Since I have been sick – I have finished 2 books Someday by Karen Kingsbury and Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon. Finishing both in the course of a week have left me feeling thankful and lonely – as both of these books contain characters I count as dear friends.
Karen Kingsbury has a way of capturing everyday emotions in her books – her characters feel like they should be your neighbors and you want them to be. My daughters and I got hooked on her books years ago and have been faithful readers ever since. I have had the honor of meeting her several times at the Christian Bookseller’s Convention and on a Girl’s Get Away Cruise that I was a guest on. She has always been very gracious; I have seen her stand for hours meeting and greeting people. On the cruise, I had a few moments to speak to her alone and I pointed out my Mom who was traveling with me. She was sitting a few feet away to allow me a moment with Karen. But Karen insisted on meeting my Mom as well – which was very special for both of us. Her latest book Someday is the 3rd in the Sunrise series and the 13th in the Baxter Story Saga. One of the keys of this book was the scrapbooks that John Baxter was making for each of his 6 children of letters his wife, Elizabeth had written throughout her life. My heart leap for joy as I read of his work on these scrapbooks – because Karen captured how important memories and legacy are for a family. To take time to actually recognize, record and remember God’s faithfulness in our lives is one of the greatest gift we can give our families. Thank you Karen for this encouragement. May I also add that when Reminders of Faith was established, it was to do exactly what Karen inspired in her book – to leave future generations reminders of God’s faithfulness.
This morning, I just finished Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon. This book is a new series in the Mitford Series about Father Tim and the wonderful people in his life. Let me just say right now, that I want to live in Mitford and have been begging my husband for years to move to Mitford!!! There is not a more winsome place in the world ~ if only it was real. This book was different, as it went back to Tim’s childhood and the brokenness he experienced. Yet, through all of his memories and reconnecting with people ~ the redemption of God was shown. God’s soverign hand was all over Tim’s broken, painful memories as He redeem each situation for His glory. Powerful stories of grace. I loved this quote towards the end of the story. Tim’s wife, Cynthia quotes this Elizabeth Goudge quote to Tim …
“She had long accepted the fact that happiness is like swallows in spring. It may come and nest under your eaves or it may not. You cannot command it. When you expect to be happy, you are not and when you don’t expect to be happy, there is suddenly Easter in you soul, though it be midwinter.”
Tim then tells Cynthia that she had “given him the Easter he didn’t deserve.” Cynthia then goes on to say – “Easter is never deserved….if I gave you Easter, it was by grace alone.”
Oh for grace – that unmerited gift that was given to us at Easter. Thank you Jan Karon for continuing the Father Tim books – he is a good friend of mine.
How thankful I am for good books that delight my soul and yet encourage me in my daily walk with Christ. My books are my good friends and I go back to them time and time again. When we were settling in our home, I remember begging my husband to build the book shelf – I needed my friends with me.
And on a personal note to a daughter of mine who might be being called to become a reading specialist – teaching reading has to be a special calling, because you can open the entire world to a person by reading ~ especially the truth of the gospel.
In my workroom, I have posted a flier with a little girl curled up with a book. It reads…
“Reading ~ one of life’s greatest gifts.”
I whole heartily agreed even when sick!