Saturday, February 19, 2011

Favorite Book No. 4: Dena Dyer's Turning Points

Welcome to the rearranged blog and to this brand-new entry!! It's nice to be back on schedule.

TURNING POINTS: Let the Crow’s Feet & Laugh Lines Come! - by Dena Dyer

Category: Aging Well
Rediscovering Beauty and Self-Worth at ANY AGE (Barbour 2010)

          This is a MUST read for all my personal and cyber friends who are past that innocent age of twenty-one. Seriously!  God, willing, you WILL age and the earlier you start embracing life as a vibrant woman, the easier it is to run the race. Even if it gets long and hard, it can be an tremendous journey.
          The author, Dena Dyer, is young enough to hold hands with her younger readers and she called on older women for viewpoints from the later part of the journey. Believe me: Let the Crow’s Feet & Laugh Lines Come! is an absolute bedside staple.
          Dena has written other books but I keep returning to this one because the longer I live the more I understand the importance—even urgency—of aging gracefully. I want to live till it’s done. And I want to live so that my family and strangers will know Who I serve. Crow’s Feet/Laugh Lines keeps me on course even when yet another crisis throws me into unchartered waters.
          Dena fills Crow’s Feet/Laugh Lines with scripture that heals and teaches, real-life examples that touch all aging stages, and she uses stories and experiences by down-to-earth women of all ages (many from my own writers’ group) who are walking the walk.
          Am I prejudiced? Not a bit. Even though Dena Dyer and her family lived in our hometown for a while and she became part of us in multiple ways, this Turning Points volume is for any woman who wants to discover and keep her inner beauty and self-worth
      This is a book you can trust. Dena is honest and open, and her writing flows easily between:
©    today’s woman and Biblical times;
©    today’s hard questions and solid solutions;
©    today’s young moms and grandmothers to decidedly silver seniors;
©    today’s modern world problems and scriptural resolutions.

Not only will you learn easy ways to keep your life on course with this book, but your bedside reading time will be delightful!

Blessings from one book lover to another,

You'll get an extra blessing if you drop by Dena’s web site and blog: Mother Inferior: Musings on faith, work, and motherhood by author and speaker Dena Dyer.

The Closer Walk Christian Bookstore, Fredericksburg, TX, often keeps Dena’s book, Let the Crow’s Feet & Laugh Lines Come! on the shelves.

Favorite Book 3: What Can I Do With My Herbs?

1-11-11 ... My Favorite Book List Returns

     Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I hit a brick wall trying to think of a clever way to use today’s auspicious date, so I popped it into my title! I've gotta hurry with this post because it’s a cold winter evening in Texas, Dear Heart has a fire going in the fire place, and our chicken tortilla soup is calling my name as it gently simmers.

     Guess what? I chose a book from the middle of my stack for a surprise read.Yes, it is cold out and some of my readers are barricaded under a BUNCH of snow and others of you haven’t seen sunshine in weeks. However, I’m not at all shy about promising you that SPRING WILL COME, so let’s get ready!

My Favorite Books – Entry Three

Category: Non Fiction; Gardening

How to Grow, Use & Enjoy These Versatile Plants
by Judy Barnett
(Texas A&M University Press 2009)

      Did you know that ROSES are HERBS? I did not know that until my granddaughter gave me a signed copy of Judy’s book. Our first granddaughter knows well my love for books (especially signed editions) and that I'm an herb freak so her family (which includes our first great grandsons) gifted me with a signed copy of this fun and informative book for Christmas, 2009—fresh off the press.
      I used this book of herbs last winter to plan my spring planting and I kept it at my fingertips through that spring, into summer, all fall, and have cooked by it since winter arrived. The author lives and writes from a small town in Central Texas near my own hometown (which makes her almost “family") and this useful dictionary of 39 herbs answers a multitude of my questions. In addition to explaining how to dry herbs, grow, soothe, deter, decorate, and experiment with these awesome plants, she provides recipes to brew herb teas and five flavors of lemonade plus a delightful recipe for Rosemary Fizz.
     What Can I Do With My Herbs? fulfills the sub-title and provides down-to-earth ways to plant and cook on a first-name basis with herbs.
      In her introduction, Ms Barrett writes, “…herbs do not come with any obligation. You can do things with them—cook, craft, comfort—or you can just look out the window at them and enjoy the view.”
       What Can I Do With My Herbs is a must-have volume for every gardener—even a wanna-be. However, HEED my advice: getting involved with herbs is ADDICTIVE!

I'm even growing my can't-live-without Basil indoors this winter!

Be brave, throw caution to the north winds, and on a cold January or February afternoon, curl up with this delightful book and dream sweetly-scented dreams of spring.

Order Judy Barrett’s books, visit her blog, or find her speaking schedule at  Ms. Barrett’s  brand-new, 2010 book is What Makes Heirloom Plants So Great?

Happy Reading and May your herbs bless your life!

Favorite Book 2: The Shoe Box

Originaly Posted: Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Favorite Books - Entry Two

Category: Christmas Books

The Shoe Box - by Francine Rivers:

The Shoe Box (A Christmas Story) by Francine Rivers
 (Tyndale Fiction 2010)


           I have little self-control when it comes to Christmas gift books. There are many on my shelves and though we have favorites,  my family and I re-read our collection year after year.
           However, I believe The Shoe Box, new this year, is exceptional. It is a short, must-read, tender story about love, hope, angels, and the simple faith of a little boy. Francine Rivers makes Christmas come alive in the life of a young boy and his foster parents.
          Woven between the short chapters of this precious fiction story are the author’s own real Christmas experiences, recipes, and traditions. As always, Mrs. Rivers stays true to her trust in Jesus Christ and includes the true Christmas Story from Holy Scripture’s Matthew and Luke.
          The Shoe Box is a lovely, small, inexpensive gift book that will endure over time as a family Christmas devotion or as a re-read year after year for simple pleasure.
          Give The Shoe Box to someone you love for Christmas….whether that “special someone” is a grandchild or yourself!
          You’ll hear more about Francine Rivers in my list of favorite books, but if she is a new author to you, check her website at Her testimony is as beautiful and real as her Biblical fiction.
P.S. I bought my copy "just because," and have already wrapped it as a gift. I ordered another for myself from The Closer Walk Christian Bookstore and because you took time to read this blog, if you live nearby, call Sheila and tell her I said to let you buy my ordered copy--it should be in this week! She will order another for me!

Christmas Blessings from my bookcase to yours,

Favorite Book 1: Not Alone

Originally Posted on My Praying Chairs on Friday, December 10, 2010

My Favorite Books: Entry One

Category: Caregiver Devotion:

Not Alone -  by Nell E. Noonan:

  [My personal note: During this joyous season when we celebrate the birth of God’s only Son, Christmas adds additional stress for those who provide daily, on-going, grinding, and sometimes draining care for loved ones.  If you need an extra gift, Not Alone is an easy to digest devotion book that will enlighten and encourage anyone involved in care giving: spouses, children, parents, hospital chaplains, pastors, nursing home administrators, and even yourself. ] 

Not Alone / Encouragement for Caregivers by Nell E. Noonan (Upper Room Books 2009)
          Mrs. Noonan is a devoted caregiver to her husband and writes from a heart faithful to him and to her Lord Jesus. Each of the 150 short devotions includes a personal experience, a prayer, and a Scripture to encourage those who provide constant, daily care for loved ones.
          This is a “take-along” book that can slip into a busy woman’s purse or a guy's back pack. Mrs. Noonan is not one for wallowing in sackcloth and ashes so her words uplift and encourage.. I’ve read through this collection more than once and I continue to re-read random entries many times a week in my devotion—or desperation—times.
          Not Alone is a profound personal touchstone in my days and I often give copies of this treasure as gifts. Solace, comfort, and wisdom abound in all three sections: Brokenness and Blessings, Tears and Laughter, and Exhaustion and Resurrection. Mrs. Noonan approaches disappointments, heartaches, family, writing, and care giving in an honest and fresh way that lifts the spirit and demonstrates hope.
          I can attest with Nell that,“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18.

How Not Alone got on "My List"
For months, one family medical crisis after another had chased me in endless circles. Crying in my milk on one of my routine, too-much-to-do and not-enough-time days, it hit me that I had forgotten many of our friends, neighbors, church and family members who were experiencing difficult and serious times and that they, also, needed encouragement. Making phone calls seemed inappropriate, I was in no state to make personal visits, and my depleted greeting card box mocked me. I sighed. So, in dirty sweat suit and with no make-up, I made a mad dash to our local Christian bookstore and quickly grabbed a handful of cards. Then, for a reason I can not explain to this day, I picked up a copy of Not Alone. That was well over a year ago and while my precious copy is now earmarked, filled with high-lights, turned down pages, penciled notes, and dirty finger-prints, I seem to navigate confusing and difficult days with a profound peace. Seeing God’s love and provision through the eyes of another traveler has healed my spirit and lightened my own load.
Thank you, Nell, for sharing your heart.

The Closer Walk Christian Bookstore, Fredericksburg, TX ( ) often keeps this book on the shelves but will special order it for you. Not Alone  is also available from Amazon and The Upper Room.

May your reading—and gift-giving—be blessed,