Stone Crossings Reflections and Giveaway

As a child, I escape into the creek bed. No one can touch me here. It is a haven where I curl my bare, sun-browned toes into wet clay. I am hidden…

So begins L.L. Barkat’s story in her book Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places.

We follow this willowy child; skip from stone to stone with her along her faith journey–hop along beside as she stretches and is stretched…growing in grace along the way.

conversion—shame—suffering—resistance—doubt—fear—love—sacrifice—responsibility—gratitude—humility—healing—forgiveness—witness—heaven…

These are a few of the stepping stones that Barkat uses to navigate us through her story.

But this is no ordinary run-of-the-mill memoir.

This story of healing weaves in and out of a Higher One, reveals to each one of us how our stories are thread offerings—intertwining within the Greatest Story Ever Told.

I read Stone Crossings with Bible in hand—challenged to see anew well-worn scripture-stories, and dig deeper into the heart of these Words.

Jonah–given to us as a dove (his name means dove, which was a sin offering)—allows his fear of death to rule him; the tabernacle is painted as God’s heart; Moses’ forfeiture of entrance to the Promised Land is…freedom?

These and other tellings reveal the true depth of God’s Word; give my heart a new yearning as I see the familiar with different eyes.

L.L., who was deeply wounded as a child, discusses her difficulty believing in love as a young woman. Yet now, she is able to speak freely of God the Lover from Song of Songs:

“Whereas some people wait for the day they can climb into the lap of God the Father, and others ache to lean on his strong shepherd-shoulders, I anticipate the day when God the lover will hold me forever in a passionate and safe embrace.”

Is anyone else swooning?

Perhaps the part of the book that spoke to me most in this season of my life was the chapters on Sacrifice and Responsibility. L.L. speaks of sacrificing her desires for that of her family, and how God spoke to her through this:

“Tending sheep is a mundane job. It is a lot of same old, same old—the way we feed kids breakfast, lunch and dinner, or drive to the office and deal with the same people day after day. It is repetitive, like building a stone wall rock by rock across the landscape. So it’s easy for us to over look the power of small acts that are folded again and again into the meandering swish of common love.”

Along this vein, L.L. goes on to wonder, “…would I be a good king or a bad king if I had the choice?”

This pondering leads her to conclude:

“We are each like little kings privileged with a patch of ground, even if it’s less than a quarter-acre, like mine, and more likely to grow dandelions than a vineyard. We each hold a scepter of influence…in relationship to someone, or a group of people, or even God, who all spy eagerly to see what our face and voice will reveal. We are each, to put it simply, responsible in our blessedness…”

These words inspire me to tend my vineyard well. I know I shouldn’t need one, but these words serve as a reminder that I should do all for Him; that my family is a most sacred gift from Him and I am privileged to be one of its stewards.

In her own words, L.L. describes Stone Crossings: “Grace. That’s the centerpiece of Stone Crossings, shared through the hard and hidden places of my life and the Bible.

In sun-dappled creekbeds and strawberry fields, in the dark belly of a whale and on parched desert plains, grace makes surprising appearances. Along the way, it calls, “Where have you been, where are you now, where do you want to be?” Then it gives strength to answer, to hope and to heal.”

If you would like a chance to win a copy of this beautifully written book, leave me a comment. I’ll draw the names of three lucky winners on Wednesday. L.L. has graciously offered a writing project inspired by my previous post. If you would like to try your hand at poetry, and receive some encouragement and instruction along the way, visit L.L. here.

To read Ann Voskamp’s insightful interview with L.L., go here. Heidi from Moms, Ministry and More also talked with L.L. You can read her interview here.





Comments

  1. says

    Laura,

    I just have a second and am coming back to read this post later, but wanted to thank you for your sweet comment yesterday. Thank you for your prayers.
    It’s just been an emotionally draining week.

    I love you & appreciate you so much!

    Looking forward to reading this post.

    Val

  2. says

    Hi Laura,

    I tried to get over here to see you yesterday but was sidetracked but I’m glad I came by. Thank you so much for your comment on one of my blogs. I am so glad to meet you and am looking forward to getting to know you better my sister in Christ.

    God bless you.

  3. says

    I devoured the book and am looking forward to a second read when my world stops spinning. She’s an incredible weaver of words, and the grace of Jesus Christ is evident throughout.

    Interesting you should pick the passage about our own little “patch” of kingdom influence. I’m speaking at a ladies event this evening and will be leading off with the truth that each one of us (if we know Jesus as our Savior) have the incredible privilege of carrying his kingdom within us wherever we go. I can’t wait to remind them of this truth!

    I’ll be back to blogging next week, but right now, I’ve got to stay focused on the task at hand. I just wanted to tell you hello and to comment about Stone Crossings. Don’t enter me, obviously.

    peace~elaine

  4. says

    Hi Laura, you have done a wonderful job of describing the book, what it means to you and the central themes. I have been hooked especially because grace is such a big theme in my life right now, realizing that all we have and all we can do is only by grace.

  5. says

    Hi, Laura. After reading your post yesterday, I went to amazon.com & read an exerpt from the book. Thank you for taking the tie to pass the awareness of the book along & for the opportunity to win a copy.

    Hope that you are enjoying youer weekend!

    Hugs,
    Stacy

  6. says

    Laura~

    Thank you for sharing about Stone Crossings. I know that I would love it……I love the part about the kingdom as well……”Dandelions or a vineyard”……wow, that was a thought provoking analogy…..It sounds amazing!!!!

    My daughter posted the 100 must reads according to the BBC on Facebook. She has read 42 of the works on the list. One of the books listed is the Bible. I was thinking today how awesome it would be to list 100 must reads in Christian Literature…….

    Do you have a favorite that you would insist should be on the list?

    One of mine would be Secrets from the Secret Place by Bob Sorge……another would be The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer…..and I would have to include Prayer:Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard J. Foster……oh, I could go on and on! There are so many books that have had a life-changing impact on me.

    And it looks as if Stone Crossings should be on that list….

    Thank you for sharing your favorite reads with us………Your thoughts on what you read are so enriching.

    Blessings,
    Cheri

  7. says

    Laura–Every single post you write makes me cry…even the parts of this book. I am thinking this is a must read for me. When I meet you in person get ready for me to hug your neck…tight…while crying. You so bless me.

  8. says

    Something within always stirs when I visit here. Thanks Laura.

    This book has your recommendation so that’s good enough for me. Sounds like a must read.

    Thankful for His grace,
    Joy

  9. says

    I just wanted to stop by quick and say “Hi!”

    I haven’t decided on She Speaks yet either. It seems to be stirring within me, but just not sure if it’s something I should pursue this year. What are your thoughts about it???

  10. says

    Thank you SOOO much for reviewing this book, Laura! I love when friends in Blogland talk about books they’ve enjoyed; it helps me hone my reading list which is longer than Methuselah’s beard!

  11. says

    Oh my goodness! Laura…your heart drips with beauty as you enter into L.L’s journey. Thank you for sharing pieces of you and how these writings are inviting you.

    I have not read this book, but I’d love to be entered in your giveaway! (and if I don’t get one here, I’ll be heading to amazon:)

    Beautiful, my friend, just beautiful!!

  12. says

    Laura,

    This book sounds really good and I love when there are other bloggers out here who make recommendations. Thank you for sharing and please enter me for the give away.

    Thank you also for your encouraging words you left on my post regarding my niece:)

  13. says

    Yes, just from the snippets you’ve shared… I am swooning!

    can’t wait to read it! In the meantime, yep, please add me in on the free-give away !!

    Have a beautiful day friend :O)
    In Him,
    Deanna

  14. says

    Laura,
    I was planning on getting the book so count me in. As you know I am walking a painful road these days. L.L.’s blog has been a wonderful place to rest and take in much needed wisdom and grace. Her writing prompts and challenges have sparked in me a desire to reach out and share through my pain what God is doing here in my little corner of the world. Brett and I are praying that some day soon God will enable us to give hope to others by sharing our story. He is a gifted writer and I am excited to see what God will do through him. Your blog is also a place that I have found tremendous beauty and encouragement, thank you so much!
    God Bless,
    Tina

  15. says

    Laura
    I have taken the challenge…I went searching for Grace…wrote two…Great Prompt, very inspiring. Thanks for sharing with us. I feel greedy for commenting!!
    Tess

  16. says

    The lines about tending sheep being mundane – the repetition speaks to how I feel these days. Please enter me for the drawing! Thanks, In Jesus, Nancy

  17. says

    Laura,
    I’d love to read Stone Crossings. I’ve been wanting to since learning of it on dear Ann’s blog and getting to know LL, via her blogs, too. Thanks for entering me in your drawing and for sharing with us all.

  18. says

    Laura,
    I just love stopping here. You never disappoint and I always leave, altered for the better.

    I would love to win a copy of the book! It sounds amazing.

    Blessings,
    Kelli

  19. juliekg122 says

    Sounds look a good book. I’ve been lurking on your blog for a while and have really enjoyed your posts. Makes me stop and think.

    Julie

  20. says

    Wow..I’m trying to wrap my brain around this. She was wounded as a child and now she sees HIM as her “love”…I understand this so well!!

    I would love to read how she expresses it. I have never been able to or maybe I was afraid of ridicule or that people would think me weird, even heretical.

    Love and blessings,
    Teri

  21. says

    Hi Laura,
    I imagine it takes a lot of prayer to be able to do your job. I can see where you would feel overwhelmed at times. I hope you get the rest you need to take care of yourself, too.

    Hugs,
    Sue

  22. says

    So generous of you all to offer these kind words and show an interest in Stone Crossings.

    Teri asked for a little more on the subject of ‘God as Lover,’ so I thought to read an excerpt on Gabcast. Sorry that it gets cut off in static at the end. The final line is “But I am not stepping out of the Bible.” Thanks for asking, Teri.

    If you want to give a listen, here it is…

    http://www.gabcast.com/index.php?a=unpub&b=play&cast=132167&id=19154

  23. says

    Hey my friend,
    I loved what you shared… it’s beautiful as usual.

    Thank you for coming by and your prayers, love and condolences…. You have blessed me.

    I am working my way through the emotions, very slowly.

    Love you,
    Julie

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