Shawna Atteberry

Baker, Writer, Teacher

What I’m Reading: Nonfiction

selective focus photo of pile of assorted title books

Wintering by Katherine Mays is a memoir written when Mays’ health forced her to take a sabbatical from her job. Her own personal winter (depression) happened during an actual winter. Mays brilliantly interweaves navigating her depression while navigating winter. As she explores winter as a time when we do pull away from the world to survive the cold weather, she compares it to navigating her own internal winter of depression, and the withdrawal and introspection that is called for in both circumstances. She also illustrates the paradox of winter’s withdrawal with the need to keep close to family and friends as well to survive both the cold months and depression as they rage on. I appreciate the fact that Mays has no easy answers, and it is a wonderful memoir of how navigating depression (any time of the year) is both a solitary and communal endeavor.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

RevGal Friday Five: Mid-Lent Check In

Sophia wrote: The pastor of my grad school parish once gave a fascinating reflection, at about this mid-point in the season, called “How to Survive the Mid-Lent Crisis”! As I recall, his main point was that by halfway through the season we have often found it very challenging to live up to our original plans….But, he suggested–on the analogy of the healing and reframing of our life plans that can happen during a mid-*life* crisis–that that can be even more fruitful.

So here’s an invitation to check in on the state of your spirit midway through “this joyful season where we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed” (Roman Missal). Hopefully there’s a good deal of grace, and not too much crisis, in your mid-Lenten experience!

1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year?

I am practicing centering prayer and writing on this blog everyday.

2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way?

I haven’t been able to practice centering prayer twice a day as I intended, but I am practicing it in the morning. I have a missed a day here and there blogging, but I’m doing much better than I thought I would.

3. Has God had any surprising blessings for you during this Lent?

I will be preaching for the first time at Grace Episcopal on Pentecost!

4. What is on your inner and/or outer agenda for the remainder of Lent and Holy Week?

To get up to practicing centering prayer twice a day and do more writing. I would like to have the book proposal for Career Women of the Bible done by the end of April. I would also like to sell some writing.

5. Where do you most long to see resurrection, in your life and/or in the world, this Easter?

With the depression I suffer from. It’s been bad this week, and I would love to live without that cloud hanging over me.