Sunday, June 14, 2015

Book Review: Once Upon a Summertime

Anyone who knows me knows that I have had a love of reading since I first learned how to read. I think that my mom really fostered this love by taking my brothers and I to the county library regularly. I remember walking into the giant building and heading immediately to the left into the kids section. Once there I was in heaven because I could look for hours at the titles of books lined up in rows. I would go back and forth with books trying to decide which one to read. As an adult I still LOVE going to the library. I still spend much time in deliberation over which book to check out. I want to read a story that will be just right. I found that I got older and began to make my own money became a book collector. Not fancy collectible books but any book that I found intriguing. I loved owning my own library. A few years ago I experienced a drastic decrease in income so my days of book buying were over. I was so excited to discover that my love of books and reading didn't have to end. That is when I signed up to be a book reviewer for Baker Publishing Group. The following review is for a recent fictional book that I read for review.


Once Upon a Summertime by Melody Carlson was an enjoyable book to read. I initially chose it because of the setting and the fact that Melody chose to have the main character be a single career woman. As a single woman, I appreciated the light-heartedness that she brought to this book. This book was centered around the life of a young woman named Anna. She has recently finished college and goes to her hometown to work at the Value Lodge as a manager. While working there she encounters struggles as she attempts to bring productivity to her employment. This book was an easy to read novel with characters that were developed. I felt that the book was a bit slow in the beginning but became more interesting as the story developed. I felt like I could relate with Anna as a career woman trying to find her way in the world after completing her college education and entering the workforce. What I liked about this story is that Anna takes a chance and makes a big change in her life by moving to NYC to attempt to gain new employment in her dream profession. One thing that I loved about this story is the inclusion of Anna's friend Marley. Her job as a flight attendant based out of NYC lends excitement to the story. I wish there would've been more development in this direction of the story. The romance between Anna and Sean was sweet although a bit unrealistic. Overall, I conclude that this was an enjoyable, light-hearted summer read!

*I was provided a copy of this book for my honest review*

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thoughts, Ramblings, and Things that I Like


I am nearing 40.
I am not sure where I fit in this life.
I am lonely much of the time.
I am so socially inept.
I am loved by the God who created me and purposed this life for me.
I am chosen and beloved.
I am not an afterthought or a nuissance.
I am valuable.
I am beautiful.
I am thoughtful.
I am defensive.
I am an aunt to 4 amazing little people.
I get to see two of my little people often.
I don't get to see the other two enough.
I am smart.
I am resourceful.
I am afraid.
I am uncomfortable.
I am insecure.
I am longing for something.
I am running from something else.
I am saddened by the break down of family.
I am mourning the loss of my dreams.
I am dreaming new dreams.
I am wandering wherever the wind takes me.
I am trying to follow the Lord.
I am a reader.
I am a writer.
I am a terrible eater.
I am a sinner.
I am forgiven.
I am calmed and soothed by music.
I am a pesimist.
I am an introvert.
I work in a world of extroverts.
I love the ocean.
I love the mountains.
I love California.
I want to see a new place.


So....this quickly approaching birthday marks my entry into a new decade. 40. Wow! When did that happen? So much life. So much love. So much pain. So much to see and hear and taste and touch and smell. All these years and where are they all pointing to? To that final moment when I breathe my last and see the face of Jesus. The face of the one that I will have spent a lifetime longing to see. The face of the ONE who is love, who gives love, who loves without condition. I long for that day....yet I dread that day.
I have been struggling lately with some health issues (darn girl problems) and these issues are ones that are so intimate and personal that I am somewhat overwhelmed with the immensity of them. They probably are not all that immense but in my mind and as they affect my life, they are huge. Who do I talk to about them? There isn't a Mr. Bethany. There isn't a little Bethany. There isn't a sister Bethany. There isn't even a BFF Bethany. There is just me....Bethany. At least in the physical and mortal sense.
I know what my mentor would say. "Tell Jesus" and I do....but Jesus is not sitting here with me sipping a Starbucks or handing me a tissue or putting his hand on my back and patting away my fears. He is not physically in the room when I am laying on a table being poked and prodded. He is not sitting in the chair when the doctor delivers the news that further tests are needed and beneficial. He is here but it feels like he is not here.

Kara Tippetts just died. I could say that Kara just went to be with the Lord and she did and I mean her memory no disrespect. She was a beautiful woman with an enormous heart. She was a woman who loved Jesus with every fading breath. And now her earthly breath has ceased. Her husband Jason is left behind as are her four adorable children. She faced the daunting prospect of disease and ill health. She was poked and prodded. She sat on a doctors table and was given horrible news. I am not on the same page as Kara. I have not received a cancer diagnosis. I have not received a diagnosis at all but the fear that haunts is that I will. That I could. We all could at some point in life.
I don't want to be a pesimist. I want to be an optimist. But I also want to be a realist. No Pollyanna here to distract me from the reality of life. Oh but there are times when being Pollyanna is so enticing. Let's just not deal with the reality, lets just look at the good in everything. Ughhhh......why is it so hard. On one hand we are told to be optimistic, to count our gifts, to be grateful and thankful and mindful of the Lord working on our behalf. Then we are also told to be real and honest and open and vulnerable.
When I am then I am told that its a pity what is it? Be open and honest with the measure of pessimism that will naturally occur for this melancholy person or close my eyes to the hurt and pain and fear?
I don't know.

Things that I Like

I like cats.
I like children.
I like hot chocolate.
I like socks.
I like the colors blue, black and gray.
I like reading.
I like writing.
I like country music.
I like christian music.
I like rock music.
I like dancing.
I like singing.
I like the ocean.
I like snow.
I like flowers.
I like chai tea lattes.
I like bagels.
I like talking with others.
I like sweet smelling candles.
I like good curly hair product.
I like my job.
I like my car.
I like pajamas.
I like slippers.
I like cotton lingerie.
I like movies from the 80's and 90's.
I like perfume.
I like all things English.
I like waking up early.
I like going to bed early.
I like the spring and fall.
I like Christmas.
I like sweet memories.