December Book Review

His Song ~ by Brittany Hudson- Paladino

Warning! If you are a grammar snob, this book admittedly, has not been edited. If you truly can’t get past this, you may want to leave this one on the electronic shelf until it has been re-worked; I heard this is in the process, so maybe you will not have to wait long. As for me, I am always ready to delve into a story that someone needs to tell before their soul bleeds dry.

This review feels a little different because I had the pleasure of hearing the author speak at a women’s retreat in upstate NY on a beautiful October weekend. If you have ever been to the northeast when the leaves are changing, you can imagine the delight for the eye, at the colors popping off the trees and reflecting from the water of the lake close to where we stayed. My surroundings were captivating and having Britt as the speaker just made the weekend even more memorable. My journal got a workout and is bursting with teachings, book quotes, bible verses, and surprising realizations I will continue to reference in the future to feed my soul.  

Since our retreat was intimate, about 45 women, I had the opportunity to have real conversations with Britt and get to know her on a more personal level, not just from her teaching. This was a great surprise for this writer! Not only was she true to what she was teaching, she took the time to listen to my dream and encourage me, even while she was busy staging her amazing God story for all of us to hear. A true woman of character for those who turned out for the weekend with their own individual expectations. I am sure I was not the only one she took time to listen to and this is one of the reasons, when I heard she wrote a book, I immediately downloaded it when I returned home.

I knew the premise of the book going in because she talked about her story to the group and told us she had written a book. We have all been in an unraveling point in our life, but being able to get past it, recover, and tell the story out loud takes a lot of guts! Through heartache, loss, new love, courage and belief, she recounts the events of what her reality was at the time and how God never takes a break, even when we want to check out and sit down on the bench. I admire her truthful nature as she tells of embarrassing situations and difficult parts of her marriage. Giving the reader an open door to display, a crumbling of sorts, a seemingly intact picture- perfect relationship, home, and career. Okay, let me get to the purpose of this post, His Song.

I was probably three chapters in when I realized each chapter in the book is titled with a song quote. How she came up with the perfect choice for each section she talked about is impressive. We are talking, Peter Gabriel, Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand, Ozzy Osborne and my personal favorite Francesca Batistelli, “Even perfect days can end in rain…” No genre seems to be missed and it feels as if they had been written with Britt’s story in mind. The best part about this is how her words, following all of them and unaccompanied by any music, make it feel as if a soft melody is playing along as I swiped to the next page.

From the beginning of the book it is apparent that the music we will hear within this journey will not always be happy. On more than one occasion I found myself reaching for the tissue box as I envisioned myself in her shoes. It is with intense passion we set hopes and dreams; combining our ideas to another’s in a relationship can, at times, take our breath away. I truly was mesmerized at the honesty and unwavering efforts of how she handled the dance, when marriage seemed to have the other dancing to a different beat. Here we see that broken toes of a partners missed steps, can be healed if each is willing to continue to show up for the waltz. However, this book is not about marriage, but about life itself and it reminded me of how I want to handle the broken guitar strings along the way.

While reading I had the sense I was on the set of a television series, in a good way. I felt as if I were coming back to familiar characters watched over weeks and secretly daydreaming at work about the next episode. Because, in the writing, you feel drawn to the people and locations described throughout. I even found myself wondering what happened to the bad guy. You know you have a real story then! It is well thought out and written for the reader to experience the emotions, tastes, and locations situated within a beautiful narrative. The timeline of this journey is impeccable, and I don’t think she could have done a better job with the outline.

There are many turns in this book and it will in no way leave you bored. Amongst the many are; loss, denial, joy, hope, poor decision making (been there), and the greatest one – obedience and giving it all to God. I never would have guessed from the start of this book where it would end up. In the beginning there is an impossible wound we think cannot be healed, leading to a game of hide and seek, and ultimately teaching us how to hand over our gifts, even the most precious ever received, to the chosen person it truly belongs. I was reminded, even in compliance to what God tells us, there can be pain, but Britt shows us how to move forward and use it to bring hope to other people.

I am sure Britt would agree; all stories God writes are beautiful. Even when we find ourselves leaving Him out of our picture, we are never left out of His picture. We miss it, we settle for less, we make mistakes, and tell stories to justify why we are going against His will. If you have ever found yourself on a dance floor, not quite stepping to the right beat, read this book to see how turning on, His Song, will eventually have you on a channel with the music He has picked just for you.

I downloaded this book from Amazon to my Kindle and look forward to a paper copy when it hits the shelves. You can find Britt on Instagram @brittpaladinospeaks. Oh, I didn’t mention her t-shirt ministry to spread the word of Christ, also on Instagram @ichthus_versewear. And, she knows her bible, like really knows her bible!

By Sue Burnett @run40life2jesus and on Pinterest, run40life2jesus

“Love Does”

Do you know Bob Goff? Well, neither do I, but after reading his book, a key to my house will be left under the flowerpot on my front porch for him to use at anytime. You may be thinking I am crazy, I think it is the least I can do for an author who is brave enough to leave his cell phone number on the last pages of his book for anyone to call. No joke!!

The first impression you get towards the stories Bob tells, are those of your overindulged uncle with his fantastical renditions of his life during the holidays. Did that really happen? The tender manner with how Bob treats people will quickly bring you into his charismatic ways and adventures. The swiftness of wanting more happens almost immediately with his simplistic rendition of his life, even though there is nothing basic about Bob Goff.

Not only is he not telling uncle stories, he is as authentic as they come. He is humble, thankful, and loves like I have never seen or could ever have imagined. Jesus is the center stage in his heart and, I believe, the reason it so easy for him to live the way he does. Can you imagine letting a total stranger use your house for a wedding and continue to say yes, to request upon request from the young groom? I am not sure I will ever be as kind as this in my lifetime! With this said, Bob has given me a new way to look at people and think of how it is to truly love. We can talk about love all day, but if you want to see love in action you need to read this book.

Bob’s voice starts to resound in your everyday life and opens your eyes to the opportunities to help others in a more recognizable way. Your heart softens to the idea of what love looks like; in your office, at your grocery store, while driving, and in your neighborhood. Inspiration has never been written so well. There is no condemnation in the words Bob shares. He isn’t pretending to be someone and he isn’t telling anyone how to live their life, only how to give your life to love. All he had to do was invite Jesus in and let him write something beautiful. Wow!

Bob Goff is a gift to those who are blessed to know him in their everyday lives and also to those who read his book. I probably will never meet Bob, but I am not ruling it out. This book has changed how I think of the expected. So, I will place his book on my shelf with hopes of the unexpected ring of my doorbell…you never know.

For the love of books – Review 1

I love to go to my local library. One of my Pinterest boards is, “Want to Read”, and I will open this up while searching for the next great book. Lisa Bevere, has been on my radar for the past 6 months…or so. I saw a YouTube post of her speaking and I quickly started following her on Instagram. What better way to continue stalking my social media follows, than reading all their books?! So, off the library shelf, scan card, and rush home to get this one started.

When the hubs saw the book on the counter, Fight Like a Girl – The Power of being a woman, he gave me one of those side looks that said, “Are we going into battle?”

I live in a house with the hubs and two teenage boys. The testosterone runs high, and they are all so baffled when my emotions hit high, monthly! It can be confusing on both sides, but we seem to muddle through the differences that encapsulate our happy home. In reading this book I discovered, I didn’t want to just muddle through the differences, I want to celebrate each of our roles.

Lisa wonderfully puts the male and female role into perspective. How we are all wired is a big deal. She explains how to pay attention to these markers for everyone to flourish and grow. She brings us right back to the beginning with Adam and Eve. With poignant intel on the war that was started by the enemy and how it continues today.

The continued question of how women should be viewed and what their importance is, will boost up some of the doubts you may be facing. She does this with purposeful insight to women of the bible, and how God so strategically gave women a strength like no other. With the understanding of this, Lisa gives us the weapons we need to stop the enemy from telling us who we are and what our relationship roles should be.

I love chapter fourteen, Fighting with Influence. What our inheritance looks like, is often not what we have written out in our lives. Especially when today, our roles as women seem to be changing with such ferocity, we often find it hard to hear God’s word. But if we listen and discern carefully, we will be able to bring His wisdom from the lips of a precious woman, as was planned all along.

Ladies I hope you read this book because it will provoke wonderful teaching and deep thought. Men, you may learn a thing or two; when I shared some of the most memorable things with my husband, it gave us time to be in relation with each other.

And, thank you Lisa Bevere for being more than real, but also brave in your ideas.