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One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly: The Art of Seeking God

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One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly is for restless souls who desire to know God more deeply. Ashley Mae Hoiland bids us follow her down “the hallowed and well-trodden path between the heart and mind,” where glimpses of godliness are discovered in rainstorms, bus rides, temples, and mountains. As a Latter-day Saint, Hoiland explores the complexities of faith in everyday lif One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly is for restless souls who desire to know God more deeply. Ashley Mae Hoiland bids us follow her down “the hallowed and well-trodden path between the heart and mind,” where glimpses of godliness are discovered in rainstorms, bus rides, temples, and mountains. As a Latter-day Saint, Hoiland explores the complexities of faith in everyday life where laughter and creativity matter as much as faith, hope, and charity.


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One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly is for restless souls who desire to know God more deeply. Ashley Mae Hoiland bids us follow her down “the hallowed and well-trodden path between the heart and mind,” where glimpses of godliness are discovered in rainstorms, bus rides, temples, and mountains. As a Latter-day Saint, Hoiland explores the complexities of faith in everyday lif One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly is for restless souls who desire to know God more deeply. Ashley Mae Hoiland bids us follow her down “the hallowed and well-trodden path between the heart and mind,” where glimpses of godliness are discovered in rainstorms, bus rides, temples, and mountains. As a Latter-day Saint, Hoiland explores the complexities of faith in everyday life where laughter and creativity matter as much as faith, hope, and charity.

30 review for One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly: The Art of Seeking God

  1. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Lewis

    I devoured this in one sitting. I just couldn't help myself, I couldn't stop. I let myself cry in public for this one. The stories are so poignant and Ashley's spiritual journey feels so close to my own. Her prose is delicious and breathtaking. I want to force everyone in my life to read this book. (To be fair, I had an especially strong reaction to this book because I share the same faith as the author, but I think it can be widely enjoyed) I devoured this in one sitting. I just couldn't help myself, I couldn't stop. I let myself cry in public for this one. The stories are so poignant and Ashley's spiritual journey feels so close to my own. Her prose is delicious and breathtaking. I want to force everyone in my life to read this book. (To be fair, I had an especially strong reaction to this book because I share the same faith as the author, but I think it can be widely enjoyed)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven Peck

    One of the most important books on faith I've ever read. I love this book, it's beauty and insight took my breath away. One of the most important books on faith I've ever read. I love this book, it's beauty and insight took my breath away.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anna Black

    Not sure where to rate this book. I think the author was very brave and generous in her writing. I am grateful for her openness in sharing her moments of faith and her moments lacking in faith. I feel like we are friends. Friends who disagree on some important things, but friends regardless. I feel more courageous after reading this book. More inclined to watch for my cues to be kind. More sure and also less sure of my own spirituality.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

    A profound and absolutely gorgeous read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Not a crisis now - just my story, the surprising story that was one of faith all along. (108) I first came across the work of Ashley Mae Hoiland in the form of a question she posed on Facebook a long time ago. I forget the precise wording, but it basically asked what we lose when we talk about periods where our faith is challenged as "faith crises" and asked what would happen if we used other, more positive and open words to describe the experience. Living in crisis mode is not sustainable. I took Not a crisis now - just my story, the surprising story that was one of faith all along. (108) I first came across the work of Ashley Mae Hoiland in the form of a question she posed on Facebook a long time ago. I forget the precise wording, but it basically asked what we lose when we talk about periods where our faith is challenged as "faith crises" and asked what would happen if we used other, more positive and open words to describe the experience. Living in crisis mode is not sustainable. I took her question to heart, thinking about how much learning and growth I experienced during previous periods that had felt spiritually traumatic to me, and I settled on the phrase "growing pains" when it hurt, and “a period where God wants to teach me something" when it didn't. It really has influenced how I respond to the questions I have, and the fact that I will likely have other questions in the future. I was delighted when I realized she had written a book about her spiritual journey - in her works I've read in the interim, I've appreciated the beauty of her writing and the insights she brings to the dialogue about issues that matter to me. I found this exploration of what it means to live a spiritual life as a Mormon woman lyrical, generous, complex, and courageous. It affirmed my belief in the value of telling our stories, living our lives with open hearts and minds, and that divinity is all around us if we can learn to see it. This is a book I have thought deeply about, and one I will definitely revisit.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    This is my second time picking up this book (honestly i've only ready like 15 books the last two years so it was probably just life and sickness and netflix). This time almost every story spoke to me. This time I valued how Ashmae was telling her story even if it was in a very different tone and voice than I would tell my own; especially because the way she looked at life gave me a glimpse of how much depth to everyday mundane life there is - if only you have the eyes to see it. And I am in the This is my second time picking up this book (honestly i've only ready like 15 books the last two years so it was probably just life and sickness and netflix). This time almost every story spoke to me. This time I valued how Ashmae was telling her story even if it was in a very different tone and voice than I would tell my own; especially because the way she looked at life gave me a glimpse of how much depth to everyday mundane life there is - if only you have the eyes to see it. And I am in the thick of the everyday mundane life. In mormon studies so often dudes are writing "the soteriology of the book of abraham: found whence upon reading it thrice backwards in hebrew"... and it is incredibly life and faith affirming to have a work that takes ~living~ seriously as a spiritual work, and that it's filled with a humility always looking to learn and not to teach. I decided I love her. I love that in not having things figured out she has them more figured out. I hope that everyone reading it for bookclub at my house this month sees the value of affirming different journeys of faith and allows us all that space in the discussion. (nervous bout it to be honest) My favorite part was her analogy of the four friends lowering the disabled man through the roof down to Jesus' feet inside and the ways we all approach God, and the how he accepts us all and how we can all accept each other, whether we are waiting patiently for a chance to enter the door or ripping the tiles off the roof.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alisa Haws

    This is not your stereotypical Mormon book, chock full of feel good cheesy stories. It is instead a compilation of thoughtful musings and memories of a Mormon woman on how she has found joy, love, God, and godliness in both the every day and extraordinary things she has accomplished thus far in her life. While not written only for women, it touched my woman/mother/sister/wife heart immensely. It calmed my worries, reinforced my own feelings of joy and reverence at the small and often routine hap This is not your stereotypical Mormon book, chock full of feel good cheesy stories. It is instead a compilation of thoughtful musings and memories of a Mormon woman on how she has found joy, love, God, and godliness in both the every day and extraordinary things she has accomplished thus far in her life. While not written only for women, it touched my woman/mother/sister/wife heart immensely. It calmed my worries, reinforced my own feelings of joy and reverence at the small and often routine happenings in my life, and encouraged me to continue looking for those experiences--looking for chances to see God in the every day. I was amazed by some of her stories of bravery. I loved seeing her humor and thoughtfulness as she navigates the world not only as a Mormon, but as a human. I'm so glad she is willing to be vulnerable with her stories, feelings, and weaknesses, because it reminds me that I am not perfect, and that's okay.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zina

    A beautiful tapestry weaving impressions, poetry, essay and images together into a warm heartspace that invites the reader into honest reflection.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    "What I want to tell you as you read these stories is that I've both found and lost God a hundred times over. In fact, maybe I've never actually found God at all, but imagining that I have indeed found something so much larger and more beautiful than I can explain is most often enough for me. I believe that somewhere in all this, we belong to parents who love us with that fierce and tender love reserved for the moments when you observe a child trying their best at something...I've both found and "What I want to tell you as you read these stories is that I've both found and lost God a hundred times over. In fact, maybe I've never actually found God at all, but imagining that I have indeed found something so much larger and more beautiful than I can explain is most often enough for me. I believe that somewhere in all this, we belong to parents who love us with that fierce and tender love reserved for the moments when you observe a child trying their best at something...I've both found and lost God a hundred times over--I sense a powerful, parental, guiding love from heaven." (73) *************************** "I cannot calculate the good I might do with these small acts, but I'm learning to trust in my intuition. That permutable place where so many of my thoughts, ideas, and actions seem to stem from show me again and again that there is spiritual power in using our creativity. "The more I experience the elegance of the unplanned, the intersection of people and ideas I could not have predicted, the more I believe God is a creative God and that we are imbued with the same spirit of creativity. I believe in a God who champions my imagination." (84) *************************** "We are everyday making our own cathedrals; we are everyday renewing vows we once made to love as well as we can. We are born with the ability to worship--not laws, not perfection, not order, but God, and we do so in that inexplicable space where holding my daughter's hand felt as ancient and familiar as it did new. Memories like this mercifully give me pause from the noise of life. Expectations are a raucous bunch that would rather have you running around not feeling good enough than spending a moment in peace knowing you are." (132) *************************** "As an adult I've often interpreted Christ's instruction to become like a child as a call to meekness, humility, submissiveness. But this childhood world where I see my own children thrive is colorful, textured, a little unruly, unpredictable. It is not made of humility alone, or rather, it is made of the kind of humility required of true experimentation." (133) *************************** "I believe we can find God in many ways. I believe our heavenly parents seek us out wherever we live, whether that be strictly in our mind, in despair and joy, in an office, or in nature. It is sometimes hard to recognize them or their efforts because we have already written their parts, made up our minds about what a spiritual life looks like. I know for sure, though, that when I stop and enter that space where my children are most comfortable--a space of play, imagination, and possibility--calmness enters in as I believe again that many things are possible." (135) *************************** As part of a meditation on the story of Christ healing the man lowered through the roof by his friends: "Those friends on the roof mean so much to me. I see them there with quite a story to tell, and Christ does not for even a moment distrust their intuition or intention. In fact, he loves them dearly, does exactly the thing they want most--he heals them; he blesses them. I have felt this same love and acceptance from God in very quiet and personal ways--in prayer, in song, through my children, in hoping, praying, working for change, in valuing tradition. "Valuing tradition. Those people gathered in the room--I think of how their stories deserve the same respect and kindness, even if they would never consider climbing on the roof. Something real and valuable brought them to that house, too, brought them to the feet of Jesus. That front door is as familiar to me as that hole in the roof, Whether on the roof or in the room below, it is Christlike to assume that people are trying to do the best they can. I know I am a better person when I cultivate empathy, and I have been blessed for having received it from others. As members of the body of Christ, we are each responsible for creating a space not only of acceptance, but of joy and encouragement for our sisters and brothers and the stories they are working so hard to live well." (144)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Liz VanDerwerken

    This book is beautiful and quietly spoke to my soul in so many necessary ways. Ashmae writes of the mundane and minute, finding sacredness in quiet moments and unassuming objects or situations, in a way that reminds me of some of my favorite writers, Annie Dillard and Mary Oliver. These small essays and explorations refract light like raindrops sparkling in the sun; they spread reassurance and hope and faith like so many hand-sewn packets of wildflowers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Hoiland's prose is beautiful and she provides a much-needed perspective on faith in Mormonism. That said, this is exactly the kind of book that Mormons love because the female perspective is completely intertwined with maternity; Mormons love smart, creative housewives and Hoiland is among the best. Additionally, she performs all the hallmarks of the trendy "faith crisis" without challenging the reader to walk that journey with her. The elevation of the quotidian to the divine, used so effective Hoiland's prose is beautiful and she provides a much-needed perspective on faith in Mormonism. That said, this is exactly the kind of book that Mormons love because the female perspective is completely intertwined with maternity; Mormons love smart, creative housewives and Hoiland is among the best. Additionally, she performs all the hallmarks of the trendy "faith crisis" without challenging the reader to walk that journey with her. The elevation of the quotidian to the divine, used so effectively in Mormon theology to maintain definitions of womanhood, becomes a safe space in this book for Hoiland to put the mosaic of her life together for us. And yet it felt too safe, either constrained by apologetic concerns, self-censorship, or self-doubt. There are hints of greatness and on the whole it reminded me of a quote from "Room with a View" by E.M. Forster — 'If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays, it will be very exciting--both for us and for her.' I'm looking forward to being excited by Miss Hoiland's future creative endeavors.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    "I believe we can find God in many ways," writes Ashley Mae Hoiland in her book One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly. Through a series of vignettes, Hoiland opens up the possibility that God is intimately woven into ordinary human experience — experience so ordinary that's it's easy to overlook the beauty the moment contains. For me, this book is a training in how to see with new eyes and feel with a new heart. It reveals how soulless binary thinking is, how much we miss in our efforts to acquire "I believe we can find God in many ways," writes Ashley Mae Hoiland in her book One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly. Through a series of vignettes, Hoiland opens up the possibility that God is intimately woven into ordinary human experience — experience so ordinary that's it's easy to overlook the beauty the moment contains. For me, this book is a training in how to see with new eyes and feel with a new heart. It reveals how soulless binary thinking is, how much we miss in our efforts to acquire more material things, and how we've neglected the feminine divine to our detriment. It is a beautiful, extraordinary book — and it comes at the perfect moment in the ongoing conversation about contemporary religion.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Hall

    A devotional memoir, with Ashmae searching for God, specifically Mother, and appreciating the uncertainty and mystery she encountered. It has lots of lovely, thought-provoking passages. I loved her images of the divine feminine, especially the bird imagery. I think I am naturally drawn to a more linear format, but this format of thematically bunched loosely connected thoughts worked very well. I liked her descriptions of guerrilla art projects, and what they achieved. I liked her empathy for cha A devotional memoir, with Ashmae searching for God, specifically Mother, and appreciating the uncertainty and mystery she encountered. It has lots of lovely, thought-provoking passages. I loved her images of the divine feminine, especially the bird imagery. I think I am naturally drawn to a more linear format, but this format of thematically bunched loosely connected thoughts worked very well. I liked her descriptions of guerrilla art projects, and what they achieved. I liked her empathy for characters that start off unappealing. I liked her description of first reading the diaries of Emmaline B. Wells. She was at first disappointed that Wells did not live in a state of constant spiritual grandeur. In fact she was often angry, disappointed, frustrated, annoyed. It turned out the imperfect life was a model that she needed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    So beautifully written and brought some peace to my soul. I admire her goodness, authenticity, and perspective. ❤️

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Wow, I really loved this book. It was somewhat jarring at first maybe because the author is also an artist? It has a very artsy feel to it. The book does not follow a linear path and so in the first few chapters, I struggled to find my footing. I was liking where it was going so I just decided to embrace and find my artsy side (it has to be in there somewhere) and dove in with both feet. I'm so glad I did. I found myself and my family and friends in these pages. The author spoke right to my hear Wow, I really loved this book. It was somewhat jarring at first maybe because the author is also an artist? It has a very artsy feel to it. The book does not follow a linear path and so in the first few chapters, I struggled to find my footing. I was liking where it was going so I just decided to embrace and find my artsy side (it has to be in there somewhere) and dove in with both feet. I'm so glad I did. I found myself and my family and friends in these pages. The author spoke right to my heart and helped me to see things from a fresh perspective. I was moved to tears in many chapters and it made me laugh as well. Mostly, it was filled with so much love.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kami Reeve

    This little book is filled with many wonderful and unexpected soul-stirring passages. Highly recommend.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brittney

    My favorite of many refreshing insights references the paralytic man in Mark who was lowered through the roof to Jesus. Hoiland asks, "How do I think of people who are coming to Christ in ways that differ from my own?" My favorite of many refreshing insights references the paralytic man in Mark who was lowered through the roof to Jesus. Hoiland asks, "How do I think of people who are coming to Christ in ways that differ from my own?"

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I didn't want to read this book too quickly because I really enjoyed it. Hoiland masterfully makes meditative, mindful essays and snippets about her lived experience as a Mormon, a missionary, a feminist, a woman, a mother, and as a fellow pilgrim on earth. Confession: I didn't want to love this book as much as I did, perhaps because of all the heaping praise it receives in its quotes and forward. It's a stupid instinct, to downplay what others like--what's wrong with liking something popular? H I didn't want to read this book too quickly because I really enjoyed it. Hoiland masterfully makes meditative, mindful essays and snippets about her lived experience as a Mormon, a missionary, a feminist, a woman, a mother, and as a fellow pilgrim on earth. Confession: I didn't want to love this book as much as I did, perhaps because of all the heaping praise it receives in its quotes and forward. It's a stupid instinct, to downplay what others like--what's wrong with liking something popular? Hoiland was also in my graduate cohort (you know, when I went to graduate school during the depression and then dropped out because I couldn't write my thesis), and I'm a little jealous of her success. I'm also proud of her and admire her. Her ambitious public art projects inspired me and moved me. I hope that she continues to express her beautiful soul. This is a book that puts me in a mental state that I want to live in: vulnerable and contemplative; assertive yet humble.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Ashley is full of heart, and so is her writing. 100 Birds is a compilation of short essays about motherhood, womanhood, Mormonism, godliness, and brave storytelling. She is a master of metaphor and of finding meaning in the physical poetry we all live in. I was able to connect personally with this book because I am living an experience similar to the author's, but this book can certainly be enjoyed by any peacemaker or peace seeker regardless of race, religion, or gender. Ashley shares universal Ashley is full of heart, and so is her writing. 100 Birds is a compilation of short essays about motherhood, womanhood, Mormonism, godliness, and brave storytelling. She is a master of metaphor and of finding meaning in the physical poetry we all live in. I was able to connect personally with this book because I am living an experience similar to the author's, but this book can certainly be enjoyed by any peacemaker or peace seeker regardless of race, religion, or gender. Ashley shares universal beauty, truth, humor, and sadness in her pages. She also builds her readers' faith in themselves without a single drop of didactic, poisonous platitude. Having read this book, I feel inspired to spread my wings and record my own story of faith transformation and my search for the feminine divine.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

    Multiple times this book found the groan before the sob in me. The yearning that meets understanding. It gave me much to think about in regards to my own faith and hopes for my children. More than anything, her willingness to put certainty next to uncertainty in a personal way that doesn’t sound at all like the conviction we are taught is RIGHT in fast and testimony meeting showed me that I am capable of and absolutely SHOULD document my own glorious path of belief. I can’t think of a better gif Multiple times this book found the groan before the sob in me. The yearning that meets understanding. It gave me much to think about in regards to my own faith and hopes for my children. More than anything, her willingness to put certainty next to uncertainty in a personal way that doesn’t sound at all like the conviction we are taught is RIGHT in fast and testimony meeting showed me that I am capable of and absolutely SHOULD document my own glorious path of belief. I can’t think of a better gift I have ever been given by a book. Thank you for your courage, Ashley. I am so glad to have read your book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    Absolutely beautiful. In addition to making my heart grow at least three sizes, reading this book made me want to pay better attention to the everyday world I live in. And even though I've never met the author, I feel like we're good friends. So if you like spiritual memoirs in the vein of Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and could use a really good friend, I'd highly recommend this book. I'm really hoping my new friend decides to write another one... Absolutely beautiful. In addition to making my heart grow at least three sizes, reading this book made me want to pay better attention to the everyday world I live in. And even though I've never met the author, I feel like we're good friends. So if you like spiritual memoirs in the vein of Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and could use a really good friend, I'd highly recommend this book. I'm really hoping my new friend decides to write another one...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This book eloquently put words to feelings and thoughts that I haven’t been able to articulate for myself. I finished feeling inspired to love more, laugh more, and to relish in questions and doubts rather than fear them. One of my favorite quotes sums it up nicely, “I am a spiritual being who does believe in miracles, not because I am required to see them, but because my choosing to find them has, at the most simple level, made me happy” (149).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    It doesn't seem like the kind of book you read just once. I wish I had words to describe how I felt reading it. I felt like being better, I felt encouraged, sad, and hopeful all at the same time. It is so beautiful. It doesn't seem like the kind of book you read just once. I wish I had words to describe how I felt reading it. I felt like being better, I felt encouraged, sad, and hopeful all at the same time. It is so beautiful.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rochelle

    There are not many books I'd like to re-read, but this one will get more of my time. Very thoughtfully and beautifully written. I like how the author presents different, sometimes troubling ideas and then personally works through them, often with beautiful imagery. There are not many books I'd like to re-read, but this one will get more of my time. Very thoughtfully and beautifully written. I like how the author presents different, sometimes troubling ideas and then personally works through them, often with beautiful imagery.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I didn’t know what to think of this book when I first started reading. It’s more memoir than I was expecting, but I quickly settled into the rhythm of it, and loved it all the more for that intimately personal feel. The search for God, after all is so personal and woven into the fabric of our daily lives, so it makes perfect sense for the book to be so. Each little vignette was so wonderfully crafted. The imagery was beautiful, and meaning was unpacked so naturally and thoughtfully from each stor I didn’t know what to think of this book when I first started reading. It’s more memoir than I was expecting, but I quickly settled into the rhythm of it, and loved it all the more for that intimately personal feel. The search for God, after all is so personal and woven into the fabric of our daily lives, so it makes perfect sense for the book to be so. Each little vignette was so wonderfully crafted. The imagery was beautiful, and meaning was unpacked so naturally and thoughtfully from each story. There was nothing trite or cliche. In my own search for God, I’ve hungered for this sort of honesty and nuance and vulnerability and insight. I also love how the author finds holiness in the quotidian, because so many of my sacred moments have also been couched in small, everyday moments. I’m so grateful for this book as I’ve grappled with the same questions. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever felt so understood spiritually. It took all my feelings and laid them out and helped me come to terms with them. I have wrestled so much with faith and doubt in the last few years and this was the exact book I needed right now on my path to accept and heal. It’s hard for me to pick out highlights because I literally highlighted half the book. But here are a few parts that summarize my journey the last few years, just said 100 times better than I could say it. “I created a space in my heart for questions. They are now part of my religious dialogue when for so long I would usher them out the door before allowing them to catch their breath. I felt relief when I spoke to them and bid them welcome. I learned these questions were not so bad after all—they were sincere truth seekers rather than the wily tricksters I had believed them to be. And now there are so many things I have not even thought to ask yet. My heart is not cold; it is beating warm, wildly. The questions are not always stumbling blocks but often thoughts and ideas for us to acknowledge, to kneel beside and say a prayer alongside.” “I could no longer give my spiritual questions and wanderings the name of ‘crisis.’ I could not continue pelting my own sincere heart with stones of shame and guilt because I did not believe perfectly, or understand perfectly, or even sustain a constant desire to do either of those things.... It will no longer be my crisis, but rather my story molded by a thousand broken hearts and contrite spirits, metamorphosed by a thousand more moments of sublime and inexplicable hope and joy. Not a crisis now—just my story, the surprising story that was one of faith all along.”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    Not much to say except I sincerely enjoyed this one. I loved the story of the friends lowering the man through the roof and the recognition that everyone’s journey to Christ is different and valuable, regardless of what it looks like. Quotes to remember: “When I stop and listen to my body, it is wild like a meadow or a secret mountain lake. It is not stark- it is not slight. It is full with the curves of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers. It is full with life and a thousand experiences worth Not much to say except I sincerely enjoyed this one. I loved the story of the friends lowering the man through the roof and the recognition that everyone’s journey to Christ is different and valuable, regardless of what it looks like. Quotes to remember: “When I stop and listen to my body, it is wild like a meadow or a secret mountain lake. It is not stark- it is not slight. It is full with the curves of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers. It is full with life and a thousand experiences worth remembering.” “Since then, my eclogite-like crisis has moved deeper and deeper into the molten, mysterious mantle of my heart. It has been heated to extraordinary temperatures, changing its properties and molding it into something entirely different. I am not sure exactly how or when it will resurface, but I eagerly wait for that moment, perhaps far off, when I will see it in some other dreamlike landscape. I will run my fingers over it in amazement because it will sparkle in a way I could not have predicted, in a way it did not before. It will no longer be my crisis, but rather my story molded by a thousand contrite hearts and contrite spirits, metamorphosed by a thousand more moments of inexplicable hope and joy.” “Maybe I do not need to go on hoping that everyone in my church will think like me. Maybe even in our differences we can look each other in the eyes and say sincerely, “I could not do this without you.”” “Speak, even when you are sure there is someone smarter or more informed than you in the room. Give credence to your spiritual ideas.... Your story carries power. Your experience is valid. Your voice is vital.” “Looking through both lenses requires me not simply to see, but to ask why and how and to be humbled and grateful when I find the answer is always “because We love you.””

  27. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    Perhaps it's not a healthy response but I was nearing the end of the book I couldn't help but thinking about what my Goodreads assessment of this book should be. As I considered this I thought that it doesn't really make sense to rate this book here. Something about the book defies categorisation or rating - perhaps it is so personal that it's hard to separate the book from the author and thus any sort of rating of the book feels like an attempt to judge the person. It's a book unlike any other Perhaps it's not a healthy response but I was nearing the end of the book I couldn't help but thinking about what my Goodreads assessment of this book should be. As I considered this I thought that it doesn't really make sense to rate this book here. Something about the book defies categorisation or rating - perhaps it is so personal that it's hard to separate the book from the author and thus any sort of rating of the book feels like an attempt to judge the person. It's a book unlike any other that I've read. Despite the sense that she seems to share so much of herself the writing is sparse. This works well as it provides the space to ponder and consider the implications of the ideas shared. While this book on directly references a few scriptural passages I think a story she references from the New Testament stands out in my mind as representative of the book as a whole. She speaks of the story shared in Mark 2 of the paralytic who is outside the crowded house where Jesus is teaching and eventually get lowered down to him through the roof. She encourages us to consider this as a metaphor of how we come to Jesus - specifically through the eyes of the crowd around Jesus. As we consider those around us - they may come unto Jesus in ways different from us that may even make us feel uncomfortable but they are clearly welcomed and commended by Jesus for doing so. Hoiland suggests a broad consideration of how we should come to Jesus, which can provide an example for our own efforts as well as encouraging empathy as we interact with those around us on their own journey of faith.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Guzman

    At first I wasn't sure I was in the mood to read this, but it was given to me by a friend who often gets my spiritual struggles so I went for it. I identified with parts in the beginning and then somewhere halfway through I devoured her words and drawings. A young girl standing in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus. Please and thank you. I loved when she stopped using the word crisis. I loved her lists, especially the times she laughed and the things she no longer believed. I admire her a At first I wasn't sure I was in the mood to read this, but it was given to me by a friend who often gets my spiritual struggles so I went for it. I identified with parts in the beginning and then somewhere halfway through I devoured her words and drawings. A young girl standing in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus. Please and thank you. I loved when she stopped using the word crisis. I loved her lists, especially the times she laughed and the things she no longer believed. I admire her artistic vision and how many risks she has taken in her life to share art and beauty. I need my own copy so I can write in the margins and highlight. Surprisingly I only cried once and it was when she ran the half marathon. Why that was what got to me most I'm not really sure but maybe it's there in the lesson if I look for it. Well done.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heidi McQuay

    One I will be reading regularly. Voiced so many of my thoughts. Made me cry, made me laugh. It's short, but I needed to read it slowly to absorb it, let it all really soak in. "I could no longer give my spiritual questions and wanderings the name of "crisis." I could not continue pelting my own sincere heart with stones of shame and guilt because I did not believe perfectly, or understand perfectly, or even sustain a constant desire to do either of those things. " pg 106 One I will be reading regularly. Voiced so many of my thoughts. Made me cry, made me laugh. It's short, but I needed to read it slowly to absorb it, let it all really soak in. "I could no longer give my spiritual questions and wanderings the name of "crisis." I could not continue pelting my own sincere heart with stones of shame and guilt because I did not believe perfectly, or understand perfectly, or even sustain a constant desire to do either of those things. " pg 106

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Smith

    Honestly this book had a very profound impact on me. Disregard the fact that it is beautifully and tastefully written, masterfully artistic, and sweet in approach (though it is all of those things). The author’s testimony of Christ, of Heavenly Father, and especially of Heavenly Mother resonated with me in a way that other testimonies have not. Near the end she writes: “There is something about the ideas in the Book of Mormon that make me want to be a better neighbor, mother, and wife. The story Honestly this book had a very profound impact on me. Disregard the fact that it is beautifully and tastefully written, masterfully artistic, and sweet in approach (though it is all of those things). The author’s testimony of Christ, of Heavenly Father, and especially of Heavenly Mother resonated with me in a way that other testimonies have not. Near the end she writes: “There is something about the ideas in the Book of Mormon that make me want to be a better neighbor, mother, and wife. The story of Joseph Smith has allowed me to pursue a relationship with heavenly parents that I might not know to look for otherwise, and mostly I would [say] that I do not know so much, but I do know I am a better person when I am here.” I love General Conference. I love hearing from our prophets, apostles, and leaders. But something about learning of another’s spiritual journey made my faith feel valid. I could relate to this mother, daughter, sister, seeker of truth, imperfect human. I don’t feel alone in my own journey. Sometimes I don’t have the answers for what my faith means to me, but like her I know I am better for being here. She speaks of her mission, of motherhood, of her struggles and her triumphs. And it is told beautifully and poetically. I am very glad to have read this book and feel better prepared to being a disciple of Christ because of it.

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