Re: Replenish

Revisiting the books I’ve read in the past and posting them to my Saturday Featured Books blog provide me an unexpected blessing: replenishment.

As I flip through the pages and reread the quotes, I am filled again with the truths, the inspirations, the takeaways of the books. Each one challenges me, prods me, and forms me.

I feel as if ‘m the pool of water at the bottom of a waterfall, taking everything poured over the edge. But, truth be told, I have a filtering gate at the top, because I don’t let just anything pour over. I’m very selective in the books I read, because they become a part of me. I want my pool to be replenished with true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy things (sound familiar?). I chew on the words, I question them, I wrestle with them. And I want them to be worthy.

Typically, I choose books by the season I am in.

A few years ago, I read through a stack of books on prayer (literally and figuratively, as some were on my kindle) because I wanted to wrestle with this thing called prayer. What is it? How do I do it? What should I expect?

Did I find any answers? Maybe? Mostly, I spent time in the questions.

When we lived in Mississippi and the Lord had us working with marginalized people, I poured over another stack of books, that time on poverty and racism and homelessness because I wanted to understand, I wanted to be effective, I wanted to make a difference.

Did I find any answers? Some. Mostly, I spent time in the questions.

Recently, as I’ve pursued my passion, my dream, my call of writing, I’ve plowed through some of the best books on the craft of writing because I went to tell engaging stories, powerful stories, life-changing stories.

Have I found any answers? Hopefully. Mostly, I spend a lot of time in the questions.

I’ve also pursued great fiction to read. I’ve started many novels, but only finished a few. Because time is precious and I don’t have time to immerse myself in a story that doesn’t grab me and pull me like a captive into its world, its adventures, its dangers. Quite possibly, as I continue my Featured Books, I will present some of my great fiction finds and rather than quotes (I rarely highlight fiction – although I have a few scenes that are life-transfomingly amazing) I will hopefully give enough of a tease to make readers want to dive in.

As I peruse each of the one books I’ve read in the past, I’m stirred to reread them. But then I look at the stack of books I have waiting. And the stories I have still yet to write. And I know I must press on and allow the fresh ideas and new insights continue to replenish my pool at the bottom of the waterfall.

How else can I search for more questions to spend time in?



About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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