Falling Free

Author: Shannan Martin
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 0718077474
Format: PDF, ePub
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“Shannan’s story feels at once familiar and spectacular, ordinary and exceptional. You will discover that at the same time her words make you squirm, you will wish you lived next door to her. You will want her wisdom and you will want her pickles.” —Jen Hatmaker (from the foreword) Shannan Martin had the perfect life: a cute farmhouse on six rambling acres, a loving husband, three adorable kids, money, friends, a close-knit church—a safe, happy existence. But when the bottom dropped out through a series of shocking changes and ordinary inconveniences, the Martins followed God’s call to something radically different: a small house on the other side of the urban tracks, a shoestring income, a challenged public school, and the harshness of a county jail (where her husband is now chaplain). And yet the family’s plunge from “safety” was the best thing that could have happened to them. Falling Free charts their pilgrimage from the self-focused wisdom of the world to the topsy-turvy life of God’s more being found in less. Martin’s practical, sweetly subversive book invites us to rethink assumptions about faith and the good life, push past insecurity and fear, and look beyond comfortable, middle-class Christianity toward a deeper, richer, and ultimately more fulfilling life.

The Family Nobody Wanted

Author: Helen Doss
Publisher: Northeastern University Press
ISBN: 1555538495
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Doss's charming, touching, and at times hilarious chronicle tells how each of the children, representing white, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Mexican, and Native American backgrounds, came to her and husband Carl, a Methodist minister. She writes of the way the "unwanted" feeling was erased with devoted love and understanding and how the children united into one happy family. Her account reads like a novel, with scenes of hard times and triumphs described in vivid prose. The Family Nobody Wanted, which inspired two films, opened doors for other adoptive families and was a popular favorite among parents, young adults, and children for more than thirty years. Now this edition will introduce the classic to a new generation of readers. An epilogue by Helen Doss that updates the family's progress since 1954 will delight the book's loyal legion of fans around the world.

La La Lovely

Author: Trina McNeilly
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 1478920777
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Through beautiful designs and imagery, LA LA LOVELY invites readers to find their true identity where there is brokenness, discover the love of God, and design their own special place of beauty. Author Trina McNeilly has been blogging for nearly a decade. While she spent her days sharing beauty, looking for lovely things, and redecorating her childhood home, her parents' unexpected divorce shattered her ideals of "home." Through this journey, Trina learned that beauty is not beyond the laundry pile, chipped paint, dirty dishes, broken table or broken life. It's right in the center of it. Trina found that God IS beauty. And that he invites us to look, discover, uncover and find because when we find beauty, we find God. In LA LA LOVELY, Trina shares stories and inspiration from her journey of finding, and being found, by beauty. You will find deep matters of the heart along with practical pointers on things like decorating your home, finding your style, and creating beautiful spaces. Each chapter offers essays, beautiful photographs, design tips, and practical advice for creating a place of beauty and belonging no matter where you live or what you're going through.

One Beautiful Dream

Author: Jennifer Fulwiler
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 0310349753
Format: PDF, ePub
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Pursue your passions, love your family, and say goodbye to guilt—pipe dream or possibility? Work and family, individuality and motherhood, the creative life and family life—women are told constantly that they can’t have it all. One Beautiful Dream is the deeply personal, often humorous tale of what happened when one woman dared to believe that you can have it all—if you’re willing to reimagine what having it all looks like. Jennifer Fulwiler is the last person you might expect to be the mother of six young children. First of all, she’s an introvert only child, self-described workaholic, and former atheist who never intended to have a family. Oh, and Jennifer has a blood-clotting disorder exacerbated by pregnancy that has threatened her life on more than one occasion. One Beautiful Dream is the story of what happens when one woman embarks on the wild experiment of chasing her dreams with multiple kids in diapers. It’s the tale of learning that opening your life to others means that everything will get noisy and chaotic, but that it is in this mess that you’ll find real joy. Jennifer’s quest takes her in search of wisdom from a cast of colorful characters, including her Ivy-League-educated husband, her Texan mother-in-law who crushes wasps with her fist while arguing with wrong number calls about politics, and a best friend who’s never afraid to tell it like it is. Through it all, Jennifer moves toward the realization that the life you need is not the life you would have originally chosen for yourself. And maybe, just maybe, it’s better that way. Hilarious, highly relatable, and brutally honest, Jennifer’s story will spark clarity and comfort to your own tug-of-war between all that is good and beautiful about family life and the incredible sacrifice it entails. Parenthood, personal ambitions, family planning, and faith—it’s complicated. Let this book be your invitation to the unexpected, yet beautiful dream of saying yes to them all, with God’s help.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 052543285X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.

Shelter Book One

Author: Harlan Coben
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 110153561X
Format: PDF, ePub
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A young adult debut from internationally bestselling author Harlan Coben Mickey Bolitar's year can't get much worse. After witnessing his father's death and sending his mom to rehab, he's forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools. A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For a while, it seems like Mickey's train-wreck of a life is finally improving - until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley's trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that this seemingly sweet, shy girl isn't who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey's father. Soon, Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem like a luxury - and leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew. First introduced to readers in Harlan Coben's latest adult novel, Live Wire, Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, and eager to go to any length to save the people he cares about. With this new series, Coben introduces an entirely new generation of fans to the masterful plotting and wry humor that have made him an award-winning, internationally bestselling, and beloved author. Follow Mickey Bolitar on his next adventure in Seconds Away, coming out in Fall 2012!

Falling with Wings A Mother s Story

Author: Dianna De La Garza
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 1250143322
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Before she was mother to global superstar Demi Lovato, she was just Dianna Hart. Dianna tells her story from the very beginning in this complete and genuinely affecting memoir. She had big plans of becoming a country music star, but her life went in a different direction than her dreams. She developed an eating disorder early in life to gain a sense of control in her strict upbringing. As she continued to struggle with body image and her obsession with being perfect her entire adult life, she was also met with other difficult situations. Her husband and father of her two eldest daughters, Dallas and Demi, had his own troubles that effected the entire family. She coped with alcohol and pills, forming a long-lasting addiction. She's had terrible lows but also some great highs as she watched her daughters break out in Hollywood to become strong, empowered young women. As a mother caring for daughters with addictions while continuing to battle her own, Dianna offers a unique perspective. And as a family, they have survived everything life has thrown at them and come away from it stronger than ever. Dianna tells her story of living through and surviving adversity--with tremendous strength, love and faith.

Katharina and Martin Luther

Author: Michelle DeRusha
Publisher: Baker Books
ISBN: 1493406094
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Their revolutionary marriage was arguably one of the most scandalous and intriguing in history. Yet five centuries later, we still know little about Martin and Katharina Luther's life as husband and wife. Until now. Against all odds, the unlikely union worked, over time blossoming into the most tender of love stories. This unique biography tells the riveting story of two extraordinary people and their extraordinary relationship, offering refreshing insights into Christian history and illuminating the Luthers' profound impact on the institution of marriage, the effects of which still reverberate today. By the time they turn the last page, readers will have a deeper understanding of Luther as a husband and father and will come to love and admire Katharina, a woman who, in spite of her pivotal role, has been largely forgotten by history. Together, this legendary couple experienced joy and grief, triumph and travail. This book brings their private lives and their love story into the spotlight and offers powerful insights into our own twenty-first-century understanding of marriage.

It s Okay About It

Author: Lauren Casper
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 0718085531
Format: PDF, Docs
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Popular blogger Lauren Casper shares poignantly simple yet profound wisdom about removing the barriers we construct around our hearts and doing life full-on, all from the least expected source: her five-year-old son, Mareto. Five-year-old Mareto finds color and light in the ordinary happenings of every day and delights in beauty just waiting to be found. Those are lessons he shares, often unknowingly, with his mom, Lauren Casper. For Lauren, living with Mareto is a lot like playing the telephone game. He blurts out little phrases that have their origin in something he saw or heard, but by the time they make their way through his mind and back out of his mouth, they’ve transformed—often into beautiful truths about living a simple, authentic, love- and joy-filled life. From “it’s okay about it,” a simple reminder that even when life is painful or difficult, things will be okay because God promises never to leave or forsake his children, to “you’re making me feelings,” which teaches the importance of leaning into one’s emotions and, in doing so, sharing a piece of oneself with loved ones—Mareto’s simple yet profound wisdom is a reminder to embrace the broken beauty of life, to believe in a God bigger than human comprehension, and to love others even when it doesn’t make sense. For all those looking to recapture the faith, simplicity, wonder, hope, courage, and joy of life, It’s Okay About It provides a guide to look inward and live outward, to discover the most wide open and beautiful life possible.

Saving Simon

Author: Jon Katz
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0804177287
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In this heartfelt, thoughtful, and inspiring memoir, New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz tells the story of his beloved rescue donkey, Simon, and the wondrous ways that animals make us wiser and kinder people. In the spring of 2011, Jon Katz received a phone call that would challenge every idea he ever had about mercy and compassion. An animal control officer had found a neglected donkey on a farm in upstate New York, and she hoped that Jon and his wife, Maria, would be willing to adopt him. Jon wasn’t planning to add another animal to his home on Bedlam Farm, certainly not a very sick donkey. But the moment he saw the wrenching sight of Simon, he felt a powerful connection. Simon touched something very deep inside of him. Jon and Maria decided to take him in. Simon’s recovery was far from easy. Weak and malnourished, he needed near constant care, but Jon was determined to help him heal. As Simon’s health improved, Jon would feed him by hand, read to him, take him on walks, even confide in him like an old and trusted friend. Then, miraculously, as if in reciprocation, Simon began to reveal to Jon the true meaning of compassion, the ways in which it can transform our lives and inspire us to take great risks. This radically different perspective on kindness and empathy led Jon to a troubled border collie from Ireland in need of a home, a blind pony who had lived outside in a pasture for fifteen years, and a new farm for him and Maria. In the great tradition of heroes—from Don Quixote to Shrek—who faced the world in the company of their donkeys, Jon came to understand compassion and mercy in a new light, learning to open up “not just to Simon, not just to animals, but to the human experience. To love, to risk, to friendship.” With grace, warmth, and keen emotional insight, Saving Simon plumbs the depths of the bonds we form with our animals, and the rewards of “living a more compassionate, considered, and meaningful life.” Praise for Saving Simon “Heartwarming . . . a touching tale.”—USA Today “Highly recommended . . . an enjoyable and thoughtful work.”—Library Journal (starred review) “[Saving Simon] handles the emotional highs and lows of living with animals with empathy and thoughtfulness, forcing readers to re-examine their own meanings of compassion and mercy.”—Kirkus Reviews “The message of this true story will linger with the reader long after the book has been placed on the shelf.”—Bookreporter “[An] uplifting and insightful memoir . . . Katz’s fans and animal lovers of all kinds will no doubt be delighted by Simon’s heartwarming story.”—Publishers Weekly Praise for Jon Katz “With wisdom and grace, Katz unlocks the canine soul and the complicated wonders that lie within and offers powerful insights to anyone who has ever struggled with, and loved, a troubled animal.”—John Grogan, author of Marley & Me “Katz’s world—of animals and humans and their combined generosity of spirit—is a place you’re glad you’ve been.”—The Boston Globe “From Toto to Marley, our canine friends are a sure bet in the literary biz. But no one seems to speak their language like Jon Katz.”—San Antonio Express-News From the Hardcover edition.