Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review - Life, In Spite of Me

Life, In Spite Of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson is the testimony of a young woman who overcame pain and depression through her growing dependence on Christ.  We meet her at her lowest point.  She is ready to end her life because she cannot take it anymore.   Her way of ending her life seemed liked it should work.  There is no way anyone could survive her method of suicide, but God had other plans.  She survives, but she cannot see yet how God will work in her life.  After her suicide attempt, she is not sure how she got to the train tracks that were supposed to take her life.   In the beginning, she could not believe that others thought she tried to commit suicide.  It seemed liked Kristen was blocking the idea subconsciously that she made the choice to kill herself so she would not confront the reasons behind her decision.    She had some terrible things happen to her that could shake even the strongest person.  Her thoughts as she considered suicide were insightful.  Her friend committed suicide and she thought she would never do something like that.   As time passes she thinks "Life is so hard.  This world is so painful and messed up".   Her thoughts begin to change from "I could never to do that" to "I'd have to think of some way I wouldn't survive".  Her world was messed up and she did not share it with anyone so suicide became a real solution before.   

Kristen's shares with us the trauma after her suicide attempt and her struggle to get better.   Her primary goal during the beginning part of her recovery was to walk again.   She was trying to make things work, but kept ending up depressed.  The best part of her story is realizing that a dependence on God will heal her.     When she was in the psych ward, she told a man "It helps me so much to know that even when I don't have plans for myself.  I can trust that God has plans for me.  Even when I don't have hope, he has hope for me.  And even when I don't see a future for myself, he does.  I just have to have faith".   As she was being healed through Christ, she was able to help others with their struggles.   There were things she wanted to do, but she left those things to God to work out.  And He did!

Throughout the book, you will see letters from Kristen to her readers to offer hope.  Her letter to those considering suicide was uplifting.  She wants us to know we have so much to live for and that God loves you and has a plan for your life.  The writing style was like a personal conversation between her and us.  Kristen would tell us the story and then give us some pearls of wisdom to help anyone struggling to move forward.   As she keeps talking we get a glimpse of God working on her behalf even when she did not realize it.

If you are considering suicide, I believe you will be stopped in your tracks and reconsider your decision after reading this book.   For all of us, we are educated on the signs of someone who might be thinking about suicide.  Although I have a different view about baptism being optional as presented in this story, I can recommend this book because it is a testimony that brings glory to God.  You will be moved and inspired.  

Click this link to read a preview of the book ->
Chapter 1 of Life, In Spite of Me.

I received a free copy of this eBook from  WaterBrook Multnomah through their Blogging for Books program.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Free eBook - How to Stay Christian in College

The book How to Stay Christian in College is free for the Nook and Kindle.

Click the link below to go to Barnes & Noble and download it for the Nook.

BARNES & NOBLE | How to Stay Christian in College by J. Budziszewski | NOOK Book (eBook), Paperback:

Click the link below and download it to your Kindle.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Courageous movie

The creators of the movie, Fireproof have produced Courageous which comes out in theaters September 30th.   If you're like me then you might want to read the book, too.

Read Stacie's blog post at Sincerely Stacie who wrote about the movie and included the movie trailer.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book Review - Raising A Daughter After God's Own Heart

What do I want to pass on to my children? I can think of many things, but having a heart that truly loves God is the best inheritance. I picked up Raising A Daughter After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George to figure out how. The author tells me plainly that I must be what I want my daughter to be. It sounds obvious, but anyone of us can be so busy trying to fix someone that we forget our own flaws.

George helps us by going through the roles we must play as mothers to get our daughters to a right relationship with God. We are first given the illustration of a bell sheep. The sheep that stayed neared the shepherd was given a bell around their neck. The bell would ring as that sheep followed the shepherd and other sheep would follow. Mothers must stay near The Shepherd and allow their lives to speak about God so their daughters will follow.  At the end of each chapter is a Mom's Think Pad.  The Think pad helps you to stop and think about how you will take action.

The author describes 10 more jobs that a mom will do that will help her daughter draw close to God.   The chapters that stand out for me are about the prayer warrior, the church lady and the social secretary.   Being a prayer warrior allows you to lay everything before God.  Your worries, your questions, your failures about parenting can be given to God.  I need to pray and watch out for my daughter's welfare.

The author describes for us the importance of a mother's role as a church lady.   Church attendance is important in your daughter's spiritual growth.   The church lady attends church regularly and brings her daughter with her.   She is active and looks for opportunities for her daughter to serve with her and other members of the church.

The social secretary mom knows her daughter's friends and the activities that she is involved in.   She allows her home to be a place where her daughter and her friends would want to come.    This mom knows about the environment of the homes she visits.   She is not afraid to say no to certain people in her child's life for her protection.   The social secretary's function is to allow for fun and relationships with others, but not at the expense of her spiritual life.

I like this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to develop their child into a spiritual champion in God.  I did have one issue with this book.  I wish it was written for boys and girls.   I have a son and two daughters and I can say that most of the information in this book can be applied to parenting your son.  I think those who only have sons will miss important information.  Besides that issue, this book is well written.  It helped me to think about my relationship with God more so I can be a mom after God's own heart who raises daughters that chase after Him.

I received this free eBook from the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Remembrance of 9/11

On Friday, I should have been finishing my book so I could write a review here.  Instead I was drawn to Google the events of 9/11.  I thought about my first and only time at the World Trade Center.

Before I was a mom and a school bus driver, I was a computer programmer.    My company had outsourced some functions to a company in New York.  My job usually did not lead me anywhere except to my cubicle or a conference room.  But one time in early part of 2001, I was assigned to go with others from my office to New York.     I ate lunch with my co-worker Leslie (not her real name) at the World Trade Center.  I remember that the view was beautiful and I thought this was the best lunch that I ever had.   I think it had to be the Windows on the World restaurant.  I knew we were at the top of the building.  I had hoped to return.

On September 11, 2001, I was with my co-worker Leslie again.  We had to go to a 10 o'clock meeting in Harrisburg for work.   She picked me up and we had a good time on the way.  We talked, laughed and listened to CDs all the way to Harrisburg.  We did not listen to the radio and did not have any clue about the tragic events unfolding while we were travelling.

Our meeting started promptly at 10 AM.  I wrote one sentence on my notepad before the announcement was made that the World Trade Center was attacked, Harrisburg was on lock down and that we had to leave.  I did not fully comprehend what was said because it was completely unbelievable.  Leslie and I left as quick as we could to listen to the radio in her car.  The ride home was completely different than the ride to our meeting.  

These events still sadden me.  I think about how normal the day started for all of these people and its tragic end.   This is the year I purposely thought about 9/11.  I watched Heroes of the 88th Floor on TLC and other 9/11 specials.  I finally threw out the piece of paper that had one sentence from my meeting that never started on 9/11.  I do not know why I kept it so long.   I read about the victims and those they left behind.   I really, really thought about 9/11 this year.  I prayed for those who still suffer from these events.  After reading about the youngest victim who was 2 1/2 years old travelling with her mom and dad,  I turned off the computer and chased my soon-to-be 3 year old around the house and let myself be chased by her.  Time is too precious...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

TumbleBooks - eBooks for eKids!

TumbleBooks - eBooks for eKids!

Chester County library's website has a great resource of eBooks for kids. If you go to and scroll down to find the Tumblebooks icon. Click it and you will find books for free that your child can have read to them. The book can be set to auto-play or your child can click to turn the page at their own pace. Most of the books appear to have a related-game to help reinforce what your child read. Tumblebooks is a very good addition to encourage reading for children.

Friday, September 2, 2011

No Power...No Energy

I am sorry that I have not posted in over a week.   I had no electricity from Saturday night to Monday night, but it seemed like a long time.  I really appreciate the small things now.   I try to read my Parenting by Design Devotional at every day.  I need some help with this thing called parenting.

Monday was my first day back to work as a school bus driver and we were still without power.   I did not sleep well and woke up too early, but I decided I should just get my day started.  I read my parenting devotional on my smartphone.  The title of Monday's devotional was Plugging In To Power.  LOL!    I needed power right then...spiritual and otherwise. 

My phone and laptop can last as long as they are plugged into an outlet.  After losing power on Saturday, I could see my phone and laptop telling me to plug into a power source.

I was reminded I need God's power so I can do God's will for my life.  If I depend on my strength then I will run out of steam.  If I depend on my "genius" and strength to raise my children then I will run out of ideas and energy.  I have to stay plugged in to Jesus through prayer and Bible study.    I need God's wisdom to do everything especially parenting!