I have discovered over the years, that life can be challenging. God desires to sustain us as we look for "splashes of His grace" every day. My desire is that through posts, or book reviews, you may find something that points you to the grace of God, and that He ultimately will make a difference in your life.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Embracing Your Second Calling

Embracing Your Second Calling, by Dale Hanson Bourke, is a book written to challenge women, in the second half of their life, to become the true person God wants her to be as she transitions from the past into the future. The first half of a woman's life may be filled with building a career or raising children, but the second  half of life can be just as exciting and fulfilling as we discover new purpose and passion for the things that God has now called us to. The author challenges women to take what they have learned and done in past and translate it into how God can now use it to minister to others. The second half of a woman's life should be a time of listening to God and becoming the women He has created you to be. 

Dale Bourke intertwines the story of Ruth from the Bible to emphasize how God can take someone who thinks their life is over, and transform it into a time with new purpose. The first half of our lives we tend to concentrate on doing.  The second half of life, Dale suggests, should be about becoming.

Each chapter has some interactive questions/statements for women to consider as they take a journey through this book.  Some are questions to "Reflect" upon and others are things to "Act" upon.  I think they can be helpful additions to the reading, but found them a little distracting having them in the margins throughout the chapter. I feel they would have been more effective to have them at the end of each chapter as a "put it into practice" section.

Overall I think the book could be helpful to women transitioning from a career into this next stage of life, though I had a hard time relating to the "important" things she is now doing with her life after a successful career. It may have been more helpful if it was more of a "how to" rather than "look what I've done" type of book. As a stay at home mom whose children are now practically grown, I will never be in the position to do what she has done, but the book encouraged me to find out what God IS calling me to do with the second half of my life, no matter how big or small that task may be.
Book Sneeze provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister

The Secret Holocaust Diaries - The untold story of Nonna Bannister is a true story, written from the childhood diaries of Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister, which tell of her journey from a life of privilege through the tragedies of World War II and the Holocaust. After living in Eastern Europe and suffering through the years of war, she eventually emigrated to America where she met her husband, Henry Bannister, to whom she finally revealed her secret after decades of marriage.

Her childhood diaries, along with some family pictures were tucked away in the attic where she had meticulously translated them in order to have her story documented. This book is her recollections, family history, and story of survival as seen through her eyes. The book is written from her diaries and her memories, along with occasional added “editorial” notes and explanations which were helpful.

I have read history books and reports of WWII and the Holocaust, but this book brought to life the atrocities on a personal level. My heart went out to her as I tried to comprehend how the people she encountered could be so cruel, and how she survived the emotional impact of this time in her life. I was also amazed that she had not become bitter. This book is a testimony of love and forgiveness. How she could keep this part of her life secret for so long is a mystery to me, but I am glad she finally decided to share her story with the world.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.