this woman has changed me.

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I’m telling you: it’s an honor to tell stories, to call myself a storyteller and to see my words come together to show the bigger picture. And even more, it’s an honor to be able to tell stories about those who are dear to me.

So today, I’ve got a story for you, a story of a woman who’s changed me over the last fifteen years. Click here to read about Bianca …or get started by reading part of the article right here.

Years ago, my friend Bianca and I traveled with our friend Laura to Costa Rica. When Laura and I arrived, jet-lagged and tired, dirty and sweaty, I wanted nothing more than to head to our little cabana to shower and sleep.

But Bianca would have none of my tired shenanigans. Instead, she made me jump on the bike she’d rented for me.

“Just start pedaling!” she yelled. She was certain that if I just got my body moving, if I could awaken cramped limbs enough to see and smell the beauty of creation alive in our little slice of Latin America, I’d probably change my mind.

And she was right, of course.

She grabbed the gargantuan backpack I’d lugged 4,000 miles with me, from Santa Cruz, California to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, and hoisted it on her back. Laughing with joy–that the three of us had been able to make this adventure happen, that we’d finally arrived, that the week was ours to do with as we wished–she led the way to a karaoke bar on the side of the road. As I droned on about curling up in a ball to sleep the night away, she instead prompted me to embrace the moment for just a few more minutes.

“Cara, it’s karaoke. You love to sing. Come on, girl!”

Eventually, I obliged. Eventually, my moody tiredness was replaced with a giggling deliriousness, and the three of us sang “La Bamba” (the only song we recognized on the roster of Spanish-only songs), as if our lives depended on it.

Dying to read the rest of the story? Head over to She Loves and see how that night in Costa Rica changed me.

Otherwise, who’s changed you?

Who’s made a difference in your life?

Who do you want to be more like when you grow up?

Hugs and Monday kisses,

cm.

So, do tell: who is it for you? Who’s changed you from the inside-out? Let’s change the world by being the encouragers we were meant to be…

83 ways to dominate as the new kid in town

Two days ago, you read about how you can be a good neighbor to the new kid in town …but what about when you’re the new kid in town? What about when you’re the one who gets lost on a daily basis, who yearns to run into someone you know at the grocery store, who just wants to feel like you belong to a people and a place? What do you do then?

Well, I’ve got some ideas, of course.

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Playing tourist at MoPOP with some old friends.

I’ve been the new kid, a lot. There have been places I’ve moved to in which community is a given, a built-in extension of already established relationships. There have been other cities that seemed to speak my language, where I didn’t have to get to know how and why people operate the way they do, because it just made sense to me.

But that hasn’t always been the case.

Eleven years ago when I moved to the Pacific Northwest for a job in ministry, I expected it to be an easy transition. I was moving there because God told me to, after all. I was moving there because this was what I was supposed to do. And since I was the new kid in town, I reasoned, people would want to hang out with me. They would want to get to know the Cool New California Girl.

Almost a year and a half into the gig, when that hadn’t happened and when I was terribly lonely to boot, I broke down. I cried all the tears and I felt all the feels and soon there after, I left.

Sometimes I wish I could do it all over again …and now, two weeks into Seattle, I can. And, my friend, so can you.

Here’s a list of 50 ways you can dominate as the new kid in town, including some repeats from Wednesday’s list:

  1. Say hello to one new person every day.
  2. Don’t expect others to say hi to you first.
  3. Don’t be offended when the already-established person doesn’t say hi to you.
  4. Introduce yourself.
  5. Have a friend already? Ask them to introduce you to other people. Ask them to call others by name so you can get names ingrained in your mind.
  6. Smile. Make eye contact. Be the human you already are.
  7. Remember (and call) this new friend by name.
  8. Choose to laugh when they don’t remember your name.
  9. Pat yourself on the back for your amazing name-remembering skills.
  10. Do it again the next day.
  11. Ask them about their neighborhood: the gym, the parks, the best local coffee shop. Get them talking about their world.
  12. Ask for their digits.
  13. Don’t be offended when they don’t ask for your digits first – they may not know what it’s like to be new.
  14. Invite them over to your new place.
  15. Invite them to the park near your house.
  16. Slyly invite yourself over to their house.
  17. Give yourself a couple of opportunities to be the one reaching out – and after that, it’s their turn.
  18. Adopt a new kid mantra: Try, try again. No harm, no fowl. You got this! 
  19. If you have school-aged children, initiate a new kid hang out time: “Hey! We’re new in town and we’d love to get to know you. Meet us at the local park this Saturday from 2-4.”
  20. Invite other families (or the one family you know) over for a holiday cookie making party.
  21. Let yourself feel out of sorts.
  22. Remind yourself that moving takes time – one year, two years, three years is a normal amount of time to reestablish yourself.
  23. Be patient.
  24. Find a church (or local religious community) with opportunities for smaller, intentional engagement: small groups, bible studies, MOPS, mom’s groups, etc.
  25. Keep showing up, even if you feel like you don’t fit in.
  26. Keep showing up, even if you wonder if they’ll be your people.
  27. Keep showing up, because sometimes you just need to see familiar faces.
  28. Find your nearest library.
  29. Make it your first appointment to keep, week after week.
  30. If you have kids, go to the weekly story time every single week.
  31. Smile. Say hello. Repeat steps 1-4, again and again and again.
  32. Find a local park.
  33. Find a good walking or running route.
  34. Do the same route, everyday.
  35. Try new routes, everyday.
  36. Find a local coffee shop.
  37. Treat yourself to a cup o’ jo everyday for a week.
  38. Learn the baristas names.
  39. Make yourself a regular.
  40. Jump for joy when someone asks you your name first. Victory!
  41. Jump for joy when someone asks you to hang out first. Victory!
  42. Jump for joy when you feel like you’ve found your first friend. Victory!
  43. Make a random side comment to a stranger.
  44. Smile when they respond.
  45. Laugh when they don’t. Let it rolllllllll off your back. Ain’t no thang! They don’t know how funny you are! Their loss!
  46. Say YES.
  47. Yes, I’ll go out to lunch with you even though you seem weird.
  48. Yes, I’ll meet you for coffee, even though I don’t know if we’ll ever hang out again.
  49. Yes, I’ll have a playdate with you even though you helicopter like nobody’s business.
  50. Create a routine of places you visit, especially if you have kids.
  51. Find a local bookstore that can act as a home base.
  52. Remind yourself that moving is hard.
  53. Give yourself grace that transitions take time.
  54. Get to know your solo self, all over again.
  55. Relish in this time of quiet, when there’s not much on your schedule.
  56. Treat yourself to a stack of books.
  57. Relish in reading those books because time is on your side right now!
  58. Give yourself three minutes to feel sorry for yourself, then choose an attitude of resilience.
  59. Find a local writing group.
  60. Ask your social media community to connect you with people they already know in your new town.
  61. Play tourist!
  62. Make it a point of getting out and seeing one new thing every single weekend.
  63. Approach it as a new adventure: what does this place have for me? What will I discover about myself in this new town? 
  64. Join a gym.
  65. Go to classes, which tend to be more sociable than a solo ride on the Elliptical machine.
  66. Notice who keeps showing up to the classes you attend.
  67. Put on your Big Girl Panties and say hello to one new gym rat a day.
  68. Repeat steps 1-4, again and again and again.
  69. Offer a compliment: I love your spirit! Your smile is infectious. Are you a professional dancer on the side, because you just nailed that Zumba sequence. 
  70. Volunteer at a local non-profit organization.
  71. Rest.
  72. Make a list of all the restaurants people tell you to visit.
  73. Visit all of those restaurants people tell you to visit.
  74. Be honest.
  75. Be yourself.
  76. Pray.
  77. Relish in this gift of entering into a new place, a new people, a new you.
  78. Hold close the ones you love.
  79. Notice the little things.
  80. Find one thing that brings you joy every single day.
  81. Write down this one joy-filled thing, everyday.
  82. Let go of expectations.
  83. Be surprised by what does happen instead of by what doesn’t happen.

I get it. Moving is hard. Transitions are hard. Starting over is hard.

But we can do hard things. We can put ourselves out there. We can take on the challenge of finding where and how we fit in to the place that doesn’t always feel quite like us yet. We can give others grace and show them out to welcome the outsider, and we can let go of expectations that welcoming the newcomer is on them (even if it should be that way).

In this with you,

cm.

So, let’s start with #84. What would you add to the list? How have you established yourself in a new place when you were the new kid? 

50 ways to be a good neighbor to the new kid in town

We’ve moved, a lot.

Sometimes it’s been by choice, and sometimes it’s been by calling. Sometimes it’s been purely for survival reasons, and sometimes it’s been because the grass seemed greener on the suburban side of the road (which, for us, never ended up actually being the greener pasture).

I yearn to plant myself in a place for more than a year or two, to dig deep roots into a community and a people, but that hasn’t been the case for the past nineteen years.

Checking out the new digs the other day with my little man.
Checking out the new digs the other day with my little man.

But a silver lining still exists, of course: because I’ve moved (a lot), I’ve learned to notice and reach out and be a good neighbor to those who are new in town, too.

So, let’s practice kindness. Let’s be a good neighbor to the new kid in town. Let’s be the noticing humans we were created to be, and let’s reach out to those who are in the midst of transition and love them well. 

Here’s a list of 50 ways you can be a good neighbor to the new kid in town:

  1. Say hello.
  2. Introduce yourself.
  3. Remember (and call this new friend) by name.
  4. Smile. Make eye contact. Be the human that you are.
  5. Ask them how they’re doing. And really, actually, mean it.
  6. Ask them about the place they just moved from – you better believe it’s constantly on their minds.
  7. Ask them for their digits.
  8. Invite them out to coffee.
  9. Invite them to your favorite pub.
  10. Invite them to a holiday activity: your family, their family, and all the messiness that comes along with it.
  11. Introduce them to your favorite park.
  12. Ask them to go on a walk with you and your dog.
  13. Shoot them a last-minute text: What are you doing right now? Let’s hang out! 
  14. Drop off burritos from your favorite taqueria their first night in town. (This happened on my first night in San Mateo, California, and I’m telling you, it was the best burrito I ever ate.
  15. Drop off homemade cookies on your new neighbor’s doorstep.
  16. If you have children, have them drop off homemade cookies on your new neighbor’s doorstep.
  17. Drop off a growler of your favorite local beer.
  18. Drop off a bottle of local wine, along with a “Welcome to the neighborhood!” note.
  19. Initiate conversation with those same neighbors next time you see them.
  20. Donate furniture you don’t need anymore.
  21. Donate a box of toys to a family living in the limbo of corporate housing.
  22. Put together a gift basket of tea towels, plates, utensils and Trader Joe’s frozen food meals. That’s dinner, yo!
  23. If the new person is a parent, offer to take them on a tour of local schools in the neighborhood.
  24. If you go to church or are part of a religious group, make an effort to notice the newcomers. This is not just the job of the paid staff or leadership team. 
  25. Talk to the newcomers.
  26. Invite the newcomers out to lunch after the service.
  27. Invite them to community groups and bible studies and other places they can get connected …then, connect with them if they show up!
  28. Repeat all of the above. Just be a fleshy version of Light to them.
  29. Don’t live in the same town as someone who’s just moved? Mail them a care package.
  30. Send them a letter.
  31. Have dinner delivered through a meal delivery service.
  32. Write a note with the three nearest grocery stores, fun restaurants and other pertinent places listed.
  33. Take your neighbor grocery shopping to one of the aforementioned three nearest grocery stores.
  34. Be generous with information about town – information only locals might know.
  35. Invite them out to lunch. (Ahem, pay for lunch!)
  36. Ask them out to coffee.
  37. Have them over for dinner or for a playdate. You guys: there is NOTHING better than that first invitation when you’re the new kid in town. Nothing better.
  38. Buy them a local coupon book, like the Chinook Book. (Thanks, Anna).
  39. Tell them about local events they can attend. Even better: go with them!
  40. Is it Christmas time? Adorn their front door with a fresh wreath.
  41. Is it Valentine’s Day? String a banner of hearts across their front stoop.
  42. Is it the 4th of July? Drop off a plate of red, white and blue Pinterest goodness.
  43. Drop off a gift card.
  44. Ask them what their favorite coffee drink is. Write that drink down in your cell phone. Buy it for them the next time you know you’re going to see them.
  45. Own a coffee shop or a restaurant? Welcome the newcomer with a free slice of pie or latte.
  46. Bring a carton of fresh, local eggs over.
  47. Follow through.
  48. Show up.
  49. Dare to ask your new neighbor twenty questions.
  50. Offer a hug.

In this season that oftentimes feels so hostile and divided, we can still be good neighbors. We can still be intentional, and we still can notice those we’re not necessarily prone to noticing.

If you’ve lived in the same area your entire life (or for a really, really long time), chances are you don’t know what it’s like to be the newcomer – you may not know what it’s like to feel like a leaving, a divorce, a death of what was. You’ll probably have to work pretty hard at letting someone new into your circle and your community, because you don’t necessarily need another friend.

But this new neighbor just might need you. And you, in turn, might come to find out that you need them, too.

In this thing called humanity with you,

cm.

Oh, the list goes on – and thanks to everyone who contributed ideas! What would you add? What kindness did someone show you when you were new in town? Also, look for 50 Ways to Dominate as the New Kid in Town on Friday! 

The Comfort of Saying Hello

space-needle-1509141_1280We moved on Friday, as most of you know. We flew north on a helicopter (which wasn’t technically a helicopter, but was actually more airplane-like in substance – but don’t break my two-year-old’s heart by telling him the truth). And, lucky for me, we’re starting to say our hellos.

Many of you have asked me how I’m doing, and while I’ll be mostly be taking a break from writing and speaking until January, I did ink out a few thoughts for the Mudroom yesterday. Click here to read the entire story, or check out a few of my thoughts below…

There’s comfort in saying hello.

You see, lately, my life has felt marked by a slew of goodbyes. A couple of months ago, my husband was offered an incredible job promotion nine hundred miles away. As commuting hundreds of miles a day isn’t for the faint of heart – and because I can take care of my babies and write and speak from anywhere – we said yes.

So, we said yes to an interstate move from Oakland, California to Seattle, Washington. We said yes to new opportunities. We said yes to new adventures and yes to a new church and yes to returning to my roots, as I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and most of my immediate family and many old friends already live here.

But as good as all the yeses looked on paper, I didn’t anticipate the noes that would come along with it – just as I didn’t anticipate how hard saying goodbye would be to my insides.

Because, moving, man: it’s brutal. It’s a leaving, a divorce, a death of what was. Your heart resides in one place while your body lives in another.

“What is love?” I asked my four-year-old son last night.

“Love is sad,” he replied. I looked at him, not knowing what to say in return. Love is sad? What have his preschool teachers been teaching him? What have we been teaching him? Love is a happy thing! Exclamation points all around! Puppies and rainbows and glitter are sprinkled into our sentences when it comes to love, and our hearts are prompted to smile upwards with delight.

But I also knew that small humans are also a whole lot smarter than we big humans sometimes give them credit for. I also knew that he might have something to teach me in that moment.

“Why is love sad, buddy?”

“Love is sad because I miss people in Oakland.”

Such a cliff-hanger! Head on over to the Mudroom and read the rest of the story. Otherwise, might we all find and see Peace, even in the midst of uprootedness.

xo, c.

So, moving, transitions, change: what is it for you? How do you handle it? What do you vow to do? How do you seek and find and see Peace?

in this with you.

Oh, friends. It’s been a week. 

I’ve been rather quiet, at least in this sphere, but no matter your reaction to Tuesday’s election, I hope that you as well have been given space to mourn and to hope, to be silent and to find joy, to hug your people and hold them close.

Although I missed it, our friends and neighbors joined together to hold hands around Lake Merritt yesterday. Look it up!
Although I missed it, our friends and neighbors joined together to hold hands around Lake Merritt yesterday. Look it up!

So, if you’re interested in engaging further with me, let me point you to a couple of places around the web in which you can hear my voice:

A handful of writers, including myself, wrote responses for Christianity Today’s Gifted for Leadership blog, specifically directed toward Christian leaders. Do check out “Moving Forward After a Difficult Week” – and see if some of the short pieces resonate with you.

True story: Sometimes you realize that the Sunday you’ve had scheduled to preach – for six months, no less, on racial reconciliation, no less – comes days after a most crushing blow to the heart. I’m grateful for the prayers of the saints, near and far, and I’m grateful to Salt House for inviting me to speak. Listen to yesterday’s sermon, “Becoming We: Racial Reconciliation,” on iTunes or head to the Salt House Facebook page to watch the video.

Finally, it also just so happened that Osheta and I recorded a podcast last week – which happened to be all about our reaction to the election alongside the greater call to racial reconciliation. We pair this with the Shalom Book Club October pick, Roadmap to Reconciliation (Brenda Salter McNeil), whose book is one of the best and most practical when it comes to engaging in conversation. Click here to listen to the podcast on iTunes. 

So friends, let’s keep being in this together. Let’s keep choosing love and let’s keep denouncing hate. Let’s keep putting one foot in front of the other, and let’s keep knowing and believing and leaning into the fact that each one of us is beyond a shadow of a doubt loved, loved, loved, no matter what.

In this with you,

c.

How are you doing? How can I create a safe space for you? How are you entering into conversations of race, particularly following this week?

I am nothing, if not contradictory

I wrote this post a couple of months ago …and even though it’s just seeing the light of day now, it’s still entirely true. If you haven’t already heard, we’re moving to Seattle in a week and a half – and I’m still feeling the pain and the pull of every contradiction under the sun. 

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I am nothing, if not contradictory.

You see, my husband had a big meeting this morning – a big meeting that could mean a big promotion and an even bigger move, hundreds of miles away, for our family. The idea of all these “big things” have been on the back burner of our lives for a while: I’ve known that we might eventually make a move out of the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve known that I can do what I do anywhere, and that if one of those dream opportunities for him came along, we’d pack our bags.

But I didn’t expect it to happen after just having moved a year and a half ago, right when we’re starting to feel settled and plugged into and rooted in a place that feels so terribly us.

So the end result is that what my mouth says and what my heart actually feels, and what I’m supposed to believe about the situation and what I actually believe about the situation, are completely contradictory. And there’s not even an offer on the table yet.

This, for instance, is how I want to respond:

“Yay!”

“Hurrah!”

“This is exciting! Change is good! Starting over is an adventure!

I want to pump my fists in the air and use all the exclamation points I can muster; I want to high-five people when they ask me if I’m excited about the possibility of moving. I want to squeal with glee when I think about living closer to family and in proximity to friends I’ve known for twenty-plus years.

Everything about it makes sense.

I want to relish in the thought of returning home, I really do.

But instead, my fingers squeeze the crumpled-up Kleenex I’ve been clutching all day. I dab at tears that unexpectedly spring to my eyes when I think about leaving this place, this church, this community. And it’s like I understand, maybe for the very first time, Paul’s words to the Romans, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (7:15). The verse is about the nature of sin, but I also think Paul’s talking about the slew of contradictions that have flooded his world.

And I get that part.

It’s like my brain is trying to tell the rest of my body, this is not who we are! This is not how we react, how we respond, how we approach seemingly insurmountable obstacles. This is what I want to tell the world around me, but at least for now, I tell a different story.

Of course, I wrote all of this to my best friend before I decided to confess it to all of you – and, of course, her reply was exactly what I needed to hear.

“Day by day we adjust to our reality. It will never stay the same. I want it to stay the same! And I want variety and change and newness! And stability! And adventure!”

She lends me her wisdom in the first two sentences – but then, almost seamlessly, she makes me laugh over my own contradictory nature at the end. Through it all, she sees me and she loves me, despite every seemingly contradictory emotion.

Because the truth is this: challenges will come. Some will be of our own choosing, while some will stray far from our plans of our lives. But regardless of who made the choice and regardless of our particular circumstance, we adjust because we don’t have any other choice.

Then we play Momastery’s mantra on repeat:

We can do hard things.

We can do hard things.

We can do hard things.

We say it over and over again, until a little, tiny piece of our hearts starts to believe it could be true some day. We choose to believe that the Holy One sees us and loves us, all the same, despite our oh-so-obvious humanity.

We go forth, being our bravest and our most real selves, even if tears flood our eyes, even if our hearts scream in protest, even if we feel a most contradictory version of ourselves.

Then we look at each other and say, “In this messy thing called life with you.”

You in?

It was true two months ago, in the midst of not-yet-knowing, and it’s truer still, in the midst of knowing and saying good-bye. So, what can I ask you? How are you nothing, if not contradictory? How are YOU doing hard things? 

Join me at the ONE conference!

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Friends, I am honored and elated and slightly flabbergasted to find myself speaking at the ONE Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska in April …and I’d love for you to join me!

Because, what does it mean to believe unity is possible, especially when it comes to conversations of race? 

If you consider yourself a “together person,” then please join us April 21st and 22nd. I’d love for you to join us, because I’d love to meet and connect with you!

Today’s the FIRST day of early bird registration, so head on over to the website and register today! Check out the line up of speakers. Read about the vision two friends, Deidra Riggs and Michelle DeRusha, had in seeing this conference come to fruition. Even if you can’t join us, you can spread the word, so link to website information on your favorite social media outlets.

instagram-speaker-cm

Would you do that for us?

Otherwise, if you’re the praying type, we’d love it if you prayed for this time together, as we come to mind. 

Hope to see you in April!

xo, c.

So, are you going? Will you help to spread the word and even more importantly, elevate the conversation of unity? 

31 books I can’t live without: Roadmap to Reconciliation (31)

This month I’m participating in the #write31days challenge by highlighting 31 books I can’t live without – and today’s our last day! Check out this post for more information, and otherwise, read on. 

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unknown-3Title: Roadmap to Reconciliation

Author: Brenda Salter McNeil

Synopsis: “We are ready to rise up. But how, exactly, do we do this? How does one reconcile? What we need is a clear sense of direction. Based on her extensive consulting experience with churches, colleges and organizations, Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil has created a roadmap to show us the way. She guides us through the common topics of discussion and past the bumpy social terrain and political boundaries that will arise.”

Why I can’t live without this book: K. Y’all know I’m passionate about issues of racial justice, healing and reconciliation …and if you don’t know that, well, then, let’s sit down to a spot of tea so I can tell you all about it. And when I speak on this topic, this is the #1 book I recommend to (mostly white) people who are engaging on the conversation of race, many for the first time. Doctor Brenda’s words will be like a balm to your soul, so please, enter into dialogue and be changed. (Also, this was the Shalom Book Club pick for the month of October – look for the podcast soon!)

(One of my) favorite quotes: “I cannot say that I love people if I don’t care about the policies that negatively affect them.” Um, yes.

So, Roadmap to Reconciliation: have you read it? And did it change the way you think about issues of race, particularly in the church context?

*Post contains Amazon Affiliate links

31 books I can’t live without: Jesus Feminist (30)

This month I’m participating in the #write31days challenge by highlighting 31 books I can’t live without. Check out this post for more information, and otherwise, read on! 

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unknown-2Title: Jesus Feminist

Author: Sarah Bessey

Synopsis: “Gender roles have been debated for centuries, and now Sarah Bessey offers a clarion freedom call for all who want to realize their giftedness and potential in the kingdom of God. Through a thoughtful review of biblical teaching and church practices, Bessey shares how following Jesus made a feminist out of her.”

Why I can’t live without this book: If you haven’t already noticed, there’s a significant theme of permission that stems from many of the books highlighted this last month. And Sarah Bessey’s Jesus Feminist is no exception. I practically popped out of the womb a Christian. And I also popped out of the womb a feminist, although for a long time I didn’t think the two could go together and I didn’t think I was allowed to think as such. Well, let her give you permission as well, friends. I dare you.

(One of my) favorite quotes: “Rest in your God-breathed worth. Stop holding your breath, hiding your gifts, ducking your head, dulling your roar, distracting your soul, stilling your hands, quieting your voice, and satiating your hunger with the lesser things of this world.” Yes. Rest. 

So, Jesus Feminist: did you read it? Did it change you or provide yearned-for permission for you? 

*Post contains Amazon Affiliate links:

31 books I can’t live without: Leaving Church (29)

This month I’m participating in the #write31days challenge by highlighting 31 books I can’t live without. Check out this post for more information, and otherwise, read on! 

Many old books combined by a heap. Russian saying 'Knowledge - light, ignorance - darkness'

unknown-1Title: Leaving Church

Author: Barbara Brown Taylor

Synopsis: “Barbara Brown Taylor, once hailed as one of America’s most effective and beloved preachers, eloquently tells the moving and delightful story of her search to find an authentic way of being Christian—even when it meant giving up her pulpit.”

Why I can’t live without this book: Sometimes I wonder if time affects the reading of a book. Case in point: I read this book the year after leaving ministry. My experience in leaving was so hard to explain, so I found myself grateful for BBT’s way of expressing that which I couldn’t yet find the words to say. She gave me the gift I didn’t know I needed, when I needed it most. Will it be the same for you? I’m not sure – but please, please, please give it a try nonetheless.

(One of my) favorite quotes: “Salvation is not something that happens only at the end of a person’s life. Salvation happens every time someone with a key uses it to open a door he could lock instead.”

So, Leaving Church: love it or hate it? BBT: is she your spirit animal …or not so much? 

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