"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."
What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Friday Highlights: I practically fell out of my seat laughing at Andy Andrews and his version of "Amazing Grace" set to the tune of the theme from "Gilligan's Island." I marvel at this man because I've read his book The Final Summit (review here), and felt that its author was a truly inspirational person. Hearing his comedic side was a surprise of some magnitude, I can tell you! I was honored to hear him speak.
Brenda Warner was such a strong woman and a model of who we as women should strive to be. I felt humbled to be in her presence. This woman reminded me that God is always near through the rainbows and the rain. Her testimony was exactly what I was hoping to get from Women of Faith. Instead of this fine woman constantly being introduced as "Kurt Warner's wife," people should be introducing Kurt Warner as "Brenda Warner's husband." Because that's how bright her ray of sunshine is.
Mandisa gave a concert that was not only inspirational but just. plain. fun. I'm heading over to iTunes after I finish this piece!
Saturday Highlights: I've wanted to hear Amy Grant live since I was a child. I think I must have looked like a kid in a candy store during her set. Her guitarist amazed me as well. Amy Grant, Mandisa, and Sandi Patty closed the set together, inviting all women to sing with them. Dancing and singing along with these three women was one of the best times I've ever had. I felt so free, and so grateful to be alive.
Sandi Patty carried the day, without a doubt. I've rarely heard a performer sing so well during a live show. And the speech that she gave brought me to tears. She reminded us to just be still and listen, for God is near.
My one concern is that there was a dramatic piece given on Friday night that seemed to downplay the role that husbands play in our lives. Yes, we women are busy, and we lead lives that at times are overwhelming. But we can't ever forget the load that our husbands pull.
I don't know where I would be today if it were not for the kind and thoughtful efforts of my husband, and that's not an exaggeration. I had unidentified, untreated clinical depression for much of my life, and my husband has been an absolute rock through all of it.
I was saddened by that presentation because I realized how many women out there identified with it. I used to be one of those women, but through God's mercy, I have learned to step back from that kind of life.
If I were ever to speak to women, that is the topic I would choose. So many of us struggle, and so many of us have no idea how to deal with the pain.
If you are one of those women who identified with that presentation, I hope that you are able to step back, take a look at your life, sit down with your husband, and talk with him about how you can simplify your lives.You are not running a race. If you feel as though you are, something is wrong, and there are so many ways that you can address it if you can just ask for help.
"Be still, and know that I am God..... My grace is sufficient for you." If you have been to Women of Faith, or if you plan to go in the future, my prayer for you is that those verses are what you take from it. Because ultimately, that's all we need now or ever will need.
Soli Deo gloria
Sunday, September 4, 2011
The basic premise is that the heroine and her husband are living a very happy marriage on mission in Columbia when the husband dies. The grieving widow returns to America, where she gives birth to their child, and attempts to put the pieces of her life back together. Two and a half years later, she is happily remarried to another man - until she receives word that her first husband has been found alive. She's put in the terrible position of having to choose between two men she loves.
This book deals in a very powerful way with the theme of sacrificing our own desires to meet God's plan for our lives. And, really, if you enjoy Christian fiction, this one is a must-read.
Five out of five stars
Friday, September 2, 2011
However, a week before the conference, my tickets still had not arrived. After waiting and checking the mailbox much like a high school senior during college admissions season, I finally caved and decided to call them this morning. I spoke to just the nicest woman. She discovered that I hadn't been assigned seats due to a glitch in the computer system. Gosh, don't I understand what that's like!
To sum it up, her supervisor felt so badly about the mixup that they've given me seats on the conference floor, very close to the actual presentation. These seats are so difficult to come by that I'm absolutely overwhelmed by their generosity.
But more important than that was the sense of kindness that I felt from the woman who took my call. This was a woman who seemed so full of love that I could feel her spirituality over the phone, half a continent away. I truly didn't want to hang up the phone, just so I could enjoy her sheer goodness for just a few minutes more. That's the kind of person I wish I were, the kind of person I'd like to teach my daughter to be.
And she was just one more reminder that we make an impact with even the smallest actions.
So, thank you to Women of Faith, and thank you for the kindness of one woman. You've reminded me that there are still people in this world who shine a light for the rest of us.