Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Read It~Share It: Sixteen Brides

Striving to create new homesteads in the frontier of Nebraska, sixteen women embark on a journey of self discovery. Each woman has compelling reasons for leaving the comforts of a former home - loss of a spouse, rejection, or simply being beyond "marriable" age. As the train arrives in the small town, the women are shocked to discover what the men of the Plum Grove were expecting - brides.

Sixteen Brides takes a fresh perspective on historical fiction. While there is a romantic element, the story focuses on healing, self discovery and supporting one another during difficult circumstances.Ruth, Hettie, Caroline and the others struggle through many of the same issues women experience today because of separation or divorce.

Many of my military spouses friends will appreciate this story as it touches on our desire to be strong when our husbands are away. How many times have you had to "homestead" without him? Have you faced weather conditions foreign to your experiences? Have you felt like an outsider?

Be inspired to courageous living as you embark on your own adventure! Read it! Share it! And don't forget the coffee!

As always, the views I express about this selection are my own. Thank you to Bethany House for providing this and other titles for review.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Sacred Journey

Road trips are an integral part of my existance. Perhaps this craving for a journey is what intrigued me about Charles Foster's book, The Sacred Journey. He suggests that a pilrimage is an essential part of every faith inluding Christianity taking Jesus' words to "follow me" in a literal sense.

Foster shares stories of how faith development is a series of experiences. He travels the globe in a nomadic lifestyle exploring faith in a way most of us would shy away from. While I disagreed with some of Foster's conclusions, I found the anecdotes thought-provoking. Some may even consider his views on theology to be offensive, which the author fairly warns in the preface. Regardless of your assessment, you will find that journeys change our lives forever. Will you find God on your personal pilgrimage?

The Sacred Journey by Charles Foster was provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers. The ideas expressed in this review are my own.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Fine Line...

Some boundaries are clearly defined like the yellow stripe on a busy street or a wall around a summer garden. They keep us in... or out.. of certain spaces. The rules about these boundaries are easy to identify because they are marked with tangible objects. With some boundaries, a list of laws is posted so you do not forget what the boundary means.

Is there any doubt what the creator of this sign means?

Emotional and relationship boundaries are much more confusing. This week a friend and I were talking about "where to draw the line."

When your child is venting about a tough day, when does it become disrespectful?

When moms give and give and give and give of themselves, when does it become unhealthy?

When a relative makes a suggestion about how you should raise your kids, when does it become critical or even hateful?

The fine line boundaries seem to ebb and flow like the tides. I know when I've crossed one, because I can feel the tension. But how can we expect others in our lives to respect our boundaries, when we don't communicate in traffic signs or brick walls?

Take time today to examine your own fine lines. What one thing could you do or say to communicate your emotional boundaries?