Monday, September 28, 2009

A Long Over Due Review

Good gracious! Once again time has gotten away from me. Lots has been going on with my family and with The Heart's Journey Home, but I will update you on all of that in a few days. One thing I will tell you, however, is that the first round of edits are done. YES! So I get a teeny tiny break and what would I rather do on a break but . . . READ!!! Now, I have some friends that can read more than one book at a time all while writing a book. While I LOVE reading, I have always been a slow reader. And I just don't do a lot of it when I'm trying to pour myself into my own novel. So, anyway, that's why I haven't put any reviews up . . . until now!

The novel I chose for my debut blogging book review is My Son, John by Kathi Macias. My Son, John is a riveting story of the depths of a mother's love. Liz Peterson's life is suddenly turned upside down when she finds out that her mother is brutally murdered. MURDERED! How would YOU feel if your mother was murdered??? Her life suddenly goes from upside down to shattered when her only son, her first born child, is arrested AND confesses to this heinous crime. How could her own child do this to her mother? How would you react/feel? I started this book with the mind set of, "Well, something like this could NEVER happen to me." But as Ms. Macias shows us so plainly in this compelling story, one bad choice can set in motion a life altering series of events. John was a typical young man trying to excel under the pressures of college and he made a bad choice - a choice that would continue to compound on itself until finally ending in the brutal murder of his grandmother. Liz goes through a complex series of emotions that, as a mother myself, I went through with her. Finally, with the help of her rapidly failing father, she came to the conclusion that would move any mother reading this story to tears. My Son, John is a story of love - the love children have for their parents, parents have for their children, and, ultimately, the love that our heavenly Father has for all of His children. It's a story about commitment and consequences and hanging on to faith through it all. I would highly recommend this book to any mother or mother-to-be.

PRAYER REQUESTS & UPDATES: I'm afraid I've gotten behind in reporting updates and adding new prayer requests and I hate that so much because I truly feel this is the most important part of my blog. So, to all those involved, I apologize that I haven't reported on your friends and loved ones sooner than this but rest assured they will be lifted up with prayer now!

I'm deeply, deeply saddened to ask you to pray for the family of Wendell Loveday who went home to be with the Lord on the 23rd, I believe. This is the brother of my dear friend, Connie, who was also Alison's teacher last year. Wendell had been sick and in great pain for years with rheumatoid arthritis (among other ailments) and was facing the possible amputation of his leg when he passed away somewhat suddenly. It is very easy for us to say, "He is not in pain any more," but for the days and months to come it doesn't help the emptiness and sorrow that his family is feeling in their hearts. Wendell was married to his wife, Peggy, for 40 years and they have a grown daughter, Stacey. Pray that they will all experience a comfort that could only come from the Lord in the days and weeks and even months to come, and also a peace that passes all understanding.

Also please pray for the family of Henry Dishaw, especially his wife, Diane. Henry had been sick with an enlarged heart and finally went home to be with the Lord on September 11th. Again, pray for comfort, a warmth that wraps around them like a cozy blanket. Pray for peace to descend on them like pixie dust and fill them with the hope of all of God's promises.

Also, please pray for the family of a man named John. I don't know his last name, but the Lord does. John was the CFO of a small company based in Birmingham. He'd been there for over 25 years. Last month John committed suicide leaving behind a wife, children, and grandchildren. There must be so many questions, many many never be answered. Please pray that his family will FEEL the Lord's presence constantly in the days, weeks, and even months to come. And that they will be comforted by the hope we have in the Lord.

Continue to pray for Romney McLellan who I recently received more information on. She has been diagnosed with intermediate grade large B cell lymphoma, but this cancer shows possible characteristics of advanced grade. Her LDH levels are elevated and also her anemia is a concern for the doctors. Her treatment is going to be much more difficult that originally anticipated. I've never hidden the fact that I'm NOT a medical person and medical terms are often lost on me (That's why I have my RN sis - my major source of info for anything medical in any of my books!) but my heart aches for this family because Romney and her husband have a two-year-old little girl, Marley, who is wanting her mommy. Please pray for strength for Romney. Pray that she can make it through her treatments better than anyone imagined she could. Pray for comfort and peace and patience for her husband and the rest of her family. Pray that her doctors will know exactly what to do to bring her back to restored health. Through all of this, pray that the Lord is glorified!

Similarly, please pray for Richard "Jim" McDonald, who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins, B-Cell Lymphoma. He is beginning a new treatment today. Pray for healing and restored health. Pray for strength and peace. Pray for his family and doctors that they will know exactly how to help him and make him well again, that together he will have the support system needed. Please pray especially for his daughter Melinda who is one of the sweetest spirits I've had the pleasure of meeting recently.

This is an urgent prayer request. One of the girls who lived down my street as a kid now has a beautiful 17-year-old daughter, Monica Rose. Monica is battling liver cancer. I can't imagine what my friend, Holly, must be feeling right now. As a 17-year-old, already going through so many changes, I can't imagine what Monica must be going through either. Please, please, pray mightily for Monica. Pray that the Lord will touch her liver with His healing power. Pray that she will be strong and brave and obtain a faith that would amaze most adults. Pray for her doctors, that they will have the wisdom to know exactly what to do for her. Pray for peace for Holly and her husband that they would be bathed in a peace that passes all understanding. It's hard for us parents to let go of our babies, but Monica is always, always in the Father's hands. What safer place is there? Pray, my prayer warriors! Pray for Monica!

Also, please pray for Duane Sutton, the father of a fellow Sheaf House author. He is 72-years-old and was recently diagnosed with bone cancer. It showed up very suddenly seeming to indicate that it's an aggressive form of cancer, but the family is still waiting on details. He doesn't live near much of his family so right now that is the immediate prayer request. Also, pray that Duane will not be in pain, and that if treatment is an option it will be effective. Above all, pray that God's will is done and that His peace and grace surrounds this delicate situation.

I wanted to update you all on a few that still are/were on the prayer list: My best friend, Patty Smith, recently had a large mass in her abdomen discovered durning a PET scan. It is most likely cancer. She is going on Friday to find out how badly infested with cancer it is. Please pray that it doesn't "light up" AT ALL (which would mean there was NO cancer in it)! Regardless, she is very excited and hopeful to be going through a new, experimental treatment. If I get these figures right, I believe only 70 people are going through this study nation-wide. Please pray that the Lord works a miracle for Patty (and for all of us, really) through the doctors and scientists that have discovered this treatment. Pray for strength through the treatments. Her faith is so amazing. Pray that she will continue to always stand strong in her faith through this storm and that her family and friends will know exactly what we can do to help hold her up in her moments of weakness.

A little good news? Kristin Miller is fully recovered from her open heart surgery and doing FANTASTIC. And Dave Coleman, who underwent a radical surgery to attack his colon cancer aggressively, also has recovered completely, is back to work and his busy life as a husband, dad and grandpa. So for the time being, I have taken them off the list to make room for others. Also, Larry Harris is doing great and Trey Grant has almost completely recovered from his motorcycle accident and has started going back to work a few hours at a time, so I have taken them off the list, too.

Thank you for your prayers. I've seen it time and again, and I know you have too, that there is POWER IN PRAYER. Prayer changes lives - sometimes those needing the prayer, and sometimes those doing the praying. In a few DAYS (yes, days!) I will be reporting on the status of The Heart's Journey Home. I'm so excited with the progress that's been made and look forward to sharing it with you very soon! Until then . . .

Many blessings to you and yours,