The Sacred Slow By Alicia Britt Chole

This is the second book I have read about slowing down and getting closer to the Lord. I think He is trying to speak to me! Ms. Chole’s book brought some questions to mind right away. Why I am a running life as a race? Where do I think I am racing to? Exactly what finish line am I trying to reach?
This is another very unusual devotional book and I like it! I have truly endeavored to be as close to God as I can but I seem to have periodic bumps in the road where I become side-tracked by life’s “to do” list. At those points I speed ahead leaving behind my relationship with my Savior and my resolve to know Him better.
This book is not one to rush through; it is not a project to be checked off, but one to study and meditate on. The author certainly didn’t rush to compile it! This book is 31 years of Ms. Chole’s hard work to bring it to print! As a mentor and international speaker it is no wonder this book is filled with such treasures. How exciting to receive professional mentoring for the price of a book! I checked out her website and love it she calls herself, Dr. ABC.
There are 52 devotionals. Each one contains a Thought focus and an Exercise with questions to act on or simply ponder. I found many great for reflection and inward searching while others didn’t really resonate with me. That wasn’t a negative as they were still a springboard for my own questions and ideas. You will definitely want to keep a pen and notebook on hand! A superb book that will change you!
I received this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

A Crazy Holy Grace By Frederick Buechner

Loss of any kind, losing a loved one, divorce, any devastating event that changes our lives, is so traumatic and we are never prepared for how complicated it is mentally, emotionally and physically. The tsunami of grief takes our breath away and catches us by surprise for far longer and much deeper than we ever dreamed. It’s been four years since I lost my sweetheart and I am still on the journey.
Some of the best books I have read on death are the ones (like this one) where they author shares their personal story. I am able to relate to areas they share but also feel a common bond of not being alone. Although experiences are varied from person to person there are some common denominators such as two the author addresses in his book: struggling with the pain and dealing with the memories. In these we can all connect.
I appreciated Mr. Buechner’s transparency and honestly in sharing such personal parts of his life. I know people that have tried to avoid grief, pushing away pain and memoires. I love the way Buechner shows us, with God’s help, that there is a path to healing, and remembering the past along with facing our pain is the way to begin. We can get so wrapped up and hyper-focused on our sorrow, (which is normal) that we isolate ourselves from God’s help and that of others. The last part of the book is a gold mine of the author’s varied thoughts concerning loss. It is titled “Secrets, Grace, and the Way God speaks. A few of the subjects are: depression, suicide, tears, dying, letting go and more. I found this book to be very sincere and most of all hopeful.
I received this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life By Frederick Buechner

There is nothing ordinary about life it is only when we become desensitized to it and look only for the extraordinary it becomes mundane. This is my second book by the author, and once again I find him a very personal and thoughtful writer.
By rushing through daily life with worldly pursuits, and concerns, we fail to see the truly amazing things God has placed and is doing in our lives. How sad! He who loves us and is so intimately involved in every detail of our life, that He knows the number of hairs on our heads as much to reveal to us.
This book made me think how much I am missing! He is working in very moment and experience in my life. I thought of how we don’t see God working because we aren’t looking for the touch of His hand in the minutest details. My existence on this earth is not random in any aspect. Nothing that happens to me is by chance but part of His personal orchestrated design. I realized I have a tendency to see things in a rather black and white fashion, good, bad, happy sad, when there is so much more I am missing! This applies even in times of failure and pain.
It reminds me of children opening Christmas gifts. They whiz thorough, ripping and tearing paper, moving on to the next present. In their youthful exuberance they fail to savor the moment and enjoy the awe of the gift. Are we not the same?
This book is a wake-up call to quit hurrying from one moment, day, happening to the next. I cannot imagine how much richer my life would be if I looked for Him in all things.
I received this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.