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

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Canada Geese Quilt

canada geese quiltThe Canada Geese Quiltby Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, Illustrated by Leslie W. Bowman

Boo recently read The Canada Geese Quilt after I pre-read it. I was a bit concerned that he might feel a bit sad reading some of it, since illness of a grandparent is a topic, but it was such a special book, I felt the benefits of this lovely story outweighed the concern.

The story is set in on a farm in Vermont, beginning one spring to following fall during WWII. Ariel lives with her parents and her grandmother, an accomplished quilter. Grandma’s quilts are all over the world. They are treasures. Grandma is Ariel’s treasured friend and life is good at home.

But life is always changing and with Mama’s announcement of a new baby on the way, followed closely by Grandma having a stroke Ariel is confused and afraid of the future. How can she accept what is happening in her life?

This story is about family, love, growing up, changes and facing fears. And it is wrapped in the comfort of quilting. Even though I am a quilter only in my dreams, I love stories about quilts. This would be a good addition to any unit study about sewing or quilting.

While a story about a young girl, it was easy for Boo to relate to. He is a farm boy at heart (stuck in the concrete jungle of the city) and he loves stories that are about caring. He gave it a thumbs up.

We checked this book out from the library, even though it is will be outgrown in reading level soon, it is a book to be enjoyed at all ages. I will be looking for this on my “book hunts”—my quest for favorite (and possible new favorites) stories at a reasonable price. If you’ve read Sarah, Plain and Tall and enjoyed that, this would be a book you will enjoy sharing with your family.

A Promise for Tomorrow--Blog Book Tour

I received A Promise for Tomorrow from Glass Road Public Relations & Randall House Publications the other day. I sat down yesterday and flew through the first four chapters. This is a poignant story told from the perspective of Fannie Lea who is just free for the summer from fifth grade. While the story is set in the 50's it takes me back to my elementary school years. It is not hard to remember life from that point of view. I am definitely looking forward to finishing this book.

A Promise for TomorrowIn the mid 1950’s small town, Sugar Hill, Alabama was quiet and sleepy in every way imaginable. Fannie Lea Rockwell has few pressing concerns, save for her dreadful nickname, Flea. Few concerns that is until she crosses paths with Mr. Boyd, Sugar Hill’s resident hermit and mysterious citizen. Mr. Boyd lives across the railroad tracks deep in the woods and his anti-social tendencies only fuel the gossip fire; its rumored that he keeps his daughter, Mavis, locked in the attic all day and that he brews moonshine in the woods behind his house.

One day when Flea and her brother, Rand, trespass on Mr. Boyd’s property to get a better view of Mavis, they encounter more than they bargained for. A grip around her waist, a knife to her throat and a threat on her life are quite enough to convince Flea to never return. His breath which smelled of rotting cabbage only served to fuel her fear.

As she unravels the mystery behind Mavis Boyd, Flea uncovers secrets of other Sugar Hill residents and soon discovers how little she actually knows her neighbors. Soon Flea will find herself in a life-or-death situation where she places herself in danger to save the life of someone more helpless than herself.

Themes in the Book: Living expectantly; Putting Faith Before Fear; Selfless Love

About Sara DuBose:

sara duboseSara DuBose is a motivational speaker and author of three other novels: Where Hearts Live, Where Love Grows, and Where Memories Linger. Sara is also author of Conquering Anxiety, published by the Presbyterian Church in America. Her other writing credits include numerous articles and stories for publications such as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Today’s Christian Woman, Virtue, Decision, The Christian Reader, and Family Life Today. She also appears in several anthologies published by Multnomah and Barbour. Sara received a first place fiction award from Putting Your Passion into Print and a first place fiction award from the Southeastern Writer’s Association. She currently travels as a speaker for seminars, festivals, civic clubs, schools and churches and may be contacted at Sara and her husband live in Montgomery, Alabama. She is the mother of two daughters.

Q&A with Sara DuBose, author of A Promise for Tomorrow

Q. Everyone seems to be affected by today's tenuous economic environment. From housing to jobs, it seems there's always bad news on the 5 o'clock news. How can you 'live expectantly' in these uncertain times?

A. Sometimes our children show us how to live expectantly. Years ago I lifted my sick three-year-old from her bed and plopped us both in the rocking chair. Cherie felt hot and clammy. I was hot with fatigue and anxiety, having nursed sick people for over a month. I said, “Honey, I’m so sorry you are not feeling good.”

Sensing my frustration, Cherie pushed the hair back from my eyes and replied, “Dats all right, mama. We pray about it, den you won’t haf to worry.”

Can three or four-year-old children show us the way home? They can when our home is with the heart of God who said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). So, whether it’s personal, financial, or even a global crisis, the Christian won’t find rest in another news report of the latest terrorist attack, freeway accident, or stock market slide. No, lasting peace is only found in Christ who lifts us from our sick bed of worry, pushes the hair back from our eyes, and rocks us for awhile.

Q. Worry seems to be the opposite of 'living expectantly,' but isn't some worry necessary for day-to-day life?

A. Yes, some anxiety or tension is warranted. We want to be alert when we pull into a six-lane highway at rush hour, take a test, or interview for a job. Above all, we want to be anxious to please God. As we begin to recognize and appreciate a holy, sovereign, just and merciful God we begin to lose our fear and anxiety over other people, our needs, adversities, or any uncertainties of life. The closer we draw to the Lord the further we withdraw from worry and fear.

Q. In A Promise for Tomorrow, Flea learns a lot about God's promises to His children. What can we derive from His promises for tomorrow?

A. Flea observes, and later interacts, with a neighbor who has become a victim of her circumstances. By applying what she has learned from her father and through her own spiritual growth she is able to offer a compassionate reprimand. Flea also learns the truth of Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” As the story progresses, Flea begins to understand a basic principle. Life is hard, but it can still be lived with hope.

Q. I've heard it said that faith is the opposite of fear, but many times Christians feel afraid even though they have faith that God will deliver them from the situation at hand. How do you balance faith and fear?

A. Yes, Christians are sometimes afraid just as Christ’s disciples were fearful during a storm (Luke 8: 22-25). In fact, those guys panicked as the squall continued and the boat began to sink. After bailing the water with little results, they called to their sleeping Savior. Three words from Jesus and the winds and waves obeyed.

“Quiet! Be still!” Then came the questions. “Why are you so afraid? Where is your faith?”

I think we should take note of these questions. Jesus didn’t say, “You have no faith,” but he did tell them to exercise it. As you and I apply our faith, fear must leave because faith and fear don’t belong in the same mind. Alarm, fear, and worry should never rule our lives, not when Jesus is in the boat with us.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sticky Post: Book Giveaway--A Sister's Secret

The winner of the drawing for the book, A Sister's Test is Leah at South Breeze Farm.

Thanks everyone for entering. We will do this again, so keep an eye out.

The contest is closed. We had some the pleasant surprise of unexpected company. I will announce the winner in the morning. Thanks for being patient with me!!