Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Facebook Thing

Nelson did this on his facebook page, so it's a cool thing to do.

The task: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. (You may have one bonus book if you must.)

(He simply listed his books. I have to add more words.)

15 Books in No Particular Order:

1. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

(The second book I ever stole from a library. I still have it. Part that sticks with me? As desperately poor as they were, Francie's mom made her a cup of coffee every day even though she never drank it. She used it to warm her hands and feel extravagent, then once it cooled, she poured it out. I read this when I was 13 and some parts of it, like her alcoholic father, and her love of library books, are still fresh in my mind even though I've never re-read it.)

2. The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss

This is what Wikipedia has to say: The Flame and the Flower was revolutionary, featuring an epic historical romance with a strong heroine and actual sex scenes. This novel, published in 1972, sold over 2.3 million copies in its first four years of publication and is credited with spawning the modern romance genre, becoming the first romance novel "to [follow] the principals into the bedroom".

Uh huh. 1972. I read it in '75 - I was 14. Can I say it left an impression? One of my mom's friends lent it to me. Danielle Steele was boring after this.

3. The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney

A well-written novel about female friendship, given to me when I had only two friends. It inspired me to take a chance and increase my friendship circle. I have given away this book at least 6 times, replacing it always so that I have another copy on hand.

4. Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian

I mistakenly thought that if I prayed through this book every month, I would protect my kids from "bad things" and they'd all turn out as perfect as Stormie's did. After all, she says these magic words every day and look how awesome her kids are. No rebelliion. No disorders. No problems. I still refer to her prayers, but know that there's no guarantee. Just because I pray, doesn't mean things will turn out for me like they did for her.

5. Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers

I read these 3 books the first summer I was on my own. Oh my goodness. I had never read Christian books like this before. Haddasah will stay with me forever. What a powerful story - what an amazing character. (Now I want to go rent Gladiator again.)

5. David by Charles Swindoll

It was the summer of 2000 and I'd just bought my first house by myself. I read this book about David and felt such a kinship with this shepherd, King, parent ... I TOTALLY got all his whining in the Psalms as well as his heart-felt desire to serve God.

6. Outlander Series - Diana Gabaldon

This woman can wrte a story. I had absolutely no interest in the premise or the story line - but her characters completely sucked me in. I still wonder how Claire and Jamie are doing... they are so real to me. I loved this series for many, many reasons but the main one being, this story BEGINS when they get married. It's about married, mature love. Not that giggly-pre-marital-getting-to-know-you love.

This is taking longer than 15 minutes. I should probably just list titles.

7. Janey's Girl by Gayle Friesen

Gayle is rougly my age and is my mom's first cousin. She married my youth pastor and she wrote a book. A good book. So good that I eventually got lost in the story and forgot that "hey! I know the person who wrote this" feeling I had when I opened it. It's on my list because it's inspiring to have a published author in the family. (She's written 5 or 6 more since this first one.)

Yeah. I can't just write titles. I have words in me. They have to come out.

8. Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Friedman

I read this when during the Spring of 1972 on an airplane with my family on our way to Hawaii. I read the whole book in one sitting. I have a feeling it was the first book that moved me to tears. I still remember the part about having "two or more families" because in the North, parents would lose their first sets of children to the ravages of the region. Heartbreaking. I stole this one from the library too.

9. This Present Darkness/Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti

After reading the Mark of the Lion series, I was open to reading other Christian authors, and I stumbled across this set during the fall of 2000. With their dad not around, I decided to change up the bedtime routine of the boys... so I put 4 year old Drew to bed first. And then 12 year old Clint, 8 year old Max and I sat on Clint's bed and I read these books out loud. They loved the battles between the angels and the demons. Often Clint would ask me to reread particularly violent scenes because he loved the imagery.

Sometimes, when I'm in the midst of good vs evil situations, I imagine the invisible battles happening around me. (Not very Mennonite of me, I know.)

10. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

So easy to read. So enlightening. So interesting. Helpful to realize that me and my kids will likely always be normal, not necessarily exceptional, by worldly standards.

11. To Own a Dragon by Donald Miller

I read this at Clint's insistence after he read it on his way to Peru last fall. It changed his life. And it gave me a greater understanding as to what my sons are dealing with in regards to growing up without a dad in the house fulltime. It broke my heart.

12. Blessed Child by Ted Dekker and Bill Bright

Whenever the TV is on and my kids mindlessly watch stupid shows for hours on end, I think of this book and feel very uncomfortable. I don't remember the plot or all the characters, but I do remember feeling, after I finished, convicted that the TV is often the tool of Satan.

13. 666 by Salem Kirban written in 1970.

I read this when I was 12 and it scared the crap out of me. I DID not want to be left behind. I think I was so worked up about the Rapture after reading this, that my mom threw the book away.

14. Summer of the Great Grandmother by Madeline Engle

Madeline writes about her dementia-ed mother's last season on earth. Whoa. I could so identify with her emotions, fears, joys, pain. I read this book exactly when I needed to.

15. Any book from the number series by Janet Evanovich

Oh my goodness these books make me laugh. Laugh out loud for real. Laugh and laugh and laugh. Just plain silly fun.

Bonus book:When He Leaves by Kari West and Noelle Quin

I went into Blessings in the fall of '98 before he left, looking for something. I figured we were past the "What Love Language Does He Speak" type books, but I wasn't ready to consider "How to Pray for your Ex-Husband" books yet. I didn't know what I wanted or why I was there.

I picked this book up (there was only one copy), bought it, glanced at it that night, and was annoyed I'd spent money on a book that wasn't relevant. Two months later it was totally relevant. Every Single Word was like water to my thirsty soul. Every thing they wrote about (both authors' husbands left them, so they knew whatfor they were speaking of) was exactly my experience too. They could have been writing about my life.

Their words of encouragement were dead on. I've underlined practically the entire book.
Everytime I go to Blessings, I look for another copy to have on hand in case someone I know might need to read it. In ten years I have never seen another copy.Sometimes I think God arranged for just one copy of this book to be printed For ME.

OK. Your turn. List 15 books on your blog.


So, are you wondering about the Passport Fiasco?

The Brazilian Consulate still has Clint's passport and we've been advised not to contact them.

I wondered about temporary passports/visas so Sandra, who was at the Passport office anyways on Monday, asked on our behalf. Apparently such things are available. Just fill out the regular forms, pay the regular plus expidited fees and voila, a person can have a temporary passport for specific travel days if 'proof of travel dates' is presented.

So, today, handi-capped by lack of charged cell phones, Clint and I proceeded to gather documents for his trip to the Surrey Passport office. He got new pics taken, we got Jule to guarantor them, we filled out forms and photocopied his electronic air ticket and by noon he was ready.

He called me at 2 pm; he had filled out the wrong forms, they had another one for him to get notorized so I told him to stay in the building and go up a few floors to where my dad and mom's lawyer's office was. His cell phone went dead after that and mine has been dead for a week now (my charger went to Kelowna with Rose. It's not back yet), so I waited and prayed.

I was talking to my mom at 3:30 pm, apparently she's been falling lately - her knee buckles under her and today she fell down flight of stairs. (I know, right?) And while we're talking, I hear Clint in the background. He's dropped in on her, so I ask to talk to him.

"Yeah," he says not too kindly, "It's not happening. After I got all the forms done, the guy upstairs walked back and forth for 15 minutes and said he just didn't know. And in the end, he said no. Going on a vacation is not a good enough reason to get an expedited temporary passport. They can do them in extreme emergencies, like for humanitarian reasons or deaths, but this didn't warrant an emergency."

So now I don't know what to do.

Should I go talk to that guy at the Passport Office and explain this is the first vacation that all 4 of us are going on since 2000. And it's no small scheduling feat to be able to organize this. And I've got the tickets bought, the accomodations reserved and paid for, passes to our sight seeing spots lined up, evenings on Broadway planned, and YES, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION THIS SITUATION DOES WARRANT AN EXPEDITED TEMPORARY PASSPORT THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Or do I sit back and pray like I did last year.

Last year it was LCT and their rules that prevented Max from being allowed to join us.
This year its the government and their regulations that are preventing Clint from joining us.

Know what?
This totally sucks the joy out of planning a holiday. The anticipation is half of the fun.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Book Club meeting on Wed eve at my house. Gulp. I'm leading the discussion - it's our first real meeting (a practice one) for when we get serious this fall.

2. Doing another grad photo shoot this week. Can hardly wait.

3. Speedo flip flops. Oh goodess me, those are the most comfortable footwear items I've ever owned.



Anonymous said...

You should bribe that passport guy. Let's be honest, everyone has a price and you just need to find out what it is.

Uh, good luck with that.

valerie said...

Your computer challenged cousin would love to list favourite books but .....