Sunday, July 12, 2009

How Sweet It Is

The pain kept me from sleeping well last night, and I'm not getting anything done today like I had hoped. Molly did laundry while I was gone those three days, but she didn't fold or sort anything, so it was waiting for me in a huge pile on the couch when I got home Friday night. It's still sitting there this afternoon, making me feel guilty every time I see it or walk by. And somehow a pile of assorted junk accumulated at the foot of our bed. I've picked up the unmatched socks, papers, and dirty clothes, now I just have to take care of the shoes and hangers. But my hips and ankles are killing me, so for now it taunts me, reminding me that if I don't clean it up completely, it will spawn overnight and grow to unmanageable levels.

I've been getting much better about turning control of my day over to the Lord, and that includes my ability to get housework done. I'm also working on reminding myself that I didn't get sick on purpose; this isn't something I've done to myself, so I shouldn't feel guilty about having to take it easy. And remembering that all of our friends and family know about my illness, so if they are going to judge me on the state of my house, that's their problem, not mine. I know all of these things intellectually; it's much harder for me to absorb that knowledge emotionally.

How Sweet It Is by Alice Wisler is a sweet novel of learning to let go. Deena Livingston bears both physical and emotional scars from her ex-fiance. After he crashed his car, she needed 179 stitches to repair the damage, and in the hospital, she learned that he had been cheating on her. The two devastating blows send her from her home in Atlanta to the mountains of North Carolina where her grandfather left her his cabin in his will. A clause to the will requires her to teach cooking to junior high students at a nearby youth center. Deena starts her own cake-decorating business, but it's harder for her to connect with her young students who each bear wounds of their own: abandonment, abuse, and neglect. A handsome social worker and a Eagles-singing plumber both help Deena get past her pain as she learns that you have to give in order to receive. I love Wisler's writing, because her stories are primarily character-driven. Deena is the focus of this novel, and the reader quickly falls in love with the slow, steady pace and unique storytelling. Every one of her books is a breath of fresh air.

Mia's tooth has suddenly gotten very loose, so Jesse and I have given her the task today of wiggling it until it falls out. Hopefully I will have a picture of her gap-toothed grin tomorrow!

Molly dressed Mia up while I was gone and put make-up on her to make her a big girl. Then she took TONS of pictures. This is my favorite.


Alice J. Wisler said...

Thanks, Christy, for the review!

~Alice J. Wisler