A book to remind you {Roots and Sky and a giveaway}

I'm a person who needs reminders. I need notes on paper and digital dings and friendly texts from people who know me and who know what I'm supposed to be doing, and I need God to constantly remind me of all the truth I'm forgetting to remember. There are so many things, and so many ways to be reminded.

When my grandma passed away and we gathered last week for her funeral, we remembered her life with funny anecdotes and special memories. She served her family with food and beds and amazing quilts, and with prayer. I can't even imagine what her prayers have wrought.

I tend to feel like a burden has passed to me; Grandma has always waited on us before the throne and there are so many things left to pray. I feel responsible.

There have been deaths and a funeral and a 2000 mile road trip this month. Kids keep playing basketball. School keeps begging to be done. We call all this "Life"—people losing theirs and living theirs and watching theirs swoosh by.

I need reminders.

There is much to pray about and my husband tells me to let God have my thoughts. Let them be my prayers. The idea of that is an ocean whose surface I can't even begin to break through. If all my thoughts were to be prayers, places where God was welcome...

I can't seem to get over those words. They're a reminder and they're brand new all at once, and I think God has comforted me that the burden to pray for my family is His to carry, mine to live, and not something to fear.


When 12 Marines went missing off the coast of Hawaii last month, Roots and Sky  by Christie Purifoy was a book just about to launch. You may have seen me mention on Facebook that Christie's brother-in-law was one of those missing, and in a turn of events that was never a surprise to God, her book is breaking ground in the middle of the most tragic of events. I'm part of the team blessed with carrying this book like a prayer, not a burden.

What's been beautiful is to see an author's words applied to the author's life. To write something is to say it is true in the moment, and we hope it might be in the future, too. But what about on your dark days? Will it be as true then as it is now, when the ink is still wet?

Words like these:

God does not erase our losses, those empty places in our lives, but he does something almost more miraculous. He fills the loss with a sign of his presence."

We are all looking at the same world from our own differing and angling perspectives. Roots and Sky has been a reminder to me that everyday life holds mysteries we miss when we are looking for answers instead of art.

I'm not great at reviews. "Read it. It's beautiful," I say. You just have to let the words wrap you up and watch as every season changes and circles back through this lovely memoir. On my list for the year is more poetry and I'm counting Roots and Sky as just that—it's prose that paints a vivid picture of everyday life, the kind we all live, but with a view towards the poema God calls us to be. It's almost a mystery, how Christie sees all the connections and brings the circle wide enough for us to relate.

I wouldn't complain at all if there were less laundry to do, and yet I am not that interested in doing the job more efficiently. Instead, I want to do it more beautifully. Which is another way of saying, I want to do it with more love."

I have two copies of Roots and Sky, one dog-eared and marked up and waiting for it's second reading, and one clean, with the spine uncracked. I'm going to give one of you the new copy so you can have a beautiful reminder in your own life—whatever it may be handing you now.

I'm very non-techy and simple, so leave a comment here or on the Facebook page and I'll write your name on a fancy piece of paper and draw a winner out of a fancy hat on Friday.