Tuesday, May 26, 2009

finding the treasure at the end of the story

When i was in the 7th grade, my bff was addicted to JRR Tolkien...the Hobbit and all the rest .
I tried. I really did. I wanted to be a bookworm like her. But i was much more of a Judy Blume girl--sneakily reading through 'Forever' in the girls bathroom....trying to discover the secret of sexuality. much more of a , shall we say, short story kinda girl.

As i got older, the lure of dating, teaching aerobics, school, marriage, babies...blah blah blah...i seldom read, much less finished any books.
A couple of years ago i basically stopped watching tv, pretty much cold turkey. Having been a former night owl, i wanted to make a change in how i started my day. I don't know that i'd call myself a morning girl yet, but i'm trying. I use those early hours, while everyone ( sans my hubby who leaves for work at 6am) sleeps, to read scripture, journal, and then if there's time left i pick up a book. And proudly i'd like to admit that i've become quite the book worm...and not just short books either. I've read dozens of books during this time. I've talked about a few of them here. But I must admit, my favorite has been the Harry Potter series....all 4,100 collective pages. did you hear me? 4,100 collective pages.

Today i finished book 7. i sat back , teary eyed and relished that final moment that comes at the end of a well written story. savoring the moment when everything comes together. the treasure of understanding.

I love things neat & tidy. I love a happy ending. I love discovering why people do what they do and therefore understanding them better. I like my home that way, i like relationships that way, i like my sermons that way. all packaged up nice & pretty....with clarity and conceptualisation. while life rarely affords me that privilege, a good book usually does.

This isn't meant to be an endorsement of Harry Potter, well not necessarily anyway but rather an explanation of my devotion. I'm well aware of the controversy--the whole evil wizard issue. I'm fairly certain the books were even banned from the private christian school my girls formerly attended....so yes, there is a subdued rebel nature in me! But my eldest has always been a voracious reader and had whizzed through the books. A spiritual mentor of mine had read them to her boys--since i think she's nearly perfect i figured what was ok for her was surely ok for me. Judge me on that one...that's ok. My second daughter was not at all interested in reading. Her 4th grade ( now we're in public school thank you very much) had encouraged her to pick up the first book. There has been no turning back. She's read all of them, countless times, over & over again. She has since read many of Jane Austen's books ( so for those of you against HP, surely 'Pride and Predjudice' brings some redemption,right? )and hundreds more.

I decided a great way to connect with my teens would be that i i too needed the literary challenge of a 7 book series. They mocked me and called me 'not a true fan' because i would break between every one and read a half dozen or so other books, regain my strength and plow through another one. Surely crying at the end of the series constitutes real devotion, does it not?
The books blow my mind.

How JK Rowling weaved the plethora of characters seamlessly through all 7 books is nothing short of spectacular.
Good vs Evil
the power of friendship
genuine love
conquering fear
weaving through adolescence
and my favorite...the last hundred pages explaining the secrets, explaining the basis of many of the relationships, explaining how unselfish love wins over all....i found the treasure at the end of the story ~choosing that which is right not that which is easy.
I'm sure there's many a sermon there. But I'll leave it at that.

Here's hoping to finding more treasures this summer....
whether it be in a new relationship or the healing of an old one,
whether it be sitting poolside with your children
or sipping lemonade beside an aging grandparent
or in finding seashells along the shore
with a little one who is amazed at each of them, whether broken or perfect

each of us are that too aren't we?
not perfect
what a priceless gift to be someone's treasure

I probably won't post quite as frequently. With everyone home I don't want to spend too much time seated in front of the computer, while hours at a time disappear.
I'll try to keep up with ya'll though.

Happy summer

Go find your treasures!!


Anonymous said...

Paige, you don't know me...I don't have a blog, and have never left a comment before. But...I feel like I know you. I have read every single word you have written. Your words have comforted me, and made me laugh. I look at life, my life, in a different way now. I want to choose Joy, I don't want to wait for "someday" to be happy. I want to be happy now. I am in a very abusive marriage, and am finding the courage to admit it, and making a plan for my life...which probably means leaving. I am scared...but I am stronger than anyone thinks...and I am going to choose better than this...I want to find the treasure at the end of my story. So I will choose Joy. Thank you, thank you for everything. I hope you have a beautiful summer with your family.

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin said...

Oh I love this post so! Happy first Summer Tuesday to you my dear friend. Thank you for walking through (thick or thin) this life as my dear and precious, precious life long, kindred and best friend. Love you, Kristin

the wild raspberry said...

i read to my girls every day at breakfast and lunch...we are reading the little house books and anne of green gable right now but our all time favorite series is the narnia books. i'm sure we will read them again soon. you should if you haven't.
happy reading and have a great summer.

Janelle said...

You sound like me growing up. I loved the Judy Blume books and read them for the same reason. Too funny. Have a great start to your summer. I can't wait for ours to start in about 3 weeks!!!!

3 Peanuts said...

WOW Paige...what a beautiful post....I too am I bookworm and I too read along with my kids (recently THE Giver with Will...great short book). I love your messages and the way your write and the way you live your life. Look at how inspiring you are to that first commenter. I will ora for her...you never know who you are helping, do you?

Jboo said...

What a lovely post Paige! Think I stopped on the Harry Potter's after book 4 -- think I'll have to get back to those soon! Feel like I've been a slacker reader for a while and I do need to get back to that as I really enjoy it. Hope you and your girls (and your hub, of course) have a wonderful summer finding the treasures that are out there waiting.


Tara said...

Ok, so some times I visit blogs to get design ideas and sometimes I visit because I like the pictures and I always try to visit my friends, and well that includes you, however, I always always leave here with something to ponder on, something to take in and whirl around for a while, something that leaves me content at the end of the read and you my friend are so precious, so perfectly worded, I love that about you. You are not afraid to be an open book and I also love that about you. I am not perfect and I have made numerous mistakes in my life, some have transformed my life, my thinking, my me. But, I am trying to find my happy ending...and I feel like I am finally on the right road and it is people like you, I wish to surround myself with. So thank you.

And I just have to say to your anonynous reader, please choose JOY....Please, sometimes you don't know how strong you are until you make one right move in the right direction.

Rachel said...

Paige....this post just made my heart flutter a little bit!

I am a dedicated HP fan. I have not picked up the books since I read book 7 the week it came out two summers ago, but you have so inspired me to go back this summer during my vacation and reread. Rowling's story is so much more than a boy wizard. This post just reminded me of so many of the reasons I love that series!

Anonymous said...


Lissa said...

Paige, I have to believe this is true! I'm a big romantic, a big happy endings kind of girl! but that's why we love the Bible right? Its all about good triumphing over evil. Also, I love the Lord of the rings series for the same reasons you love Harry Potter. I will miss your frequent blog entries but certainly understand! I should learn something from you and close my computer for longer period of times as well!

Kasey said...

well ms paige...
i don't get to read very often, but when i do...
look out!
reading is all about falling into a story and living thru it.
like i said...love the twilight series even though i'm mid 30's and here i am reading about teenage vampires.

Kasey said...

p.s. i will wait anxiously for your posts....
p.p.s this is why i always comment so early in the morning...my "computer time"

Kasey said...

p.p.p.s. happy wednesday

Jen Kershner said...

Girl, you just go off and enjoy your family. I plan to do the same. Reading the last Harry Potter is on my Summer To Do List. I was even going to post it this week! Great minds,huh?

Firefly Hill said...

Hi Paige,
Wow I really hope the first commenter is OK..I hope she leaves and is safe! Thank you for your nice comments on my blog...they made my day. I am somewhat of a bookworm although it is hard to find the time. I need a new book right now...or I may end up reading Pride and Prejudice again! Library here I come! I hope you all have a great summer and I look forward to seeing your posts whenever you have the time!

Kimberly said...

I too have completed the HP series. Only I read them immediately as they were released. I claimed them before my three children and husband could take them. Consequently, I need to re-read the last two. this past weekend we saw the pre-view for the latest at the theatre, I definately need to re-read. I am an advicate of any written material (w/in reason) that makes our children love to read and long to write! I read what they read and vice versa. Twilight was fun, and my 14 year old daughter is loving the Outsider series by S.E. Hinton! :) Kim

Farmgirl Paints said...

I definitely need to change some habits and reinstill some new ones. I used to be an avid reader, almost to the point of obsessed. I just couldn't put the book down, but now I'm "obsessed" with other things...my shows, blogs etc... There has to be a balance. Thanks for the inspiration.

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Paige, you have such a gift with words and images. I am always inspired when I come to your blog.

You captured my favorite quote from Harry Potter...choose that which is right, not that which is easy.

It's so true, isn't it?

Have a lovely summer~

Southern Sugar said...

You can come stay with me and be very close to the beach anytime! Enjoy your summer! Love and hugs to you friend! xo

southernjoy said...

again, thank you for writing something I needed to hear.

Farmgirl Paints said...

Good Morning Paige,
I nominated you for an award on my blog today. I just want you to know how much I enjoy reading what you have to say. You are a breathe of fresh air and honesty:) If you decide not to pass it on I understand. Summer is busy. Have a great weekend.


Rebecca Frame said...

paige...first off...thank you for the beautiful card that came by post the other day...that was such a treat and i really do appreciate you taking the time to write....fun mail is always welcome.
i have been trying to cut way back on tv time as i realize it can be nothing more than a waste of my day...i realized this when you mentioned it once before on a post...it truly opened my eyes to greater things...
i love that you read the harry potter series...i think that 4,100 pages is nothing short of time well spent and amazing to accomplish that along with everyday things...
you are truly an inspiration to me and i hope that your summer is the best one yet.
wonderful wishes being sent your way sweet paige.

training education said...

I love beaches.. and collecting shells at the seashores.

training education said...

i love beaches and collecting shells at the seashores..

susan said...

That was all so beautifully said. You have a gift for expressing yourself. Don't be gone too long.

manila rentals said...

i so love beaches specially during summer season.. very nice photos.. its seems like i can smell the ocean breeze

PamperingBeki said...

These pictures are stunning. That top one, I scrolled back up to look at it several times.

I'm a short story kind of gal too. ;-)

Clare said...

i love your post, you know i am an avid reader too! my sister hardly read one book growing up, but read harry potter as an adult and now reads all of the time. it is amazing what those books have done to a generation of non-readers.

i know you asked about pillars of the earth....AMAZING!! my #1 favorite book after gone with the wind. it took me to a whole other world, has such well built and definied characters..good and evil. all of it!! i hope you can carve out the time for it, you will be hooked in the first 100 pages!!

calicodaisy said...

Oh, I adore HP, especially on tape read by Jim Dale. Every spring, I have an HP fest listening to books 5-7 in the car, book 5 being my very favorite. Isn't it the story of salvation, even if she didn't mean it to be. Not that any character in the book is Christ, but more like Pilgrim's Progress. The sorting of good vs evil and the fact that the truth wins out. You don't have to like everyone or agree with everyone, but you do have to be kind, have rules, and truly love one another selflessly. And you can't do that without a purpose and Truth to follow. That is what God calls us to do. I'm an HP nut, refer to it in general conversation, and totally miss Harry and wonder what he is doing now! Glad you read the story and blogged your thoughts. -- Michele

Employment said...

summer is over... and rainy season is here already :)