Saturday, February 16, 2013

Book Review of "Every Perfect Gift"


Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love is set in the early settled America, when towns are growing by leaps and bounds. Sophie moves back to Hickory Ridge, TN and sets up a newspaper, hoping to make a name for herself after having left town as a child on bad terms. But its a struggle when the man who owns most of the town is threatened by her success and her goal of finding a story for the paper about his newest endeavor, a resort in the mountains. While fighting to find her way, she falls in love with the architect of the resort and has to deal with her past before she can find peace with her new place in life.

I did enjoy this story line, and characters, but I could tell this was one later in a series, and wished I could have read the other books first. I felt like I was catching up, trying to figure out who all the characters were. The story had a great balance between a love story and a story of determination and courage in the midst of struggles. I loved the main character of Sophie and would like to read the earlier books in the series to hear about her beginnings in the town and her childhood.

 I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.



Perspective, 2

We had a sweet friend suddenly pass away this morning. She was the grandmother of a player on one of my son's select baseball teams, and she never missed a game. She had such energy and enthusiasm. We will miss her terribly. She loved Campbell, always teasing him and giving him snacks and treats. It was so sudden, very shocking and sad. Again, just makes my perspective shift. All my stresses and struggles are really minor. I can count my blessings. I have my family, my health, my home. And everything can change with a phone call. I need to remain thankful and take each day as a gift. The Lord has blessed me and my family with so much. And the struggles are there to help us to grow and mature and lean on Him. God is good.



Friday, February 15, 2013

Perspective

I've been watching the news coverage of the Carnival cruise ship that was stranded for 5 days. I guess because it was out of Galveston, our local news coverage was a lot besides the national news coverage. I was amused at the headlines, "Cruise from Hell", and words like "squalor", "petri dish", etc. But what I thought was really interesting was the interviews from passengers. I heard a man yesterday who said it really hasn't been that bad. They've always had food, the crew members were going above and beyond to help the passengers, they were making lots of friends, and he would for sure go on a cruise again, even on Carnival. Other people were saying it was horrible, the worst experience of their life, they would never set foot on a boat again, they were cold and starving. It just made me think of how your perspective on something can totally change your attitude about it. Or maybe its the other way around. Your attitude can change your perspective. Either way, I would hope if it happened to me that I would have the right perspective on the situation. I am not physically hurting, it was an uncontrollable event, the people are doing the best they can in a bad situation and I would hope to make the best of it. I will be on a cruise in 7 days, so hopefully I don't have to find out! But it carries over to daily things. What is my attitude in uncontrollable situations?



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jesus Calling

I mentioned months ago that I had gotten mad at God about something and so my quiet times with Him were suffering, entirely my fault. And once you get out of the habit, its really hard to get back in. I struggled all fall with getting in a routine and finding something that I really wanted to get into. At Christmas, my sweet friend Terri gave me a copy of Jesus Calling, a small devotional book that I had seen a few times over the past year. My step dad has been reading it for the last year. And one time at my grandfathers nursing home, I saw it sitting in a sitting area and read the opening and liked what I read. So I was excited to get one. I started reading it at Christmas and almost haven't missed a day since.

If you aren't familiar with the book, its a daily devotional written by Sarah Young. She began to really listen for God's voice instead of only reading or praying. She wrote down what God said to her and it became this book. Its words of encouragement from Jesus to us.

I haven't used a devotional book in many years, usually because they are somewhat simple. And I get nervous reading things that are quotes from Jesus when its not the Bible because I don't want to get confused about what is really the Bible and not. But I have fallen in love with this book. The words are so uplifting, and Biblical and inspiring. There are scriptures listed underneath and I look those up to really get in into the Bible, but the devotional is sometimes those scriptures written out. I've been struggling recently with some junk, but I look so forward each day to reading what Jesus wants to tell me. Many of the recent ones have been about peace, and I have so needed that!

I highly recommend this book as something quick to read each day, yet something that is deep and meaningful and full of God's word. "When everything is going your way, you have the peace of this world, and it is easy to forget about Me. But that kind of peace does not last. It cannot handle problems. It can't heal broken hearts, lost friendships, or big disappointments. But My Peace can. It can even find a way to turn troubles into blessings, making you stronger in your faith."



Monday, February 04, 2013

Happy Birthday to ME!

Thank you USA network for an NCIS marathon today! Loving that! I know you did that especially for my birthday. Yes, I am 38 today. The number doesn't make me old, its the fact that I have a son going to middle school in the fall. I'm not old enough to have a middle-schooler. And my hubby will be 40 in April. At least he'll always be older than me!

I had decided days ago that to celebrate my birthday I wasn't going to do any chores around the house. But I realized today that its easier said than done. I did go back to bed after the boys left for school and enjoyed my GMA and coffee. But then I got up and was faced with the reality that if I didn't do the chores, they weren't going to get done. I am a routine person and Monday's routine is to clean the house for the week, and we have a crazy week this week (what's new) and if it didn't get done today, it wasn't going to get done which would stress me out. So change of plans, what chores do I like doing or at least make me feel good after they are done? So I made my bed because that makes me smile. I am washing the boys clothes, because I don't mind that part. Now, I won't fold them today. I don't mind a pile of clean clothes on the couch, for probably up to a week. I swept the floors because they were grossing me out. I cleaned off the kitchen table and counters because they were grossing me out. And I vacuumed, because if you read my blog, I have an addiction to my vacuum cleaner. But I'm not cleaning the bathroom sinks, because I don't like that job and I have two boys who surely will want to give their momma a birthday gift today of cleaning the sinks. And the sink full of dirty dishes isn't bothering me either. I would have to empty the dishwasher first and I don't like that job, and I have three boys who can do that job when they get home. So, I think I'm done for the day.

Now what? I could get ready for our garage sale this weekend, or go for a walk, or work on preschool, Trades of Hope or VBS... or go to Target and spend my gift card. To Target I will go!



Saturday, February 02, 2013

Names

The other day I was texting with someone and they texted back "Thank you Christy" and just seeing my name in print for some reason put a smile on my face. Just the thought that the person took the 5 extra seconds to type out my name meant something. I've noticed recently that in novels and on television shows, writers use characters names more often then people do in real life, sometimes almost too much. "Yes, Mr. Gibbs, I did see that... Special Agent Gibbs, I am sorry." (Yes, NCIS is my favorite show). And in novels I guess they need to use names more often so you don't lose track of who is talking since you can't see the person.

One of my major faults is that I am horrible at remembering people's names. Its really bad when you are married to a pastor who is great at remembering people's names. People at church know me, know my name or at least that I am Jason's wife, and I know I should know their name, but it is long gone in my brain. I have to make a face at Jason or whisper behind a person's back to ask him what their name is. I hate it. Its a gift that he has. I think he's used to helping me now, but I know it irritates him sometimes. Especially when I ask him the same person's name over and over.

When I was a little girl, the pastor at my grandparents church always amazed me by remembering my name, even when I didn't see him for years. He knew my name, and would ask about my parents and grandparents. I saw him when I was in college when I was a summer missionary in another state where he had moved, and just to have someone remember my name when I was in a strange place with people I didn't know, was so comforting. He probably would remember my name if I saw him today.

The one place that I somehow am decent at remembering names is in the preschool area of my church. I can remember those first names of those sweet faces pretty quickly and was trained many times to get down on their level and use their name to make them feel safe, secure and loved. Names are important.

Nothing makes me smile more then when my hubby uses my name. He rarely does, so to hear the man I love say my name, just gives me a flutter like it did when we were dating. It makes me feel special and cared for and loved.

I encourage you this week to use people's names more often. Try it. Just the other day while talking on the phone with my bank, I asked the lady at the end of the call what her name was and I said "Thank you Flora for helping me". I still remember her name days later, so maybe that is the trick, to say their name more often. Its important for me to try to get better at it so I can do something to make other people feel special too.