Sunday, August 08, 2010

Mama's and Children's Books [for the rest of summer...]

I'm straying from the usual pattern of children's stories today, but only so I can share a couple of books that are changing me now, and oh, how I am praying for a continued quietness of spirit in the coming months to enjoy a third...

Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours (Prayers for Springtime, Summertime, and Autumn and Wintertime), books that already take residence during their respective seasons in my morning stack on the fireplace mantle, has also written a set of three books that absolutely quiet the soul, persuade me gently to dive deep, and leave thoughts and prayers lingering on my heart and mind all day long.

What the Land Already Knows: Winter's Sacred Days was where I started last winter, and I was moved so powerfully by these short chapters in the early morning. Ms. Tickle captures so clearly the early days of marriage and child-rearing and weaves them tenderly with her thoughts of now. And the farm in Lucy? Picturesque, yes, ideal, yes. Honest? Absolutely. Please read it, I'm asking you oh-so-nicely.

Wisdom in the Waiting: Spring's Sacred Days, which is actually the third book in this little series, is just as incredible as the first. Weaving emotion with creation and work with waiting, Ms. Tickle eloquently describes daily life on the Farm in Lucy through several perspectives, and ties them all together so powerfully by the end of the chapter, it takes you pleasantly by surprise. My favorite chapter, Of Swallowtails in Particular, has left me longing for some of the liturgy we miss nowadays in the modern church; marking the forehead with ashes on Ash Wednesday, the acceptance of that sign being carried through the remainder of the day... the way the author connects this act with a conversation she has with her daughter about the markings of swallowtails, well... you must read it.

And the last volume I have yet to read(which is really the second in the series,) The Graces We Remember: Sacred Days of Ordinary Time, is sadly not owned by our library, so it must wait. But I am confident of the richness it holds, of the author's magnificent ability to lead me gently into the word of God and living the liturgy... even in the midst of dishes and laundry and bandaids and bedtime prayers.

I find these slim volumes to be the perfect companion to morning devotions (or evening or afternoon or squeeze-them-in-wherever-you-can!). Accompanied with a psalm and a prayer I am renewed, and so very thankful for it in these busy days.

I also spent some time this afternoon updating my online bookshelf with Shelfari- I just know I've missed so many books over the months, forgetting to add them to the shelf before they are returned! But, nevertheless, I'm grateful for the hours and hours of enjoyment these stories have brought into our home.

The rest of this summer holds so much work and fun and life and progress that I am going to put my blog, and therefore CBM, on hold until mid-September or so! In the meantime, I'll place the link to my bookshelf on this post, and will try to keep it updated through the next five weeks. Because you know, of course, that even in the midst of painting and cutting windows into the basement and scheduling schoolwork for the coming year for my sixth(!) and third graders as well as creating an original curriculum for my incoming kindergarten-girl, (and camping and ice-cream making and swimming-pool splashing!), we will still be filling our boxes with precious books from the library. Naturally!

Happy summering, kind friends! See you in September!

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

7 fellow travelers shared:

Kristin said...

We will miss you until September. Praying that by the time I am reading your beautiful words again, I am reading them with new baby in arms! The time is passing so slowly and yet flying at the same time. We, too, have a full group of weeks planned as we start back to school tomorrow and still fit in trips to the park and zoo and a few birthdays (including my 30th!).

Carrie said...

Dear Friend, praying your days are sweet and full of His presence! You will be missed!

Linda said...

Yes - we will miss you sweet girl. Thank you for sharing your special books. They sound lovely.
Praying this time is filled with joy and peaceful refreshment.

Rebecca M said...

I went to a friend's house recently who also visits here. During our visit, a peak into her library box revealed the same books I had in mine at home! We both regularly take a peak into your CBM selections and put them right onto our library holds list. Thanks Elise!

Robin Sampson said...

These look really interesting. I'll have to add to my reading wish list.

Robin Sampson said...

I came back to share my summer reading list with you.

Love your blog look- fresh!

Haley said...

I have found the Divine Hours series so helpful and will put these 3 books on my to-read list (along with Ms. Tickle's memoir, which I've been wanting to read for ages). Thank you!

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