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Sue Monk Kidd
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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,063 ratings  ·  133 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 realization of who one is begins to dawn. These moments may be huge-or they may
Audio CD, 4 pages
Published October 10th 2006 by Books on Tape (first published October 5th 2006)
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3.88  · 
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 ·  1,063 ratings  ·  133 reviews

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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
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An odd book, collecting Kidd’s early spiritual reflections from Guideposts magazine. Each chapter holds to a loose theme, with numerous short stories, reflections and vignettes on the theme. Some reflections were insightful, beautifully written and interesting. Other reflections were over-thought, preachy, and immature.

Kidd’s thoughts inspired me to look at the world differently and to perhaps do a little writing of my own.I particularly enjoyed her thoughts on motherhood and parenting.
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.
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful compilation of finding God in the everyday... This is one of those books that I continue to think about on a daily basis
Debbie Smith
"I ponder the seasons of love in a life, knowing that there is a time to hold on and a time to let go, a time to tag along and a time to wave goodbye."

I am not much for short stories, this book did not find me in the right season. It just didn't fit where I am right now.
Jean Marie Angelo
I needed something to soothe my soul and I found it. I picked up Firstlight at a used book sale and it sat on my nightstand for 15 months. I started reading it because I needed short, well-writte bursts of insight and inspiration. I liked Sue Monk Kidd's Secret Life of Bees and it is one of the few books that I began rereading as soon as I completed it. While it might be argued that her writing is too sweet, at times, there is a grit and reality that is always there.

Firstlight is early non ficti
Dana Beyer
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual, community
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
Juliana Haught
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
_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 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.

Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a warm blanket in which I wanted to wrap myself, a house in which I wanted to dwell. It's safe and comfortable and perfect for a winter's eve by the fire. It's the right balance of story and moral (though, beware, every story she tells has deeper meaning than what you see on the surface, so if you're not into that sort of thing...). It's the right balance of telling and inspiring insight, and makes me feel like I'm learning life's lessons alongside the author. It also inspires me to ...more
Aug 22, 2007 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
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.
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
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!
Jul 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual-memoir
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.

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.
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some early stories and essays written by the bestselling author on self and her spiritual thinking. The stories reflect on her roles as wife, mother, daughter, nurse, and artist; and assesses what she has learned in settings from far-away places like Africa and from her own life and home. Many uplifting thoughts about life and how we are to behave towards others.
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Janet Mahlum
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on CD and couldn't stop listening. It is really a book that needs to be read, like a devotional, bit by bit, piece by piece. I loved it so much I have ordered a copy for a dear friend. I'm not a big fan of Guidepost, but am a big fan of Sue Monk Kidd. She has a beautiful way with words and has some wonderful "guidelights" to share.
Sharon Hardin
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful little book that can be read in short doses or all at once. Spirituaity is a favorite theme for my reading and Kidd's lovely prose taken from her early writings did not disappoint. This is not a book of theology, but a book about a young woman searching for meaning and a real relationship with God and creation.
Jun 26, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I picked this up because I love Sue Monk Kidd's later works and thought I might get some enjoyment out of reading a writer's earlier works, but it mainly focuses on her relationship with her husband, kids and God, none of which did much for me.
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exquisitely written inspirational short stories chock full of spiritual insights. Some of them made me cry. I often would stop and just take a moment to hold the words in my heart. I love Sue Monk Kidd. She inspires me to write about my life.
Jul 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this. The importance of story. The meaning in everyday. Stillness. A nice companion to "The Quotidian Mysteries" by Kathleen Norris (I keep track of all she writes!) Really beautiful and reflective.
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love beautiful writers and I'm a sucker for anything that receives a starred review in PW. Sue Monk Kidd has a way of painting with her words, especially in this book. These were all stories that appeared in Guideposts.
 Barb Bailey
This book was excellent. I used it as a devotional and journaled alot of the inspirational messages. A nice surprise when I found it on the shelves in the library as I was unaware that Sue Monk Kidd had written inspirational books.
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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
“In the end, the only monument that matters may be the work of love we carve into the lives around us.” 0 likes
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