I was thinking about how my strengths are reflected in the books I read. As I move from writing about Intellection to my next strength (Maximizer), I thought I’d share a few books I’ve read recently that remind me of intellection. They aren’t perfect fits, but these books are a reflection of how I’ve taken my current life-stage and tried to become a (somewhat) expert in this field.
The Bible Tells Me So by Peter Enns
I read this book last year and I categorize it under Intellection because reading the Bible is part of my daily routine. However, I’m an admittedly skeptical reader. I believe in the story it tells, but often wonder how to go about reading it – what exactly is metaphor, stories to empower an oppressed people group, poetry, fact? Enns writes for the layperson without dumbing down his message and I read the Bible with new appreciation.
Animal Madness by Laurel Baitman
We just renewed our zoo membership again but it wasn’t without a lot of discussion and still some niggling hesitation on my part. Our girls love the zoo; I understand that the methodology in caring for the animals is vastly different than it was just a few decades ago; however, there’s still something so sad about seeing animals trying to roam in a fraction of the space they’d have in the wild. Or only interacting with a small section of other species. I try to be honest with Bea when we talk about the animals we see – that this isn’t their natural home; that they probably are sad to be confined; that most were born into captivity. This book was eye-opening for me, even though it didn’t change our membership status, it made me reflect more about the reasons behind renewing.
Praying With Icons by Jim Forest
I have a little reading nook in our bedroom where I do my daily quiet time. Above my fuchsia chair hangs an icon of St Francis, an icon on the Madonna and Child, a painting of Joseph and Mary snuggling a newborn Jesus, and a clay cross. I certainly don’t reflect and meditate on these icons in a traditional way, but having them in the corner of our bedroom is a daily visual reminder of saints who have paved the way.
Out of Solitude by Henri Nouwen
This small, timeless book of mediations on the importance of solitude is what first inspired me, back in college, to spend whole days alone, away from the noise of others. Because of Nouwen’s gentle guidance, I learned at a formative stage in my faith journey that taking time (or even moments) of intentional quiet was essential to my spiritual wellbeing.
The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris
Another small but powerful book is one I read during my first year of motherhood. Norris reminds us of those small, quotidian moments which create holy rhythms. Folding laundry, cleaning the house, the daily task of small work, is just as holy as a pilgrimage. She reminds me that these moments are the ones in which I can pray – my kitchen is as beautiful and sacred as any cathedral.
What books have you read that have helped you become and “expert” in your life season? Any I should add to the list?
This post is Day 6 of the Write 31 Day Challenge. I’m spending the month of October writing about the StrengthsFinder test. You can find the entire series over at Live Your Strengths page.