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.