Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Elisha's Bones

Mia has beautiful hair earning her compliments wherever she goes, and it is especially adored by her grandmothers and father. Me, as much as I love how beautiful it is, I hate the daily battle we fight over it. She has a lot of hair, but it's very fine and easily snarls. She couldn't wear her hair down at school all winter because just the act of wearing a hat to and from school and during recesses created an enormous knot at the back of her head that would take nearly an hour to work out. After every shower and every morning before school, she was guaranteed to cry from me brushing, even with the liberal use of detangler.

Last weekend I left Mia with my mom while we went up to Superior, and when she came home on Sunday, she had another large knot on the back of her head. Even Mom didn't like combing through all that luxurious hair that she loves. Mia's been mentioning for awhile that she wanted her hair cut to her shoulders, and last night's shower made us both realize it was time for a change. I measured her hair and saw that she had enough to donate to Locks of Love. I explained to her what the organization did and used her Uncle Howard as an example. As part of his treatment, he lost much of his hair and it's just finally starting to grow back. I told Mia that Locks of Love would take her hair and give it to a little girl (or boy) who had cancer and lost their own hair; this would make them feel good about themselves. When I finished telling her about it, she threw her arms around me as if I had just given her a huge gift and agreed that this was exactly what she wanted to do. I made an appointment for her right after school today, and the stylist took off just over 10"! The cut is a little shorter than we expected, but Mia can't stop talking about how much she loves it. We'll drop it in the mail tomorrow, and I put on the form that she's donating in the name of Howard Valley. It's one more example of how God has used his illness for good; Mia has learned what cancer is as well as how it effects a family, and she wants to make a difference.

Elisha's Bones by Don Hoesel is a pulse-pounding action filled thriller in the vein of The DaVinci Code, but written well! Jack Hawthorne gave up working in the field as an archaeologist to work as a college professor after the mysterious death of his brother. He's lured back into one of his old digs in Venezuela when a reclusive billionaire hires him to find the biblical prophet Elisha's bones which are rumored to have the power to resurrect the dead. Hawthorne reconnects with his old fiance (and she reconnects her fist with his face), Espy, who is a language expert. But every time Jack and Espy make a discovery, someone dies, and they are on the run for their lives, especially when he learns that this quest is connected to his brother's death. Hoesel has created a humorous self-deprecating character who has a lot to learn about himself and relationships. Espy is more than just his female foil, she's smart with a lot of heart and wants very much to share her new faith with Jack, but he's not quite ready yet. I fully intended to go to bed at a reasonable hour Monday night, but I because so caught up in the story, I didn't get to sleep until I finished it, after 1:30 am. So this book comes with a reader's warning: Don't pick it up unless you have the time to finish it, because it's too good to put down!

Congratulations to Kim Magnin; she's the winner of Gardening Eden. Today I'm starting a new book contest. I'm giving away two copies of 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe by Larry Osborne. There are a lot of urban legends Christians buy into, and it hurts their faith like: God brings good luck, Everything happens for a reason, and A godly home guarantees good kids. Osborne provides Scripture to explain why these beliefs are just plain wrong. If you are interested in winning, send me an email before 10 pm on Thursday, April 23rd. I'll announce the winners here on Friday and my review will go up on Saturday. Good luck!