Saturday, April 25, 2009

Book Review: The Blue Bottle Club

The bible study that I attend on Monday nights has just ended and is transforming into a book study for the summer months. The first book chosen is The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope Stokes and portrays the story of five women - four from the 1930s, one from present day who serves as the reporter, bringing the other four stories to life.

The Blue Bottle Club was formed on Christmas Day, 1929, just months after the Stock Market Crash of '29. Each of the girls wrote her lifelong dreams on a piece of paper and put them into a blue bottle, which was then hidden in the rafters of the house as a sort of time capsule for their lives. As the story unfolds, it's clear that none of the girls' lives turned out quite like they had imagined. Many dreams and hearts were broken in the process, but through it all, they each found God.

The reporter in the story made the following realization:

"It's the dreams we're unaware of that are the most important ones. God sees into our hearts and knows our souls inside out. Our conscious dreams may go unfulfilled, but the Lord's dreams - those deeper ones - are always realized. We just have to keep our eyes open to see the miracle when it happens."

I have often offered up that small prayer... 'not my will but yours, Lord,' but have still sometimes been filled with a sadness over some of my own dreams that didn't materialize. This book though, because it has the power of a book to tell the beginning, middle and end of the story all at once, shows how letting go of your own dreams allows the dreams of God to come true - which turns out better 100% of the time.

"Our primary purpose in this life is not to do, but to become. To grow in Christlikeness, to become more like our Lord. To draw near in the Spirit. To glorify God with whatever our hands touch."

When we are pursuing that purpose as our dream, our goal, then the actual events of our life aren't as important as the people we touch, the character we develop and the relationship we form with Christ. When you spend your life pursuing a 'higher calling' rather than a degree or career or status or fortune, you recognize that life isn't so much a destination as a journey. It's a constant development and maturing of our character... we just have to watch out for when God's dreams are materializing in our lives.

The book is a quick read and I enjoyed how the past and present were woven together to tell a complete story of redemption for each of the characters. Pepper in a few important lessons about our Creator and I agree that it was a well-chosen first book for the book club.


Jill said...

really enjoying the book reviews - keep them coming!

Kelly said...

Fun! This sounds like a good beach read for me, I"ll have to check it out :) xoxo