Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued (Multnomah Books, July 20, 2010) is a wonderful, inspirational story written by Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher. It might even have you making tracks to your nearest pet shelter.
Kim Meeder (author of Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope and co-owner of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch which rescues abused and neglected horses and pairs them with disadvantaged children) and Laurie Sacher share the amazing story of how the unwanted dog taught Laurie about God's unwavering love.
Much of the books content is shared through conversations between the two women, but the story really comes alive when we read about interactions between the owner and her dog, Mia. I cringed as I read about Mia crashing into driftwood and rocks on the Oregon Coast when she was first coming to terms with her blindness, but later rejoiced as I read about her learning to follow Laurie by listening for her fingersnaps. The authors seamlessly weave life lessons into these stories.
I have always thought of myself as a "cat-person," but after reading Blind Hope, I must admit that I'm longing for my very own Mia--bad breath and all.
I was provided a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for review purposes, but the opinions are my own.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
In the spirit of those end-of-the-year top ten lists, I thought I'd organize a list of my favorite Christian novels that I read during 2010. Not all of them were published in 2010, I just happened to read them this year. If you click on the link, it will take you the "Book Pick Friday" where I discussed that book in detail. Whether you are curling up next to a cozy fireplace or reclining in a lounge chair next to the beach, I hope you find some great books to read during the new year!
- The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper by Kathleen Y'Barbo. (Historical Romance).
- A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin (Historical Romance).
- A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin (Historical Romance).
- Powers by John B. Olson (Speculative Fiction)
- Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana by Tricia Goyer and Ocienna Fleiss (Historical Romance).
- Daisy Chain by Mary DeMuth (Difficult to label--recent historical, suspense fiction).
- Code Blue by Richard Mabry (Suspense).
- Tomorrow We Die by Shawn Grady (Suspense).
- Love is a Battlefield by Annalisa Daughety (Contemporary Romance).
- The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner (Contemporary with historical elements).
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
But the song followed me down the street. "Raise your joys and triumphs high! Aaaaa-le-luuu-iaaaaaa!"
I gave in and let the song finish. "Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Aaaa-le-luuuu-ia!"
Okay, NOW Christmas. That last line niggled at me, though. It seemed similar to a line of a song we were rehearsing. It took me until I arrived at the church to figure it out. "Sing, ye heavens and earth reply..." is eerily similar to "Let heaven and nature sing" from "Joy to the World." Both songs point out that God's most amazing gift deserves a reply.
My kids like to play with the "Resurrection Eggs" at Easter. Each plastic egg opens to reveal a small piece of the Easter story. They've learned to take turns opening the eggs and telling the story. A few years ago, my daughter opened the egg that contains a strip of linen cloth to symbolize how they wrapped Jesus' body after his death. She pulled it out and recited, "And they wrapped him in cloths..." Without missing a beat, my son piped up, "And they laid Him in a manger!"
I remember how my heart skipped a beat. The climax of the gospel points back to the beginning of the story. What a beautiful twist! Easter poinst to Christmas. Christmas points to Easter.
So as you celebrate Christmas, remember where this story leads: to a cross and an empty tomb. The angels sang on that first Christmas morn. Now, it's our turn to reply. "Sing ye heavens and earth reply...Aaa-llle-luuu-ia!" "And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing. And heaven, and heaven and nature sing!"
Thursday, December 9, 2010
You know what's even better? Discovering that your new favorite author isn't new at all. Her novels take up multiple shelves at your local library.
I met Lauraine Snelling briefly at a writer's retreat in October and made a note to myself to make sure and read some of her books. I noticed that she had written quite a few horse books for young teens and since I never really grew out of the horse crazy stage, I started there. I browsed the YA section at the library and picked up a few titles. Then I wandered over to the regular fiction section and grabbed one historical and one contemporary novel.
After devouring all four books (High Hurdles: Olympic Dreams, High Hurdles 2: D.J's Challenge, Dakotah Treasures: Ruby and Breaking Free), I can't wait to head back to the library for another load. It's like an all-you-can-read-buffet for book lovers like me. I especially loved Ruby and Breaking Free, so I think I will focus on her adult titles (maybe I have grown up, after all). I am also excited to read some of Lauraine Snelling's new novels, including the Home to Blessing series.
So, who are your favorite authors? Have you stumbled over any new favorites who are not "new" at all?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I found myself saying, "Well, it IS The Nutcracker..." How can you say no to a tiny ballerina's dream?
My son asked, "Why do they call it The Nutcracker?" I explained the story in far too much detail. His eyes glazed over part-way through.
But this week I've learned the REAL reason it's called the Nutcracker.
Because it's NUTS. And the CRACKS in our schedule are showing.
"Okay, you pick her up from school and drive her to dress rehearsal. I'll have her hair and bag ready." "How many tickets do we need? How much do they cost?" "Where is your bun net? Where are your ballet shoes? What do you mean you left your black leotard on the floor and the cat slept on it?!" "It's eight p.m. and they haven't started running her scene yet?"
I had to laugh when I saw the sign-up sheet for backstage help. In magic marker it said, "Sign-ups for NUT-Moms." Perfect. Now I'm offically nuts and I have the title to prove it.
I know it will all be worth it when I see our tiny dancer make her way across the big stage. It's a dream come true for her. She's having the time of her life. And I'm having the time of my life watching her enjoy it.
"Mom, I like being a toy soldier, but next year I want to audition to be an angel."
I add a last spritz of hairspray to her bun. "That sounds like fun, sweetie. You'd make a beautiful angel."
Yes. Next year. Sigh.