Posts Tagged With: Books

What are you hungry for?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Have you heard about the Hunger Games?

Unless you have been deep-sea diving with James Cameron you can’t escape the phenomenon that is the Hunger Games. Tweens, teens and adults have made it one of the largest gross movies openings of all times.
I read and enjoyed all three books in the series and have been amazed/amused at the controversy it has caused.
Do I think they are too violent for young children… absolutely.
Do I think they should not be required reading in middle school… of course.

But they are fiction and present an imaginary life in a well thought out story. They are written for young adult, high school aged teens and older. Does society really believe that the fiction Panem is worse than the reality television teenagers are watching? Again, they are fiction…and should be read as such.

With that expressed…

As I was reading them, I was hearing Katniss’s struggle to survive and her struggle to see her sister again.
You could see that she hungered for her father in her life again.
She hungered to not be in the situation she was placed in.
She hungered for a community that did not have to be ruled by the elite of the Capital.
She hungered to be able to trust the others around her (especially Rue and Peeta).
She hungered for an end to the games she hated, having been forced to watch them each year.

Isn’t our lives similar?
Don’t we hunger to spend more time with family?
Don’t we hunger to have relationships of trust?
Don’t we hunger to live in a society that values each and every person?
Don’t we hunger for a society to end poverty, loneliness, homelessness?

We can create a critical, negative atmosphere or we can see the good in society around us. I choose GOOD!

I choose to work for PEACE, JUSTICE and EQUALITY.

Complain all you want about the Hunger Games, it was a good read and thought-provoking on how a powerful society can become if you don’t have a voice.

THANK GOODNESS, we have a voice! But how many people don’t…do you see them…do you speak for them?

Bloggers have the freedom to express ourselves and to share our thoughts.

Look deep inside yourself…what are you hungry for?
What will you be the “girl of fire” for? Lend your voice…

The hunger I crave is for FREEDOM, ACCEPTANCE and LOVE!

Categories: America, Balance, Movies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kind…Smart…Important

You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.

Aibileen may have been just the lowly black servant of the house, but she forever positively influenced the lives of the children’s ears she whispered those words into.
I watched “The Help” and then read the book recently. A wonderful story with touching characters and harsh realities of our world.

Aibileen was treated as unimportant, but she made sure the children in her care felt elevated.
Aibileens kindness and intelligence went unnoticed because of her skin color, but she was one of the most perceptive and giving characters in the story.
She saw the prejudice around her and the prejudice directed at her, but she rose above it and lived in truth.

Prejudice still exists today. Sometimes it not the color of the skin, but the address of their home or the intelligence of their being. Hate comes masked in all different forms. Evil comes masked behind pretentious smiles just as often as hatred is visually noticeable in others body language.

We need love, we need acceptance, we need purpose.
We need to be told we are kind, smart and important. People do not realize we feel that way unless we tell them. Can you imagine if every child was told each day how important they are to the world around them…what a world this would be…just stop and imagine…now help that become a reality!

Those three little sentences in a movie about so many life lessons may have been the most profound for me.

Do we tell those around us how important they are to us? Do we reach out in kindness to others? Life brings us many challenges, depression can come so easily if we feel that we have no purpose. The funny thing is, you may never know how one small act can impact another. Consider Mark and Bill…a true story…

Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked Mark discovered the boy’s name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history, and that he was having lots of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend. They arrived at Bill’s home first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long awaited senior year came and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.

Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. “Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?” asked Bill. “You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn’t want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mothers sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, Mark, when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more, you saved my life.”

-John W. Schlatter

You may have read or heard of a similar story on the internet about Kyle, but that story exploded from this simple one. But this story is not simple, it was important to Bill. It is a story that needs to be shared.

You can make a difference too!
You can be a Mark to someone else and turn a simple momentary act into life altering action!
You can be Aibileen and build up someone’s confidence by using only the power of your words!

How will you be Kind, Smart and Important to someone else today?

Categories: Balance, Family, God | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips, Gifts & Inspiration Friday

Discovered this organization on Thursday
School & Community Assistance Recycling Composting Education = SCARCE

My office has already brought two vans of donations over there!
A great group of volunteers focused on an amazing mission.

Educate and keep usable books and supplies out of landfills.

How can we make a difference in the world?
Have we thought about what we throw away every day?
Is there someone else that can use what we discard?
Check out this video – What an inspiration for us all!!

Categories: Explore, TGIF | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pick up and read

Okay, I love books! My family will tell you there are piles all over my house of books I have read and books I am planning on reading.

I love the feel of books in my hands, so full of knowledge, wisdom, love, history, fantasy or excitement. I always use bookmarks and NEVER dog-ear a page. I feel the author would want me to care for their labor of love and treat it with respect. Some spiritual book I do underline passages or ideas I want to remember, but always in a straight line being careful not to allow my pen to dip into the words on the page, but underline and accent the words. I’ll admit I usually use a ruler to get the line I want. Okay I am not OCD, I just like it the way I like it.

I mostly read spiritual or autobiographies, but the occasional novel can be found in my stacks too. Well for Mother’s Day this year, my children gave me a Kindle. I know, I should be pleased. But the Kindle is not the same as holding a book and I was skeptical – although I know so many people who LOVE their Kindle’s.
And I do sometime buy books and read them, never to open them again.
And I do buy books impulsively, that I have had for years and not read.
And then there are the trees that are cut to provide me books, when there is a totally doable alternative.
In addition, I did not want to return such a thoughtful gift and decided to give it a try.

I enjoyed paying less than my first book, My Lucky Life, in and out of television; by Dick Van Dyke – it was a great story, you could hear his smile through his words.

And I discovered it was okay to read on the Kindle. No I’m not marketing the Kindle, I actually downloaded Google Books to my phone for free and read Promise Me, by Nancy Brickman. Her sister was Susan G Komen and the book is about their lives, battles with cancer and building the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I read that on my phone…pretty small, but great to be able to read in waiting rooms and free moments. With Google Books you can read from your laptop or phone, but the versatility of an eReader like the Kindle has its advantages.

So for someone who loves books, but has a hard time finding time to read books…I have found myself on my fifth book since receiving the Kindle in June, (we celebrated Mother’s Day on Father’s Day because neither of my children were home on Mother’s Day). I don’t think I have ever read 5 books in 45 days!

I have rediscovered my passion for reading and am now trying to read through the stacks of books on my tables and bookshelves and then I reward myself with a new Kindle book to read. Well, I can’t give up on beautiful traditional books, now can I?

Actually, it’s already both…my daughter asked me to read Ken Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth”. She loved the storyline yet – do you know how thick that book is!! YIKES!! I thought I would never be able to do it. But I told her I would give the book four chapters and if it intrigued me I would attempt to finish it.  Well on page 120, I got on Amazon and discovered it was only $6.99 to carry it on my Kindle! And that HUGE book can not be carried in your purse…so I gave her the hard copy back and will finish it with my eReader.

Guess I got use to the ease of the Kindle fairly quickly…and I’m reading more, what’s not to love about that!

Rediscover your passion for reading – or discover it for the first time – Pick up and READ!!

Categories: Balance, Explore | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A present hidden in Edward Tulane

Okay, so do you have books on your shelf that friends and family have given you and said “you’re gonna love this book” or “this is one of my favorite books”. Well, my daughter said both of those to me about The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. I picked it up the first time a few years ago, read a few pages and never picked it up again.

This year, she bought this same book as a Christmas gift for someone and once again said “Mom, you would love this book, it was one of my favorites”, so amid the planning for Christmas, wrapping gifts, last-minute shopping and packing for a family vacation, I found myself picking up the book last night to read. And what a surprising joy when I finished it this morning!

“Why should I care what happens to an arrogant, overdressed china rabbit?” is just what I thought as I read the comment on the back cover. But I did. I saw myself and other people in Edward; so many people becoming complacent in our lives, so many people feeling lost and alone, so many hanging on to hope, so many learning to listen, and so many looking for love. Edward symbolizes all the emotions, fears, and happiness we search for.

My life seems to get so busy, that sometimes picking up a book is the last thing to do. This quick, inspiring read was truly a present my daughter was trying to give me for years – the gift of the simple pleasures of being whisked away into a story.

Give the gift of books this year – give the gift of your favorite book to someone you love – relax, rest and read this holiday season!

“You must be filled with expectancy.
You must be awash in hope.
You must wonder who will love you,
whom will you love next.”
“If you have no intention of loving or being loved,
then the whole journey is pointless.”
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

I’m off now to find another treasure sitting on a book shelf in the house…

Categories: Balance | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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