Posts Tagged With: joy

Review: The Inn at Rose Harbor


The Inn at Rose Harbor
The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the past I have not enjoyed Debbie Macomber’s books and I know written a review that did not reflect positively at all. One of my followers, stood up for Ms. Macomber and pleaded with me to give her another chance. A few weeks ago, I found myself desperate for another ‘light’ book to read, this was one of the few available, so I thought I’d give it a chance. I have to say, I really loved it! I was very surprised, and grateful for the uplifting story shared.

I thought in this particular book, her writing was very good. The characters were believable, and lovable, and well formed. I loved that despite the heartbreak and tragedy in the main characters own life, she moves on with life and doesn’t let it beat her. She finds a way to serve and love those other broken souls around her, and vows that everyone who comes through her life, leaves a little bit more healed. I love that.

I really enjoyed this one, and I’m planning on giving some of her other books a chance too. Maybe on the other one, I was in a funk, and projected my own issues.

(Actually finished in just 2 days! 23 January 2014)

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Review: CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SINGLES SOUL


Chicken Soup for the Cold

Chicken Soup for the Cold (Photo credit: texascooking)

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SINGLES SOUL
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SINGLES SOUL by Jack Canfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Honestly, I love the Chicken Soup For the Soul Books – Probably why I keep reading them…

Five years ago I had just gotten married, moved into a new home and was trying to enjoy the benefits I always heard about that come with being a ‘newlywed.’ Most of that ‘enjoying’ was me hanging on to a nice moment here and there, learning that all I had hoped for was far from reality. At that time I had put a Chicken Soup for the Soul book in our ‘bathroom reading materials.’ Little did I know at the time from that point I would find myself stowing away in the bathroom – reading these great short stories! What a blessing that had been to me then, to have 5 minutes of joy in a life and marriage that wasn’t what I’d always hoped and didn’t bring half the smiles this little book gave me. How grateful I was though, I honestly think that this book helped me survive, it was at least one of those sweet tender mercies from the Lord that helped me survive, others were my sweet little Jada (my niece – how I miss her!) and my amazing and simply wonderful neighbor Rhonda, who helped pick up the pieces of my broken heart. I wish I could find or at least remember which ‘Soup’ that this was… About the same week that I finished my ‘Soup’ my ex-husband also asked for a divorce.

I was given this particular “Soup” shortly after my divorce four years ago, I chuckled to myself and said well I guess there is a version for every stage! Secretly I’ve hoped that once I finished reading this one that my chapter of being ‘single again’ in my own life would also come to a close… While it hasn’t been the same week, I’m hopeful. I’m so grateful for this book, the progression through different stages of singleness and the healing and heartbreaking stories alike. I felt like I had a support group this past four years, which was absolutely needed as I found myself alone and isolated from what friends I thought I had, in a strange new place and navigating career suicide with my move. I found myself having to rebuild my life nearly from scratch, re-evaluate who I am, what I believe and what impact I currently have on the world around me and what I want to change to be the difference. I purposely slowed down at reading this book, only allowing myself to read one or two entries a week, and sometimes less. I felt that I needed the time to process others stories and my own mind and heart. I honestly think that this book helped me from truly assisted me in my will to not become bitter and vengeful, but more grateful that he let me go and had the courage to do so, allowing me to have a much better chance at happiness. From experiencing my bad marriage and my loneliness before hand to my life now and my attitude towards myself. I’m so grateful for the experience. I truly am happy with who I am, happy with how I give back to the world and make an impact, and know that frankly I was an amazing wife, and might someday again have that chance, but I love hanging out with myself and now really comfortable in my own skin. All of this is intricately entwined together as this has been a long and sometimes painful, and mostly joyful growing experience, and has been a nice little journey and chapter of my life. Thank you Jack Canfield for your guidance through this minefield. ūüôā

Ps. If I decide to marry again one day, I look forward to it with joy. But in the meantime I’m loving each moment of being single!

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Categories: Beauty of the World, Family, Humanity, Life, Literature, Preparedness, Relationships, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Magic & The Festival of Trees


I love Christmas! I love the season, the smells, the feel of everything, the taste in the air and the energy all around! For years I have dreamed of having that perfect storybook Christmas, my family never had that. Oh we had our own type of Christmas Magic, but never what I knew was waiting out there…. somewhere.

I grew up all over the US, my dad works for the Federal Government in the Bureau of Land Management. Therefore, we lived in every small podunk¬†town known to mankind. Ok, not really, but it sure felt like it! I ended up going to 11 different schools by the time that I graduated from high school, so I’ve been around. We never lived close to our extended family and we always just celebrated our quiet little¬†immediate¬†family holidays by ourselves. Which I ultimately grew to appreciate VERY much! After college, I ended up moving back East, New York City, Vermont & then was in the Philadelphia suburbs for nearly a decade. (While on that subject I think the state of Pennsylvania simply has something incredibly magic about it – but¬†especially¬†during Thanksgiving to¬†Christmas¬†to¬†the¬†New Year!) Which again put me far away from extended and immediate family. As I’d always done, I adopted new family(ies). This also comes with invitations to spend holidays with other families and get a glimpse into other people’s worlds and traditions. From this I have gleamed some of the best ‘magic’ I have witnessed, and implementing their traditions and magic into my own traditions – and hoping that someday when I have a family of my own I’ll be able to continue to add to that great Christmas Magic!

However, here I find myself close to family once again and some holidays are celebrated, while most are not. If they are celebrated it’s generally because I’m hosting the whole shebang. Most the time though, I find myself ignoring the things about the holiday’s that I love so very much – in order not to be once again heart-broken. I stopped putting up decorations, I don’t want to cook my big fabulous meals, and I look forward to the quiet day off with no one bugging me, no phone calls or texts beyond Happy whatever holiday! It breaks my heart knowing this. I even do it for my own birthday anymore (I’m a Christmas week baby) no one cares, no one will come and if they do, they do stupid stuff that makes me wish I never attempted to throw myself a party in the first place. ūüė¶ This I know all stems from the years of heartache and let downs of having hopes so high that just maybe this year might be a fraction better. In addition in all likeliness its that awful voice of my ex-husband telling me everything was horrible because of me, and my wanting each moment to be great – even if it’s horrible – I continue to believe that there can be goodness found in all things even if it’s just a micro or nano thing… Of course I find myself just wanting to take myself on some fabulous vacation that I can’t afford; far away from everyone and everything…. and it’s warm of course!

Despite my jaded view on this subject, there are a few things that bring me such great joy!

I have been an Auction Host at the¬†Festival of Trees¬†now for 3 years! It’s hard to believe I’ve even been around here that long! I was first introduced to the Festival of Trees from my girlfriend, Andrea. (Andrea’s Main Blog & Andrea’s Second Blog – Things you will not believe!! Regarding the Health of her Children) ¬†These are¬†amazing¬†stories that you need to read!) The¬†Festival of Trees¬†¬†is a fabulous non-profit organization that donates 100% of their proceeds back to the children at Primary Children’s Hospital. Each year the first week after Thanksgiving they hold a gigantic auction at the South Towne Expo Center. People and¬†organizations¬†donate their time, talent and resources to providing a fabulous¬†environment¬†and things to auction. You can find Large Trees, Medium Trees, Small Trees, Centerpieces, General Decorations, Wreaths, Quilts, Statues/Sculptures, Paintings,

Photography, not to mention all the baked goods and other gifts that you can purchase there and MUCH more!¬†It’s quiet the¬†experience¬† Auction night is always quite elite and has a formal attire dress code. Andrea & I are Auction Hosts for whatever section we might be assigned to each year answering questions and facilitating the silent auctions in our area. What fun this is! Not only do we get to dress up in our beautiful formals, but we also get to make new friends, meet interesting people and serve! What energy fills the air here! In this one place my Christmas Magic has returned and ignited such a fire of¬†hope and joy all around! I’m so grateful that Andrea invited me three years ago! This

is truly one of my most favorite events of the year! I’m so glad that my little effort actually makes a difference in someones life! It’s amazing to see what some of these items go for – and it’s all really for the children!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So whatever it might be that you love about the Christmas Season… I hope you find it this year. I hope you grab onto it and hold it tight. Find people around you in every capacity that you can serve in either the littlest of ways – most people are so in need of a genuine smile and a hello, or in big ways – but do it just because.

May you be blessed with the Love of our Lord and remember exactly WHY we have Christmas after all… because someone gave us the greatest of all gifts!

I’ll post a few photos from our night. ūüôā Later when I am working on a better computer… ūüėČ

 

Categories: Beauty of the World, Family, Humanity, Life, Literature, Photography, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Your Happily Ever After


Elder Dieter F Uchtdorf Mormon

Elder Dieter F Uchtdorf Mormon (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

Your Happily Ever After
Your Happily Ever After by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First off, Dieter F. Uchtdorf is one of my favorite people in the world! I love his stories, his character, and view on life.

Last spring, I was in a production called “Happily Forever After”. In the show we had a young girl trying to do her homework and had to write a paper about how Fairy Tales had impacted her life or something to the sort. Her attitude is negative and jaded, as many of us have become in this harsh world that we live in. When her fairy Godmother shows up and turns her perspective around. Teaching her of the valuable lessons that we can all take from Fairy Tales.

From this production I received this wonderful book as a thank you for my participation. What a wonderful treat to have my lesson extended by Elder Uchtdoft as he takes a similar path of teaching.

He goes on to explain how we learn to love the Heroines and Heroes with their strength of character. But that they didn’t become heroes by living perfect lives, but by going through trials and tribulations, facing their fears and giants. That their stories became great stories because of the challenges they faced and how the fought and strove to be valiant in all that they faced, whether big or small.

“Sandwiched between their ‘once upon a time’ and ‘happily ever after,’ they all had to experience great adversity. Why must all experience sadness and tragedy? Why could we not simply live in bliss and peace, each day filled with wonder, joy and love?

“… there must be opposition in all things, for without it we could not discern the sweet from the bitter. Would the marathon runner feel the triumph of finishing the race had she not felt the pain of the hours of pushing against her limits? Would the pianist feel the joy of mastering an intricate sonata without the painstaking hours of practice?

“Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger, and experience joy.”

Again, fabulous read!!! I only shared one little piece of course, it’s well worth reading the rest! It was a quick and easy read that I finished in one setting. Great to read weakly really – keep things in perspective. ūüėČ Highly recommend to EVERYONE! Enjoy! ūüôā

“In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise.”

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Categories: Beauty of the World, Career, Family, Humanity, Life, Literature, Preparedness, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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