One of the things I love about reading is being able to share the story, or the information, with others. I’ve always loved being able to talk with others about what I’m reading. As I’ve recently been working with a ministry coach to figure out some “what’s next” in my life and vocation, one of the things that has bubbled up is a strength of input and communication. Once upon a time I shared what I was reading with inquiring minds on the internet. Put all of that together, and here I am again, sharing what I’m reading with you. I hope to do this for all the books I read – for work or for fun – to start a conversation and share what I’m learning.
The most recent book I finished was Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while and FINALLY cracked it open. I did not want to put it down. I read it by the pool, by the campfire, at night after the kids were in bed, basically, wherever I could concentrate on it for a few moments. Y’all, it was that good.
I read slow and re-read parts again. As a Christ-follower, I long for sozo (a Greek work in the New Testament) – a wholeness, healing, salvation. The concepts in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality are sound. They are rooted in scripture, guided by ancient contemplative faith, and emboldened by research and truth from the counseling field. As you read it though, the book isn’t preachy or too brainy. Scazzero is honest in his writing, sharing his own stories of heartache and healing, as well as snapshot stories of others he encounters in his own faith journey.
As I read the stories and truths in each chapter, I was able to immediately see application in my own life. Ways my family of origin has influenced my relationships. How my own spiritual maturity level impacts my leadership. How the way I live into my call as wife, mother, and pastor is shaped by my own heartache and healing. I was challenged to further seek my own personal healing and growth in many ways. And it confirmed something that has been rolling around inside of my heart and mind this year – love well. I am called to – and want to – love others well.
I highly recommend Emotionally Healthy Spirituality to all Jesus-followers. Below are a few quotes that I underlined in my book (and my reactions).
“Pretending was safer than honesty and vulnerability.” pg. 10 (Yep, I feel that.)
“By failing to let others be themselves before God and move at their own pace, we inevitably project onto them our own discomfort with their choice to live life differently than we do.” Pg. 37 (I feel this one too. And I wonder how often I am doing this exact thing without really understanding what I’m doing?)
“Only the love of God in Christ is capable of bearing the weight of our true identity.” Pg. 75 (What a relief! I don’t have to bear this weight for myself or for others.)
“God wants to communicate to us his true sweetness and love. He longs that we might know his true peace and rest. He works to free us from unhealthy attachments and idolatries of the world. He longs for an intimate, passionate love relationship with us.” Pg. 123 (Yes! That is what I want, what I long for.)
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