Friday, July 5, 2013

Choosing to See

"Choosing to See" by MaryBeth Chapman

Oh what a great book this was.  I say everyone needs to read it.  If you've ever lost someone or been through a trial, this book is for you.  It is about MaryBeth and Steven Curtis Chapman losing their 5 year old Maria.  It is the story of loss and grief but mostly of finding hope.  It is an honest book that will make you both laugh and cry.  MaryBeth has such great perspective in the wake of such hard loss.  It is a true testimony of how great our God is and how He always turns beauty from ashes.  "What I've found is that it's in the most unlikely times and places of hurt and chaos that God gives us a profound sense of His presence and the real light of His hope in the dark places."  God is there even in the dark. "He is the One who will cause our stories to ultimately end secure and well, right in His arms."  I think that is the most comforting thought when we are going through a tough time.  Ultimately all will end well because it is going to end with being with Jesus.  "She found that her worth was not in what she could do but in what had been done for her through Christ."  That is where we all need to find our worth, not in what the world says is worthy but in what Christ did for us on the cross.  "The years go by in a heartbeat, and then your children twirl right out of your life and into their own."  Cherish the moments.  It's hard to do in the midst of it all but we will look back and wish we had done it more, of that I am sure.  "We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."  This is a quote from C. S. Lewis and it is a good one.  God transforms us during the hard times and sometimes the pain is so painful and we just want it to end, thinking it can't possibly be for our good.  "I could see only a few feet in front of me.  If I could see any further than that, the journey ahead would be too scary.  But He was showing me all that I needed, just a few steps at a me little glimmers of grace...if I would choose to see."  Sometimes we just have to take one step and we have to choose to see the good in the midst of the mire.  "There are lots of things that don't seem to be fair, and they're so hard.  But girls, God is asked us to do hard.  It really stinks and I wish we didn't have to, but this is what our family has been called to.  If we all stick together, we can do hard."  I love the honesty in that.  Hard stinks but it's often what God is calling us to and when we do it together with Him and our families, willing to stick it out, blessings arise.  "Be blessed today as you put whatever amount of faith you can muster into the hands of the One who holds it all."  Just a little bit of faith is all that God needs to move.  "Shattered dreams are never random.  They are always a piece in a larger puzzle, a chapter in a larger story.  The Holy Spirit uses the pain of shattered dreams to help us discover our desire for God, to help us begin dreaming the highest dream.  They are ordained opportunities for the Spirit to awaken, then to satisfy our highest dream.  This is a quote from Larry Crabb.  Dreams that don't come to pass are just a vehicle for the real dream to flourish.  Nothing is wasted, nothing is forgotten in the eyes of our Lord.  No tear, no sadness, everything is seen by God and used for His glory.  "Not that we have it all together and figured out, but that we are clinging to the only hope we have, the One who does have it all together and figured out, Jesus!"  We don't have to have it all figured out, praise the Lord.  "So as much as we can, we will use our suffering as a place where people see our hope and our faith."  I want that statement to be true of my life.  Whatever suffering I go through I want others to see Jesus through me and that is not an easy thing to exemplify in the midst of pain.  "Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead."  A quote by Frederick Buechner.  I want to be able to use the things that I have come through as strength.  But nothing can be a strength unless we have come to terms with it and found what God was doing.  "I know that suffering is one place where He ministers to us the most."  Oh that's a hard one but it is in our suffering we realize just how much we need Him.  


"Room" by Emma Donoghue

Alright, this might be the strangest book I've read.  Strange but captivating.  Strange but good.  Strange but really strange.  This was on my to-read list although I don't know where I heard about it.  I picked it up at the library not really knowing what it was about just that it was on my list to read.  It is a book written from a 5 year old's perspective.  A boy who's whole world is Room.  A mother who has done her best to create a life for him in the Room but who can barely breathe for having to live in it for the last 7 years.  She doesn't think she can survive much longer and is desperately trying to find a way out for her and her son.  A whole book written like you are talking to a five year old.  I told you it was strange.  But I was impressed how well it was written, I mean that couldn't have been too easy.  And the story kept me reading.  A very interesting story written from a very interesting perspective.  I would recommend it as it is like nothing I've ever read.