August 18, 2016

Emotionally Wrecked

August 18, 2016
I started this two days ago and I am just now getting back to it... 

I am emotionally wrecked.  You know, when you cannot eat because the nausea has overtaken you.  You know what the silliest part of it all is?  Its over a book!  A piece of fiction nonetheless.  Prior to this year I rarely picked up a piece of fiction.  I told myself I didn't have time to read anything that was not in the "self help" category.  You know those books - how to be a better wife, how to a better mom, parenting 101, the list goes on and on and on.

Someone told me I needed a little fiction in my life and I thought "why not"!?  A friend lent me "Maybe Someday" by Colleen Hoover and I became an instant fan.  The emotional roller coaster that was this book caught me off guard.  There were moments within the book where I actually laughed out loud falling in love with Ridge was as natural as breathing.  From there I made my way through most of her novels and after my latest read I have been reflecting on the "heros" of her books.

  • Maybe Someday - Ridge is lovely and perfect.
  • Maybe Not - full of light and fluff with the warm heart that is Warren.
  • Hopeless followed by his point of view in  Hope
    • ... after these two I had to take a breather.  They were deep.  Gut wrenching.  Totally side-swiped by this book.  Colleen Hoover deals with some deep, dark, real life issues in this book as she does most of her novels.  The "hero" (totally an understatement) Holder - thoughtful, loyal, and honest.
  • Slammed, Point of Retreat, and This Girl were just want my hopeless romantic self needed.  Here we meet Will and there is no possible way not to love Will.  Simply put - he is amazing.  Kind, generous, talented, responsible, and simply lovable. 
  • Confess - Owen.  Talented and selfless best describe Owen
  • Ugly Love - you cannot imagine my excitement when I heard this was being made into a movie.  Ugly Love is by far my favorite CoHo Novel and Miles Archer leaps off the pages and into your heart - we watch as he is put back together piece by piece with the help of Tate.
  • November 9 - we are introduced to Ben.  While dealing with his own demons and troubled past Ben manages to give Fallon a new resolve to live her life as she was born to live it.  He helped her to love the "outer" her - something that most women struggle with.  For this alone I become an instant fan of Ben

Now we are brought Colleen Hoover's most recent work of art, It Ends With Us.  I knew her book was going to be an emotional roller coaster because they all are.  What I didn't expect is how I feel today and the guilt that I feel behind it.

I started the book early yesterday morning and finished it early this morning.  I cannot count how many times I laughed and chuckled throughout the first third of the book.  The characters are dynamic, each with their own story.  I feel we learn more about the supporting characters in this book than any of her others and for that I am so thankful.  Alyssa has to be one of my favorite supporting characters right in line with Warren from Maybe Someday.  She's quirking, funny, honest, supportive, but my favorite is she is REAL... she is who she is without apology.  All women need an Alyssa by their side.

... and without giving too many spoilers here goes ...

Then there is Ryle.  (I feel sick... really I do... its nuts I know!)

Who doesn't like a hot neurosurgeon???  I fell in love with Ryle.  With the turn of each page I could not wait to see what happened next.  Soon I realized that what happens next may not be what I want to read.



There were a few times when I would have to put the book down, get up, and walk away.  Take a breather.  I felt an inner turmoil.  Why do I allow myself to go to the top of this roller coaster when I know I dread heights so much?

I wanted to jump into the book and hold him and help him.  I wanted to cry with him and I wanted to take away that pain from his dreadful past.
"And as humans, we can't expect to shoulder all of our pain.  Sometimes we have to share it with the people who love us so we don't come crashing down from the weight of the it all.  But I can't help you unless I know you need it.  Ask me for help.  We'll get through this, I know we can."
(Is this crazy???... its a book... a piece of FICTION!!).  Through the wrong that happened I wanted to scream at the pages that it WAS an accident and it WAS a misunderstanding... and it could have been handled differently.  (Again... this is a book Summer Jo!!).

The ending was how it should be.  Not how I wanted, but I understand the healing that happened for not only the characters and the author, but also for many many readers.  I realize that if the book would have went the way I wanted that many women around the world who read it would not be able to find the courage to be Brave & Bold.  I have hesitated to share my love for Ryle's character for this very reason.

It goes without saying that Colleen Hoover grips your heart most of the time with you instantly realizing it.  By the time you do realize what is happening you are so invested in the book that it sometimes becomes impossible to put it down.  Now I'm off to find something Light and Fluffy.  Happy Reading.






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March 1, 2016

Hopeful

March 1, 2016
As I stood in the back yesterday morning watching others shake hands and snap photographs with the candidate - I held Beckham up on my shoulders and I just wanted to cry. I'm worried. I'm fearful. My heart aches at the poor decisions that are being made today. I mourn for my children and their generation because I know that will have to pick up the pieces and fix what my generation is destroying.  I’m a child of the Reagan generation – what generation are my children going to be a part of?

My hope is that Chris and I will raise them to be responsible, God fearing adults who will in time of need rise up and do something! Hard workers - we want them to be hard workers. Honest, full of integrity and love for fellow man and country.  As the rally finished up I moved to the back and ended up next to a well dressed older gentleman who made a sweet comments about Beckham. I looked him dead in the eye and ask "are you hopeful" - because in that moment I was nothing but fearful. He so eloquently and simply said "that is why were here right!?"

For the rest of the day I thought about what he said.  It hit a chord.  It gave me reassurance.  I know that my eternal hope is in Christ and my home in Heaven – I also know that the Lord understands our concerns and worries with things of this world.  This is why I take the responsibility of voting very serious and I become frustrated with those who do not.  My frustrations are for not.

The first time I heard Marco Rubio speak was the RNC convention in 2012 when he introduced Mitt Romney. At the time, like so many others, I did not think there was a chance that Americans would be ignorant enough to vote in Obama for a 2nd term. I remember telling my husband, this guy (Rubio) will be in the mix during the next election. Here we are - 4 years later.  I struggled for a while on deciding on a candidate and I went to that rally to find reassurance.

The older gentleman ended up being a country commissioner.  When I returned home that evening I sent him an email thanking him for his words.  HIs email response once again was poignant and spot on.  He said that we must encourage the disheartened (which is what he did for me) and that we must pray because God is listening and this is when things can change.  He finished with this which I want to share with all of you:
When we see something that needs to be fixed and we can fix it...then we need to fix it. When we see someone who needs help and we can help them...then we need to help. People should not wait on the government to solve problems that we can solve. We each have the ability to make a difference in lives.

Be hopeful.  Be prayerful.  Make a difference.

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