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Falling Upward: A...
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Intimacy with God by Thomas Keating
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Part manual. Part theory. Part memoir. I enjoyed reading about centering prayer and lectio divine from the source of one who helped define the terms. Some parts of the book were over my head and admittedly I will never practice these disciplines to t ...more
Gigi wants to read 30 books in the 2019 Reading Challenge
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Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
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I literally slogged through book. Normally I am a fast reader, but I never connected to the characters, never bought the plot. All in all my opinion of the book is that it is not worth the read.
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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
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Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
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Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
Between, Georgia
by Joshilyn Jackson (Goodreads Author)
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A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara (Goodreads Author)
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Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey
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C.S. Lewis
“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”
C.S. Lewis

Elizabeth Gilbert
“So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together.
In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page:

I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.

Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from
me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page.

Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND…

I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert
“As smoking is to the lungs, so is resentment to the soul; even one puff is bad for you.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert
“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Marva J. Dawn
“Reality is what we notice on the surface – what we feel or see, what superficial perspectives we might gain, for example, from television's evening news. Truth is much larger. It encompasses everything that genuinely is going on. The reality might be that our world looks totally messed up, that war and economic chaos seem to control the globe. But the truth is much deeper – that Jesus Christ is still (since His ascension) Lord of the cosmos, and the Holy Spirit is empowering many people to work for peacemaking and justice building as part of the Trinity's purpose to bring the universe to its ultimate wholeness. The reality might be that you do not feel God, but the truth is that God is always present with you, perpetually forgiving you, and unceasingly caring for you with extravagant grace and abundant mercy. Not only that, but the very process of dealing with our lack of feelings and our resultant doubts about God is one of the ways by which our trust in the Trinity is deepened.”
Marva J. Dawn, Being Well When We're Ill: Wholeness and Hope in Spite of Infirmity

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