By Barbara Rainey & Susan Yates

This is a book I read just recently that I found quite enlightening.    If you’re a mother and have children leaving your nest or have recently become an empty nester, this is worth the read.

I found that it explained so many of the emotions I had as I became an empty nester.   I also realized that I was truly an empty nester much sooner than I had thought.   I found out that I really wasn’t crazy but that what I had been experiencing was common to many women.

Praise the Lord!   I also found out it was okay to let go of my former role of motherhood… not that I quit being a mother but that my role had changed.   My child did not need me in the same way… it’s not that she didn’t need me at all just not in the same way.   That was eye-opening and revolutionary for me.

In reading this book, I realized that my child was doing exactly what we had raised her to be… an independent young adult …. wow!

Not only does this book explain the emotional journey of becoming an empty nester but it also gives sage wisdom on what to do “after motherhood”.   For so long, we’ve been defined by motherhood that if often feels wrong to pursue other things when there are no longer children in the nest to mother and yet the question arises, what do I do now?.

We forget often that while our role as mother was and is important there may be other ministry opportunities waiting for us that God wants us to be a part of when “mother” is not our major role any more.

If you read it, let me know what you think.

 

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by Lorilee Craker

As I’m an avid reader but hate paying full retail for books, (I’m not yet advanced to eBooks), I look for books and/or authors I would like to read/collect at second-hand stores/Thrift shops. I picked this book up at one of my favorite haunts when I visit the front range, the Arc. Since we’ve been seriously looking at our budget and trying to find ideas on how to keep our outgo less than our income, I thought I needed to read this.

Ms. Craker gives a lot of ideas on how to make things go further. Ideas that used to be a common way of life but in our marketed-to generation, we’ve forgotten.

You never buy new and/or retail if you can help it. You always find uses for things you have laying around your house. Recycling things is a way of life for the Amish.

Second hand stores (such as the one mentioned previously) are great places to find things you need (emphasis on need NOT want) for a fraction of the cost of buying retail/new. Though you can find a lot of things you want there too.

As I read this book, I realized that my father and several of my German relatives have demonstrated much of what the Amish do. My hubby does as well. So as I read this book I began looking around to see what I could recycle .

Bartering is also one of the ideas put forth in this book that the Amish do. Wish I could say I felt comfortable with that idea. I like the idea, I’m just not sure what I would have that could be used to barter other services/products I need.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to cut down on your costs, this is a good read.

Choosing Gratitude

February 23, 2014

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Paul, in writing to the church of Colosse in the New Testament, exhorts the church “and be ye thankful!”….  this phrase had been haunting me for some time such that while visiting my husband’s uncle in California, I found this book on one of his side tables, the title catching my eye.   I had become aware of an increase in my own dissatisfaction with life in general.   Perhaps more than a lack of satisfaction, rather a lack of gratitude.

I picked it up  and began reading it.   I became so involved in it that I had to ask my uncle if I could borrow it when we left.   He graciously let me have the book.    WARNING:  There’s a lot in this book to think about and mull over… don’t rush through this if you truly want to develop your gratitude muscle.  She uses Scripture as her foundation to back up what she says.   As I read, I became convicted of the spirit of ingratitude resident in my heart and it being the basis for my sense of dissatisfaction.

We live increasingly in a society that,  though we are still arguably one of the most blessed nations in the world with material things, has a spirit of ingratitude.   Why?

Perhaps because we’ve lost sight of from where (or more accurately from Whom) our blessings truly come.   While it is easy, perhaps even in our nature, to focus on the negative things of life, we must choose to be grateful… not only to be grateful but to express it!     Miss DeMoss addresses these and other things as the book progresses and then challenges each who read it to start being intentional about developing our spirit  of gratitude.

This is perhaps a book you’ll want to keep in your library to revisit from time to time to be reminded to keep your gratitude muscle exercised!

In Defense of Israel

December 7, 2013

by John Hagee

Though not Jewish, I have a keen interest in the history of Israel and its people the Jews.    This is another book I found at a thrift store.  I had picked it up and put it down again because I was looking for something specific.   However, my husband found it as well and encouraged me to buy it… so I did!   This is a very thought-provoking as well as informative book and I almost missed it.

Pastor Hagee gives foundational information of the birth of the Jewish people and their significance to modern day life.

He shows how they differ from other middle eastern people, what their contribution to world history, the church and society at large has been and continues to be as well as what the church’s role has been in regard to the Jewish people and what its role should be today.

Pastor Hagee exposes many myths about the Jews that are or have been held by many Christians as well where modern day anti-semitism origniated.   He also answers the question of whether we, as Christians, should support the present day nation of Israel and why.

If you want to know more about Israel, its people, as well as its historical and modern-day significance, this is an excellent resource but be aware that it may challenge you in some areas of belief.

My Early Years

December 7, 2013

by Winston Churchill

I read somewhere that you should read a certain number of non-fiction books each year if you want to grow as a person. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones says, you will be the same person next year that you are now except for the people you know and the books you have read.

Having said that, I’m trying to enlarge my world a little by books I’m reading. This one, an autobiography by Winston Churchill is rather fascinating to me.

Somehow, I’d always pictured Winston Churchill as a stuffy old dude…who ran England sometime during World War II.

This account by Mr. Churchill  relates much of his life early on — before he became Prime Minister of England.  I’ve found he has a rather droll sense of humor and it is rather fascinating to see how his thought processes developed particularly in the area of war.

Though he was born into a family of nobility, he didn’t really care for his school years until he got through military school.  After military school he found his way into a number of war actions in India and South Africa.   He also became a war correspondent for a time.   Being a war correspondent gave him more flexibility in his movements and where he could be at any given time.

This book does not explore much of his political leanings or thought processes during the time prior to or during World War II.  However, it does give a sense of how a younger Winston Churchill was be prepared (albeit without his conscious thought) to becoming one of the world’s great leaders of the time.

 

Lies Women Believe

June 30, 2013

by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

This is actually a Bible study book. It is very thought provoking….being a woman, a Christian woman, much of what she has written makes me stop to evaluate the lies I’ve been believing…

It’s easy to state you believe something and act the polar opposite to what you say you believe.  Though I’ve often given assent intellectually to what I think I believe, Nancy points out some things that indicate we really don’t believe what we say we do.

For instance, we can say we believe that God is all we need but in reality do we?   How often do we try to “help” God?   If you, like me, grew up hearing, “God helps them who helps themselves”, then this truth about God is sometimes harder to live out…. we often think we have to help Him, help us…when in reality, He doesn’t need our help at all..

Here are some of the areas of lies that Miss DeMoss addresses in this book:

1.  Lies we believe about God

2.   Lies we believe about ourselves

3.   Lies we believe about sin

4.  Lies we believe about priorities

There are nine areas of our lives she speaks to with the corresponding lies we believe in regard to that area.   While there were some lies I don’t believe I had/have succumbed to, there were others I was surprised to find she was right on target.

I would recommend this study to anyone who wants to grow in their relationship with God.  However, I will caution you… if you do be prepared and willing to face the lies you’ve been believing.

Life@Work

August 25, 2012

By John  C. Maxwell, Stephen R. Graves and Thomas G. Addington

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you’re where God wants you to be?   Ever questioned how to really know if what you’re doing has purpose in the eternal scheme of things?  Are you experiencing dissatisfaction in your present job and wonder if it’s time to move on?  This might be a book that will help you.

I came across this book at a good time for me.  I wasn’t looking for it per se.   I am a frequent visitor at thrift shops in my area and often find myself in the book section… This book jumped out at me.

As I began to read this book, I found myself drawn into its pages because what these authors were writing spoke to me where I am now.    They used King David’s life (before and after he became king) as a foundation of four key areas necessary for Life@Work… Calling, Skill, Serving and Character.   These are all components they believe necessary for us to “fly” at work.

I am one who believes that I am called to what I do.   I have never seen or heard anyone write or speak on this.   Being a born-again, blood washed believer, I don’t believe that anything in my life happens by accident or coincidence and that God has a purpose for my life.

I believe I have been called to my present job.   That doesn’t mean I haven’t had times of frustration or discouragement in it.   Believe, I have…but am I supposed to live my personal faith at my job?   If so, how does one do that?   How do I determine whether I am where I’m supposed to be doing what I am supposed to do with purpose?   Does this mean I’ll always be here and if not, how do I know when the time has come to move on?   Are frustration, discouragement or bumps in the road, etc, signs that I need to do something other than what I’m doing now?

John and his co-authors explore these questions and more in this book and I have to say, much of what they say not only makes sense to me but has confirmed in many ways that I AM where I am supposed to be.

If you are asking similar questions, this would be a good book to read.  It may not answer all your questions and may even give you a few more to think about, but it is certainly worth the time to check it out!

By Robin Jones Gunn

I was introduced to Sisterchick books a while a go and found them a lighthearted yet pointed read.    So, recently when I found myself being rather overwhelmed with life, I decided to check out to the Netherlands in Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes.

When I first started this book it began with a rather heavy subject matter.  Summer (the primary character of this story) has received some news that no woman wants to receive and so she’s decided to go all out into denial and do something she’d always wanted to do.  

I thought I might be disappointed but Robin takes us along with Summer as she travels to the Netherlands to meet her long time pen pal (since the third grade and Summer is now in her 50s.)  Noelle face to face.   

Summer and Noelle,  find that God has orchestrated this visit to show Himself to them in a very real and practial way.  There are many light hearted moments… such as when they find them floating down a canal in Amsterdam in a wooden shoe boat without the navigator of the boat on board….these lighthearted moments are punctuated when you least expect it with truth that permeates the soul!   At least it did for me.   There are moments that poignant yet moments when you’ll find yourself laughing out loud (or at least smiling broadly!).

One thing I’ve come away from this book is that Summer realizes in her journey that she wants to “own the truth of God’s Word, not just rent the words.”   This hit home for me because I’ve realized that I do to.   I want to Own the truth of God’s Word… not just rent the words… God is good.

I recommend this book highly for anyone who finds themself in need of a trip to the Netherlands!  😀   Thanks Robin!  You made my week.

First Light

December 8, 2009

The first book in the A.D. Chronicles series by Brock and Bodie Thoene. (Pronounced Tay knee)

This is the book whose central character is Peniel.   The son of a potter, is a blind man from birth whose Jewish mother is harsh and blames him for the death of his brother, Gershom.  

Peniel goes to the Nicanor Gate every day and  being blind, is not allowed to enter the Temple according to the Law. So, Penile begs using the bowl his brother Gershom had made for him so many years ago and  listens to those who come and go through the gate into the Temple to worship.  Pharisees, Sadducees and the devout.     

He contents himself with listening as many things are discussed about the Law of Moses.   He sees more in all his growing up years than many sighted people and at night he talks with the various of the Old Testament characters about life.

Then one day, he meets a Man who puts clay on his eyes and tells him to go wash in the pool of Siloam.   Who is this Man?   Why are the Temple authorities against Him and why do they object to his being healed?  

Life becomes more involved with intrigue.   Peniel, blind from birth, now must contend with all the things that sighted sense brings.   A good read… much thought-provoking material.

By Wanda Brundstetter

Mrs. Brundstetter writes much about hte Amish way of life and I like her style of writing…  This series starts with the oldest daughter Grace, aptly named in my opinion as she has returned to her roots after her rumspringe (time of sowing wild oats as I understand it.) 

She comes home but with a secret she has not told any of her family.   One that has the potential to tear the fabric of her family apart.   However, she finds grace in the knowing of her secret.   A secondary theme runs through all these books as terrible things start happening to this family.   Even to the burning down of the house Grace’s husband had built for them.

The seond book is the story of Ruth.  A woman of sweet and gentle spirit, she finds love and marriage to a sweet and gentle man… then tragedy hits on Christmas Eve when their buggy is hit from behind by a car… was it a continuation of all the things that had been going on against thei family or was it just coincidentally someone out driving drunk?   Ruth wakes up in the hospital and must start to put the pieces of her life together.   Angry at God, she tries to make sense of the senseless as well as find her relationship with God once again. 

The third book is the story of Martha.   Martha has shown no interest in love and marriage as far as her family knows.  Instead Martha wants to be a dog breeder.  Martha’s father had a carpenter apprentice whom he blamed for all the “accidents” happening around their place, but Martha wasn’t so sure… She sets out to investigate as the local sheriff seemed to be unable to do and puts her own life in jeopardy.  

All three are good reads.