I used to have two clutch questions I’d ask kids after we got back from a week at Young Life camp. Sitting over an iced white chocolate americano with room, I’d first ask them this: think back about our week – describe to me your perfect snapshot moment of a memory. [I know, total former English teacher move; quick, the five senses!]. And what a perfect picture their mind would paint! Then I’d look them in the eyes and ask them this: how are you different now than when you stepped on the bus two weeks ago? I’m asking those same “camp” questions with Shauna Niequist’s new book, Bread & Wine.
A good book changes you. It makes you think differently and act accordingly; you question your own norms – why you do what you’ve always done – and you make a small change here, you tap into a different belief there. Like Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet before it, Shauna’s easy, conversational writing style is also one of truth-telling power; and beckoning the reader in, we too are invited into action. So, how did this book change me?
It’s prompted me to…
1. Pick up a cookbook and read it like a good novel. [Up next for me: Giada’s Family Dinners.]
2. Be comfortable in my own skin.
3. Tell stories. Tell lots and lots of stories.
4. Let others in, even on a weeknight.
5. Have that go-to drop-off meal; for Shauna, it’s enchiladas. For me, it’s a brown rice-crust “everything but the kitchen sink” quiche.
6. Experiment. Substitute. Make it my own.
7. (And God said…), Let there be spit-up on the floor.
8. Keep on eating the leftovers. And I thought I was the only one.
9. Plant a garden. [Shauna doesn’t really plant a garden in her book, but as my auntie said the other day, “Honey, you’ve got Farmer in your blood.” I’m starting small, but beets, carrots and strawberries, here we come!]
10. Be a brave truth-teller.
11. Slurp up metaphors and similes like they’re going out of style.
12. Find weekly go-to meals.
13. Live a life of passion and daring.
14. Remember that real life is found and remembered in the little moments, and not when I’m all fancied up in cocktail attire. (Don’t get me wrong: that, too, is good, but this goes back to #4 above).
15. Celebrate big. Celebrate well. And always, always make sure the bacon-wrapped dates are plentiful.
16. Be a thoughtful consumer.
17. Believe this: “Food is a reminder of our humanity, our fragility, our createdness” (236). YES.
18. Keep a pantry list of go-to items, unique to our family’s needs.
I could go on, but you’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty good list already! Thank you, Shauna, for a book that prompts change!
So, are you ready? Want to win a copy? I’ll mail it directly to you from Amazon – contest open from 9 am – 9 pm tonite (Friday).
Update: congrats JEANNIE for being today’s book drawing winner! Check your mailbox soon for the book!
Simply leave a comment below: What book prompted change in you? How? (DO start following be, mama. be on Facebook and/or even better, by getting posts mailed directly to you and subscribing directly – thank you! This matters!)0