I didn't know what to expect when this colour-filled book arrived at my door. The book is beautiful, it would definitely catch your eye in the bookstore. It even has a gold ribbon to use as a page marker. Score!
It didn't take long for me to read through it's pages. I have noticed a trend among many books in the Christian circuit right now about being present. It is a good and is obviously something that we have let slide and need a reminder about where our priorities should be.
The book starts with a strong jab right to where the problem lies and that is with technology. One rule of the gathering around the turquoise table is that technology is the only unwelcome guest.
We have a friend that owns a toy store, I know, how cool is that! He carries a lot of unique board games that you wouldn't find on a department store shelf. This trend of board games is catching on, in such a way that there are cafes that are set up just to play board games, and the catch is that you leave your phone at home or place it in a bin and you are present with the people you are with.
Why is this something that we need to be taught? Life is too short for drama on Facebook, or the check how many "likes" you received on your Instagram post. Choose to be with those that are choosing to spend their time with you. End of that rant - back the the book.
I have never thought of hospitality to be one of my gifts, but Romans tells me to be eager to practice it. This video of Ludmilla's story gave me a lot to think about. I don't live in an area where people are walking by our home. Some of what Kristin talks about in the book about neighborhoods seems so foreign to me. Until one day a friend that lives in the city asked me to come over for fresh rhubarb muffins. She didn't have to ask me twice - I drove right over and when I arrived she suggested that we go for a walk around the block. It was a lovely evening and as we walked the streets of her neighborhood I saw what I was learning in the book in a different light. I was able to understand the inner-workings of the network of community in a neighborhood. I have thankful that this book expanded my thinking in this area.
I have to admit that Chapter 8 "The Broken Table" was my favorite chapter. It talks about all the stuff that we want anyone to know. Such as "Why is it so hard to admit our weakness?" That if we could be honest about the true condition of our hearts than we would be able to live full, authentic lives. That comparing ourselves to others is a trap, rooted in the fear of inadequacy. Wow, so true. Another reason to disconnect from social media and invest in sharing our lives with the people in our community.
A couple of more points for the review: I liked the recipes and suggestions at the end of the chapters. The pictures throughout the book were nice but too staged - too much make-up and accessories for examples of random gatherings at the Turquoise Table.
One final thought from the book:
Maybe the art of conversation isn't lost after all, we just need more practice at it.
I am thankful for the opportunity to read and review this book. Want to know more about it? CLICK HERE for more information or to order your copy.
To be honest, I had a hard time trying to understand the analogies throughout the book. Let me explain that a little, I understand what she is trying to get across but I am wondering why she shared them in this book. I believe that instances happen in our lives that are evidence of a loving Father reaching out to us. These moments are a unique gift. I don't see them as something for a general audience. I could see a chapter helping your reader learn how to take notice of these moments in our lives but each chapter is another example for Annie. I just didn't get it.
Annie shares a lot from her personal daily experiences which I found difficult to relate to, Annie is single. Which is all good - but her experiences of texting friends and going out for supper, flaying around the world or just choosing to randomly do something does not happen in a family setting. I have to plan and schedule, I just can't leave on a whim to go out for supper - I would have issues with child abandonment and a starving husband when he arrived home from work. :)
Looking for Lovely follows the basic format - Bible verse, personal story, application. Personally, I seek a little more depth, but for those who are exploring their new faith this is a good place to start.
I was about 60% finished and I chose put the book aside for a couple of weeks. Then early one Saturday morning while my family slept I thought I would give it another try. Cup of coffee in hand, curled up in a blanket in my favorite chair I was pleasantly surprised to read that she definitely saved the best for last. The last few chapters are where she is real and raw.
I am thankful that I picked it up again and finished it. I have now passed Looking for Lovely on to a friend, I am interested to hear her review. We are all at different places on our journey. Books speak to us in different ways and in different seasons.
Have you read Looking for Lovely? What is your honest review?