This morning I woke up stuffy headed and stiff with a cat sticking his whiskers in my face. It was not the best few moments of the day. But then I got up, made coffee, fed the pestering felines, and did some yoga – now, today looks bright and loose. Yeah.

So I thought I’d get a post written since I’ve been away all week with my parents in Virginia. We had a relaxing Christmas, and I hope you did, too.

While I was away, I did manage to finish two books.
1. Epic by John Eldridge. My mom gave me copies of the book to give away, so I thought I’d read it before I passed it along. It’s a brief but beautiful story of the way God acts out God’s love for us through the story of life on earth. Eldridge’s language is easy-going, and his ideas are simple but still profound. My favorite line came when he was describing the way that God love us; he said, “You have never been loved like this.” Wow! I stopped cold at that as I was reminded of how God fulfills our deepest longings and how our longings – for purpose and love and companionship and peace – all come from a God who is all of these things. Epic is a wonderful read, and if you’d like to read it, I have seven copies (Mom had them for her book group) to give away on a first-come, first-served basis. Just leave a comment with your email address, and I”ll get back to you to get your snail mail address if you’re one of the first seven.

2. I finished reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. This book, coupled with its predecessor, The Omnivore’s Dilemma has really changed my perspective on food. In this book, Pollan explores the way that nutritionism, the study of the nutrients in food, has led people to look at foods (or food-like products) as simply parts, now the whole, delicious, and complex things that they are. He gives very practical suggestions for how to eat – including don’t eat anything that your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as a food – and encourages simple moderation and wisdom in eating. I absolutely loved the book and would highly recommend it.

Of course, while I was home I also got a few new books including Small Eco Houses, a book of photographs and text about some of the most ingenious “eco houses” in the world. My favorite is an barn-like house with sliding panels that cover the windows at night making the house even more cozy and energy efficient. I also received Blessed Unrest, a book about the myriad small organizations and groups that are working for environmental equity and social justice on the planet; it’s a great read so far. Finally, I also received Five Acres and Independence, a book about how to start and manage a small farm like the one I am working to create. The book was written in the 1940s, so some of the advice – such as using arsenic based pesticides (!!) – is a bit out of date, but the basic premise – that I’ll need to work hard, learn a lot, and be wise – still holds very true.

So I keep reading and loving it. It’s so glorious to have a day ahead where I have great things planned – church this morning and a potluck dinner with friends tonight – but where I also have free time to mosey through the day languidly. I wish the same for you.