Beauty, books and distractions...

Colors of Spring
Painted Buntings
Male Goldfinch
Red Head
Birding with Gavin
We were meandering up and down the highway on our trip through Gainesville, Atlanta and Nashville this third week of March last year. When we returned to Pollywog Creek, the feeders were empty and the Painted Buntings were gone. This year I'm home and keeping the feeders filled, and I'm curious to know when their wintering here will cease. Part of me wishes they lived in the thickets by the creek all year, but then I would miss the joy and anticipation of their return every winter. Recently I've been enjoying hours on my backyard swing with a basket of books and fresh cups of coffee. Despite a desire to lose myself in the mystery of compelling fiction or a well-crafted memoir, I've been too distracted by the antics of my aviary guests and the glory of azaleas to make much progress in that direction. The combination of both delights - the beauty of spring and the joy of a good book - is just one of the reasons my life here on Pollywog Creek is rich. The nearness to those I love is another - a faithful and handsome husband of over thirty years, a beautiful, intelligent and fun-to-be-with daughter (my other spring baby), and my sons and their families. Even in the midst of lovely distractions, I recently finished - Jeanne Damoff's Parting the Waters, and I'm nearly at a loss for words to describe this beautiful book. The true story of Jeanne's son Jacob's near drowning and the journey Jeanne and her family traveled over the days and weeks and years that followed takes the reader down a road of unimaginable suffering, yet each painful step is cushioned by a grace that unmistakably testifies to the depth of George and Jeanne Damoff's faith and in the goodness and sovereignty of a faithful and loving God.
"God, in His mercy, was taking me beyond myself and into His higher purposes, teaching me how to balance amid the rolling waves. I could choose to be introspective, or I could open my eyes and behold His marvelous work. As I learned to look for God's design, I found beauty in the most unexpected places." p. 59
Parting the Waters is rightfully recommended "for anybody whose life didn't turn out quite the way they expected." That's most of us - don't you think?
I'm still reading The Hole in the Gospel by Richard Stearns, and hope to soon be receiving David Platt's Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.
What about you? What is in your basket of books?