Saturday, July 5, 2014

Amity & Sorrow

"Amity & Sorrow" by Peggy Riley

I'm not sure about this book, it was definitely interesting.  It is about a mother and her two girls who flee from a polygamous compound.  The girls know nothing of the world outside and are scared and confused why they have been taken from all they have ever known.  Amity finds freedom and joy in her knew life but Sorrow wants nothing more than to return to what she has known.  It is about a mothers struglle to justify her choices and undo what has been done.  "You either made a vow or your didn't."  We try and complicate things, we either said I do or we didn't.  Sometimes we just need to break it down and keep it simple.  Life is complex, especially relationships but it comes down to the fact that we either made a vow or we didn't.  "They say God is knocking on your heart, all the time, and you only have to open it for Him."  God pursues everyone of us, we just have to be willing to hear His knock.  "Life is just seeds.  You know, you plant in the dirt you're given.  It's all you've got.  You water, you tend, and sometimes seeds don't take.  Sometimes it all goes away from you."  We do the best we can with what we have, that's all we can do.  That's hard to accept sometimes.  We do what we can and ask God to do the rest.  This book was an interesting and informative read.  

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe

"The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe" by Mary Simses

This was a fun summer read.  Light and funny but with depth.   A beloved grandmother dies and her dying wish is for her granddaughter to deliver a letter.  The granddaughter, Ellen, discovers things she never knew of her grandmother and in turn finds truths about herself.  A little town where her grandmother grew up is where she feels her again and she will not leave until her task is done but  what else might she discover.  I really enjoyed this book.  It had just a touch of humor sprinkled throughout its pages.  "Sometimes people don't realize they can slow down until they do it."  We live in such a fast paced, instant world that we don't even know how to slow down.  Someitmes we have to leave it all behind and just enjoy the breeze, or a simple sunset to remember to slow down and enjoy whats right in front of us.  This was a fun feel good story that I really enjoyed.

The Priority List

"The Priority List" by David Menasche

This was a great book.  I recommned teachers and anyone who deals with teens to read this book.  It was inspirational and informative.  It is a true story about a high school teacher who inspires his students to learn.  He earns their respect and respects them in return.  He finds out he has a brain tumor and continues to teach through his treatment.  When he can no longer teach he decides to take a cross country trip to visit his past students.  He finds out what they have gone on to accomplish and what he meant to them.  "'The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher insires,' the author and scholar William Arthur Ward wrote. I wanted to be a great teacher.  The best they'd ever had."  David wanted to be the best and he strove for it and many lives were changed because of him.  We should all strive to inspire those around us, to not just teach but inspire.  It's a rare person that can do that.  "Cancer had taken my past and would take my future, but it wouldn't take my present."  Cancer had started to affect his memories and it would eventually take his life but he was determined that he would live and enjoy what he had right now.  Living in the present is something we all need to do more of.  We live in the past and the hurts that have happened or look to what will come in the future for us and forget that right now is a gift, a gift that won't come again.  "But when you really know you're going to die, when you're prepared for death, that's when you learn how to live.  It's a bittersweet lesson.  Just when you learn how to live, you die.  But there's so much beauty in it.  All of a sudden, the sun in the sky is a reason to rejoice, flowers come alive, a gentle breeze on your face feels almost spiritual.  Who you are is defined no longer by what you do but by what you give and how you love.  To me, that felt like a good death."  And it's a good life too.  Learning to appreciate the little things of the every day.  "For my entire life, I had been so intent on never needing anyone that I'd never learned to trust people enough to allow myself to depend on them."  We are here for each other, we need each other.  We can't do this thing called life alone, God designed us for community.  "If I can rejoice in your victories, I have to share in your defeats."  It is easy to rejoice with others but it is often hard to share in their sorrow or defeats but this is what real relationships look like.  We can't just be there in the good, we need to share the sadness too.