Monday, February 26, 2007

Quaker Summer

It's days like today that I thank God for people like Lisa Samson and her timing. I woke up feeling a little better this morning, so between chapters of her new book I worked on laundry and cleaning. I have to pick the kids up from the busstop at 4, and I always try to get out the door by 3:45 so they don't have to wait in the cold. I couldn't find the van keys anywhere. Jess had to move it yesterday so his dad could plow the driveway, so I thought maybe he left them in the ignition. Mia and I had to walk through 18" snowdrifts just to get to the van, and the sliding door was frozen shut. Mia climbed into the front and hopped in her seat, but no keys in the ignition. I ran back inside and searched everywhere (almost) while frantically calling Jess on the cell and his work number. By the time he answered, I screeched, "WHERE ARE THE KEYS?" To which my wonderful loving husband responded, "I didn't use them yesterday, and I made sure that I didn't have them today when I left." I yelled some more while my brain did it's own screeching to a halt as I saw my coat hanging up in the entryway. I've been known to leave my keys in my right pocket. I shook the coat, and it jingled. As I reached into the pocket I sulked, "I'll guess I'll just have to keep looking then." (Sorry Jess!) We exchanged I love you's. I charged out to the van full of guilt and self-frustration. Mia happily chirped that she had found her Little Pony in her seat. I grunted in response and turned the key. RRrrrr-rrrr-rrrr. The lights go on, music starts, I pray frantic desparate sounds without words. Rrrrr-rrrr-rrrr. The engine will not turn over. Jump out of the van, get Mia to climb into the front (harder than it sounds), grab her and run into the house. I call Jesse's parents: they're not home. By this time it's 3:50, and I'm in full blown panic. It's been snowing all day, and we live over a mile from the stop. I call my mom who lives five miles away, and God bless her she manages to pick up the kids before they are too far down the road. And I feel like I blew it as a mom, as a wife, and as a Christian (because the thoughts in my head were far from godly). But then I remember reading Lisa's book, and she reminds me that God has enough grace to cover all of my sins, and I am grateful to her for sending me a book just at the moment I needed it most.

Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson is another terrific book by my favorite author (this book has officially cemented that position). When reading a lot of Christian authors, you get the impression that after you find God, life just magically falls into place. The temptation to sin disappears, and prosperity and good health follow. If our lives don't fit this profile, we feel like we've failed somewhere along the way. Heather Curridge has the life we all dream of: handsome husband, smart affectionate child, beautiful house filled with lovely things, but she feels unfulfilled. Memories of childhood cruelty haunt her, and she's spending money to heal wounds she won't even acknowledge. Samson brings back a few characters from her previous novel Women's Intution (and she snuck them, I kept thinking, why are these people so familiar?) and touches on the damage childhood bullying does not just to the target, but also to their families and to the bullies themselves. She also addresses the failure of churches to touch the world outside of their own four beautifully painted walls. I love Samson's style of writing. Each phrase was obviously lovingly worked on to exude mood and setting. No word is wasted here. Heather's narration is almost stream of consciousness, and while on occasion it makes the reader want to shake her, it also makes her easy to empathize with. Heather works through her pain and guilt by working at a shelter downtown. I recently read a quote, "God says: While you're waiting on me to do something good for you, begin doing something good for others." Heather lives this, and her life and all those around her are blessed for it. I have no complaints about this book, other than I'm going to have to wait too long for the next one.

I've been reading Stormie Omartian and My Utmost for His Highest lately, and both of their versions of faith leave me in the dust. Lisa's reminds me of mercy and grace.
P.S. added 6:10 pm
Sometimes grace and mercy come in unexpected forms: Jess came in the door with Mountain Dew and Krispy Kremes for me. Caffeine and sugar, YES!


lisa said...

Thanks, Christy!!!w