Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth -- blogger Crys recommended this YA book awhile back so I found it at a local library; good story of a young Indian girl whose life changes drastically when her husband (whom she doesn't live with quite yet) dies from a snake bite. Instead of going to live with him and his family (who seemed to really like her), she has to learn how to deal with life as a widow - all at the ripe age of 13 or thereabouts.The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde -- I'm generally not a huge fan of stories or movies with animals as a main character, but this book captivated me pretty quickly, and I enjoyed it better than I anticipated. This was on a new books shelf in the Mebane library, and I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did.
The Rose Hotel: A Memoir of Secrets, Loss, and Love From Iran to America by Rahimeh Andalibian -- I didn't expect to have much in common with this author, but some parts of her story hit close to home. This book challenged me to consider children and what they endure when family members argue and have conflict. I felt sorry for the the children many times.
I knew it might cause me to cry, but I took my chances that it wouldn't get to me and read parts of this while at the children's museum with Zach. Not the best idea as two days in a row I had to suck down the tears and probably had a couple people wondering why my eyes were a bit ... watery.
I love how she purposefully praised God during her hard times because I really struggle with that. Instead of moving further away because she was disappointed, or hurt, or scared, or life was falling apart, she drew near to God.
In the last couple of pages in the book, Marie writes:
"No matter how tragic your circumstances, your life is not a tragedy. It is a love story. And in your love story, when you think all the lights have gone out, one light still shines.
You've seen how God, in his bounteous grace, pierced my darkest moments with his light. Over and over again he broke through my pain, revealed his presence, and restored my hope. ...God didn't grant my every hope. Instead, he calls me to love the moment, confident that he is creating me with the future in mind. He didn't fix the tragedy. He redeemed it. ...He didn't prevent the loss ... But, oh, how he sustains me through it.On this side of heaven, for all of us, God doesn't always spare us the loneliness, remove the pain, or still the storm. So I ask you: How often do we miss his light because we fail to look for it? How many times do we turn away from the tiny flicker that reveals his presence because we shut our eyes tight, insisting that he remove the darkness?What is your story? Mistreatment, injustice, torment, suffering, grief, or even the worst of what humanity can do to one another?Or is it a love story of the Creator God sustaining, intervening, redeeming, and restoring?Live the love story! Fall into the embrace of forgiveness. Hide in the shelter of his wings. Step inside the wall of grace. Live in the expectancy of seeing him at work. Leap into his mysterious will. Receive the gift of love. Be released to respond to his call.Tell the world your love story.And when the lights go out, you too will see that one light still shines." (pg. 312, 313)