Soul Food

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I know, I know…I’ve been really off and unpredictable with posting lately. Sorry about that, but well, August. We all need a break, right? But I’m pulling it together and will do better. I’m excited to dive back in, so you’ll hear from me, but  I’d love to hear from you too!

One of my deepest desires for this space is that it would delight and refresh your soul. I want there to be laughter and fun and creativity mixed in with some of the more intense stuff of life. I’ve been trying to think of a name for posts where I share resources, and so far I’ve landed on “Soul food”.  If you have other ideas, let me know!

How about starting with a great song to remind you of your identity?

Want a great leadership resource? I’ve written about how valuable the Willow Creek Leadership Summit has been for us over the past 20 years. Now there’s a free app (GLSnext)  that has great video snippets of some of the best talks over the years. I love it because you can browse by topic or speaker and get many videos under 3 minutes long with valuable leadership lessons.

So far, three of my favorite short videos are Hybels on Incessant Tinkering, Stanley on Implementing Lasting Change, and Chris Brown on Leading in the Midst of Opposition. Check them out!

Here’s a video describing it further.

How about a good book?

Since David’s death I’ve been reading a bunch of stuff on grief, and prayer. Hard to reconcile the emotion and experience of loss in the face of faithful persistent prayer with the words of Scripture.

More on that later, but I’ve been re-reading the classic Lewis book, A Grief Observed from his journal after his wife died.

Also, Yancey’s brutally honest, intense and thorough book on prayer – Does it Make Any Difference?

And my sister-in-law Susan gave all of us an excellent, practical devotional on the grief process – Grieving the Loss of Someone you Love. I feel like it is especially relevant for a spouse or parent.

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Other than these, I’ve been on a roll, reading some wonderful, engaging books I’ve loved!  

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Our daughter, Maggie, recommended We Are Called to Rise and it didn’t disappoint. It is gritty, intense, disconcerting and hopeful and so well written. I’ll let the author describe the plot for you.

And a couple of other wonderful reads…

My friend Sally recommended The Nightingale  by Kristin Hannah – a story about two very different sisters who become French Resistance workers during World War 2, each serving in her own way. It’s a fantastic book with a very satisfying ending.

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The last book I couldn’t put down, but I wanted to, because I wanted to savor it as long as I could!  Dear Mr. Knightley is a thoroughly delightful, even if predictable, treat.  It’s like a cross between Daddy Longlegs and You’ve Got Mail. Although I didn’t know it going in, the author is clearly a Christian, but the book isn’t “Christian fiction”. Book lovers, especially those who like Jane Austen, will appreciate all the literary references.

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And lastly, some literal food! Baconbaconbacon! Here’s the easiest, most delicious way to fancy-up, delicious-up a brunch, courtesy of daughters, Maggie and Katy. Just cut up the raw bacon into bite-sized pieces, toss it with brown sugar, and then some fresh rosemary. Set your oven for 350 and cook for about 20 minutes or til it’s as crisp as you like.

You’re welcome!

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So there you go! What “soul food” have you been devouring lately?

 

 

9 Comments

  1. Dear Laura,
    My soul food for the past year has been my “Jesus Calling” daily devotional book which was introduced to us by Charlie Alcorn. That coupled with sermons from Dan Meyers at Christ Church of Oak Brook, and Joel Oosteen when we don’t get to church. I must say since learning of Dave’s illness and reading your writings, you have become my soul food. I find it totally amazing how you, Susan and your entire family continue to give and give and comfort everyone else in the midst of your grief. I have to tell you a story about Dave. Sometime in late April, he stopped me in the hall of our office and asked me how I was doing. I had had surgery for colon cancer two years before. I told him “fine, it was a miracle that we found it” I told him I was eating a lot of greens, spinach et el, praying and staying positive. He gave me that big, handsome, reassuring smile of his and said, “that’s wonderful Kaaren!” I did not know Dave had cancer then. I don’t think I found out until the end of May when I saw him from behind walking with a walker into his office. I walked into the Tech Room, close the door and was told. I stood with my hands over my face for twenty minutes in disbelief. Dave’s death has been a life-changing experience for me and I know he would have wanted it that way. He was always purposeful for Jesus. I just want you to know that you and your entire family are amazing and I love you for what you are doing. I pray for your continued strength and peace. Kaaren Oldfield

    • Thanks for the book suggestions on grief and prayer. I’m reading Joy in the Journey right now and finding it very good for the soul. I loved We are Called to Rise and am reading The Nightingale right now! It too is very good. The two contrasting approaches to survival demonstrated by the two sisters is great! I’ve not posted as much as usual either…summer! Time to enjoy doing other things! Blessings, Joanne

    • Oh Karen, thank you so much for sharing this and for your beautiful, encouraging words. It means so much to all of us to hear of ways that David shared the love of Jesus. I’m so thankful you are doing well! (That smile WAS infectious wasn’t it 🙂 )

  2. Dear Laura
    You are missed when you go off for a few days, but it’s understandable. I’m always caught between a rock and a hard place with my reading because I want to read everything but sometimes it ends up being only a few chapters and then I’m on to something else. I’m going through an old book I bought a few years ago entitled Know Your Faith and as a long time believer I am challenged to consider afresh my beliefs, which I realize one can take so much for granted. Also enjoyed reading a bit of Billy Graham’s book The Reason for My Hope this morning, again just a refreshing reminder of God’s love for us in His redeeming us to Himself. On a lighter note, when I get a few minutes I’m reading The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina IngelMan-Sundberg. My Mom enjoyed this book which she read when she visited in the late spring, as I heard her laughing from time to time, on the escapades of the main characters.
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share and I continue to be encouraged by reading your posts.

  3. I am one who has anywhere from 2-4 books going at one time! Usually I’ll have a variety of fiction and non- fiction and at least one devotional read…but the past 2 weeks I’ve been most interested in John Medina’s, Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby. Then there’s the No Cry Potty Training Solution and finally Birthing Naturally after a Cesarean. Can you tell what stage of life I’m in?! Hahaha But excited to start Mom-to -Mom this next month and a Women’s small group. (At our new church here in Boston!) Two different Bible based reads to add in the mix for my spiritual food 🙂

    • Fantastic, T! It’s great to hear recommendations for different seasons of life! And I’m so glad you’re connecting in community in your new home too.

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