Monday, October 12, 2015

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.

Wait for It...

Romans 8:25
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait patiently.

Small tan chapel
When I got home from work, I was all set to write a devotion about the beauty of the changing seasons. I opened my computer and prepared to search for a scripture. I popped open Google Chrome to get to Bible Gateway and lo and behold, I had no signal. No wi-fi, no anything. I tried reconnecting and rebooting. Nothing. Let me say this, I thought about taking a walk before I settled in with the laptop. I probably should have but I saw a window of quiet time where I could get a little bit of writing done. I wanted to write and post this devotion and a book review that's due tomorrow. Instead I called the cable company, who couldn't help me over the phone, and scheduled an appointment with them for Saturday morning.

Two things in this world try my patience more than anything else, a car problem or a technology issue. I like my laptop, I have access to so much through the internet. But, when the connection doesn't work, I'm frustrated. I enjoy posting on my blog and on Facebook. I like being connected to friends and family. What I don't like is trying to be patient when my resources stop working. But I've learned from a young age that one of the fruits I'm supposed to produce as a follower of Jesus is patience. At times I struggle. Yet, I still try. For now I'm going to close the lid on my laptop, enjoy the beautiful weather and work on my patience. Praise God for his patience with me.

What tries your patience? I shared mine :)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Goodwill Finds

I found this gem at Goodwill today. A Homer Laughlin Oven Serve baking dish.

I'm excited because I already have two small pieces and two pie plates that belonged to my mom.
All the pieces but one are the green embossed collection. The other piece has colorful flowers on top. I've always loved these dishes and am so glad mom gave them to me.
I also found this cute teapot.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Heart Breaks

1 Peter 4:12-16
 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

As part of my job as the marketing manager in our library, I follow Twitter so I can tweet and retweet college and library activity. On Thursday, I checked the feed and as I glanced through the list of words, my heart froze when I saw the headlines. Another mass shooting. This time at a community college. Later I found out the shooter asked what the victims believed. If they were Christians, he pulled the trigger.

My heart breaks for the families of the ones who died and for the perpetrator's family. I'm distraught by the hate, the tormented mindset, and Satan's victory. People ask, "When will it stop?" It won't. We live in a world filled with sin. But even in that there's hope. Christians will be tested. All over the world people are tried due to their faith. But what we have in Jesus gives us hope. Hope of salvation. Hope of heaven. Hang on to that. Praise God for perseverance.

Please pray with me for the folks in Oregon and those affected by this tragedy.