Traveling Mercies. Not quite a book review…


As some of you might remember, I have intentionally embarked on a journey to include more women authors in my library. I started with Nadia Bolz-Weber’s incredible book Pastrix, and have just finished Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. A stack of books that I am dying to read, as well as a current lack of $$$ means that I will have to put my adventure on hold for a couple of books, but so far I can say that my journey has been fruitful.

For those of you who are familiar with the Enneagram, I am nearly positive that Anne Lamott is a type 6. You might be asking yourself why I think that. Well, it’s simple really. I am a Type 6 and overly identified with so much of what she identified as her inner struggle throughout this book.

In a way that reminds me a lot of Nadia, Anne Lamott bares it all. If you are the kind of person who likes to read books that focus exclusively on a person’s successes, you should probably skip this one. Lamott makes sure that we don’t forget that she is a human being, prone to addiction, sometimes less than Mother of the Year, often too concerned about what others think of her, and incredibly brave in the way she lets you into that mess.

I have realized that I am fed up with trying to polish myself for the benefit of what you might think about me. I am not too concerned about the fact that I sometimes use colorful language, I think that beer is God’s gift to my taste-buds, I am deeply insecure about my stuttering, and I often have a running list of people I think would do my job better than me. These things are all true, and yet they are all things that I have intentionally hidden from the people around me for a variety of reasons. The gift that Anne Lamott has given me is the understanding that I am who I am regardless of how much I might try to convince you otherwise. The flip side of that gift is the ability to love who I am and not be afraid to share myself with you for fear of what you might think.

All of this is not to say that I don’t value your opinions or that sometimes I may need to be called out for stupid stuff I do or say, but it does mean that I am finding that ounce of bravery within me to stop hiding.

I am not sure if the common thread of vulnerability is indicative of women authors, or if I just chose my first two books incredibly well. What I do know is that I deeply appreciate both of these books and am excited to see where this journey will take me next. My thought is Jesus Feminist  by Sarah Bessey. That is where the dwindling of my stack of other books and $$$ comes into the picture. As always, your suggestions of authors/books are welcome!

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