Updated: Oct 9
Day 22: Books (Reading)
“Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book!" Job 19:23 Today I give thanks for books and one of my all-time favorite pastimes, reading. There is nothing like how my imagination comes alive, my emotions are evoked, and the sentiments of my heart are revealed as when I am reading a great book. I feel like every time I take this journey with you all, I get more vulnerable and expose some of my deepest, darkest secrets and flaws. Are you reading closely? I'm about to reveal another of my weaknesses. Books. I hoard books because I love to read. Honestly, I've been slacking this year because I usually read about 4 to 5 books per month. I think I have been averaging one book about every two months this year. But to be fair to myself, this year I had to spend a great deal of time rereading one book in particular to make sure it was absolutely perfect. I have so many books in my house, it is utterly ridiculous. They are everywhere too. If anyone knows someone who can build me a custom made book shelf that covers my room walls like a Sherlock Holmes movie, let me know. I want and need a book shelf like that to hold the quantity of books that I have. No, I'm not getting rid of any of my books any time soon, unless I'm gifting a blessing to someone! (And you can't make me! Ha!). Every one of them has sentimental value. I learned. I felt. I cried. I imagined. I was inspired. Sometimes, with one book, I did all of those things. As I write this post, I'm remembering how excited I was in elementary school when I would order tons of books from the scholastic books series catalogs. We went from Amelia Bedelia to Nancy Drew. Even earlier than my school age years, I remember falling in love with every Cat in the Hat book by Dr. Seuss, with "Oh the places you'll Go" being my favorite. When I got punished in my elementary school years, my punishment would be that I couldn't order books, which completely devastated me. That is probably why I spent much of my time as the straight and narrow child. Yes, I was totally a "cool nerd" and probably still am. I guess I can and should credit books for saving my life too. The Lord only knows what else I could have been into if I wasn't reading a book. As I grew up, I discovered more books. I read many of literature's classics and Shakespeare. I read autobiographical works. I read works of feminist thought. In high school, I came to love Toni Morrison's and Zora Neale Hurston's writing styles. If I'm remembering correctly, in that era of my life, I think my favorite book was "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. It is such a great book of discovery (Wow! That was such a long time ago.) Fast forward to present day, I couldn't even tell you what my favorite book is because I have so many favorites. I think I rate a book as my favorite now by how valuable of a life lesson it taught me and how many times I have gifted the blessing to someone else. If I use that methodology to guage what my favorites are, I would have to say that "The Bible", "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman, "The Shack" by William P. Young, "Maximizing your Potential" by Myles Munroe, and "HeMotions" by T.D. Jakes win the top five. I have read these books a million times, referenced them and have probably spent over $1000 on each of them to gift them to people I know and love. The Bible is incredible. I thinking of it as a living and divinely inspired work from God written by flawed men. I love the fact that you can find every scenario and situation about life, whether good, bad, impossible or ugly, in there and get guidance and clarity on how to navigate through that life experience. "The Five Love Languages" taught me so much about who I am, how I receive love and how to love other people. I even learned how to love "unloveable" people through this book. There were some invaluable lessons in the book that shaped and molded me for the new dimensions of my life. I recommend it to anyone and everyone. There are no words for me to even describe how amazing I think "The Shack" is. That book taught me to question every religious belief I had and to take the limitations off of God. It was so well written that my imagination and sensory re on orgasmic overload for weeks trying to catch up with all the imagery in the book. Absolutely incredible is this book! The book was made into a movie several years ago which was really good but not as great as my imagination. I recommend "The Shack to anyone who is open to explore your own religious beliefs and have some of your "commonly recognized beliefs" destroyed in the face of truth. This book is not for wimps, racists, bigots, and those who set God in a specific gender role. If you are ready to read, be prepared to be amazed. The late Myles Munroe was such an incredible genius. "Maximizing your Potential" is a book to go down in history as world-changing and history-making. No one who reads this book will or can ever be the same. Every ounce of potential laying dormant in your soul will be revealed and come forth. This book will always serve as a reminder to me to pour out every ounce of myself and the potential that I hold while alive so that when I leave this earth, I die empty--with no regrets and no seeds of potential still held within me. "HeMotions" will forever be an important book to and for me. It taught me about who men are and how they think. This book was a complete eye opener for me because I sometimes thought men were really from another planet and did not understand how or why they thought the way they did. (I'm sure they feel the same about women.) Years ago, I remember having the worst argument with my daughter's father and being completely done with him and telling him to never speak to me again. (That seems to be a resounding theme in our story.) For some reason, no matter how wrong my daughter's father was, God seemed to always want to show Him grace and love, and would COMMAND me to still pray for Him and forgive his latest foolishness. This time I was not praying for him nor was I going to excuse him. I was done and had put the sign of the cross on my closure of any interaction with him. But, God had other plans. For several nights, I couldn't sleep and it was put on my spirit to pray and watch some really great sermons. On the last night of my bout with insomnia, the sermon "HeMotions" by Bishop T.D. Jakes popped into my feed and I watched it. That sermon spoke to the core of my heart in ways that I can't begin to describe. When I finished watching it, God told me to send the sermon to my daughter's father, who was living in Grenada at the time, and to order the book for him. I was reluctant to send him anything because, as I told you, I was done. However, I did immediately order a copy of the book for myself to read. I was absolutely awe-stricken by the revelation and knowledge in that book. If the sermon was that insightful, I knew the book had to be just as good if not better. God licked my conscious a few days for being disobedient and not sending the sermon and book. I finally surrendered and sent everything I was told to send. A few days later, I got a message from my daughter's father thanking me for sending him that lifeline. He said that he was at an all time low, dealing with severe depression and very suicidal, and the words of that sermon revived him from that dark place. He later read the book and found it as insightful as I did for his own life. I recommend this book to and for ALL men and the women who wholeheartedly seek to understand them. You see? I have had some pretty amazing life experiences with books. If you don't yet share my enthusiasm for books and reading, I truly hope that one day you do. Books are life changing and one is ready to do just that for you. Today, as I give thanks for books and reading, I invite you to bless me and someone else by buying a copy of my book "Thirty Days of Thanks: A Journey Towards Healing and Deliverance." You can buy the book at www.thirtydayofthanks.com, Amazon, or Kindle. I guarantee that you and the person you gift the book to, upon reading, will learn, feel (laugh, cry, scream, smile), and be inspired. Love Ya, Have a great day of thanks!