Saturday, June 30, 2012

Flame of Resistance


Title:  Flame of Resistance
Author:  Tracy Groot
Pages:  416
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Tyndale
Note:  I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  Follow my other reviews at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/  and on twitter @lcjohnson1988
               
                WW2 like all other historic events, even recent ones, makes for exciting books of all genres and this one is no exception!  FLAME is a French resistance cell that operates like all other cells, undercover in plain sight.  Tom is in the USAAF and is shot down shortly before D-Day.  He is met by a Frenchman who questions him briefly about many things to make sure he is who he says he is.  Once Tom passes the test, he is left in the care of an elderly woman until he heals from his wounds.  All Tom knows about this grand lady is that she has hidden and cared for many Allied soldiers.  Is that all there is to this lady or is there more to her story?
                Since Tom resembles a German soldier he is recruited by the resistance to infiltrate and carry out a mission that has direct implications for D-Day.  All Tom wants to do is get back in the air as a pilot, until he meets a woman in a brothel.  Her name is Brigitte.  She has inherited the house from her grandfather and turns it into a brothel as she figures it is the only means to survive since she lost the love of her life along with everyone else while waiting for freedom.
                Braun is a German officer of sorts who shows his true colors later in the story in a way that is a surprise to the reader.  Inside a building is where the SS takes its prisoners to extract information from them in some very torturous ways.  Is there no one in France with a heart of compassion?  Where is the faith and fight of the people?  Keep reading the novel as there are many important characters, scenes, twists and turns to this work of fiction.
                The characters are from many different backgrounds; seemingly some operate one way only for the reader to discover something else.  At different times in the suspenseful telling of the story, the reader won’t be able to quit reading because of the spellbinding tale presented.  You will find yourself at the edge of your seat, waiting in suspense to turn the page and find out how different difficulties are handled by spies, allies, and ordinary people during the occupation.
                Prepare for a rollercoaster ride when you begin this novel of suspense, mystery, and more as history unfolds in the pages of Flame of Resistance.  The author does a superb job of weaving many threads together into a work of art that captures both the heart and the imagination of readers.  It is a 5+ star rating from beginning to end.  Well done!

Friday, June 29, 2012

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Hopeful Heart Ministries (May 18, 2012)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Shannon Deitz is a woman in love with God and excited about her faith. But it wasn't always that way. While still a teen, her boyfriend was tragically killed in an auto accident, and she began to question a God who would claim a young man with so much life yet to be lived. At the fragile age of seventeen, she was raped and she began to distrust a God who would allow such a thing. Again, as a freshman in college, she was raped a second time, and she began to earnestly put as much distance between herself and God as she possibly could. At the age of 27, having run from God as far as she could go, she found herself at the bottom of a life that was no longer tolerable. Having no place to go but up, she looked to Heaven. And there was God, surrounding her with His peace. It was the beginning of a love story that has grown more beautiful with each passing day.

Shortly after her love affair with God began in earnest, Deitz felt a distinct calling to begin teaching the teens at her local church. Her work with teens led to a full-time youth ministry. Within the next four years, that ministry bloomed, allowing her to witness God's amazing work in her church and her life. In 2007, her youth group was voted in the top five of EWTN's Catholic Youth Groups in the United States, and in 2008 she was invited to speak on God's unfailing love at the World Youth Day Festivities in Sydney, Australia. In 2011, she was again asked to speak at the WYD Festivities in Madrid, Spain.
Deitz has also served as a team speaker for the Franciscan University Steubenville Youth Conferences in Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Washington State, collectively reaching more than 40,000 teenagers. She also reaches out to her audiences through her popular blog, www.ShannonMDeitz.com .

Deitz has been a 'featured columnist' on CatholicLane.com. She and her husband, Neal, live in Kingwood, Texas, where they are active in their local church and community. The couple has two sons, Ryan and Seth, who provide them with endless joy and reason to continually count their blessings.

Information regarding her book and current speaking schedule may be found on the site, as well as specifics for engaging her as a speaker for an upcoming event.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


We all yearn to be loved. It is our self-imposed litmus test for worthiness-our way of confirming we are special and knowing that we matter. Acclaimed author and speaker Shannon Deitz understands that yearning well. Raped at seventeen and then again as a freshman in college, she felt completely bypassed by love. Rebelling against the violent attacks on her body and struggling to quiet the pain through self-abuse, her feelings of worthlessness eventually became so palpable she could not fathom how anyone-most especially God-could love her. This only caused her to push deeper into her own torment.

Then, at the age of 27, unable to fight the battle raging inside her any longer, she gave it all up. Face down on her bedroom floor with her life in shambles all around her, Deitz surrendered every aspect of her being to God. She gave up the self-judgment, the condemnation, the need to be better. She let it all go. And, in that moment, every fear faded away and for the first time since childhood she experienced true peace.

Now, a dozen years later, having shared her remarkable story of transformation in her critically-acclaimed and award-winning book, Exposed: Inexcusable Me...Irreplaceable Him (Pleasant Word Publishing, 2010), Deitz is taking her message to audiences across the country and abroad. Passionately sharing her own story, she unabashedly offers new hope to the hopeless and rekindles flames in coals of faith grown cold.


Product Details:
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Hopeful Heart Ministries (May 18, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0985250305
ISBN-13: 978-0985250300



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Preface

Why me?

I have asked this question many times in my life. Growing up, I wondered why I felt so ugly and wanted so much attention, why my older sister told me secrets I never wanted to hear, why it felt like our family was falling apart and I couldn’t do anything to stop it, and why it felt like bad things kept happening to me and I never could catch a break.

The most common response would be that “it all happens for a reason.” Looking back, however, it is obvious to me that is not necessarily true. I cannot ignore the decisions that were made on my part, or my sister’s, friends’, family’s, or acquaintances’, and not recognize the course life took because of our decisions.

Some would argue that God is the reason. God is in the illnesses or forces of nature that strike hard and uproot your core existence, forcing your hand in strength and causing your tomorrows to change. Everything else? Well, that is due to an abuse of God’s gift of free will. I cannot look back at my life and ignore the fact that free will, on my part or the part of others in my life, led to life-altering circumstances.

What it comes down to is the reaction.

How do I respond? How do I move forward? What do I internalize? To whom do I turn?

When a stranger among the 1.2 million Catholic Young Adults that had gathered for the 2005 World Youth Day festivities in Köln, Germany called me by name, I didn’t have time to respond, react, or internalize. I only knew that I needed to go and listen.

Once I heard the message, I could no longer feel sorry for myself or throw out blame. I was called by name, and it was about time I reacted.

Why me? Why not?

The ‘Nothing’ Child

Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it (Mark 10:15)

In the beginning, under the watchful eye of an enormous thunderbird, wings outstretched, in the barren, blistering city of El Paso, outlined with white rock alongside Coronado Mountain, our family of six struggled against the clashing waves of good and evil. At the age of seven, far too young to comprehend the very real but incomprehensible battle, I was sucked into the undertow.

Perched like a vulture on the arm of the couch, with her bronze legs folded up to her chest, my thirteen year old sister Carrie smirked and said, “I’m not your sister.” My older brother, Kyle, who was only seventeen months younger than Carrie, sat beside her and laughed, “Yeah! We’re not your brother and sister!”

“Yes. You. Are!” I protested each word sharply and with great calculation. Carrie and Kyle were inclined to gang up on me, when all I longed for was to be accepted and involved in everything my siblings did and invited to every place they went.

“Nope,” Carrie said. “Daddy is not my daddy.”

My undeveloped mind could not grasp what she was trying to say. Of course Daddy was her daddy! We had the same sandy hair. My face was a little more round than theirs, but they were all I knew as family. No one was supposed to look alike anyway. In a flash of a moment, the world I knew to be predictable and safe was shaken and unrecognizable.

I ran to Mom, who was busy in the utility room sewing a dress for one of us girls, flung my arms around her waist, and wailed, “Carrie says she’s not my sister!” Carrie and Kyle, who had been running close behind me, stopped short and nearly toppled on top of us when they reached the door. My sobs were muffled in Mom’s lap, but I could still hear the disappointment in her voice.

“She is your sister, and that is not nice to say.”

My head shot up in a flash. “See! You’re lying!”

“No we’re not!” Kyle insisted. “Dad is not our dad, Mom.”

Mom sighed a long, slow, “the weight of the world had just been dumped on her shoulders” sigh. I looked into her green eyes, and for the first time I really saw her. She had jet black hair that was cropped and straight—completely the opposite of my waist-length, wavy mop– and a beautiful, small oval face with a smile that radiated warmth and love. We looked nothing alike.

Fear came alive within me. “Am I adopted?”

“No, Shannon,” she sighed again, “but your daddy did adopt Carrie and Kyle.”

“See,” Kyle said as he tapped my shoulder. “I told you so.” He and Carrie started to laugh, and I wailed louder.

Mom called for my father. “Tom!”

“What?” he shouted from the living room.

Mom pulled me up with her as she stood. “Let’s all go into the TV room. We need to have a family talk.”

Within the sanctity of my home, amidst those closest and dearest to me, who I knew to be my family, I was prematurely stripped of the honor young children have to be naïve and carefree.

Tears began to build at the corner of Mom’s serene eyes as she explained the details of her first marriage in a way that my young mind could comprehend. It wasn’t until I was in college, struggling through my own personal trials, that I finally understood the story and became privy to the rest of her secrets.

Mom’s first marriage was sad, abusive, and short-lived. It began soon after high school and ended when her husband returned home from Vietnam. The demise of her innocence, however, began much earlier.

Mom’s earliest memory goes back to when she was still in her crib, and it is the first of ten years of memories of a stolen childhood and loss of innocence. The eldest of five, she was the only one to claim the pink bow in her testosterone filled home. “Thank God,” she’d say. If her brothers had been girls, they, too, would have suffered at the perverted hands of her father.

Like many girls who suffer in silence, to the outside world my mother seemed to have it all. She was captain of the cheerleading squad, bubbly, bright, and envied by her friends. At home, she was envied by her mother. But my mother did not ask for the kind of attention she got from her father. Instead, she spent her teen years pushing every memory of him into a tiny black box in the corner of her mind, and began seeking after the love her young soul craved.

Pregnant too young and married too young, Mom entered into a new world of abuse, orchestrating a spiraling descent that eventually led her into recovery. The box was opened, and she wanted to heal, help, and forgive.

As a seven-year-old, I couldn’t help but wonder where this past marriage left me. Where did I fit in? Was this why Carrie and Kyle were always giving me a hard time, when all I wanted was to be with them?

My mind reeled as I realized the obvious gap that had formed between us as children. Carrie and Kyle were so close in age, and they were five and six years ahead of me. Morgan and I were three years apart. Morgan was the baby. She was cute and entertaining, and I felt like an annoyance. The divide between us created a festering knot of insecurity.

“I’m nothing!” I wailed, perched on Dad’s lap with my head tilted back dramatically.

Giggling, Dad mustered a serious tone. “You are too something. You’re my little girl.”

“No!” With great zeal, I shook my head and added, “Carrie’s the oldest, Kyle’s the only boy, and Morgan’s the youngest! What am I? Nothing!” For my young mind, this was the truth.

One afternoon, Carrie changed course with a simple gesture of kindness. Desperate for her acceptance, I jumped at the opportunity.

“Hey, Shannon, come here for a sec,” Carrie called as she walked past my room and into her own.

“Is this a trick?” I thought. Fueled by excitement and honor, I jumped up from the floor. She never asked me into her room, but, after hesitating, I stepped in.

“Hey, come here,” she said. “I want to show you something.” She was on her stomach with her legs fanned out on the bed.

Without hesitation, I hopped up onto her bed and sat Indian style beside her. Her profile was magnetic, and in that moment I couldn’t help but stare. As far as I knew, my time in her room and presence was limited. But the more I stared, the sadder I felt. Carrie was a classic beauty. Her eyes were a petite almond shape and tortoise green. Mine were round as quarters and mint blue. The slope of her nose finished into a defined and delicate tip, and mine formed a small but not so delicate round ball. Everything about Carrie was distinct and defined yet feminine at the same time, and, even though I was still a young girl, everything about me was unusual. I had big round eyes, full lips, and a widow’s peak that came to a dramatic point in the middle of my forehead.

She held a shiny piece of paper that looked like a small poster. I looked over her shoulder to see what held her attention. It was a list including photographs of pills in all shapes, sizes, and colors, with their names below them.

“I’ve done this one, and this one . . . and this one,” she said, smiling with a strange satisfaction as she pointed out the various medications she had taken. That was what I thought, at least—that they were just pills. Medicine. I never understood why she was pointing out pills, and giggled as she did so, but then again, I was in her room and she was paying attention to me. That was all that mattered.

Of course, I knew nothing about recreational drugs. I knew there was a big scare about not accepting stickers from strangers because there was some kind of poison called LSD on the backs of them. I knew not to talk to strangers or take anything from them. Carrie was not a stranger.

That wasn’t the last of the invites into her room. No longer was I nothing. Instead, I felt like something, because Carrie, the most beautiful, funny, and perfect girl was finally taking notice of me, her bratty half-sister.

For months I trailed behind Carrie and her new boyfriend, Jose. I sat in on their conversations and make-out sessions, being sure not to be seen but staying close enough to be there if she needed me for anything. It was fascinating to witness the same girl who would sometimes rant and practically spit bile at my parents become giddy when this boy was around, often to the point of being taken over by hysterical laughter. The medications she had pointed out in her room were never seen. I was unsure if she was taking anything. If anything, this boy was a cure for whatever had made her sad and angry.

I noticed that the more Jose was around, the more Mom and Dad would yell at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. I would hear the door to Carrie’s room slam, and I would press my ear up to the wall that separated us and listen to her muffled cries and curses. Sitting on the corner of my bed, I would pray to God, asking him to make my parents leave her alone. All I knew of God was that he was our protector and I needed him to protect her.

One night, I gathered up the courage to leave the safety of my room and enter Carrie’s without her permission. She was sitting in the corner, scratching on her desk with the tip of a ballpoint pen. “What do you want?” she grumbled.

“Are you okay?” I whispered, afraid that if my parents heard me in her room she would get in more trouble.

She shrugged her shoulders with little effort. “They don’t get it. They are so stupid.”

“Yeah,” I said in bogus agreement. I didn’t think my parents were stupid, but I was desperate for Carrie’s approval.

Her face softened when she turned to look at me, and she stopped tormenting her desk. I smiled because I knew I had said the right thing. I am not sure what she saw in me at that moment, or if she ever truly considered me a friend, but I was the only one around who was eager to listen. A sense of trust began to develop between us.

Weeks and months passed, and I became more knowledgeable about what Carrie was doing as I listened in on various conversations of her sexual prowess, hearing words that made no sense, and feeling the air around me thicken with sounds and moans that sounded as if she were being wounded. And during her last years in our home, I unintentionally witnessed these acts that were beyond my years and understanding.

When it came to Carrie, nothing ever felt right. She was like an injured animal that had lost trust in the ones who wanted to help her most. When I was sucked into this vortex, spinning uncontrollably as Carrie whirled around in the air above, battling the unfair tactics of parents and social propriety, I hadn’t even reached puberty. She was beyond reach, and although I had become so immersed in her teenage world, I was still a helpless child, looking up and desperately trying to save her.

None of us were aware. My mother’s demons had entered into my sister’s world wreaking this havoc in our family. Carrie was only six when her innocence was stolen. Mom thought she could protect us by keeping a watchful eye and she took a chance by taking us with her to attend a family reunion. Unfortunately, my grandfather’s disease was never cured. Tainted by someone she loved and trusted, my sister did not know how to create that tiny black box in the corner of her mind to block the sickness of what he did to her. Instead, she retaliated against the pain she held inside never sharing her dark secret. Like my mother, she, too, sought after love and healing, but never through healthy means or relationships.

In many ways, he hurt me, too—not physically, but through Carrie’s retaliation and through her search for the love that his disease created. All I did was love my sister. All I wanted was to see her happy and be able to witness God’s protection. I wanted to finally rest inside, because I knew she would be OK. Instead, my hope faded with each passing day.

Exposed, Inexcusable me...Irreplacable Him


Title:  Exposed, Inexcusable me…Irreplaceable Him
Author:  Shannon M. Deitz  http://www.shannonmdeitz.com/
Pages:  300
Year:  2010
Publisher:  Pleasant Word-A Division of Wine-Press Publishing
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review.  Other reviews can be read on the blog located here:  http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ and on Twitter @lcjohnson1988
Have you ever looked at the cover of a book or read the back cover to get an idea of what it is about only to learn there is more than meets the eye?  While I wasn’t sure at first where the author, Shannon M. Deitz, was going with her book, it became apparent as I pressed on that I was reading her life’s testimony as well as her giving God the glory.  While there may be parts of her book I don’t agree with theologically speaking, I am astounded by how God has worked in her life.
                Memoirs are written for a variety of reasons, but how Shannon shares her testimony can’t really be thought of in this genre.  By the title alone, you might get the idea that it is about God.  However, this book is a book that fits into a lot of different genres like spiritual, biography, and nonfiction even though as you read it that may appear to be what it is.  Shannon shares her life story with a transparency that draws you to her though not to the dirt it may contain on her or others.  She shares her struggle with faith, men, alcohol, spiritual warfare, and more.
                Yes, there were times I had to take a break as I felt the weight of what she was sharing as well as how she felt.  Shannon shares how God drew her to Himself, wanting to love on her as well as through her.  There is a ministry that was birthed from her experiences.  There are other ministries that offer hope and help where people can go if they experience what she has experienced.  These ministries can  also help those who might have experienced other issues besides what she talks about in her book.
                In honesty, she shares not just her experiences, but also sorrows, joys, struggling with a disease, and more.  Some issues Shannon has experienced are the loss of an unborn baby, date rape as well as feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness.  There are other subjects like forgiveness, learning to hear from the Holy Spirit, raising a son with ADHD, and so much more.  As you open the book, you meet her past square on and then move through her life to where she is living life today.
                For anyone who has experienced abuse, rape, or incest or other difficult experiences, Shannon shares hope, freedom, and light for those who seek to come out of the darkest valleys.  Others may enjoy reading her testimony in order to understand the suffering endured by family or friends as well as learning to hear God.  It is worth the time to read this book.  A part of the proceeds from the sale of this book go to help survivors of abuse.  Read it, share the book with others perhaps or go where God leads.
My rating of the book is four stars.
               
               

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Director's Cut


Title:  The Director’s Cut
Author:  Janice Thompson
Year:  2012
Pages:  296
Publisher:  Revell
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review.  Other reviews can be read on the blog located here:  http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ and on Twitter @lcjohnson1988

Also for your reading pleasure:  More of Janice’s joyful take on her behind-the-scenes experiences:
 Feature article from Family Fiction:

                                When was the last time you sat down, began a book and ended up completing it within a couple of hours?  Some perhaps make reading a regular part of the day or week, maybe even once a month.  Others may get a book read in a year because of all the activity in their lives or lack of desire to read.  Regardless the reason for reading a book as you do, this wonderful work of fiction is just an easy, enjoyable, and pleasurable novel.
                Tia is a director of a wonderful sitcom who tends to believe she has everything under control, both in the studio as well as in real life.  Rex is the producer, married to a lady who dresses in a variety of clothing from various movies and can quote lines, even when she cannot remember what she ate for breakfast.  Tia’s family life, from her point of view, has held nothing but heartaches as she wrestles with how God let life happen as it has.  Tia has walls around her life and her heart until Jason begins to show her how God had her right where she needed to be and knew what He was doing all along.
                Erin is a student from a well-known school in that area who is brought to the studio to be Tia’s production assistant.  Erin’s personality begins to show Tia the sharp contrast between her and Erin in many ways that causes Tia to question…well I can’t tell you this part.  During a taping of the show, an earthquake happens, later in the season a baby is born, a famous star weds and Tia along with her family begin to see the need for change.
                During the end of the year party and looking forward to the summer break, Jason wants Tia to learn how to surf.  Will Tia take the challenge?  Rex talks to her about taking over the producer’s job in the future when he retires.  What does Tia decide?  The Director’s Cut is the author’s last book for the Backstage Pass series.  What happens to the characters her readers want to know?  Well, Janice shares with us what she views as the future for her characters.  We also get a preview of the author’s plans on what to write on next, or should I say who?
                It is nice to be able to pick up a book, read it, and finish it with a light heart.  You will find her writing light-hearted, encouraging, real, and full of surprises.  There is no pretense that this is not a thriller, suspense or mystery, just reading a well written story in an afternoon.  Wherever you like to spend time chilling out, take this novel with you to lose yourself for awhile.
My rating for this work of fiction is five stars.     

Guest review of : The Bride Wore Blue


Title:  The Bride Wore Blue
Author:  Mona Hodgson
Pages:  288
Publisher:  WaterBrook Press
Year:  2012
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review.  Other reviews can be read on the blog located here:  http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

                Do you ever feel unlovable?  Maybe you feel that you’re not good enough or don’t deserve love?  How about feeling unworthy of God’s love?  Can anyone love me when I’ve…?  If you’ve ever had those thoughts or feelings, you’re not alone.  The author does a wonderful job of exploring these questions through the eyes of her main character, Vivian Sinclair, and a supporting cast of her three sisters, a boardinghouse owner, and the deputy sheriff.  The story is set in the late 1800s in Colorado. 
Vivian and her sisters have grown up as Christians.  She is the fourth of four sisters and has never liked being the baby of the family.  She longs for independence to show she can take care of herself.  She makes some poor choices in her home town in Maine, and thinks that she can start a brand new life in Cripple Creek with her sisters.  When she arrives in Cripple Creek, she meets the deputy sheriff, Carter Alwyn.  They both are attracted to each other, but both are not wanting more than friendship.  Vivian doesn’t think she is worthy of anything more, and Carter doesn’t want to drag a woman into the life of a lawman.
Vivian tries to find a job, but is rejected time and time again.  She is desperate for a paying job, and makes another poor choice.  This job leads her to encounter some criminals who have been robbing banks and trains in the area.  What happens to make Vivian a murder suspect?  Can anyone ever forgive her?  Her desperate situation causes her to turn back to God for help, and makes her realize her true feelings for Carter run much deeper than friendship.  Carter is trying to catch the thieves and bring them to justice.  He also realizes how much he wants a wife to share his life.  Does Vivian feel the same?
Once Carter learns the truth about her past, will he still have feelings for her?  Will he be disgusted with her?  The story shows the path of forgiveness, mercy, and compassion of God.  It also shows the love that is shared by fellow Christians, and their mercy and willingness not to pass judgment.  This is the third book in the series “The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek.”  The story is easy to read and you’ll be finished before you know it!
My rating for this book is 3.5 stars.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Praying God's Word for your Husband


Title:  Praying God’s Word for your Husband
Author:  Kathi Lipp
Year:  2012
Pages:  208
Publisher:  Revell
Note:  I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter @lcjohnson1988

                Prayer.  You may be thinking not another book on prayer!  Then again you may be thinking,” I have been praying for my husband and it didn’t change a thing”.  Perhaps it changed you or your husband.  You might think you don’t need another book telling you “how to” when you struggle just get through the day liking him let alone loving him.  Maybe you’re like me in that you feel some guilt because what “should” be done is not what you are doing.  Don’t go just yet.  Read on and see if you receive encouragement from the Word of God to help direct your prayer time.  After all, it isn’t about “should have” or “could have” or even “would have”.  It is all about conversing with God in a deeper way than just a quick prayer before you lose your temper, although those don’t hurt either.
                One of the lessons we ladies forget is that we aren’t responsible to change our husbands, wouldn’t you agree?  Oh, I am not saying we don’t want to, but what I am saying is God doesn’t hold us responsible to change them, but to just be willing to allow Him to change us.  Now perhaps a thought just flashed in your mind that went something like this:  “Why am I always the one who has to change?  Why not pick on him for a change God?”  Ever feel that way?  I have and I struggle sometimes with it too.  However, God hasn’t made us to be “mothers” to our husbands.  What He has made us to be are helpmates.  God did say it wasn’t good for man to be alone, which it isn’t unless He calls you to a life without a mate.  Then, it is a different ball game altogether.
                One of the author’s thoughts on page 20 I found quite thought provoking.  Maybe it may help you too.  “God is not looking for us to impress him with our prayers, but he does want us to be open to letting him impress our hearts.”  Well, what do think about that statement?  Maybe we don’t pray because we can’t seem to get past the many ways we think we “ought” to do something.  Yet God in His infinite wisdom gave us His Word that we can use as a guide for when we pray to Him.  There are many ways to use this guide, which is full of Scripture and prayers for our use in our time with the Lord.  The author suggests many ways to use the guide such as in a small group setting or with another friend.  However you choose to use it, the main thing is being consistent in praying for your husband.  Prayer can sometimes be a threatening activity in a room of people or even with one friend.  Why is that? 
  We women for the most part love to talk; some are more extroverted than others.  When it comes to prayer though, we tend to hear what others are saying and compare ourselves, thinking we don’t “measure up”.  Maybe it is threatening because it deals with the heart and we prefer to keep people on the outside because we think once they see the inside they will bolt.  Perhaps some of you have had your heart broken by that very action, either you felt judged or were judged or you lost a person’s respect once they saw the “real you”.  In either case, while it is risky to share your deepest heart with some person, don’t keep you to you.  God has a wonderful way of bringing the right person into your life to share Himself with you in that friendship and vice versa.  Allow God to help you get past the “front porch” of your heart so you can experience the inner Presence in the deepest places of your heart.
Rating for this guide is 5 stars.