This week, I have been reading Introverts in the Church: Finding our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh. I found this book in our church library and was immediately intrigued by the title. I had never heard of the author, however, and wasn't sure whether I should sign it out. Upon flipping it over to read the back cover, a recommendation by Marva J. Dawn--one of my all-time favorite authors on things related to church life and worship--caught my eye and sealed the deal. I have found this book to be a refreshing read. Several lines have caused me to laugh out loud--usually, due to the fact that the author has presented an idea about introverts that resonates so strongly with me. Admittedly, some of the information was repetitive from other leadership or ministry books that I have already read. Still, the unique angle of introversion continues to provide a new perspective. While I particularly enjoyed McHugh's evaluation of the extroverted proclivity of contemporary evangelicalism (in chapter 1), later chapters yeilded more personal insights. For example, McHugh discusses how a specified role often makes it easier for introverts to gain a sense of belonging within a community. He also questions whether certain interpersonal conflicts might not be better viewed as an introversion-extroversion challenge--necessitating self-knowledge, humble self-assertion, and careful listening--than a relational problem which demands a fight over an issue. I also very much appreciated some of McHugh's suggestions for introvert self-care (an concern that this busy mom/wife/church member/etc. needs to take take to heart!). I would highly recommend this book to any Christian introvert who seeks to understand how to best use his or her gifts within the Church and also to any Christian extrovert who wishes to understand more about his or her brothers and sisters in Christ.
Jadon's Pick of the Week is A Bunny is Funny by Harriet Ziefert. Here is what Jadon said in review: "The pictures are funny, and it had funny jokes. Know which pages I liked best? -- the bunny, the giraffe, and the armadillo!"
Other favorite picture books that were read this week included Redwoods by Jason Chin (full of cool facts about the tallest living things), Math for All Seasons by Greg Tang (designed for ages 5-8, this book suggests "tricks" for figuring out various math riddles), and Salmon Forest by David Suzuki, Sarah Ellis, and Sheena Lott (loaded with factos about the salmon life cycle, which it describes as a story of "mysteries, merry-go-rounds, and millions of babies").