Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Life Transforming Books

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.

I use books for most of my sheltering gifts.  A baby shower calls for Day-votions for Mothers (Rebecca Barlow Jordan), a teen will receive Start Here: Do Hard Things Right Where You Are (Alex Harris), a new grandmother is gifted Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting: Passing on a Legacy of Faith (Lydia Harris) and Just Mom and Me Having Tea: A Fun Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Mary Murray) is my pick for a young child.  I could go on and on here...just because I so love gifting books that meet people where they are in life.

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.

The stack beside my chair -- and my wish list -- grow holding books like Naomi Zachirias' The Scent of Water: Grace for Every Kind of Broken, Bev Hislop's Shepherding Women in Pain: Real Issues and What You Need to Know to Help and Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Seeking Him: Finding the Joy of Personal Revival.

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.


no spring chicken said...

I could have written this post! If I were as talented as you...

Love the flowers, how about a small pom pom? A button?

blessings, Debbie

My daily walk in His grace! said...

Hi Pamela. I also love books. And it seems one of my daughters caught the bug with a double dose. I love books that tell of how someone made it through hardship, overcomers, Christian fiction but not the fluffy stuff and like you, a book that will transform. I ran out of dingy book cases and hubby had to make me a mini library (really mini but I love it!)
God bless


Oh yes, Pamela, we share this in common.


Rebecca said...

I'm with Debbie (above)! Many of the books you've mentioned are among my favorites. There are a few I haven't heard of...

Books have their seasons in my life. I return to some of them time and time again with fresh & increased appreciation. Celebration of Discipline (Richard Foster) is one such book.

I'm going to find and read Nancy Leigh DeMoss' "Seeking Him: Finding the Joy of Personal Revival."

I like the title of the one for graduates: "Start Here: Do Hard Things Right Where You Are". There's enough in that TITLE to challenge me today!

Shore Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shore Girl said...

I started reading early on in life and used to devour (christian) fiction books quite rapidly. As life moved on and I got busier there was less time for reading. My tastes changed over the years and I'm in your camp now --- when there's time for reading I usually pick A. A true story or B. something inspirational that will help me on this journey we call life.
Of course being a homeschool mom I get to read LOTS of FUN children's books and I enjoy them now more than ever!

As for the flowers -- a fun button in the middle looks nice.

Southern Lady said...

I agree with you totally. My daughter is a true book lover. A couple of years ago we asked her if she wanted a Kindle (since she is a technically savy teenager), she responded with a resounding NO! She said that she just loves the feel of a book in her hand. Now, that little girl is headed off to college to major in English...go figure. Thanks for coming to visit my blog. I look forward to getting to know you! Carla

Sam @ The Junk House said...

I love reading too! I try to read every night before bed, so I might have to print out that quote and frame it! As for the flowers, I'd say a button or a rhinestone (for some bling!).

Rebecca said...

I'm reading one of the books you have pictured (1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp), and I'm really enjoying it. Thank you for the book suggestions! I like to hear of good books that are out there. Blessings!
(As far as the flower, I, too, would suggest a button.)

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Safely Home was SO moving -- yes! As for nonfiction, I love What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey.

NatureFootstep said...

interesting. :)

Anonymous said...

I loved dropping by your blog today. This post on books is awesome. Thanks for the links to the books.
The Five Little Pepper's books brought back a quick memory for me.
I am always reading two or three books at a time. I love to read!
Blessings to you!
Google comments are not working; so I will sign in under anonymous.
Here is my link: Living Waters by LeAnn


I linked my post today (on books) to your post here on books.

Homemaker Honey said...

Thank you for sharing your love of books and the cute book page flowers - how-to! I agree, something should be placed in the middle...something that sparkles! I'm sharing this with my readers. Bloggy love will be posted tomorrow a.m.

Homemaker Honey
homemakerhoney @gmail .com

Meara said...

Pamela, thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. I'm following you now and looking forward to reading more!

The Dickinsons said...

Mrs. Pam, Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. We love our sweet baby Mary that Jesus has loaned us. (Jesus just helped us take her 8 month pictures...all packed up in a suitcase labeled "Argentina." =)

Loved your "newsprint flowers". I thought that maybe a black or red button would look cute in the middle?

Your prayers mean sooo MUCH to us! Would love to go out for coffee and have a chat with you and your hubby. (I don't know if you drink coffee...but I do know that your husband used to by the cupfuls. =) I loved it when he helped us in the morning at SCCA. He didn't bend over our desks with morning breath...but with coffee breath which was MUCH more refreshing. Hee! Hee!
Have a super night!

Sabina@Slip Stitches & More said...

Hi Pamela,
I too love to read. My favorite reads are English and early American literature. I can read them over and over. As for the paper flower, I'd make a paper button out of colored construction paper (red outlined in black marker or vise versa)I'd apply it to the flower's center with a single piece of thin cotton yarn.
I've returned the follow and so happy you stopped by :)

Cathy said...

I love books too, but I have to confess that I sometimes don't finish them. My mother used to love to read. Thanks for the suggestions. Blessings ~

Gifts By Katherine said...

I devour books. I have always loved to read. Often have more than one going at a time. Thank you for following along at Gifts By Katherine. Big Hugs!

Holly said...

Books are my favorite mommy time~!

Crystal Mary said...

Hello dear sweet Pamela. I am a book lover...they take you on wonderful journeys and often give such hope. Yes I also often give a book as a gift. The flower pages are just lovely. Hugs to you today. Crystal from Oz.

Mary @ Redo 101 said...

I love to read, too, and it's always so nice to meet a reading buddy! Such a wonderful idea to gift books to your family and friends. Thanks for sharing. I'm "following" you back, thanks for your visit to Redo and your follow.

Laurie said...

New Blog Hop Follower, I love Coach Purses, I coupon to get them. I have hundreds they are my pride and joy!
Hope you can follow me back, http://granitestatesavers.blogspotcom

Adelina Priddis said...

thanks for following! I love books too, way more than purses, shoes and makeup :) A cute button might look good in the middle of the flowers. I recently made a book page wreath http://homemaidsimple.blogspot.com/2011/05/sentimental-sunday-books.html

Renee Ann said...

I'm all about books. I loved Silver Boxes, Safely Home, and The Five Little Peppers--at different times in my life! Your book flowers are adorable. So glad I stopped in to see them. Blessings!

meijo's JOY said...

Wow for the post and I am the 26th to comment...yeah, your post is wow x 26 and more to come! As for the lovely flower...it's just simply perfect..I would paste a black hair pin behind it and make it into a book mark that will be a super reading companion!

JRFrugalMom said...

The power of a good book is amazing. I recently went to the store closing of a local Borders store, and it surely was depressing.

Thank you for participating in last week’s Wednesday Window @ Frugality Is Free. I hope you’ll stop by to link up your favorite blog post this week as well.

Debbie Griggs said...

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts has been life-transforming for me.. I love her encouragement to daily bless God and list the gifts He gives us. Valdosta her thoughts on the Eucharist and it's meaning were so insightful.

Debbie Griggs said...

Sorry, I had trouble changing mistakes on this phone. I meant I love her insight on the Eucharist- very meaningful. Also Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis was an autobiography by an exceptional young lady who has quite a ministry to orphans in Uganda. She is single, in her twenties, and has 13 adopted girls. Such an amazing story of a young lady who has given all to serve Jesus