From "Composing a Life"

Several weeks ago, a reference to this book on another blog caught my eye.  I checked it out at our library and, although it wasn't an easy read for me, stuck it out to the end.  I was interested to learn that the author is the daughter of Margaret Mead, the famous cultural anthropologist.

The book has many observations about women, their roles in society, and the improvisation necessary to move from one phase of life to another.  It was based on interviews with 5 (if I remember correctly) women who seem to have "improvised" successfully.  Here are a few statements or observations I noted as I read--in no particular order.
  • Improvisation can be either a last resort or an established way of evoking creativity.  Sometimes a pattern chose by default can become a path of preference.
  • Change is SO rapid.  Children today can't even know the names of the jobs and careers that will be open to them in adulthood.
  • Johnette...includes at least one detail in her clothing that defies conformity.
  • Margaret Mead believed that all women have a hidden resource of energy and vitality for their later years.
  • Sharing is sometimes more demanding than giving.  (I've thought about this one a lot!)
  • Self-care is important for its own sake as well.  It is intimately tied to self-esteem with the implication that the one who is cherished is important and valuable for his or her own sake.
  • Writing is the most portable form of creativity, sometimes a vocation and sometimes an avocation.
  • As we get older we increasingly must worry about conserving energy...avoiding fatigue and jet lag and stress, caring for our bodies and our minds instead of spending them carelessly, so there will be more to give.
  • You keep a house, but you make a home.
Revisiting these notes after several days separated from the book, I see that the time spent reading it was probably worth the thought-stimulation it produced!

(By the way, I usually try to balance time spent
reading and thinking about books by human authors
with time spent reading AND thinking about the
One Book authored by God Himself.
This is the TRUE SECRET to "composing a life"!)


  1. I like reading books like Margaret's but like you, I find Gods book has all the answers. I see people write self help books and I just smile because they are not writing about anything that the Lord did not already touch upon. :)

  2. This is the "right" way to look at others book that tend to focus a great deal in human actions and emotions.

    It is truly...the secret to a successful life!


  3. Sounds interesting, Rebecca. The book would probably be too deep for the amount of brain power I would have to draw from right now, LOL! Without knowing the exact context of this statement, I have to say it is the one that stood out for me: "Sharing is more demanding than giving." Close behind is "You keep a house, but you make a home." Sharing lives and making homes involves so much laying down of self, taking risks by expressing personal gifts, talents, and individual personalities, inviting others to know us more intimately, etc. I think that is what Jesus calls us to do with our lives~that's what He did with His isn't it? Great thought-provoking post to start the day!

  4. That books sounds have gleaned off some wonderful thoughts from it.
    Thanks for sharing...I am thinking on different points you shared.

  5. Rebecca, thank you for sharing those points. Really. I think I will copy them down to refer to and sounds like a fascinating read, but definitely not your easy, summertime, beach material!:)

  6. Good advice. I find spending time in God's Word will shed light on the other books I am reading.

    I don't think I have read Stepping Heavenward. I think she is the auther of "More Love to Thee."

    Do you have any favorite journals you have read?

  7. I know I am so late getting here, busy, busy, busy!
    I think that the observations that you chose to share Rebecca were wonderful! We are all so special in God's eyes, we just need to learn to be special in our own!
    Love Di ♥

  8. "...AND thinking about the
    One Book authored by God Himself.
    This is the TRUE SECRET to "composing a life"!"

    That says it all for me.

    Thanks for sharing from the book as well.

    Blessings to you Rebecca!


Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)