There is only one reason I’d violate my “I’m not blogging while in China” declaration.
And not just any book, a book with a time sensitive invitation.
(By the way, I’m having a grand time in China. Feeding body and soul almost nonstop.)
This summer was a rough patch for me internally. I had one friend text me more than once, “I’m worried about you.” I was worried about me too. I identified “resentment” as my primary emotion. Not good people, not good.
Part of the cause was for the first time since I was four-years-old, I was no longer functioning on an academic schedule. Guess how long it’s been since I was four? Short answer: a very, long time.
For a life time, my sense of time has been rooted in a school calendar. My sense of rest has been rooted in breaks around winter and summer holidays. My sense of busy seasons with the ebbs and flows of semesters.
A primary reason for the oozing-into-my soul resentfulness was the clash between what my body and soul expected from summer time and what my current reality demands. The clash was like fingernails dragging down the chalkboard of my soul.
whined to talked with Lane, my spiritual director, she wondered about orienting myself to the church calendar instead of the school calendar. She also happened to be giving away a stack of books and I took more than my fair share. I stuck one of the books into my suitcase and pulled it out on the train from Beijing to Taiyuan.
Guess what?! The Circle of Seasons is about the church calendar and can be read over the year; it includes short activities for individuals and groups. I had decided I’m going to blog through it this upcoming year and invite you to join me.
Guess double what?! The author is Kimberlee Conway Ireton!!! She wrote Cracking Up (one of my favorite memoirs) and the Septebmer 2014 Book Club book for Velvet Ashes. Kimberlee is now a friend and we met in person when I attended the writer’s retreat she and Jody Collins hosted in October.
Guess triple what?! I was purusing blogs I follow and noticed that Kimberlee is running a special on The Circle of Seasons. Here’s what she said:
“A new church year will be beginning in two short weeks.
“Which means it’s time to break out your copy of The Circle of Seasons, my scintillating book on the church year. (Okay, so it’s not actually scintillating. It’s quiet and solid and thoughtful. Rather like its author.) A friend tells me she reads the book a chapter at a time over the course of the year. It helps her embrace the present season with mindfulness and intention. (Every writer should have such a friend!) Perhaps you might like to do the same?
“If by some concatenation of circumstance you find yourself without a copy of The Circle of Seasons, never fear! I have a few brand new copies in boxes in my garage. From now till November 24, you can buy them directly from me for $10 for the first copy and $5 for each copy thereafter. That includes shipping. It’s cheaper than Amazon! And I’ll autograph it for you, to the person of your choice.
“Just shoot me an email with your mailing address, the number of copies you want, and to whom you’d like them inscribed, and I’ll get them in the mail to you. You’ll have them in plenty of time to read the Advent chapter before the season begins on November 29.”
It was the “by November 24th” that got my attention (that, and the amazing price!).
I haven’t made a specific plan yet, but I know this much: I’m going to read this book throughout the year as I start to reorient myself. I would love for you to be read and discuss throughout the year. You might already be familiar with the church year or you might be exploring it like me, either way, we can benefit. I also picture inviting Kimberlee to chat with us a couple of times this year. So, get the book.
In light of Kimberlee’s generous offer, four of you are going to win a copy of her book! Leave a comment and I’ll choose four of you on Wednesday evening (America time)/Thursday morning (Asia time). Who do you want Kimberlee to sign a copy to? You? Anyone come to mind who could benefit from this book?
Want to join me? Please :).
I’ve been oriented to seasonal rhythms by the school calendar, what’s oriented you? Do you follow the church calendar? What draws you to this book? Want to read it along side of me and others this year? So many questions! Just pick one and leave a comment.
(I’ll work out with Kimberlee getting your copy mailed to you! If you don’t win a copy, please consider buying it. You and your soul are worth $10.)