Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bittersweet.

my deep, abiding love for reading is matched by little else in my life. i have devoted many a precious minute (ok, hours) of my life and welcomed many a dawn in the process of devouring delicious books of various kinds. some have been purely educations, some just for fun, some inspiring,  a couple of tear-jerkers, a love story thrown in here and there, a few ridiculously good-humored picks, several that inspired me and a few that have stirred the very core of my being. if you are not a book person then i don't think you can really grasp the feeling that comes from immersing yourself in the words of someone else and seeing the world through their eyes for a brief moment in time. it is even more powerful when the author somehow captures YOUR point of view or the essence of your beliefs. at the turn of every page you are left thinking that they must have been inside your head carefully excavating the thoughts that you were unable to articulate on your own.

i made it my mission long ago to make my reading list diverse. it keeps me on my toes. i pick new books based on a litany of things - recommendations from friends, book clubs, top-pick lists, the cover art, the first page, the author's bio, if its on sale ... honestly i have a hard time finding reasons NOT to buy books. that being said, sometimes a book just finds its way into my life at the exact right time. call it luck. call it destiny. call it divine intervention. whatever the term is to describe the good fortune i have had over the years for this phenomenon to continue to happen has been a blessing in my life. serendipity in deed. i cannot put into words the humbleness of my heart every time i realize it has happened again. so it is with the book i began reading a few days ago. so far, every word has pierced deep and with the accuracy of a skilled marksman has found exactly the place to land in order to fill the holes of my soul. 

thoughts on change, grace & learning the hard way

"Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness. 'It's the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, audacious, earthy. "

"This is what I've come to believe about change: it's good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it's incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God's hand, which is where you wanted to be all long, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be. I've learned the hard way that change is one of God's greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we've become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I've learned that it's not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God's graciousness, not life's cruelty."

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