Sometimes you read a book and it's a fun, fast story. Other times, a book might be difficult and much slower.
For me, this book was a little of both. Some parts were fun stories about food and friends, and other parts were difficult, prodding me to put its truths into practice, in the tender places in my heart.
This is Shauna Niequist's third published collection of essays. I find her writing delightful and difficult. Beautiful, always. She has a way of delving into the truth of the experience of being a woman, a wife and mother, a minister, a friend. She doesn't shy away from the hard things or the scary things, yet at the same time she's quick to point out the positive and happy things too. I am drawn to her writing over and over again.
Her second book, Bittersweet, spoke to me on a very deep level about the dichotomy of life: the bitter things that come along with the sweet things. We can learn to appreciate both. Easy? No. True? Absolutely.
I've written elsewhere about how difficult I've found this past winter. It's a little easier now that I am coming out of it day by day, almost literally moment by moment as each day's light lengthens by several minutes around the vernal equinox. The past few weeks have been truly introspective as I examine myself from many angles, learning what my strengths are (and learning to accept those strengths without denial or bragging, two sides of the same coin) and my weaknesses.
One of those weaknesses I confess to you here: Hospitality is rarely easy for me. It's not in my nature to open my home and invite people over on a whim, or even on a plan. I was raised by parents who didn't often entertain, so I didn't really have a model for hospitality. Over and over again throughout my ministry marriage, I've been stretched in this area.
For me, Bread & Wine has been an experience not only in cooking, another weakness I see in myself, but also in challenging me to open my home.
Over the course of the next few days, I will be sharing a few of my experiences putting some of this book into practice. A few recipes, and a few other things. Please stay tuned.
For another review of this book by my good friend Dana, please click here.
To purchase the book, click here.
Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from the author. No affiliate links are given here.