Can I make a confession right off the bat? I kind of picked this book up by accident...well sort of. I was actually looking for a book by Jason Boyett (who by the way, turns out to be the brother of this author), but while at the library, I could only seem to come up with this title and thought, "well maybe I just got the authors name wrong". Sadly, it wasn't until I actually started reading the book that I realized, "hey wait a minute, this is a girl writing!", and turned the book over and realized I had the wrong author. Thankfully though, the mistake ended up being a good one since for the most part I really enjoyed this book.
Prayer is such an interesting thing.. something I think most people see as important but rarely truly understand. I myself have gone through my own ups and downs, and moments of confusions and understandings when it comes to prayer in the past few years and thus found Micha's book pretty comforting in that "you are not alone" kind of way.
In the very beginning of the book, Micha states, "I am a sometimes believer, in love with Jesus. I am a mystic who can't grip tight enough to the mystical. I long for order but can hardly make a list. I need something ancient, not ruled by the culture that rules me, to tell me what to do... I need to know how to love God when all I have to offer is my daily chaos. Mostly, I long to know a quietness in my soul, true contentment, despite my spiritual unimpressiveness. I need to believe that my simple life really is a gift and really can be holy". Reading that alone, I knew I was going to like this girl and this book.
Micha talks through out the book about how she once was involved in ministry, leading high school students and investing in their lives, and how she had grown up with dreams of serving as a missionary overseas in Africa, holding babies in Orphanages. Then she shares the conflict of her heart and soul when instead she took other opportunities, going to college, meeting her husband and having her son. Having just come off the missions field myself, I could totally relate to this side of her story and the many questions she had and guilt she carried because of this. Often times in this faith journey I sense there is this "goal line", this way in which things are suppose to go, and when my life doesn't hold up to that, I can become pretty self-condemning and distant from God. Micha's book reminded me that "prayer is not an act I preform, words I recite, a behavior I strive to maintain. Its a returning. It's a broken life finding healing, a misplaced soul recognizing home".
I also was reminded once again that God can handle my tough questions....or the questions I have about Him and our relationship that I wouldn't normally voice to anyone else because they aren't Christian P.C. (Politically correct)!. Micha says, "I figure if God didn't want us asking questions, he wouldn't have made everything so mysterious" and that "even in His darkest moment, Jesus had faith enough to offer God his hard question" ("my god, my god, why have you forsaken me?! ~ Matthew 27:46).
I do have to admit though, that at first, all the talk of monks and St. Benedict kind of turned me off and made me think that maybe I would not enjoy this book as much as I did. But the more I read and opened myself up to the wisdom and knowledge of their ancient practices, I really felt like I had grown though it. Like in hearing how the Benedictines did things and why, I was able to see more of God from a different angle that I never took the time to look at him from before. Which was both humbling and awesome.
So would I recommend this book? Yeah I would, especially to a specific audience of women who are just at the start of their family oriented life (newly married, newborn baby). I think the author has a lot to offer, especially to those in the same place she found herself at the time of the writing. And to those, like me, who maybe aren't in the exact same place, I think there are still things to take away from this book as well. So I say, give the book a chance... it's worth the possible connection.