Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Book Reviews 8-9

So, I have just a few more weeks before my birthday and 3 more books to read before then! Do you think I can do it? I hope so!

Book 8-Elizabeth Smart, My Story

I started reading this book early one morning after Joseph had went to work and I finished it before bed that same day. So, that should tell you right there that I thought it was good reading and yet easy reading. The book didn't go SO deep that you felt like you had to stop and reread to make sure of what you really read or if you were understanding correctly. The writers painted a transparent picture of the control a person takes when they steal something precious from us. Some of the precious "things" that were stolen from Elizabeth don't need words and I appreciated how she was not graphic about what he (the man who kidnapped her) did to her. She kept the things that needed to be private-just that private. I also appreciated how she emphasized we all deal differently-its easy to say, "I would have..." but you never know until you have actually "been there". I believe that applies to all trials that we face. One of the things that stuck out to me after she had returned home is the "pep talk" her mom gave to her and the statement, "We often choose to let people steal our happiness..." What a simple and yet true statement that I myself, who has not been kidnapped needs to remember. I would definitely recommend this book for reading.

Book 9-Choosing to See

I admit I did not finish this book in one day; but over a period of several days. I starterd reading this book and one of the first things that grabbed my attention was this statement, "I believe God can handle my heart, my questions, and my anger." The reason this grabbed my attention so quick was that often Christians, myself included tend to sometimes even sugarcoat our feelings to God-yet He already knows what is going on-He sees our heart. From that point on I knew I was going to be reading some transparent reading. I appreciate transparency in writing. Mary Beth was very open about the struggles that she faced in the midst of the death of one of her children and the circumstances around it-well, are just wow. I don't want to give details away in case you want to read it. I want to share a couple of quotes I highlighted in the book:

..I've held on to certain expectations about life. But, Jesus has always loved me enough to show me that even when I push my own ideas and expectations, He is there to guide me back to green pastures."

"I have found that even during those times when the path is darkest, He leaves little bits of evidence all along the way-bread crumbs of grace-that can give me what I need to take the next step. But I can only find them if I choose to SEE."

How often do we as Christians talk about our expectations and try to make them out to be what God wants for our lives? Something to think about! Overall, I really appreciated this book and enjoyed it. I do wish that instead of taking excerpts from her blog for the final chapters that she would have just kept with how she had written the previous chapters. But, it wasn't enough to sway me not to finish reading it. I would read it again.

And, with all that being said, I better get reading!

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