Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 3, 2024


Sometimes when I see flowers, I'm reminded of how life works.

These two double lilies make me think of my dear friends 
who help me navigate life. We share prayer requests, hallelujahs,
joys, and sorrows as we're entwined together by Jesus.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11 


Monday, January 17, 2022

Historical Fiction Review: The Finder of Forgotten Things by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Book Description:
It's one thing to say you can find what people need--it's another to actually do it.

It's 1932 and Sullivan Harris is on the run. An occasionally successful dowser, he promised the people of Kline, West Virginia, that he would find them water. But when wells turned up dry, he disappeared with their cash just a step or two ahead of Jeremiah Weber, who was elected to run him down.

Postmistress Gainey Floyd is suspicious of Sulley's abilities when he appears in her town but reconsiders after new wells fill with sweet water. Rather, it's Sulley who grows uneasy when his success makes folks wonder if he can find more than water--like forgotten items or missing people. He lights out to escape such expectations and runs smack into something worse.

Hundreds of men have found jobs digging the Hawks Nest Tunnel--but what they thought was a blessing is killing them. And no one seems to care. Here, Sulley finds something new--a desire to help. With it, he becomes an unexpected catalyst, bringing Jeremiah and Gainey together to find what even he has forgotten: hope.

My Thoughts:
I'd heard about The Finder of Lost Things for months and was excited to win a copy in an online giveaway. The story twines with the Hawk's Nest Tunnel in 1930s West Virginia, where the worst industrial disaster in US history occurred. Many workers lost their lives to silicosis from the particles in the tunnel. Although this story is shadowed by sadness, Thomas takes the historical elements and infuses determination, hope, and friendship to create a beautiful story of determination, change, and love. Postmistress Gainey Floyd is an incredibly strong woman who has learned to live alone, content and determined to help others. Jeremiah Weber has been a bachelor for so long, he's not sure he wants to change. And Sullivan Harris, well he's a bit of a trickster who hides his true heart and desires, even as he grows to care about the people put in his path. I love the way Thomas weaves in the tragedy of Hawk's Nest and honors the lives of those lost. She even memorializes many of them by name. I've enjoyed every book I've read by Sarah Loudin Thomas. She's a wonderful writer who touches on the soul of the character and the reader. Opinions written here are my own. I received this book from a contest with no expectation for a review.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021


Some weeks are harder than others. This is one of them.

A dear friend passed from this earth and entered the gates of heaven.
My heart breaks for his wife, one of my best friends, 
even as I rejoice in his eternal peace.

When life hurts and things don't make sense, there's only one thing I can do.

Trust in the Lord and his plan for us. 


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Children’s Board Book Review: Pugtato, Let’s Be Best Spuddies by Sophie Corrigan

Book Description:
What does it mean to be a best spuddy? Spend the day with Pugtato and his very best spuddies and find out! A best spuddy likes to play and listen, share, and give a helping hand. Spend time with Pugtato and his very best spuddies as they show us exactly how to be a best spuddy too.

Pugtato, Let’s Be Best Spuddies:

  • Features adorable and silly illustrations by Sophie Corrigan
  • Shows the youngest readers ages 0-4 how to be a good friend
  • Written in delightful, giggle-inducing rhyming text
  • Is great for discussions and story times focusing on friendship, sharing and helping others

My Thoughts:
Children will love the fun illustrations in Pugtato, Let’s Be Best Spuddies while adults will enjoy the thoughtful lessons the Spuddies share. From Tomatoad to Croccoli to Unicorn on the Cob, little ones will laugh and learn as they read this delightful book. This would be perfect for family time, preschool, or grandma’s lap. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Fiction Review: The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop.

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened her heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

My Review:
The Printed Letter Bookshop is a beautiful story of love, loss, misunderstanding, friendship, and joy. I'd love to have a bookshop like this one in my neighborhood. The store itself is an amazing character. The two ladies who work in the shop create the perfect tension to carry the story through to the end. I enjoyed watching Maddie grow into the person her aunt knew she could be. And I love the gardener. He's a sweetheart. Katherine Reay's books always captivate me, this one was no exception. She adds in so many wonderful literary references. This is definitely a story for book lovers. It would make a wonderful gift for the avid reader.
 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Nonfiction Book Review - Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together by Kara Tippetts & Jill Lynn Buteyn

Kara Tippetts was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. You may remember that during her illness she reached out to Brittany Maynard as a voice against assisted dying. Kara's story involves more than dying; her story reflects the life and love of family and friends.

Kara and Jill joined forces to write about their difficult journey. These two young women shared a give and take friendship while Kara went through cancer treatment and eventually hospice. You might think Jill did all the giving and Kara all the taking, but that would be wrong. Through their fresh, new relationship each one learned from the other and depended on each other, as well as a slew of friends God set in their path.

Just Show Up is the most honest book I've ever read. Both authors bared their souls and wrote about the hard times, the good days, the laughter, and the tears. Most of all they shared their journey as a transparent story for the reader to experience in full. Many of Jill's chapters are prefaced by the notes she wrote in reaction to Kara's blog posts, but never mailed. As a relatively new friend of Kara's she shares the insecurity she felt as she plodded her way through giving. Kara gave excellent and raw insight into what it's like to be the person receiving the gifts. As I read the book, I witnessed an amazing faith.

This is not a my friend's sick, let's take a casserole sort of book. This is an inside look at what it's like to live out the end of life with a friend and the friend's family. This is a practical guide about when to call ahead, when to volunteer to watch the kids, and when to send a prayer up and remain quiet. As I read Just Show Up my heart went out to the women who circled around Kara and gave of themselves.  But at the same time, I saw how these young mothers were blessed beyond measure because they trusted God and just showed up. Five star and highly recommended.

The late Kara Tippetts was the author of "The Hardest Peace" and blogged faithfully at Cancer was only a part of Kara's story. Her real fight was to truly live while facing a crushing reality. Since her death in March 2015, her husband, Jason, is parenting their four children and leading the church they founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Read Kara's blog.

Jill Lynn Buteyn is the author of "Falling for Texas," an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. She has a bachelor's degree in communications from Bethel University. Jill lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children.

Connect with Jill: websiteTwitterFacebookInstagram

Read more about Just Show Up

I received Just Show Up free in exchange for a fair review.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Nonfiction Book Review: A Friend in Me by Pamela Havey Lau

About the book:
Women’s Nonfiction (
David C. Cook)
Young women long for relational connection. Yet, without realizing it, more mature Christian women often distance themselves from the younger generation because they use different language to talk about God or have different views on church and theology.
In A Friend in Me, Pam Lau shows readers how to be a safe place for the younger women in their lives. She offers five patterns women need to internalize and practice for initiating relationships and talking about issues such as faith, sexuality, and vocation. Most significantly, she reminds readers that when generations get together, they can have a global impact— and experience a deeper personal faith than they’ve ever known.

Pam Lau shares hauntingly beautiful stories of sorrow as she fiercely questions the global impact women’s relationships can make when we pattern our lives after Jesus’ example.  A Friend in Me leaves the reader free to love and serve the women closest to them.

My Review:

A Friend in Me is filled with heart-changing advice every woman should read. So many of us are so busy with day to day life, we forget to seek out help from women who have experienced life. On the other hand so many young ladies aren't sure who to turn to. This book is essential for women who follow Christ and wish to make a difference.

I love the five patterns Pamela points out to encourage women to be a more Christ-like influence on one another. She digs into each one with great examples of women she's mentored or ladies who mentored her. She even delves into areas that are hard to talk about, in a way that brings to light the great need for woman to woman conversations. This is not a work book. It's a heart book that can make a difference to the reader and anyone the reader encounters. I recommend A Friend in Me for a women's Bible study group because it would open faith building conversations. 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of A Friend in Me in exchange for an honest review.

Pamela Havey Lau is the author of A Friend in Me, Soul Strength, and numerous articles for such publications as Christian Scholar’s Review and Christianity Today. A graduate of Liberty University and Colorado State University, she has taught writing at George Fox University and speaks around the country at conferences and retreats. After her three daughters were born, she began teaching writing at private day schools until 2010 when she started her own business, Real Life Real Image, where she writes, edits and speaks. Pam is married to Dr. Brad Lau, a college administrator. The two make their home near Portland, OR with their three daughters.