A Mixed Bag

I like to have a theme for my Just For You posts but I don’t for this one. Even so, it’s a mixed bag of good stuff.

I’m reading more fiction in 2024 and one of the books I’ve read is called Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Elizabeth Zott is a chemist in the 1950s and 60s when female chemists were mostly unheard of. The novel follows her journey from an intelligent self-sufficient woman who believes “people suck,” to one who understands the value and necessity of community.

The book was made into an 8 episode series on Apple TV and released late in 2023. Per usual, the story and characters are portrayed in richer detail in the book. The book is better all around. In the show, a few of the characters were changed in significant ways which changed the way they relate to Elizabeth Zott. This altered the story a bit, but Zott stayed the same and the main plot was preserved.

Throughout her life, Elizabeth Zott endures abuse from those deemed to be trustworthy. She also experiences, though reluctantly most of the time, the care and love of some of those around her. That’s an elementary description of the complex storyline which includes atheism, misogyny, patriarchy, single parenthood, spiritual abuse, oppression, infidelity, and sexual assault. There’s foul language and two detailed instances of sexual assault. There’s also humor, beautiful interactions, deep love and care, some unexpected twists and a lot of opportunities to hear the thoughts of others we can learn from. Ultimately, it’s a story that shows us we’re better off together.

It’s Free

I wrote that I’m reading more fiction this year, but actually I’m listening to it. And I’m doing it for FREE through my local library. You can, too!

All you need is a library card and the Hoopla or Libby apps (I have both). If you don’t have a library card it only takes minutes to get one. Ask the librarian for information about digital and audio books and they’ll give you the details. Then follow instructions to connect your library card information to the apps and start checking out all those digital or audio books you want to read but won’t buy!

The Long Way Home

One of the themes in Lessons in Chemistry is the circuitous journey we all experience in becoming who we really are. I spent most of my life believing that it should look more or less like a straight line. A little bump here or there…a step back…three forward…five steps back again…another bump…but mostly a line.

When we read the stories in the Bible, we don’t see straight line journeys. We see human journeys and like the cloud of witnesses who came before us, we take the long way home. Over and over again, Jacob used deception to get ahead. Over and over again God loved him. Over and over again, Peter’s “bull in a China shop” ways got him into trouble. Over and over again Jesus loved him.

The story of the Israelites crying out to God, trusting him, drifting back to their old ways, turning to idols, then returning to God over and over is our story. Over and over again God loves us. He never stops. Ever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

Becoming who God made us to be is a lifetime journey and God is patient. And He lets us choose. Jesus asks the man who’d been lame for 38 years and laid by the pool near the Sheep Gate, “Do you want to be well?” (John 5) The KJV uses the word whole instead of well.

He Asks

He asks us the same. Do you want to be made whole? Do you want to be well?

Do you want someone to walk alongside you on your journey? Someone to listen as you explore your faith? A soul companion as you learn to pay attention to God’s work in your life?

I am taking a few more directees while in my training program. If you’d like more information about what I offer, visit my website Spiritual Direction with Marie. I’d be glad to journey with you!

May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together – spirit, soul, and body – and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it! 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Posted in

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.