Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Blame Eve...

Just about everyone knows the story of Adam & Eve: 
God created them. They lived a perfect life in Eden. They could eat anything they wanted except the fruit from the one tree that God said was off limits. A talking snake (the devil) entered the picture and convinced Eve to eat some forbidden fruit. She then gave some to Adam. And since then, Life stinks, or does it? 
I had the great privilege recently of reading Susanna Foth Aughtmon's new book, "I Blame Eve." I looked forward to reading it, Sue has a great conversational style to her writing. It makes the book flow easily and it's a little like having coffee with a friend. She is funny and engaging. I wondered about the perspective that she would take with the book, I mean the story of Adam and Eve only takes up 2 chapters in the Bible and most people know the story, Sue was turning this into a whole book! When the book arrived, it's subtitle reads, "Freedom from Perfectionism, Control Issues, & the Tendency to Listen to Talking Snakes." (Ok, I thought, am I really excited about this book? I don't have ANY challenges with those pitfalls, right? Ok, I do, so this should be interesting) 
 I dived in and while reading I Blame Eve, I laughed, cried, laughed again, & gasped in disbelief that Sue would, yet again, put life- real life- out on the table for other women to learn from. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and took notes in every chapter but the part that I needed to hear the most was from Chapter 13, I Get Discouraged. Sue makes a great point about having unrealistic expectations and how I can't experience the joy of the life I have been given if I am constantly in a state of being disappointed and disappointing others because my expectations are skewed. This was such a good reminder to me.
You could be totally an opposite personality type to Sue and have a completely different life and still relate to this great book. It speaks to the heart of women, what we believe (right & wrong), and the path to a more fulfilled, grace-oriented place.
Read this book, it'll be a blessing to you!

Publisher's Book Description:

When our great-to-the-nth-degree grandmother Eve ate the fruit, we lost out on the perfect life. But that doesn't stop us from trying, does it? In fact, we make trying to be perfect the focus of our entire lives! But what would happen if we stopped trying to be perfect and started trying to be his?
In this fantastically witty book, Susanna Foth Aughtmon helps women find out what it means to be honest about what we crave in life and let go of our deep need to be in control. Using Scripture and amusing personal stories, she shows women the freedom of embracing the unique path God lays out for each of us. Includes study questions to facilitate group or individual use.

Disclaimer: I received this (complementary) book copy from the publisher along with a request to review the book. It did not affect or influence my review, nor was I required or coerced into giving a favorable book. I really did just Love the book!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Break

For Spring Break, we decided to take the kids to Tampa. Why Tampa? Mostly because it's warm and we could swim but also because David spends a fair amount of time in Tampa and we thought it might be fun to share that world with the they would have a visual picture of Tampa when I tell them that Dad is "in Tampa."
As soon as we decided to travel to Florida, David insisted that we swim with the manatee while we were there. This is something that he did with his family when he was a kid and he wanted to share the experience with our kids. He found a private boat tour who could take the six of us out so that we could have focused time with the kids to teach them snorkeling and help them really interact with the manatee. It was AMAZING. It is the highlight of our vacation, even for little Cooper. All the kids were able to snorkel with flotation devices. We got to swim with a family of manatee for an hour or longer (taking turns and rest breaks for the kids).
All of us in wet suits on the boat just before we got into the water to swim with the manatee.