Sunday, January 18, 2015

Still Life - Christa Parrish

Still Life, by Christa Parrish is an EXCELLENT book.  A plane crash, photography, glimpses into a religious cult, clear distinctions between an angry and a just/loving God, hurting families ensnared in their choices....very good read. I laughed, I ranted, I cringed, I cried, I thought deeply. This book moved me.

 I want a sequel! I want to know what happens with Adah. I want to see Ethan mature in his faith and profession.

This is a story of loss, hope, renewal, restoration and the providence of God. It is also a story of community....families, friends, church body.

I will look for more books from this author.

Their Blurb: A tragic plane crash. One woman who lost her husband. Another who gave up her seat for him.

Adah spent her first twenty-five years with her family as part of a fringe religious sect. Her only contact with the outside world was through customers at their farm store. Then she met Julian, a photojournalist who'd come to document their lifestyle. They eloped mere days later and Adah was thrust into a completely new life as a wife, city-dweller, and an individual allowed to make her own decisions. But she has no idea who she is.

On her twenty-sixth birthday, Julian plans to fly home from an assignment to give her her first-ever birthday present. He's thrilled when Katherine Cramer gives up her seat so he can make the flight. But the plane crashes and everyone on board is killed, including Julian.

Adah is completely at a loss, with no friends and no marketable skills. When Julian's last photographs are published, her life erupts into chaos. She begins travelling-with Julian's camera for a companion-searching for answers to who she is and what she really wants.

Meanwhile, Katherine must live with the knowledge of why she gave up her seat-to extend her affair one more night. She recognizes her survival as a second chance to save her marriage. But is it too late?

When Adah's and Katherine's paths cross, they discover that there's still life ahead for both of them.

Author Bio: Christa Parrish is the author of five novels, including the 2009 ECPA Book of the Year Watch Over Me and the Christy Award-winning Stones for Bread. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, writer and pastor Chris Coppernoll. They have four children in their blended family.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review; I am disclosing this in accordance with the FederalTrade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Laid Back Sunday

Michael was in rough shape this a.m. and is obviously not ready to be out and about. He's lengthening the time between pain meds. This is good. He's still nauseated now and again.  He told us to go ahead and go to chapel and he'd hold the fort down at home.
Arielle began this - the men finished it

After church I invited several other women whose husband's were gone to go out with the kids and me. It was an impromptu, fun opportunity to connect. If I lived on base I'd have more folks just come on over - but most really don't appreciate the drive to our home. I'm QUITE used to driving at least 30 minutes to get anywhere at this point.  Well - except for the Walmart but I'm evaluating my continued trips to THAT spot.

We've spent another relaxing day at home. It is unreal to have Michael around so this what retirement will be like? Without the pain and meds? ::snort:: 

Choosing Joy!
©2015 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Chocolate Fudge Balls (Sugarless)

These are a treat.  I ate exactly one of them - doubt I could eat two. Very rich. These are sugar free, dairy free, gluten free (I think), oil free - and delicious. Who knew sugar-free could taste this good!?

3/4 C pitted dates
1/2 C raw pecans (used what I had)
2 T unsweetened coco powder
2 T unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/16 tsp salt
1 handful of mini-chocolate chips, OPTIONAL

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until a fine crumble forms. If the mixture is too dry, add up to 1 T of water.

Transfer the dough to a gallon size plastic bag and SMUSH into a ball. Break off pieces of dough and "roll" - I had to SMUSH - into balls.

Store covered at room temp up to 3 days, refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for us to 2 months.

Per fudge ball - calculated at 10 balls
Calories - 45
Fiber - 2 grams
Protein - .5 gram
Fat - 2 grams
Carbs - 8 grams
Weight Watchers Points - 1

I was pleased to find my new cookbook, Chocolate-covered Katie, has several recipes which use dates or fruit and no sugar.

Many of you know I've not had chocolate in any consistent way in years and none at all for months and months.  I've recently begun to think quite possibly God is after something new in my life - focusing not on the chocolate but sugar (even the "healthy" options).  I'm determined not to be mastered by any food. I'm off all but fruit sugar for at least six weeks. As most chocolate "treats" are loaded with either dairy or sugar most chocolate is out anyway and I've spent the time praying about what to do at the end of six weeks.  And yes, I would eat these sparingly on a  Daniel Fast. Because I don't think fasting means you have to eat cardboard - and there is no sugar or animal products in these - all plant based - but you will need to do what your conscience or the Holy Spirit impresses on YOU.

I used to be terrified of dates - now I'm thankful for the ugly things!

Choosing Joy!
©2015 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...