Tag Archives: Book

Exciting Book News!

The words were barely audible — a quiet whisper to a bruised heart.

Write.

The newborn stirred sleepily in my arms, a slice of my heart set out for the world to see. But there was another bit of my heart that wasn’t so noticeable — a piece that belonged to the baby not in my arms but in an infant-sized grave.

His death brought me to my knees. Like the tear-soaked tissues I clutched, the trite answers to “how I was doing” fell apart upon further prodding and yet, I wasn’t ready to wade deeper. I hid behind a veil of fake smiles and flimsy responses, a pretense at normality when I genuinely didn’t know what to feel.

But the word, write, burned ever stronger. As my fingers twitched and fluttered over the keys on my computer, a blog was born.

I started writing as a way to process my grief and as an outlet to the new world of motherhood in which I now stood. It was a type of motherhood that was significantly more messy, more broken, and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. But it took time to discover that that beauty and pain could coexist — that they were, in fact, a glorious roadmap to a life lived more fully in Christ.

I uncovered grace as I wrote.

Grace as I dug deep and pushed my way through the walls of grief and into the comforting arms of Christ. Arms that hold tight. Arms that give freedom to grieve wholly and fully.

Grace to embrace the gift I’ve been given — a gift of tears and love that led me closer to the cross.

And out of those blog posts came a book about pregnancy loss, about stillbirth and miscarriage and clinging to Christ in the midst of it all.

A few months ago, I submitted my manuscript to an amazing, Canadian based competition called the “Women’s Journey Of Faith Contest.” Every year, the winner of this competition has their book published by Word Alive Press (an incredible opportunity for hopeful authors like myself.) I had previously entered this contest in 2017 and been shortlisted, so sending this in felt like a longshot. There are so many talented writers out there with stories that need to be heard. But I also knew that I needed to be faithful with the story that God had given me — and so, with a deep breath and more than a few prayers, I submitted my manuscript.

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May 2019: Reading Challenge Reviews

Over the past two years, I’ve heard from many people who want to participate in the Reading Challenge but are scared that they won’t be able to finish a book a week. And I always give the same reply — “More important than 52 books, is setting a goal for yourself and just having fun.”

But this month, if I’m being 100% honest, the challenge has been a bit of a struggle. Less fun and more draining. Life has been busy and has thrown a few curveballs, and some days, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. If it wasn’t for the “buffer” I built up at the beginning of the year, there may not have been five books on this month’s review.

As much as goals motivate me, sometimes we just fall short no matter how hard we try. And that’s okay. This month I had to remind myself that it’s just about having fun — no pressure. And next month? Well, we’ll just have to see. Right now, we’re taking this one book at a time.

No matter how many books you’ve read so far this year, remember that next month is a new start! Continue reading

Book Review: Once We Were Strangers by Shawn Smucker

“Once We Were Strangers” is a story about the blossoming friendship between two men: Shawn and Mohammad, a writer and a Syrian refugee. This book is a tangible response to the age-old question, “Who is my neighbour?” and “How do I love them?”

We live in a world where fear presides: where reports about shootings and bombings and murder and hurt dominate the news cycle. With such uncertainty and fear, it can be difficult to know how to respond to global issues like refugees and immigration. Instead of reacting with compassion, our gut response is often to turn away in fear or to simply ignore the problem, thinking that it’s too big for any one person to solve. That’s why stories and conversations like this are so important to share.

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Book Review: “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Bob Hostetler

My son loves to read (almost as much as I do) and was so excited when I told him we got to review a book together. We spent the past week hovering by the mailbox and when this sweet story finally arrived, he was all too eager to dive in!

It’s not often that you want a book to lull you to sleep. But this lovely, little bedtime story aims to do just that!

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” is a beautifully illustrated, rhyming book that is the perfect way to end the day with your littles. Using some reverse psychology, young listeners are challenged to keep their eyes open — even if those eyelids are feeling heavy! Written by Bob Hostetler and illustrated by Mark Chambers, this “silly bedtime story” is sure to be a hit for toddlers and preschoolers alike.

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