Monthly Archives: July 2017

Shattered by Kailee Diaz

Shattered

We live where the weeds pop from the field grass at the start of each spring. Much to my southern husband’s chagrin, those aggressive little plants don’t stop their onslaught for the next three months of summer. He claims, he’s never seen anything like it, and I believe him because—well, in the southern heat of Georgia, not much grows past a certain point of the year.

Poor transplanted man of mine…

Ironically, that’s not the only thing growing in these parts, from the corn that’s about “yea high” (I’m motioning to my shoulders just in case you can’t see), to the kids who keep inching taller, our place is a well-spring of life. And with that, comes the busyness of lawn mowing season, the wild yelps of toddlers ready to enter the summer sun, and a little more chaos then the usual season.

Why just the other day, the littles knocked a lamp from its side table while playing in the house. They had been captive for quite some time and probably needed the sun to free their energy-filled bodies from the small indoor space. But whatever the reason, these poor littles knocked that lamp to the ground, and it shattered—in the blink of an eye.

Glass lay strewn across the floor, a wobbly, unfixable lamp resting by its side.

Sometimes life happens in an instant. Doesn’t it?

It’s those inexplicable moments, where we sit back and can hardly catch our breath. The glass is shattered at our feet, and we’re left with the pieces of a life that once was…

Maybe for you, it’s a life-altering diagnosis, a barren womb, an unattainable marriage, a lost child, and you’re sitting back grasping for any wholesome piece left behind.

You, my dear sweet friend, to you I say, you’re not alone.

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Isaiah 53:3

How is it, in our deepest desperations we sometimes feel the most solitude?

Whatever the quiet aching of your heart, there is a man who is acquainted with your grief, both in a human way of understanding and in the capacity and sovereignty of an all-knowing God. This man, this Jesus, knows what you’re experiencing. Better yet, He’s not indifferent to it, my friend.

As a child, I grew up with a grandfather diagnosed with Parkinson’s. For those of you not aware, Parkinson’s is a crippling disease. It attacks the brain and nervous system, so that its victim can’t control their muscle movements.

My grandfather had to leave his pastorate far too soon. He loved ministry and people in a way that for all my love of words, I can’t express in written form. One of the first Parkinson’s patients to have electrodes placed inside his brain to help control the muscle spasms, he spent years plagued by a disease which had no cure.

And yet, even through suffering, He lived a life of joy. He couldn’t physically participate in our outdoor excursions, but he often pulled the board games from the shelf, challenging us to a chess match or taking the least opportune moment to prepare a bowl of ice cream, just because…

Looking back, I know these moments weren’t for show. His joy welled from inside of him. He spent many quiet hours in a back study, diving into God’s Word, praying, leaning.

I hope to never experience what he went through, but if God so chooses me, I pray my heart would set into Him like my grandfather’s. My God is a man of sorrows and grief. He is acquainted with my world, even in its shattering.

And that, my dear sweet friends, can carry a body through life.

Kailee’s a Christian historical-romance novelist and member of ACFW. She’s the daughter of a preacher, with generations of pastors filling her ancestry. A former middle school writing teacher, Kailee now writes full-time. She’s happily married to a wonderful husband, and together they’re expecting their first child in August. While she lives in America’s heartland, amongst cornfields and open skies, her passion for travel and love of history drive her stories.
Through fiction and in life, Kailee seeks to leave a legacy for future tales to be told. She hopes you’ll join her in the wonderment of God’s faithfulness to you and those who follow in your footsteps.
If you’d like to learn more, please visit www.kaileediaz.com or check her out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorkaileediaz/

 

 

Christian Fiction?

Summer reading for our family.

Christian Fiction? If you’re like I was, the first time I heard this term I thought: I don’t want to read about people during Biblical times doing good all the time. What fun would that be? But I was so wrong.

Fiction written for the Christian market is so much more than you have ever imagined. Yes, there are authors who write during Biblical times, and from what I hear, those books are amazing. If you are interested in that, Francine Rivers has a highly-acclaimed series. But there are books written in every genre you can imagine: Suspense, Contemporary Women’s, Speculative, Historical, Young Adult, Middle grades, Historic Romance, and my current genre Contemporary Romance. A librarian gave me my first Christian Fiction book, and I read the first 100 pages without stopping, staying up well past midnight. What I’m saying is these books are page turners.

So why does it matter if you’re reading books written with a Biblical worldview? Well, if you’re not a Christian it doesn’t matter, but for those of you who are following Jesus, I believe all our entertainment choices influence our walk with Christ. I’m not suggesting everything you read, watch, or listen to needs to have a Gospel message, but it is important to avoid things that go against the Bible’s teachings and glorify sin. What that means to you is a personal choice but know even if you take the book jacket off to disguise what you’re reading to the world, God still knows. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

But what about the entertainment value . . . the quality of the writing? I will tell you from my experience, it is excellent. And there are so many choices, you will never run out. You may even recognize some of the authors. The American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) has a search engine for finding just the right book for you. Check it out. https://www.fictionfinder.com/   Also, from time to time, my daughter, my sons (when I can convince them), my husband, and I will be posting reviews of books we have enjoyed on this site. We are of diverse ages and preferences, so that should also be a jumping off point.

But for now, check out the authors and books I have listed below. Please leave a comment with your favorite books or authors. If you want a recommendation, I will do my best.

One last thing for those of you with tweens and teens, implore you to check their books, even the ones assigned for school. For reasons I can’t begin to imagine, schools aren’t assigning the classics as much anymore, and the books chosen may have themes that you don’t want your children exposed to without your knowledge. I’m not suggesting banning books but take the time to be aware of what your kids are reading. I’m just as guilty as the next mom of being “too busy” to vet every book my kids read, so I love having Christian authors to turn to. Obviously, I would be sure those are appropriate also. It is impossible to write about real adults without exploring real adult problems and temptations. If you have questions, please ask.

Okay, I’m off my soap box. Here’s the list:

My List: (Mostly Contemporary or Historic Romance or Straight Contemporary) These are in no particular order. Books I recently read will be at the beginning because I am now over 40 and the memory is going. The nice thing about these books is your teen can read most of them too.

  • The One True Love of Alice-Ann; Things Left Unspoken – Eva Marie Everson
  • Still Waters – Lindsey Brackett (coming in September, set on Edisto Island, SC)
  • The Thorn Bearer – Pepper Basham
  • The Lost Heiress – Roseanna White
  • The Memory of You – Catherine West
  • Her Lakeside Family – Lenora Worth
  • Then Came You – Becky Wade
  • The Christmas Family – Linda Goodnight
  • Safe in a Stranger’s Heart – Angel Moore
  • Lighthouse – Eugenia Price
  • When Crickets Cry; The Mountain Between Us; Unwritten – Charles Martin (Carlton has read most of Mr. Martin’s books and recommends them all.)
  • Just Between You and Me – Jenny B. Jones
  • The Wedding Shop – Rachel Hauck
  • Redeeming Love; Her Daughter’s Dream; Her Mother’s Hope; The Scarlet Thread – Francine Rivers (these are historic but not the Biblical times books I mentioned above)

Young Adult/ Libby’s List (Either Libby or I have read these)

  • There You’ll Find Me; So Not Happening; In Between – Jenny B. Jones
  • Czechmate; Bolivia Knight – Felicia Bridges
  • Sunset Beach; Christy Miller Series – Robin Jones Gunn
  • The Healer’s Apprentice; The Merchant’s Daughter; Fairest of Them All – Melanie Dickerson

Historic (Carlton read the first two and recommends them)

  • The Shiloh Trilogy – Karl A. Bacon

Middle/Elementary Grades (These are books the boys have read and really enjoyed)

  • The Kingdom Series – Chuck Black
  • The Prince Warrior Series – Priscilla Shirer
  • How to Almost Ruin Your Summer – Taryn Souders
  • Dead Possums are Fair Game – Taryn Souders

 

 

© Leslie DeVooght 2017