In His Image

Sisters sharing the journey

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society February 6, 2009

Filed under: Books and Movies — Amy @ 04:37
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guernsey“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.



“…as his writings have made me his friend.”  Dawsey Adams concerning the author Charles Lamb.

“He’s got that way of believing his opinion is the truth, but he’s not disagreeable about it.  He’s too sure he is right to bother being disagreeable.”

“‘Is it so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, to have lived light in the spring, to have loved, to have thought, to have done, to have advanced true friends?’  It isn’t.  I hope, wherever she is, she has that in her mind.”

“I suppose I do have a suitor, but I’m not really used to him yet.  He’s terribly charming and he plies me with delicious meals, but I sometimes think I prefer suitors in books rather than right in front of me.”

“Excuse my unburdening myself.  My worries travel about my head on their well-worn path, and it is a relief to put them on paper.”

“I argue myself all the way to one end of the question and back again several times a day.”

Enjoyable book!




Something to Share January 28, 2009

Filed under: Books and Movies,relationships — Amy @ 05:05
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Dewey,  The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

Dewey’s story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility, (for a cat) and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most.  Synopsis from Barnes and Noble

An excerpt from the book:

“Everyone at the library was well-intentioned, but over the years the staff had become splintered and cliquish.  …Here, finally, was something (Dewey, the cat) that we could share.  …once Dewey arrived the tension began to lift.”

This brings to mind another book, The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis.  The powerful ingredient in the necklace experiment was the sharing.  The women shared this luxury piece of jewelry with each other, their children, and  complete strangers.  They became a group of friends that were committed to each other, largely through the process of sharing.

There is power in sharing, in community.  I’m still batting the idea around.

Why does sharing have such an impact on the one who is sharing?

How does this play out in the church family?  Is sharing and community-building part of hospitality?

Have you ever had an experience with sharing that had an unexpected effect?

What are your thoughts?


The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis January 16, 2009

Filed under: Books and Movies — Amy @ 05:04
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necklaceIn September of 2004, thirteen women went together to buy a 15.24 carat diamond necklace.  Cheryl Jarvis wrote a book chronicling their experiment.

Each chapter is a mini biography about one of the women and her experiences with the necklace. 

Some favorite excerpts:

 “Before meeting these women, I lived in a world where I wasn’t worthy, wasn’t good enough.  It’s the story I’d told myself all my life.  These women taught me that it was just a story, a story I’d told myself because I was afraid.  My only fear now is that I will be a disappointment to myself, that I’ll get to the end of my life and know I didn’t take advantage of everything that was given me.  Before Jewelia (the necklace’s name…) I thought, ‘ I wonder what will happen to me?’  Now I think, ‘I wonder what I’ll do next?’  For the first time, I’m composing my life.”

I love that line….I’m composing my life.

When I was taking counseling classes, this was a view that was helpful for those who had been in abusive situations, especially adults who had been abused as children.  It was important for them to realize that someone else had written their story for them when they were a child, but now they were writing their own story.  They were now in control of their story.  

Another line from the book that resonated with me:

“In this safe community of women, each voice grew more authentic.”  

What a beautiful concept…a safe community of women.  The confidence that we enable in each other through acceptance and love can cause personal growth that is unlikely to occur outside a “safe community”.

Not a great piece of literature, but a fun read with some poignant moments.  

What are you reading?


A Must Read January 9, 2009

Filed under: Books and Movies,Scripture — Amy @ 05:25
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The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is a book that took me one evening to read.  I laughed and cried through the whole book.  It’s small and easy to read.  This man was diagnosed with terminal cancer in his 40’s.  He had 3 small children at the time and was married “to the woman of my dreams”.  He was asked to give a speech to the students at Carnegie Mellon as part of a lecture series.  This university has a series of lectures each year presented by faculty members.  They are asked to consider what they would want to impart to the students if this was their “last lecture”.   Randy was asked to be a part of this series of lectures.  He had already been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but was optimistic about the outcome.  Before he actually gave the lecture, he received news that he only had a few months left to live. He decided to go ahead and proceed with the lecture.  He knew everyone would understand if he canceled, but he said he wanted to put a message in a bottle for his three young children that would one day wash upon the shore.  They were too young at the time to understand all he wanted to teach them, but through this lecture, he could reach out to them as they grew older.  He lectured about the joy of life and how much he appreciated living, even though he had so little left of his own.  He says, “I talked about honesty, integrity, gratitude, and other things I hold dear.  And I tried very hard not to be boring.”

His cancer is not what made this book worth reading.  It would have been a great book without his illness shadowing every page.  His cancer is what made him write it.

It is inspiring to read about someone who enjoyed life to the very end.  I think I am a better person for having read this book.  I want to be more than I am now.  I want to live more in the moment and be absorbed by NOW.  I want to let go of worry and fear of the future.

Matthew 5:25-34 tells us not to worry.  Look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.  They don’t worry.  God clothes them in morelilies1 splendor than he clothed Solomon.  So if God cares about the lilies that are here today and tomorrow thrown into the fire, how much more does he care about you?  Don’t worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  (Amy’s paraphrase.)

When I finished this book, I had an urge to run out, buy a case full of these books, and pass them out to everyone I knew.  However,  Hastings only had three left. I bought them all.  I gave 2 of them to friends who have January birthdays, and put one beside my bed for reference.  I gave Barrett his book back.

Amazon probably still has some or you can call me.  You can borrow mine.


Best Books of 2008 January 2, 2009

Filed under: Books and Movies,Just For Fun — Amy @ 05:57

Did you read much in 2008?  Are you hoping to read more in 2009?  Isn’t it hard to find a good book?  I am always on the lookout for one.  If I’m reading a good book, I’m concerned about my next book.  My reader friends and I regularly ask each other, “So…what are you reading?”

This is a link to the NY Times List of top selling books in 2008.  Have you read any of these?  I’ve only read 3 on these lists, but I have a few of them by my bed ready to read.  Sometimes I agree with these lists and sometimes I don’t.  I think friends are the best way to find a good book.

What do you think are the best books you’ve read in 2008?  Stephanie has a list of books on her blog Pointed Meanderings.  I am going to use her list to help me choose books this year.

Here are  some  I enjoyed in 2008:

  • The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. I loved reading about the culture of Botswana.  I have never been  that interested in going to Africa until I read about the gentle, refined people in this book.  I have read several in13720279 this series and have downloaded some from iTunes so I can listen when I travel to meetings.
  • A Woman in Charge by Carl Bernstein. I came to appreciate Hillary Clinton. I didn’t really like her until I read this book. I thought she might be the next president and wanted to know what we were in for.  I was drawn to it because of the author (Watergate) and because I had read that she was not happy with it. She thought it portrayed her in a negative light. I was impressed with her story.
  • The New Testament in the Easy Reader Version. It seemed fresh in a version other than the NIV.
  • A Year of Wonders was about the plague in England. It was a heavy, serious but beautiful book about strength and weakness of character.
  • Sophie Kinsella – anything she writes….She is so fun. It’s junk food!
  • Three Cups of Tea chronicled the adventures of an American man in the mountains of Pakistan.  He was so moved by the needs of the people that he built several schools for their children.  True story.   I don’t know if I really enjoyed this book as much as I was glad I had read it.  Not a great sales pitch, huh?
  • I’m currently reading The Friday Night Knitting Club and have Scarpetta on my nightstand. (Thanks, Stephanie and Sam’s Club)

What did you read last year? Share it with the rest of us.  We all need help finding something good to read.


Old Friends December 31, 2008

Filed under: Books and Movies,relationships,Scripture — Amy @ 05:39

From The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs:images-3

The thing is that when you are young, you always think you’ll meet all sorts of wonderful people, that drifting apart and losing friends is natural.  You don’t worry, at first, about the friends you leave behind.  But as you get older, it gets harder to build friendships.  Too many defenses, too little opportunity.  You get busy.  And by the time you’ve lost the dearest best friend you’ve ever had, years have gone by and you’re mature enough to be embarrassed by your attitude and, frankly, by your arrogance.


Jenny, Anita, Lisa and I met at the Dixie Cafe last weekend.  A reunion of sorts.  We grew up together in Searcy and try to get together whenever Anita comes back from Houston.  I look forward to being with these women.  The comfort of being with people who know me and have known me for so long and still accept me.  I love it.

My life is easier and more fulfilling because of my friends.  In the church, the Lord has provided us with friends.  He has commanded us to love each other and care for each other.

Gal 6:2…Carry one another’s burdens…

Do you still keep in touch with old friends?  Do you have friends now that you are determined to stay in touch with?  Have you lost touch with a friend that you dearly miss?