I don’t know if you’ve heard, but fall is my favorite season.
It is worth noting that I am also a very easily entertained giganto cheeseball. Hand me a pumpkin spiced beverage and dangle a few leaves in front of me with the promise of Christmas songs in the very near future and I am good to go. Even at the height of my cheesy cheesy fervor, I am aware that this season isn’t always easy. It’s busy, and darkening, and sun cravers and family missers and so many others can get bogged down by a nasty melancholy and a whole lot of cynical itchiness. Which isn’t even as fun as it sounds.
My offering to you, fall lovers and dreaders, as you navigate this tricky season is a very short reading list. These three books hold within them a little bit of magic that, for me at least, flipped on a light switch somewhere, brightened something, changed something deep and made it sing a little. There’s some good love here. Cozy up with these, make yourself something delicious to sip, and see the world a little bit differently.
Listen, there is nothing deeply profound about this book. Bob Goff is not the most incredible writer, nor does he offer any deep theological wonders in these pages. But what he is, dear Bob, is pretty beautiful. Bob is a guy who just does things, who seems to be missing that hesitant piece of iffy that resides in normal humans. This belief, coupled with a wild and crazy love, opens all kinds of seemingly locked doors to him, and it’s fun to hear his stories. This book might not change your life, but it will leave you feeling like that impossible thing is just a little more possible, and get you brainstorming wacky, creative ways to love the folks in your circle. And that, my friend, is a beautiful thing.
My friend Tony has a gift for seeing the God-thing in people – he narrows out the gift, the magic bit, the Holy Spirit residing, and in his completely inspired book, he loans you those magic God-goggles. I love this book because it came from my friend, but I love it more because it changed the way I look. It changed the way I see. If you are longing to see little bits of heaven in unlikely places, to tune in to the greater story of God’s work in this dark and unholy place, this book will encourage you on your way. Tony rips wide and gorgeous holes in the fences we build around God and robs you of the limits you’ve set for the creator, allowing you to meet him in the most unexpected ways. Dooooooooooooo it. So much this book.
Ann bends words around in ways I didn’t know they could bend, and it’s beautiful, so there’s that. But beyond it’s loveliness, this is a book about practicing gratitude. Not “feeling grateful” – stubbornly, fiercely, mightily, prayerfully persuing gratitude, grasping a clutching it, meditating on it, walking in it, becoming it. Nothing in my life has been more transformative than embracing gratitude as a discipline, and I love the artful way this book weaves the reader through the ups and downs and glories and muck of the process. And it’s really so, so pretty. If you are feeling cynical about this season in particular, this is your book.
Have you read these books? What did you think? Tell me tell me do!!