This past winter Andy and I went on our first warm weather trip when it was cold at home. My Dad and his wife had been inviting us to Mexico with them for years and this was the year we finally went with them. From the moment we arrived to sunshine and warm air, we wondered why we had waited so long.
We swam in the ocean, ate great food, took in as much vitamin d from the sun as we could handle. We shared stories over meals together, laughed and sang along with the mariachi band. It was a restful and peaceful time. And I read during our downtime, which was most of the time.
“Jesus Feminist” was the first book I read on this trip, and I really enjoyed it. It was refreshing to read something that was so different from what I had learned in church when I was younger. I even hesitate to use the word “learned” because I don’t know that I was explicitly taught that women should be quiet and submissive and that husbands should be the spiritual head of the household. But somehow that’s what I grew up understanding.
Sarah Bessey explains a bit more about the culture going on when Paul was writing about women being quiet in church. Women hadn’t been allowed in church before so they were excited and asking questions which was interrupting the teaching. But Paul never said that women shouldn’t be in leadership, though many churches still practice that if not explicitly say it outright. In fact, he suggested the opposite, speaking highly of women that were leaders in the church.
And best of all? Jesus was a feminist (for the sake of argument I’m breaking down feminist to its most basic definition that women and men should have equal rights). He said in Christ there was no longer male or female, slave or free, jew or greek. I really enjoyed reading this- it rang so true and sounded so much better than things I had believed for so long. Sarah talked about her own marriage and how she and her husband take turns leading or calling out the next steps for their family- but only after pressing in and taking a next step based on following Jesus. I shared this with Andy and we both resonated with this. We were able to look back and point out different times where we’ve taken turns leading in our marriage.
Okay that was a long recap, another book I read on this trip was, “When Breath Turns to Air” by Paul Kalanithi. I’ve been on a bit of a death/grieving kick this past year (go figure) but each book I’ve read has been so interesting. This is written by a neurosurgeon who discovers he has brain cancer and he starts writing this book just before he dies. It is well written and captivating.
“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert was up next, for something a little lighter. I liked how she talked about having a commitment to her art (for her, writing) from when she was young. She made a promise to write every day and to not put the pressure on her art to be her source of income. And she kept that promise for a long time, until her fourth book became super popular and it didn’t make sense for her to keep her day job anymore.
The last book I started on this trip was “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman. Finally, a little fiction. This was my second fiction book this year- I know- I’m weird. What can I say? I love a true story! This book is about a cute old curmudgeon and the people in his life. The relationships were well developed, a good read.
Has anyone read any of these, or have anything else you’d recommend?