I was reading a blog early in the summer when I came upon this quote:
“Every life creates an atmosphere. The air around some people is charged with rage. The air crackles, stretched taut, waiting for the lightening strike. Another person, another atmosphere: anxiety and tension, or fearfulness and excessive caution, or recklessness and indifference....I live in eager anticipation and hope."
I loved it. As is my habit, I chased down the person who said it and the book from which the quote originated and there I met Jean Fleming and the blessing has been all mine since that day.
Jean Fleming is the author of many books but the one that nourished the socks off of my summer is called Pursue the Intentional Life. I opened to cover and read the forward which was written by a woman who had been mentored by Mrs. Fleming and her words made me lean in with anticipation to the pages that awaited me.
Arranged in short chapters, Pursue the Intentional Life was the book I woke up each morning looking forward to opening. I underlined, copied quotes in a special journal I reserved only for this book, I read quotes aloud to my Man, I texted my Mom and sisters about it, I may even have Instagramed a page or two.
I discovered during my reading, that the incourage.com book club was featuring Mrs. Fleming and her book in a weekly book club And that videos of the book discussions were available ONLINE (here) and I could watch them at my leisure! Woot!
Long before I finished reading the book, I realized that it would be necessary to read it again. I NEVER READ A BOOK TWICE (except for Charlotte's Web which I’ve read 4 times now) but I needed this one to sink deeper into my heart. The morning after I turn the last page I missed the company of my new friend and her wisdom. I forced myself on to the next book in my stack, but it wasn't the same. Pursue the Intentional Life had set such a high standard of "this applies to my life completely" that any other book was unable to grip my focus.
What makes Pursue the Intentional Life so compelling is that it is so important for women of all ages and I think that the earlier in her life it gets into a woman's hands, the greater will be her benefit. When Fleming turned 50, she decided to place before herself a goal to be the best "old lady" she could be. She understood that being a lovely "old lady" was not going to happen accidentally and thus she determined to be intentional on her journey particularly as it involved aging. This book then, is what she calls her "Old Lady File.”
Covering topics like what it means to be a life long learner, how to deal with changes that increasing age deals us, growing sweeter through bitter times and so many many more. Click here and then click on the words “Look Inside.”
"God is not asking me to number my days to increase my pace but rather to examine my route, not to increase my efficiency but to see where I must make course corrections in heart, character, and actions."
"Who knows the challenges ahead? But in them all, I want to trust His grace, trust that He can reveal Himself in me when I'm barely hanging on, trust that when there is almost nothing of me left, He will show up most powerfully."