Friday, December 16, 2011

For One More Day

"For One More Day" by Mitch Albom
I like the author and have read his other books, Tuesdays With Morrie and the Five People You Meet In Heaven. I found this one at the Dollar Store which I'm not sure speaks much for it but I wanted to give it a read. And, I like it. I like how Mitch writes simple little books that have a big message and are full of little antidotes. This book is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that lasts a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? (taken from the cover) I love the simplicity of this book, the story of redemption and how it shows that it is never too late to turn things around. "Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back. What if you got it back?" It is so important to tell those we love that we love them. We think they will be here and one day they aren't. I don't want to have any regrets. "There's only your life, how you mess it up, and who is there to save you." I'm so grateful to God that He has saved me and put people in my life that help me on my journey. "When death takes your mother, it steals that word forever." "Children forget that sometimes. They think of themselves as a burden instead of a wish granted." I think on hard days with my girls and constant battles of will I forget how hard I prayed God to give them to me. I need to remember that they are a prayer answered. "I knew so little about my mother over the last decade of her life. I had been too wrapped up in my own drama." It's funny how it changes as a child to all about you and then you become an adult with a family of your own and you want to talk with your mom and find out all about her and how she did things. I don't want my own drama to overshadow finding out about my parents. "There may be times that you fight, and sometimes you won't even like each other. But those are the times you have to love your marriage. It's like a third party. Look at your wedding photos. Look at any memories you've made. And if you believe in those memories, they will pull you back together." Just as it is with kids on those tough days so it is with your spouse. Sometimes you won't like each other but it helps to go back and look at those wedding photos and remember the happiness of that day and why God chose this person for you. Love your marriage, I like that.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Answering 911

"Answering 911" by Caroline Burau
If you know me you know that I like a little drama, a little tragedy so this book intrigued me by its title. It is written by a 911 operator and although it doesn't go into a lot of detail about certain calls it does give you a look inside a day of a 911 operator. It is a thankless job but a vital one. "But, beyond that, there's a certain mentality in law enforcement that says you shouldn't be the type of person who takes things personally. If you are, you're weak. Build a wall. I hear that one a lot. The problem is, I'm a person. And when another person calls me on the phone asking for my compassion and my help, I don't want them to have to jump my wall to get it." It is hard to answer emergency calls all day and not let them get to you but still have compassion for the person on the other line. "Sometimes I wonder: How does God handle all the 911 calls that He gets?" He answers and He answers with compassion and a knowledge of all things and for that I am so glad. "Good things happen, I remind myself often. It's just that nobody calls 911 to tell us about it when it does." Maybe we should, maybe we should. Who knows whose day we might make.


"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand
This might be one of the best books I have ever read. I highly recommend this book and would urge all to read it. It is a story of World War II and prisoners of war. The more stories I read about wars the more grateful I become of those who serve and sacrifice their lives for my freedom. I am in awe of all that they endure so that I can worship the God I want, be who I want and raise children that believe they can be anything they want. This story is truly amazing. "A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain." "He smiled without interruption." I like that line, and hope that often I can smile without interruption. I think my husband does that to me. "Men didn't go one by one. A quarter of a barracks was lost at once. There were rarely funerals, for there were rarely bodies. Men were just gone, and that was the end of it." A whole plane full of men would be killed and never found. "At intervals between a bomb falling it sounded like church: voices from nearby slit trenches all chanting the Lord's prayer together-over and over again." "Without dignity, identity is erased." A lot of men would have rather died than been a prisoner. They were no longer men but slaves or animals at the hand of the enemy. There was no dignity in the prisoner camps. "Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man's soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it. The loss of it can carry a man off as surely as thirst, hunger, exposure, and asphyxiation, and with greater cruelty." In these camps that was the goal, to deprive men of their dignity and in doing this death came quickly. "If I knew I had to go through those experiences again, I'd kill myself." This was spoken by a prisoner of war. "He was not the worthless, broken, forsaken man that the Bird had striven to make of him. In a single, silent moment, his rage, his fear, his humiliation and helplessness, had fallen away."

Fatal Convictions

"Fatal Convictions" by Randy Singer
A part time pastor and lawyer takes a case of a Islamic man convicted of honor killing two people because he believes he is innocent. Soon all the evidence is stacking up against his client and he wonders if he just made the biggest mistake of his life. Not only is it a fight for his career but it just might be a fight for his life too. This book keeps you guessing and honestly I didn't put it together till the very end. It kept me intrigued and interested as there were some twists and turns. "The test of faith is not just whether it helps you live well, the real test of faith is whether it allows you to die well." I know that I want to die well and I have seen death both ways. My father in law died well, knowing that he was in God's hands and so thankful for his life, his family and friends and telling others about Him till he took his last breath. Faith to its fullest is faith lived out till death. "Often, the most dangerous deception was the one that looked most like the truth." Isn't that how the devil works?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Deepest Waters

"The Deepest Waters" by Dan Walsh
My dad bought me this book for my birthday because on the cover it said, "Walsh demonstrate that, like Nicholas Sparks, men are capable of writing romantic fiction.", and my dad knows I love Nicholas Sparks. This was a great book! It is about a couple taking their honeymoon aboard a steamship only to be separated due to a hurricane. All the women and children are rescued but the men are lost with the ship. She faces a devastating loss but must face life alone. There are a lot of twists to the story and lots of happy endings. This book is also inspired by real events and real people. "But it was the way he looked at her. She had never seen such a look in a man's eyes; it was something she had only cherished in books." Since I am an avid book reader I love this line. We read so much in books and sometimes believe it only happens there, within pages and not in real life. "But if Jesus can make my heart free, can't no man make a slave of me." We can all be slaves of something or someone but when Jesus is in our hearts we are free indeed. "My life, before discovering your love, was like a harsh journey up a steep incline, only to reach a landing and find myself staring out at the most magnificent view. Your love has been breathtaking. I hadn't lived before you came, merely existed." This is the kind of love we all search for and the kind of love God gives, freely to all. Read this book and be inspired by love, the will to live and God's miracles.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven

"The Boy who came back from heaven" by Kevin and Alex Malarkey
This book is about a boy who was in a car accident with his father and should not have lived. He was internally decapitated and went to heaven. I think this is an amazing story of some amazing miracles that God preformed in the life of a young boy. I would like to meet Alex, he seems like a remarkable boy with Gods hand upon him. Whether you believe he actually went to heaven or not this book is full of Gods miracles and inspiring to read. "God's peace was there, available for me, but I had to receive it by rejecting the Accuser and listening to the Voice of Truth." Oh how many times a day do I search for God's peace? I struggle to listen to the Voice of Truth rather than the voice of lies. "It reminded us again that God's work is not limited, isolate, or performed in some kind of spiritual vacuum. Everything He does is interconnected, so that when He blesses one person there is a ripple effect of blessings at large." God longs to bless His people and since we are all His family when one is blessed we all reap rewards. How cool is that? "Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow. Awareness of others is a healthy antidote to this self-focus." Oh how true. Problems become huge when we can't see anything else. I always try and think of others when I become bogged down with the troubles in my life and I am reminded that I am not the only one struggling and so many others need prayer too. "When we are desperate for God, He is everywhere to be found." If only I could be desperate enough or more often. I need help finding God sometimes and usually it is when I am too busy or focusing on my circumstances. But when I take my eyes off of myself and stop I find Him and find Him so near.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Small Wonder

"Small Wonder" by Barbara Kingsolver
This is a book of essays written after September 11, 2001. At dark, frightening time in our nations history. The essays focus on what we still have and all the small wonders of this world. There is a lot I do not agree with in this book but there is also a lot that made me think and made me realize what we do have and how precious it is. "More than half of all humans now live in cities. The natural habitat of our species, then, officially, is steel, pavement, streetlights, architecture, and enterprise." This is not what I want for my children. This is why my family often is at the lake, or rivers, or parks or camping or at our cabin. I want my girls to know the changing color of leaves, the sound of a stream over rocks, to feel a slimy fish, hear a bird sing, feel the tickle of grass, the cool of a river and so much more. This is where I find God and I hope they do too. "If life must be a race to use up everything we have, who exactly will win that race?" Certainly, I think, not us. I am trying to teach my girls that less is more, that there are a lot of things that we don't 'need'. "It's going to demand the most selfless kind of love to do right by what we cherish, and to give it the protection to flourish outside our possessive embrace." Isn't this what we have to do with our children? I agree that we also have to do this with nature, we don't own it, we are its caretakers and in that we can't always think how it will benefit us but how we can help it thrive. "For every farm that's turned over to lawns and housing developments, a farmer is sent to work at the Nissan plant or the Kmart checkout line. What's lost with that career move is specific knowledge of how to gain food from a particular soil type, in a particular climate-wisdom that took generations to grow." Wisdom that I want to pass on to my children. "Now we may learn, from the taste of our own blood, that every war is both won and lost, and that loss is a pure, high note of anguish like a mother singing to an empty bed." With every war there are losses, losses of lives extinguished too soon. "We live in the only rich country in the world that still tolerates this much poverty in the midst of that much wealth." Why do we tolerate it and how can we fix it? Those are my questions and also, what can I do? "If I got to make just one law, it would be that the men who make the decisions to drop bombs would first, every time, have to spend one whole day taking care of a baby. We are not made to do this killing thing, I swear. Back up. It's a big mistake." No we were not made to kill, every life is precious but it is so much more complicated than that, isn't it? I enjoyed this book for the questions it posed and the thoughts it made me think. I will be taking a better look at the world around me and all of it's small wonders.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Still Alice

"Still Alice" by Lisa Genova
This is a story about a woman named Alice who is a Harvard professor and is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. It is written from her perspective and is very eye opening. She based who she was on her career and her success and all that begins to be taken away from her. This of course affects her relationships but she finds out that she still loves no matter her memory and maybe she is more than just a professor. This book is sad but truthful, revealing and captivating. "And the demands of the three little human beings born out of those pregnancies were more constant and time-consuming than those of any department head or type A student she'd ever come across." So true, motherhood is harder than anything else I have ever tried to accomplish, so much work but worth it. "He used to tell her everything, and she used to listen in rapt attention. She wondered when that had changed and who'd lost interest first, he in the telling or she in the listening." I think this speaks of taking our spouse for granted. We listen but are doing other things and we lose interest in listening to them over time. "The mother in her believed that the love she had for her daughter was safe from the mayhem in her mind, because it lived in her heart." "My yesterdays are disappearing, and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment. Some tomorrow soon, I'll forget that I stood before you and gave this speech. But just because I'll forget it some tomorrow doesn't mean that I didn't live every second of it today. I will forget today, but that doesn't mean that today didn't matter." I think that is so powerful and meaningful even for us without this disease. Today is what matters and who knows who will have more than today so take it and live it to the fullest.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet

"Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford
What a good book! This is a historical novel about the Japanese internment camps. It is a part of history that I admit I don't know much about and after reading this I am curious to know more about, although I am also angered at what occurred. But this story is a story of hope, love and commitment. In the basement of an old hotel that is being renovated, belongings of Japanese families are discovered. This takes one man back to his childhood and the woman he loved once upon a confusing and exciting time. "But choosing to lovingly care for her was like steering a plane into a mountain as gently as possible. The crash is imminent; it's how you spend your time on the way down that counts." Henry, the main character, says this after he cared for his wife while she was dying from cancer. Our death, the crash, is imminent for us all but it is how we spend our life that matters. "It doesn't matter how nice home is-it just matters that it feels like home." I love my home and I love that others feel at home in my home even if I don't have the latest, greatest things. This book will have you crying, laughing, angry, sad and wondering why.

Journey To The Well

"Journey to the Well" by Diana Walllis Taylor
This story is based on the Bible character of the woman at the well in John 4. In the Bible there is not much said about this woman, not even her name. This book is a novel and took lots of liberties but the author really tried to hold true to her being a Samaritan woman. It brought this story to life for me and left me wanting to know about the real woman, I guess I will have to wait for heaven for that. In the book it talks about the 5 husbands that she had and why she had so many. The Bible only says that she has five husbands which left me to think that she wasn't living a very Godly life but the book portrayed it differently. She lost many of her husbands to death, tragic deaths. "Death had claimed so much from her." After all the loses that she went through it had taken its toll on her. "Husband, you are the light of my life and the keeper of my heart. No man could take your place, ever." She says this to her third husband whom had her heart from the beginning. I want my husband (and I think he is) to be the keeper of my heart. "We cannot stop life as we cannot stop the wind that blows." Oh how I wish that I could just stop time sometimes, but we can't and we have to be satisfied with the days that God gives us. "There was a love, not the love of the body, but love of the soul that radiated from His eyes. He seemed to know her very life, and yet she saw no condemnation in His voice or His manner." She thought this as she met Jesus for the first time. He does know our very life, down to every thought and yet He doesn't condemn, amazing. I would recommend this book even though it is a novel it brings new light to the story in the Bible.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Midwife's Confession

"The Midwife's Confession" by Diane chamberlain
What a page turner! Another book that I just couldn't put down. This book has so many twists and turns, it is excellent. There is some cussing and a few sexual scenes (nothing too explicit). It is about a midwife who committed suicide and her two best friends are left to pick up the pieces. What they discover is that the friend they thought they knew lead a totally different life, a life that was full of secrets. One secret will change all their lives, forever. Trust me, this is a book you will want to read. "Sometimes it was hard to express how much you loved someone. You said the words, but you could never quite capture the depth of it. You could never quite hold someone tightly enough." I feel like this, sometimes the words just don't come or they just don't seem like enough. You hug someone so tightly but it doesn't convey the depth of your love, your emotion. This book brought lots of emotion and shows the strong love of mother-daughter and best friends.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Father's Love

"A Father's Love" by David Goldman
I happened upon this book at the library and it was a great one! It is an amazing story of a man whose son in abducted to Brazil by his wife. He was taken when he was just 3 years old and not returned until he was 6. The father, David, fought six long years for his son and never gave up. He did not have any contact with his son for 5 years and yet their bond now is stronger than ever. It is truly amazing the lengths David went to in order to be reunited with his son. And it is also amazing to note that David never spoke ill of the boys mother or grandparents and allowed them rights to see his son even after all that happened. David is a man of integrity and honesty. This book shows how much he loves his son and what lengths we will go to for someone we love. Amazing and a must read!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dancing in the Moonlight

"Dancing in the Moonlight" by Raeanne Thayne
This was another freebie on Kindle and honestly you never know what you are going to get but its free. It wasn't the best book ever and it did have some questionable content but it wasn't too bad. I liked the story line at least. A injured Lieutenant comes home from war and the handsome neighbor won't leave her alone. The handsome neighbor, Jake, has tried to get close to Lieutenant Maggie ever since he could remember and no injury is going to stop him now. He just needs to convince her to let her walls down. It is a story about war and the effects it has on its soldiers and how the people who love them try and make them whole again. A quaint story with a good message. Not a best seller but not bad either.

A Lineage of Grace

"A Lineage of Grace" by Francine Rivers
Francine is one of my favorite authors and I wasn't disappointed in this book. It is five books in one, five woman from the Bible and their stories. This is taken from the back of the book: Tamar-Betrayed by the men who controlled her future, she fought for her right to believe in a loving God. Rahab-A woman with a past to whom God gave a future. Ruth-She gave up everything, expecting nothing, and God honored her. Bathsheba-Her beauty stirred the passion of a king. Her pain moved the heart of God. Mary-All eternity had been waiting for this moment. She responded in simple obedience to God's call. This book was fascinating and beautifully written. It left me wondering why I don't read the Bible like how I sped read through this book. And these woman of the Bible are truly inspiring, I can not wait to meet them one day. All of these woman are in the lineage of Christ. It didn't matter where they came from or the mistakes they made. God can use us all. This is a must read!

50 People Every Christian Should Know

"50 People Every Christian Should Know" by Warren W. Wiersbe
My dad had me read this book and while it is full of historical figures and I don't like history, at all, I found this book to be interesting, although long. I was fascinated by how young some of the people were when they felt the call of God on their lives, some were preaching as young as 9. It was intriguing that all of them placed high importance on reading the Word and they all had such a driving passion to see the lost saved. It seemed to me that these are things we don't strive for as much any more and have suffered because of it. Our pastors are pulled in so many different directions that they don't have the time to spend quietly studying the Word. Or we fight over lighting, paint color, music and such that we forget why we gather together and how many people need the love of Jesus. Sometimes we just need to get back to the basics and let God do the rest. This isn't a speed read and I did skim through some parts but it was interesting to learn about historical people who laid the groundwork for our faith.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Beyond The Clouds

"Just Beyond The Clouds" by Karen Kingsbury
This story continues from 'A Thousand Tomorrows'. After four years Cody is not over his wife's death and doesn't want to let go of his brother Carl, who has Down Syndrome. Carl's teacher is helping him learn to become independent and so is at odds with Cody. The more they battle the more then find a connection. And this leaves Cody with a choice: to finally put his dead wife to rest and move on or hold on to his love for his wife and die with her. This book was also touching and left me struggling with honoring someones memory and choosing to move on. It is about seeing the sun through the rain, Just Beyond the Clouds. Letting go is something we all struggle with and as a parent there is this constant battle of protecting and letting go. I appreciated the struggle of the characters and choices they faces that were so true to life.

A Thousand Tomorrows

"A Thousand Tomorrows" by Karen Kingsbury
This is one of the best books I have read. It is the most heartfelt book I think I have read and it got me into tears more than once. I felt what the characters felt and wrestled with the choices they made. A Thousand Tomorrows is about Cody who was abandoned by his father when he was eight and because of this he vows to never love again. Ali keeps a secret from everyone but lives life to the fullest, no matter the consequences. When they meet they hide behind the walls they have built until they can no longer deny the love they feel even though there are grave consequences. This book reminds the reader that life is meant to be lived and that love can heal even the deepest wounds. It speaks of broken families and the brokenness they leave behind. It speaks of deep and sacrificial love. About not being afraid to follow your heart and reach for your dreams. I do not do this book justice in this short review but I would urge you to read it. It was a very touching story that moved me.

Stuck In The Middle

"Stuck in the Middle" by Virginia Smith
This is another free book on Kindle but beware it is the first book in a series. Joan is the middle child and her life is amounting to living with her mother and ailing grandmother and a job as the manager of a furniture store in the small town she grew up in. Her older sister is having a baby and her younger, good looking, sister has a great career. All this changes when a handsome, young doctor moves in next door. "Still, she knew the same God as Mrs. Sachs. Why, then, did He choose to be so evident in this woman's life, but not in hers?" Man I feel this way sometimes. I see God so much in other people's lives but fail to see Him work in mine. It is then that I know I need a new perspective and I need to reflect on all that He has done in my life. "You see, our God doesn't supply only what we need to scrape by. The almighty God is our Father. He loves us. He delights in delighting us. He wants to give us treats and enjoys hearing our joyful laughter in return." I have never thought about God this way. But as I look at how I love to delight my own children it only makes sense that God would love us in the same way. "I was thinking that God's life-changing power is the same no matter how good or how bad the person is who accepts Him." And that is true, God changes all of us no matter the road that we have walked. His power works in all of us no matter where we have come from or the things we have or have not done. Who we are does not diminish or increase His power. Another fun read that makes you laugh and also makes you think.

Heaven Is For Real

"Heaven Is For Real" by Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo, Colton Burpo and Lynn Vincent
I read this book in the relaxing setting of my family's cabin in less than 24 hours. I had seen this book and heard about it numerous times. I also read the first chapter via my Kindle. I read '90 Minutes in Heaven' quite some time ago and was intrigued with the thoughts of visiting heaven. This book is a quick read and not very in depth but tells the story of a little boy who had his appendix burst and who went to heaven while on the operating table. What intrigued me the most was that Colton never died but he still told stories of visiting heaven. The little boy proceeds to tell his parents at different times his experience. He visits his great grandfather who had died way before he was born. Although this book lacked any real depth it was interesting and gets the reader to think about what happens when we die and what realities await us. Colton no longer has a fear of death because he knows what is in store. If only we all could have this same lack of fear. And he also truly felt and knew the love Jesus has for him and for all of us. If only we could all live in that reality every day.

Devil's Plaything

"Devil's Plaything" by Matt Richtel
As another review said, "From page one, you'll not be able to put this book down." I don't read many thrillers and I'm not a big mystery reader but this book was a good one and I found myself wanting to read more thrillers. A journalist named Nat was nearly gunned down in a park and finds out it wasn't a random attack. He doesn't know who to trust and the one that seems to have the answers is his grandmother who is suffering from dementia at a rapid rate. This book tells a story about how technology that was supposed to be for our good can be used against us. It was a definite thriller and kept me wanting to read page after page. I also loved the easy banter in the book and the sarcasm, it gets me every time.

Like Dandelion Dust

"Like Dandelion Dust" by Karen Kingsbury
I am reading more and more of this authors books, thanks to my parents, and continue to like her. Many of her books, this one included, have been made into movies. This book is about a boy who is caught in a custody battle. He was adopted as an infant and is now 4. His biological dad just got out of prison and found out he had a son and wants him. His adopted parents will do anything to keep him, even take him and just disappear. This book makes you think, what would you do if one of your children was to be taken from you? To what lengths would you go to keep them, would you break the law? Running throughout this story is a lesson in faith. "I can only believe that we-like children-are in the backseat however long the journey lasts. God is driving, and we must trust that in the end, if we stay with Him, He'll get us safely home." So hard to trust but really it is the only way to go. Jesus is the only one who sees and knows all so why don't I trust Him?


"Shame" by Greg Garrett

This is one of my favorites. It is just so real, so heartfelt. The writing is unique, like you are inside the mind of the main character, almost like you are reading his journal. It is about a man who is caught up in the monotony of his life and how he thought he would have amounted to more than just a farmer. He begins to question every decision that he has made that led him up to this point in his life. Complacency has set in and with his 20th high school reunion coming up, an exhibition basketball game with his old team and his high school sweetheart newly single will he choose a different life? Who hasn't gotten bored with life or thought about how things might have been had you made different decisions? This book pinpoints how all our decisions make us who we are and how to be thankful for whatever life you have. "It's never to late to do the right thing, to make the right choice, to correct the mistakes of the past." Such good words, it is never to late. We can always decide to stop making the wrong choice and decide on the right one, always. "But at some point even the greatest of heroes has to put his feet back on the ground and take his own faltering steps, to live and breathe and love and make mistakes like any ordinary human..." Even those we look up to make mistakes and have to take their own steps and live life just like we do. We are all just human. "I want to do what is right. I've wanted that all my life, but I am so tired of doing what is right for everyone else and wondering if it will ever be right for me." I know that I grow weary of doing right by everyone else and then I have to remember that the only One I should be doing right by is Jesus and then I will be doing right by everyone, even me. "Words are not the most important things we offer those in pain. It's standing behind those words. Being there. Not giving up." It is really easy to say words and really hard to stand behind them. Most of the time words can not fix things but being with someone can. Words are meaningless when you don't stand behind them.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Very Special Delivery

"A Very Special Delivery" by Linda Goodnight
Another freebie for the Kindle. This was a feel good book with a happy ending. It was a light read but I enjoyed the way God's truths were presented. It is about a woman named Molly who has seen how fragile life can be and thus she has become a recluse. A stanger takes shelter at her home during a severe snow storm and restores her faith in God, herself and others. "But, honey, you can't keep living in fear this way. Fear is the oppostie of faith." I don't know anyone who hasn't stuggles with fear, some more than others. I am always reciting the verse that God does not give me a spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind. Faith in God overcomes all fear. "A gift without sacrifice is not much of a gift." The truly wonderful gifts to receive are the gifts that came from the heart, the ones you know took sacrifice. The best being God dying on the cross for us, talk about sacrifice. "See those mirrors on your truck? God doesn't have those. Some people do, but God don't. He never looks back at what you've done, only forward to the good your're doing now. There's no Reverse in God's Kingdom." What a great way to look at God and remember He casts our sin as far as the east is from the west. I need to strive to do the same with the people I love, hold no record of wrong, don't look back but only to the good they are doing now.

Fools Rush In

"Fools Rush In" by Janice Thompson
Alright this was another free book on my Kindle but at the end of the book I found out it was the first in a series. So I guess that is how they get you hooked, give you the first book for free and make you pay for the others. This was such a fun, light hearted book. I love weddings (and I've coordinated a few), what girl doesn't? The family in this book just makes you laugh and not take your family so seriously. Bella Rossi is thirty and just got handed the families wedding planning business. She decides to do themed weddings and her first is a country one. She knows nothing about country music but finds true love, appreciation for her family and their differences, confidence and humor through coordinating her first successful, not without mishaps, wedding. "Funny how one event can change absolutely everything." Bella's life changed from this one wedding but I know many lives that are changed due to some tragic event. Makes me want to take this day for all that it is worth. "Compromise, it was the stuff relationships were made of. Good relationships, anyway." Compromise isn't easy when you are stuck in your ways but it sure does make life easier. I have learned it with my husband, with my children and even in my friendships. "You never know what new roads He has for you unless you open yourself up to the possibilities." New roads are scary, I don't like change too much but it helps me to remember that God goes before, with and after me. New roads can't be all that scary then.


"Sisters" by Kathleen Thompson Norris
This book was free for my Kindle! And yes, I actually liked it, bonus. It was about two sisters and their differences and their similarities. Their mother died in child birth and they were raised by their father. It is about loss, expectations, romance and marriage. This book is not a happily ever after book and that is probably why I liked it. It is not a typical romance novel by any means. One sister marries too young and finds herself in a marriage without love. The other sister marries to please her father. I appreciated the honesty in this book. Some reviews said this was the most depressing book they ever read but I just found it to be honest and more like life instead of a fairy tale. So if you like happy endings, be warned, don't read this book.

This Side of Heaven

"This Side of Heaven" by Karen Kingsbury
I have read books by this author before and really enjoyed her. She is real and honest about life but truthful about God's promises. This book is about a grown son who has made some poor choices. He has put his life on hold waiting for a settlement from being hit by a drunk driver. His parents are disappointed in him but they do not know all that their son has strived for. And sometimes we have to settle for the good, This Side of Heaven. This book took a turn that I didn't expect which I liked. It also opened my eyes yet again to never judge someone till I know the whole story and to actually take the time to listen. So often I pretend I am listening yet I am dividing my attention with a task also. I want to be a intentional listener, going deeper than just words. Don't miss the opportunity to listen to your loved ones, you never know when it will be to late.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Understood Betsy

"Understood Betsy" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
By the reviews many woman read this book as little girls. I didn't read it when I was little but after reading it I can't wait to let my girls read it when they get a little older. It is about a little 9 year old girl who is an orphan and three old aunts take her in. She lives with them in the city. They are always worried about her yet are very loving. Due to all the attention and all the worry she is a very frightened girl. She is skinny and thinks she is going to die. She is afraid of everything. Her aunt becomes sick and she has to go live with other family. This aunt lives on a farm with her elder parents. Here the girl is made to take care of herself, something she has never done. It is a story about how she finds out all the things she can do and how she isn't fearful of the world around her but finds it all so exciting. I really enjoyed this book for its simplicity. It was also quite humorous. "YOU aren't any grade at all, no matter where you are in school. You're yourself, aren't' you? What difference does it make what grade you're in!" "She had always thought she was there to pass from one grade to another, and she was ever so startled to get a little glimpse of the fact that she was there to learn how to read and write and cipher and generally use her mind, so she could take care of herself when she came to be grown up." This is what school should be, learning to use our minds so that we can take care of ourselves when we are grown up but I think it is often of just getting work done to move on to the next thing to pass and get to the next grade.

The Heart of Rachael

"The Heart of Rachael" by Kathleen Thompson Norris
This book is about a woman who finds herself married for all the wrong reasons. She has stuck it out for 7 years and decides to get a divorce. She then falls in love again and realizes that marriage is what you put into it and it is never easy. She ends up risking it all to save her second marriage and comes to terms with her part for the first marriage failing. It took a few chapters to get into this book but once it got going it was good. "She had not expected to be happy in this house, she had expected to be rich and envied, and secure, and she was all of these things. That they were not worth attaining, no one knew better than Rachael now." Rachael married for all these things and came to find out the hard way how much they were really worth, nothing at all. "We are not perfect ourselves,' said the clergyman benevolently, 'yet we expect perfection in others. Before we will even change our own lives we look around and see what other people are doing." Isn't this so true? So easy to judge others rather than look at what we might change in ourselves. "But she said to herself that she knew now the worst evil of divorce. She knew that it coarsened whomever it touched, that it irresistibly degraded, that it lowered all the human standard of goodness and endurance, and self-sacrifice. However justified, it was an evil; however properly consummated, it soiled the little group it affected." I can't think of a better way to describe divorce or its affects. "It's the one vow we take with God as witness; and no blessing ever follows a broken vow!" "It cannot be reconciled to law; it defies law. Right on the face of it, it is breaking a contract. Are any other contracts to be broken with public approval?" I thought it was an interesting explanation of divorce and how are society does it so easily. "Life is mistakes, after all, and paying for them, and doing better next time." Yes, there are consequences for our mistakes but there is always a next time to do better. "The wonder of marriage came to her, the miracle of love rooted too deep for disturbance, of love fed on faults as well as virtues; so light a tie in the beginning, so powerful a bond as the years go by." I remember thinking I couldn't love Matthew more than when I did on the day we married but as you go through life together, all the ups and downs, good things and disappointments the bond grows deeper and the love stronger.

Daughter of Joy

"Daughter of Joy" by Kathleen Morgan
This is the first in a four book series. I got this for free on Amazon for my Kindle but now that they got me hooked I am going to have to buy the rest of the series. It is a very easy quick read. I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to the others. It is about a woman whose husband and young son have died. She is looking to move on with her life and find God's will. She takes a job as a housekeeper for a man who has lost two wives and a son. He has a young daughter whose heart is also hardened. It is a story of second chances and how helping others can heal your own hurts. "I cannot hope to know God's will until I begin to search and listen." So often we wonder what God's will is but we do not take the time to listen. "Everything that happened in life-whether for good or bad, joyous or tragic reasons-held the potential to sanctify and bring one closer to the Lord." I wish that I always looked at life this way and hope that I allow all circumstances to bring me closer to the Lord. "God always has a reason. It's just so hard sometimes for us to accept it. Fear gets in the way, doesn't it? Fear of that great unknown, fear that God will require something that we cannot, or don't want, to do. But we can. God never asks anything of us that He doesn't give us sufficient strength to do. And He never, ever asks it unless it's for our greater good." Oooo, I love that quote. Most times I feel as if God is asking too much of me and I forget He is my strength and everything is for my good. "Faith isn't grounded on emotions. It's grounded on the will. It's grounded in the act of taking up your cross and following the Lord wherever He leads, through good times and bad, through dark days and happy ones. We're not tested and tempered in good times. Our true test lies in the dark night of our despair." Such good words to live by. I often feel like I am running on my emotions and I don't want to do that. All in all a good book with some good lessons for all of us.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Form of Godliness

"A Form of Godliness" by Shane Johnson
This book is about the US after 9/11 and the terrorist strikes that come after. It is about living in a world where there are no morals and there is no room for God. A massive terrorist strike forces the US to withdraw its support of Israel and war erupts. I liked this book as it had enough action and drama with a little bit of romance thrown in. It is a good look into the way this world is going and the importance of Israel to our nation.

There Is No Me Without You

"There is No Me Without You: One Women's Odyssey to Rescue Her Country's Children" by Melissa Fay Greene
This book was a great read. It is about the millions of orphans in Africa. They have been left orphans due to the AIDS epidemic. It is about how there are so many children without anyone to care for them, many that have AIDS themselves. There is no one to take these forgotten children. One woman in Africa becomes a foster mom to many, willing to take the unwanted. At first she takes in just one child then word spreads and soon she has 35 or more. "Who was going to raise twelve million children? Who will wake in the night in response to eighteen million nightmares?" "In Africa a generation of parents, teachers, principals, physicians, nurses, professors, spiritual leaders, musicians, poets, bureaucrats, coaches, farmers, bankers, and business owners are being erased." AIDS is wiping out a whole nation and it can be stopped. But, "Unfortunately for most of the world's 34 million people infected with HIV [in 2000], pharmaceutical companies impose US prices on the rest of the world." "Adoption is good, but children, naturally, would prefer not to see their parents die." "The adopted children would lose their country, people, faith, language, culture, and history. But the adopted child would gain the one thing on earth arguable worth more than a homeland: family." This book had many interesting facts about Africa, AIDS and the orphans. It was encouraging to see how many of these children have been adopted abroad and given a family and a second chance. It shows that one person who cares can really make a difference.

Song of the Gorilla Nation

"Songs of the Gorilla Nation-My Journey through Autism" by Dawn Prince-Hughes, Ph.D.
This book is about a women who doesn't get diagnosed with Autism till her 30's. It is about how she functions in the world around her by learning from the gorillas that she watches and later takes care of at the zoo. What I don't like is that the author believes in and talks a lot about evolution. But it was fascinating to learn more about the gorillas and all that they can do. I too have gone to the zoo when I was younger and just sat for hours watching these creatures (whom I know were created by God). "The gorillas don't speak human language, look the way humans look, move the way humans move. They are stupid. This is why gorillas are captive. This is why crazy people are captive. We are the animals who don't speak the language, look the looks, move in the right ways. It is easy for those who are not captive to forget that those who are remain individuals. And individual with a name, a family who needs them, a past that they stand on, and a future that they dream about." When someone is different than us we tend to isolate them and like the author said, forget that they are individuals. This book is insightful into the life of an autistic person and the daily struggles they have to adapt to the world.

Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence

"Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence" by Matthew Sanford
This book is about a boy who was in a car accident with his family. His father and sister were killed. His mother and brother were not hurt and he was left paralyzed. It is a story of overcoming and connecting to who we are and the hand we have been dealt. He started to have feelings in his legs and was told by the Dr. that these were just phantom feelings. "It's not easy to be told that what you are feeling isn't real." This book helped me to really focus on today and what was happening around me. I am a planner and always thinking about the next thing which in turn makes it so, often, I don't enjoy the moment. While I was reading this I really tried to be "in the moment". I noticed the birds chirping, how the sun felt on my skin, my girls laughter and chatter, the sound of my feet on the pavement as I was running, the green of the grass and the blue of the sky. I was overcome with gratefulness and awe at the world around me and regret that I don't do this more often. "But without these difficulties, I would not be who I am." The trials shape us, make us who we are, stronger, better and wiser. "Life presents its purpose and beauty in all sorts of ways. The trick is to stay open to one's strength, to not deny or strive to prove it, but rather to simply have it." My complaint about this book is that it turned towards the New Age as he starts yoga and becomes a yoga teacher. But beside that it was a good read and opened my eyes to embracing challenges and being thankful for all that I do have.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Sorry it has been so long. I have been reading books just not blogging about them. So let me start by saying, I GOT A KINDLE! I am so excited about this and have been wanting one for three years now. My hubby is great and got one for me for Mother's Day. I had been reading the Zion Covenant series by Bodie Thoene but honestly, it got old. I had read the previous series, The Zion Chronicles, and was on the 4th book of this series and just lost interest. It became more history than about the characters and I'm not a big fan of history to say the least. So when I got my Kindle I jumped at the chance to start something new. Don't know if I will pick that series back up or not, I'll have to let you know. So look to my next post for my 1st Kindle read!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Heir

"The Heir" by Paul Robertson

This book is about a man who inherits his father's significant wealth and business empire. It was the last thing he ever expected or wanted. What he gained might cost him his life and he had just one question, why? He is fighting not only for his life but also for his soul. I loved this book! Among the who-done-it and drama there was humor and wit. It was funny and thought provoking. It begs the question why any of us are here and what is our purpose. I think we all ask that question from time to time and the only real answer lies in God.


"Burn" by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

Janeal has long felt trapped in her father's Gypsy culture. Then one night a powerful man promises her the life she longs for-if she will help recover a vast sum of money tied to her father. When the plan implodes the gypsy settlement is attacked and burned to the ground. During the blaze, Janeal is faced with a staggering choice. The impact of that moment changes her forever. (That was taken from the back of the book as I couldn't say it any better.) This book takes many twists and turns and just when you think you have it figured out another twist is thrown in. I honestly didn't see what this book had coming. It is expertly written. I love a book I can't predict, or better yet, think I can but realize I had it all wrong, and this book fits the bill. Our choices have greater impact then we think and reach many more people than we ever imagined.

Friday, February 11, 2011


"Kiss" by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

This is about a woman who wakes up in a hospital and can't remember the last 6 months. She was in an accident that she is being told she is at fault for and it has left her beloved brother brain damaged. She doesn't know whom she can trust and she starts to remember things she has never known. She is afraid for her life but doesn't know why. I found this book to be really fascinating. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I am not a big thriller reader. "Your history is no less important to your survival than your ability to breathe. In the end, you can only determine whether to saturate your memories with pain or with perspective." People often say I wish I could forget that or forget what happened to me. But we never really can and those things are the things that make us who we are. It is just a matter of what we do with those memories, remember the pain or put them in perspective. "My past was not something God wanted to amputate. He wanted to cast a new light on it so that my life could have new meaning. He wanted to restore it so that it would become useful to Him and to others." Our past is a part of us and we need to let God use it and use it for His glory. That is the only way to make the past bearable. "You choose pain-you choose to fight it, deny it, bury it-then yes, the choice is always hard. But you choose perspective-embrace your history, give it credit for the better person it can make you, scars and all-the choice gets easier every time."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Edge of Eternity

"Edge of Eternity" by Randy Alcorn

I wasn't to sure about this book and it took me about 5 chapters to really get into it but then I was fascinated. This book is about a man who gets a glimpse into the afterlife while he is still alive and then gets a second chance at life. It was a bit too much fantasy at first for me but then I realized that it was the authors take on what heaven would be like and I began to appreciate his analogies. "Was death a comma or a period-a pause in our existence or the end?" "There is no such thing as a private moment. The whole cosmos is our audience for everything we do in the dark" This quote resonated with me. It is scary but true. We think that we do things in private or secretly but God is always watching and everything we do has consequences, good or bad, in the next world. "You may or may not separate yourself from your possessions now, but you will surely be separated from them later. Do it now and you'll be free to serve the King." We cannot wholly serve God when we serve our possessions, drop them and serve with out burden. The author used the analogy of a tapestry to how we see our lives. While we are here on earth we see our lives like the back of the tapestry, with knots, frayed edges and lumps. When we get to heaven we are able to look at our lives from the top of the tapestry. We see the design and the beauty. "A short period of difficulty is a small price to pay for a clearer view of your King." If difficulty allows me to see Jesus more clearly than I don't want to complain about difficulties in my life again (although I know I most certainly will).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blink of an Eye

"Blink of an Eye" by Ted Dekker

This book is about a Saudi princess whose father has arranged a marriage for political gain, yet she is secretly in love to another. She finds herself escaping to California and on the run with a man she has never met, a genius named Seth. A massive manhunt closes in on them and their futures are in the balance. This was a fascinating story filled with drama, love and page turning thrills. another book I couldn't put down. The main point of this story is that love changes everything, everything we do, say and live for. The book is also being made into a movie that I am looking forward to seeing. I also appreciate the insight into Middle Eastern culture and it prompted me to look at how I see those who live there and all that is being fought for. Does love change they way I see what is happening there and the people that live there? It should and after reading this book it does.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Above The Line Series

"Take One"; "Take Two"; Take Three" and "Take Four" by Karen Kingsbury

I have really enjoyed reading numerous Karen Kingsbury books and I sped through this series. She really has a way of writing about characters that makes you think you know them and she also writes about stories that happen today, they are so relevant. This series is about two men who are filmmakers and decide to make movies that make a difference. In the midst of making this movie they find out that the risk may be too great. What are they willing to sacrifice? How much will they trust? Is this even from God? So many lives are intertwined in this series and you will just want to keep reading till you finish the series. "Ministry of any kind came at a price, and trials were part of the cost." What a poignant statement, ministry does come at a price and few are willing to pay it. "Never enough time to love the way you want to love." I don't want to regret at the end of my life that I didn't love enough. Some days are harder but I want to love with all I've got. "The key to life isn't looking for a safe sameness with every passing season. It's learning to enjoy the ride, whatever the next turn in the road might bring. Believing that God's driving, and He'll get us home safely-however bumpy the trip." I would appreciate a less bumpy ride but I do have to trust God knows what He is doing, no matter how bumpy. "Their deaths had come too early, but the number of days in their lives hadn't mattered nearly as much as the life in their days." There have been a few deaths in my life this last year but I will remember the life in their days more than anything. "People had a way of ruining God for those who really needed Him. But that wasn't God's fault." Lots of people turn away from God because of what another believer said or did. No of us want to be stumbling blocks, but all of us stumble. I pray that others will see Jesus despite my stumbling.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Safe Haven

"Safe Haven" by Nicholas Sparks

My favorite author, great book, not his best, but great any way. Honestly I haven't read one of his books that I thought was bad, I don't think he could write a bad one if he tried. This book is about a women named Katie who moves into town with secrets regarding a mysterious past. She doesn't want to form any personal ties and keeps to herself until a caring neighbor and a store owner make her see the need for friends. She must choose, life alone or the risk of a relationship. This book is a little different from Nicholas' others as it has a bit of mystery to it. A few favorite quotes: "I'm not sure anyone's life turns out exactly the way they imagine. All we can do is to try to make the best of it. Even when it seems impossible." Good words, I know my life has sometimes taken turns I didn't expect but all that I can do is ask God to help make the best of it. "Maybe I don't want to be defined by what I do. Maybe I'd like to be defined by what I am." We live in a world where we are being defined by the jobs that we do. God doesn't define us by what we do but by who we are and that to me is reassuring since I can't ever seem to do a job to perfection!