Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Exciting Announcement

from my Georgian laddie

Last Wednesday, September 21, 2011 ... I became engaged to be married!  :-D  

Words cannot express my delight and joy at what the Lord has done! 

I hope to tell more of our story for my dear blog readers soon.  In the meanwhile, I shall say he is the best of men, a lover of the Lord and family, an old-fashioned manly man, a true kindred spirit, and I am excited about spending the rest of my life with him!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Review - The Final Hour

The Final Hour  is the fourth and final book in the Homelander series, an action-packed yarn about love for country, family, and values - and the cost of standing against terrorists who would have them obliterated.  

Ever since falling into Charlie West's story last year, I have been anxious to see how it ends... and if the poor fellow ever gets to rest!

On the surface, these books are about a fairly normal high school kid running away from terrorists, solving the mystery of a forgotten year of his life, and putting his top-notch karate skills to use. Oh, and getting wounded and wearied beyond belief in the process.

I was in Abingdon State Prison. Locked away for a murder I didn't commit. Waiting for the men who were coming to kill me. With nowhere to run.

What keeps him going, besides the fact that he's the hero in an action/thriller book?

The answer, my friend, is all that flows beneath the surface in his patriotic and God-fearing veins.

Make no mistake - this book, like its predecessors, is first of all a thrilling read. I knew when it came in the mail that I had better be careful about opening the cover. I have sped through the other books like my life, instead of Charlie's, depended on it.

But it is the heroic and noble character of Charlie West that makes me want to sneak a set of these books into the room of every adventure-loving boy I know.

Charlie respects life and, however nasty the villain, he chooses to never kill needlessly. He hates to lie (old fashioned, eh?). He values freedom and morality. He takes full responsibility for his actions. And when left by all allies, facing impossible odds, he presses on to his last breath.

"You're not alone, Charlie. You're never alone"

These books were written particularly for teen guys, for whom too little quality fiction is written these days. I'm thankful to Andrew Klavan for seeing the need, and for writing a series that is anything but wimpy or dull.

But I can attest that even 26-year old ladies can enjoy Charlie's story. It may not be Homer, Tolkien, or Dickens, but between the fast action scenes, explosions, and karate moves lies a tale every lover of freedom may embrace.

*Thank you, thank you to Thomas Nelson for the free reviewer's copy of this book!  You did not pay me, nor did I have to give a good review.  I just liked it that much.*

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review - The Ale Boy's Feast

The Ale Boy's Feast

The fourth and final book of The Auralia Thread opens with House Abascar's journey northward, seeking a home. But evil haunts them in many guises. If the fabled city exists, how many of the dwindling house will reach it alive?

The forest has become bloodthirsty in root and twig.  The young king Cal Raven has disappeared. Shar ben Fray is galivanting in the southern desert.

And the Ale Boy?

Ah, the ale boy. The poor little fella is getting tired of rescuing everyone.  Will his job never be done?  

Mystery's Gift

Jeffrey Overstreet has crafted a tale here that stands out as creatively different from many other Christian fantasy novels.  His plot is surprising, his language rich.  His characters don't fit into molds.  Twists pop up just when you think you've got it all worked out into a tidy allegory, leaving you gasping in grief, thrilling with delight, or simply blinking in astonishment.

The ale boy is probably my favorite of the wild cast of characters.  Still, as wonderful as they were, the characters are only a few of the crown jewel of these stories.  Shining out brilliantly are pictures of creativity, beauty, mystery, and unforeseen grace.


This last book, even more so than the previous three, contains some darkly violent images. These moments are used deliberately to show the disgusting and deadly nature of evil, but I wonder if they might have been carried off with a bit more suggestion and less detail.  A similar warning should be given for the temptations faced by adult characters, which, though appropriately shown as evil, make these not children's books.

I tend to agree with author Rachel Starr Thomson, who called the series "highly moral, but not simplistically so" in her excellent review here.


The tale ended well, and I could not read anything else immediately after.  I felt I had been on a long journey myself with all the characters.  While many loose ends were tied up by last few pages, a few were left blowing wistful and mysterious in the wind of wonder.

I was left with a strong reminder of the beauty in the world and the creative urge in us that reminds us of where we come from, who we were meant to be. Auralia's colors did their work well.

*Disclaimer* - I received a free copy of this book for review from Waterbrook Press.  But I didn't have to like it. :-)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Computers, Coffee, Chai, and "Caps"

This is what my friend Catie and I do when we find ourselves in the possession of neat old hats.

We wore them to the library, too. :-)

‘Whenever you wear your hat, your day will be special.’ – Margo Nickel

"The right hat may also enliven our imagination of the past....an old-fashioned cloche, a picture hat, or a toque trimmed with a pouf of polka-dotted veiling is just enough to make us feel as if we were living in another, romantic age." ~ Unknown

"Saying you don't look good in a hat is like saying you don't look good in shoes!" ~ Unknown

"If a woman rebels against high heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat." ~ George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Book Review - The Monster in the Hollows

I stayed up till 3 a.m finishing The Monster in the Hollows, book 3 of the Wingfeather Saga.  After a horrid streak of writer's block, I finally bring you my review.   

Puppies and pumpkin stew! Peril and perfidy! 

After many battles and adventures, Janner and his family come to the Hollows, where the travelers find peace, puppies, and pumpkin stew aplenty. Finally they can settle down to some sort of normal life.

Oh. Except that Kalmar, heir to the throne of Anierra, has turned into a Grey Fang. And as Throne Warden, Janner must protect his furry brother from suspicious townsfolk, a monster lurking in the shadows, and his own nagging anger.

Monsters, Mystery, and the Maker's Magic

The Monster in the Hollows seemed a bit slow for a while, especially after the non-stop action of North! Or Be Eaten. But actually, the tension never ceases. It's just different. Janner and his siblings must face new challenges, such as learning to deal with suspicious Hollowsfolk, finding their place in the interesting school, and perceiving truth beneath layers of deception.  

Much of the story is like a quiet afternoon when the wind has died down, but the sky is darkening and heavy with clouds, and the air tingles. The small choices Janner makes in his heart - resentment or sacrifice, anger or joy, cowardice or bravery - these are battles as crucial as fighting the deadly Fangs of Dang.

And the plot does thicken and the action quicken, and the last chapters flow as Janner and his family face bloodthirsty enemies, love laid down, and failures the Maker turns to flourishes.

"Play, Leeli," he said, and her song lifted into the hall and swooped among the boughs, echoed off the ancient walls and fluttered among the crowd. It seeded the soil of many hearts, and only the stoniest rejected it and held to their murderous yearning. The rest, though, felt themselves believing, as Janner did, that the world was bigger and more terribly beautiful than they thought.
The Monster in the Hollows, by Andrew Peterson

The last few paragraphs rather reminded me of some of Tolkien's writing where he zooms out to give you a grand bit of epic language, and you feel the tale marching on to the final conflict.

My reviews of previous books in the Wingfeather Saga:
Book 1 - On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
Book 2 - North! Or Be Eaten

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review coming soon...

This book shall be reviewed shortly. 
After I have re-read some of my favorite bits.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Monday night (the beginning of Tuesday by Jewish reckoning), we celebrated Passover with some friends via Skype.  Despite some technology glitches, we were able to have a delightful time together, laughing, listening in awe to the story, reading truth together, letting tastes linger as tangible pictures on our tongues.  Remembering the One who is our great Deliverer.  The Bread broken for us.  The spotless Lamb of God. 

Homemade matza (unleavened bread)

The other end of our Passover table was hundreds of miles away! :-)
Take, eat, remember.

Remember the story of deliverance.
Remember the Light who shines in the darkness.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Hush and hark!

My harvest withers. Health, my means to live—
All things seem rushing straight into the dark.
But the dark still is God. I would not give
The smallest silver-piece to turn the rush
Backward or sideways. Am I not a spark
Of him who is the light?—Fair hope doth flush
My east.—Divine success—Oh, hush and hark!

- George MacDonald, from Diary of an Old Soul -

Sunday, March 27, 2011

At the Feet of the Smile Giver

I know that I’m a shadow
But I’m dancing in your light
 ~ J. J. Heller ~

- scribbled a while back -

I had been gloomy lately, played the victim.  Quite without reason, especially in light of recent pain in my church family.  

After all, I was not the parent whose little girl died suddenly of a common flu.  I was not getting a knee replacement or surgery to remove cancer and going through painful recovery. It was not I who sent my baby girl into intense surgery, and now face the challenge of learning to do basic care for her in the large, bulky cast.

My sorrows are not so huge.  But even patience, self-control, trying to trust God while life rushes by in a whirl - even these are burdens.  Sometimes I feel alone, and think I will never grow.  

But since this Sunday morning, the light of God's compassion and might have shone on all these, and reminded me of a secret too well kept.

Laughter in the dark.

This morning Tyler talked about the Abundant Life that Christ came to give.  Not a list of rules wherein misery means holiness.  Not a promise of more stuff or an easy life.

If I believe in Him, I have everlasting life.  Not "I will have."  It is mine now.  Will I act sad and dead with that gift ready to burst forth like a mighty acorn seedling? 

Then in Sunday School, Laynce Nix talked about discipleship - which is being an apprentice of Jesus. Sitting at His feet all the time. Someone asked for practical application - she knows He is God but the ice needs breaking outside, the horses fed, the chores done.

And Laynce suggested that in the everyday moment, hectic or mundane or ordinary, be a disciple.

That thought was not new, but somehow struck me new.  I can choose obedience, remember He is present, and just be with Him. Rest joyfully in my smallness next to His greatness.

"And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant." ~ Matthew 23:10, 11~

I want that, Lord!  Awareness of You every moment.  Not focusing on my nothingness - You have made me something, and I forget! - but rather focusing on Your Muchness.

This excites me like being called on a great adventure with someone better than a Jedi master, better than wise Gandalf. Oh great Christ, I am choosing to be Your apprentice, to learn from You whatever the circumstances. 

Today, for instance, at the youth group Super Bowl party, which I would really rather not go to.  But You, Master, ask me to love people and make more disciples, and maybe this is part of that.  Anyways, if You will be there too, my complaints float away with that knowledge.

Teach me to pray without ceasing!

Help me learn from You, gentle and lowly of heart, and find rest for my soul.

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:29,30


Cloudy, grey, and damp outside.  Cookies and spicy chai tea inside.  A finished, sealed letter to a friend waiting cheerfully plump on the shelf for Monday mail.  Cozy socks, pastel blue and over my knees.

Sitting at His feet that tread the dawn.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Review - Jane Austen

Despite my love of her novels, I never read a Jane Austen biography until I recently thumbed back the cover of an almost-squarish little book by Peter Leithart - Jane Austen (Christian Encounters Series).

Numerous excerpts of letters fill these pages and give evidence for the portrait Leithard paints of Jane for us.  I imagine it might be easier when writing a biography to rely on previous biographies, but Leithart primarily sticks to original sources. And what better sources than words of Jane and those who knew her?      

Leithart is a good writer, painting a vivid picture of lively, childlike "Jenny" without getting bogged down in dull information (no offense meant, I hope, to those of you who love lengthy biographies - I tend to drown in seas of information). His words were a breath of fresh air and a pleasure to read after the last book I read.  And going from a fantasy tale to a biography, that's saying a lot for me.

By sticking to facts and making a few reasonable deductions, Leithart strikes a wonderful balance, both in showing Jane's flaws and fine points, and in giving a reasonable idea of her Christianity: 

"Early biographers often turned her into a model of Victorian Christian domestic femininity, and emphasized her Christian faith in an evangelical idiom she never used.  In reaction, many more recent biographers all but ignore her faith.  Both of these extremes distort Austen's life and personality."

And again:

"Biographers minimize Austen's Christianity mainly because they cannot believe that her acerbic, sometimes childishly cruel wit, her satires of the clerical imbecilities of Mr. Collins and Mr. Elton, and her playful silliness are compatible with deep Christian faith...The assumption that Christian faith is incompatible with a satirical spirit is entierly wrongheaded.  Nietzsche's lie that Christianity is a killjoy religion is a demonstratable falsehood.  English satire was, after all, the creation of clerics.  Austen was hardly the first Christian writer to look sceptically at the clergy.  Chaucer did before her, and so did a host of late medieval writers...And who can deny the combination of boisterous cheer and profound faith in Lewis and Chesterton?"   

Pleasing Design
A minor point, but my copy of the book is nearer to squareness than most.  Compact, small, and the cover has the delicious feel of textured watercolor paper.  Very satisfying to hold.

One of A Series
I may eventually check out more books in The Christian Encounters series, biographies of Christians across the ages, such as John Bunyan, Winston Churchill, and J.R.R.Tolkien.  Each is written by a different author, so they may not all be as enjoyable to me as this one.  But I'm especially interested in the one about St. Patrick which was written by Jonathan Rogers, author of the great Wilderking series and writer at The Rabbit Room.

Quite enjoyable.  If you want a well-written biography from a scholarly Christian perspective on Jane Austen, do check this out.  And then tell me if I'm silly for loving the compact almost-squareness of the book and the great feel of the cover's paper.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book for free from Thomas Nelson.
March of Books 2011 at ylcf.org

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review - Dragons of the Valley

Last year, I read the first book of this series, The Vanishing Sculptor.  It was fun, but very meandering (especially for a fantasy/quest sort of tale).  When I got a chance to read the second book, Dragons of the Valley, I took it, though not quite as eagerly.  I expected it to be about the same, and I was right.  I am still sad, because this book has so much to like about it, and so much potential... but I found it rather tedious to read.

Good points:
- hilarious characters, like the wizard Fenworth and the little pixie-like Kimens.  And Bealamondore was a great hobbit-like artist character who has to learn to be brave.  
- clean and spiritually encouraging, for the most part (the Christianity felt a bit heavy-handed and pasted in, but it was a good effort)
- Great puns and odd descriptions 

- It had one of the most rambling, plodding, unorganized plots I've ever met. Some of the main huge plot points didn't make sense to me. 
- The writing, while it had it's witty and vivid spots, was often choppy and tedious.  I found myself skimming the last chapters, which I never do with fiction.
- It felt like the story couldn't decide to take itself seriously or not.  Often I felt I could hear the author laughing to herself.  Well and good!  I'm all for corny jokes and fun nonsense in their place.  But then it was hard to take seriously the threat of the world falling apart, or to reconcile it with the incredibly grim antagonist.

My concluding blurb for this book - Enjoyable in spots, but tedious and disjointed overall.

P.S.  -  Donita, K. Paul, if you're reading this (which in this internet world is quite possible), I want you to know that I do enjoy your lovely sense of humor!  :-) Lady Peg is quite fun. 

*Disclaimer -  I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Press to review in their Blogging for Books program. 
March of Books 2011 at ylcf.org

Friday, March 04, 2011

Book Review - God's Smuggler

Recently resolved to read more non-fiction, particularly biographies, and extra especially autobiographies, I finally took a reputed classic called God's Smuggler from my shelf and resigned myself to a "real life" story of facts and dull chapters.

But upon cracking the cover, I was sucked into a grand adventure.

From the time I first put on wooden shoes - klompen we called them in Holland - I dreamed of derring-do.  I was a spy behind enemy lines, I was a lone scout in enemy territory, I crept beneath barbed wire while tracer bullets scorched the air about me.

Andrew was a Dutch boy growing up durring World War II. He was actually very clever and ornery as a child.  As a young adult, after trying unsuccessfully to satisfy his longing for adventure and fulfillment, he became a Christian, and began an adventure greater than he ever dreamed.

He was struck with the hunger for God's Word in the Eastern European countries; churches in Russia, Hungary, Albania, etc, oppressed by the stifling darkness of Communism, were desperate for encouragement, and for Bibles.

And thus began Andrew's mission - to smuggle as many Bibles and as much fellowship, discipleship, and hope as possible to the Church behind the Iron Curtain.

As biographies go, this was a very exciting one! Coming from a novel-lover, that's saying a lot.  ;-) Funny in parts, moving, challenging.

I don't know quite what to think about his almost reckless way of daring God to provide (for instance, sometimes he would deliberately put a Bible in plain view on his car's seat, so if a border guard saw it and let him through anyway, Andrew could be certain of giving God all the glory).  But then, I have never done such risky things for Christ, so I don't know if my faith is small, or if God just calls different folks to trust Him in different ways.

"That's the excitement of obedience," he said. "Finding out later what God had in mind."

Highly recommended! Not only an exciting, hopeful, true story with a passion for God's might word and a heart for His church, but a look at the man who started Open Doors, and whose work is being passed on today. Soon after I read God's Smuggler, I learned of the connection to BEE World, a ministry my church is involved with, and it was thrilling to know... the story goes on.

March of Books 2011 at ylcf.org

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

March is here!

Happy March!  

Redbud trees are blossoming, seeds are sprouting, projects are rushing along, and babies are growing. Look at this little guy, born around Thanksgiving last year! See his manly eyebrows, his strong grip, and that fierce intimidating stare! 
My little friend Isaac and me.  (Isn't he a cute little man?)

Upcoming Book Reviews: 
God's Smuggler - Brother Andrew
Dragons in the Valley - Donita K. Paul
Jane Austen - Peter Leithart

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Little Weekend Gifts

Today is my mom's birthday, but we did some celebrating yesterday.  Part of that included the necessary visit to Barnes and Noble.  We were going to get dessert, but neither of us were that hungry.  So we enjoyed refreshing Izze drinks.
I found this book I've been eager to read, by one of my favorite bloggers
The lovely Mother was looking at a book of cute little stuffed critters.  Fun fun!


This morning, I read this excellent book. It told me, "Give thanks to the Lord, for..."

For what? Why should we be thankful?  What could pull us out of our self-focused sad little worlds, and look to God? 

"Come here," the pages whispered, "and let me tell you the best-kept secret, the one you usually forget, or ignore, or think too stupendous to believe."

He is good.  


Really and fully good.

The laughter at the back of the world. 

Here is Bella our cat watching one of her favorite shows on her wide screen.  She's fascinated with it, though I don't always understand the plot.  Some of the major characters are birds.
 Clean sheets - ah.  Nice.
May your weekend be full of seeing, of noticing the little things God gives. 

(If you haven't noticed, I have been trying to take more pictures and blog with them.  At the moment I'm borrowing a brother's camera.  I know basically nothing about photography, but I want to get my feet good and wet first before I take a class.  Thanks for being patient through these rather rambly picture posts. :-) Hopefully I will also get into a more consistent blogging habit, and post more meaty stuff as well.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Garden Day at the Ranch

Yesterday afternoon I visited my friend Sarah at the Triple L Ranch.  The weather was perfect for enjoying the outdoors, so Sarah and I set to work preparing her garden beds, newly framed by her hardworking husband David.

We watered the dirt to help break down the huge dirt clods, then started breaking up the soil with rakes and pulling out rocks, throwing them in orange buckets.

(Not that anyone could possibly remove all the rocks around here, mind you.  But at least we were getting the big ones.)
Fearless Rebekah went on an adventure with Gal the dog.

Then, of course, Rebekah wanted to play in the dirt too. ;-)  

Silly bug.
Never a dull moment with this one around!  She's so fun.  Today she was proclaiming loudly, "I love you, Mommy!"

Little Isaac woke up, and that was all of garden work for the day.  Inside we reviewed some verses we're memorizing together (we're about 3/4 through Isaiah 53), got dinner ready and the table set (with the help of Rebekah and a little neighbor friend), and then as I was leaving David arrived.  He was kind enough to snap this picture for me. Even Gal managed to jump in just for the picture.

"No, look at Daddy, Rebekah!"
Home again home again!
Always love the drive back, and it was a beautiful time of day.
Declaring His glory pretty well, don't you think? :-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Paid for with Blood

My brother Zach, at Marine Basic Training Graduation, is second from the back.
Someone has paid for me with blood.  How the knowledge lifts my sights beyond the moment's hot desires!
~Elizabeth Elliot~

Just as we should not scorn our soldiers' sacrifices, neither should we forget the death Christ died for our sins.  If I remembered, I would be less likely to rush into selfishness.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Book Review - Coming Day

Coming Day - by Rachel Starr Thomson

The Final Battle

Treachery and division are tearing apart the Seventh World.  Evil factions right and left are seeking to capture the Gifted and steal their powers, wipe out those dear to them, and destroy all freedom and hope and mention of the long-absent King.  

The evil Morning Star is coming, bringing all the hordes of Blackness with him. 

The last straggling bands of Gypsies and the few brave farmer rebels of Pravik prepare for the final battle. But only the King can save them.  So Virginia the blind seer sets out on a fool's errand to find him.

What follows is a race to find the King and unite the Gifted to usher in his coming.  And that coming is something they never could have expected.  

"...all ends here are only beginnings."

Last night I stayed up till about 4 a.m. to finish reading Coming Day.  Sobbing.  Laughing.  Closing the book, turning out the light, and seeing from my pillow the clouds sail past black branches and a lone bright planet in the sky.  

Crying with joy in the dark.  

It was so good, I hardly dare write about it, for fear I'll get it wrong.  Yet I must - for myself, for Rachel, for my blog readers, for anyone else who might enjoy this epic tale of good against evil. 

As far as the plot goes, I confess it went by in a bit of a blur.  Captures followed by wild escapes, battles, wounds,  friends dying.  Walking in darkness to find a fabled King, when instinct says to run and help imperiled friends.  Seeing the world ending... and then beginning afresh.  

I don't think I've been this spiritually encouraged by a book in a long time.  I felt that I turned a corner in the last few chapters, and found that the story which began in a strange land, a land vaguely similar to my own but the stuff of legend, had ended up all the way in my own room at 4 p.m.

It was not a startling jolt from a world of wonder back into my own dull life.  Rather, it was like waking from a glorious dream to find that the best parts have been true all along.  The King tapped me on the shoulder, and his eyes are laughing still.

I closed the book with a thrilling, aching joy.  And the prayer of Rehtse, "both prophecy and petition," echoes through me:

Your kingdom come, we pray.
Come soon.

Book 1 - Worlds Unseen  | Book 2 - Burning Light

Friday, January 14, 2011

What I did with my Friday

Today I got to stay at home mostly - yay!  I confess, I was a bit lazy.  Here's some of what I did: 
  • reading
  • blogging about my book
  • cleaning kitchen
  • more reading, reading, reading...
  • making dough for challah and cinnamon rolls
  • having a splendid time seeing Tangled with my lovely mother
  • coming home to bake my breads
  • eating cinnamon roll
  • next up - more reading!
Tangled was fun.  Aside from a possible jab at stay-at-home daughters, or rather, "horrid over-protective mothers who repress them and keep them from following their dreams"... sigh.  Poor girls like Rapunzel don't get to do anything but clean kitchens and make cinnamon rolls and read and blog...


Yes. Anyways.  I don't want to make a huge deal of that, since the repressive "mother" was a actually a witch, and not Rapunzel's mother at all.  And real stay-at-home daughters are rarely locked inside their houses!  Home is base of operations, not a pretty prison like poor Rapunzel had. But Rapunzel thought she was running away from home, from her mother, and even though she clearly felt wrong about it some of the time, it might need more discussion with little kids. 

Otherwise I liked it very much.  Aside from the above possible problematic interpretation, it's a classic story of a girl who longs to see the beautiful, wonderful things in the world, has adventures, falls in love, and eventually discovers she's a princess and has a family much better than her vain, fake, lying kidnapper.

I suppose it's a bit like we Christians, when we find we're royalty and children of God.  How can we go on living the same way once that's clear, and continue to submit to our old tyrants of safety and comfort and sin?  And perhaps even non-Christians suspect there's more to life than meets the eye, that greater powers are at work "outside the tower," beyond what they can see and touch.

If only we could get out and see the flying lanterns!  They can't be just stars.  We have a feeling they mean something.

Alright, enough rambling.  Good review here.  Have a lovely Saturday!

P.S. The horse was tremendous.  

P.P.S. I really shouldn't do two posts in one day, especially when I have such trouble doing even semi-weekly posts.  This is not a regular thing.  End of public service announcement. 

Seeking the King

I am getting very drawn into this story, particularly what will happen with the Highland Seer Virginia, and the Darkworld priestess Rehtse.

Imminent danger is suddenly and surprisingly gone, and the two girls just climbed up a hill after tumbling down a rocky slope.  In what felt like one of Tolkien's little eucatastrophies, the unexpected escape was followed by laughter.

The world is silent but for the wind and trees, alive and sleepy and peaceful.  The next stage of their journey to find the King beckons.

They have no map.  One is blind, the other has lived below ground all her life. 


Virginia cleared her throat. "Rehtse?  Are we lost?"

"Shh," Rehtse said. "I am waiting."

A moment later, Rehtse lowered her hands, gathered her skirts in one hand, and tucked her other hand into Virginia's elbow. "Come," she said.

"Do you know where we are?" Virginia asked.

"No," Rehtse answered. 

"Did the King answer you?" Virginia asked.

Rehtse hesitated. "Not - that I could hear."

"Then where are we going?" Virginia asked.

Rehtse smiled. "All paths in this world belong to the King.  If he can use the Blackness to deliver us from wicked men, then he can turn even wrong steps into right ones.  We are seeking him, so we will trust the road to lead us to him.  But he cannot guide us if we don't move."

by Rachel Starr Thomson

Find the book at Amazon here, or visit the series website, WorldsUnseen.com. No, Rachel's not paying me to talk about her book. I just think it's that amazing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday 201-220

Today I am starting to I do my "Thankful Thursday" posts regularly again!  (my variation of Multitude Monday

201. Yesterday I was sitting inside with my Bible and morning coffee when I heard a cry of joy from outside.  It was my mom.  Looking at me through the window, she held up to view our chickens' very first egg! It was a little thing, but exciting.  The chickens got a nice breakfast of leftovers. :-)  We found a second egg this morning, huzzah!

202. Being able to comfort others with the comfort with which we have been comforted

203. Anticipation of a trip to visit my friends at the Triple L Ranch

204. Late night coffee and chocolate

205. Coming Day, the third and final book of Rachel Starr Thomas' Seventh World Trilogy.  I look forward to the pleasure of reviewing it on my blog soon.

206. The deliciousness of a warm building that only biting, bitter cold makes you appreciate

207.  Old verses I learned in Sparks that still come back to me.

208.  Candlelight

209.  Chris Rice

210.  Friends who are passionate about good theology

211.  Cozy wool sweaters

212.  The scent of lavender

213.  Getting to see my little brother play basketball. (They have lots of out-of-town games, so this doesn't happen too often.)

214.  A friend's excitement about her fabric design that's making her money here.

215.  The AWANA council time message, given by one of the elders, about little things that make a huge difference.  A seed.  A word.  A cup of water.

216.  Fountain pens with nice, flowey blue ink

217.  A pretty blue-and-brown journal, a Christmas gift from a dear friend

218.  Opportunity to share about journaling

219.  A friend who  just announced she's pregnant!  :-D

220.  Another dear friend and her husband who have wanted children for a while.  It's hard to be in that place, waiting for something so good, while trusting God's perfect timing.

"And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward."

~Matthew 10:42~