A chapter-by- chapter companion to the beloved Classic
Book Review in the Art of Gathering Series
Gathering Together Through Books
“I’m going to see everything grow here. I am going to grow here my self.”Colin, The Secret Garden, Chapter 21
We all need a place to grow. I know you believe this too. It’s inherent in us and we know that the places where we grow healthy and strong are the places where we belong just for being there. We don’t have to prove ourselves or make others want us we simply are at rest and free to grow and become. Books were the first places to provide this knowledge for me. I began to grow in confidence believing that my story also belonged here with me. I was encouraged by stories like The Secret Garden, to believe that the past didn’t define my hope for a better future.
My friend Rachel has written a brilliant devotional companion to the this treasured story. She has a gift for writing Christ centered companion devotionals for our treasured reads. You can find my review for Little Women here and how it touched my heart as a young Mama. The timing of reading these devotionals has always amazed me, they have come into my life at a time when I needed a treasured story but also hope for the future amidst uncertainty. I know the pandemic is still fresh in our minds with all the uncertainty it held but the soothing balm of reading stories that ultimately point us to Jesus was a sweet gift. I first read through Anne of Green Gables and then through Little Women with our kiddos in our homeschool and I just smile at the cherished moments of togetherness and prayer.
Over the last few weeks I have been writing and inviting writers to share about their experience with gathering together in the good times and bad times. So, it just made me giddy to read that Chapter 21 in the devotional focused on the importance of gathering together and how it creates space for us to grow and thrive. I love how Rachel describes this, ” The secret garden in full bloom provides a picture the thriving Christian community God desires for each of us- a place where we can flourish and grow. the body of Christ isn’t trimmed and perfect; it’s full of variety and gifting and imperfections. It’s a place where weakness and growth coexist, burdens are shared, and hearts are tended…And where the family of God builds one another up and invites others in.” What a breath of fresh air, we are meant to be together for our benefit, the building of the Church, and for the glory of God.
‘And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.’Acts 2:46-47
I urge you to pick up a copy of this gorgeous devotional as we head into the thick of winter. I know this sweet story along with the devotional will provide for you a lattice of hope on which to grow in endurance as you wait for spring. The deep roots that are built in community will not only tether you to truth but they will also nourish you in the dead of winter. Be encouraged Dear heart you are meant for belonging, community, and thriving.