October Celebrates National Book Month

Book cover of The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu

Are you excited?

It’s National Book Month!! Yay! And in honor of October, I’d love for you to join me in a discussion of a book I mentioned last week, The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu. I read this book a few months ago in my good friend Elly’s book club and was blown away. There’s so much life-shifting content in this book! (btw, I rarely use exclamation marks, so when I do, know I have good reason).

I considered gathering virtually only one time with everyone at the end of October to talk about this book, but because I think there’s more value traveling a bit longer through The Book of Forgiving I set aside the following Tuesdays: Oct 10, 17, 24 from 5:00-6:15 p.m. ET to explore more deeply. And I think you’ll benefit from ordering the book and joining me for the following four momentous reasons:

Benefits of The Book of Forgiving

  1. Learn the Fourfold Path (it has nothing to do with forgive and forget) and how the entire country of South Africa used these steps to move past apartheid and civil uprising. I mean seriously, if angry hardened souls and deeply grieving souls can come together and painstakingly choose a path forward, I wonder what that process would do for our polarized souls?
  2. Be assured that forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight but that it is indeed a process, just like grieving. I have felt much pressure to forgive matters in the name of leaving the past in the past, but that never allowed room for validation and processing of hurt and harm and consideration of best next steps. Forward movement does not always mean reconciling relationships.
  3. Forgiveness of self can be a most powerful and empowering place.
  4. Bonus reason (if you choose to take it): Each chapter provides a reader-friendly bulleted summary, meditation, stone ritual, and journal exercise. I did not take advantage of these during my first reading, but hope to this time around. If you choose to join me, you’ll need a journal (for your private use only) and a stone that appeals to you. “It can be beautiful or ugly. It shouldn’t be a pebble, nor should it be a boulder. Find a stone with some weight to it. It should be small enough to carry in the palm of your hand and large enough that you won’t lose it. Note in your journal exactly where you found the stone and what it was about the stone that appealed to you.” p. 11

Birthdays are Better than Pumpkin Lattes

In addition to National Book Month, October is my birthday month too, which I think is better than pumpkin lattes. 🎂 I shout this every year, not to direct attention to myself, but because I am truly excited to celebrate life and the fact that I am still here. I am keenly aware, as I suspect you are as well, that none of us know when our end time will be. And with next October, 2024, being my sixtieth year, I’d like to end this decade with a strong finish. I started my 50s with high hopes, but honestly, much challenged me beyond myself back then. As a result, I like to think that I learned much along the rocky way. Romans 12:12 has taken up residence in my head and heart and guides me these days: Rejoice in hope. Be patient in affliction. Persevere in prayer.

This October, I want to invite Forgiveness to my party, knowing that I had believed too many rumors before about its being and its purpose, and thus held a warped relationship with this word. Forgiveness is so much more than suppressing and keeping the past in the past, and accepting unacceptable behaviors. Forgiveness is bigger and bolder and more beautiful than that. It is life giving.

I don’t know how many will join me in and along this journey but I welcome you if you are one of the ones. And I don’t particularly know what will unfold in our book discussion. I just know that this October, I look forward to living bigger, bolder, and more beautiful by taking time to contemplate words like forgiveness.

I’d love for you to join me. Register here for Tuesdays: Oct 10, 17, 24 from 5:00-6:15 p.m. ET.

“Forgive” by Debby Kerr-Henry

I don’t need to be told
To forgive 70 x 7 times.

I already know
At my core
There has to be more
Than move on and beyond.

I say,
Get off the pews
And pay your dues 
In it all.

Sit there.
For a hard while.
In despair.
Right there.
Feel it. Know it.
And then
Get past the past
And out the door 
Into the filth 
And freedom
Of it all.

Forgive 70 x 7 times. 
You and me. Me and You.
Forgive, forgive, forgive.

Call to Action

Order The Book of Forgiving and join me Tuesdays October 10, 17, 24 from 5:00-6:15 p.m. ET.

Register here. No planning or prep needed. Just be present. Even if you haven’t read the book, you’re welcome to listen in.

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