Life transforming ideas have always come to me through books. ~Oliver Wendall Holmes
Books, oh how I love them. Some women love shoes, some clothes, and others go bonkers over the cosmetic counter. And let's not forget purses! While I like a pair of shoes -- if they are comfortable, and a new purse -- if it's leather and holds at least four books -- I can pass them up if I know there's a bookstore around.
When Emily was small we took her to story hour at Barnes and Noble. One evening she handed me a book and said, "Doesn't this book feel so good in your hands?" I knew then that I had brought the right baby home from the hospital.
Books have been my friends ever since I can remember. When I was about 10 or 11, I was in the hospital for some testing. My church family got me Five Little Peppers and how they Grew. When you opened it, a beautiful picture of the Peppers greeted you. But when you turned to the first page, it was upside down. For some reason that delighted me.
I love the above quote by Oliver Wendall Holmes. Books have formed me into the person I am today. When I won the sword drill at Vacation Bible School Pastor Durfee gave me a copy of Halley's Bible Commentary. I was twelve and thrilled. I loved reading the background of what life was like in Bible times. Authors like Alexandria Stoddard shaped my thinking in making a beautiful home. Emilee Barnes gave me more hours in my day. Marjorie Holmes brought the characters of the Bible alive.
Since my early days of marriage many, many additional books have found their way into my hands to make their impression on my heart. Florence Littauer's Silver Boxes echoed deep within me as I read the sheltering she encouraged. Anne Graham Lotz's Just Give Me Jesus made me fall in love with my Savior all over again. Henri Nouwen brought me to my knees with The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life. Randy Alcorn's Safely Home moved me like none other (If you haven't read it I implore you to). It will change your life.
Oh I read a lot of books. Thinkertoys (Michael Michlko), Word Painting (Rebecca McClanahan) and Lighten Up (Peter Walsh) but these are just to gain information. For books that transform I read authors including Beth Moore, Ann Voskamp and Kay Arthur.
If a favorite author comes out with a fiction book I just may read it -- I read a handful last year. But if you find me with a book in my hands it will probably be one I'm hoping will help me see life more clearly -- one that teaches me about my Heavenly Father, shows me how to love my Jesus more and do more for others through the nudging of the Holy Spirit. And through it all I'll be listening or reading to the Greatest Book -- the Book God wrote -- because His book is truly life transforming.