“Finding (Kelli) Me” by Kathryn Cushman


Screen shot 2015-03-30 at 9.49.44 PMWhat if you were 24, thought your name had always been Kelli, was told your mother and siblings died in a fire, and suddenly figured you lived about as far as you can get from a possible real family? When Kelli Huddleston’s father and step-mother died from a car accident, she was forced to uncover new info from a safe her dad always kept locked in a private room. Photos, letters and other info shocked Kelli into making plans for a fast trip across country to find out the truth. Kelli went to a small town she read about in Tennessee and it didn’t take much time to meet some of her family anonymously including her father’s old friend. But what would she do with this info was the question. Would she now hurt other people like she was hurt? Her mother was lovely, kind, and nurturing with a lovely voice. Kelli didn’t know she took after her mother because she was told her voice was so bad that she never sang. Never had the courage to let anyone hear her. Her sister was longing for a friend and she and Kelli bonded rather quickly. Kelli was forming intense relationships. It would be natural for her to run and go back to her old life. But what would that do to her inside and what would it do to the new people she loved?  Kelli knew now what she would do. And she did it. See how that turned out. A great read and interesting mystery of love and forgiveness. I read this straight through it was so exciting!

This book was provided by Bethany/Baker Books for review. The opinions are my own.

The Continued Saga of Blessing, “A Harvest of Hope”, by Laurine Snelling


I felt like I was right beside Miriam as she traveled back to the town of Blessing where she knew Trygve was anxiously awaiting her return. Her heart still hadn’t convinced her that she loved him, although she did adore him and wondered what the funny feelings she had stirring in her stomach were all about. She left brothers and sisters behind in the city and a mother just freshly put in the grave. Although excited, it was scary. Her family had to rough it in a tenement with no parent. She would live and work around large families that had lived in and around Blessing for many years in a community built mostly of their own faith. A very good student nurse, Miriam would contribute greatly wherever she was, but Blessing needed her and she had a contract to fulfill. She had already been here once, being taught by two women doctors that were being received for their strength, love and expertise more than most. Once she arrived and was shown her own sweet room with a window, ate in the Dining Hall, and felt the warmth of Trygve’s looks, she knew she was where she should be. She was becoming a woman, but had no one to explain these things that she was experiencing. Then she received letters from her siblings which was a special surprise. She hadn’t been there long before there was dangerous accident, a tragedy, that left one dead and others injured. Tempers flared regarding the accident, the bank’s inability to loan money for construction, and prejudice towards the poor tent people who yearned to become part of the town and find work to thrive. Through diversity Screen shot 2015-03-10 at 9.07.22 PMand loss, Blessing still claimed the bond that had always been there, and in the middle of it, Miriam declared her love to her beau Trygve! She would finish her contract, possibly soon marry and find a way to bring her sweet family to the town that was a “Blessing”. I have read several books about this town and the people and it is a very sweet saga. I enjoy the writings of Lauraine Snelling, her style, and the people she introduces that I usually like. I feel like I have been to North Dakota myself while gleaning from the everyday lives of the people who lived there.

This book was provided to me by Bethany Books. These opinions are my own from the reading of this novel.

Hearing The Lord Each Day


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By Mary Young Robinson

 

Psalm 147: 3-5  (ESV)

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of stars; He gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.”

 

Healing. I thought I had made much more progress than was evident and understood what true healing meant. And then so unexpected, I felt an old wound surge with a twinge of pain that I thought was forever gone. Was I wrong? Was I still plagued with the same old despair and sin that I thought I gave to God?

On a particular Sunday morning I began to wonder about being healed and if it really was a forever state.   Does emotional and spiritual healing come and go? Sometimes triggers I have felt in life seemed like a “recall”. Of course, memories are sometimes joyful and sometimes sad. I felt dumped on this morning.

Cruising towards the church, I approached the uphill parking lot. Already a little late and hurrying up the drive, I knew that the Holy Spirit was touching me. There was a sore feeling pressing in my soul at first, but it wasn’t a bad thing.

What I sensed at that moment was that He wanted me to remember some things for a reason. He wanted to remind me of where I had been and where I was now. He showed me that no matter what pain I feel or felt in the past, that He is always with me, and helping me with the process. No matter how long it takes!

Encouragement filled me. I was reminded that I should never try to second-guess God’s reasons. Even though it is my own desire to let go of particular pain in my life, whether physical, spiritual or emotional, it may not be God’s plan to relieve me of it fully. Or, He might not take the pain away for a long time. He has His reasons for allowing me to feel and remember things. And knowing that He is in control, gives me peace.

People usually mean well when they inquire about our journey, but God may have a plan that no one suspects for us. If you stay depressed and it is affecting your life in a dramatic way, then maybe talking to a Pastor or Christian Counselor is a good idea. Otherwise, serve your Lord, pray and minister to someone and trust Christ to meet your needs based in His timing.

“Where Trust Lies”, by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan


Screen shot 2015-02-28 at 8.44.12 PMBeth Thatcher enjoyed a wonderful year in Coal Valley teaching children but she was homesick for her family and looked forward to special time with her mother. New feelings for a Canadian Mountie named Jarrick were locked in her heart and she hoped to be able to spend time thinking over her future, sharing with her mother and resting up at their beautiful home. She left the Leftbridge station with a bouquet of flowers, but only saved a few petals and hid them in her handkerchief for a keepsake and not to alarm her family too soon. Beth was exhausted when she arrived in Toronto, but was glad when she heard her youngest sister, Julie, calling for her and viewed her father waving her over towards him. His arms were around her and she felt safe. While driving to the house in a Roll’s Royce, Beth sensed something untold in the car. Soon they arrived where her older sister was waiting with her little boy for the reunion. JW, her nephew, toddled towards her and Beth rallied in seeing how much he had grown. Beth had forgotten that Julie had met Jarrick when she came to visit once and Julie started asking questions before she was ready to comment. But it didn’t take long for the new home secret to come out and Beth was not hoping for something like this. A luxurious cruise vacation had been planned and they would all leave within the week. Travel? And her father wouldn’t be able to meet them until later in the trip. She loved seeing everyone, but she had been dreaming of her summer at home. She was still waiting to hear if she would be called back as a teacher for the next school year. Little did she know that this summer she would become Julie’s nursemaid out in the world of romance when they left shore. And more than romance, danger calls to a young debutant with fearless anticipation. God is working in the background in lives, but there will be many lessons for all before life settles down again for this family.

Are You A Doctor? What Is A Doctor?


Doctor

Doctor

Someone told me I wasn’t a doctor. Well, I don’t have credentials for a Medical Doctor, or a Registered Nurse, or  a license for a medical business practice. I was a Home-Health Assistant in Tucson and a Home-Health Aide in Boise, now I have a certificate of being Disabled. I have a few friends that call me a “Google Queen” because of my time on my MAC and keen interest in medical ideas, natural medicine, vitamins, minerals and prescription drugs. I looked up the word “doctor” for definitions and these are some I found: physician, teacher, troubleshooter, restorer, healer or healing influence, a learned man, rescuer, treats, repairs, applies remedies, medicine man, honorary titles and promotes human health. I bet I fit a few of these so maybe I will name myself Fishy (from Physician) Teacher/Rescuer.

When I was 12 years old, my mother went from being a full-time homemaker to stepping into the work field as a Nurses Aide, then a Ward Clerk for almost twenty years until retirement. She enjoyed her work; clerical, doctor’s orders, assisting the LPN to order medicines, taking patient histories, and sometimes helping at the death-bed. I believe her faith and compassion was used while she also had a social element to her job.

When I was a teen, she began to call me into her work a bit, after school. Since I had been a precocious child, choosing old ladies to sit beside on the city bus when I was 5, she knew I would be good at talking to patients when they were bored. I am not sure if I entertained them or they entertained me, but I did enjoy that. It is no surprise that I eventually did work with home-bound patients, and years later oversaw her own care (giving B-12 shots) into the world of Vascular Dementia until she passed at ninety-six years old.

In 1997 I had a MCI (heart attack) with Angioplasty and Stent Implant. I was life-flighted from Sun Valley, Idaho to St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise. I feel fortunate to have done pretty well since then although my Cholesterol and Triglycerides have silently crept up too high. In addition to having TMJ and other joint issues, I developed Degenerative Disc Disease after suffering with a herniated disc for over 20 years. Fortunately, I found a great office for Pain Management at St. Al’s in Boise.

As I endeavor to find new solutions to my own maladies, I also study for ways I might be able to help others with their own health journey, mostly close friends and relatives. I read online sites from natural doctors, medical doctors, health forums, pharmacists, drug reports, pain solution stories, naturapathic and holistic doctors, integrative doctors, Face Book groups, etc. I not only enjoy learning but have discovered things that have helped me a lot and apply to how I ask questions when I do go to the doctors.

Today was an exciting day as I read facts from research from a retired flight doctor at NASA regarding Heart Disease. Then I moved to another major controversial subject in the medical community, Statins. It wasn’t long before I found a fabulous video with a Pharmacist who explained exactly how antidepressants work and why you might not really want to take them.  Wow! Talk about hyped up! (no pun intended)

So, here I am: a Fishy Teacher/Rescuer. Maybe you don’t really want any advice. I can live with that. And I do polish my nails so that probably gives me away as not being a “real” doctor. However, don’t discourage me from learning, because whether it is from a school, online, classes, books or whatever, I am having a wonderful time and I really am learning from educated and learned people…and I don’t have to have a degree or paper to convince myself that what I am learning is beneficial and important.

 

 

 

 

God Leads Hannah To Open The Door


I didn’t realize until I started reading this novel, that I read Book I and II several years go. As I remembered the characters I was so glad I was going to read the conclusion of the dilemma between Hannah and Sarah, sisters, Paul her closest friend, Luke her brother, and Daed who never acted as if he believed in her or that what she had told him about a delicate yet horrid happening was true. Hannah was a young girl, pure in heart, but soiled as a teen. Sadly, she is given very poor advice that leaves her scarred and scared and she leaves her hometown. She is convinced she will never be accepted and that her friend will never really trust her. Her sister, Sarah, becomes emotionally sick, but no one understands what is wrong with her and she doesn’t get help before she hurts herself and others. This is a story that takes many twists and turns, but these are what teach each of them about the wrongs that take place over a few years. Hannah separates herself from her community and her church for a period of time, but a love for others will bring her back to face her ghosts. Even though she thinks she has already found a new live in another city, Hannah will truly find herself again and the door will open where she left it almost shut. Restoration is sweet and she helps others while she is being shown the most important needs of all. A great story and I enjoyed it very much.

This book was supplied by Bloggin’ For Books/WaterBrook for review and the opinions are my own. Mary Ann Young Robinson, Boise, ID

“WHERE TREETOPS GLISTEN”, Novellas by Goyer, Putman, Sundin


I gave this book a 5 star as all the stories were heart-warming and fun.

Sarah Sundin tells the first story with the introduction to the Turner family in Indiana. Grandma Louise plays a sweet and needed lady with the stories played around her adult grand-children. It is the day of Pearl Harbor and hearts are broken as always in war-time. Abigail is working her way through college when she is set up with a blind date. Fate has it for her to meet him in another way besides the blind date and what a surprise. They are both drawn into each others family by a mystery in his hometown. But then there is Pete, the brother pilot who is hoping to be home for Christmas. Christmas has been different since the loss of his brother. But he makes it and finds a little girl standing in front of a department store window by herself. Quite grown-up for a small girls with braids, he rescues her and takes her home on the bus. He is in for a surprise when he meets her mother. Lovely sister, Merry, wants badly to help on the war front. She becomes a nurse and is sent miles away from Lafayette. She left home with a broken heart but grows spiritually and emotionally as she reaches out to the injured at a hospital near Germany. She has hard days but never loses her hope for the future. Can’t tell anymore as the stories are too sweet! You need to read this one before Christmas!

This book was given to me by Water Brook Books for review. These opinions are my own. Mary Young Robinson, Boise, ID (less)

To Everything A Season, A Book by Lauraine Snelling, Reviewed


Screen shot 2014-11-16 at 4.41.20 PMIf you are a fan of Lauraine Snelling and if you have enjoyed the story town of Blessing, North Dakota, you will certainly enjoy this book. No 1 in the “Song of Blessing” saga, Trygve Knutson is grown and working hard for the future of his community. Far Haaken, one of the main characters in the Red River Valley stories, is getting older and his wife is very concerned about some symptoms he is having. Both daughter and daughter-in-law are physicians, but although his wife would like one of them to check him over, there is thought that this would be strange and unacceptable to him. In Chicago, Illinois, there is a young nurse in training who has been selected to go to Blessing to continue learning under the two women doctors before graduating. It is a struggle to leave her ill mother and other siblings that she has been helping to provide for. But, God is in control as He intervenes in making the plan work for her family. After Miriam arrives in North Dakota, she sees many new things for the first time in a small town. But her heart is still pulling her back to her mother in the city. Will she ever be able to trust God and see her future anywhere else beside Chicago? She gets on the train to return when she hears her mother may be dying, but will she ever come back? Someone is waiting to find out.

This book was provided to me by Bethany Books for review. All opinions are my own.

So, Where Do You Fit?


Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 12.52.04 PMSo, you could be ANY age and be in this crowd, couldn’t you? Football seems to be popular at any age, any sex, or education level. I bet you there’s a baby tucked in there somewhere nestled near its Mom or Pop or maybe GranPop.

Lately I have been trying to determine where I fit in the world. I am over 55 (under 100) but I am partially Disabled. In my mind some days I feel 16 but sometimes I feel 80. I look in the mirror and think, well, I’m no spring chick but I am not shriveled up either.

So when I hear people talk about the elderly, seniors, middle-age, I am looking for my place. I have heard some people call me and my over 70 husband elderly. That doesn’t fit a man who hikes over 100 miles most years in the mountains of Idaho with Goats. And with my dark hair and flair for dress, it really doesn’t suit me either. Nevertheless, I have to admit I am growing older.

I was reading an article in a sample magazine this week that I received and while finishing up a particular story I saw near the end a chart naming age groups. Now I get it. This might not be the only list but it was good enough to help me understand why people use the group names that they do.

The group of ages 18-29 are the “Millennials” @ 35%. The group of 30-48 are “Busters” @49%, then my group are 49-67 called “Boomers” @55% (we get blamed for almost everything!). And then coming in last is the… “Elders” from 68-Methuselah @63%.

But we both know that this is only based on age, not activity, looks or medical details. I am willing to put you in an Optional group like “Brillant” if you will put me in an optional group like “Creatively Young” (my maiden name).  After all, we are all in this together, with families of all ages with unique gifts. Please don’t call me elderly until I am dead. Thank you.

 

 

 

MIRROR VS WHAT GOD SAYS TO US


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Psalms 139:14 ESV

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works and my soul knows it very well.”

God formed our personal existence. Inside and out, he made us. Modern culture has brought us to dissatisfaction in many ways. Causing us to doubt our creator, we fuss about our outside appearance, question how smart we are, and worry about our future health issues. Why didn’t we have a petite little nose, bright sky blue eyes or unnoticeable ears?

Body image is what you see in the mirror when looking at yourself. How correctly are you seeing yourself? What is your basis? The world? God? Are you healthy? Do you try to take care of your own “temple”? If we look with spiritual eyes as well as physical eyes, we may learn to look at ourselves a little differently than the world does. We shouldn’t be looking for the culture’s term of “perfection”. God made all of us perfect in his own sight.

Here is where we must go back to faith and trust. We should trust that God knows the best for us and we should have faith that He works through us to be our best in everything. Did you ever think about how hard it would be for one of us to be God and make every decision in the universe? Only a supreme God with perfect wisdom could even begin to do these things. And I am so glad! I sure wouldn’t want that job.

When I allow my faith to droop, I also allow my choices to be cloudy. And off kilter. Rationalization kicks in and I reason things out to suit myself. I may not be honest in my assessments. This side of glory we cannot fully understand ourselves or all about our Christ.  We have to trust Him in His sovereignty. He is wonderful and our soul tells us so through the Holy Spirit!