Of Twisted Fates Teaser

http://www.heatherchapmanauthor.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/chapter1.pdf

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International Women’s Day

I think it was 2nd grade that I gained my first seed of feminism…or maybe I’ll call it self worth? Because that’s what it was—I knew I was worth as much as boys and I saw the injustice between how the two sexes are treated. 

On the playground (again, I was 8), a group of 7 boys took turns picking me up (all while I screamed and cried in protest) and tossed me around to each other. They hugged me, held me, said inappropriate things, tried to steal kisses, and laughed when I cried. Don’t try telling me they were just being boys. They saw my tears, and they saw how I tried to break away from their grasps. 

The bell rang, and as the boys began to disperse, I managed to grab one boy by the collar and shake him as I yelled at him, “Never touch me again!” At that exact moment, a person on duty saw my actions and punished me. I tried to explain amidst my tears, but was promptly “shut up” and threatened with the principal’s office.  

I wish that was my only experience being treated that way, but it wasn’t. Sadly, moments like that have happened throughout my entire life—though, thankfully, not all have been physical assaults, and, for the most part, the moments have happened less and less as I’ve grown older and grown into my own voice.

Today, my daughter had her first experience like this (I’m grateful hers wasn’t until 5th grade—that’s progress!). Though hers is less traumatic by a million percent (boys threw snowballs at her while she sledded down a hill with her friends, and she now has a week-long punishment of cleaning the cafeteria for their actions), I’m still upset.

I’m fuming. The male teacher would not even listen to her and the other three girls. He told them “I don’t care if you did anything, you’re getting punished.” And then, he threatened them with detention if they didn’t be quiet.

You guys. Whyyyyyy? I’m so sick of this. People are grossed out by “feminists”, but why? I’m more grossed out with misogynists. I’m more grossed out with a grown man more interested in exerting his power over children than listening to young girls explain what happened. 

True feminists just want women to be respected as much as men. True feminists don’t hate men. True feminists just hate misogyny. True female feminists are just tired of being told to be quiet and look pretty. 

True feminists are about HUMAN rights, not just women’s rights. True feminists want everyone treated with compassion, kindness, respect, and understanding. True feminists don’t wish all that is feminine and uniquely female to fade away or turn into male or masculinity. True female feminists (because men can actually be—and hopefully do call themselves—feminists too) love being women. 

Because women’s issues are a HUMAN issue. 

So, I’m a day late writing this post, but happy International Women’s Day! I’m so grateful for strong women in my life and for leaders all around the world that show the strength of women. 

Things are getting better, and I do believe they will continue in that direction. I hope to teach my girls to be soft and strong, smart and ambitious, loving and respectful of everyone and anyone, and to stand up for themselves and others. 

So, in celebration of the good, here is one of the good feminists—one who cared about all people. She is also one of my recently discovered cousins, Helen Pitts Douglas.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Pitts_Douglass?fbclid=IwAR2ykisHv7Bt_6lZs2VLp6lDVcr7Dn-jCoZiIjHk4ra1ZbC-063d2URn6b8)

She was a suffragist and married Frederick Douglas after the death of his first wife. When asked about her choice to marry a black man, she said, “Love came to me, and I was not afraid to marry the man I loved because of his color.” 

Click the link above to learn more about this amazing woman!

Happy International Women’s Day! 

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Intentional

My favorite time of year is always the start of the new year. Christmas, Easter, and July 4th are some of my favorite celebrations and seasons, but as for my favorite…New Year’s. I love that I get to keep building myself, learning new skills, making new goals, and reflecting on the growth of the previous year. 

Sometimes growth just looks like surviving, and other times, growth is more intense. 2019 was a year of intense. I was stretched emotionally, physically, relationally, and struggled with a writing block. And I survived! Actually, I think 2019 will go down as one of my favorite years. How, you might ask, when it was one of the most difficult? I love growth. I love real. And, I love seeing what I am capable of overcoming. Interesting, as this year is the year of 20/20 (perfect sight). 

So, as I reflect and rebuild, I’ve decided my 2020 word (and yearly theme) is INTENTIONAL. 

Interestingly enough, it’s also the yearly theme of a podcast I highly recommend (Better Than Happy by Jodi Moore). In fact, it was her words this morning that solidified this word choice. 

Jodi Moore says we should strive for being happy 50% of the time. Usually, if we strive to be happier more than that, it means we have to give up on doing hard things and accomplishing our goals (i.e. we can be happy 80% of the time just watching Netflix and eating chocolate. We won’t feel as many negative emotions…even if our happy is a little more muted).

That means 50% of the time, we will experience negative emotions. However, we get to choose those negative emotions. This idea BLEW MY MIND. Here…see if you can follow my gist…

I get chocolate cravings all the time. Seriously. If I resist, I will feel disappointed. However, if I eat the chocolate, I will also feel disappointed (i.e. tighter pants and disappointment in myself). Either way, I am going to experience a negative emotion—DISAPPOINTMENT. So, why not choose the one that serves me best—being healthier and happier in the long run? 

Oh my gosh. This was huge. I mean, I always knew we get to choose our life, but this specific idea (that we will feel negative emotions either way and get to choose how or why) changed my perspective completely. 

We can’t expect to feel empowered on every part of our journey to attain goals or grow or become better. We will, and most likely should, feel negative emotions. However, I hadn’t realized the power we have to choose which ones and how long. So…with that, my mind started spinning with ideas. Out of control. I’ve got so many ideas and goals for this new year, ones I am committed to accomplishing in an intentional way. Relationally, spiritually, physically, and writing wise—I’m coming for you, goals! 

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Stella

Ever since I was a little girl, I heard the stories of my great-grandmother Stella.

Orphaned. Mistreated. Escaped to America on her own at the age of 16. Bet in a game of cards. Stella overcame much in order to secure her freedom, the happiness of her future posterity. Her strength continues to inspire me, daily.

When I decided to write this book, my mom had mixed feelings. She worried about how I would portray other family members, how I would portray her grandma. At last, I showed it to her–just before the manuscript went to press.

She called me with tears in her eyes. As a college student, my mom said Stella came to her in a dream (years after Stella’s death). In the dream, Stella hugged my mom and said, “You are the only one who has not forgotten me.”

I did not know that story when I wrote this book or when I chose the title, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL. However, I get emotional thinking of my mom’s dream and my choice of title. Stella is not forgotten, and my book was a small way I could ensure that. Sometimes the stories we create don’t come from us; sometimes the words aren’t ours. I know that to be the case in this story. The writing isn’t perfect.

But, the story is.

#lighttheworld

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Girl Power

“When we bond, in those really important, pivotal, transitional moments in our lives, we’re really vulnerable.” Elissa Schappell

“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.” Thomas Moore

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…” C.S. Lewis

“Once women find sisterhood, there’s nothing stronger.” Zoe Kravitz

let your heart break daily

in conversations 

over song lyrics

during the pause right before the sun rises

while you’re sipping coffee

and looking into the eyes of someone you love

for it’s when we break a little

we come alive

it’s in this space of feeling

we expand

and it’s here

in our vulnerability and openness

we step into our greatest selves

-Danielle Doby

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships. They came so easily as children, then grew complicated during middle school and high school, and eventually, in college for me, grew effortless once more. 

But then. Marriage. Babies. Stay-at-home motherhood. More babies. 

There came a time when I lost myself in the struggle. The late-night feedings and dirty diapers. A changing body and lower confidence. Post-partum and a sudden surge of anxieties. Seasonal depression. Constant whines and sticky hands. An aching to connect to someone—anyone besides those little people that needed me every second of every day. 

I tried to make friends, but motherhood brought out the crazy in me and those around me. The mommy wars—breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, epidurals vs. natural, sugar vs. NONE, organic vs. whatever Walmart sells, spanking vs. timeouts, clean houses vs. jungles. The list could go on forever. Any time I tried to make friends, it seemed the only thing people talked about was how they had the right spin on motherhood. 

Honestly, I never cared if someone used an epidural or if they fed their children scraps from leftover chick-fil-A. I just wanted to connect, but I left almost every playdate or get together feeling like a failure. Like I was doing everything all wrong and the whole world knew it. 

I felt more alone after every single effort. 

So, I quit. 

I quit trying. I quit inviting and quit attending anything besides church and family events. I settled into my little family and accepted that this was my new normal. I didn’t need other women; I had my husband and my babies, my mom and my sisters (which, don’t get me wrong, mean the world to me).

Years passed, sometimes painfully slow and other times so fast that I could only chase each moment, wishing it would stay just a little longer. I tried new things. I failed. Then, I tried more new things, until I started to find my way, until I finally felt like I had a pulse, a grasp on life and what I wanted. I began to dream, ever so slowly, but only on my own. 

I don’t know what happened, or where it all began, but one day, I decided to call a friend named Amanda (someone I knew from story time and book club) to join me on a run. That single run turned into an almost daily interaction with Amanda. Suddenly, I was laughing more. I was talking about things to someone that understood—in a female, solidarity, authentic way. 

And then my life changed. 

Soon, my friendship with Amanda grew to include other women—ones that I adore and consider as important as family. Soon, I joined a beautiful writing community where my tribe grew even larger. Add to that, I began going to volleyball every week and building meaningful connections. Kelly, Helen, Tara, Dayna, Ashtyn, Jamie, Keisha, Meg, Amanda, Des, Saige, all you vball and book club girls, etc, etc, etc. (seriously, there are SO many dear people I could name).

We women need each other. We need each other as much as we need to breath. Life is hard, messy, insane, amusing, exciting, and everything in between. Without finding our people, the world feels lonely, depressing, discouraging. 

A single phone call changed my life. I think about that all the time. I might be another phone call away from making another friendship, another life-changing connection. When we reach out to others, we become more. When we talk about things in a real, nonjudgmental way, we give others permission to speak their truths. When we laugh, we lift each other, and when we cry, we do so together. 

So, if you’re feeling like life is a solo journey, I hope you’ll reconsider. We need each other. We need each other’s unique strengths and insights. We need each other’s support. We need connection and service. And as women, there’s nothing like sisterhood. 

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Lucky 33

Lucky 33. oh boy….

This year 

I choose to burn my good candles

On a Tuesday at noon

Just because

I choose to use the expensive lotion

The one I keep tucked safe up on the counter

Not ration any of my most cherished belongings

Because I am worth investing in—right now

This year

I choose to wear that thing

You know

The one I told myself I would slip on

When I looked a certain way?

I choose to love my body

This vessel I have been given 

And her seasons as they shift

This year

I give myself permission to change

And keep changing

For I understand

There is an underlying truth when it comes

To becoming—it doesn’t have to mirror anyone else

This year

I choose to let go

Really let go

Of the heavy

Of the half-hearted

No more forcing connection

Where it no longer lives

I choose to nourish

What’s willing to grow

This year 

I choose to be grateful

For the teachings of my yesterday

I honor my wholeness

When I honor my whole story—even the shaky parts

This year

I choose to step forward

Clear eyes

Heart open

Two feet grounded

Palms wide

To the all-is-possible

Unknown

And new

DANIELLE DOBY, I am her Tribe

I’m not a superstitious person by nature. I don’t mind stepping on cracks, opening umbrellas indoors, or watching a black cat cross the road.

But a lucky number? I always have loved 3. In fact, the more 3’s you add, the luckier it becomes to me. So, turning 33 has been so FUN! I am thrilled to live a year in the 3’s. 

The other day, a mysterious package arrived on my doorstep, a package with a book, I Am Her Tribe

I flipped through the first pages, and emotion caught in my throat. Immediately, I knew who had sent the package. Only one person understands my fascination with words and meanings and the magic of growing and becoming. Only one person understands who I get lost in language about the feminine or connecting with earth or a higher power in connection with our earthly existence.

Thanks, Carrie. This book has become my food lately; I’m devouring it. The fact you found this and KNEW I would love it shows how well you know me and that you love me. And, I love you right back!

Words can hold magic—just look at a few of these AMAZING words by Danielle Doby:

I could have made visuals for every single page of her book. Guys, I loved it.

Year 33– I’ve got big plans for you. I will not stop trying, changing, and finding my way through motherhood, marriage, writing, and my many, many other goals. So here’s to new places and faces, to new growth. 33, I’ve decided to make you the luckiest year YET.

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My Mama.

Cancer sucks. 

For someone that writes about feelings, sometimes I am not the greatest at processing my own. There are things I don’t often speak about. 

Number one the last year: my momma. 

I didn’t even realize how much I had tucked away my emotions. Don’t get me wrong—they emerged every once and a while (sometimes in an ugly cry that lasted whole days). But, in general, I haven’t spoken about my mom and her battle with cancer. 

Breast Cancer. 

I think most women fear breast cancer, but that fear can into reality. I’ll never forget when I found out about my mom. Christmas break—we were late to something, and she was in downer mood. I thought I had hurt her feelings. I asked what was wrong, hoping to smooth things over. She wouldn’t talk about it. 

Again and again I asked. Finally, in her front room, while my kids played upstairs, she told me that the doctor was concerned at her mammogram. My heart sunk, maybe quit beating altogether. Intuitively, I knew the truth that instant. Then it was a matter of waiting for the official call. 

“Cancer is cruel, but we live in a fallen world and I guess trials are a part of life.” That’s what I’ve been telling myself. “Trials affect everyone.” 

But then came the night she went into the ICU. I thought I might crumble to dust. I may be married and a mom of four kids, I may be “grown up”, but I still need her so desparately. There’s no one like my mom. I’ve never had a fiercer advocate, supporter, love, and teacher in my life. No matter how old I get, I go to her when life gets tough. Sometimes, I don’t even need to go to her because she calls me with her momma instinct. 

So, yeah. 

I believe she will pull out of this. She’s done with chemo now and onto radiation. And through all the fear of the unknown, I have stood in awe of her strength. She has handled this disease with such grace, such faith and trust and willingness to go through everything. She has surrendered—but not in a depressed sort of way. She has conquered. I am so overwhelmed with her quiet strength: her smiles, her jokes about hair loss and being eyelash free, her taking pictures with my dad in matching wigs, her determination to stay active and positive, the way she makes it about me and my family when she is around (she asks if she can rub myneck, watch my kids, feed us dinner, host us at her house…). She is such a beautiful soul. I adore her. 

So, tonight when I listened to Taylor Swift’s new album (I’m a loyal fan, and I’m not ashamed), a song came on, stealing my breath. Tears immediately poured out. I almost choked. And I knew I had to write this blog post. 

THIS. 

THIS SONG. 

This is everything I have felt that I haven’t known how to speak aloud. So, here’s my ode to my mama. The lyrics are everything:

The buttons of my coat were tangled in my hair
In doctor’s office lighting, I didn’t tell you I was scared
That was the first time we were there
Holy orange bottles, each night, I pray to you
Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too
And I say to you…

Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
You’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to

I know delusion when I see it in the mirror
You like the nicer nurses, you make the best of a bad deal
I just pretend it isn’t real
I’ll paint the kitchen neon, I’ll brighten up the sky
I know I’ll never get it, there’s not a day that I won’t try
And I say to you…

Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
You’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to

And I hate to make this all about me
But who am I supposed to talk to?
What am I supposed to do
If there’s no you?

This won’t go back to normal, if it ever was
It’s been years of hoping, and I keep saying it because
‘Cause I have to

Ooh-ah
You’ll get better
Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
You’ll get better soon
Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
You’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to


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That Time I Pretended…

I love the beauty of the outdoors. I can scarcely think of anything as lovely as a sunset, coastal storm, or mountain view (with the exception of babies, people. I’m not unfeeling!). My husband is the same. He finds his greatest peace, greatest sense of self, in nature. In fact, he’s planned his trip-of-a-lifetime for this fall—hiking the Alps!

Little wonder then that we often try to take our children in nature. We want to cultivate this love of the outdoors in our children. We hope they will find the beauty of this earth, see the hand of a perfect creator, and become better people because of it. 

But, every single time…

Gnashing of teeth. Unearthly screams. Flailing at the sight of the smallest bug. Complaints of the heat. Crying when separated by modern toilets. Helplessness. More flailing. More gnashing of teeth. And, so much whining. 

Then, a week later (or however long), I somehow forget my children seem incapable of being outdoors and we try again.

As time has proved, I find myself dealing with the same things all over again…

Gnashing of teeth. Unearthly screams. Flailing at the sight of the smallest bug. Complaints of the heat. Crying when separated by modern toilets. Helplessness. More flailing. More gnashing of teeth. And, so much whining. 

Well, I tried again on Saturday. Mark and I took the kids up to a nature park. Basically, it’s a paved path through beautiful scenery, hardly even comparable to a hike. And, what should have been predictable to us, became once more irritating…

Gnashing of teeth. Unearthly screams. Flailing at the sight of the smallest bug. Complaints of the heat. Crying when separated by modern toilets. Helplessness. More flailing. More gnashing of teeth. And, so much whining. 

It all started with the sign in the parking lot. Basically, it looked something like this (but with actual pictures…). 

The craziness was UPPED. RATTLESNAKES?!?! POISON IVY?!?! Oh my. 

We reached the pinnacle of madness just as we stopped beneath the shade of a giant tree—a tree with an unusually large canopy, a tree with tangled and gnarly roots and branches, a tree that looked straight out of a Tinkerbell movie. 

My creativity spun, and suddenly, I found myself speaking crazy. “Shhhhh…do you know what this place is?” I pointed to a birdhouse (drilled into the side of the tree at shoulder-height). “The fairy king’s throne.” 

Hushed silence overtook the small band of crying children. My girls grew reverent, my little boy wide-eyed. 

“Yes, this is the gathering place of the fairies.” I pointed between the leaves, where the sunlight peeked through. “At night, fireflies light this area, and the fairy king summons his people. If you are careful, if you are quiet, you might see a fairy.” 

We walked in silence, and then something ridiculous happened. Words came out of my mouth. Silly words. Embarrassing words. But fun words. 

“There are certain songs,” I said, leading my entranced children, “certain melodies, that call the fairies.” 

My 6-year-old’s eyes were as round as walnuts. 

“Fairy friends, fairy friends, 

Come out to play. 

Fairy friends, fairy friends, 

See us today.”

I have no idea where these words or the tune came from. Well actually, after reflecting a while, I believe the tune stemmed from the recesses of my mind—a mixture of “Come little children” from Hocus Pocus and “Flower Gleam and Glow” from Tangled.

Then, to the miraculous fates above, the leaves rustled. The wind picked up. Branches snapped. I’m not even kidding! 

“Fairies!” Ivy yelled, pointing to the brush. “I heard them!” 

My 10-year old screamed. “Fairies aren’t real!” 

“How do you know?” I quipped. “Don’t you think a God that can create humans and this perfect earth could create fairies too?” 

Please do not judge me for bringing God into this ruse. I just…I was too deep, SINGING for goodness sake. 

“Well, I guess…” my 10-year old said, clearly still skeptical. 

More hiking, more singing, more rustling ensued. Every time I sang, the ground around us seemed to stir. This spurred my ridiculous display even more. I threw in some Disney Enchanted ahahaha’s (scaled operatic sounds), and my three younger children were enthralled! 

No more gnashing of teeth! Not a single complaint! NATURE ENJOYMENT. 

I only broke character a few times to smile, and that happened only because I saw my husband’s fascinated gaze, the amusement in his smile, and the mischief in his expression. It didn’t take me long to figure out that each time I sang, he would throw small pebbles into the brush beside me. He was acting the part of fairy, and the kids had no idea!

The nature walk became delightful. We climbed through secret passages of branches, finding homes of fairies. We heard the flapping of their wings. My 3-year-old saw a spark of color. 

The sun became very hot, and we started back to the car. By now, I was quite impressed with my charade. So, I sang a little closing song: 

“Goodbye my fairy friends,

I’ll see you once again…”

As soon as we reached the parking lot, my darling 6-year-old came giggling-screaming. “Mommy! Mommy! I heard something! I heard the tiniest ‘bye’. I heard it! The fairies said goodbye!” 

She was convinced to her soul. Her expression, her smile, her authentic excitement—it was palpable. And contagious. 

I was beginning to feel a bit guilty…but then we got into the car, and my 8-year-old said, “This was the best day ever!” 

“That was so fun!” another said. 

“Is it a holiday?” a third said. “Why are we having so much fun?” 

Mark bit back a smile, and my guilt disappeared. Finally, when the kids were distracted, he leaned over. “Wow, Heather, I’m super impressed.” 

A strange sense of pride washed over me. My out-of-this-world imagination is good for something besides writing books. 

Maybe our nature walk was not as perfect and reflective as I had hoped, but my children enjoyed being outdoors! They forgot about bugs and heat and snakes and poison ivy. I’m calling it a win. 

But I can’t wait to recount the story when they’re older. I think we’ll have some good laughs. 

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Next Year in Havana

Purchase here

From Amazon:

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. 

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

My Take: 

I really enjoyed the way Cleeton shared two women’s journeys, separated by generations. Interestingly enough, their lives mirror one another in many aspects. I can’t help but wonder if that happens more often than we know. Maybe we would do well to learn more about the lives of our parents, grandparents, and so forth. 

Some of my favorite parts…

Elisa, a girl of nineteen, fell in love with a revolutionary. Wars, water, and time separated them. Elisa thought Pablo dead. When Marisol, their granddaughter, questions Pablo about why he did not go to Elisa, he says:

“It’s not the life I imagined for myself, the one Elisa and I dreamed of, but the older you get, the more you learn to appreciate the moments life gives you. Getting them certainly isn’t a given, and I feel blessed to have carved out a life here where I could be happy even if it wasn’t quite the happiness I envisioned, if the things I dreamed of never quite came to pass.”

Cleeton’s wisdom rattled me. Life rarely turns out how we expect, but there are moments—moments that can steal your breath, moments that can warm your heart. I love this idea of enjoying what life has to offer, even if it doesn’t go exactly as you planned or originally hoped for. 

Later on, Pablo explains further:

“It was enough to hope that she was happy.”

Marisol: “It feels so incomplete.” 

Pablo: “Life so often is. It’s messy, too. This isn’t the ending, Marisol. When you’re young, life’s punctuation so often seems final when it’s nothing more than a pause. When I learned Elisa had married, I thought our story had ended. Accepted it. And now, almost sixty years later, you’re here. I have a granddaughter. A son, a new family. A piece of Elisa. You never know what’s to come. That’s the beauty of life. If everything happened the way we wished, the way we planned, we’d miss out on the best parts, the unexpected pleasures…

“We all had a vision; we had a plan. Fate, God, Fidel, they all laughed at that plan. I thought I was on one path, and it turned out to be something else entirely. That’s doesn’t mean it’s all bad, though.” 

Seriously. If I had a dollar for everything in my life that turned out differently than I envisioned… I’d have more than $50 for sure. Ha. Really, life is much more like a switch-back hike than a straight road. Nothing is so clear or so easy or so direct. 

Overall, I enjoyed this read. I found the story of Elisa and Pablo most compelling, but I loved watching Marisol piece things together. I learned about the history of Cuba, and I once again fell in love with the states. One of my favorite quotes at the end highlights this fact. Marisol grew up believing she would find a part of her home in Cuba. However, when she finally gets a chance to visit Cuba (after Fidel’s death), she finds that Cuba is not home. She says:

“There is no home for us in a world where we can’t speak our minds for fear of being thrown in prison, where daring to dream is a criminal act, where you aren’t limited by your own ability and ambition, but instead by the whims of those who keep a tight rein on power.” 

My only complaint, my personal sensitivity. I’m not a fan of some of the PG-13 scenes. 

Happy reading, 
<3 H

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He loves me so.

Planning Girls’ camp for my church has been overwhelming. So many details. Last night, one of the other leaders sat on my couch to discuss the many things I have to do in the next couple days…

My 3-year-old came to me crying, begging me to open the door to go outside. He needed to go outside and the door was stuck. I tried to comfort him, but I kept talking to Suzanne, trying not to get impatient. Summer days are long, you guys.

Again. Jude pled. “Mommy, open the door! I need a flower.”

Again, I told him to wait, that Mommy was talking to someone.

This scenario played out a few more times, and my little boy was in tears. Eventually though, he disappeared. A few minutes later and I heard a tapping at the back door.

There stood my boy, who had somehow found his way outside by himself. I opened the door, and he held up a single flower for me.

He had wanted to go outside to pick Mommy a flower, and that was more important to him than anything else. His determined spirit to do something kind for me brought a burning in my chest.

That kind of love is what stories are made of. My little Jude melts me. A mother’s love is nothing short of heavenly. At times.

Remind me that in a week….

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