Saturday, October 18, 2014

Prescription for Life (Book review)

I received a copy of Prescription for Life from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my review of the book.  Affiliate links may also present in this review.

We need to do better for our health.
We need to do better with our exercise and lifestyle choices.
We need to do better with our eating choices.
We know all these things.
Maybe we've heard these things from our spouse, or children, or parents.
Maybe we've heard these things from our doctor.
Maybe we've even tried to make some changes.

Prescription for Life
The book Prescription for Life, by Dr. Richard Furman, was an informative read.
As a vascular surgeon, Dr. Furman approaches the topic for better living from a unique perspective.  Focusing on weight, eating/food choices, and maintaining an active exercise/lifestyle plan, the book contains many helpful tips and hints for starting on the path to making changes to lead to a healthier lifestyle.
This book is full of examples from Dr. Furman's years of medical practice.  There are stories of people who successfully changed their lives for the better.  There are stories of people who chose not to make changes in their lives.  There are stories of people who made healthier choices for some time, but then chose to go back to what their previous habits had been.
Woven within all these stories are medical facts and explanations that are difficult, if not impossible, with which to argue.  Dr. Furman shares his knowledge authoritatively, yet with an underlying sense of urgency and sincerity being conveyed.  Additional topics such as diabetes, Alzheimer's, and cancer are also addressed.
In a way, reading this book felt a little bit like "everything you wanted to know about living healthy but were afraid to ask" given all the information that is shared.  If you don't have access to your own personal vascular surgeon, Dr. Furman's book provides a great opportunity to find answers to so many things we know we need to do, but maybe haven't done.

Everlasting Light (New Dayspring Products!)

I've started to notice one word coming up in my life quite a bit lately. 
I've been picking up on this for a couple weeks now.  
First, in an email message.  Then in a daily Scripture email that arrives in my inbox each morning. Then at Mass. Then on the radio. 
Now, I have moments of incredible brilliance.  Really.  Believe me. I do. 
But once in a while, I need to be reminded of a particular point a few times. 
Or, sometimes, more than a few times.  
More like lots of times over the course of a couple weeks.  
I have moments of spiritual blindness.  Really.  Believe me.  I do. 
But I am so grateful for God's gentle goodness to help me see what He's trying to call me to. 
In this case? 
We hear the word so many times throughout the Bible. 

  • Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.  Psalms 119:105 
  • You will succeed in all you do, and light will shine on your path. Job 22:28 
  • The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.  John 1:5 

I love that in some Scripture passages, when the word "light" is used, it is referring to God.  In some passages, Jesus is the Light.  In other passages, WE are called to be the light, and to bring the Light to others.

Light is where the "good stuff" is.  We are called into the light of life that Jesus claimed for us through his death and resurrection! 

It has been said that the light from a single candle can be seen from two miles away.  I've never set that experiment up to test it for sure, but I think the point it well taken that light will break through darkness.  Good will prevail.  We are called by Christ to let our light shine.  I love the verse inscribed on this ring from Philippians 2:15: "You will shine like stars..." 


This ring is part of the Everlasting Light collection from DaySpring.  Don't you love that name?  

I am fortunate that our home is situated outside of any town or city, which allows us to see the stars on any clear (or relatively clear) night.  I never cease to be amazed at the vastness of the sky, filled with stars.  The Bible says that God calls each star by name.  With all the billions of trillions of stars in the sky, God knows  
To borrow a phrase from my teenage years, that blows my mind.  Really.  
In the same way that God calls each star by name, each of us are called to let our light shine as well.  To bring Christ, the Light of the world, to this broken world of today in which we live.  

So even though it takes me a while to "get it" sometimes, I have loved God's reminders of light -- to be light, to live in the light, to let my light shine.  
I think I get it now, Lord.  Really.  Believe me.  I do. 

This post contains images and my opinion on the Everlasting Light Collection from DaySpring.  I received a gift from them in exchange for my review of these products.  Affiliate links are present.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Woman Code (Book Review)

NOTE:  I was provided with a copy of Sophia Nelson's newly published book The Woman Code from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my review of it.  In addition, affiliate links are present in this blog post.

Something's going on.
Within my heart.
Ever get that feeling?
Nothing major, mind you. I'm not talking changing jobs, or locations, or anything like that.  I'm very happy in my physical space and in my life situation right now.
I love my husband.  I'm enjoying my job.  I have hobbies and interests I enjoy.
But still.....there's something.
This last book I read?  It touched on that "something" within me.
Women live by an inner "code", according to author Sophia Nelson in her new book The Woman Code (see it here).  This code is actually a combination of a number of codes which fall into five major categories: Personal Codes, Emotional Codes, Spiritual Codes, Professional Codes, and Relational Codes.
I have always enjoyed self-improvement books, methods, resources.  As a result, several of the ideas contained within this book I have heard before, but not in this way.
Sophia Nelson takes examples and personal incidents, and shares them in wonderfully beautiful ways to help us, the readers, understand what she is helping us learn.  The examples of Donna and Janet in "Know Your Value" are examples that, I believe, will resonate with every woman.  When we can look at this third-party instance, we realize the impact our understood value as girls has created us to be the women we are today.  Additionally, her grandmother's reminder to "never cut what you can untie" is a poignant reminder to keep the right doors open in our lives.  In the same Code, she helps us understand when to "cut" and when to "untie" to best serve the needs and times in our lives.
One part of this book that was a little overwhelming was the number of Codes Nelson introduces (twenty of them!).  However, once I got into this book, I saw how they were easy to group together under the major Code areas.  Although they were each separate, they were all interwoven with one another which made it easy to continue to read and grow from her writing.
An added bonus to this book is the Study Guide that is included as part of this book.  This is going to be an invaluable resource as I go back to study and learn the Woman Code in more instances in my own life.
That feeling of something going on?
Are you feeling it now, too?