Sometimes a book changes you, in all the best possible ways. Bread and Wine did this for me last year, and Micha’s book does it for me now. The undisclosed truth is this: I’m totally and completely 100% biased towards this author. I mean, she’s my real-life friend whom I beg to hang out with on a regular basis. But – but, but, but – she’s also the real deal. She’s this displaced, mid-19th century Romantic poet of sorts, who thinks and chews and feels each and every beauty-filled word that lands on the page. Micha is authentic and she’s raw and she’s not afraid to step into the unknown foggy gray of the journey. Friends, I’d say she’s worth celebrating. So, how then did this book change me?
It’s prompted me to…
1. Let me be okay with my sometimes-believer status: “I am a sometimes-believer, in love with Jesus. I am a mystic who can’t grip tight enough to the mystical … Mostly, I long to know a quietness in my soul, true contentment, despite my spiritual unimpressiveness. I need to believe that my simple life really is a gift and really can be holy.”
2. See a spiritual director again.
3. Make the HBH (Hot Black Husband) call me “Darling.” Yes, please!
4. Seek after alliteration, like this: “…the thick holiness of hope.”
5. Notice God in the smallest and most ordinary of everyday ways.
6. Hit up a monastery (again).
7. Admit doubt. Sit in the gray. Not have or know or pretend to possess all the answers.
8. Get to know the saints who have gone before me: “…Jean-Pierre de Caussade, an eighteenth-century French Jesuit, wrote that Christ comes to us in a fresh way every moment, every day. We don’t have to separate the secular from the sacred. Christ is alive right now, in all of it.”
9. Ask questions.
10. Pull a Micha, and, well, actually write that book I tinker with here and there.
11. Acknowledge weakness and extend mercy.
12. Lean in to the concept of mystery.
13. Put on my Big Girl Panties: “I’ve been wondering what gives us courage, what makes a desire grow fat enough with hope that it miraculously weighs heavier, larger than our fears.”
14. Remember that less is more. Pray those one-word prayers, like this: Okay.
15. Read a bit of poetry. [The English Teacher Formerly Known As Myself typically shuns it …and why?]
16. Be okay with this: “I have spent my life performing for people, for God, for myself. I have begged for a grander story than the small, beautiful life I’ve been given.”
17. Go and visit Austin. And Philadelphia. And Syracuse …because Micha makes them sound so dreamy!
18. See the holy. Cultivate grace.
(All bolded passages are Micha’s – page numbers not included, as words are quoted from an ARC).