Personal

Faith Wrestling

I was raided Christian. I’ve always felt different from others, like an outsider looking in. My mom mentioned to me once that while I was in the NICU she prayed the Holy Spirit would cover/protect me, hence the otherworldly sense I’ve had since I was little. It feels like being set apart, sealed as a believer before consciously coming to faith, converting, etc.

Fast forward decades. I am an adult and have gone through a bad church experience. I haven’t attended consistently since 2009. Yep, 10 years outside the box. It’s interesting stepping outside the Christianese world and glancing in. It’s like looking back at high school and remembering what was popular back then, recalling what you were like back in the day.

Honestly, I don’t know if I can return and trust the church again. My heart would love to, I miss the community aspect, but trusting other believers is a challenge. I haven’t read my Bible in a few years. Maybe I just need to take a step back, away from the verbiage that’s a first language to me.

I want to start from scratch. I still believe in God. I feel like part of the challenge is that Christiandom idolizes the Bible. God is bigger than the Bible, or any other book considered holy. I’ve also, wondered why other books that had been considered part of the cannon were removed, like the book of Enoch that connects the dots on so much. Is it a case of keeping non-clergy in the dark?

I’m still triggered by worship music. It’s sad because I have so many songs I love, but it’s just too, painful to hear them.

Do you struggle in a similar way? If so, feel free to comment or email me.

Book Review · Books

Edna’s Gift

I was not prepared for this memoir. In my brain I was thinking the theme was World War II, but I was in for a surprise. This memoir takes you on the journey of two sisters, Susan and Edna. They both have a disability. Susan’s is not visible, but Edna’s is. They were very close, but in social situations Susan isn’t quite sure how to get Edna to fit in, but Edna will strike up a conversation with anyone. Susan shares how hers and Edna’s relationship morphs after Edna is sent away to a special school. This is during the era of the 50’s when there weren’t special schools close to home.

As an adult Edna lives in a community for other adults like herself who help out and live with caretakers that also live there. While Susan is living her life on the outside she wonders how Edna is doing. When her and their parents visit Edna, she realizes how much of an impact Edna has on others.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Edna’s Gift by Susan Rudnick from She Writes Press care of NetGalley. The views are my own and of my own will. This book is not an emotionally easy read. Getting help for those with a disability has changed a lot since the 50’s and 60’s, yet this book taught how important it is to help be a voice for those who may be not able to express as well, or as clearly on what they want and need. I’m glad Susan wrote about Edna’s life and her own life. Thank you for giving Edna a voice.

Book Review · Books

When We Believed In Mermaids

Josie and Kit are sisters, best friends and soulmates of sorts. Their lives are dominated by their dad’s Italian restaurant and their parents fiery marriage. Both sisters look out for each other the best they can. Their lives improve when Dylan washes up on their doorstep one stormy night. He’s only a kid himself, but lies to appear older. Josie and Kit’s mom takes Dylan into their family, like one of their own. He becomes Josie and Kit’s surrogate brother, parent and best friend.

When the big earthquake of 89′ hits their California town all their lives change drastically. To numb from the grief Josie buries herself into surfing, drugs and boys. Kit keeps to herself reading and studying. Josie takes off to numb her grief.

One day Kit and her mom get the news Josie has died in France. Can Kit and her mom handle any more grief? Kit moves forward becoming a doctor and pushing away the grief of loosing her wayward older sister.

Years later there’s a news report. Kit glances at the newscaster and notices a familiar looking woman in the background. Is it Josie’s ghost? Does her sister have a secret twin out there? Kit’s mom calls to ask if she saw what looked like Josie on the news. Why would her sister be in New Zealand? How is it that she’s alive? Kit’s mom begs her to go find her sister. Kit relents and goes to New Zealand. Will Kit find Josie? If Josie is alive, why would she fake her own death?

I received my complimentary copy of When We Believed In Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal from TLC Book Tours and the author. This novel is a masterpiece of literature that will leave you craving for more. This story delves into the complicated world of fractured families that are trying the best they can, how siblings can be your lifeline when it feels like you are all alone in the world and how we don’t always share everything with our family. If you are sensitive to the topics of alcohol and drug use and abuse then this novel may not be the best fit. I thought I’d read my top favorite book for 2019 and I was wrong. This novel wins 100%. To find out more about Barbara O’Neal check out her website and purchase your copy via B&N.

Book Review · Books

You Are Enough

Do you feel like you don’t measure up? Does keeping up with societies standards make you want to pull your hair out and hide in a cave? I have those days OFTEN. Mandy Hale tackles this common unspoken pressure and cuts it wide open exposing all the guts and ugly parts. She writes with a rawness that only someone whose been through this deep struggle can do and she shares from her life how she climbs out of this Hellish hole, how you can too.

This is a short book. If I’d stayed up last night I could have finished it one day, but some books you shouldn’t rush. You Are Enough is one of those books. Mandy’s stories will have you laugh, cry, nod in agreement and breathe with relief you aren’t alone. This book is a small treasure you’ll want to revisit again and again. I just need to go buy my own, finished copy.

I received my complimentary digital copy of You Are Enough by Mandy Hale from NetGalley. The views are of my own will and mine. This little book has a powerful punch. It asks you to grow, go out of your comfort zone, but the awesome thing is you have someone who is cheering for you on the other side of the dark times. Let Mandy take you on the journey of knowing you are enough just as you are. It’s ok to breathe and be your unique self.

Book Review · Books

Bound

Elizabeth Wood finds herself being her mom’s advocate when her mom’s cancer comes back. Elizabeth’s mom has recently discovered the world of BDSM and blossomed sexually in her later years. Elizabeth is supportive of her mom exploring her sexual freedom after Elizabeth’s dad passed away when she was little.

This memoir is Elizabeth’s journey through the world of hospitals, rehab and learning to be the eyes and ears for her mom when she is too, sick to advocate for herself. How can one still fully be allowed to be a daughter and yet have to be the role of the adult when your parent isn’t in a place to make big life decisions?

What would you do if you were searching for makeup for your mom in her usual makeup bag and instead of finding a particular lipstick you discover a black dildo? Elizabeth is still shocked and yet fascinated to continue to uncover her mom’s new exploration into the world of BDSM when she goes by her mom’s apartment to bring a few things her mom needs.

Elizabeth discusses how with the parent child relationship we never discuss or contemplate that our parents have sexual lives and are sexual beings. When it comes to having to get treated at a hospital does the system take into account a patient’s sexuality and need for intimacy wether with a partner, or solo?

I received my complimentary digital copy of Bound by Elizabeth Anne Wood from NetGalley and a complimentary physical copy from Smith Publicity. The views are mine and of my own accord. This memoir portrays the emotionally tough decisions that encompass cancer treatment, the interesting world of coming to terms that your parent does have a sex life and still needs intimacy when going through treatment. The topic of BDSM is outside my vanilla comfort zone, but I think this book is a must read. I think socially we do need to promote the full care of a patient in taking into account their needs need to be met not just medically, but that the patient’s sexuality needs to be taken into account. Just because a patient may be nearing towards end of life doesn’t mean their libido has turned off.

Book Review · Books

Book Girl

Have you loved to read since you were little? Did your patent(s) read to you as a child? Were you the type of bookworm who would check out 10+ books from the library? Oh you too? Great! Keep reading.

Author, Sarah Clarkson writes about the awesome addiction that is reading and books. Ink, paper and that great smell of paper. Ever since Sarah could recall her mom has read to her and gifted her the love of reading. Sara provides lots of titles to add to your TBR. Each section deals with different topics, so you can browse by topic or just read straight through. She touches also, on the topic of faith and how it can help shape your reading habits.

This book was like reading a book written by your childhood best friend who knows your favorite authors and knows wether you prefer hardcover or paperback, physical or e-book. This book is a must buy.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson from NetGalley. The views are my own and of my own will. Sarah is a fellow bookworm kindred spirit whose love of reading shines through each page. Thank you for writing a book that makes book girls feel less alone. Bookworms unite. If you are a fellow book girl please comment or send me an email. Would love to befriend other lovely book girls/ladies. Thank you Sarah and thanks NetGalley for another opportunity to discover a new favorite author.