Reading is one of my most favorite pastimes. Give me a good book and you won’t hear from me the rest of the day with the exception of some “mmhmm’s” and “ok sounds good’s”. I’m super picky about what books I read to the point where it’s honestly a bit ridiculous. But man, when I discover one I like…whew, it won’t stand a chance. Within a day that book is read cover to cover.
In my eyes, books are better, more vivid and more exciting than any movie out there. When I read, it’s like I’m transported into the story. Like I’m stepping outside of my reality and into someone else’s. This is exactly why I seriously cannot put down a good book! It’s like pausing a really, really good movie…for like a whole day! …it just can’t be done!
What kinds of books are up my alley? Well, since you asked, I really enjoy Christian historical fiction. I started reading books like this when I was in sixth grade. Yep, I was totally THAT girl in middle school reading 400-page novels in the five minutes between science and English class. I love history. I love a wholesome love story. I love books that gently intertwine God’s truth into the reality of the characters. Check, check, andd check! These are definitely my type of books.
More specifically, stories set around WW2 are kinda my thing right now. Side Bar: Watch Hunting Hitler on the History Channel if you get the chance (you’ll be mind blown). Back to my point here. I promise I have a point to all of this. I’ve gained a deep appreciation for those who’ve come before us. For those who braved the ocean for months with hopes of a better future in America – Who came with nothing, gave up everything, and worked and died for a dream. That had to have been terrifying! Then there are those who fought in battle standing eye-to-eye with raw fear and the unknown. Many died for that cause. They were people with dreams and hopes…they were a brother, a boyfriend, a husband, or a dad.
I don’t think my heart could’ve handled it. BUT then I see unity, family, and faith shining through and overcoming each time. Through the words of a story, I witness people with great joy with simplicity and humility…faith in God in the midst of tragedy and in the cries of triumph. What was it all for? It was for you. It was so you and I and the generations that follow could have a better life. We are standing on the shoulders of those who labored before us. We live a prosperous life my friends.
It saddens my heart to see a generation losing a sense of history or appreciation for what’s been done for them. Sadly, our world has become very self-focused along the way. Losing a sense of what’s good and right in the world…honest and pure. My dad always taught me to always shake the hands of veterans I come across in life. After reading my novels, I nearly cry every time I see one. I see tenderness and a lot of living in their eyes. I imagine what they looked like as a young soldier standing proudly in their uniform. I wonder what is on the pages of their life and love story. They are quickly becoming forgotten heroes. Reading historical fiction is humbling. It keeps me immensely grateful and grounded.
Reading the last lines of a novel I slowly exhale as I gently close the cover. I feel like I’ve been holding my breath… as though I’ve lived the stories I’ve only just read. It takes me a minute to take it all in. My heart becomes flooded with gratefulness for the life and liberties I have. Times were so different then. Information wasn’t easy to access and “things” weren’t in abundance. Kids’ imaginations soared with creativity. Experiencing life through the pages of a novel ignites my desire to live life more slowly; appreciating all God has given me. I’m reminded of the importance of letting my heart abide daily in God’s grace and provision. There’s no place more secure.
With this on my mind, I’ve decided to take steps to simplify my life. I will clear away space for the moments and memories I’m not willing to sacrifice. I will be intentional about pursuing what God has purposed in my heart to do rather than waiting for “someday”. (By the way, everyone needs a friend that will remind them to not wait for someday. I’m thankful for this friend in my life) I will put limits on my time on social media and time spent listening to negative news stories. I will make getting away from the busyness of the world a priority – to gulp in fresh air, flowers, big blue skies, soft green grass, and the masses of stars that remind me of how small I really am…this is where I experience God the most. I will live a life that’s meaningful and purposeful. You and I are called for such a time as this. What do you want to be written on the pages of your life story?