Do you feel like your life is compartmentalized? Man. I sure do. And that is hard. I mean, honestly, it affects my marriage. It is so hard to be in mom-mode all day and then jump into wife-mode.
And what about all the other parts of me? My passions? My goals? They don’t just sit around in a box waiting for me to come around to them and deal with them. Or maybe they do. I often set the “me” aside to deal with everyone else. As for the spiritual part of me? I know that when I let that part of me seep into my whole life, I feel more grounded, more prepared to face my daily challenges. I can more easily focus on what is bigger than myself and not get so caught up in the everyday weeds of life and parenthood. But more often than not I simply take my quiet time, the time set aside for bible study and church, and leave that part of my life in those spaces. Sometimes, I don’t even do that.
This is what I thought about when I read the introduction to Christine Organ’s Open Boxes: the gifts of living a full and connected life (affiliate link) as she explained the premise of her book: We live fragmented and disjointed lives, compartmentalizing and detaching one part of our life from the other, and it prevents us from finding “meaning, purpose, and joy.” (page 2). Yes, I thought. This is the book for me. This is what I do.
Christine writes about the mysteries of grace, wonder, and miracles that allow us to open the boxes of our life and start to bring everything together. When writing about these three things, she isn’t talking about the huge, biblical-proportioned acts of God, but the everyday grace, the daily miracles that we often fail to notice and the wonder that comes when we pay attention and notice.
So much of this book spoke to me. In fact, I felt like a lot of what Christine writes about is the raison d’être of this blog. I titled my blog “Mommy Miracles” because I wanted to write about noticing the miracles in the everyday world of motherhood. When you look for them, they’re easy to see. And when you put meaning behind that, you find blessings.
This book is filled with essays that fit into these categories of grace, wonder, and miracles, and it is beautiful to see the world through Christine’s eyes. It is inspiring. While I believe that this book is for everyone, it was definitely applicable to my life as a mother, because it is in this mother of small children season of my life that I have found myself compartmentalizing the most and I am seeing how it is affecting my life negatively.
The only thing I really couldn’t get on board with in this book was the generalized spirituality of it. While I believe Christine Organ was writing it to be inclusive to everyone, I found it counterintuitive to my belief of who God is. God is not just a “force” in my life. But, so much about what she writes about “God” is true for me, and so it was easy to read through the generalized spirituality parts that made me uncomfortable. Like Christine writes, “God’s voice isn’t spoken only to and through priests, rabbis, and shamans; it’s heard in the music we hum in the car, in a dog-eared book, in our children’s voices…” (page 6) and it is definitely possible to find Him in the pages of Open Boxes. And yes, I suppose that means it is possible to find the positive life force that connects everything in this book too, whether you call that “God” or not.
I can almost guarantee that readers of my blog will love Open Boxes, not because I am comparing myself to Christine Organ, but because the topic is so similar to what I strive to write about. I encourage you to pick up a copy. You can find the book at Amazon (affiliate link) and Barnes & Noble.
I was given an electronic copy of Open Boxes for the purposes of review. The content of my review is unbiased.