Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Book Recommendation

I recently read a book that was good in a quiet and thoughtful sort of way, and just wanted to share a few quotes that really resonated with me.  The book is this:
It is based on the author's grandparents' experiences as missionaries in China.  My only complaint would be I wish I knew what was real and what was added for the story--because it is a good story.  If it had all been true it would have made for an even better story.
But the quotes that really gave me pause were these:

"We often wait for God with hope.  But sometimes we must wait for hope.  We may feel nothing, but we do not rely on our feelings.  When we don't feel hope, we wait for it, and it always comes."

While feelings can be so real and insurmountable at times they are not always an accurate gauge of where I'm at.  Sometimes the best thing to do is wait.  I've been talking about this a lot with Marissa lately as we've begun to deal with the woes of adolescence.  I keep telling her "don't let feelings drive the car" meaning don't let your feelings be what guide your actions, they can't be in charge.

And this one:

"Lastly I pray that throughout the day God's will, not mine, be done, whatever that may mean.  When I was younger, I thought it meant traveling a road that was straight and confining and predictable, something to be done correctly, like finding my way though a maze where only one path is right.  I thought following that path would always feel true and safe and virtuous and that it would give me a surefooted, foolproof sense about life.  This narrow thinking was mine, not His; I no longer believe it.  When I am in God's will, sometimes I do feel comfortable and at ease, but I just as often feel anxious and unsettled, for He often leads me into unfamiliar waters.  I do not let these feelings guide me.  Nor do I heed what the world must think of me, for I know that in its view my life would seem a failure.  Some would look at me and see a childless widower, living alone, his life's work in question.  But I think of myself as extraordinarily blessed, rich beyond measure, the unlikely recipient of the great honor of serving my Lord in a faraway land, and I am amazed at my great good fortune."

This is/was so me.  Thinking that by following all the rules and determining to do things the right way I could somehow control my destiny and my life would turn out just as I had planned, perfect and comfortable and easy.  Living out here, while I'm certain is God's will for us right now has not been comfortable, it has left me unsettled, and put me in unfamiliar places.  Truly that whole quote could be mine (aside from the childless widower and faraway land part, well, maybe Arapahoe does count for a faraway land?). ;o)

So, anyway, looking for a summer read?  You might enjoy this one. ;o)


Kathryn said...

I am really enjoying this book and so glad you had recommended it to me. I *cried* when I read the part when her sister comes to care for her. I look forward to getting a chance to re-read these quotes when I get to them in the book. :)

Anna said...

These are great quotes, Janna--TFS. And yes, Arapahoe is definitely a distant land. :)

Natalie said...

Thanks for the book idea. I'll definitely be checking this one out.

Oh dear - I am having trouble making sense of the letters I'm suppose to type in below. Maybe I really am a robot?

Brooke said...

Good thoughts! I think we all struggle in our own "faraway lands" at times. Such a blessing to know that we are still caught in His hands!