Rest – Part 1

For the last several years, it has been a popular thing to do to pray towards the end of the year and ask God to give you a “word” for the upcoming year. I’ve done that in the past – I even bought a book one year that was supposed to help me hear the word God was giving me. At the end of 2019, I decided I would not ask God to give me a word because I never seemed to connect with that word after January. Kind of like those resolutions we make and don’t stick with them much past January, if that long. (And yes, I do realize we are almost half-way through February, but bear with me here!)

Early in January, I was scrolling through FaceBook and saw a link where I could click and receive a “word” for the year. (I don’t advise you to click on those types of links – I read recently that scammers and hackers can get all kinds of information on you just by you clicking that type of link.)

Anyway, I clicked and my word popped up. The word was “rest.” And I thought to myself, “How very appropriate.” Because I was tired. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, and every other way imaginable, tired. Drained. Beyond exhaustion.

Now, since this wasn’t a spiritual site that I clicked through, I can’t say this word was from God. And yet, I can imagine had I asked him for a word, it would have been rest.

So what does the word rest mean? Merriam-Webster tells us that rest is defined as “a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities”; “freedom from activity or labor”; “a state of motionlessness or inactivity”; “peace of mind or spirit.”

I have thought, and continue to think about what this rest looks like for me. Certainly, it means better sleep, as I rarely sleep a full night. Some nights I only sleep two or three hours. Other nights I might sleep four or five. But since I’ve started pondering about rest, I have had occasional nights of sleeping eight, nine, and even ten hours on one occasion. What a difference a good night’s sleep will make! But I’ve also learned that if I need a nap, I’ll take a nap in the afternoon. Just enough to refresh me for the rest of the afternoon/evening.

But the important thing is what does rest look like to God? Over the next several posts, I will look at that and share with you my thoughts.

Please feel free to leave your comments and share with me and others how you obtain rest.


Book Review: If You Believe by JoAnn Durgin

If You Believe is JoAnn Durgin’s latest romance. It lives up to all of her earlier writings in that she has written lovable characters in both Brendan Williams, firefighter and paramedic, and Edlynne, (Edie) Harris. Brendan is the sole living relative of his grandmother, “Mimi” who is also a true delight.

Ms. Durgin’s secondary characters also play an important role in this story. And the description of Ashville, NC makes one want to add that city to their vacation destinations.

Equally as important, is the Christian witness of this story. Ms. Durgin does an excellent job of weaving aspects of Christianity into all of her books without being overbearing or preachy.

I would give this book a 10 out of 10 and would recommend it to everyone!


Book Review: “In Her Shoes – Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer”

This week, it has been my honor to have Joanie Shawhan, author of
In Her Shoes – Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer as my guest. If you missed my two-part interview, go back to Monday and Wednesday’s blogs to get to know Joanie. Today, I’m posting my review of her book. If you’ve not already been convinced to buy a copy, I hope my review with be the thing that convinces you!

All of us have been affected by cancer. Either a friend, a co-worker or a family member has been diagnosed with the “dreaded C.” And we have watched them fight, and hopefully, prayerfully, win the battle. Or perhaps you have been the one to hear the diagnosis. Breast cancer. Ovarian cancer. Leukemia. Glioblastoma. The list goes on. You find yourself in the midst of the battle, wondering what hit you and when the next blow is coming.

Joanie Shawhan, author of “In Her Shoes – Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer” knows of what she writes. Joanie is a nurse with a background in oncology, but she was stunned when she received the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Joanie’s book is about her journey, but it is not a “woe is me” type of book. She doesn’t gloss over what she went through. Cancer is not a scenic ride through a beautiful countryside. She does, however, include moments of grace, of God’s sweet presence, of the blessings of family and friends. At the end of each chapter, she writes a simple, yet profound, prayer, seeking God’s help and thanking him for his presence.

Included in this book are the stories of eleven other women who received various cancer diagnoses. Cancer does not treat people equally, as these stories will show, but it can be beat, as Joanie’s and these eleven women’s stories also prove.

Finally, Joanie wrote “Helpful Hints”- suggestions on how to deal with the various side-effects and other aspects of the battle.

Even the cover of this book is impressive. Strappy teal, high-heeled sandals against a purple background. Teal is the color that represents ovarian cancer. And the shoes?? Dancing shoes, of course.

As a writer, I should have the words to convey to you how moved I was by this book, by the bravery of Joanie and the other women, by their faith, their courage, and their tenacity. All I can say to you is that “In Her Shoes – Dancing in Shadow of Cancer” is so inspirational that I believe everyone who has cancer or who knows someone who has cancer should have a copy of this book. Every cancer unit of every hospital in America should have a copy of this book in each of the patient’s rooms. It is that good.