I said this was going to be posted on Friday, but really, my heart was not ready. It took me the whole weekend to muster the gumption to finish this blogger book club post.
This was hard. Life hitting me in the face, exposing my own weakness kind of hard. Being present over perfect. It is difficult to let go of perfect. Sometimes I act as if confessing after the fact makes it okay to be frazzled, yelling, or even down right mean to my family.
Shauna writes about her advice to a couple approaching their wedding day (pg 167) offering two tips to help them be "happy, connected, present, patient." Reading that felt like a sucker punch. I am not sure I am ever one of those things on a day to day basis with my kids, let alone all four. Again, the focus is on being present, not perfect. No one is expecting me to be happy, connected, present and patient with my kids all of the time. But it is certainly something to strive for, especially in moments like breakfast, post-nap snuggles, bath time -- times in the day when I should not be trying to accomplish something, just enjoying Behr and Hudson.
But this season I'm not trying for perfect. I'm just trying to show up, every time, with honesty and attentiveness
We have, each one of us, been entrusted with one life, made up of days and hours and minutes. We're spending them according to our values whether or not we admit it. pg. 169
Part three was full of additional things I loved reading, birthday traditions, scrambles eggs (why have I never thought of making these other than for breakfast!?), mexican vacations, and in the russian dolls chapter, I love how Shauna writes of our job as moms - the pull between wanting to keep them little and encouraging them to grow. (pg. 180) And then again in Part Four in the chapter about her brother Tom (pg. 235)
I appreciated Shauna's view of church, which is very similar to what my current church's approach to Washington, DC. "The church is at its best, in my view, when it is more than a set of ideas and ideals, when it is a working, living, breathing, on-the-ground, in-the-mess force for good in our cities and towns." pg. 208 Does your church or community have events like the cooking club yard sale? Do you volunteer somewhere?
Have you ever heard of a wedding caterer sending the bride and groom off with pans of food? (pg. 221) Brilliant!
Swimsuit, Ready or Not, was a chapter I desperately needed to read.
I want to grab coffee with Shauna (or re-read Pont Neuf) if I ever am planning a trip to Paris.
I resonated with her feelings that she is not a baker. Are you a baker? What are your favorite dishes to cook?
And finally, Come To The Table. "I want you to stop running from thing to thing to thing, and to sit down at the table, to offer people you love something humbling and nourishing, like soup and bread, like a story, like a hand holding another hand while you pray." pg. 257 Last night I seized this idea and roasted some potatoes - quick and simple - and served them along side cheese, olives, and random dipping sauces we had in our fridge. Behr and I turned off most of the lights and started some music. Both kids were awake and with us, but it really felt like we were on a date. There was no rushing around, very little mess to clean up. Mostly we just sat and talked about our upcoming vacation, our plans for it and our hopes. It was peaceful and refreshing. It also gave me the courage to finish this two part post, because I finally felt pressent in a way that had mostly been missing since Hudson was born.
What are your thoughts on Bread & Wine?