Sunday, October 5, 2008


First, I want to say "THANK YOU" for the prayers, thoughts, and words of love that have been sent my way.

Yes, I received some news last week that I wish I hadn't about my mom, but I know that most of you are no different. We all have tough times and we have to get through them. How we do that is up to us.

We can't depend on outside influences to get us through. We can't depend on our appearance, social upbringing or class, finances, friends, or ever family. All of these can and will let us down. When times get tough, all we can totally depend on is God. And boy am I ever thankful for that!!!!

Over the past few weeks, I've been reading a lot. I picked up a book in our office resource room because I was looking to escape from real life. I picked up Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Wow!!!! What an amazing book! What an amazing story of God's true unconditional and unfailing and forgiving love. I didn't want it to end. And I was so sad when it did. I was left wanting more. I loved it because it had few racy moments :) but it was also filled with values and true relationships and an overall theme that God reigns. He is there. He is in control and can bring good out of any situation.

I hadn't read fiction in 15 years at least. And I admit....I'm kind of sad to say this....but I really thought Christian fiction would be boring. I'm sorry. But I did. Well, I was wrong. It was not boring. After Redeeming Love, I wanted to keep reading. I went back to our resource room and picked up Redemption by Karen Kingsbury. At first I didn't think I liked it as much. But I was wrong again! After about 50 pages, I couldn't put it down. Fortunately, this was the first book in a series of 5 books about the Baxter family. I'm in the middle of the 3rd one now and I have already bought the last 2. I bet I'll be done with them in another week! I read them at stop lights. While dinner is cooking. When I go potty :) On a break. I love reading for pleasure again!!!!

Not only have these books brought me pleasure and given me a healthy escape from my world, but I promise you they have also encouraged me and inspired me to be a better wife, mom, family member, and friend. I promise you. The values in these books are being woven into me. They have actually made me desire good. Desire to please those around me. Desire to be more like Christ. Desire.

Once upon a time, what I desired most was to be beautiful. I wanted others to desire me. I've learned that's not a sign of beauty at all. Now what I desire is to please God. And when others look at me, I hope they don't want to be like me, but they want what I have. And that's a peace and contentment that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If any part of me is beautiful, that's it. The rest keeps struggling: up and down on the scales....up and down in her and out of depression.....filled with life's disappointments....and continually learning that she needs God more than ever. In fact, this girl has learned that she desires Him.

Beautiful Blessings,



Robin Maria Pedrero said...

thank you for your blog

karijean said...

Lisa, thank you for your message today. What an encouragement to me! I, too, had deprived myself of the joy of reading and am slowly getting back to it. I had forgotten what a pleasure it is and how helpful Christian fiction can be in my walk. Thanks for reminding about that! I am currently reading "The Shack" by William P. Young, and I really like it. Also, since you loved "Redeeming Love" (that book was really special to me, too) I wnated to recommend "Divine" by Karen Kingsbury. You won't be able to put it down - it is an amazing story of God's redemption.

Thanks for what you shared about desiring Christ. I struggle so much with desiring the approval of others, and I want God to change that about me.

Anonymous said...

If you liked those books, there are some really great ones by Lori Wick that i just love. I am not into the series so much, but there are several that I can recommend...
The Princess
Sophie's Heart
White Chocolate Moments

Those are the ones that I can remember off the top of my head. Pretense and Sophie's Heart were my two most favorite. She writes in Pretense about a non-christian family, and their journey to faith... it is incredible... and it spans about a 20+ year journey in the life of the daughters... incredible!

I realized several years after becoming a Christian, that though I absolutely love fictional books, I just had to be so careful what I read, because it influenced so strongly how I thought. I read mostly mysteries and suspense novels, like Dean Koontz. but i realized, especially when they started dabbling with occult stuff, that it was just too much for me, with my background. So, I stopped for a long while, like you. Then I found Lori Wick and some others, and have really loved reading them... to read something wholesome, entertaining, and absolutely fun was so refreshing! (I just read way too fast, so books don't last me long!!!)

Just another thought... there is a series of books, "the cat who..." by Lillian Jackson Braun. They are light reads, full of humor, and just really fun for an escape and relaxing evening read.

Anyway, thought I would offer a couple of book ideas. I just love books, can you tell?! :)

Enjoy your reading...
and I am praying for you and your family!
Love you,

Bridget said...

Hi Melissa,
I am so sorry to hear about your Mom's diagnosis. I'll be praying for you guys. Recently I discovered my love of reading again, not for study, but for pleasure. Someone gave me a 3 book series call The Potluck Club. Maybe it's my small town South Carolina roots, but it so reminds me of home and the old Auxiliary club meetings my Mom attends! They're funny, sad, convicting and totally make you want to pray for your friends. (I feel I should mention that the first book does involve one of the ladies having cancer.) Again, I'm so sorry and will pray for your family.

Alicia said...

Melissa, thank your for your kind words! After you finish the Redemptions series, you have to read the Firstborn series and Sunrise series, all about more Baxter's! I was the same way with the books. It was almost like, "Can I keep one eye on the road and one on the book?" For Francine Rivers, I really liked 'The Last Sin Eater' and 'And The Shofar Blew'. Ooh, ooh, also all 7 of the Yada Yada Prayer Group books! I hadn't read a book for pleasure for like 15 years, until I moved from California to South Dakota. Now I've read at least 20 in the past year!

jillian4 said...

I agree with the above lady:) The Yada Yada Prayer Group books are also great. Karen Kingsbury is wonderful! My mom introduced those to me. All of those series she has written are great. And yes they are all the same, you can't put them down:) Thank you for your post though. I struggle with the fact that I want people to think I am beautiful, and to love me. Especially my husband, if he would just love me and want me again(we are seperated right now) But as you say the love of God is what I need, what I should desire, but it is so hard. I am moving forward in this battle, but I am pressing onward, so thank you for the encouragement. It helps to know that we are not alone in feeling the way we do sometimes. It is so good to be real and share. So thank you.

Michelle said...

I just caught up on your blog and read about your mom. I am sorry for your family and I am praying for all of you. God is the only comfort in times like this and I knwo that your mom is feeling His peace with family like you!

Cazandra said...

Redeeming Love changed me. It totally brought Christ's love to a new level for me. I have just fallen in love with Francine Rivers' writing.

Another amazing series by Francine Rivers is The Mark of the Lion trilogy. You want to become Hadassah.

Continued prayers for you and your family.


Anonymous said...

Praying for you...
Let us know how your mom is doing!
May God bless you richly during this time,

Stephenie said...

Hi Lisa! I'm praying for you. May you know the presence of God in a very tangible way.