Monday, March 24, 2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful - Review

The girl with the haunted eyes reentered his life on the other side of a lowering casket, humidity and the shrill song of cicadas tangling together in the South Carolina heat.
                                 ~~A Broken Kind of Beautiful~~
Dear Ivy,

When I first met your twenty four year-old model-self I was intimidated. Your incredible beauty, your tall stature and air of confidence. Men falling all over you; using your beauty to get what you want. You were something I'm not.

Do you remember the first time we met, Ivy? It was in South Carolina at the graveside as the casket of your estranged father was lowered into the ground. I couldn't take my eyes off of you. Your eyes so haunted and full of secret hurts. You glanced my way but then found Davis Knight surrounding his Aunt Marilyn with arms of protection. Ivy, you built a wall of protection around yourself so quickly it made me gasp and take a step back. Even though the bars weren't visible, I could see you were a prisoner* in the thick wall you built. You ran as quickly and unnoticed as you could away from us.

So, it came as shock when you came back to town shortly after the funeral. A town you seemed to want to forget. The town of your father but not your mother. A town who seemed to judge your innocent self because of the affair your dad and mom shared.

To my dismay, you began hanging out with Davis and living with your dead father's wife. I know you share common ground with Davis since he was a former fashion photographer in NY and you're a model. I can see Davis has issues from his past that he keeps hidden; maybe you relate with him on that level. However, something didn't add up when you agreed to live with Marilyn, your step-mother.

Don't get me wrong. Marilyn loves well. She's a mamma figure to most in this town. But, Ivy, I saw her watching you. Love - the unconditional God-kind-of-love - poured out of her soul. Yet, you rejected her over and over again. It hurt me to watch your rejection. Ivy, you are well worth loving even if your dad couldn't even see you through his guilt. It was his guilt, Ivy, not you. Please, let others love you.

I wish I could be here with you as you read this letter. I would take your face ever so gently in my hands and look right into your haunted eyes and say, "You are worthy. You are worthy of our Father God's love. You are worthy of man's love. You are worthy. Feel these words in your heart. Hear them in your mind. Soak in these words deep in your soul. Please don't waste anymore of your life looking for love when it's right here waiting for you to accept it."

Ivy, you will always be beautiful. But, don't let that beauty cloud what God has laid before you. He wants you. You are worthy of His love. Your past mistakes are just waiting to be forgiven. Just ask, Ivy. Just ask.

May you find love - the true Love who knit you together in your mother's womb. He's waiting for you, Ivy, with open, loving arms. Please trust me.

*loosely quoted from novel

**I received an advanced reading copy of A Broken Kind of Beautiful from the publisher, WaterBrook Press. I was asked to give an honest review. Since I had read author Katie Ganshert's other two novels I had high expectations. This book exceeded my expectations. The author's writing is beautiful and the message behind those words are even lovelier. It's a novel in which you'll mull over days after reading the last word on the last page. See the official back cover synopsis and more here!

I highly recommend A Broken Kind of Beautiful to women, young and not-so-young-anymore.

A Broken Kind of Beautiful releases April 15th. Pre-order today! Seriously, click on the link. I'm not kidding!! Do it. Do it now.**

Side note and freebie! ;) This song reminds me of Ivy....may you find enjoyment and a sweet message within Bloom by Moriah Peters.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

When the World Becomes a Bit Smaller

When your child travels to a third world county (or two), you are nervous for her safety. Thrilled when you stalk her facebook page to see someone tagged pictures of her in said country(s). Ecstatic when you receive an email or phone call.

When your child returns from the country(s), slowly stories start to pour out. Stories that make your heart break for the people, or more specifically, woman and children of the countries. Conditions and nightmares I could not imagine living through each and every day. When your child tells you there are some things she may never tell you, you wonder if that is a good thing or bad.

Even though you have not set foot on that land, your heart breaks and falls in love at the same time for the people. You begin to pray for a revival across the nations. Praying for the people, the conditions, and the many factors involved.

Sure, you've seen pictures of the people of the countries your child visits. But, seeing pictures your child took of smiling children, clinging children who just want to be loved, the world becomes smaller. I'm tearing up just thinking of the faces. Happy faces of children who are getting attention from a beautiful stranger. Pictures of little feet in sandals when it is winter. Pictures of moms beautifully smiling when handed blankets to keep their families warm during the coldest winter in years. The world becomes smaller.

Our daughter received devastating news this week. I can't go into details but it involves children she knows in one of those countries. These children, who stole her heart and wrecked her in a good way, were removed from a loving situation and moved into a situation that is heartbreaking. Without giving out too much information, Christian persecution is in full swing. 

Please pray as God leads.