LIFE: Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

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It’s always a little exciting when someone you know writes a book AND gets it published. A longtime friend of mine, Steve Lange, is that person. I was given the amazing privilege of getting to read his novel, Breathing Room, even before it was released. Ultimately, when the Breathing Room Three-Part E-book Series was released on Amazon Kindle last year, all three became #1 bestsellers!

Breathing Room follows Jack and Patricia Christopher and their six sons over the course of two decades. It is the tale of a family searching for a haven that will provide relief from the seemingly unending struggles that oppress them. Intermixed with the tragedies, their story is woven together with moments of humor and tenderness. This novel is loosely based on the author’s own experiences growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

By the second chapter I was hooked and found myself in a perpetual state of wondering what would happen next. This book is real and raw and the experience of reading it leaves you feeling sympathetic toward each and every character. Whereas most stories tend to have a clear distinction between those who are “good” and those who are “evil,” Breathing Room portrays a family of flawed, yet utterly human individuals that the reader easily identifies with. I came to care for the Christopher family as I joined them in their quest for a place to breathe, an end to the tragedies that seemed to wash over them with the predictability of the ocean tides.

There are certain books that, as you read them, you can envision the film version. Breathing Room is one of those books, not an action packed blockbuster, but a slow moving, family drama that draws you in and leaves you with a sense of loss when it is over.

At times while I was reading Breathing Room I gasped as I remembered my own eleven year ordeal searching for a place to breathe, waiting for the feeling of imminent disaster to pass. I recall experiencing something akin to a feeling of relief when disaster did occur because the stress of wondering when it would come was finally over. For anyone who has experienced that longing for a place of shelter from the storms raging around them, or who has ever hoped for something more than limping cautiously through every day, Breathing Room is for you.

Breathing Room reminds us even in our darkest moments, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that  Hope is not dead.

Hope is never dead.

Breathing Room is releasing today (June 20, 2015) in print. I hope you will take a moment to explore whether Breathing Room is a book you might enjoy. Here are all the Breathing Room links you will ever need.

Links to Breathing Room the Book/Ebook

Facebook Page

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Email: Stevenlangebooks@gmail.com

Mailing Address: PO Box 3254 Harvey Cedars NJ, 08008

I was in no way, shape or form compensated for this review. All opinions are most assuredly my own. 🙂

This post was originally posted in April 2014. I have updated it with the news of the release of the print book.

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What I Found At The End

I have a confession to make. For years I avoided reading the Psalms in my personal devotion time. I think that somewhere in my prideful heart I assumed that the Psalms were for people who couldn’t handle the rest of the Bible. In my mind they had become a kind of “Bible Lite.”

This attitude was full of pride, obviously, and since I’m confessing this to you, you’ve probably guessed that at some point I must have had a change of heart – and you’d be right. It wasn’t many years ago that I reached the end of myself.

Have you been there? The uttermost, absolute end of yourself?

While I stood there at the end–the end of me, the end of me knowing where my life was heading, what my purpose was, what to do and not to do, say and not to say, it was there, in that place of utter desperation and brokenness that I discovered The Psalms.

Oh where had they been all my life? How could I have possibly disdained them? Why did I never devour them before? What a prideful fool I had been.

So there at the end I opened the psalms and I read.

I read one after another and each spoke volumes to my shattered heart. When my prayers had dried and my pain was too deep to find the words to speak I read the Psalms aloud to God, my Savior. The Psalms themselves became my very own words spoken from my heart and through my tears. They were my cries for help. They were my cries of pain. They were my cries of confession. And at last, they were my cries of Hope.

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It saddens me that I had to reach the end of myself to discover the beauty and significance of the Psalms. I love the entire Word of God and every verse is precious to me, but no matter what else I read each day in the Word, I always first open to the Psalms.

If you have not yet discovered the joy of reading the Psalms or if your heart is hard, or broken or maybe you’ve run out of words to cry out to God, there is hope. It’s not too late. I encourage you to take the Bible in your hands, open up to Psalm 1 and start reading.

Read day after day until you reach the last one, and when the final verse of Psalm 150 is read, flip back and begin again.

Copyright © Rebecca Onkar, Moms of Faith®, All Rights Reserved

This post was originally written for Moms of Faith®

The Story Behind Makes the Song So Good

It’s no secret that I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, a poem written during the Civil War by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is my favorite Christmas carol.

The history and background of the poem/song can be found all over the internet, but there is a nice description here.

In light of current events and the climate in the US, and around the world today, the words to this poem still resonate strongly.


I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!


“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,…”

True words written by a man who knew true sorrow.Henry_Wadsworth_Longfellow,_photographed_by_Julia_Margaret_Cameron_in_1868

I offer you words of HOPE this Christmas.

God is not dead.

Because I Remember

I hope because I remember.

I didn’t want to walk through the fire. To stay there for months and years on end. But the fire was where I found God.

I didn’t want to be bound. To kneel before God, the Almighty Judge, and plead for deliverance day after day. But in my bondage I found sight and saw Him clearly.

I didn’t want to be pitied. To be in need of charity and assistance. To have my life scrutinized and examined. In my pitiable state I found grace and learned of its power.

I have not forgotten and because I remember, I hope.

And those who have hope, survive.

romans 5

Today’s post was inspired by:

Five-Minute-Friday-4Five Minute Friday, Link up here. 

TuesdayTuesday at Ten, Link up here.

A Smooth Sea Never Made a…

Stormy-Seas-A-Smooth-Sea-Never-Made-a-Skilled-Sailor

A sailor. A woman. A human being.

The truth is – I like quiet seas. But a smooth sea will only make me a mediocre sailor in this journey of life. The storms and rough patches of my past have taught me much and I cannot regret them.

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

Find the complete article here: Stormy Seas

 

Find me writing twice a week over at Moms of Faith.

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I cried this week…

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I was a missionary for 12 years. I vividly remember the emotions my friend A.L.F. is describing in her post, “I cried this week…” I was in a position, as she is, to lead hundreds, sometimes thousands – it is a lonely place up there all alone and thoughts of throwing in the towel are never far from your mind. After over a decade of that life, no wonder I tend to write humor…

A Living Flame

I cried this week. I almost never cry. I am not one who prides myself on not being a crier but I just don’t respond to emotion often by crying. Life has been hard though. I have cried more in these first months of 2014 then I have in years. It is not brought on by shallow, petty or even circumstantial things but by deep hurt. Mostly the hurt of being misunderstood.

I am thankful for the honor and position that God has given me. It has allowed me to make a great impact in my sphere in the world I live in. Being in a place of position does have great disadvantages. Often people in ministry are placed on a pedestal. It is not a pedestal that we have asked to be placed on. It is often a pedestal of honor. However when you are on a pedestal you…

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This is Who I Am

I’ve never been in love with my “About” page and actually changing it has been on my to-do list for a some time. This post will be edited to become the New, Improved ABOUT Page.

This is who I am.

mom 1I am a Mother. From my earliest childhood memories all I really wanted to be was a Mom. Four days after my first wedding anniversary that is exactly what I became. Four little girls call me “Mommy,” and I can’t imagine life any other way, and hey, without them, what would I have to blog about?

I am a Treasure Hunter. I have loved adventure since before I can remember. One fateful day on a 4th grade field trip to UPenn’s Art & Archaeology Museum I decided that I would become an Archaeologist when I grew up. Twelve years later on a rainy day in May I held a degree in Classical & Near Eastern Archaeology. By that point, I had come to realize that I loved people more than I loved dead civilizations and I became a missionary instead. Archaeology did, however, take me all over the world.camel I’ve traveled by plane, ship, boat, bus, taxi and camel-drawn cart and experienced enough adventure for two lifetimes. These days I don’t venture too far from home but I will always be a Treasure Hunter, that illusive beach shell and the local yard sale treasures are always waiting to be discovered. And once in a while, in a magical moment of inspiration, I even find treasure in a string of words.

I am a Go Getter. A Make-it-Happen-er. How many 9 year old’s decide their college major and actually stick with it? Yeah, that’s me. If I set my mind to it, I make it happen.

I am a Wanna-be Survivor Contestant. It’s not about the money. It’s never about the money. It’s about surviving.  Sadly, I fear I would have hygiene related issues – would they let me bring a small mirror and tweezers along? Reality show contestant or not –

I am a Survivor. That may be a tale for another day.

This is who I am. I am all these things and more.

I am one who writes.  I write with no agenda. I write simply, and for no other reason than I am compelled to write. I write because I am compelled. I write with the hope that something I have written would cause my Reader to depart from this silly little blog with a smile on their face. I write to touch a chord in a Reader’s heart and to give hope to those who have little or none. I write to bring light to the dark places.

I am one who writes because my life has already been written by the Hand of the Creator and I hope that somewhere in the midst of these feeble written (often ridiculous) words, He would be visible to those with eyes to see.

I have no goal or prize in sight, I write simply to write and display to the world my Clothing of Joy.

psalm 66

This is who I am.

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Hate to Waste

I hate to waste stuff. I held a yard sale earlier today and I’m exhausted, but I’m so glad to see the stuff go. It’s about more than just the money. In fact, much of what I had I gave away for free. Take and use.

Yard Sale Humor

Yard Sale Humor

I feel the same way about wasting my past and present experiences, good and bad. Especially bad. There is something so rewarding and REDEEMING about allowing God to use something awful in our past (even present) to bring hope and healing to another human being. I love that.

Let-Nothing-Be-Wasted

My latest article for Moms of Faith talks about just this very subject. Read it here.

I write for Moms of Faith twice a Week. Find me there every Wednesday and Saturday. 🙂