Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Review--"The Feast of St. Bertie"

I have been reading A LOT lately. I read for at least a half hour before bed and any other time I can squeeze it in. In the past, I have "reviewed" some of these books. Lately though it seems that time has gotten away and I have read and returned (to the library). However, I just finished a book that I have to write about it and one that is on my "must purchase list".

The book???? "The Feast of St. Bertie" by Kathleen Poppa I know, the title leaves you thinking food, a buffet, a loaded table. But the book is actually a feast for the soul. As I was reading, I was reminded of "Eat, Pray, Love" for several reasons. This book, like "Eat, Pray, Love"' is one that I think you have to be in the right frame of mind for when you read it. I remember that I put "Eat, Pray, Love" down several times until one day I picked it up and the book just fit. I was ready for it. This book was the same way for me. I was in the right frame of mind for it.

I am in the mind set of rebuilding, of searching, of longing. The main character in this book is going through those same things. The books starts with the main character returning home from her husband's funeral to find her home in flames. She has a grown son that she hasn't seen in months who doesn't even know that his father has died. She has a best friend who loves her but can be pushy, in charge and sometimes self-centered. And the main character does not lack for money. You learn so much about this woman in the book but not only her but those that are important to her. She decides to follow her heart and goes on a journey of the soul. The journey that she takes not only affects her but those in her life. She sees the beauty that she missed before, she learns what a "real" relationship with Christ is all about, and she finds her worth.

There was a line from the book that stayed with me. "There is something holy about sorrow". How can sorrow be holy? But it can. Tears and pain force us to bare our soul. They force us to be "real". When we really, truly hurt there are no fake smiles, happy facades, no "I'm OK". I remember a few months ago when I had food poisoning. I was SO sick, I couldn't stop throwing up and I was scared. I was alone. I called on close friends for help. Were I healthy, I would never ask for help. I would fight my way through, I would do it on my own. But in pain, we ask for help. When our soul is in pain, there is a "friend that sticketh closer than a brother". He is there to hold us, to comfort us, to love us. He loves us in our nakedness, in our realness, with all of our mistakes and flaws. Remember when Jesus was in the Garden before he was crucified? He wept and in his sorrow there was holiness.

2009 was a year of sorrow for me. All that I knew and that I thought I needed was gone. I was no longer a caretaker of my mother-in-law, I was no longer a wife, I no longer had a house, I had to put my cat down, I had to sell things that I once thought were valuable to pay bills. In that sorrow though I found holiness. I found that instead of taking care of others, I could and should take care of myself. I found that I didn't need a house to have a home. I found that material possessions do not define happiness. I found out that my friends love me for me, not for anything I have done or could do. I found out that God always provides and in my aloneness He is and was there. I found out that God is faithful, He never leaves nor forsakes.

And all of that, I realized after reading this book. Kathleen Poppa is a woman of God and I am thankful for her willingness to allow Him to use her. This book will be on my bookshelf and I will read it again.


Friday, May 14, 2010

A homeless man

This morning on my way into work, I passed a man on the sidewalk. It was pouring down rain and cool. This man was bundled up under several coats carrying his possessions in trash bags to protect them from the rain. It wasn't the first time I had noticed this man. You see, my dad pointed him out to me several weeks ago.
My mom had brought up the movie "Blind Side". After watching it, dad said that there was man like that in my town. At first, I thought "who is he talking about?" and then I saw him. The man with the plastic Wal-Mart sacks (blue ones) who is always walking in front of Village Hall. How many times had I passed him and not really noticed him? How many times had I passed and just assumed that he was just someone waiting for the bus? This morning he was walking quickly, heading toward the highway and I wonder if he was hoping to find a ride or if he was just headed for a dry spot under the overpass. I have thought about him a lot off and on today. What is his story? I may never know but I do know that the next time I see him, I am going to pull over and offer him a cup of coffee or a soda. I am going to step out of my comfort zone because that is what my both earthly and Heavenly fathers would do. They would offer this man some form of kindness.

As I sit here typing this, I wonder if my dad has already spoken to this man. If he has already reached out to him. Somehow I think he has.

Who has Jesus put in your path that you haven't taken the time to notice? Is there someone that you have passed every day but haven't stopped to really notice them? Be Jesus to someone today.....reach out to them with kindness and love. We may be the only light that they will see.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


ast night was a good night. I was able to leave the office a few minutes early. I drove home in the drizzle and pulled in my parking spot to find that the wind had blown a plastic lawn chair into my flower bed. Thankfully no plants where hurt during the landing of the chair. Shadow was, of course, waiting on the other side of the door. She wanted to go out but the weather said otherwise....wet and cool. Not a good day for cat/dog to be outside. I heated up some left-over chili-mac and watched a Food Network Challenge while eating dinner.

After dinner, I went to Pottery Hollow to meet up with Becky and Brittany. Becky and I both needed to finish our plate "that would never end" :>) I was so thankful for Brittany's help and guidance. I think I finally have a plate that won't go into the trash.

From there it was back home to watch Dancing with the Stars and to cast my votes. I voted for Chad and Erin. I didn't think Chad did as well as Erin,Nichole or Evan but I am hoping he stays at least one more week and Neecy goes home. I was feeling good when I went to bed. It was storming, so I grabbed a book and curled up in bed with Shadow.

3:45AM---I woke up to another headache. I got up, took 800mg of ibuprofen and moved to the couch. Shadow followed and curled up on the pillow next to me.

7:00AM---my alarm goes off. No, I can't quite move yet. So I reset the alarm to 8AM.

8:00AM---my alarm goes off for the second time. I lay there until Shadow starts nipping my fingers and toes. With a groan I roll off the couch, it is 8:15AM. I feed Shadow and head for the shower. After a hot shower, a bowl of oatmeal and about five minutes of play time with Shadow, I head out the door. I arrive at work at 9:00AM on the dot.

Today, the sun is shining and the temp is in the 70's. A totally different day than yesterday. I downloaded this photo onto my Facebook page today:

It will probably embarrass Mason but it is one of my favorite photos. I actually
have it sitting on my desk at work now.

11:41pm----I just pulled brownies from the oven for Tim's birthday tomorrow. It has been a full evening. I worked until about 6:15PM when Jeff picked me up for dinner. We went to a mexican resteraunt in honor of his mom. Jeff even ordered guacamole just as she used to. We talked about her and how she would order just guacamole and chips....just that and she was completely happy. After dinner, I went to Famous Shoes to buy a pair of black dress shoes since my current pair have a broken strap. A stop at Wal-Mart for milk and cereal and then I was home.
I caught up on Dancing with the Stars to see who went home (Neecy) while dusting the living room and vacuuming. I watched Biggest Loser while making the brownies and doing the dishes. I was sad to see Sunshine go home as she was my favorite and I had hoped she would make it to the final four.

So now, the brownies are on the island cooling. Shadow is playing with a bottle ring and I am getting ready to go to bed. Just a few minutes ago, Shadow was in the window which was open. I'm not sure what showed up outside but she jumped out of the window hissing, her tail a bottle brush. I reached over to pet her and she hissed at me so whatever it was must have been scary. I closed the window and the curtain....no scariness needed around here.

It has been a day of blessings and sunshine......