Monday, June 04, 2007

Blue Like Tidy-Bowl Cleaner, Kool-Aid, and Heaven:

Thoughts on Home, Family, and God from the middle of Suburbia!

In the top middle drawer of my dresser, my bras can be categorized in two styles. Fancy and comfortable. I have about the same number of each, though the latter set gets used twice as much. I often use the “fancy” on the days I want to feel pretty. Or on days when I know my husband will be coming home for lunch, and I can flash him just for fun. (He loves it when I do that, and it usually guarantees a love note via email.) Fancy is worth it on days like that.

But although I’ve tried many kinds of fancy, I’ve discovered that usually within an hour I feel tense and tight and I have to change. Like right now. I’m squirming in my computer chair as if I was bound by a thick rope around my chest. Excuse me while I change.

Ahhh … much better.

Anyway, I was thinking today as I showered how similar my bra selection compares to the books on my bookshelf. Sometimes I hear about an “enlightening” book, and I just have to buy it. I usually read a few pages, and it’s sort of fancy. It may talk about things like spiritual disciplines, or foundational truths, or it may use big words that I sort of understand but don’t completely track with. I usually get a few chapters in before another book takes its place on my nightstand. I tell myself I’ll get back to the fancy book one day, and I have every intention to. After all, these are smart Christian people who have a heart for God. People I should pay attention to.

In the end, I find myself falling back to what’s comfortable. Like my favorite bras, my favorite books get a lot of use. I have a copy of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. And more than one copy of Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. I find myself loving these books because they help me to connect with God and feel His heart.

There are a ton of other great books, too, by authors like Robert Benson, John Fischer, and Brenda Waggoner that are sort of fancy, but in a comfortable way. These, to me, are the best of both worlds. They have forever found a place upon my bookshelf, and I finding myself returning to them again and again.

When it comes to fancy bras, I buy them to make myself feel better and to impress my husband. And, as I was thinking about this in the shower, I wondered if I do the same with my reading choices. Am I trying to make myself look good or impress others when they talk about some books? Or do I think I’ll be able to flash God with a ‘look at this’ and brighten His day?

Just like everybody has different dental records, every mind and heart is unique, too. Maybe what I think is comfortable is fancy to another person. Or what I think is fancy may be someone else’s bite, and that’s okay.

Because in the long run it’s not about looking good, it’s about finding the right support. (Pun totally intended.) My devotional books support me and help me connect with God. They give me the lift I need to look into my Maker’s gaze.

Sure, I’ll keep those other books around. They’ll be dusted, stacked and restacked. Maybe someday my taste will change, and they’ll become my new comfort. But for now I’m going with what works, what fits me, and what provides the support I need.

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At Wednesday, 06 June, 2007, Blogger Jen's Journey said...

I love this analogy. I find I am the same way. There have been a few "fancy" books I have been completely comfortable with. Others, have been shelved. But, I am more of a daily devotions gal if I am going to buy a "fancy" book anymore. That way, I can turn to them when I need something to feed my soul. I will then, turn to the Bible to back up the devotion. But, most of my "comfortable" books are fiction and they get read voraciously.


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