I don't read much for myself these days unless I'm on vacation or unless I'm studying up on something like bees. I keep an eye out for books I'd like to read and save them up for when we go away. Our two favorite vacation spots have no television and we love living with no TV while we're there. At home, we have no TV reception and no cable but the kids do watch videos and Jamey and I stream Netflix. We love being away from TV so much so that we're considering a family no-TV/movies-during-the-month-of-July stint. Maybe July will feel like a vacation. But probably not quite.
Anyway. Two of the books I took along last week were from blog authors I read. The first was Glennon Melton's Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life and the second Herrick Kimball's Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian: One Man's Ruminations About Faith, Family, and Livin' The Good Life. Both books are a series of essays/blog posts-turned-chapters. This made it easy to jump from one book to the other and allowed for interruptions without making me lose reading momentum.
The two books (and the two authors) are very different but they both fed something in me that needed feeding. Glennon's book helped me feel normal because I'm kind of weird sometimes. And Glennon is weird a lot of the time (I think she'd agree). She made me feel as if weird can be normal. It is normal, right? At the same time, it was a reminder of how everyones' backgrounds/stories are so different and yet we all need to feel loved and appreciated. And we need to find our niche in making this world a better place. I appreciate the way she reaches out to others and this encouraged my perpetual desire to reach out. It gave me confirmation that even if our lives are a little (or a lot) messy, we can be there for others.
Herrick's book was balm for our souls. Jamey read large portions of it and my father even picked it up as well. His essays were taken from his first year of blogging. Our garden and lifestyle is very rewarding but it can easily become overwhelming at times-especially when one of us has a full-time job away from home and the other a full time position at home (homeschooling/childcare/managing things). Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian reminded us of the reasons for our choices and encouraged us in them. We would have never called ourselves Christian Agrarians (we weren't familiar with the term) but according to Herrick's definition, that's what we are. We came home with a new, restored outlook on our life and projects. Reading that was just what we both needed.
I came home feeling like I had really gotten to know two acquaintances. And I appreciate these two very different and very lovely people very much. I had other books I could have taken along but I think the good Lord knew what I needed and when.
Its nice when going away is more than a break- when it becomes something that helps prepare you (and even gets you excited) for going back.
So here I am back at home, embracing my weird while embracing my lifestyle choices. Look. Out. :-)
P.S. Neither Glennon nor Herrick knew I was going to write about their books. If you would like to read their online writings, see Momastery and The Deliberate Agrarian.