I've really been enjoying time-split novels and discovered Susan Meissner's work. This book follows the heartbreaking lives of two sisters who are torn apart by the bombing of England during World War II.
The story begins with two girls being raised by a single woman who is less than optimal as a mother, and then brings the reader right into the action as bombs begin to shake their world.
Full of family intrigue, struggle, regret, and romance, the story manages to convey resilience, hope, and gives the reader more than we desired in ways we couldn't have guessed.
Beautifully written and plotted, I highly recommend this novel. It captured my full attention.
After escaping from an abusive husband in Texas, Tandi Reese drags her children to the outer banks of North Carolina. Desperately low on cash, she takes a job cleaning a dilapidated Victorian house after the owner, Iola Poole, dies. While cleaning, she discovers a closet full of boxes that proves irresistible. The contents of the boxes reveal a lifetime of Iola's prayers and her history, thus, we are able to travel through time to understand Iola's deep affection for people and her selfless giving.
In addition to her finances, Tandi's personal life is a mess with a rebellious teen and a withdrawn younger son. Her romantic choice with a self-centered man is also a bust. Yet, at her lowest, she draws on skills she learned with her grandfather and restores hurricane damage in a shop, thereby endearing her to a group of supportive women.
The book is beautifully written and filled with inspiration as Tandi learns from Iola's life and is transformed. This is another book I could not put down. A truly great novel.
"Do not judge." - Jesus.
I've been delving into the ideas Ted Dekker puts forth in "The Way of Love," and when it came to this teaching about judging, either he, or my own mind, began to ponder. In "The" garden was the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. Satan tempted Adam and Eve saying if they ate of it, they would be like God. Like God in the ability to judge good and evil. Only they weren't able. We aren't able. We are not God. We can't see the whole picture like He can. Our judgment is faulty at best. Murderous at worst. So when Jesus said do not judge, isn't He, as the second Adam, commanding us to go to where we started? Letting God be God, letting Him do the judging? Trusting Him to ultimately deal with the issues that are passing away as surely as this life is?
In Christ, we are a new nation, a new people. Can I assert, a new Race? Our old man is dead, we are brand new. We are in the world but not of it. We NOW live in the Kingdom of God. He commands us not to get entangled in the affairs of this world, but to be light and love. Love: holding no record of wrong. It's dang hard when we see the meanness and arrogance around us, but as a follower of Christ, I don't see that He has called me to join the fray of angry humanity.
Can life in Christ be so simple as to be light and love in a dark world of hate? I think yes. Is it easy? No way. Nevertheless, I trust that I can do all things He calls me to do with the strength He supplies.
Note: Author Cheryl Colwell is hosting a new Giveaway for a beautiful tiny Roku Dreamcatcher. Visit her site to read more: cherylcolwell.com/giveaway/
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This document was last updated on May 25, 2018
Mattie's words continue to resonate long after I set his book aside. I've begun to add his poems to my morning devotional reading, finding my heart lighter, my awe of the written word expanded. As a writer, I don't believe I've fully understood the power to lift, encourage, inspire until now.
Listen to Mattie's convictions his mother shared in the introduction of his last book:
No two Heartsongs are exactly alike, and no one Heartsong is better than any other one.
It is important to take the time and effort to listen to and share our own Heartsongs, but equally important to take the time and effort to listen to and share the Heartsongs of others...
We should be generous with our own Heartsongs, sharing them with those we encounter who have forgotten or lost the song in their hearts, until their own Heartsongs reawaken and unite to become an integral part of "the festive fabric of life."
Today, I'm sharing Mattie's Heartsongs with you. Then I'll begin my writing time and trust that my own songs will end up on the page. And though I write fiction, or because I write fiction, maybe worthy Heartsongs will flow from the lives of my characters into a book and will continue to sing.
This quote has become especially meaningful lately: "...always remember to play after every storm."