Thursday, March 28, 2019

Lenten Book Club 2019 Week 4 - Hope, love & Molly Weasley...

Happy third week of Lent, everybody, and welcome back to this year's installment of the Lenten Book Club! This year we are reading The Grace of Enough by Haley Stewart, and I hope you're enjoying the book as much as I am. :-)

Our 3 chapters this week focused on:

  1. Marital intimacy
  2. Living like Molly Weasley
  3. Hope in today's world
It's our last week for this book club, and I can hardly believe it! Let's dive in!

So the first of our three chapters for this week dealt with Natural Family Planning, openness to life and intimacy within marriage, and I have to admit I wasn't expecting this topic to be covered in this book, for whatever reason. It makes sense in terms of the book's overall theme of eschewing the throwaway culture, but I was thinking all of the chapters would concern relationships within society rather than personal relationships, does that even make sense, lol?! It totally fits, I was just surprised to happen upon it. This is a topic that I am well versed in, and first learned about in my young adult years (which was some time ago ;-)), so it's old hat to me, but I know for a lot of people this is a surprising realization about our Catholic faith. I think it's important to note, as Haley does, that this particular lifestyle does not necessarily translate to having a lot of children in your family, although sometimes it does. Being open to life looks different and has different results for every individual couple, it's the outlook and the practice that are the key. It's certainly something that can be a conversation starter if somebody finds this out about you, as I well know :0, and expressed in a knowledgeable and compassionate manner, can be a true tool of learning and love for all.

I'm sure you will not be surprised to learn that I loved the Molly Weasley chapter, hee! Since reading/watching the Harry Potter series a few years ago, I have felt close to the characters, and Ron's adorable family always struck me as Catholic. ;-) Well, it seems to me that all of the main characters embody Catholic values, the Weasleys are just easiest to pinpoint. I very much enjoyed Haley's discussion of Molly, the harried nature of her life with her big family and other responsibilities that she takes on in service to others, yet she always is so friendly. And her motto is to keep things simple - despite how much she has going on, she does not seek fancy solutions to everyday problems. I found this chapter very charming.

To wrap things up, Haley addresses hope. It's easy to get down about the dark things that happen in our world, and the attitudes that we see around us. But our faith has a foundation in hope of a new tomorrow, and we must cling to that. Everyday we can aim for joy in our vocations and in the situations that we find ourselves in. And when the challenging ones arise, we always have hope that God will bring out the good in everything.

What did you think of the final 3 chapters in the book?

This read-along just flew by, didn't it?! We still have several weeks left in Lent, and this gives us time to prepare for Holy Week and Easter. I'll be back next week with a lifey post, and in the meantime, I'd love to hear from you! 


  1. I was with you at first I was like this NFP chapter is strange but it all made sense. I think she was trying to point out how our culture tries to control our actions more than it should. Like the culture tries to make us selfish and gives us a million reasons why we shouldn't/can't have children. All that aren't necessarily true. Heck look at all the "baby gear" the world tells us WE HAVE TO HAVE in order to have a baby...and probably 90% of it is unnecessary.

    I loved the Molly Weasley References. I always related most to her and the entire Weasley family when I read the books. I bet they are secretly Catholic in their own way. This book flew by but I feel like this Lent is dragging!

    This book was really good. I'm glad you chose it for our Lent Bookclub because I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise. I even tweeted at Haley how great it was. I have no interest in farming but I learned so much about being a good stewart with our resources, being hospitable, and living in the world.

    1. Sounds like our impressions are pretty similar, Beth Anne! I too am so glad that I chose it, as I've been thinking about it a lot. We were at a family end-of-the-season party for Henry's school basketball team the other evening, and the chapter on community came to mind: Mike and I are both introverts, and although we exchange pleasantries with the other parents at the school, we don't really know them at all. So socially, these types of situation involve a lot of small talk, which can be awkward, and either way is very draining. But it's important for us to attend things like that, and you know what? it was LOVELY. I have such happy memories of that night. We won the family free throw contest (!) and generally had a wonderful time, and felt embraced by the community. I'm so grateful that we can send our kids there. And this book had an influence on my attitude towards this event. I'm so tickled by it all.

  2. I'm glad it was the book club book as it inspired me to finish it. I really enjoyed the book. My favorite of this week's chapters was the Molly Weasley chapter but I'm a Harry Potter fan and have enjoyed Haley's other Harry Potter writing (search Harry Potter on her blog if you haven't seen it) so I was predisposed to like that chapter. But I liked the examples she provided of how it relates to our own lives. I also liked the tips for concrete things to do at the end of each chapter. I found them helpful for thinking about how to apply what she was talking about to my own life.

    1. I agree, Melanie! I enjoyed the specific examples as well. And good to know about Harry Potter on Carrots for Michaelmas! I'll have to check that out. :)


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