Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sarah's Garden

I really enjoy reading Christian fiction stories. However, when I requested Sarah's Garden by Kelley Long from Booksneeze.com I was a little apprehensive. I have never read any books about Amish communities and have to admit that I don't really know very much about their beliefs. As I opened the book and found a couple of pages of translation of Pennsylvania Dutch my apprehension grew. After just a few chapters of this book, I felt myself getting drawn into the storyline and starting to care about the characters. It is apparent that Kelley Long did a lot of research for her novel, and took great care to represent the Amish people in a respectful and honest manner. The storyline was believable but interesting and able to capture my imagination. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and am looking forward to more books in the "Patch of Heaven" series. I hope that they are all as good as this one. The next novel, Lilly's Wedding Quilt is due to come out in April, 2011. I am interested to read it, as Lilly was a character briefly introduced in Sarah's Garden.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Life & Miracles

I recently obtained a copy of "The Jesus Series DVD Read and Share Bible" through Booksneeze. The episode that we watched is called "Life and Miracles." This DVD is beautifully animated, with well crafted images and nice voice overs. It runs through a handful of stories from the Bible that quickly run through Jesus' life and works, helping children understand the significance of His life and the impact the He had not only on the people of His time, but everyone that lives after His death. While the animation was astounding, the delivery left a little to be desired. My two-year-old was bored within minutes, despite begging me to play the DVD the moment we returned from the mailbox. I do, however think that she will more fully understand and appreciate the DVD in it's entirety when she is a little bit older. I am thankful that there are DVDs like this on the market that help parents introduce Jesus to their children in a more visual way than simply looking at pictures in a toddler Bible. My preschooler tends to absorb a lot of what she sees on T.V., so I am glad that I am able to show her something that is meaningful.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Friendship for Grown-Ups

Lisa Whelchel's latest book, Friendship for Grown-Ups; What I Missed & Learned Along the Way is a very inspirational and eye-opening book. In addition to revealing her personal journey from childhood star ("Blair" on The Facts of Life) to pastor's wife, homeschooling mother, and public speaker, Lisa links the benefits of pursuing a true, intimate friendship here on Earth with God's Grace and love. As an avid reader herself, Lisa is able to use insights from other inspirational writers within the context of her points and ideas to highlight the importance of growing deeper in our friendships and not simply settling for a surface relationship.

The woman's group at my church recently hosted Lisa Whelchel, and one of the topics she spoke on was friendship. She was able to be open, honest, and inspirational all at once. As I was reading her book, it was almost as if we were two friends chatting about the hidden aspects of our deepest desires, instead of me simply reading a book. Often I would find myself thinking "other people feel that way too?" "I'm not alone in this?" or, simply feeling validated in my desire to be fully understood. She also talks about the importance of knowing yourself and being true to yourself. Whelchel was lucky to be able to take a two year break from writing to fully explore friendship and how to become completely open and vulnerable to the people in her life. By reading her experiences, you are able to gain valuable insight for your own life and relationships without the luxury of taking a sabbatical.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Got It!

I got Lisa Whelchel's "Friendship for Grown-Ups" from BookSneeze today. I am so exited to start reading, now I just have to find the time!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Friendship for Grown-Ups

For my first book review I have requested is "Friendship for Grownups" by Lisa Whelchel. If you're old enough, you may remember Lisa as the character "Blair" on the Facts of Life. I certainly remember her, I watched the show every week! "Blair" was the rich, slightly snobby girl in the all-girls dorm where the show was set.

Lisa recently visited my church for a woman's group event, and I was very touched by her testimony and life story. She has always been a Christian, even growing up in Hollywood with her guardians rotating (her family stayed in Texas). Since the show ended, she got married to a pastor and had three children in three years! She is a homeschooling mother and has recently joined the Women of Faith, touring the country sharing her testimony. Personally, I was very touched by her words when she was at my church, and felt a connection with her story about how hard it is to make a true friend. I have high hopes for her newest book.