Books! I love them, don't you?!
Have you ever read a book that changed you? I can think of a few that have moved me in different ways. For example, To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the best books I've ever read. It moved me and helped me to see how entrenched views can be. Another book series (yes! the whole series!) was the Harry Potter series. I love reading books that teach me something and that series did. J.K. Rowling did such an amazing job researching and integrating so many different legends, myths, and tales. There were times I'd put the book down just to go look up where a character's name came from. And it never failed that I would learn something new. You gotta love a book series that not only teaches you but can get kids reading who have never before picked up a book!
Even though those books were, and still are, important to me, nothing has changed me as the book I am reading now.(Besides the Bible!) Have you heard of The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson? Until about 3 months ago, I hadn't heard of this book. My brother introduced me to it and I have to say, I'm very glad he did.
I downloaded a copy onto my Kindle (the best invention EVER!) and also bought my mom a paperback copy. I had forgotten I had downloaded the book, so when she wasn't reading her copy, I picked it up and started reading. Well, about half way through the book, I spilled a very large container of tea/lemonade and the book, along with my constant-companion-of-a-calendar, were drenched. So much so that I had to throw them away.
(Side note here, every year a local credit union gives teachers in my area a free calendar that is full-size with months only. I love this calendar. I mean, I have an unhealthy addiction to this dang thing. In the 10 years I've been in education, this is the first time I've spilled on a calendar. And yes, I cried. In fact, I found an extra calendar no one was using at school and I went back through the tea/lemonade-dried-out wreck and re-created my calendar. Sad, I know!)
Well, after my calendar trauma and the farewell I had to say, I remembered I had the book on my Kindle. So, I picked it up and began reading...again. But I don't mind starting over. This book is really helping me in ways I didn't realize I needed. I've learned a few things that rather surprised me. I won't go into my personal journey because I believe that is between me & God. But, I will say that I've learned how to pray and I've learned how to truly give my troubles over to God. I know now that I had been paying lip service and wasn't being honest - with myself or with God. He knew it, and in a way, I guess I did too.
The Circle Maker is a book on how to pray. A book that really looks at what is needed for so many people and the author brings it out in ways that anyone can relate to. I'm half-way through the digital version of the book and I am still picking up things that I missed the first time around. One major benefit is now that I give my troubles, burdens, fears, and problems over to God, I'm no longer anxious. I'm no longer weighted down with anxiety and worry. My jaws do not hurt from clenching. My head doesn't hurt from stressing. My shoulders are lighter than they have ever been. I've heard of people feeling like this, but I never knew what it was like until now. And I am lovin' this new freedom from worry, stress, fear, and anxiety!!!
Personally, I'm grateful Mark Batterson wrote this book. I'm grateful my brother shared it with me. But most importantly, I'm grateful God has been patient enough for me to (re)discover His Word. I will lift you up in prayer so that you may feel the love and grace of God.
Have a magnificent day my friends! ~ hugs & prayers!
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