Literary Comfort // Life-giving Bookshelf

I’ve always found comfort in books. It isn’t necessarily an escapist effort, but more of a magical understanding. No matter the stage or season of life, there has been a book that reminds me that nothing is really new. It’s all happened before. My heartache, my elation, my experience. It’s not new.  Books have a way of understanding.

There’s comfort in books. Hardcover stories and tales, sitting on my shelf, day in and day out. They stare at me and wait until that perfect day, month, year where my heart may be aching or may be resting and in need of a familiar friend. When my emotions will be raw enough to understand whatever new piece I recognize on the page. Life brings unpredictable tidal waves of good, frightening, surreal. It’s inevitably coming and when it does,

I shuffle over to my bursting bookshelves and I pick up….

A book that reminds me to live..

A book that reminds me that I can find family anywhere and to never lose hope.

A book that allows me to see that evil will never outshine light.

A book that forms my faith.

Books that are simple and charming and sweet, for those dark, complicated moments.

Books that will never leave my memory, and might draw me closer to Christ than any Sunday sermon.

Books heavy with symbolism.

Books that will challenge my mind.

Books that I come back to again and again and again.

It’s never ending and the bookshelf is always revolving. There’s always one waiting and what a treasure hunt that is! Except in books, one will almost always find treasure of the indispensable sort.

Right now, this is what I’m reading, what I want to read, and what I want to revisit.

Currently with the kids. And starting next week.

Currently on my nightstand. This too.

Currently in my Amazon cart.

Currently in my morning devotion basket.

Currently pondering which to revisit….This or this? Suggestions welcome.


I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway


Changes // Chesterton


*This post was penned while I was cozily tucked in a mountain cabin. I had no knowledge of the events in Charlottesville, until we were were back in the city and I scrolled Twitter. My heart is grieved over the evil I saw. Our country is broken, in many ways, and I continue to pray for the love of Christ to sweep through the streets and homes of all citizens. 


Change is often good, healthy in fact. I’ve heard this for many years and have had to acclimate my mind to it, not being a person that immediately feels excitement, at the onset of conditions bending. I began feeling more familiar with change, in varying degrees, once I hit my thirties – reluctant, yet still attempting (and often succeeding) to not completely come unhinged. I’d like to think this acceptance was due to maturation, but I must confess it’s likely due to having multiple children and little sleep. No energy to argue with circumstance.

Small changes don’t deeply bother me – adjusting dates or expectations of events. Even what might seem to be a sizable change like deciding to educate our children at home, or contemplating a fresh career opportunity, are met with anticipation. Despite what some might know of me, I can actually be rather pliable. What has taken a period of adjustment, is acclimating to multiple series of substantial changes, and watching them manifest as new realities, rather than small adjustments. This has proven to be my current millstone. Sometimes I feel like I relate to Jacob Marley, drudging around with chains and key-locks. Perhaps that’s dramatic, but often I feel weighed down by constant transitions.

Without displaying the details, the last few years have left me feeling like I’m on a local, county fair roller coaster. Sometimes exhilarated by the impending unknown, but (more often) fearful and dizzy from what I have not yet experienced, and what might be on the horizon. Changes have rolled in like tidal waves and they haven’t always been welcomed. Life marches on, however, and there’s no halting it. And life is beautiful and overwhelming and vibrant. The good certainly and always outweighs the difficult.

But changes have been coming and they have left me longing for moments of familiarity. Not everything must conform to what is once was, nor should it, but small pockets of recognizable simplicities are always a comforting respite from the current deluge of difference.

And so when I find our family, yet again, winding the dusty pavement of our favorite mountain, my heart rested amongst all the sights surrounding me. The same rocks in the same place and the car swaying and turning arches, the same it does each time we travel to our ‘home away from home’. Finishing another chapter of Father Brown, placing one more piece in the ongoing puzzle on the dining table, and hearing the low hum of the metal fan that is perched on the stone hearth. All stable, unchanging, predictable things.

A melody from a time long ago plays, it comes from a time when life looked much different. One of my favorite albums, it was special 20 years ago and it still tugs at me now. I hum the tune knowing that change takes time, yet I would never trade my now for that familiar past. I will choose to remember the best of it and slowly, somewhat hesitantly, release the worst of the last few years.

And enjoy the memories with each trip. Each day. Both new changes and familiar cornerstones. Revel in the beautiful present day that the Lord has given me.

And await meeting Chesterton, again.

 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:11-13