The Red Couch: Found Introduction

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

M_BOOKCLUB

When I was a kid, not much prepared me for Easter. It was the major holiday after Christmas, of course. But there were so many other holidays first: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and, as someone who grew up in Chicagoland, Casimir Pulaski Day. My only indication Easter was around the corner was Palm Sunday. Maybe the occasional Good Friday service.

I had friends who observed Lent but I was never overly curious about it. It was something they did and something my Catholic extended family did. I couldn’t imagine giving something up for 40 days. I didn’t see the point of such short-lived self-denial. If you knew you needed less of something, why not do it year-round? (I promise I was not a killjoy of a child.)

Flash forward many years and I found myself reading up on Lent and exploring mainline services. At first, I just read daily from Bread & Wine. That sufficed for a couple of years until I felt compelled to do more. Last year I practiced Lent myself. As the weeks progressed, I was also tucking into an advance copy of Micha Boyett’s wonderful memoir Found: A Story of Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer.

The book begins just before Advent and takes us through the rest of the church calendar year. Micha’s words opened up Lent for me in a brandnew way and I knew, even if I never observed Lent again, it was good for me to do so last year.

As the book unfolds, we learn about the Benedictine rule and how it applies to those of us not called to join a monastery. We learn about Micha’s experiences of motherhood and faith, the questions and doubts, the highs and lows. Even though I’m not a mother, I related to so much of what Micha wrote about.

Don’t we all need a safe place to hold our doubts and fears? Don’t we all need to know we’re enough? Don’t we all need to be reminded God loves us as we are?

My hope is that Found will help us prepare for Easter. It will help us make room for inner and outer growth. It will help us see the beauty in the ordinary and, in the process, see the beauty in the complexity of our lives.

Toward the end of the book, Micha writes:

There’s never a moment when you learn how to be whole … There’s only practice. There’s only noticing. There’s only the constant prayer that your heart would become what God is making it to be, that you might lift your eyes from the ground where the city is all cement and metal and danger, and toward the warm sun, which burns till the fog flees back across the expanse of the wide sky, beyond the tips of the great buildings.” –Found, p. 335-6

I invite you to join me in practicing and noticing this month. When I read Found last year, it was balm for my soul, filling in the aches and cracks. A healing experience through and through. When I thought about what we should read on The Red Couch in 2015, this book immediately came to mind. I can’t say for sure where it will lead us, but my prayer is that we would be drawn deeper into the mystery of grace and faith and grasp the all-encompassing power of God’s love.

Most of all, I pray the book’s insights will go from our hearts to our hands and feet. How will it speak to you? How will this Easter season be different? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, let’s walk it out together. Let us be women who love.

Come back Wednesday, March 25 for our discussion post with Osheta Moore. Join the Facebook group to share quotes and discuss the book throughout the month.

The Nightstand at SheLoves Magazine

*Recommended by Micha Boyett, Alia Joy, Kelley Nikondeha, and Amy Peterson

Are you reading Found with us? Share your thoughts so far in the comments.

Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click through to Amazon, any purchase you make supports this site.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Leigh Kramer
Leigh Kramer is on a quest; she’s living life on purpose. Her to-do list might look something like this: leave life in the Midwest for Nashville, Tennessee, followed by San Francisco, quit steady job as a social worker to chase her dreams of writing, suck the marrow out of life’s in-between places and revel in the now at every turn. Leigh shares this journey through words of transparency, heart, and just a dash of pluck at LeighKramer.com and on Twitter at @hopefulleigh.
Leigh Kramer

Latest posts by Leigh Kramer (see all)

Leigh Kramer
  • Sandy Hay

    Between this book and sheloves topic, Dangerous women, I’m in for a very impacting month 🙂

  • sarahfarish

    I’ve already begun this book and can’t wait for the discussion. I learned SO much through The Lemon Tree.

  • Having just read the introduction of Found, I’m already hooked by Micha’s quiet questing, intrigued by the idea of prayers attached to the hours, and wishing this book had existed when I was a young mother.

    • Glad to hear it’s resonating with you, Michele! Many of my mothering friends have expressed that same wish.

  • This feels like a perfect read for this month. I love how you introduced it, Leigh. Thank you!

  • sgibsonneve .

    I’m new to the book club and I’m so excited and even more, I feel like this book is perfect for me. After having read the introduction and part of the first part, I am totally hooked. Maybe I’m crazy but there’s something Madeleine L’Engle-esque about it that has me hooked already.

    • So glad you’re excited and hooked on the book already! I think there’s something L’Engle-esque about it, too.

    • Ooo, I love this! Now that you say that, I can definitely see the connection – I think this is a book that Madeleine would’ve loved to read! 🙂 I’m reading her book The Irrational Season, where she follows the seasons of the church calendar as she writes about her daily life. The structure of Found was one of my favorite things about the book as well.

  • I read this book this time last year as well, and it was profound for me! I’m looking forward to coming back to Micha’s beautiful words this year with this discussion. Found helped me slow down, and take a deep breath.

    • A hearty amen to it helping us slow down and take a deep breath.

  • Taija Young

    I read “Seven Sacred Pauses” by Macrina Wiederkehr a couple years ago, after reading Jen Hatmaker’s book “Seven,” and it was a breath of fresh air. Even using the word “pause” instead of “pray” had a significant impact on me… it made it less of something on my to-do list, and more of a simple invitation for the Spirit to make Himself known in that moment. I’ve been fascinated by the monastic life since I was in middle school, but never spent much time learning about it. When I saw that we would be reading this book this month, just when I decided to rejoin the book club, I felt like it was a sacred gift just waiting to be opened. Looking forward to discussing “Found” with all of you beautiful ladies!

  • Alia_Joy

    I loved this book the first time I read it and I’m digging in here and there again now, remembering how much I love Micha’s words.

  • Pingback: The Red Couch: Found Discussion - SheLoves Magazine()