{what I'm reading} The Broken Way

I braced myself for disappointment
when opening The Broken Way;
After Ann’s first book had been so life-changing
how could this sequel measure up?

I’m still not sure how, but it has.
This book answers questions
I didn’t even know I had
after reading One Thousand Gifts.

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One question in particular:
If Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle…
what is the miracle that is to follow?
That is the question The Broken Way seeks to answer.

I would try to explain,
but Ann does so much better.
Her words are poetry, impossible to speed-read,
inspiring me to slow and consider each one.

The stories are deep, but not out of reach.
Deep like the foundation of your own home,
down-to-earth as you might expect from a farmer’s wife:
illustrations that come from the ground we all walk on.

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Ann gently uncovers the “unspoken broken”
hidden deep in the cracks of “your one broken heart”.
“Maybe the love gets in easier right where the heart’s broke open?”
And maybe a heart that’s broken is better for pouring love out.

Ann tells me that “what matters in your life
is not so much what happens to you
but what you happen to remember…”
And I want to remember her words.

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So I draw lines in the book
and write words on sticky notes
because the things I choose to remember
will influence how my life happens.

I don’t always write in books
and rewrite the words I read
so as to keep them within reach,
but Ann’s words I do.

I read One Thousand Gifts three times,
soaking in the beautiful, poignant stories,
so I should have known to expect that The Broken Way
would be full to the brim with more of the same.

dawn and dusk {what I'm reading}

Every day for the past year and a half,
I have read a "living prayer"
written by Paul Aspen.

Paul is now my husband,
but reading his living prayers
started before we were even dating.

These living prayers begin with a meditation
followed by a prayer, suggested worship,
and a simple application.

They are living because
they are not meant only to be read
but to fill and affect the reader's life.

Paul is compiling these living prayers
into a series of books:
Dawn and Dusk.

Our goal
is to publish
the first this spring.

In the meantime Paul continues
to send a new prayer
each day.

Here is an example:

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." Shakespeare's career as an actor and playwright led to many excellent and poignant observations about the real lives of people in his works—much different from theories made in dusty armchairs! He understood the grace required to move smoothly and gracefully through life because even the most careful plans of our plays don't always go smoothly when enacted...and yet the show must go on.

Great Orchestrator, director who has a cast which does not always choose to do its best to put on a good show despite the great cloud of witnesses in the audience, despite the wonderful script, despite the opportunity afforded to each one of us to shine and bring light into a theater of apparent darkness to our eyes that are blinded by the stage lights, I choose to listen to You and act as You direct. I will read the description of how I am to live, and follow it with all Your advice and input and assistance that You have and will give me in interpreting it. Please add to me the virtues of a veteran actor, whose instincts and clarifications and small tweaks bring the director's vision to brilliant life. God, Your plan for us went awry early and early in our life as a species, and yet we are to still act out the roles in which we find ourselves. Teach me to follow better, and to trust You to put me into the role and situation where I am meant to be. Where I find myself, there I am to be with the talents and virtues I have and pursuing the talents and virtues I need to do a better job here than I last did where I came from. Enlarge my territory and increase my power and humility, my willingness to act and to wait for when I should move and speak in accordance with Your Way. Give me grace and remind me of the lines and directions I forget, and help me to roll with the actions of others on the stage. Help me better understand how to act without the willfulness and resentment which comes with believing that I am the director or responsible for how the play turns out. Teach me my role, Lord. Amen.

Today's Worship: This is who I am (Dillon, Barnard), Voice of Truth (Hall, Chapman), Wandering Long in sin and Darkness (Schaeffer)

Look back on a plan you laid out which went well—or poorly: What parts don't need to be planned for, and what elements require preplanning? Were you psyched up and confident, or unsure and paranoid? Spend some time learning how to plan for reality instead of theoretical perfection. Planning is a great skill for life, after all!

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