Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Choice by Robert Whitlow

The Choice by Robert Whitlow is a story about a young girl who makes a poor choice, only to be faced with an even greater one.  Set in the 70's, a time when teen pregnancy was taboo, The Choice addresses both sides of the abortion/adoption issue, as the main character, Sandy, decides which path she will take for herself and her unborn child.

I have read several books by Robert Whitlow and had high hopes for this book, as I have loved every other book I've read by him.  This book had a different flow than the others of his I've read.  It was much slower paced and much more detailed.  Sometimes I got bogged down in the details a bit and wished it would move a little faster.  There was one moment about a third of the way through the book, when a new character was introduced, that I thought, "Okay, exciting, it's going to pick up."  Instead, it went back to painting the story of Sandy's pregnancy and decision.

The second half of the book was definitely more engaging, but again, got bogged down with less than exciting characters and details.  There was a definite story being told, but it felt as if drama was being fit a little bit here and there, rather than it being an overall engaging story.

I would read another Robert Whitlow book in a heartbeat.  He is a talented author.  I probably wouldn't recommend this book, though.  It just didn't grab my interest.

This is a review for a book I received through Booksneeze.  The opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

School Time

I'm sure most moms who blog have already put up pictures of their children's first day of school.  I saw plenty of them on Facebook.  We took pictures of Luke and Eli's first days, but I'm not sure they're post worthy.  Luke's are good, but Eli is turned away from the camera so you won't see where he's been crying.

Can you hear the sound of my little heart breaking?

I know it will work itself out.  I know he'll adjust.  I know it just takes time.  But right now, I'm trying to hide my tears too.  For whatever reason, ones I will probably only be able to put into words a few years down the road, I feel this need to protect and mother Eli far more than I do Luke or Judah.  Maybe because he is less independent, even though he's growing every day.  Maybe it's because he really just wants to be with his mama and daddy, and I love that so much.  Maybe because I remember being the same way.

Whatever the reason, I so needed this devotional this morning from my devotional book, Jesus Calling. (By the way, this is the best five minute devotional I've ever had.  It nails the very thing going on in my life on a daily basis.  It's almost like the author, or maybe God, is stalking me.  I love it!)

"Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care.  They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. (I told you - STALKING!)  If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one - as well as yourself.  Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac.  I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship.  Both Abraham and Isaac suffered terribly because of the father's undisciplined emotions.  I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love.
   When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand.  As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them.  My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest.  This same Presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me.  Watch to see what I will do."
Jesus Calling
August 23rd

UPDATE: When I picked the boys up today, I asked them how the day went.  Eli said, "Good!  It was fun!"  And then he remembered that he wasn't supposed to like school and quickly said, with a little smile, "Oh, I mean, it was boring."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Our Youngest

This child is so ridiculous sometimes, we all just sit around laughing at him.  And he loves it.  Getting people to laugh at him is exactly what he's going for.

While I never want to encourage my children to put their food on their head and smear peanut butter and jelly in their hair, when it's already been done numerous times before I realize it, taking pictures of my children's hidden talents is the only obvious response.

 "Are you watchin'?"
 Once he achieves his goal of full attention, he quickly tires of the fame.
"Mama, no!!"
 Notice the lips.  That's him saying, "No pituuuuuuurrr (picture)!"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Throne of Grace

I've been learning about the difference between my spirit and my soul with this book.  I picked it up probably a year or so ago, and then, after reading maybe three chapters, moved on.  Six months ago I picked it up again, and it has shaken me to the core.  At the risk of sounding dramatic, and I like to think I am not, I told Kris that as I began to see and understand the truth in this book, I could see that it was like I had been standing in a jail cell my entire Christian life, never seeing that the cell door had been open the entire time.

The length of all that I've seen and understood through this study is too much for one blog post (and Judah's attention span - as I type he is launching himself off the furniture), but I had a revelation the other day.  I know I've heard this before, but when I "saw" it the other day, it grabbed me and broke off yet one more misconception about how God sees me (and they have been plentiful, but praise God, I am being set free and healed by His truth!).

In Hebrews 4:16, we are urged to "come boldly before the throne of grace to find mercy and grace in our time of need."  At Bible study two weeks ago, one of our points encouraged us to envision ourselves approaching the throne of grace.  Then the question was posed, "How did you look?"  I knew by the expression on most of our faces that we looked pitiful.  I knew that wasn't right, that's not what the Bible says, but that was how I felt when I thought about me approaching God.  Pitiful, unworthy, broken, hoping for acceptance...like a beat dog.  Not at all bold.

Then I heard the words coming out of my mouth, "Now, let's envision Jesus approaching God's throne.  What does that picture look like?"  Joyful reunion, arms opened wide, God moving off the throne to embrace His Beloved, friends reunited and celebrating their love for one another.

If freedom had a sound, I can only imagine what it sounded like in that room that night.

First Corinthians 5:21 says, "He became sin who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus."  I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  So, when God looks at me, he doesn't see my brokenness, my willfulness, my selfishness, my imperfection, my sin.  Because He is eternal, He looks at the eternal part of me, my spirit, and sees the perfection of Jesus.  He sees the blood Jesus shed.  He sees His demands of righteousness and true holiness satisfied.

Now when I envision myself approaching His throne, I see joyful reunion, arms opened wide, God moving off the throne to embrace His Beloved, friends reunited and celebrating their love for one another.  I see Him loving and accepting me because when He looks at me, He sees Jesus.

16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16