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Read some thoughts on issues affecting daily life and life around our world. Read and join in the conversation. What moves you? How do you respond to the issues we face today?

what once was lost

Yesterday I lost my most treasured possession, my wedding ring. After putting Miriam down for her nap, I realized I wasn't wearing it and had a sick-in-my-stomach feeling because I couldn't remember taking it off. I called all the stores where I'd stopped earlier in the day. No luck. I searched high and low in the house. Nope. I called John and left him a message, letting him know and turning his stressful day into misery. I called Dad and he immediately asked if he could pray about it.
For those of you tracking with the Hine fam saga, you'll know Dad's prayer meant a lot to me. Ever since Tim passed, I've found it difficult to pray with conviction and to believe that God might really answer our fervent prayers. Hearing Dad's faith-filled prayer pricked my heart, making me ask myself if I really believe God loves me and answers prayers.
Once John got home from work, he got out his headlamp and looked into the garbage disposal and under the mattress (in addition to every other imaginable place in our home). As we lied in bed, I reviewed every move I made from the last time I remembered having the ring. The only time that made sense where I might have taken off the ring was at Bed Bath & Beyond where I tried out a sample hand balm at the checkout counter. But I had called them and they hadn't seen it.
This morning, Miriam and I braved the wintry mix and headed to Bed Bath & Beyond. The woman at the checkout counter showed me the note by the register with my name and phone number; she reiterated that they would call if they found my ring. I asked if they have surveillance cameras and then the manager came out to help me. I showed her my receipt with the time of my purchase and she went back to review the surveillance footage. About 10 minutes later, a man came out and asked me to describe my ring and then produced it, taped to an index card. I teared up and all I could manage was, "thank you so much."
I called John and Dad, saying "praise God" for this answered prayer. Today, God lavished His love on me and reminded me He is faithful (even when I waver).

What I've been reading lately

Our Christmas trip to CT provided quality time to fellowship and READ! I read a few books that are worth exploring, depending upon your interests so here they are, in no particular order:

If I had to pick a favorite of all the books listed here, this would be it. This one had me awake until 2am more than once, reading to find out what happened to Shackleton and his men. It is an amazing story of perseverance against all odds. I won't spoil the ending but it is well-worth a read. It's also made me curious to learn more about Shackleton as a man and what made him the courageous, effective leader he was.

In a similar vein to the previous title, this filled my late nights with stories of overcoming odds in cold climes.  In addition to covering Mallory's Everest attempts, the book chronicles the discovery of Mallory's body on Everest so I wondered if that might shed new light on whether Mallory reached the highest summit in the world. Unfortunately, the book could not confirm this and the details of Mallory's final ascent remains a mystery.

This book was a gift from one of the authors, Greg Gianforte. It's excellent. Having started a start-up and then advised startups, I wish I knew of this book many years earlier as it would have saved me a lot of grief and headaches. Greg draws on personal experiences with his startup, RightNow Technologies, as well as many other startups. He includes concise steps entrepreneurs ought to consider and each chapter ends with homework for the reader.

This was a tough book for me to get into. From start to finish, I hoped for more examples to sink my teeth into. It's more theology than practical examples. While communicating theology shares broad information that we can apply to all situations, examples are helpful because they provide a context for the theology. I hesitate to recommend this book because I don't think you need to spend hours to understand the driving point. The concept is pretty simple: instead of raising little Pharisees who think they can be good enough to earn God's or parents' love, we need to show our kids their great need for God and His grace by highlighting how they can never be good enough. (If you're reading this and what I just wrote sounds really harsh and unfair to you, comment or email because I'd love to have a deeper discussion about it.)

Similar to the last book, this one took me awhile to sink my teeth into. Once again, the beginning was theology-heavy and example-light. What is it about me that needs concrete examples? Now that I'm more than halfway through it, I'm enjoying it more and more. It complements well the book I'm writing about sibling grief from a Christian perspective. So much hinges on what perspective we choose to adopt on any given day, at any given moment. Choosing joy is a conscious choice and Kay Warren, who struggles with depression, is a shining example of someone who lives that truth.

madlib introduction

I was at a military spouse social last night and we had "madlib introductions." Play along or steal this idea for your next get-together. Fill out the following:
1. your name
2. adjective
3. an event
4. verb
5. verb

Now, introduce yourself with the following madlib, using the information you filled out above:
My name is (your name). I am feeling (adjective) about the (event). I want to be remembered for (verb). I have always dreamed I would (verb).

Here's my introduction:
My name is Sarah. I am feeling delighted about the high school prom. I want to be remembered for skinny dipping. I have always dreamed I would ride in the rodeo.

That teaches me to be a little more conservative next time (or maybe not because at least half the attendees listed sleep as one of their verbs -- gotta spice things up a bit!).