Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bittersweet, a book recommendation

‘Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way' by Shauna Niequist

A year ago yesterday, my copy of Bittersweet was delivered to my home. Bittersweet is a lovely book written by an extraordinary young lady in her thirties. It became one of my summer favorites last year, one that I’ve decided today I will re-read again this summer. I’ve experienced a lot since the arrival of this book and for me, books reveal different things about myself when I re-read them. Something in my gut tells me that this book will be an even bigger blessing to me the second time around. I can’t wait to dive in again to soak in each word, each story, each lesson, to uncover in this season what I might be discovering and learning about myself. This time around though, I'm going to take my time and read each chapter slowly and carefully paying close attention to my thoughts and what I'm feeling.

Bittersweet is the author’s second book. Her first book called Cold Tangerines was a great read too. I love her clever expressions and honest truth telling stories and while Cold Tangerines was great, Bittersweet was different, different in a really good way. It’s richer and deeper and more evocative and you’ll find brilliant and clever expressions in this book as well. Reading about the author's life experiences, her struggles, and lessons learned caused me to think about my own experiences and struggles and the lessons I've learned and the one's I'm still learning. This book was incredibly captivating and many of her stories tugged on my heart strings and caused me to cry. Yes, I cried. I cried for her, I cried for me and I cried for the many who experience pain because pain has an interesting way of waking us up and revealing things to us we never noticed before. I've learned through the years and I'm still learning that pain teaches us. Pain not only teaches us but it helps us to pay attention and discover things about ourselves that we probably would have never uncovered if we hadn't gone through that one horrible hard thing in life or a series of hard things in life. I've learned through the years that pain is inevitable, in fact, its biblical. That's where I learned it, and life, my life has reinforced the message through the years. But what I've learned through the years is that pain can help us grow if we let it. And I love that we have a choice about that. We can either choose to be bitter or we can choose to be better. I choose better. In fact, I want everyone to choose better. Yes, pain is awful and dark and makes us want to stay in bed all day and healing is a process that takes time, sometimes alot of time. But we can't let bitterness win. We must press against it. We must fight against bitterness and persevere in spite of our pain, our fears and our sadness. I'm so grateful for Shauna's courage. It took alot of courage to write Bittersweet and to share her stories. Here's what I know for sure about Shauna: She's one brave gal who isn't afraid to be vulnerable. Gosh, I love that about her. And I believe that everyone who reads this book will be richer because of it. If you pick up a copy, I hope it blesses you richly and beyond measure.

Happy reading and happy summer to you dear ones ...

Wishing you peace and wholeness today and always,


We've all been sorry, we've all been hurt. But how we survive is what makes us who we are. ~ Rise Against