If you’re new here, welcome. Just for fun, 16 New Year’s Resolutions Only Book Nerds Can Relate To. We are reading chapters 5-8 in Wild in the Hollow—which is currently on sale on B and N and Amazon as of 6 hours before this goes live—by Amber Haines. This is why I love book club!!!
Not that we all have to love a book or agree on it or even read the most soul feeding writing ever. No, it’s the gentle accountability to slow me down.
Enough to pay attention to what I’m reading. Enough to think through how I want to say what’s going on in me as I read. Enough to wonder what’s going on in you as you read and comment. I’m picturing Kiera listening to Amber reading the book. And all of the stars and underlines in Michele’s book and wondering if she underlined where I did (chances are high she did because I have marked almost everything —NOT a helpful system BTW). I’m wondering what’s sticking out to Elizabeth as she reads it again. I’m thinking of Sarah and trying to anticipate what’s standing out to her.
This is why I love book club. Because you make me read differently than when I read alone.
The titles stood out to me again and the questions they whispered.
Hungry. What’s the relationship between desire and sin?
A Wolf Revision. She said, “Wolves can tend as shepherds.” What wolves have I known? What wolves have I been?
Thirsty. You’ve probably noticed this month’s themes are inspired by this book. In this chapter the unconfessed and discussed affair thirsted the life out of her. Amber was thirsty for connection with Seth, but it was a thirst that couldn’t be quenched as long as she knew something he didn’t know. When it is necessary to tell someone something? When is it wiser not to tell them? I’m not just thinking of an affair, I thinking of our teammates and local friends. I’m thinking of supporters and organizations. I’m thinking how there isn’t one-size-fits all, but clear rules are easier than the ambiguity of maturity.
Secret Hiding Place. How Jesus is to be our Hiding Place. How the secrets we can’t share create isolation. How unforgiveness can skew perspective. How has it skewed mine?
I don’t know why these titles have captured me. I look back at them and to a certain extent, they are nothing special. But I also see the progression, in simple one word or phrase form, our lives can take apart (and with!) God. Hungry leading to A wolf revision. Thirsty resulting in a Secret hiding place.
There are so many layers here. I imagine you see your own relationships mirrored here. Or your team or host culture.
“We lived alongside one another, insatiable, but not for each other. We were together yet far apart in separate lives, bumping elbows as we brushed our teeth. Our skulls were cups that never got full.”
“We were the ones you called to do the right thing, the ones to help others through hard times. We were beautiful expectations, pedestaled elders, perpetuating the very sickness that drove us to the Love Shack. We looked so healthy. Surely that healthy glow would reach to our hearts. Surely our righteousness would become legitimate when we did our next good thing.”
The way Amber shares her birth stories is (I’m going to use the word again!) poetically beautiful even when recounting pain. I don’t know what it’s like to birth three babies in three years, but I know what it’s like to be a baby birthed and then followed 15 months later by my sister and then 16 months later by my other sister. Within two-and-a-half years there were three of us. I have no memory where there aren’t three. I have always been part of a herd. With confidence I can say you’re probably thinking of your own delivery stories and families.
“Once in a while, a stage hits that feels beautiful and slow.” I know those too. When have been beautiful and slow seasons for you?
How has God used dreams in your life? For Amber, to have three in one night leading her to being able to tell Seth was—I’m searching for the right word—powerful? empowering? undeniable? And then to have it confirmed to him too. I love that. Though I’m sure the ensuing conversation was one of the most difficult ones they have both had. What I love is the way God can go before, beside, and behind us when we have to have conversations that splay us wide open.
I know others of you reading this have had these kinds of conversations with your spouses. If nothing else, know that you are not alone.
Obviously, we’ve got a lot to talk over as I’ve barely scratched the themes in these chapters! See you in the comments.
Chapters 9-12 next week. February will be YA and a children’s book. We’ll read The Witch of Blackbird Pond only $6.99 on kindle or here’s a free PDF. The last week of February we got a treat with a children’s book and author! Lots to look forward to in our current book and future ones to come :). I love book club.
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