Searching for the Sacred
A Memoir by Nancy Swihart
Enter the adventure of unwrapping gifts from the God who loves to inhabit our space: the gift of community, the gift of sorrows and celebrations; the gift of land and buildings; even the gifts of the animals that fill our lives.
When the Swihart family left a thriving ministry in Southern California and moved to rural Kansas, they sought a place to live sacramentally and in community. As God-given dreams often do, this one took a different form than first envisioned. Read how God used individuals and families with their unique gifts, the land with its resources and features, even the farm animals to shape a far-reaching experience of “The God Who Is There”—on a rustic, old farm along Kitten Creek. In this book you will find:
- Encouragement to look in everyday life for the sacred that is always there.
- An example of an authentic, loving, effective community of believers.
- Insights into how God’s creatures, the animals, can enrich our lives.
- ISBN: 9781945099021
Nancy Swihart has served as Professor of English and Department Head of General Studies at Manhattan Christian College; editor and writer for National Center for Fathering; speaker at various women’s retreats and conferences; and founding member of Wellspring, Inc. She and her husband, Judson J. Swihart, have three grown children and eleven grandchildren.
Paperback • 5.5″ x 8.5″ • 186 pgs
Buy Now: $13.49
“Nancy Swihart’s On Kitten Creek is an uplifting and thoughtful read. It’s a fresh reminder that we are each living an adventure. At times our adventurous lives, the meaning of certain events, relationships and living spaces are obscure; however when we take time and reflect, as Nancy has done, the richness in living bursts forth in her narrative like a warm sun. Reading On Kitten Creek will minister to your spirit and move you to give thanks for life’s simple gifts. I particularly enjoy the way Nancy inserts her breath of literature, practical wisdom and spiritual insights in each chapter. Her concluding and short review of the “markers” of life’s adventures is worth the price of the book alone. I know you will enjoy On Kitten Creek and hopefully it will cause you to reflect deeply about your life, as it has prompted me.”
–Ken Canfield PhD., Founder National Center for Fathering; President, National Association for Grandparenting
“Strangers driving past the big red barn and outbuildings on Kitten Creek’s gravel road could never guess the magnitude of what has happened on that property in the last thirty years! The open hearts and hands there on the farm have enabled countless revolving college students and community friends to bond, build, create, study, experiment, grow, enjoy, laugh, serve, and fan out over the world, blessed. Let Nancy give you glimpses of His handiwork among us. Be inspired to look for sacred connections and creative opportunities waiting to surprise you within what may seem mundane in your own life.”
–Kay Bascom, Author, Teacher, Missionary, and Conference Speaker
“Lots of love, lots of tears, lots of growing.” I could write on and on about the unusual richness of Nancy Swihart’s On Kitten Creek, but those few words of hers capture the life she has lived “in search of the sacred.” Always hospitable, always inviting, she is also artful and poetic, writing about her family’s life on a small farm in the Flint Hills of Kansas—the hours and days of hard work, the surprising commitment to a common life among neighbors, the celebrations and heartaches over the years. She graces us with eyes to see all of this as born of a longing for God to be present in her life and world. A quiet read for a quiet day or to be read aloud among friends, its gift is to draw us into the truest truths of the universe, sure that we have been looking over-the-shoulder and through-the-heart of someone with much to teach every one of us.”
On Kitten Creek: Searching for the Sacred by Nancy Swihart is a remarkable, modern day adventure story about how one family, grounded in Christian love and guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit, developed a Christ-honoring community. The power of two verses is fulfilled in her book and life: In Psalm 71: 18, we are encouraged to “ declare God’s power to the next generation, His mighty acts to all who are to come.” Psalm 90:12 tells us to “number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” As I read Nancy’s story, I remembered my own family’s journey… When our first military assignment took us to Kansas, we were blessed with a life-long friendship with the Swihart family as well as our involvement with Wellspring Ministries. My three children, my wife, and I spent many a happy day frolicking on the Swihart farm, enjoying the uniqueness that only farm life can hold, as well as being impacted by the spiritual adventures that took place there on Kitten Creek. Of particular interest to my animal-loving children was the variety of animals found there, which the Swiharts wove into their ministry (and Nancy into her book) much like C.S. Lewis did in his Narnia stories!
This is a life changing book as it points to self-introspection in regards to how our own lives might be used to further the Lord’s Kingdom here on this earth. As a retired U.S. Army soldier and now a professor at the University of Alabama, I was impressed by the Wellspring team’s openness to so many college students… their willingness to simply be present, to listen, and to provide a relational community where young people could experience faith in action. Nancy’s memoir guides her readers to our Savior and encourages a lifetime of focus on Him and the gospel. It reminds us that God provides, corrects, leads, and answers our prayers and needs as we continually seek His presence in our lives. The importance of remembrance is emphasized as the Lord incorporates our whole lives into the strength of our witness for Him, and the value of praying and thinking the Scriptures is encouraged.
In a personal application of this book, though us city folk do not inhabit a farm in Kansas, we do have a small cabin on a river in the Appalachian mountains in north Alabama. We are now inspired to purpose to place a Christ-focus in our times there for our family and friends.
On a professional note, I am part of research and ministry with aging congregations across the world. Our team plans to recommend Nancy’s inspirational book as an encouragement to older persons of faith to share their Christ-honoring stories with the next generation and to remind adult children to capture the stories of their parents and grandparents. Nancy provides insightful suggestions and resources about how to tailor and accomplish this. Her own book is a superb example of how one’s own family story can impact this world for the Lord and His life-saving mission.