Monday, August 21, 2017

The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling a book review

I have read all the books of the Blessing series.  They were all excellent books and gave a wonderful look into the lives of Norwegians who migrated to North America and settled homesteads and broke the land.

This new series, Under Northern Skies, takes the Carlson  family  to a new area to log, and develop hope for their families future.  When Rune receives  a letter from his Uncle Einar, and Aunt Gerd he decides to take his pregnant wife Signe and their three sons to the new country.  They agree to work in exchange for passage to America.
Signe is heart broken and her own mother refuses to speak with her, but she obeys her husband and leaves her family behind on a terrible journey across the sea.

The voyage itself is horrible, they are locked in steerage in the bowels of the ship, and rarely let out for fresh air, the food is horrible, and the stink terrible.  They become victims of the more wealthy ship passengers.  They enter into Ellis Island, and are subjected to examination, weariness, and fatigue.  Rune seems to withdraw from Signe, and she grows even more weary, and afraid.

The horrendous journey could not prepare them for the house they arrived at in Minnesota though.  If is full of mice, dirt, stink, and malice. The Uncle  and Aunt are mean, spiteful slave drivers who want nothing more than to work the entire family to death.  The family journey has brought them to enslavement and despair.  The hope
with which they began their journey, has been wiped out under their captors harsh treatment.  Where is God in the midst of their struggles?  Signe has resigned her former belief to childhood lies of unbelief, and Rune refuses to help her in his own attempt to just get from one day unto the next.  When their son Bjorn is seriously injured, she wonders if any of them will survive and will a new dawn ever come and find them there in the woods.

This book was a very difficult one to read for me.  I believe it reflects a struggle of belief darkened by works of darkness.  Much of it is distasteful, there is not a lot of the struggle of the characters that draws a reader to cheer them on.  It was a bit of a struggle just to keep turning the pages.  Just like real life we have all experienced in so much media and the world the last several years, this book seems to drown you in misery.  The bright light of hope is very dim here, but it does exist.  The characters begin to build upon it, but it is so slow in coming.

I believe when you open a book you come to it expecting something based on the cover, the title, and the author.  This book, while it is very compelling is just plain hard to get through.  The uncle is especially difficult to engage and the type that you love to hate.  It did not take long with him at all to get to that point.  If you enjoy seeing good triumph over evil in a long drawn out story, this book will certainly give you that type of read.  It flows slowly like a muddy creek, but eventually you will get to a clear pond. There is a clearing at the end.

But if you come looking for something simple to encourage you in your reading time, this book is not perhaps one for that.  I believe that readers seek out different things in inspirational books, for me personally, when I read for entertainment I do not want a deluge of cruelty, and bad mental pictures.  The uncle and aunts bedroom would be a hard one to disassociate out of your mind after getting the image  of it, and there are many others like it scattered throughout the chapters. This book takes you through a lot of darkness to get to dawns light.  It is not one I will keep and read again.

My own opinion is expressed here.  I did receive this book to review from Bethany House.  I received no other compensation.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Found In My Garden Yesterday

You never know what will turn up in your garden.  I found this yesterday!

Not mine!  
A neighbor said she was "baby sitting" it, she just turned it out.  It found my garden.  My son and I fed it some of my corn.  Later after we came back in the car it ran to the fence squealing for more.  Today when I got there, here it came to the fence again.  I got it part of an ear of corn out of the fridge.  There wasn't any left from yesterday outside.  It pretty well wallowed out. what was still growing.  Poor baby, it's attached to me already.  Something to laugh about on this cool, rainy afternoon.  It had been on the porch during the night, trying to get in the door.  My folks thought it s a bear, glad it was not.  Life in the mountains of home.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A book: He calls You Beautiful by Dee Brestin

Hearing the Voice of Jesus in the Song of Songs. This book is designed for a small group, or to study alone.  At the end of each chapter are questions to help you grasp Jesus and what He has said.  This book is a study of the Song of Solomon, an Old Testament Bible book written by a man considered the wisest man who ever lived.  The Bible book itself, is intimate in the physical, emotional relationship between a man and a woman.  It is sexual, but the premise of this book by Dee Brestin portrays the Song of Soloman as a love story, physical, spiritual, and emotional between Jesus and his bride, His church.

This is not the first time I have heard this book taught in this way.  I once attended a church where the Pastor went line by line to demonstrate this same concept.  So I was familiar with this premise before receiving this book, He Calls You Beautiful from Blogging for Books to review.  I received no other compensation, the opinions are my own.

This book lists a cast of characters, three stages of love, the depth of God's love, poetry, scripture readings, questions, video suggestions, comparisons, desire, holy kisses, sensuality, bed chambers, prayer time, opinions, the dark and light of the gospel, cries for help, and thankfulness.
It lists a cultivation of intimacy, devotion, passion, God's call to individuals to awaken, cleaving to one, deer, flee to hide, little foxes, that eat at the bases of the grapevines, a quickening, a shepherd king, searching for the beloved, in the wilderness, a tent of protection, one flesh, sexual pleasure before marriage or only after, a warning for fidelity to husband's, and what happens after the rush of the honeymoon is over.
It speaks of spiritual sluggishness, when the knock comes at the door, does the groom know best, or do we, knocking, how much do you really love, the watchman, after the salve comes, is she ready to receive him, and will pleading bring her to her groom again?
It tells of worship, and our journey out of the wilderness, which God is worthy to be worshiped, and

does he live and care about his people, and the humility of praise, do we enjoy God, and is there fruit in your own life, and are you radiant in it?
It responds in the dance, and the beauty of dancing feet early there in the vineyards.  The build up to the crescendo of a love better than wine, Eden's garden,  and saving the best for last, the first miracle, the strength of love,  many waters, finding peace, and expectant vision, "Even so, come Lord Jesus."

"My beloved is mine, and I am his;
He grazes among the lilies.
Until the day breathes
And the shadows flee,
Turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
Or a young stag on cleft mountains."

This book is physical, but like every word written in the Bible, it is there to turn us to God.  A drawing of us to Him, spirit to spirit, in order than He and His great love and sacrifice might be made manifest.  That manifestation comes only from a God who loved so greatly that He spelled out in no uncertain terms His desire to be number one in our lives.  No human love could express itself  in that way, a relationship with a physical human being to a spiritual creator who although aware of our humanity nevertheless is far superior and holy beyond it the ability of a human to fully grasp it.
Yet He sees us, and although we are tainted with sin, and the inability of perfection, we are able to view, take part, enjoy, hope, and receive the blessing of salvation and reconciliation. Justification in blessing, life eternal, a gift freely given, if we have the faith to receive the grace from a work of God, in us.  People often say, Christ came to save us, and that is true, but the mortality and flawed human being can receive the gift, but has no power to generate it, only to receive it.  The manifestation of a holy, righteous God who reigns supreme, and is love, that is what the Bible tells, and yet He desires to court us, win us, and receive us in His grace and mercy of eternity.  The bridegroom coming for his bride, washed clean, made ready, watching and supplied, when the trumpet sounds that He is seen coming in distant sky.  The love of God, given, who is love Himself, irrevocable, we are sealed, and guaranteed that we have been made acceptable to Him.

This book is an in depth study designed to help you find the love, the groom, and when he calls to be able to hear him, that it is time to come to him.  This book does have some flaws in my opinion, but if you enjoy studies of this type, you might find it a blessing.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

God Bless America

God Bless America!

Photo from A Simple Life In Wilmington, PA

I pulled this zuchinni from the garden yesterday,  I thought it was funny because my daughter in law is eight months along, and seeing this reminded me of her carrying her baby boy.  When I first pulled it, the blossom was still open.  I had a bit of fun teasing her over it.

I am thankful to live in America, and to be an American.  
May God Bless You All.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Monday, June 19, 2017

My Garden has begun to bloom, and a giveaway I won

Hello friends!

My pretty daylilys and bee balm have begun to bloom.  We have had so much rain recently, everything has been water logged.  I am thankful though, last year we experienced many months of severe drought, and heat.  Just sharing a bit of color, and weeds!  Just ignore those, I can't keep up.  One foolish thing I have learned, if I get out in those flowers early in the year I ultimately kill my best ones trying to get rid of the weeds.  So I just learned to let most of them be, until later on after it is all bloomed out, then I will clear them all.  Not sure why, but I think they just plain don't want to be 😉 disturbed.  I hope you have a wonderful summer.

I recently won a very nice Facebook giveaway, and received it in the mail last week from The Kim Stix Fix. If you use that social media, and like fixer up projects and re use items, you might  enjoy some of her sharing.  She also has a group you can find there, and has links to other blogs and places of interest.  I did not include a link here, but am sure you can find it there if you'd like.

Happy summer!   I am waiting on the birth of our second grandbaby boy next month.  He will join his brother who is now fifteen months old.  Children are a heritage of the Lord.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Upon A Spring Breeze, a book review

Upon A Spring Breeze written by Kelly Irvin is a wonderful Amish fiction book based upon a young widow, Bess who looses her husband Caleb in a buggy accident while baking bread.  Not only is she in the kitchen in her in laws home, she is also very pregnant with her first child.  When she hears the news of the accident, she begins a tumultuous journey to find herself.

When her son Joshua is born, he is the image of Caleb, and in her fear of being hurt and abandoned again, she quickly puts his care on her loving sister in law Hazel.  Joshua's ceaseless cries plague her day and night, and she can't bear to hold him or open herself to her son.   She wants only peace, and escape.

Meanwhile everyone including her former best friend Aidan thinks they know best for Bess.  Years before he had loved her, and still does, but he can't bring himself to let her know, Caleb had been his best friend, and he caused Caleb's death. Or so he believes!

Bess finds a way to escape to a new beginning, but her struggles bring her pain, and many problems to her family and community as well.  She meets a new man, an Englisher named Dusty, and is drawn to him even though he is out of reach to her.

Problems with Joshua continue, and Hazel can't handle the pressures.  It costs her dearly. Bishop Freeman is frustrated with the lack of commitment Bess has shown, and her cup runs over with difficulties.  When Joshua's life hangs in the balance, how will Bess rescue her faith, and her child?

After Aidan's loss of all his chicken flock, and his nerve in letting her know his feelings, he turns his back to her, but not Joshua.  Will he be there to help save him, or will they both be too late?

This book has a lot of twists to keep you turning the pages.  It is well written and compelling.  It invites her readers to explore their own feelings of inadequacy, grief, loss, and a search for faith in trouble.

This book came from my local library, and I enjoyed it greatly!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Long Time Gone, a book review

I enjoyed this book by Mary Connealy.  It is book two of The Cimarron Legacy series published by Bethany House.  The book opens with beautiful little Angie Dupree falling into the arms of Justin Boden off the train.  Skinny as a rail, and half starved, Justin had no idea how much trouble he had now that Angie was in the picture, and some one was out to steal the Boden spread.

Not the least of his problems is that a woman exists who can't t cook, in Texas?  Yes and his father has been shot, now Cole his brother is shot and only by the wits of a cowpoke Heath does he survive.  Heath has been scouting out the high mess hidden trails, and pretty Sadie, Justin's sister.

Along comes Mel, the feisty gal from next door, willing to teach Angie to shoot a gun, after they wrangle Cole in bed of course.  Through fever and healing from that gunshot, the ladies find it hard to keep him in control long enough to help him survive.  Just how far is Justin willing to go to save his brother and his sister from bushwacking outlaws ?

Angie has her hands full trying to find her back bone after swearing to God that she never answer to anyone else but Him, but Justin and everyone else seems bent on making her mind their orders.
She just might be willing to listen to Justin, until Sadie decides she and Mel have their own scheme to find out who is after their family, and trying to start a revelation years after Mexico settled with Texas over the boundaries. They also decide Angie has to go along with it too.

Kidnapping and assault come along,  but not out on the trail, Angie finds herself in trouble there in the house, and then out in the woods.
Pretty Angie prays hard, and low and behold finds help with a sling and a stone.  She finds her back bone, and surprises Justin with it too.  She just might fit in as a homestead woman after all!

Travel the trail with the Bodens, Justin,  Angie, Aunt Margaret, Maria, and the rest of the family to search for clues, pride, guilt, glory, revenge, cowardice, and survival, and  victory in this story set on an old west homestead.

It is a very good book, but it did start slowly, and took quite a few twist lines to get to the heart of it.  I missed more humor Mary Connealy has between her men and women characters.  The humor showed up here and there but finally played into more toward the end.

I received the book from Bethany House to review. No other compensation was given, the opinions are my own.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Ebb Tide : by Beverly Lewis, a book review

I have just finished reading Beverly Lewis' new book, The Ebb Tide.  Like so many of her books, this book is very engaging from the start. Sallie has a yearning to travel, and we come into the story as she begins to save for a trip to Australia.  Not a normal thing for most young Amish people, travel to such a distant place  makes her an oddity in her community.  But surprising is the fact that she is able to plan it, and pay for it.

When my son was still young in high school, he was offered a trip to Australia.  We spent an entire year scrimping  and saving for him to go.  It required a lot of sacrifice, and funds came about in surprising ways to meet our living and regular at home expenses.  The Lord provided us with unexpected blessings that entire year, and we were able to send him to Australia, on one limited family income, for three weeks.

I have never forgotten how we needed groceries, and because we had paid his tuition for the trip for that month we had no money.  That month, and many other ones,  extra gifted food came our way, as well as being able to do our own repairs, and needed things at home, we were taken care of, and  unexpected money came our way.  We had no extras, but our needs were met.  When I read about Sallie saving for her trip, I was reminded that God often supplies us with what we need when we least expect it.

An unexpected need comes Sallie's  way too, her young nephew needs heart surgery.  She is faced with the choice of cancelling her trip, and giving her money to help him, or following her heart to further shores.

Her generosity opens the door for her to travel to famous Cape May.   While there she is nanny to Autumn, a young girl who is struggling to find her own way after the birth of her baby brother Connor.  Sallie and Autumn have many great adventures, and Mrs. Lewis gives wonderful details on the sea, the beaches, and the areanas they enjoy during their summer holiday.
Not surprising Sallie meets a young man, Kevin, who share her love of travel, the ocean, and adventure.  They grow close in their time together, and are drawn together in ways Salllie could not have predicted.  Meanwhile back on the farm her sister, aunt, and parents as well as a young man named Perry are hoping she will come home and join the church and her community.  Sallie must make a choice to follow her heart, or to conform to the Amish way of life.  Come, and see where the ebb tide is lowest for Sallie, and see if that lowest point will turn in her life, and fulfill her heart to become the person she was created to be.

This is a very good book to read and enjoy.  It is clean with a definite Christian base thought line.  I enjoyed it very much.

I received this book from Bethany House, the publisher to review, the opinions are my own.  No other compensation was given.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pretty Days Of Spring

Hello Friends,

I wanted to say hello.  It has been a beautiful spring day here.  We have had many of those recently, and I just love them.  Spring brings new life, and I love that, it brings  new flowers popping up, new blooms on the trees, a renewed sense of the celebration of Jesus and His ressurection, and joy filled days just spent near to home.  There is a great sense of serenity in doing the simple things.

We have journied not so very far, but had many great times together.  Late yesterday my Sweetie and I took a ride down the back roads, our favorite thing to do.  The fields were greening, and all the animals were out, the male turkeys were strutting with their fans out in the river bottom pastures, and the small herds of deer we see near to the road were close enough to see their big ears, and white tails.  We saw the cutest little calf lying between mama's front hooves.  It still glistened wet in the late day light.  Newly born, it looked so small, and the color was a combination of red auburn and brown chestnut.  It had a mottled white head, with creamy patches of white.  While the cow was mostly white, dirty, and yellow looking in spots.  She too lay there in the green meadow, no doubt worn out from the delivery of her baby.

Today, I have scrubbed off the mold off the two gourds my son got me last fall.  I used bleach, and a bit of vinegar in the soapy water.  There is still some of the scale to remove, but I've had them drying in the sun all afternoon.  The larger one is still heavier than the bottle one.  It has been many years since I've dried any to save.  I think I'll varnish them and keep them for awhile.  It'll be nice to see them in a basket or in a bowl on the mantle.

My daughter in law just got a quilt from her Mom yesterday.  Her Mom has had the long arm quilter

This month makes seven years I have been writing my blog,  there have been a couple of hundred posts since I started. You  I usually only leave my posts up for awhile, but I have enjoyed it immensely,  I dislike trying to edit on it though.  But in many ways  I have been enriched in my life through it, and especially from your other blogs.  Thank you for sharing your days with me.

I wish you peace.
This month makes seven years I have been on blogger.  It has been a wonderful experience for me, althoughthat belonged to her mother a few years now, since the lady passed away.  She has finally found time to practice some more on it, and sent this one by way of another daughter from Kentucky.  My DIL washed it, but I brought it home, and have had it airing out on my line.  It is not perfect in construction, but it does not have to be.  The grandmother spent many years making and selling quilts   quilted on it.  My DIL told her Mom to quit squinting at it as she used it, it was making her head pitch to the side, smile.  So she gave that a try, and guess what her quilting improved!  Guess a good straight view could improve a lot of things for us all!

I wanted to share a photo of it, even since this one was made, she has really improved her technique.  She has recently sold many, and now has a long waiting  list to work on.  Hoping she can find some time at some point to do a couple for me.  But this early work still deserves the spot light, it is a gift from the heart, and now thanks to this wonderful spring breeze will be delightful to curl up under.

I want to wish you all a very Happy Easter!  Have fun with the dinners, the eggs, the candy, and the baskets.  Please remember the true reason it is celebrated, Resurrection of the Lord.  Apart from Him, we have no hope.

Blessings be abundant unto you from my home in the mountains!  Annie