Thursday, July 3, 2014

Spiritual Journey Thursday - a Capacious God

    Thank you so much, friends, for linking up last Thursday!  I loved reading your insights about spiritual renewal and look forward to what you have to say and share this week.

     It is a little strange to be writing about spiritual journeys while in Las Vegas.  ;-) I am here this week to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary (I am so blessed to have shared the last 25 years with my best friend, Ed, husband and father extraordinaire) and my mom's 70th birthday.  I am incredibly blessed to have such a long-lasting happy marriage and a supportive, loving, and happy mom.  My 18 year daughter, Katie, is here as well, which is really fun.  I coordinated this trip to tag onto the ALA Annual Conference and the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet.  I was able to meet some of my favorite authors/illustrators and spend some time with fellow children's book enthusiasts on Sunday.  It was wonderful and somewhat surreal.  To be in the room when Kate DiCamillo gave her acceptance speech for her Newbery was a once-in-a -lifetime experience.  Because she is magical with words and story-telling, her speech became the perfect topic for today's thoughts on spirituality.

     She crafted her speech around the word "capacious."  She quoted a William Maxwell quote: "I think if it is true that we are all in the hand of God, what a capacious hand it must be." Her lovely and emotional talk, dedicating Flora & Ulysses: An Illuminated Adventures to her mother, was structured in a perfect circle, opening and closing with this quote.  It was so brilliant.  The power of story is always DiCamillo's message - she is this year's Ambassador of Young People's Literature as well as the Newbery winner, and I marveled at her ability to weave together a theme and personalized stories of her mother and writing.  "Capacious" certainly describes the gift God has given to my life. It definitely holds much and seems to always have room for more.  It has expanded to hold this 25 year old marriage, a job teaching extraordinary 5th and 6th graders reading and writing, 2 incredible daughters, the best friends anyone can ask for, parents and parents-in-law who are mentors and inspirations, experiences such as meeting children's literature rock stars and getting to know some of the leading voices in literacy education, and becoming part of a writing, reading, and teaching circle that inspires and uplifts me.  I have the opportunity to serve in a Spirit-filled church and travel to places where we can work alongside people to share His love such as an upcoming trip to Czech Republic.  How much more capacious can this life be?  "I think if it is true that we are all in the hand of God, what a capacious hand it must be." I loved Julie Johnson's Slice of Life on Tuesday.  When you give yourself space, your life expands.  Perfect for the theme!

     It seems like last week I started this link-up with a theme.  I seem to love structuring things around theme topics, so this new venture will be no exception.  Last week's theme was "RENEWAL."  This week must be "CAPACIOUS."  How has God made your life capacious?  How do you make it even more capacious?  I look forward to reading your thoughts! Of course, if you'd rather write about something else, please do.  

     The 2014 Newbery Speech:


  1. Kate DiCamillo is my hero. Thanks for the wisdom of her as well as your own inspiration.

  2. I absolutely love Kate Dicamillo too. My class really enjoyed Flora when I read it aloud. Thanks for the shout out and thank you for this thoughtful post. I hope you have had a wonderful time in Vegas. :)

  3. Holly, thank you for this post! Thank you for making me think and ponder. And many many congratulations on 25 years of marriage! I hope to hear more about your trip to the Czech Republic--I have a friend whose family escaped from there in the 60s.

  4. I just love everything about this post. Happy Anniversary!!! Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorites!! Have I mentioned how much I'm LOVING this topic every week. THANK YOU Holly!!