Book #7: Eat, Pray, Love

My seventh book for 2011 was Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, which we also read for our church book group.

This is yet another book that defied my expectations. Although I had that moment of feeling like a bad divorce joke, I stuck with the book. I thought I would not enjoy the section on India, but in the end I liked it a lot, particularly Gilbert’s rooftop experience and her realization that spiritual fulfillment comes not from denying who you are but becoming more fully who you are, or in my way of thinking, who God made you to be. “God dwells within you, as you.”

We had a very enjoyable discussion, which included a great talk about salvation and the assumptions some people make and apply to ALL Christians. Lifelong serious Christian women expressed surprise that there are other Christians who think non-Christians are going to hell. Have I mentioned I love my new congregation?

We also continued the conversation that started here in my comments, where someone suggested I could visit three more local “I” places for my post-divorce walkabout: Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. (I have to admit I’m hard-pressed to figure out what I would do in Indiana, but I’m open to suggestion.) We explored where in the world we would like to go for rest, recreation and renewal. I loved hearing the differences among us. I like cities, but at the moment, I would like to go back to the place in the Bahamas where some of my more adventurous RevGal friends took a side trip and got to lie in hammocks. You could come back for me in a week, maybe, but I think I would get restless long before four months went by.

And we marveled at the sort of personality that thrives on arriving in strange places knowing absolutely nothing. Amazing.

In a more general note about reading, I’m not sure why I’m keeping score here. I think there is an element of determination that after a really poor year for reading, I will do not only better but WAY better. I know I like my life more when I’m reading. (I also decided, as I worked backward through posts from my old blog, not to move all the book reviews. I’ve saved it all to my computer, but I just can’t re-post everything.)

14 thoughts on “Book #7: Eat, Pray, Love”

  1. Oh, my dear, my dear (been listening to Wicked):In Indiana, you go to Columbus. Google it. I still haven't been there, but it's supposed to be quite wonderful, and I once heard a spectacular sermon once based upon a visit there.

  2. I wish I was in your book discussion group. I know too many Christians who think not only are non-Christians going to Hell, but also many Christians who don't agree with them. My brother, who travels a lot in his work, says if he could move anywhere in the country it would be Indianapolis. And he doesn't even like car races :).

  3. Indianapolis has some good museums – especially a children's museum – although that may not be a draw for you right now.However Illinois has Chicago and I live in Chicago as do a few other RevGals….we could have an awesome meet up in June (let's just say) at Millennium Park, 6pm, for an outdoor concert and picnic…or an indoor place….or the art institute….or….

  4. My sister and her family live in Columbus, IN. Great architecture, great medical services, and easy access to the interstate. It's a nice place. My parents lived in Madison, IN for many years. That's a beautiful little town on the Ohio River. Try visiting during the annual hydroplane races! Indiana has terrific state parks too- Clifty in Madison was a favorite place, and we liked the one in Versailles too.

  5. I've camped at Indiana Dunes in Indiana, and there are some wonderful hiking trails through the sand dunes. I loved the India section of the book, especially when she talks about her struggles with meditation, which totally resonated with me.

  6. On your way to Chicago, stop at Shipshewana and Amish Acres in Indiana; antiques, Amish culture nearby (and at the A.A. interpretive center) and amazing people watching.

  7. Hammond Indiana is the home of the largest Sunday school ever, or so I learned in my days at Wheaton College. It's a'sight!I really liked this book, too.And I adore your new congregation, too!!!

  8. Hammond Indiana is the home of the largest Sunday school ever, or so I learned in my days at Wheaton College. It's a'sight!I really liked this book, too.And I adore your new congregation, too!!!

  9. Indianapolis has a wonderful state history museum. Very interactive and fun and informative. You can spend a day on each of the first 3 floors (the fourth is kind of a bust though).West Lafayette has a jazz fest. In the fall the Feast of the Hunter's Moon is quite fun. It's worth goign to if you like that sort of thing.

  10. Welcome to the RevGalBlog Pals. I am new too. I am also new to full time ministry (17 months)as a pastor.I am looking forward to reading blogs like yours as I learn to navigate and integrate new terminology, ways of doing things, a new role (not only as a pastor but a divorcee).Your three "I" places could be cites instead of states. I do like the idea of finding where my rest, renewal and recreation are. I do these three too little.I never thought of this before, but your statement about books ("I like my life more when I'm reading") is true for me too.

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