31 days of LIVING in transition :: the books {day 3}

03 October 2011

The main reason I picked this topic (living in transition) for this project is because we, as a family, have been living in transition for 18 months or so. Or probably, maybe 2 years. Actually, it could be 4 years. Well, now that I think about it, more likely to be 7 years.

Yep, I'm stopping there.

Seven years of living in transition. That's when we joined our organization and began working towards moving overseas, and yada yada yada... It's only taken this long to even want to embrace living in transition, let alone just surviving in it. But as we walk towards the next stop in our winding journey, we are intentionally trying to swim with the tide, witness the blessings, grieve the sacrifices, and move right along.

Which brings me to the books. With every other move, we've left boxes and boxes of books behind. For some reason, it's the books that we really struggle with letting go of. Their pages tell their stories, but they also tell our stories. We fell in love in the library. And the books - the Lewis, the Browning, the Eliot, the theologies, the commentaries, the Bibles - breathe love.


They're just books. Just paper and words and broken spines. I know this. I do know this! I'm no sap! I can give these books away, no problem. We've got a nook. We'll be fine!

But, oh, the Lewis. I just can't bear to let go of this one. Oh wait, the Browning volume. You inscribed it! We'll just put it to the side. No, wait, wait, not *that* one!

Sigh. This will be hard. But it will be good. Because as we look through the books, and flip through the familiar pages, we find notes and drawings and the ocassional sonogram. Things we would not want to let go of. Things that speak of the children and our future. Things that weigh nothing and will hide just fine in my suitcase.

So I sent the man off with two boxes of books this morning to give away to friends who are in the stage we once were. There will still be boxes and boxes to go yet, but with the one empty shelf, my heart feels a little freer and a bit steadier.

I'm still keeping Till We Have Faces, though. I'll just leave behind an extra pair of shoes.

The River Into Words


  1. oh! I so understand the grief over losing the books! they were definitely the hardest *things* to leave behind...

  2. I understand it too. I have lugged around a ridiculous amount with me, and when I leave my current country of residence (which could happen in about 5 years) I don't know what I'll do...

  3. Just bumped Till We Have Faces to the top of my reading list...any book that is worth suitcase space and pounds=worth reading. I have a few of those paper copies too, that I can't bear to part with, I wonder which ones would go if I had to choose them over clothes. Hmm.

  4. One of my goals is to dispose of some of my books. I am an avid reader and usually just get my books from the library. But sometimes, I love a book so much that I just buy it. Or sometimes the library doesn't have the book I'm looking for (and they won't order it if it's been published more than 2 years ago) so I purchase those books. Which has led to shelves of books! Most of which never get opened again after the first reading. Not because they aren't good, but with so many books in the world, how can I justify reading the same one more than once??? (Other than the Bible, of course). All of this to say, I understand how hard it can be to get rid of books. Good for you for making progress in this area!