Just hearing the word vacation now conjures up memories of those overnight drives. I can still hear the sound of my mother's unscrewing of the thermos lid and pouring Dad another cup, the comforting smell of black coffee wafting through the car. The quiet of the lonesome highway.
I brand myself every morning when I wake up and look in the mirror. You're puffy. . .not puffy. . . Getting older . . . I see gray hairs. I've decided it's time to start reminding myself of some other words that are true: "You are made in the image of God. You are the salt of the earth."
I enjoy any passing conversation that starts with, "You don't know me, but I knew your. . ." because sometimes it takes a total stranger to fill in the missing pieces of your family puzzle.
As he pushed me under the surface of the river, all the weight of grief and pain washed downstream. The prayer I didn't even realize I had been desperately praying for such a long time was now answered. I was awestruck with the newness. Amazed. Loved. Clean.
When I was asked to participate in the blog tour for Amy Grant's book, I had to think about it. Did I want to read this book and share my opinions about it? I was pretty sure that I wanted to read it, but could I post honestly, yet with grace, regarding my feelings, knowing that I have some preconceived notions? In the end, I decided that I was ready to move past some hard feelings I've held about some of the choices she's made (regarding divorce and remarriage). I thought that reading her own words would help me to let go of the judgment I've carried. It is not my right to judge her. This is not a tell-all book, but her divorce and remarriage are an integral part of her life, so it is mentioned. Aside from the fact that her choices did not personally affect me or anyone I know, I think that the log in my eye is a reminder that I should be careful trying to remove the speck from hers. I do continue to worry that someone else who is in a less-than-happy marriage would be tempted to leave that marriage in order to find the storybook ending that Amy Grant has found with Vince Gill, but that was only a little bit of what I took away from reading this book. As I read veiled references to this time in her life, I saw a deep understanding of God's perfect love and forgiveness, for as Jesus Himself said, It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Sin is serious, and the way we treat sin is equally serious, but in the Christian life, grace abounds from God, so should it not be equally extended from one Christian sister to another? It's a lesson that I've needed to learn, and I'm glad that I was able to read this book with an open heart so that I could begin to let go of some bitterness.
The fact that her life has caused so many people to react in some way towards her (myself included) is a testimony to her influence. She is the best-selling Christian artist of all time. You can go to her website, and get free downloads of two of the songs featured in Mosaic. I also have three copies of the book to give away. Tell me why you would like to read this book, based on this review or any other personal reasons, and I'll select three names at random on Thursday, October 18 (U.S. only this time).
Janice has reviewed this book as well at 5 Minutes for Books at 5 Minutes for Mom.