Friday, August 21, 2015

Go Set a Watchman

I finished Go Set a Watchman this week.  It was another good read to follow To Kill a Mockingbird.  It took me a chapter or two in the beginning to get my scene and characters straight, but it was followed well as a retun some years later to Maycomb. 
I was obviously saddened and upset by the racism and segreation, but it is also part of history and  that time.  I admired Jean Louise, Scout, for standing up for what she believed in, for being upset by what she saw and for knowing it wasn't right.  But in the ending, I'm not sure she did those things.  She had it out with her family about the issues, but the ending seems to reconcile that she continued to live on with it without trying to fight for what was right. 
Some of the dialogue was difficult to follow between the heated, passionate conversations Scout had with people.  Yet, I followed her story, I felt her desire for a better world for the world she thought she had. 
The book left me wanting to know more of her life, her future and her story.  Good books have a way of doing that with their charcaters though don't they?

Monday, August 10, 2015


I have fond memories of playing house as a kid.  Since we've been home from vacation Elinore and the boys have been playing house a LOT, and I love hearing it!  I do confused sometimes when they're designated someone as mom.  I'm not always sure when it's me mom they're talking to or pretend house mom they're talking to.  They play with babies and doggies and pretend to be grown ups.  It's sweet!

How to Love your Neighbor, without being weird

I recently finished reading How to Love your Neighbor, without being weird.  I had read about it on a website, and the topic was very compelling.  What was Amy Lively's take on loving our neighbors?  I've heard many times in churches and other places that loving our neighbors applies on a broad spectrum and virtually everyone in the world is our neighbors.  We could follow Jesus's command to "love your neighbor as yourself" by loving anyway was my interpretation from listening to them and reading. 

While I don't disagree that everyone should be our neighbor, Amy takes it a step more literally into our neighborhoods.  And I'm not sure that isn't the intent of Jesus in his life on Earth.  He loved those around him, and He moved around the land to those near him.  We aren't exempt from loving our neighbors here, right next door.  It's something I've longed for since we moved in to our current neighbor, sometimes more than others, but I never knew how. 

This book points out the meaning of loving your neighbor, and the need for social interactions we have; especially in a digital world, people need more human connection in person.  Once we get over our fears and nervousness we often find the people on the other end feel the same way we do.  The book ofter methods of creating gatherings in your neighborhoods.  It also offers logic and scripture to aid in getting over your fears and walking next door to doing it. 

Thought this year, 2015, even before this book, I've begun trying to open my home more to connect with people.  It isn't often my literal next door neighbors, but people from our community and world.  We've shared many meals this year with friends, repeat visitors and made deeper connections.  It has been a blessing.  While there are certainly times I'm exhausted and it's hard to rush home from work and get a meal on the table for people, it's almost always worth it. 

I've lowered my standards in my home and realized it's less about impressing them with my house or my house cleaning skills and more about making them feel welcome in my home.  There is a section of the book that touches on this too.

Sometimes I feel like my neighborhood and community is a little different than the methods in this book.  I do live in small fairly close community.  It's mostly generations of people that live in this town.  We moved in as outsiders and it was harder to break in at first, but we've done okay over the last 6 years.  I may be less connected in this community than most, but there are still those who need connections in the community and we don't realize it.