Monthly Archives: March 2013

Bethany House Book Reviews

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Due to the adoption I am a bit behind, so I have several books up for review.

Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

This book took place in my hometown area. I was really curious to read it, because it centered around the areas were I grew up. This was a new author for me, and I will say, she did not disappoint. I was completely enthralled with the entire book. The historical elements were well done, and I found that I learned a great deal about the area. I thoroughly enjoyed the main character and the entire theme of the story. If you are looking for a good book, and historical fiction is your genre, don’t hesitate to buy this book. I give it five stars.

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

This book takes place in a gorgeous seascape in England. I was really looking forward to the read. While it pains me to say this, as I know the author worked very hard on this manuscript, it was not a favorite read for me. I found the main character to be a bit dull, and incredibly irritating. The plot of the story seemed to be a poor attempt at using bits and pieces of the enchanting tale of Wuthering Heights, and it fell drastically short of measuring up to the old classic. I also felt that the hero of the story while likeable, had some highly annoying sayings. I would be well into the tragedy, and when the hero would find out what had befallen, he would consistently say, “By Thunder!” This seemed to me to be a laughable expression, and an incredibly poorly timed euphamism.
Having said that, she did set absolutely lovely and vivid scenery for her book. There were elements of the story that I found fascinating, I just would have personally preferred a bit better main character and less odd euphanisms from the protanganist. I am well aware, that all of these are my personal opinions, and I do hope that some of you will read this book and think more highly of it than I. I would give this book 3 of 5 stars.

No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig

To my great delight, this is book one of a series. I would like to convey how very much I am looking forward to reading the subsequent books in this series. This book takes place in America and is centered around immigrants that came from Ireland. I found the main character to be completely enjoyable. This story is full of intrigue and many surprise twists. I thoroghly enjoyed it and am anxiously awaitng the remainder of the series. I give this book five of five stars.

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

Shattered is the sequel to Submerged, which was an all time favorite of mine. I was so thrilled to find this book on the review list. I enjoyed it very much, but not quite as much as Submerged. The characters were the same and were every bit as perfectly created by the author as they were in the first. I found that they stayed true to character, and were incredibly enjoyable. The book was another suspenseful plot that I thoroughly enjoyed. The plot was creative and had some completely undexpected but wonderfully derived twists. My one and only disappointment was the first book was full of rich and creative possibilities to a historical myth. This book was completely void of historical elements. As a great lover of historical fiction, it left me only slightly disappointed. Without hesitation, I will be reading the rest of the series as they come out, and whatever else this author comes out with, as she is truly a master of her craft.

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

This book was absolutely so very fun to read! I was literally laughing so hard I cried within the first two chapters. An heiress disguises herself as a portly nobody to secure a job as a governess. The story line is fabulous and I enjoyed it to the very end! A must read!
Hope some of you will add some of these books to your list as we are all still waiting for spring to appear!
If you would like to join me in reviewing books for Bethany house publishing, click this link to sign up!
http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse/bookreviewers

Waiting

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I stood beside her in church on Sunday. She was singing along, when she shyly reached out and held my hand. I looked down to see her stroking my hand against her cherubic cheek and staring up at me. I choked back the tears as I reached over to hug her. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was wondering if this is what it feels like to have a mommy. Still she waits for her day to be chosen.

And I wonder, would you be willing to sacrifice to make her yours? Would you be willing to live with less, so that she could call you Mommy? Would you be willing to stand beside her during her adolescence? Would you be willing to guide her to become all that a woman should be? Would you be willing to tuck her in at night? Would you be willing to cross the oceans to redeem this little life?

Two older boys are still waiting to be chosen. They are waiting for someone to say ‘You are mine’. When we asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, they had no dreams to share. They are old enough to know that outside of being chosen, their dreams could never come true. The one thing that they want more than anything is to come to America. They all want to be adopted and come to America. They have long passed their chances to be adopted in their country. Their only hope lies with the Americans. With tears streaming down my face, I hugged them when we left and whispered in their ear, “God has a beautiful plan for your life.” Could that plan include you?

Would you teach them to dream big? Would you believe in them and support them and help them become all that God designed them to be? Would you help them through their teen years and teach them what a good man is? Would you take them to baseball games and play basketball with them outside? Would you sacrifice to redeem them?

One shy little boy who resisted all of my efforts to engage him, finally got up the courage to speak to me on our last night. He shared with me that his dearest friends have come to America, and he wants nothing more than to be adopted and go there as well. I knew he struggled with English and it took great courage to approach me and share his heart. Could you be the one he is waiting for?

Would you be willing to set aside your dreams for your future and step out so that he can have a future? Would you be willing to whisper in his ear, “Families are forever. You are mine and I am yours.” Would you be willing to put up with the language barriers and let him know that love speaks the same language. Would you risk it all to redeem him and make him yours?

A sweet little boy with a giggle and smiling eyes greeted me. His story has redemption written all over it, and he has not even been chosen yet. He is waiting for a family. Is he waiting for you?

A little girl so full of life and vitality despite some of her special needs, captured my heart in an instant. She dances across the room giggling and sweeping everyone within the perimiter into her excitement. She has a joy that is contagious. She has a story that would make you cry, and yet she refuses to have her joy squelched. She is awesome, and she is waiting. Is she waiting for you?

Would you be willing to set yourself on the back burner to pursue her? Would you be willing to jump through hoops, and fill out mountains of paperwork, and go through months of waiting to redeem her? Would you be willing to let her know that she is worth everything in the world to you?

I do not know God’s plan for your life, but I do know that He did not intend to leave these children as orphans. As I looked at all of their faces, as I spent time getting to know them, I could not help but wonder, where is the church? Where are God’s people? Why are these beautiful children still waiting? Can I encourage you to set aside your idea of what your family should be. Set aside your idea of capping your family at the perfect number of children. Set aside your inhibitions. Set aside your idea of what your future should look like, and ask the Lord if He is calling you to redeem one of these little ones.

Our agency has a beautiful list of waiting children I would be so happy to send you. I can tell you it won’t be easy, but HE knows. Redemption is never easy, but it is always worth it.

Becoming

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Small feet shuffle across the hallway in the middle of the night. A thickly accented voice whispers, “Mommy”. I pull back the covers and let him crawl in. I snuggle him close and listen as his breathing turns to soft snores. I know that he knows he is HOME.

Our story was so very different from what is typical. My birthing room was void of the usual bright lights and sterile equipment that had been there during my other four. There were no soft blankets or a bassinet waiting. That moment belonged to another. I did not nurse him in the middle of the night or spend hours rocking him to sleep. It is not I that holds memories of his toddler hood accomplishments of learning to walk and potty training. I was not even there to witness his first day of school or the loss of his first tooth.

 

 

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And so, we work hard these days to win back lost moments.  We are thick into the redemption process, and the one I am seeing who is being redeemed the most is me.  We are training little hearts who were once strangers to become brothers.  Children born with selfish natures and years spent apart, melded together now working to become a family.  I spend late nights praying HIS Word over sleeping forms, asking the Redeemer to redeem these little hearts and lives and make them His.  And I see myself, not so far removed from them, still far less in HIS likeness as I should be, and as I pray over them, I ask my Father to continue this redemption process in this heart.

And I know He will.  He Who adopted me, and called me His, He loves adoption.  I am so glad I get to be a part the process.