Tuesday, July 9, 2013

30 Days of Giveaways! ~ Day 9

Day 7's winner of Ring of Secrets is:

Elizabeth Riggs!

Remember, every entry this week keeps you entered for every drawing! Both of the daily book and for winner's choice of one of these two gorgeous necklaces. =)


Today, another installment of Story Time Tuesday.

Story Time . . . The Sky Beneath My Feet by Lisa Samson

I just finished this one for my book club's July read. I have certain expectations when a book has "Lisa Samson" on the cover...and I had certain expectation based on the cover, LOL. Namely, I expected the book to be about the main character, Beth, taking her old VW van to the beach. The offer comes in chapter 1. So...okay. A road trip book, right? Sure.

Um, wrong. LOL. But I got over that expectation pretty fast and settled in with my first one: namely, that anything by Lisa Samson is going to be great.

Yeah--that's a safe assumption. =)

Beth is disillusioned with a lot of things. Her husband has been dubbed the "men's pastor" at a megachurch in the D.C./Baltimore area--though no one's really sure what that means. Her eldest son has gone ultra-conservative just so he can better argue with his father, and her younger son is an expert at issuing a "whatever." Beth, feeling far as could be from her Quaker roots, belongs to two book clubs, countless small groups and Bible studies...but has never been so lonely in her life.

She can't remember the last time she really prayed. Her husband's turning into a stranger--who decides he has to cut himself off from the world by living for a month in his shed. Her teen sons never respond like she expects them too. And whenever she looks at her life, all she sees is the lack--not of things, which she's long ago learned to live without, despite her church's hugely affluent demographic. But she feels a lack of purpose. A lack of dreams. A lack of relationships. And when she looks in the mirror, she sees only a glimpse of the girl who wanted to do so much with her life...and has been swallowed by the woman whose life has gotten away from her.

I expected a journey--and I got one, some of which was indeed behind the wheel of her VW van with its "ironic" Jesus fish on the bumper. But this wasn't just a journey to the beach house offered in chapter 1. This was a journey to the mansion next door, the Catholic church on the hill, the mean streets of Baltimore, a peace demonstration in D.C. with a "rent-a-mob," and back in her memory to a Quaker meetinghouse with a skylight in the roof for watching the sunset.

This was a journey to the place within herself where every act of the church wasn't just a demonstration to attract the crowds. To a place where God was real...and had a real purpose for her.

What I loved about this book was that it didn't pull any punches about its realism. This is a woman like so many women, whose life has its totally-unique quirks, sure, but who could so easily be me or you. This is a woman who's not sure what the rhetoric means anymore, who doesn't quite belong anywhere she's made a habit of going, who chafes against the expectations and longs for real purpose. This is a woman who can't quite chuck the mold but is tired of living within it. All she wants is that one real experience with God again.

The characters in The Sky Beneath My Feet are perfectly drawn and beautifully flawed. The cast will make you laugh sometimes and sniffle at others, and as Beth finds her footing in her undulating world, you'll feel yours rocking along with hers. Her story will make you question. And will show you some beautiful answers. Whether or not you agree with her wondering or her solutions, your heart will be expanded on the journey.

So lay back, open your eyes, and watch the sky change beneath your feet.

My question to you today comes from Beth's experience in that sunset Quaker meetinghouse:

Do you have one moment that stands out above the rest 
when you've really known God is there with you?

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30 comments:

  1. I was on the brink of attempting suicide, and God surrounded me with his love. I suddenly remembered everyone who loved me and all the blessing Christ had given me. I also felt God telling me my time was not up yet, that I had more to do. He gave me hope and peace during the worst despair of my life.

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    1. That brings tears to my eyes. Isn't it awesome to know how much He loves you? I had a friend in high school who would call me when she started feeling like life wasn't worth living...and a boss in college who did in fact commit suicide. Still makes my heart ache when I think of her. So glad you listened to his voice, Sarah!

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  2. I think when I am in a worship service or singing and praising Him is the time when I best feel and hear Him. It is so special and quite and awesome thing to be singing and praising to the Creator God.

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    1. It is--and an honor, too, to get to lift our voices in praise. I lead praise and worship at our church, and every week as I'm choosing songs, I pray I pick ones that will speak to the congregation that day, yes, but more, will glorify Him.

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  3. There have been a couple of times that stand out when I knew that I was being watched over.

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  4. This question is a hard one for me to answer as I just have a hard time with these questions. Don't get me wrong I am a Christian and have been baptized I just don't always get the feelings that others talk about. I know God is with me especially when going through rough times and it does help.

    I also shared on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angela.holland.359/posts/701297273233250

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

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    1. That's what I really loved about this book, Angela. The main character didn't feel her faith, had never really had the moments everyone around her seemed to have...and she started wondering where that left her. It was pretty cool to see how God had her in His hand throughout it all by the end of the book. =)

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  5. I am more like Angela here, I always feel and know God is with me. I haven't had a huge happening where I "felt" it like described. I know He surrounds me always!
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

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    1. And that's exactly as it should be. =) He doesn't always show up in the thunder...He speaks in the whisper. (Which I will totally use as a book title one of these days, LOL.)

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  6. I can say I saw that God was with me during my last pregnancy.

    The doctor did not diagnosis she was breach until close to my due date. I did not arrive on time to the hospital for my scheduled c-section. I delivered naturally and my baby suffered no complications(it's common from the baby to get stuck causing all kinds of complications from learning disabilities to even death-due to lack of oxygen)

    arieljo12(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Praise the Lord for that! We saw something similar with my daughter's broken elbow this May. Had the doctors fit her in earlier, it would have meant surgery--but because of Johns Hopkins's busyness, it had already healed a lot by the time they saw us, and they didn't even put it in a cast, much less operate. I love seeing how God works through these things!

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  7. Lately... last night, when I was working on my synopsis and didn't know the first word to put on the page. I prayed over it, and God answered by guiding my mind. The words spilled out and now I have a completed synopsis! Praise the Lord!

    Blessings,
    Andrea

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    1. He's always so faithful when we give those words to Him! Congrats on the finished synopsis!!

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  8. Life after college is never what one expects. My husband has been working stay-awake nights in a group home for over a year while trying to get into the IT field. A couple weeks ago at prayer group, a friend (having just returned from a Father's Love conference in Toronto) was praying for me and heard that there would be changes. The NEXT DAY my husband received a call for an interview in the IT department at the hospital. We're still waiting to hear about round two of interviews, but God is good and we're holding Him to it!

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    1. Praying the job comes through for him, Rachael!!

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  9. Yes, when we were thinking about moving from Nebraska to Florida, my husband got a job and they wanted him in two weeks, we asked them for a month and they paid our moving expenses and allowed him a week off to return to Nebraska for our sons wedding within the first month of his employment.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  10. I was a nightly cast member of a Passion Play about the life of Christ for about 9 months - it ministered to me every night(along with the audience)& I felt the presence of His spirit more strongly then that at any other time in my life.

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Oh, I can only imagine! I know how powerful those are to watch--but to be in them? Wow.

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  11. Ms. White,

    I would have to say that it was the night my parents and I were in a major car accident out of state, to the brink where everything happened so fast, we could barely think, let alone pray -- yet, it didn't matter because in the end, we were surrounded by love and grace. We walked away and that in of itself was a testament to the firefighters and first responders who were on scene within 2 minutes of a good samaritian's call; all of whom feared the worst!

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    1. Amazing indeed to see His protection at work.

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  12. On a mission trip to Romania our family experienced God working in the hearts of people in a big way. While in a village singing and sharing the Gospel in the street, many people fell to their knees in response. I will never forget feeling and seeing God's presence that day as souls were added to the heavenly roll call.

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    1. Mission trips are often so Spirit-filled it's just awe-inspiring. I love hearing those stories!

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  13. I was on a missions trip in Mexico as a teenager and one day on a hike God was all around.
    -Kelsey

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  14. can't think of any

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  15. I have had a lot of those moments, but none that really stand out.

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  16. I feel His presence the most during times of worship!

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