Empty Shelf Challenge Update (July)

June

The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Beatitudes: Eight Steps to Happiness by Raniero Cantalamessa

The One by Kiera Cass

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We are More.

So I’m no longer the only person I know who hasn’t read John Green’s best seller The Fault in Our Stars.

The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of two cancer-ridden teenagers, Augustus and Hazel, and their relationship. Something that really stood out to me in the story was the difficulty that some characters had separating themselves from their illness, their flaw. This idea is first brought up in the second chapter when Augustus asks Hazel to tell her “story”

     “So what’s your story?” he asked, sitting down next to me at a safe distance.
     “I already told you my story. I was diagnosed when—”
     “No, not your cancer story. Your story. Interests, hobbies, passions, weird fetishes, etcetera.”
     “Um,” I said.
     “Don’t tell me you’re one of those people who becomes their disease. I know so many people like that. It’s disheartening. Like, cancer is in the growth business, right? The taking-people-over business. But surely you haven’t let it succeed prematurely.”

Whenever someone asks me about myself, I tend to blank, like they’re asking me about a complete stranger. Sure, things come to mind, like my depression, the fact I’m overweight, but I don’t really want to tell a friend, “Hi I’m Katie and I’m a fat and depressed girl. Wanna see a movie on Tuesday?”

We always seem to see the worst in ourselves, our insecurities and flaws become our most prominent features. John Green, through Augustus, makes it clear in The Fault in our Stars that we are so much more than whatever we are at our worst.

What is your story? It’s not your biggest mistake, or your inabilities. It’s not your illness, your loneliness, or low body image. As Christians, our story is the story of Christ’s death and resurrection, the death that He endured so that we may have life, and tell our story.

One of my alltime favorite songs is You Are More by Tenth Avenue North. The chorus says:

“You are more than the choices you have made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade.”

God sees us as beautiful, beautiful creatures that He made in His image. He sees past our failures and sees into our souls, seeing the potential for the ultimate greatness: sainthood.

How hard is it for us to see ourselves, or our peers, as God sees them?

At times, it can seem impossible. I know it feels like people don’t see us the way that God does, but if we want others to look at us and see Christ, see our real story, we must adopt the ability to see ourselves the way that God sees us: destined for the most beautiful greatness of all.

 

Empty Shelf Challenge Update (May)

At the beginning of the year, I decided to do the Empty Shelf Challenge that Jon Acuff is running. At the beginning/end of every month, I’ve been wanting to do an update and say which books I’ve read in that month, buuuuttt, I’ve forgotten every time. Except now! Here it is: The books I’ve read for the Empty Shelf Challenge 2014!

January

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins *

February

The Dead by James Joyce ~

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde ~

Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw ~

March

Forgiveness and Love by Glen Pettigrove ~

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene ~

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark ~

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle ~

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs ~

April

The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles ~

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink ~

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini ~

Atonement by Ian McEwan ~*

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane ~

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard ~

~read for school

*reread