Review: Find Your Brave

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S Y N O P S I S

Have you ever found yourself in over your head, wondering how you would possibly get through with your faith and sanity intact?

It can happen any time. Life seems good and then—BOOM!—out of nowhere comes a storm that threatens to drown your hopes. Your storm might be a job loss, loneliness, a crumbling relationship, financial ruin, a serious illness, or the death of a loved one. Whatever it is, as the winds howl and the waves rage, you have a choice: will you cower in fear or will you rise to the challenge?

Cancer survivor Holly Wagner has endured her share of storms. In Find Your Brave she examines the dramatic shipwreck faced by the apostle Paul in Acts 27. There she uncovers profound truths that will guide you safely through life’s most difficult moments.

Through solid biblical teaching and relatable personal stories, Holly offers an uplifting, friendly voice in the midst of the gale-force winds and overpowering critical voices. She shows you how to anchor your trust in the God who remains faithful in every storm and in whose strength you can Find Your Brave.

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R E V I E W

I recently found myself in a situation where I unintentionally hurt someone close to me. What I thought was truth was actually a lie and I became so swept up and blinded by it that I said things I shouldn’t have. I made a mess and I knew I had to do my part to make it right. I took responsibility, I apologized, and I learned (the hard way) a huge lesson.

It is easy to have hope when we are on the mountaintop. But the truth is, every mountain has a valley. And I have learned that fruit does not grow on the mountaintops—fruit grows in the valleys.

While the relationship was bandaged, I had a huge gaping wound. I wanted to run, detach from everyone, and not be in relationship with anyone. I didn’t know how to pick myself up because I was embarrassed by how deceived I had been. I separated myself for 2 weeks, maybe 3 and I had a pity party. What a great time that was…

As I was scrolling through bloggingforbooks.com and thinking of what I’d like to review next, Find Your Brave by Holly Wagner appeared. I have Rising Strong by Brené Brown on my to read list but Holly’s book stuck out to me because she follows the shipwreck that Paul encountered in Acts. I knew in order for my heart to be healed I needed more than an encouraging word, I needed biblical insight.

It is only in navigating the challenges and the trials that we are made complete.

This book was such a comfort. The writing is authentic and friendly with a mix of tough love. Not only does she delve into an array of issues that can come our way but she also addresses the ones we make ourselves. Holly describes the different anchors we need to drop when we find ourselves in the midst of a raging storm-what will keep us grounded when we think it can’t possibly get any better. I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s just going through it and can’t seem to find ground anywhere. If you feel alone or want to be alone in dealing with your issues then pick this one up. You will find guidance, hope, courage, and the strength to get up and finish the race that’s been set before you.

She does not wilt; she does not complain; she does not blame. She finds her brave and she rises. She actually grows stronger in the midst of dark times when it seems as if the whole world is trembling. God is looking for a company of women who will find their brave and rise in the midst of any and every challenge—and then be a force for good to help others find their brave.

R A T I N G

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I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.

Be Blessed,

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Review: The Little Paris Bookshop

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S Y N O P S I S

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.

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R E V I E W

A literary apothecary, a book pharmacist and the romantic setting of Paris had me putting aside current readings to set sail on a completely new adventure. I’ve never traveled to France so my initial thought was to visit the country in the most economical way possible, via hardcover. I immediately felt the culture shock of the setting and found it difficult to connect with. I read words, locations, and expressions that I had no prior knowledge of but pressed through to learn what exactly a literary pharmacist looked like.

The heartbroken protagonist, Jean Perdu, spends his time aboard his book barge guiding customers in selecting books depending on their current situation in life. He knows which books will bring comfort and which ones will do more harm than good. I thought this was a brilliant concept that could’ve been elaborated on in the story (there’s an apothecary reference guide in the back of the book that eased this disappointment).

“Reading – an endless journey; a long, indeed never-ending journey that made one more temperate as well as more loving and kind.”

Jean’s journey south is where the book picked up for me. The adventure brought many smiles, laughs, and ultimately tears. The final journal entry from his first love’s traveling journal left mascara under my eyes and a sadness in my heart. The book is warm, full of discreet romance and oozes deep love. The kind of love that marks you and changes your entire life. I recommend this read to anyone who needs a getaway without leaving the comfort of their bed and/or longs for all the feelings that love entails.

“And women are the smart ones, because they didn’t oppose feelings and thinking, and loved without limits – yes, he knew that in his gut.”

R A T I N G
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I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review

Be Blessed,

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Unafraid

Susie Davis, author of Unafraid, witnessed the murder of her eighth grade teacher by one of her classmates. Leaving her with deeply rooted trust issues, this experience became an obstacle she had to overcome. The loss of trust in her relationship with God created debilitating fears in her life. She felt as I think many of us have, if God is a good father and can keep bad things from happening to us then why doesn’t he?

“As long as I stayed vigilant, cautious, and wary, nothing bad would happen. Instead of depending on God for protection, I held tight to something destructive.”

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I found this book to be well written and easy to read. I was finished in a few days because I had to know how it all worked out for her. Unafraid opened my eyes to see areas in my life that I thought were normal concerns, were actually fears. To be brought to tears at the idea of a close family member taking my daughter to the Children’s Museum, that’s fear. To cry because a family member took my daughter down to the beach to play while I stayed up at the beach house because I was too tired to join, that’s fear. I’ve let fear wreck my emotions because I’ve held on tightly to Alaina, thinking that if I do then nothing bad will happen. The truth is that God is a good Father and He can protect her, that He loves her more than I do.

“Fear whispers when we’re young. It follows us when we’re older. And somewhere along the way, we start to think it’s normal to be afraid.”

If you struggle with anxiety and constant what-if scenarios playing through your head then this book is for you. Susie’s story is comforting, she’s been there, she gets it, and she’s fought and continues to fight fear.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Be blessed,

LG7