Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: A Collection of Wednesdays

A Collection of Wednesdays: Creating a Whole from the Parts
by Amy Gaither Hayes
(Zondervan, 2011)

Publisher's synopsis:
Through story, poetry, and song lyrics, Amy Gaither Hayes contemplates the Divine design in the seemingly random aspects of her life. Gain a fresh, simpler perspective on the structure and purpose of your own life, and insights into the heart and ways of the Creator who designed you as his masterpiece.

Available in hardcover and ebook formats.


I love emerging from a book as from a particularly satisfying and eye-opening dream, shaking myself off and realizing I'm not exactly the same person who started reading the book.
Amy Gaither Hayes, A Collection of Wednesdays (p. 116)

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A whim. That's all it was.

Several weeks ago, I was looking for something to review. This book was available, and I thought "why not?"

I had no idea what the book was about, but I could tell from the description that it was a departure from my usual fare.

Most everything I've been reading lately relates to either theology or counseling. And then there's this book.

A Collection of Wednesdays is:

  • Honest and thoughtful
  • Beautifully written
  • Reflective without being preachy
  • Artistically designed (none of my theology books have aqua endpapers!)

For part of each Wednesday, Amy Gaither Hayes takes time to reflect and write. This book contains some of the products of those times — it is, quite literally, a collection of Wednesdays.

Hayes writes as a busy person — wife, mother, college educator, and mentor are among her life roles. Without admonishing, she inspires her equally busy reader to take regular time to reflect.

Reflect on what? A legitimate question.

Hayes's reflections center around certain themes, with chapters titled accordingly: Passion, Calling, Sand, Children, Dinner, Rest, Posse, Church, Mentor, Books, Music, Belief, Wisdom, and Feast.

In 14 brief chapters, each ending with a poem or two, Hayes looks at the influences that have made her who she is. Of course, the Books chapter resonates with me (and resulted in the addition of several items to my reading list). Some chapters, like Posse and Mentor, challenge my stubborn independence. And I know I'll be revisiting several other chapters as well.

I came away from this book changed. For example, after each reading session, I found myself thinking in poetic phrases. That might not strike every person as a practical take-away, but for those in need of an expressive outlet, poetry can be a huge boon — just look at the Psalms.

In other words, poetic expression can be biblical (which appeals to the theologian in me) as well as therapeutic (which appeals to the counselor).

With graduate school around the corner, I'm about to ramp up into a new season of busy. And as life gets busier, I know opportunities for creative outlet will decrease. I think I'd like to borrow some of Hayes's practices.

I'm off to get my calendar to make a weekly writing date with myself.

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Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this book by the publisher for review purposes. I will receive no compensation for this post, nor was I obligated to write a positive review. With the exception of the quoted excerpts, the observations and any opinions expressed are my own.

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