A Haven for Vee

Thursday, March 24, 2011

That Book

Shhhhhhhh... Today I want to talk about that book that has me thinking so much, that I've made wide arcs around, and that I promised to critique back there.

I'm nervous writing about it because I have a few concerns about the book. No, I have no concerns about the author. No, I have no concerns about the main subject Who is God Himself. Yet some little concerns...

First, allow me tell you a little true story. The phone rang between three and four this morning. Phones ringing in the night alarm me as I'm sure they do anyone. I've had terribly alarming news in the wee hours of the morning on at least three occasions. This time it was my daughter who was indeed calling from the Emergency Room. I thought that she was there with her grandfather, my father. No, it turns out that she was there for her own health having awakened in great pain around midnight. She drove herself to the hospital and for the next four hours she went it alone as far as any family with her. (I know that no one is ever truly alone.) When it was time to release her, they would not because she was in no shape to drive herself home. Moms are good for something. I told her that a midnight call would've been fine.

As I say, those calls in the night — unsettling — panic mode. I hastily got myself dressed, grabbed my coat and keys, and set off. I was praying, though they were what John calls "pickle prayers." Those are the kind one prays when in trouble and not from any deep and abiding sense of faith. A mile or five down the road, a word much used in that book made its way into my consciousness: Eucharisteo — grace, thanksgiving, joy. "In this, Lord? Even this?" I asked. Especially in this.

So to say the thing I am concerned about saying after having had the experience I just had... Can we just say conflicted.

After the wary arcs, I finally settled down with a pen and this book is as marked as any I've ever read. Ann is a lyrical writer, a true poet. It is worth reading her book for the beauty of it alone. She has been given such talent and there are times when a phrase is going to rip your heart out.

In the end, I sat thinking about what I'd read and wrote a letter to the author on the back pages of the book.
"Ann, dear, you are much too hard on yourself" my letter began... Christianity is not a self-improvement program. There is nothing in our life as Christians that depends on a formula.  Not the way we dress, look, nor in the writing of a gifts journal. We look to Him in every circumstance, decision, new day, and when we lie down at night. He is still the vine and we are the branches responding to Him. We do not all respond in the same way; we each have a unique experience. I am so glad that His ways are much easier than my own. All He asks is this: Come unto me and I will give you rest.
Please forgive me if I tread on any toes. The comments are being kept open so that you can offer an opinion. Oh, do I recommend the book? A resounding yes with the caveat you see above. Let's simply be receptive to the Lord's love and His prompts and nudgings...

Thank you for your prayers for my daughter. I'm taking her to see the specialist this afternoon.

A good day to you...

(Oh, I meant to thank you all for your sweet comments about Nan's bathrobe. It is being tenderly wrapped and delivered to my daughter this afternoon. She is the only one tiny enough to wear it.)

ETA at 7:17 pm : It's the dreaded waiting game for my daughter. She has been prone to developing kidney stones and that is what the trouble is this time. She's on six different medications and even had a shot of painkillers at the urologist's office. Lots of water in her future...funny thing is that she drinks more water normally as a matter of course than anyone I know. Thanks for all the good wishes and prayers. She is feeling pretty rotten.

ETA on 3/26/2011: All is well... Thank you so much for the prayers and good wishes. Now L only has to finish up the antibiotic. No more mind-numbing pain killers...phew! I think she's smiling just as you see her in my sidebar. Yup, we've got a happy camper this morning.


  1. Vee,
    I too sometimes love to read Christian Inspiration books, I picked one up yesterday as a matter of fact. Yet, I always check back with my Bible if something doesn't sit well with me.

    Praying, I think according to some things that make sense to me, we are to Thank God for the answer to our prayer even though we cannot see it. Not so much the adversity, because the enemy is the author of those things. My favorite prayer is "Lord take what was meant to harm and turn it into a blessing"

    And on that note, Thank you Lord for healing Vee's sweet daughter, and for keeping Vee safe in your arms of peace"



  2. Your Daughter! Your beautiful Daughter! That's all I can think about, right now.

    Please! I beg of you. Having told us this much, please fill us in more, after the Specialist visit. Please. Even if she finds out you blogged about it, and forbids you to, or something. -sigh-

    This is simply something which I can not abide ambiguity on. Pain... A Specialist... Please. Give us something to calm our worries.

    ♥ Gentle hugs ♥

  3. Blessings and healing to your daughter. Thanks for the review and for your letter that you would give to Ann...that speaks loud and clear to to me this morning and truly from a woman who has met her Lord through the all the years and been seasoned by His grace.

  4. Thank you for your thoughts on this beautiful book. I have not read it, nor purchased it. I did pick it up at the bookstore last week and wondered about it. I appreciate your letter to Ann. It reminds me of the verse that I have had running through my mind all morning --- in the multitude of the thoughts around me, thy comforts delight my soul. Maybe some of us need more "rest in Jesus" time and others need to "strive for excellence". Whatever the season of life, He is always there --- with understanding.

    I will be praying for your daughter --- I hope she feels better soon!


  5. Vee,

    I've just ordered this book - four copies of it, in fact, to give to my children (and myself).

    Perhaps those of us a little farther along in life realize more of the freedom that comes with grace, and the unique ways in which each of us lives our faith.

    I'm looking forward to reading the book, keeping in mind your thoughts.

    I hope that your daughter's appointment is positive and that she will soon feel better.

  6. Sorry to hear about your daughter and pray all goes well!!
    I have the book on hold for me at the library. I'm number 3 of 7.
    I agree with your letter and you wrote it so well.

  7. Please let us know how your daughter is; that is a stressful phone call for any mom to receive. I will take a look at the book next time I am in a bookstore. Your words about it have intrigued me. I will soon have a giveaway on my blog for a Christian inspiration book that I love.

  8. I am sending healing prayers to your daughter Vee....

  9. I am one who has read Ann's book from cover to cover, and was deeply touched and changed by it. Without sounding too simplistic, I felt she was reminding us that God is in every molecule of the fabric of the universe, and we must be thankful for all things. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, and I can honestly say, looking at the changes I made in my life and relationships, it was a blessing! God is truly good,even when it appears to us that he has abandoned us, He has not. One of my favorite quotes outside the Bible is:" Everything I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for everything I have not seen." Emmerson. that sums up my feelings I think. Thanks for letting me express them.

  10. I agree with your thinking and have always thought of my spirituality (an over-used word, I know) much more than any religion - man-made set of 'rules'...my Dad used to tell me "God doesn't care what floor you shop on..as long as it's in His store"! I remember that all the time when people ask [especially living in Utah} "what religion are you?"....

    I must get that book..oh..and sending up healing/loving/warm thoughts for you & your daughter :-)

  11. I think I will check out "That book" and get back to you on a comment, I have not heard any buzz about it.

    I hope your daughter is feeling well soon, I will keep her in my prayers.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Vee,
    I so enjoyed reading your thoughts on the book. I haven't finished it yet but I sure have enjoyed her poetic writing. I have started a thankful journal as I think sometimes I need to record those moments that I am truly grateful for. Having gone through some very difficult times in my life I know that at those moments God was there with me and understood my fragile emotions and loved me in my moment. I know what the Bible says about being thankful and I will strive to be obedient in all things.
    I often look at books like this that become viral in their popularity for a season. There are bits of wisdom in most of the popular books out there, but ultimately wisdom in all things comes from God.

    I truly hope your daughter is all right ...praying for her now.

  13. The book is still on my nightstand...as I nibble and ponder...bit by bit. I think the author makes an excellent case for being thankful...IN every circumstance. I find myself thinking about what she has written often...and that has been a good thing for me. I'm still wondering how to be thankful for some of things that have come my way...but I know that God can use all things.

    So sorry about your daughter...hope all is well. Keep us posted. Praying for her.

  14. Vee, you have gotten my curiosity up and I will therefore have to check this book out. You are the first one I've heard mention it.

    I'm sorry your daughter had to rush to ER, hope that all goes well with her. I will be praying. Hugs, Cheryl

  15. I know what you mean, Vee - and I think that being a little older means that we get to see things from the wider perspective of experience. It comes to all of us!

    I loved loved loved the book. Anything which makes me think, ponder and see some things more clearly is treasured. And looking back, especially over the past 5 years, I can see now how much I have changed, and how far I have come, and despite everything, I DO manage to find plenty to be thankful for.

    If you would like to hear Ann discuss the chapters, go to the Bloom book club at {in}courage!

    I too have a Gratitude Journal - I have had one for years. Since G died, actually. I always try to list 5 things I am thankful for every morning - I have spoken of this many times. it got me through some very shaky times.

  16. Vee my prayers are with your daughter's health... praying the next post says she's doing fine.

    I ordered the book you speak of for my Kindle. I've read a few pages, but that was a week ago. I discovered that I need total concentration to absorb and enjoy the book. Not sure when I'll start reading again.... but I'm happy you gave your comments on the book.

    I like the letter you wrote!

    Prayers being lifted up!!!!

  17. Your thoughts in your letter are perfect. And very well said!

  18. Oh I hope your daughter feel better quickly! Those old kidney stones are such trouble making creatures.

    I do love to read devotional books. So much inspiration can be found within their pages, but there has been the occasional book that made me think that I am not even worthy of God's blessings. Your letter to the author was a good way to describe the book. It does make me want to check it out.

    Have a good weekend!

  19. Hope your daughter's problem resolves soon--I will pray for her healing.
    My eldest daughter has chronic problems and 4 kids and two step children. She has had surgery and been ill recently so I have been quite busy. Trying to get caught up visiting my blog friends!

  20. So sorry to hear about your daughter not feeling well, Vee! Kidney stones are so painful...one of the very worst kinds of pain. I hope she gets relief soon!

    I will have to put this book on my new Kindle, but it will have to be in a queue behind other books I already downloaded. The Kindle was a gift ..I never thought I'd like it, but I am enjoying it very much as there are many classic books available for free!

  21. Thank you for the update on your daughter, and will be in prayer for her. I can empathize with the pain.

    Please tell John, with his permission, that I have now added a new phrase"Pickle Prayers" to my vocabulary, the definition fits perfectly. I love it!
    Where do our dhs come up with these wonderful phrases?
    Thank you for the book review, I have heard a lot about this book here in blogland

    The letter that you wrote to Ann, is ... trying to find the right word here.. inspiring, heartfelt. so truthful and most of all biblically sound!!,Did I say "Awesome"?
    Thank you for your prayers for Will, and I will be praying for John's granddaughters, along with our other military.

  22. My day yesterday was nuts and I missed this post. I am sorry your daughter is suffering. I have a friend who had kidney stones and I went to stay with her children in the middle of the night so she could go to the hospital once. Seeing her pain make me KNOW I never, ever wanted such a thing to happen to me.
    I'll be praying that relief comes quickly to your sweet girl.

  23. Vee, I've just now read the post aobut your daughter and the book.
    I'm praying for her healing and you as well as I know the love of a mother for a child and the concern when they're not well. I intend on getting this book and very much enjoyed your review of it. I can tell through your lovely words that you have a strong faith and relationship with our Lord. Thank you for sharing it.

  24. Goodness, Blogger can be a challenge. I had a long comment written and now it's lost! First, I too am praying for your daughter. She must have a strong constitution to make it through the night alone at the hospital. I hope she feels better very soon! About the book. I finally finished it. It was so poetic and beautifully written but so deep that I struggled to finish. I barely took it all in. Some of the writing made me feel uncomfortable (particularly toward the end) While I believe in living a life of thanksgiving I also believe God's grace overflows even when we barely understand His purpose. Your wisdom is a gift, Vee. Thank you for sharing your reflections on the book.


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