Friday, November 30, 2012

5 Minute Friday: WONDER

Each year at our house, we move further away from the childlike wonder of Christmas. Not for lack of trying...oh no. It's because the children are growing up.

This will be our first Christmas with two teenagers in the house. Our youngest turns 13 tomorrow (technically just past noon Central time, so about the time we'll be leaving for dance class here in Alaska). My baby is a teenager, with all that this milestone accompanies. My older baby is driving herself to school and to Walmart for "something I need, Mom."

I wonder, Where did the years go? Where are my tiny girls? Where are the matching outfits? The little tights and red velvet dresses? The ringlet curls and the innocent smiles?

I love my girls so much. I loved them as babies, as toddlers, as lisping preschoolers, as school-agers, and now, yes, I adore them as teens. They are so much more beautiful and comfortable in their own skin than I ever dreamed of being at their ages.

I hope and pray, as I gaze upon them with the wonder of motherhood, that they will be able to take that confidence, that inner strength that comes from God and a loving home, and use it to glorify Him.

Space for Creativity

I've been thinking a lot about creativity. I'm reading Madeleine L'Engle's book A Circle of Quiet and she grapples with this concept quite a bit in the first section. Creativity, the Holy Spirit, all of that.

I came across this link to a free book, but it was no longer free (thanks to Facebook, it showed up late and I still don't understand all of the Facebook nuances after this most recent update...but that's neither here nor there). However, for 99 cents, it seemed like a good purchase and a nice way to round out the end of my birthday gift card from my friend S.

You can find the book here: Creating Space. It's recommended by my friend Ann, whom I trust on all things writerly. The author's website is here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review: At Every Turn by Anne Mateer

AT EVERY TURN by Anne Mateer

About the Book:

Caught up in a whirlwind of religious fervor when two missionaries speak at her church, Alyce Benson impetuously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa. She’s certain her wealthy father will simply hand her the money. But when he refuses, she must either stand up in front of the congregation and admit failure, or raise the money herself.

Alyce harbors a secret passion for speed and automobiles. It’s 1916, and the latest advancements in car engines allow some to post speeds upwards of seventy miles per hour! When she discovers her father’s company has sponsored a racing car that will compete in several upcoming events–races in which the driver will be paid and could win as much as five thousand dollars in prize money–she conspires with her father’s mechanic, Webster, to secretly train and compete.

But as Alyce comes across needs in her own community, money slips through her fingers faster than she can earn it. And when her friends cast aspersions on Webster’s past, she believes she might have trusted the wrong man with her secret. Will Alyce come up with the money in time, or will she have to choose between her promise and the man who holds a piece of her heart?

My Review:

This book is a good historical Christian fiction novel. Accurate in historical detail (including vocabulary from the time period--I found a couple of spots where the terms in Mateer's novel matched some from Jack London's The Call of the Wild, which I'm reading with my middle schooler right now), with a spunky heroine, lesser-known subject matter (women racecar drivers) and a non-preachy spiritual component, it makes for a pleasant read. The heroine, Alyce, is very likeable, and her confusion about finding God's will for her life is certainly something with which many readers will identify strongly.

At Every Turn is the first book of Anne's I've read, and it's her second novel.

Note: Anne Mateer is the fiction pen name of D'Ann Mateer, a close friend of Mary DeMuth. She was an active mentor with The Writing Spa until that site closed.

**I received a copy of this novel from Bethany House as a part of the
Bethany House Bloggers program
in exchange for an honest review both here and on a retailer website.**

Friday, November 23, 2012

Preparing Mt. TBR 2013

I have given myself all of 2013 to read books I already own, to purge from my four bookshelves the books I own that no longer interest me, and to either trade for credit (thank you, Title Wave Books and!), pass along to friends, or donate to the library, books I have finished or no longer wish to read.

In about 15 months, we'll know more about our future in terms of both Alaska and the military, so I am giving myself that time for downsizing my vast collection of books.

I would not call myself a minimalist in any real sense, but the household weight of books, coupled with a desire to purge what no longer interests me, weighs me down occasionally.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Year-Long Memoir Reading Challenge

I love year-long memoirs. I want to do a reading challenge of year-long memoirs in 2013. I wish I'd been the one who coined the phrase "Year-Long Memoir" but sadly, Google tells me it's not original with me.

If you are even remotely interested, I want to do a group blog thingie with this:

Let me know! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Friday, November 02, 2012


Back in August 2009 I began a new journaling project, based on something I saw on Ann Voskamp's blog. You can click on the link if you want to read about it. Mostly it was for me, as I had been in a time of dryness, a time of not knowing where I was going in my spiritual walk.

In the intervening time, I've lived in three states, held two different jobs, read through the entire Bible, done several Bible studies with myself and groups, and touched upon four life-themes: brave, grace, focus, and listen.

This is what my journal looked like then: August 18, 2009, and the passage was Psalm 1.

And this is today's final entry, 1173 days later, from James 5:

This is a journey I certainly plan to continue. As I head into a time of being away from home, and surgery, and - let's face it - upheaval, I will not begin my next volume until the new year. What will my theme be next year? I have no idea. But this is the next volume in the spiritual journal story of my walk with God, given to me a couple of years ago from my friend Maria:

Roots and Wings

5 Minute Friday on . . . ROOTS

I don't know who said this, but someone once said that the two greatest things we can give our children are roots and wings.

Unlike my two best friends, my family does not have deep roots like other families do. As a military family, we've moved around every few years, and we don't have one particular place we call home (well, we each do, but it's different for each!).

One of my best friends lives across the yard from her grandparents' house where she lived for much of her life. Her neighbors' parents knew her grandparents. Her kids' friends' parents are her friends. She knows the town and its people, and her roots run as deep as the huge tree out back with the tire swing.

Another of my best friends is single, but she has roots that run deep and long in her church. Her parents were charter members (I think) and helped run the church, Sunday school and treasury, for over thirty years. Only for health reasons have they stepped away from those responsibilities. She knows the people, the children, the pastor and his family.

So I may not be able to offer my girls roots of a physical or tactile nature, but they have roots that run deep in my heart. And yes, I can sure give them wings. Wings to fly, to try their best, to be adventurous, to think, to do all the things we dream for our kids.

Roots and wings.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Thankful Heart Day 1

I finished my fall term grades today. So thankful!!! It's something I don't have to worry about anymore.

All We Ever Wanted: A Review

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin My rating: 5 of 5 stars All We Ever Wanted is worthy of the buzz it's receiving this summer. I h...