A New Look, Book Reviews, and a Giveaway!

In my territory, we are drenched in rain at present. So much so that grass is too high for a nice cut because rain won’t quit. Light sprinkles fall as I walk, and flowering trees keep me occupied with their happy faces.

It’s spring!

By the river in the midst of other trees, is a wild flowering one. I’m sure it could be admired as cars passed by on this quiet street, but I’m wondering how many people notice the pinkish-white blooms in the tangle. What does it matter to the tree? It is happy to be doing the very thing it was made to do…flourish. Trees may not know they are adding beauty, oxygen, food and shade, but it happens.

New life…

~~

About writing:

There are times when I struggle to write. I second-guess myself, knowing there are many important voices out there, so why add another voice? Studies show that many writers are introverts and often question their motives. I’ve been wondering about my voice for a long while. Instead of packing my bags to leave so to speak, I am working on a new look which will be coming soon, and I’ll tell you why…because I can’t stop. It’s my own small way to express what God puts on my heart.

Each one of us as important as the other and each one has his or her own story.

~~

Here are three books I’ve read:

 

The Next Right Thing by Emily P Freeman.

 

This book came into being while Emily was working on her Master’s degree and she has recorded (so far), 80 podcasts on the subject. While listening to her gentle and caring voice, I marvelled at how she can do all this, because I can’t. She is one amazing woman who can focus on writing while nurturing a family.

Busy lives need intervention for the soul. And don’t we all have busy lives? Pause and practice talking to God to release anxiety.

How can we make even the simplest decisions if we are stressed? Emily encourages you to stop and “create space in your soul” to breathe. If we are constantly on the move, there is a chance we will make wrong decisions, or miss out on making a good decision.

I love this quote from Emily: “celebrate your smallness.”

Thoughts I have mulled over are:

  • Don’t say yes to everything
  • Quit something
  • Ask a question before every hard decision.

The chapter on “Make the Most Important List” helped me to understand my life so much better.

Make a “Life Energy List,” as she calls it.  Make a list based on these two questions:

  • What is life-draining?
  • What is life-giving?

Once I made my list, things became clear, and I could see things that gave me life, and things that drained me. This became a place to review and pray over. Then decide how could I deal with, or get rid of life-draining things.

~~

 

Placemaker by Christy Purifoy

 

After reading Purifoy’s first book, Roots & Sky, I knew I would enjoy this slow read about the life of trees, and making a place become your place.

Her words are poetic and you can almost smell the citrus grove, the Norway pines, and the saucer magnolia. Such an array of trees; their own personalities made for us to enjoy.

From the beginning of their marriage, Christy found a variety of trees that spoke to her, making memories of the places in her life.

Whenever we find ourselves planted, we can make that place ours. The place makes memories to be held, friendships which can last forever and changes in each season of our lives.

Join Christy as she brings us full circle to the Maplehurst home.

~~

 

 

Surprised by Paradox by Jen Pollock Michel

 

 Releasing tomorrow!

Surprised by Paradox was a stretch of my mind. Michel’s thinking in paradoxes awakened my mind to new thinking of these topics:

  1. Incarnation: One Wild & Precious Life
  2. Kingdom: Hiding in Plain Sight
  3. Grace: Birds & Broken Wings
  4. Lament: Fluency in the Loud Groan

A quote from the Incarnation, Part 1:

“It’s a paradox that the spiritual life, for all its presumed holiness can be so distinctly unspiritual.”

It’s a wild and precious life we have, and to be in awe of the mystery of God and Jesus Christ can be known to us through the Holy Spirit.

The crazy part is that our own stories can proclaim the bigger and grander story of God. How can this be, from our small, finite humanness? I think of nature and how it does the thing it was created to do–be glorious. It is. It shines, then it dies. I wonder if sin had not entered the garden, would every flower still live from the beginning of time?

In all our faithfulness to church, duty and works, we can miss the mark on what Christ was saying. Rest, relax into him and let him live out of us. This rest is the freedom to rely on him and see where he takes us.  It will not look like perfection–it may even look creative, strange, wild or even mysterious. Do not limit God; He is a mystery.

At the end of each chapter are thought-provoking questions. A choice book for a Bible Study.

Is there a mystery about our lives that others wonder about? Are we so in tune with The Spirit of God that we make others thirsty?

 

The Giveaway!

I am giving away 1 copy of each book if you will happily share my post on Facebook or Instagram and post a comment here. Email me with your address, and please let me know which book you would like. U.S. entries only please.

 

 

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The Masterpiece

Have you ever read a book that stays with you for a long while? Those books whose characters are so real you want to stay in their story for a long time. It will be weeks before I can pick up another book.

Cover photo by a real graffiti artist

I know when I read any books by Francine Rivers; I meet deep characters that are well crafted. Every story is a careful work, researched and built with smooth transitions.

Rivers has a heart for the underdog and shows redemption of the characters by Jesus Christ. That is the best part.

This is not ‘fluff ‘ Christian fiction here, this is life change. You fall in love with her characters so much that you wish they were real, and could sit and have coffee with them and hear how Christ changed them.

Broken people want to hide their past, and not deal with it. They hurt and are afraid to love or trust others. Rivers knows that there are multitudes of broken ones out there that need help and don’t seek it. When God heals hearts in miraculous ways, it fills you with hope.

Grace Moore steels herself against her past and will only take her problems to God and a few women friends at church. When she loses her job, she must take chances to support her and her son.

Roman Velasco has his own frightful past and paints graffiti on his studio walls to express his pain. His gallery art is a different story. He hides too; it’s easier not to be involved with anyone.

Against her own wishes, Grace takes a job as personal assistant for Mr. Velasco and learns to deal with his demons, as well as her own past.

The relationships in this book are rich. The believers in this story are not perfect by any means, which makes this story so real. We are redeemed with a love far beyond our imagining, and we the broken learn to give back because of it.

If you have never read Francine Rivers, pick up this book and become immersed in the lives of life-like people. I highly recommend this book.