How are you doing today?

Two extra words can make all the difference.

Not long ago, I read about how asking the question “how are you?” is such an overwhelming question to ask. It asks the person far too much of them. Most people are not going to go into deep conversation about the true nature of how they are overall, as a person, going through life. So what is the automatic response?

I’m fine.

Yeah. No, they’re probably not.

Without realizing it, we’ve given them a quick “out” to not have to tell you what’s going on inside but it also – sadly- reminds the person of what they’re probably struggling with and that they’re all alone. Because isn’t it far too difficult to explain how you really are, overall, in that short amount of time? And does the person asking really care to hear all about it?

So what I also read was so simple: just ask how they are today.

It gives them the freedom to answer honestly and with a much clearer idea of how they can answer.

You still may here the “I’m fine!” response regardless, but thats okay. This works especially well when there’s been a death or a loss of any sort. Asking “how are you” is just simply too vague for them in this difficult time. Most likely, you’re going to set off a “how do you think I am?” response in their mind. But asking “how are you today?” or even changing it up to “How are you holding up today?” can make all the difference in the world.


Any thoughts? I would LOVE to hear them! Please comment below or shoot me a message!

Take Care, Lovelies. ❤

…and tomorrow. And the next day.

Life is unfair, friends.

It takes when we give.
It gives away when we need.
It doesn’t explain itself.
It has no rules.
It has no guide.
It is violent.
It is wrong.

God is just, my friends.

He gives abundantly what we do not deserve.
He takes away and we may not understand.
He holds our interests in his hand.
He is devoted.
He is one with mercy and judgment.
He allows the hurt but He does not ignore it.
It does not vanish, His love for us. No matter the hurt.

Life is unfair, the sin that is in it. The corrupt. The violence. The hate. The ignorance. The adulterated existence we are a part of. The blame we put on God, the one who risked more than we ever would be willing to do. He took the blame. He carried that weight, that burden of our emotional ignorance and pride. Yet He still loves us. Yet He is still here.

That.

That is unfair.

That is just so incredibly unfair.

So today, I am thankful. For what I have and who I am despite the cruelty of this world I have endured my share of. I am thankful for a loving God who has shown me unimaginable, unbelievable unconditional love. I am thankful to those who – while they have endured even worse – have allowed themselves to be an encouragement to me and to others. I see you and wonder sometimes why? And where do you get the strength? And the answer is always the same.

God is just.
God is one with mercy and judgement.
He allows the hurt but He does not ignore it.
It does not vanish, His love for us. No matter the hurt.

So today I am thankful. And tomorrow. And the next day.

Thank you, Lovelies. Please be kind, always. ❤

+++

I had been warned – I had warned myself – not to reckon on worldly happiness. We were even promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, “Blessed are they that mourn,” and I accepted it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not in imagination. Yes; but should it, for a sane man, make quite such a difference as this? No. And it wouldn’t for a man whose faith had been real faith and whose concern for other people’s sorrows had been real concern. The case is too plain. If my house has collapsed at one blow, that is because it was a house of cards. The faith which “took these things into account” was not faith but imagination. The taking them into account was not real sympathy. If I had really cared, as I thought I did, about the sorrows of the world, I should not have been so overwhelmed when my own sorrow came.

– C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (pp. 36-37)

Book Review: I Owe You One (Sohpie Kinsella)

Fixie Farr lives within a dynamic family: Family First as the family motto goes.

Mum is as peaceful and loving as they come. She’s the supermom that you could only ever dream to become.

Dad was bigger than life before he passed away, leaving an empty hole and an empty chair at the dinner table. He was the man in charge in their family business (Farr’s) but when he passed, Mum worked her tail off to keep it thriving.

Jake, big brother, is a posh, temperamental achiever who strives for bigger, better, more.

Power. Profit. Potential.

With the power and money to go big, he constantly undermines Fixie at every turn and makes changes to the store and to their lives that could potentially bring them under.

Nicole, the yoga guru, the animal personality wizard and one terrified of things such as her marriage and the coffee maker. Ambitious and flaky, you love her and hate her. She isn’t the perfect older sister but she’s there and there’s hope in that.

In a family such as this, when does the line blur between putting family first and putting yourself last?

Fixie the fixer has a flaw. She can’t but fix things and most the times it ends up going south. Ever since she was ten, she was madly in love with a boy named Ryan Chalker. He was a star, bound for Hollywood, bound to make waves and watch the world follow behind. Naturally, he and Jake became the best of friends and waves turned into tsunamis and in her eyes, Fixie could never compare. She was a failure. She failed at skating, she failed at her own catering business, she fails to see the flaws in Ryan and she keeps her head down with the family business.

I draw breath, telling myself that this time I’ll do it; this time I’ll really have my say. But as I look up at Jake’s intimidating face, it happens again. My nerve collapses. The ravens have started flapping around me.

Enter Sebastian Marlowe. Founder and CEO of ESIM (Ethical Sense Investment Management). He has woodland eyes and the cure for the ravens but when they meet in unexpected circumstances, they later wish life could be reversed.

You can’t go back in time and do life a different way. That’s not how it works.

When Fixie’s world comes crumbling down, she doesn’t have the strength to carry on. Where Sebastian was once a stronghold, he is no longer and Fixie is left to fend for herself. Family First.

But when does Family First cross a line? And why should Fixie always come last?

I gave this book 3 stars (3.5 stars but I didn’t feel like I should round this one up to 4 stars). It wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t a 4-star book either. It was funny, cute and quirky. I was willing to stay up late finishing it but once done, realized I would have rather had my sleep and finished the next day. I wouldn’t recommend it per se but I do feel like it would be a great beach read; something you fly through quickly.

I got frustrated a lot at Fixie because of the allowances she gave other people, especially her brother. The brow-beatings she got on a constant basis were annoying and you really just wanted to smack them all. Mum disappears for a long time and you truly feel the absence (which I’m sure is intentional but it feels very obvious that she needed to be out of the plot to make it work). The ending was tied up quickly with a nice little bow but at least it left you happy.


Thank you to NetGalley, to Random House Publishing Group and to Sophie Kinsella for the Advanced Copy in exchange for an honest review. Looking forward to future books!

(You can find more reviews on my Goodreads page and my Instagram page)

** For more book reviews, please visit my new book blog, http://www.thenashvillewifereads.com – Enjoy! **

Book Review: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance (Ruth Emmie Lang)

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I looked over at Weylyn, who was still leaning out the window, blinking heavily as rain ran into his eyes. A bitter smile crossed his face, as if he knew I was watching him; as if he were answering the question that was on the tip of my tongue: Did you do this?



It all started in Holbrook, Michigan (1968) when little baby Weylyn Grey made his way into the world. It was June 29th and with his first breath came a snow storm. In just a few minutes, six inches or more had fallen and the world was changed forever.

The child turned one eye on me, then opened the other like a backward wink. His irises were molten pools of solder that had not yet set, and for a moment I thought I could see a fire behind them, keeping them liquid.

Weylyn Grey was orphaned at a young age and raised by wolves. Through extraordinary circumstances, he meets the lovely Mary Penlore and unknowingly changes the course of their lives forever. Through many trials and many unexplainable storms later, he lives many lives and meets many people. He becomes the happy owner of a magical horned pig named Merlin. Together they stop tornadoes, hurricanes and occasionally a rainstorm or two (though you won’t ever find Weylyn taking credit).

Weylyn quickly realizes the dangers he brings upon those close to him and decides it best to seclude himself, to run back to the wolves. He tried to make the best of life, tried to love but when that love came crashing down in yet another (deadly) pile of snow, he vanishes. Anyone who knew him could tell you, reader, that you hope he reappears. You hope you do not have to go through life without a Weylyn Grey in the midst of it.

As he bent down and scratched her behind the ears like she was a harmless dog, I felt a sadness more acute than anything I’d ever felt before. Weylyn Grey didn’t belong in my world. He belonged in theirs, and there was nothing I could say to convince him otherwise.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Thank you Ruth Emmie Lang, for Weylyn. Thank you for opening your mind and creating a character so real, so loveable as Weylyn that it breaks your heart knowing he’s not real.

I don’t know. I’m beginning to think maybe he is… somewhere. He’s too incredible not to be. ♥️

If you have not yet picked up this book, you really really should. It’s magical and you will never forget Weylyn or many of the others in this beautiful story.

PHOTO CREDIT: @lifeinlit (instagram)

View all my reviews

** For more book reviews, please visit my new book blog, http://www.thenashvillewifereads.com – Enjoy! **

I’m Thankful You Tried

It’s a constant battle between ourselves and the government; who is in charge? Who gets to run what and who gets the say over what should, could, won’t and will be done? 

I believe there can be good in what the government provides for those in need but so often they find themselves caught up in so many rules and regulations that they end up hurting those they aim to help. 

Thank you, but….

Some of you may already know from previous blogs that my son is right where he should be in some areas, well above average in many, but significantly below average in speech. He will be 2.5 years old on Christmas Eve and he cannot say even 15 words. There’s only a handful of words he can say in full without dropping the ending. 

Through the government, bless their hearts, you can get free therapy for your child. In Tennessee, once they age out at 3 years old, they can no longer be provided this service. You can hire a professional speech therapist but sometimes that isn’t even an option (financially) for some families. 

We started this free service back in September (if not sooner). We’ve met over and over and over again with various different people that work in this system and I couldn’t tell you who is who or where they work or what part they play. 

They ask the same questions.
They get the same answers.
They watch Jackson play with the same toys.
They watch how he interacts and it’s…you guessed it… always the same.

 Nothing but wasted time and paperwork, it seems. Meanwhile my son continues playing with children who cannot understand why he won’t talk. They ask their parents in front of us, “why won’t he play?” or “why won’t he talk?” or “He doesn’t talk. I don’t know why.” and my favorite one yet, “I think he speaks Spanish”. (Jackson has his own language and it honestly does sound like a foreign language.)

I’m thankful you tried.

Now, I’m not really upset with the therapist and the case workers. I know they’re swamped. I know they’re underfunded. I know it’s a very thankless job a lot of times. I feel for them. I see you. I hear you. I’m not angry with you. 

What I am? Is a mother who desperately wants her son to tell me what he’s thinking in a way that I can understand. I’m a mother who wants to be able to respond to my son so that he knows I’m interested in every word that touches his lips. I’m a mama bear who’s trying to stay patient and kind because you’re not the ones keeping my son from progressing. 

So while I’m thankful you tried – you’re still trying – to get my son the help he needs, I’m sad to see a good system with good people and good hearts falling short. Maybe there’s no current way to fix it. Maybe this is the best it can be. I sure hope not. I sure hope there aren’t other people out there like us, waiting 5+ months to get any sort of help, knowing they’ll be aging out in 6 months.

I plan to write whomever I can about this. I don’t want other mamas and their cubs to have this hanging over their hearts as well.

If you happen to have any information about this, advice or just encouragement, please feel free to comment below.

Thank you, lovelies. 

Book Review: When We Found Home (Susan Mallery)

When We Found Home

When We Found Home by Susan Mallery

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When We Found Home tells the tale of a family who was split apart before they ever knew one another existed. The story begins with Malcolm meeting Delaney where she works, having carefree fun flirting and is suddenly thrust into her world when something happens to Keira, his half sister. To understand the book better, here are the main characters:

Malcolm, a good-looking executive with a past that would wipe you off your feet. A calm, caring man with a big heart and an empty brain when it comes to raising 12-year-old Keira, his half sister. You’ll be in love with him from start to finish.

Keira, a sassy little lass. Way too street-smart and far too scarred from the loneliness and heartache she’s had to endure. She’s a tough one and she helps round out her half-brother’s very distrusting opinions of the newest half-sister, Callie.

As Malcolm put it, “you’re all attitude and no backbone.” Callie is a fiery one, she is. She’s strong and witty but don’t be fooled by her very thin armor. She’s terrified. A convicted felon made heiress to an empire overnight.

Then we have Delaney. Oh my dear smart, beautiful, ambitious, frustrating girl.

Continue reading Book Review: When We Found Home (Susan Mallery)

Book Review: Good Me, Bad Me (Ali Land)

Good Me, Bad MeGood Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

Up eight. Up another four. The door on the right.
➖➖➖➖➖➖
The playground.
That’s what she called it.
Where the games were evil, and there was only ever one winner.
When it wasn’t my turn, she made me watch.
A peephole in the wall.
Asked me afterwards. What did you see, Annie?
What did you see?
••••••••••••••••••••• Continue reading Book Review: Good Me, Bad Me (Ali Land)

Whether You’re Right or Wrong, You’re Not the Mom, but You Can Be My Friend. (Tips on Encouraging vs Preaching)

Recently I was talking to a friend about routines with children. I realized that I wasn’t fully informed on the subject to be able to efficiently and respectfully share my opinions and what I’ve read on the matter in a way that was as helpful as I had intended it to be. This ended up making me sound pushy and I absolutely hate that. Mother-to-mother, we should never judge one another, right? 😉 I never want another mom to feel judged because there is no “one way” of raising a child. 

motherhood-quotes-5

Continue reading Whether You’re Right or Wrong, You’re Not the Mom, but You Can Be My Friend. (Tips on Encouraging vs Preaching)

Book Review: Beartown (Fredrik Backman)

Beartown (Beartown, #1)Beartown by Fredrik Backman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
.

A twist you don’t expect.
A heartbreak you cannot fathom.
A child who inspires the inspirational.
.

Maya, the daughter of a hockey club that finds out the world is not what she thought it was. Ana, best friend to Maya, living in a world, always knowing it’s truths. A broken father, a run-off mother and a bunch of hunting dogs that let her be Ana when no one else will.

Amat, a boy who never will be and then is. Benji, a heart of fire and passion but only sees turmoil and destruction. And there’s Kevin. A boy with it all but nothing at all. Continue reading Book Review: Beartown (Fredrik Backman)