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Firstlight: The Early Inspirational Writings of Sue Monk Kidd
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Firstlight: The Early Inspirational Writings of Sue Monk Kidd

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  711 ratings  ·  93 reviews
"At the core of personal spiritual writing is a hungering for wholeness, for self, for meaning. The question of 'Who am I?' reverberates quietly in these pages as does a willingness to be known." - Sue Monk Kidd. In every life there are defining moments when one's heart begins to open, when the realisation of who one is begins to dawn. These moments may be huge - or they m ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 10th 2006 by GuidepostsBooks (first published October 5th 2006)
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This book was the breath of fresh air I've been needing for a long time. I love SMK's writing, especially her spiritual writings. This book is a compilation of all the short narratives she wrote for Guideposts when she was just starting out as a writer. I usually write down quotes that I love from books I'm reading, and I might as well have copied this whole book into my journal. The stories are inspiring, and insightful. She can take the simplest observation in an ordinary day and turn it into ...more
Heather Mauriello
I actually cried twice while reading this. Some of the stories were not as relevant to me, but obviously some really hit home! I love that I could read as many as I wanted and then put the book down and come back to the next few stories.
Beautiful compilation of finding God in the everyday... This is one of those books that I continue to think about on a daily basis
Dana Beyer
It is amazing book about finding the 'still small voice' inside her. Sue bases this book on her own l family life. She is able to see God everywhere in everyone. This quote is an example of the simplicity and compassion in her descriptive writing prose: "I have one of those wooden Russian nesting dolls. If you open her up, you find another doll inside, and if you open that one up, you will find still another doll. In fact you can keep opening until you have nine separate dolls standing in a row, ...more
I usually find myself shying away from story collections but this one has become a particular favorite of mine. I listened to the audio version of this book which is a collection of 4 cd's. I found myself so moved, and at times enlightened, that I chose to start each cd over to listen to them a second time. Sue Monk Kidd's way of really seeing the lessons in the small glimpses of everyday life has made me more observant in my own daily life. Now it is up to me to continue that mindful observance ...more
3.5 stars. She writes beautifully and I cried/got teary several times while reading this one - in a good way. Most of the entries are only a couple of pages long and while the book is broken into "themes", it's very loose and you can just turn to a page anywhere for a quick read. This isn't normally the kind of book I pick up, but I'm glad I did.
Juliana Haught
_Firstlight_ is a collection of essays written by Kidd, grouped by topic rather than chronology, and even within each topic the essays aren't arranged in chronological order. The author reveals different moments in her personal growth as a spiritual person in a very accessible, vulnerable way. Kidd writes from a Christian background, I believe Episcopalian. She is an incredibly poetic and visual writer - I'd read just about anything by her on any topic just to hear her words fall like music insi ...more
I really like Sue Monk Kidd's novels, so I've wanted to read this collection of her early writing (mostly from articles in Guideposts magazine). I had a hard time with this book, mostly because it was poorly edited, I think. Each chapter or "theme" contains snippets from many different articles, which are sort of related but jump around way too much. I liked and related to many of the stories she told to illustrate her points, but I just couldn't get past the jumbled feel of the collection.
I read this book based on an interview I saw Kidd do with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. I was disappointed in the book. I was expecting it to be more like the interview.
It was a nice little book. Snippets of her life were shared within the pages. Sometimes I feel it is good to read an authors earlier writing so you have a sense of where they came from.
I borrowed this from my mom and I'm not sure I want to give it back. I find Kidd's spiritual writing to be moving, on target and very helpful. I want to sit down with her and have a long conversation. She is so honest about where she is in her life - I want to be that honest. I also wish I could write like Monk.

These essays were mostly published in Guideposts long before Monk became a famous novelist. She has gone back and edited them a bit, but it appears Monk has always been a good writer.

Aug 22, 2007 Katherine is currently reading it
Sue Monk Kidd is awesome. I love her fiction writings, and her nonfiction/theology is also wonderful. She addresses the issue of what it means to be female and Christian--what is unique and beautiful and important about that experience. Firstlight is a collection of her earliest writings (when she wrote for Guideposts). What makes her writings so beautiful is that they all touch on the small, subtle ways that God reveals Godself to her in her daily life, and her journey to discovering and redisc ...more
Catherine Greenfeder
Having read Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, I wasn't sure what to expect in her memoir, but I read it after a friend gifted me with it and was delighted by its beautiful prose. The book not only gave me insight into Kidd's personal life as she grew up in the South where she raised a family, worked as a nurse, found a personal connection to her Christian values, and became an award winning writer, but it made me reflect on the things that truly matter. Firstlight is heart warming and in ...more
Betsy Rowlandd
Like a ray of sunshine every morning with your coffee
Rebecca Stilson
Loved it would like to read it again listen to it on CD
This book was wonderful! I found myself relating to much of what SMK was writing about. It's nice to know that we all have a connection in life of circumstances, questions, love and living. As one woman to another, our rites of passage enter twine, and what one is currently going through, another is yet to imagine.
Great writing which kept my attention. I'm sorry the book has ended and I have to return it to my Mother. This is a book I could revisit many times. Kudos to Sue Monk Kidd.
I listened to this audio book while driving, as the short inspirational essays were perfect for short distances. Although a bit too theological for my taste, Sue Monk Kidd had interesting insights on life, family life in particular. Delivered in a southern accent, these essays reminded me of certain southern family values. While I loved The Secret Life of Bees, wonderful southern fiction, I don't think I would have much cared for this book had I read it rather than listened to it.
This is the best thing I've read/listened to in a while. Kidd has transformed my commute into holy ground with her early writings of everyday spirituality. Citing favored theologians such as Anthony de Mello and Helen Prejean, she weaves her common events into contemplative moments.
This book is incredibly relate-able and calls for reflection. Thank you, Sue Monk Kidd for so honestly giving us a window into your young soul!
One of my most favorite spiritual works!
A loyal fan of Sue Monk Kidd's novels, I hadn't known she began her writing career submitting things to "Guideposts" magazine. While I find the magazine to generally be a bit emotionaloly manipulative, there was little in FIRSTLIGHT that evoked that reaction in me. FIRSTLIGHT is an enjoyable, quick read, and carries the rich, descriptive language characteristic of Ms Kidd. I especially appreciated all the book tells about her and her contemplative way of life.
James Connor
i saved a good portion of this book as i found much which i would incorporate into my life if i was able. her stories felt timeless, like the myths that are invented by all cultures to explain things. Firstlight has insights for everyone.
It was just okay for me. A bunch of short stories about people's life finding inspiration. Although, some stories were okay it didn't have much of the lesson's of life I guess I was looking for. Just seemed like alot of places where it came across this happened and this happened but not what they really got out of the lesson. Hard to explain what I'm trying to convey here. So I'll just let it go as it's okay but not life changing.
I chose this as an audiobook because I liked her book, The Secret Lives of Bees, and I was looking for a book at at time that I was getting ready to go see Mom and Dad and was pretty stressed out about decisions regarding them. I thought it might be helpful to calm my nerves, and if I didn't like her approach, I also selected another book. I did listen to it and for the most part, it did provide the calming I needed!
This is a portion of the review I wrote for my blog:

This book was an unexpected find for me - one of those books that "fell off the shelf" maybe about 8 or 10 years ago. But I still remember it for its impact on me at that time, when I was abruptly spiritually awakened by a metaphorical splash of cold water, and then was getting drenched in an ocean of revelations.

beautiful, soul breathing the crisp air on a beautiful day as you take a road trip with a very insightful, sensitive, friend
Sue Monk Kidd weaves a series of ordinary scraps and pieces of life with the imagery of words into a comforting quilt that displays how the important stuff of love and relationships grows from the small and simple moments in life. A pleasant read and refreshing to find an author today who can speak positively of her Christian roots.
Jul 11, 2008 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ANYONE!
This book was a delightful read. Each chapter covers a philosphical or religious concept. Ms. Kidd orginally wrote the essays in this book for GuidePost magazine. I marked my favorite passages to reread, and I almost NEVER do that.
I would recommend this book as a gift for anyone at any stage of life.
While Sue Monk Kidd is definitely in the league of contemplatives like Merton and Nouwen, this book was inspirational. It would probably appeal more to women than men because it explores the feminine perspective more. I am glad I read the book and it was a quick read. I gave it two stars.
Loved, loved , loved the book. If you are looking for spiritual
inspiration, this is the book. She tells stories throughout the
book and the insights at the end of each story is amazing. This is
a book that you will keep coming back to. I will be passing this book
along to many people.
I absolutely loved this book. I ended up using a highlighter on some of my favorite parts. My favorite story was about letting go and she writes about the day her son is packing his things for college and she realizes that time has flown by and her baby is grown up. I cried.
I loved this book of inspirational essays and nonfiction spiritual memoirs of Sue Kidd's life. Great for those with not much time to read. Pick it up, read an essay or two and leave it feeling great! Almost like a perfect little morning or evening devotional.
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SUE MONK KIDD was raised in the small town of Sylvester, Georgia. She graduated from Texas Christian University in 1970 and later took creative writing courses at Emory University and Anderson College, as well as studying at Sewanee, Bread Loaf, and other writers’ conferences. In her forties, Kidd turned her attention to writing fiction, winning the South Carolina Fellowship in Literature and the
More about Sue Monk Kidd...
The Secret Life of Bees The Invention of Wings The Mermaid Chair Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

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