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Homesick for Not Yet

Do you ever try new things and think that you're going to love them but then, it turns out that it actually wasn't what you were looking for? It always seems to happen when I have too much cash on hand and I can afford to spend a little to see if something new will help scratch the itch.

I think about that itch every now and then, that one that says life is good, but there's something missing. As I've got older it seems to be hitting more and more often. It's historically been called a midlife crisis but recently I remembered its true name, homesickness.

As Ambassadors for Christ, we live in this world, but it's not our home. It's not where we belong, it's a place where we get to represent our King and try our best to represent our homeland well. But sometimes we start to think that we can make this place a little more like our homeland if we just had a little more or that special someone or if I could change the way that I look or even feel.

Those thin…
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The Heartwood Crown by Matt Mikalatos

The Heartwood Crown is the second book in the Sunlit Lands Series by Matt Mikalatos. But don't worry if you haven't read the first book, The Crescent Stone. There's enough back story in this one for you not to be completely lost, but seriously, the first one is so good, you should plan on reading it first.

The story of The Heartwood Crown picks up a short time after The Crescent Stone ends. Many of the characters have settled into various parts of their life. Madeline, Shula and Yenil are back on earth, trying to live as normal a life as possible but the Sunlit Lands and their struggles from there keep creeping back in. After a visit from an unusual guest, Madeline knows that she has to return.

What she didn't know were the difficulties that her friends Jason and Darius had been facing in the days after the attack on the Elenil people that control the magic of the Sunlit Lands. The end of magic as the people of the land know it is at hand and Madeline must decide if s…

Mindy Dog

I know that it’s been over a month now. I feel like I shouldn’t find myself randomly crying as I vacuum the living room or as I wake up in the morning but I still do. It doesn’t seem like quite enough to say that she was a good dog. She became so much more than that and I don’t know if I recognized it until she was gone. 
We moved into our home in the summer before our daughter’s tenth birthday. She had asked for a dog ever since she could string together more than three words. We were habitual renters, we could play off the request on our landlords and say they wouldn’t allow it. But once we had our own place, the time came to make good on her request. We looked at several different dogs, but it was clear that Mindy was the right one for use. She was older but that also meant that she was calmer and content to hang out in the house and just be. She didn’t play, unless you called yelling at the cat most evenings play, but she happily took pets and occasionally, she would run in the bac…

Just. You. Wait. by Tricia Lott Williford

Sometimes you read a book and you just aren't quite sure what to share about it. Just. You. Wait. by Tricia Lott Williford is one of those books for me. This book can help you work through some stuff that you've been dealing with which is kind of amazing considering it's more of a memoir than a self-help book. Most every chapter is a story of waiting and what has or hasn't happened in the midst of that waiting. There are three stages of waiting that are explored in this book: longing, becoming, and awakening. Overall, Williford does an excellent job of exploring these three stages all while pointing to the One that is in the midst of our waiting and is the answer to our desires. 
Just. You. Wait. shares stories of waiting that range from fishing, to the DMV, to marriage, to deliverance from addiction. The reason why these stories all work is because she is deeply invested in each of the stories that she shares about even when they aren't her personal story. One of…

The Bottom of the Pool by Andy Andrews

Y'all know that I'm a big Andy Andrews fan, so I was very excited to read his latest, The Bottom of the Pool. The best way that I can describe this book is like sitting down with your friend and they remind you how it is. It's not like Andy is hawking some secret voodoo send me $5 and you'll get $5000 in the mail next week black magic. He's sharing the truth. And the truth is that if you're dealing with an obstacle in your life, there's a big possibility that you're thinking about it all wrong.

This relatively quick read is jam-packed full of good stuff. There are interesting stories about historical figures but the main story that runs throughout the book is one of a childhood friend. Andy's friend did something extraordinary one summer afternoon that illustrates how we can break out of cycles hold us back from achieving what we are created to do. Without telling you exactly what Andy has to share in this book, it might feel like it's some mag…

Parenting Beyond the Rules by Connie Albers

Have you ever noticed that there are a ton of parenting books for infants and very few for teenagers? I've always found that a little odd, even more so as I became a parent of a teen because the truth is that it is so much more difficult to navigate the teen relationship than it is the infant one. I'm so thankful that Connie Albers took the time and energy to create this book, Parenting Beyond the Rules.
She does a great job of encouraging and directing parents of teens with this book. Since she's navigated that territory before, it's almost like sitting down with a friend that has been there done that. She encourages and challenges. The overarching theme of this work is to listen and to remember that in just a few short years, these young people that share a roof with us will be on their own and making decisions for themselves. If we just make all the decisions for them through the use and implementation of rules, how does that benefit them in the long run? I should …

Placemaker by Christie Purifoy

When I first saw the title, Placemaker, I had to look up what the word means. I was pleased to discover that it means exactly what it says, one who makes places for others and themselves.

In Placemaker, Purifoy goes through her homes throughout the years and connects them with not only the trees that grew there but how those trees relate to what God taught her in the midst of that placemaking. She covers a wide range of theological issues with ease through the overarching symbol of trees. But maybe the best part is something she discovers and brings home in the midst of her sadness.

In the chapter "Rainbow Eucalyptus and Roses," she talks about Hawaii and their amazing rainbow eucalyptus trees. She also talks about the loss of her brother in law. Within that trip to Hawaii, she shares a conversation that she has with an old surfer and how she sees that he encounters the world through waves the same as she does through trees and gardens. She shares how each of us has that th…