This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, October 12, 2007

Scripture & Song

And ye shall seek Me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

O Master, let me walk with Thee,
In lowly paths of service free;
Tell me Thy secret; help me bear
The strain of toil, the fret of care.

Help me the slow of heart to move
By some clear, winning word of love;
Teach me the wayward feet to stay,
And guide them in the homeward way.

O Master, let me walk with Thee,
Before the taunting Pharisee;
Help me to bear the sting of spite,
The hate of men who hide Thy light.

The sore distrust of souls sincere
Who cannot read Thy judgments clear,
The dullness of the multitude,
Who dimly guess that Thou art good.

Teach me Thy patience; still with Thee
In closer, dearer, company,
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
In trust that triumphs over wrong.

In hope that sends a shining ray
Far down the future’s broadening way,
In peace that only Thou canst give,
With Thee, O Master, let me live

Words by Washington Gladden
Music by H. Percy Smith

Visit Sheryl and friends at her blog Taking the Challenge and find more faith-filled nuggest of inspiration at her Faith-Lift Fridays meme.

Fall Into Reading Review

The Brink of Death by Brandilyn Collins

Oh. My. Word. If you choose to read this, just set aside some time and be prepared to fly through it. Collins can write a thriller. I read this over two evenings and I am not kidding, each night I had to double okay triple check that I locked the blinking doors. Good grief am I susceptible or what??? Don't answer that.

We start the story with a murder. With that title, would I have expected anything less. It was more graphic that I was prepared for. I understood the book to be Christian fiction, but Collins depicts murder for what it is, a hateful and totally evil crime. We see into the mind of the murderer. And we meet Annie Kingston.

Annie has come from the school of hard knocks. Her father was a brilliant defense attorney, who was lacking in the parental column and is recently dead from a heart attack. Her husband was…a louse. And she and her children are suffering from both of these facts. They've recently moved to find a safe haven and some peace to heal and grow stronger. They move to her father's old house in quiet Grove Landing.

A shocking murder occurs across the street leaving her daughter’s friend without her mother. What can Annie do but dive in and help?

Annie is an aggressive and determined woman when she decides to get involved. The story left me in the clich├ęd nail biting, edge of my seat panic until I had read the final paragraph. Somehow Ms. Collins wove in the salvation message without whacking her readers upside the head. Awesomely done.

There are three more books in the series. My dear friend Jenny sent them all to me recently—guess what I am going to be reading soon?

Brandilyn Collins has a knack for drawing her readers in quickly and keeping them engrossed. Brink of Death—a fantastic (albeit thrilling) read.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

It is anniversary week here. Fifteen years since our wedding.

Cue the soft violin music, warm summer night, looking out over a moonlit lake.

Over fifteen years ago my darling looked into my bleary shining eyes under the moonlight and told me he could stay with me forever. I replied that I felt exactly the same way. Sigh...Then he ever so romantically asked, “Could you put that it writing?” The recording screeches to a halt. I said eloquently, “HUH?”

Was that a proposal or what? I’m just saying…

And it the romance has not stopped since.

So I give you Thirteen goofy things that happened in the process of getting married.

1. I put the wrong address on the wedding invitations. Thankfully my husband to be noticed and we put a note about that on the enclosed map.

2. My friend went into labor the night before the day before my wedding…in my bed.

3. It snowed the day before our OUTDOOR wedding.

4. I slept with the wedding cake because I was terrified my friend’s cat would climb it during the night.

5. My sister finished sewing on my dress the day of our wedding.

6. I got my veil caught in the rain gutter.

7. The wedding video shot by my husband’s cousin shows primarily my shoulder and the best man.

8. My slip is showing in approximately half of the wedding pictures. Classy folks, I’m telling you.

9. We were supposed make a grand exit in my friends boat…all the guest left before that could happen so we just packed up the gifts in my little Lynx and drove off into the sunset…

10. …to a fishing cabin with no phone access and very little heat.

11. I had to have breakfast with my mother-in-law two days after we got married.

12. We came home to a backed up sink. My future ex-brother-in-law poured sulphuric acid down the drain…

13. …and our homecoming smelled like rotten eggs.

Our life has been anything but traditional. I am so grateful for the wonderful man that I married. Praying for at least 15 more nutty years.

THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE THURSDAY THIRTEEN:The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. What do you do? Write Thirteen things about yourself, summarize your week in one entry, make it easy for other bloggers to get to know you on a weekly basis. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged!

The TT Hub

Wordless Wednesday

Anniversary Edition

Wordless Wednesday hub here!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Fall Into Reading Review

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Fall Into Reading 2007I have yet to read a bad review of this book. When I named it on my Fall Into Reading list I heard many a good word about it. Let me say, I was not disappointed. This book lived up to everything I heard about it and more.

Golden’s writing swept me away in the first paragraph. It transported me to the pre-WWII era in Gion where the geisha and all girls who were bought and sold and aspired to be geisha struggled in an intricate society. They hung in a delicate balance of competition and dependency on one another.

memoirs of a geisha by arthur golden reviewMemoirs is the story of one geisha. It begins with her as a young girl, Chiyo, in a fishing village and follows her life as she is sold to a okiya and as she becomes Sayuri the name she is given when she becomes a geisha apprentice.

I will admit that, like many women Sayuri meets, I originally presumed geisha to be little more than high dollar pro$titues (forgive me—just trying to ward off the search spiders). What I found to be true was that their society, their company was sought out for much more than I understood. And I still don’t think I get it all.

Fascinating to me was the fact that apprentice geisha wore more complicated kimono and make-up than established geisha. The layers that went into preparing to leave the okiya to go to the teahouses for an evening was unbelievable. The elaborate education and training that geisha maintained and the social rules for how a geisha visited different teahouses and parties was mapped out like strategy.

The culture that was pre-war Japan was complicated and dominated by men. The cultural difference between the women of today and the Japanese women is separated by a huge chasm. Certainly I was bothered by the commonality of geisha in the upper societies. The presumption of society that it was a right of wealthy men to seek their entertainment. But at the same time I was fascinated by the complexity of geisha and how a girl rose to be one and I was mesmerized by the story Mr. Golden wove.

Memoirs of a Geisha goes on my short list of all time favorites and I am truly tickled to be able to say I have a spare copy to give away. If you have not read it and would like to, leave me a comment in my giveaway post found HERE.

The only bad thing I can say about Memoirs of a Geisha is that I wish I had read it sooner.

Book Giveaway

Edited to add that the winner of this book giveaway is Carrie at "with all that I've been given." Carrie let me know where I need to send this book! Thanks everyone who entered. There will be another book giveaway starting Tuesday. Check back!!

Memoirs of a Geisha is a wonderful book I read for the Fall Into Reading Challenge and I just happen to have a spare “gently used” copy. If you would like to read this leave me a comment indicating so and I will enter you into my book giveaway.

My review can be found HERE. I will add a disclaimer that this is a totally secular book and while not “graphic” leaves little to an imagination. If that is not your cup of tea, don’t worry I will be offering a Christian fiction book in my next giveaway.

The giveaway will run from Tuesday October 9th until Sunday October 14th. All you have to do is leave me a comment and I will enter you in the drawing. You must be willing to give me your snail mail address information. The book will be sent out media mail and I hope you will love it as much as I did.

Overwhelmed With Joy began the Pay It Forward Book Exchange she recently gave away two great books and will be giving away two more the first week of November. She also has listed some other bloggers who are giving away books be sure to stop and visit them to win.

Bonne chance!

Children’s Book Monday

Dolphin AdventureDolphin Adventure by Wayne Grover

Man’s fascination with dolphins is legendary. It has long been a goal to connect and communicate with dolphins and Wayne Grover has a wonderful adventure series based on true accounts of his dives off the coast of Florida provides young readers with a way to experience that connection through his writing.

Grover a naturalist with a military background and many varied accomplishments writes first hand accounts of his dealings with dolphins. In the first of three books he finds and young injured dolphin and attempts to help it and return it to its family.

Dolphin FreedomDolphin TreasureJim Fowler’s shimmering black and white illustrations are captivating and capture the movement of the dolphins and the water. They are the perfect combination with Grover’s straightforward language to lure young readers into their wet and wild tales.

Dolphin Adventure is followed by Dolphin Freedom and Dolphin Treasure. They are wonderful as read alouds or as young readers.

For more reading ideas for children visit Elise at A Path Made Straight for Children’s Book Monday.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Grains of Gratitude

My blogging hiatus ending with a sinus infection compounded by a painful earache—connected I am sure. But it seems to respond to medication, so we will go with that. And be grateful.

There was a thought in my head at the beginning of this week that I should be looking into new names to add to my family. Considering I am old enough to be Boo’s grandma that was a somewhat terrifying prospect. But I had put on the garment of faith that said I could do that and “all things” and was preparing myself for a new adventure. Oddly enough, I am sad now, that I don’t need to worry about this. But I am grateful for whatever the LORD will bless our lives with.

My husband started a new job. Without leaving his old one. His company was “acquired” recently and all that is involved with that statement. We are praying they leave the original company intact and that this is a positive thing. He is putting in some hideous hours. I am still grateful for the job he has that requires the hideous hours.

I am grateful I took the time to clean a little. I found three bags to donate and trash to get rid of—that was just one room. Can you imagine when I wade into the garage???

With oxygen tank in tow, I conquered Mt. Lottsaloadsoflaundry and am at a manageable mound.

Roo and I accosted the dangerous story problems dealing with money! And we spent the correct amount of change. Cha-ching!!! We also set up a good system to buzz right through all the worksheets that we need to accomplish.

Boo and I…well…we butted heads more than once. We are both grateful for his (much) older friend E who took him for a walk around the studio repeatedly Thursday so I could spend some grown-up time in conversation with E’s mom. E even allowed Boo to accompany him in the presence of some lovely young ladies. They were a charming pair—a 15 yo young man & a 7 yo imp. Boo had a good time. I got to speak sentences of less than five words (one of which always seems to be “NO!” or “WHY?”) and we made it home safely afterwards.

We are happy with the boys casting. They are in the same cast (we knew that would happen) and they get to have a “fight” of sorts on stage!! Cool!! Boo actually got the role that was Roo’s first (the “naughty boy”). So I should have a photo of them in the same costume by December. How sweet. I would be grateful for a windfall that will allow me to purchase said photos!

I am grateful for my father who called yesterday. I am grateful for my cat who sits on my lap and sinks his claws into my leg because he loves to snuggle me and I am grateful for my poochie who hunts my down when I have my face buried in pillows and shoves her head in my hand so I can pet her soft fur. She won’t let me hide very long if I am down.

What are you grateful for?

I have started my weeks off with Christine at Brady’s Bunch in gratitude for quite a while now, and must say it has been such a blessing. For Grains of Gratitude, I am grateful.