories and prayers and intense conversations.  It’s been wonderful and overwhelming at the same time.  And not the norm.

I love variety and travel and learning new things.  It’s a blessing.  But I need to get back to living my real life.

So…this is the pile of books I’m not reading.

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Don’t get me wrong.  They look really good and I’m excited about digging into them, but here’s where I’ve felt a pinch in the butt by the Holy Spirit.

I’m getting fat.

It’s crazy wonderful to be exposed to stimulating relationships and new information and great books, but the danger is we become obese – filled up with all of the deliciousness and getting no exercise.  Processing and applying nothing.  A holy hoarder if you will.

I think…”Oh that’s such a great IDEA!!  I should tell someone and they should DO it!”

“I will think more about _______________(insert anything I hear that I’m convicted or excited about) and how real that can be real in my life…someday.”

“I’m gonna Tweet that quote!”

We consume more, tweet more, Instagram more than we live into.

These days I need to do more living into.

I have a friend who used to say, “Start reading Jesus’ words in the New Testament and when you get to a command, stop, and don’t read further until you do it.”

And then there’s Jen Hatmaker who writes, “At some point, the church stopped living the Bible and decided just to study it, culling the feast parts and whitewashing the fast parts.  We are addicted to the buffet, skillfully discarding the costly discipleship required after consuming.”

I’ll get around to reading these books and be glad I did, but not today.

Today I need to write a note of encouragement, take a walk and pray present, do laundry, and forgive that person who dinged me.  I need to create stuff and breathe deep and serve others in my real-life community.

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For you the challenge may be the opposite.  Maybe you need to stop doing and be still.  Or maybe you’re starving for more sustenance and need to fill up with inspiration from God’s Word and information about the needs in His world.

What are you living into today?

Books and a Give Away Because it’s Friday (fake title)

It’s Friday, and you’ve made it through another week.

Some of you have made it through “somehow”, hanging on by your toes, holding back tears, and wanting to hide in a hole.  It’s gonna be ok.  Be gentle with yourself.

For some of you it’s Friday and your stomach is in knots or in butterflies or in whatevers and you’re nervous or fearful because even though it’s Friday you still feel like Rocky going into the ring.  The hard conversations, or pressure to produce, or scary diagnosis doesn’t disappear for the weekend.  It’s gonna be ok. Be gentle with yourself.

And others have come to this Friday “triumphantly”, feeling like you want to high five the checkout girl and the barista and maybe even give a thumbs up to the person who cuts you off in traffic.  We’ll try to be happy for you. :).  Celebrate!

At the end of the week, what do you do to care for yourself?  What is most nourishing to your soul?

For me it’s getting outside biking, walking, playing – soaking up the beauty of the world, and relationships where there’s meaningful conversation and lots of laughter and hugs.

Reading is replenishing too, but lately I have felt a check in my spirit.  A caution that I need to live more than I read.  

I fear we (I!) get sucked into collecting sound bites, hoarding information, sharing pithy tweets, taking lots of notes and not allow any of it to seep into our souls and change us into people who look more like Jesus.

We read more than we live.

We quote more than we do.

We know more about praying than we pray, know more about serving than we serve.

I need to live what I know.

If I fasted from reading for a time, would my hands and feet and heart ever catch up with my head?

Note the title of this post.  I just added the parenthesis.  I sat down today, fully intending to share a couple book reviews and do a give-away, but I prayed and…well, this is what came instead.  Thoughts?