29 May 2010

I Heart this Book

Over the past couple of years, several of my friends read Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. Never being one for giving into trends, especially trendy books, I declined their recommendations to read it. Then I decided that buying it wouldn't hurt anything; it could sit on the bookshelf and wait its turn. Last summer, I conceded and decided that it would be a decent enough book to flip through during a weekend.

Wouldn't you know that my friends were right? Wow, it was amazing. Once I picked up this glossy, orange book, I read it in about 24 hours, flipping through the chapters, wondering how several parts of a book--a memoir--could so closely mirror my life. And this summer, I've begun the re-read. Already, I'm moved. It makes me want to celebrate everyday. It does. I think I'll have it finished over this long weekend. And now, I'm about to place an advance order for her next book, Bittersweet, to be released later in the summer.

Here are a few of my most favorite passages in the Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist:
I have always been essentially waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college "adult" person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I'd become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that's when life will really begin.
And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin.
I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want t sleep hard on clean, white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my every day to make God belly laugh, glad he gave life to someone who loves the gift.
I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.
You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.
You are more than dust and bones.
You are spirit and power and image of God.
And you have been given Today.
I could go on and on; there are so many wonderful passages in this book that is honest and powerful. But if I did, then you wouldn't need to read it. Check it out from the library, borrow it from a friend or pick it up in a bookstore. You won't be disappointed. Your heart will be happy; you'll want to shout "amen" as you read and read passages again; you'll wonder how you can learn to celebrate life everyday.

1 comment :

Christine said...

Well, you know I agree with this :)