Thursday, January 13, 2011

God in the Yard :: Invitation

I finally joined the club. More accurately, I believe there is a club somewhere and I will find myself drawn into the current of it as I read and journal my way through this book.

This book has quietly haunted the to-be-read pile for three months, but the time now arrives to add it to the much smaller in-progress pile. New year, new goal of drinking from the well, both a good fit for this new beginning.

God in the Yard
l.l. barkat

As I understand it, God in the Yard gently leads the reader through a 12 week course in pursuing spiritual discipline, with the desired end result of growing closer to God. I could use that.

Three months ago, I began chapter 1 with a sense of anticipation and mystery, not really knowing where this road would lead. I discovered that each chapter contains interactive questions placed after each thought, giving the reader the opportunity to read and reflect before continuing.

Although the breaks allow one to slowly digest a chapter over the course of several days, I ended up drinking in that first chapter in a single afternoon. My initial journal response to the Invitation mostly just answered the questions, as I was still gathering my bearings:
October 23
I actually have a chance to sit outside today, in relative quiet. On this balmy, late October afternoon, wind rustles trees with promise of a change in the weather; nearby pool provides a pleasant sound of running water; children and dogs play in the distance. I open a new book, put pen to a new journal.

When I was a child, I lived in the world of books: of fiction, far-off fairytales, fascinating adventures. Today I live a fulfilling real world life, full of adventure and even a fair amount of fairytale. But the mundane sometimes threatens to suffocate me.

If I could, I would return to my late 20's, the time of my greatest independence, before kids. In order to grow, I feel like I need more time to be quiet. If I could, I would go away for the weekend. Every weekend.

If I commit to finding and going to a small space, I am afraid I will just become discouraged over another failure to follow through on something. It's hard enough to keep up with the housework, I don't feel like I can justify committing to something that takes me away from the work.

I should not bother with committing to a small space for 12 weeks right now, because the next 12 weeks are the busiest of the year.

I believe my soul is bigger and wiser than I, because I constantly crave something more than the everyday.
Wistfully, I set the book aside and turned my thoughts toward the present, and the upcoming events of the final 12 weeks of the year. I tucked the book into my bag, silently promising it, "I will return for you."

The invitation had been received. I made my RSVP. And on January 1 (only ten weeks later), I opened my book to chapter 2. My pursuit of spiritual discipline is back on.


  1. You know, I need to come back to this book. I read it all at once (I know, it's not supposed to be done that way) last summer, but I didn't do any of the exercises (which sort of defeats the point). It still sits front and center on my desk here, which tells me I am not done with it yet. Perhaps when the weather warms, I will take it up again, this time more slowly? Thanks for inspiring me!

  2. This is so beautiful. I love your initial responses and the quiet ache they reveal. I hope you find some time for yourself, knowing that it will feed you for the everyday.

    Hey, I am apparently going to be one of your reading partners! I just started the book over at in order to work with a group who's studying it locally. :)

  3. Your desire to follow God comes through in every sentence you write.

    This is so true "I believe my soul is bigger and wiser than I, because I constantly crave something more than the everyday."

    But speaking from the other side of the fence. The one with no kids and the freedom to explore God freely - you gain more God wisdom in 10 minutes of being a mom than I do in hours of study.

    God Bless

  4. Enjoy the journey--you'll have an outstanding guide to lead the way (LL) and good friends to walk alongside you (Michelle/Graceful). :)


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