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Monday, November 11, 2019

Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson


Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of MakingAdorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making by Andrew       Peterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot put into words how inspired I am by this book. Andrew Peterson’s writing is more wonderful than I can say. It has encouraged, inspired, and challenged me as an artist and creator. He walks you through the process of the rise and fall and rise of his music as well as the details of his personal life. I am thankful for his humility to share what actually happened in his life and how he has proceeded on through trial. The allure here is that he overcame through building a community of people who resonated with and encouraged each other in their craft.

For me, the story was encouraging because I could see myself in it. The rebuilding of a house. Overcoming self to be creative. Pushing through toward the thing we yearn for. He shared such depth ad insight that went along with his life. The book is full of inspiring beauty. I feel like it gave me six months of homework. Honestly, I can’t wait.

I do not read many books twice, but I will definitely read this again.











Check out Is He Worthy? By Andrew Peterson https://youtu.be/OIahc83Kvp4

Thanks to Andrew’s publisher for generously providing this book for me to review.



Wednesday, November 06, 2019

I Give Up by Laura Story


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was completely amazed by the depth of LauraStory’s music when I heard Blessings. Coming to know that it was inspired by her husband’s brain cancer made it l the more powerful. This book touches on that. The parts where she shares her personal struggles and howGod helped her through each hard season really spoke to me. This has been a hard walk for her. Her husband is still disabled and not driving and she has several children and a set of twins. I enjoyed reading her storytelling so much.

The part I had a hard time with was what felt lie regurgitated Sunday School lessons. It felt like a stretch to include these stories in the way they were told. The style changed. The storytelling stopped. It was awkward to me and I had a hard time getting through those sections. It was transference of facts.I wish she would have told it in the same way as the rest of the book. This was a huge chunk of it though.

Her story itself is worth reading. New Christians could get something from her sharing about the Bible stories.


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I did enjoy her white flag prayers at the end of each chapter.




Monday, November 04, 2019

The Complicated Heart by Sarah Mae

I held my breath through some of this book. It was incredibly raw and real. Some of it brought up things from my past that I had tucked away. We often never realize how much we tuck away and internalize until someone else’s story brings it back in the light. When we grow up with an alcoholic or abusive parent, we tend to blame ourselves for everything and then heap ourselves with shame over our reactions. Most of the time it wasn’t about us. It wasn’t our fault. Even the things we ended up doing to ourselves or others are not meant to be hidden under shame. They are meant to be brought into the light for healing. Sarah Mae has done this and modeled it for all of us. She has shown us the beauty of wrestling through trauma with Jesus. It is often hard to read, but it’s worth the struggle. 


The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It HurtsThe Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It Hurts by Sarah Mae
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think for a long time Christian women wrote books that were ridiculously fluffy. They talked about Jesus, of course, but never shared much meat from their lives. There has been a shift in this area over the past few years. Women are coming out humbly recounting deep trauma, sin, and healing. It has been the most refreshing thing to see. I had wondered if this book would be more of the old type of book, but when I dove in I was blown away by this woman’s candor. She told some hard stories of abortion and abusive relationships. She recounted history that would lock most women in shame. Her backstory with her mama is one for the record books. It is told in the most interesting way. She came across her mother’s journals and put the timeline to what she was going through at the time. You can see both sides. If you have ever struggled with your relationship with your mom, I recommend this to you. It also leads you through a trail of what trauma can do to you and cause you to do to yourself. Read it. I found healing I didn’t know I needed locked in it’s pages.


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This book was graciously provided by the publisher for review.



Saturday, October 19, 2019

Healing Together by Anne Marie Miller

Trauma is a powerful thing. It can be suppressed and repressed and change a person’s behavior in unimaginable ways. There are tragedies and horrors in the underbelly of society and church that we cannot even wrap our minds around. Anne has written an incredible work to equip us as to how to begin caring for those who have been abused and assaulted. We can be trauma informed. We can stop blaming women for their dress or location or any other means by which we write off these terrible offenses. This is why people do not come forward. Those of us who should be clothed in compassion are heaping shame on others. Otherwise, we end up like the people writing adult Anne and telling her she should have known better. She was a child at the time of her offense. Her abuser was an adult pastor. He was more than 10 years her senior. Clothes yourself in compassion, my friends.

Healing Together: A Guide to Supporting Sexual Abuse SurvivorsHealing Together: A Guide to Supporting Sexual Abuse Survivors by Anne Marie Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been following Anne’s writing for over a decade. I have been on several of her launch teams and I can unwaveringly say that she has a voice we need to listen to. This book is no exception. She has given the church a gift.

In the first section we learn about trauma and hear about her own trauma. She has had quite a bit of pain turning in her abuser. Well-meaning Christian women basically called her a tramp and said she should have known better...even though she was a child and her abuser was an adult. It is no wonder that people do not come forward after trauma. The people who should offer healing heap them with shame.

The second section of the book is a fantastic resource to anyone who is in trauma care or looking to help someone who has been abused. So often, we look like a deer in the headlights when this sort of thing happens. We are completely unequipped. Anne has clearly laid out scientific and emotional data and strategies for us. The research and thoughtful care she has put into this book is easily seen. Even though I have been helping people navigate trauma for many years, I found some powerful reminders here. I am reminded of my own needs as I address others needs.

Thank you for your powerful work, Anne. It leaves us without excuse in helping those around us.


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 This book was graciously provided by Zondervan Publishing and Anne Marie Miller for review.  






Monday, October 07, 2019

Crescendo by Allen Cheney


Crescendo: The Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern TownCrescendo: The Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern Town by Allen Cheney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book appealed to me because it looked soulful, creative, and deep. I did not know anything about the story beforehand. First, I'll tell you that this was a well-crafted story. Being able to tell history in such a powerful way is a gift. Allen Cheney is a gifted story teller. Second, this is a story that will make you gasp and bring you to tears. I do not want to share any spoilers, but I want you to experience this man's story.

You can read the info about the book to see that this is a book that tells the story of a man that was a musical genius. He had risen to the top of his game as a producer when he came face to face with a mental breakdown brought on by the trauma of his childhood. That caused him to wrestle with some huge decisions in his life. You can see how that all played out in the subtitle. He changed the lives of countless people with his passion, gifting, and by sharing his healing.

The words in these pages shone like a bright light in my heart. Our healed hurt is the richest of gifts when we share it with others. It was a good reminder for me. I am grateful to have read it.

Some favorite quotes:

"When someone we know starts to forget they have something to offer, it's our job to remind them."

"It's about the light you shine for others, not the light that shines on you."


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*This book was graciously provided by the publisher for review.