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Holy Is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present Paperback – September 26, 2013
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"This book's first chapter, about the unexpectedly complicated birth of a child, is breath-stopping and reveals Carolyn Weber as a writer of unusual skill. Her abilities with the English language match the intensity of the event she describes. . . . The book's admirable theme is keeping your heart fixed on God and finding signs of God in the hard times." (Preston Jones, Faith Today, March/April 2014)
"Oh my, what an amazing book, one of the very best books we've read all year, elegant, interesting, full of fascinating episodes of a fascinating life as a writer, mother, teacher. You may know Ms Weber from her highly regarded conversion memoir Surprised by Oxford and now you should know her for this fabulous book of wise Christian instruction, guidance for finding God in the ordinary, and how to embrace a busy life with grace and a sense of God's daily presence. Oh, the writing in this--what a joy to read! This is a wise and good book, certainly worthy of the highest praise: a Hearts & Minds Best Book of 2013 award." (Byron Borger, Hearts & Minds Bookstore "Booknotes" Blog, January 21, 2014)
"Sometimes it seems like life has a way of combining a series of events that leave a person wanting to simply make it through each day. Carolyn Weber knows about such times, and in Holy Is the Day she masterfully shares her personal struggles with the insightful lessons she learned in moving forward from the past and experiencing God in the present. Weber encourages believers to see God at work every day in every situation." (Jeff Friend, Worship Leader, November/December 2013)
"This book is a beautiful blend of everyday musings and discovering the joy of living in the moment, enjoying the gift of today." (Miriam Leslie, Living Light News, November/December 2013)
"Weber's insights are deeply thoughtful and beautifully articulated. Suggest this title especially to fans of her book, Surprised By Oxford, and to English majors, who will appreciate the frequent references to authors, poets, and characters from the literary past and present." (Christy Pitney, CBA Retailers + Resources, October 2013)
"Holy Is the Day grabbed my attention and held it with lines like, 'I couldn't afford therapy, so I started writing.' I love everything about Carolyn Weber's writing. The frankness with which she invites us to share her complicated life as a wife, mother, academic, driven career woman, damaged child, daughter of aging parents, beleaguered believer. The surprises as she leads us through the bends and twists in her spiritual journey. The fresh insights she brings to scriptural truths, from the perspective of someone who unexpectedly came to faith in Christ. And the marvelous turns of phrase from someone who loves literature and learning. My copy of Holy Is the Day is dog-eared and underlined; yours will be too." (Wendy Elaine Nelles, cofounder of The Word Guild and coeditor of Hot Apple Cider)
"Weber's memoir is a delight to read, perhaps best summed up in her wise pronouncement at the center of the book that 'trauma prepares us for resurrection.' She writes of having babies at an 'advanced maternal age,' pursuing an academic career in a decidedly anti-Christian professional environment, trying to figure out how to juggle teaching with writing and family, and other day-to-day traumas of life, large and small. She rises up refreshed from each struggle and serves up what she learns with thought-provoking excursions into Scripture as well as into the literature she loves. She writes sweetly and earnestly, like a wise child. Or perhaps like the wise old woman of God that she hopes someday to become which, I'd argue, she already is." (Patty Kirk, writer in residence and associate professor of English at John Brown University, author of The Easy Burden of Pleasing God)
"I could not put Holy Is the Day down! Right from her opening story, Weber hooks us with her luscious use of language and reels us close with her insights and stories, all keenly crafted to help open our eyes to see God at work and present in our days. A beautiful read." (Caryn Rivadeneira, author of Broke and Grumble Hallelujah)
"Carolyn Weber lives gracefully and writes elegantly. Her poetic eyes search beneath the surface, unearthing delightful insights missed by those in a hurry. Holy Is the Day is a call to see God and latch onto him, so he takes us through the day as he envisions it. This is a beautiful book that spoke to my heart and changed my day." (Randy Alcorn, author of If God Is Good and Deception)
"Life and death, sorrow and joy. Waves of life that roll into Carolyn Weber's life are beautifully, soulfully examined. The author's story is meditatively interwoven with Scripture's story, not to hand us answers, but to offer us hope. The book is lovingly and honestly crafted. Read this one carefully as it is a gift from a heart that has grown in wisdom." (Rick Lewis, Logos Bookstore, Dallas, Texas)
"Holy is the Day is a beautifully written combination of memoir and theology perfect for anyone wanting to become more attune to God's grace in their own life." (Jen Bradbury, YMJen)
About the Author
Carolyn Weber (D. Phil., University of Oxford) is an author, speaker and teacher who has specialized in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British and European literature. Her recent academic positions include associate professor of English literature at Seattle University and visiting associate professor of English literature at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California. Writing at the intersection of Romanticism and gender and family issues, Weber is the editor of Romanticism and Parenting: Image, Instruction and Ideology and author of the forthcoming monograph Metempsychosis in the Early Works and Short Stories of Mary Shelley. She is also the author of Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a wife, mother, daughter, friend, church member, homeroom mother, it is easy to lose identity, to slide into the lives of others and not remember that in order to be these roles, one must be full. Weber addresses this issue, made all the more pertinent in our culture of today, where wives and mothers are expected to do everything on a "Pinterest" level of perfection. But that isn't reality. We look around us and are overwhelmed by those striving to create perfection, and at times feel shame because we don't live up to that.
Weber, via personal accounts, poetry, Scripture and the most glorious metaphors and similes encourages women to sit, be quiet, and relish the perfect God given beauty that is around them. The author, like so many of us wonders what will happen if she allows herself the time to sit back, enjoy, relish and delight in all that God offers us on a daily basis. Who will do the dishes, clean the house, clean the kids, make beds, cook meals, tend the sick, teach classes, grade exams??? Thanks to a very wise friend, Weber is given the answer to this question, and graciously shares it with her readers. The profundity of the answer, mingled with the simplicity is refreshing.
This book, though written by a wife and mother is not just for women who find themselves in those roles. Life application for all is found within its pages. We all need God's grace, and we all need to be reminded that it is there for the taking, for the grasping....to be seized upon and savored. Grace is His gift to us, a gift that makes every day, hour, minute and second a holy experience, and it is the only thing that makes us whole.
Most of the stories are in some way about family, community and the church. We have a tendency to live as if we are alone. But it is in community, our families, the church, neighbors, friends, that we often most clearly see and hear God. (This is very similar to the focus in Eugene Peterson's Practice Resurrection).
Except for the fact that Weber can write prose more beautifully than almost anyone I have ever read, she is a normal mom, wife, teacher, writer, Christian. She does not have a particularly large circle of influence, she is not a pastor to thousands or leader of a large business or non-profit. She is not a household name. So I can relate to the way she loses sight of God in the mundane. Because it is in the mundane that most of us live our lives.
It is something of a memoir of a spiritually rich period Ms. Weber’s life. But, the episodes from her life segue in and out of richly poetic essays about nature, family, and living a daily life of faith. Its hard to know whether to best describe this book as a memoir, as poetry connected with life-stories, or wise observations on the life of faith.
One central themes of the book is how “Trauma prepares us for resurrection”. She observes “all tears open the way for Christ to come more completely into our lives”.
Another theme is of observing God in day-to-day life. “Irreverence begins in not paying attention. And yet, I think it can also stem from counting too often and too closely”.
Ms. Weber communicates spiritual concepts through poetry, metaphor, story, and allusion, rather than coming at them head-on or presenting lists. It is not a ‘how I got from here to there’ story. Like many people’s spiritual lives, the book does not have a neat ending, rather, concluding with the sense that a difficult experience may be imminent (one gets this sense partly because we start seeing Ms. Weber grabbing a hold of a few cliché’s, which she otherwise shuns)
Ms. Weber has a lot of wisdom to impart. The book is bursting with wonderful quotes from great writers and poets of the past, as well as references to scripture (her digging into the book of Daniel is very good). Ms. Weber is a deeply faithful Christian, highly educated, and is an exceptional writer. It is rare you meet, much less get the chance to peek into the life and work of, someone with all of these attributes. She is very open about her life, but at the same time maintains her privacy.