The Waiting Place – A Book Review

Waiting…waiting on family. Waiting on God. Waiting on a decision. We all have times when we must wait. Eileen Button has spent a lot of time waiting and she writes about it in her memoir, The Waiting Place. This is a collection of her own experiences told in a way that the reader enters the story and experiences it with the author.
By all of my normal standards, I wouldn’t like this book much. Button is irreverent and bold. She talks about things most pastor’s wives wouldn’t. She uses words like “dang” without shame, and she’s just plain edgy. Like I said, by my normal standards, I wouldn’t be impressed. But that’s exactly what I like about this book. The author is real and raw. She isn’t pretentious or acting like she has it all together. She just puts it all out there and lets the reader like her, or not.
Unlike my experience with Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz where the entire memoir depicted Miller’s big ego (in case it isn’t clear from that, I didn’t like it), Eileen Button’s The Waiting Place is a gentler memoir, drawn from a place of humility. And it’s artfully told. The first person present tense draws the read into the moment. And I love the poetic way that Button describes things. She has a way with words that few have. For example, she talks of her mother styling her hair and says the ringlets “hang like Hostess Ho Hos along the sides of our heads.” She weaves humor and sadness together and grips the heart of the reader.
I had to laugh when she told the story of her weddings dress. Like the author, I bought my dress off the rack to save money and chose to wear 3 inch heals so I wouldn’t have to pay for alterations. And like hers, mine was “pretty in an eighties kinda way.” Like the author, I had to stand in line to pay for my children’s food with WIC checks, despite having a college degree, because I was committed to staying home with them. And I experienced the exact same shame she did from the treatment of cashiers and judging stares of other customers.
Is it deeply spiritual? No. But it is deeply moving and faith is woven throughout the book. I grew up in a very different environment from the author..much more sheltered. And yet, there were so many times in the book when I thought, she’s telling my story. That’s because Button touches on emotions and feelings and not just on the what—what happened. It’s about how it changed her and made her depend more on God.
The Waiting Place: Learning to Appreciate Life's Little Delays
I enjoyed this refreshingly honest book and I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever longed to find God in the middle of life’s painful circumstances. The author proves it can be done.
I received this Kindle version of the book for review purposes from Book Sneeze and Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Are you in a waiting place? How have you seen God at work while you are waiting? Or how have you grieved because you can’t see him at work yet? Share your comments below.

Enamelware…Repurposed

I love enamelware, so when I was at a garage sale recently, I couldn’t pass up this enamelware pot. Although, when I got home, I got to thinking it might be an…uhhh…chamber pot. Which, when you think about it, is a little strange for a living room decoration. However, I’m fine with having a vintage toilet on display, despite the reality of the thing.

I decided to use it as a flower pot. I took a plant that was already in a basket that had a waterproof liner and just set it inside. That way, I can change my mind and use it somewhere else any time.

 

I love having flexible decorations. Who knows? Tomorrow, I might use it for something else…just not for a chamber pot.

What would you do with it?

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

UpCycled Blue Jeans Baskets

I thought this was a sweet little project to use throw-away blue jeans. These little “baskets” would be so cute in the office, in the play room, by the telephone to hold stuff…you name it! Check out the full post on Craftzine.com to see how to make them in a step-by-step tutorial. 
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

The Chocolate Diaries – A Book Review

Are you a chocolate lover? Do you crave it when you’re under stress? Author Karen Scalf Linamen can relate to you.
The Chocolate Diaries: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of LifeIn The Chocolate Diaries, Linamen tackles some heavy topics with a light touch. She addresses some of her own difficult seasons in life using the chocolate analogy of a rocky road. Throughout the book, others have contributed to the call-out boxes with advice about how they handle their own rocky roads. Each chapter contains part of Linamen’s story, some practical wisdom for someone else in the same situation, as well as a section called “food for thought” that helps the reader process what she has read. Plus, each chapter ends with a recipe for some chocolate concoction.
Linamen writes well, and she does a good job of addressing something specific in each chapter. Much of the book is devoted to processing life as a divorced woman and the challenges of starting over as a single mother. The author talks quite often about dating. I think if I were in a similar situation to the author, I might perceive the book differently.
Some readers will think the book sends a message that drowning our sorrows and stresses in chocolate is okay. In many ways, it does. But it does include biblical counsel as well. There were a few places where the humor crossed a line. For example, on page 104, the author mentions her dog running through the room with a specified birth control device in her mouth. However, the author isn’t clear about whether or not this incident occurred when she was married or single. Since most anecdotes in the book occur when the author is single, this doesn’t come across right.
I know there is an audience for this book, but I just didn’t connect with it. However, I recommend the book for anyone who needs a lighthearted approach to life’s little disappointments and stresses.
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for review purposes. My reviews are objective and honest.

Your opinion matters. Be sure to rank my review if you think this was helpful in your decision to read this book:

Duct Tape- It’s All the Rage

It used to be that only if you were a MacGyver type did you ever rage about the benefits of duct tape. I’m married to a guy who thinks you can fix anything with duct tape. He’d probably tape the front bumper on the van if I didn’t complain about it being hideous. But when it comes to duct tape, I bet he never dreamed that Mrs. MacGyver was out there making purses and jewelry with the stuff!

Several of my friends are just caught up in the duct tape obsession. I love how it looks…just haven’t had the creative energy to start a new hobby. If you’d like to see what what you can have with duct tape, check out the post from Living Locurto about all the stuff you can make from it.
Photo from Living Locurto
You’ll also find great step by step instructions on a very helpful post by Tip Junkie. And if you’re more of a video learner, Duck Tape brand duct tape has a tutorial on You Tube.
Photo from Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/tattfae
I’m thinking maybe I could start with the bracelet…
Oh, and one more thing. Those of us who have a terrible time restraining our inner grammar and spelling police will appreciate knowing that it is acceptable to call it Duck tape or duct tape. Duck is a brand of duct tape. I speculated that they gave up on getting people to say it right and just caved to the masses when they named their company. But then I found another story about the name, and boy, was I wrong! Check out the explanation if you’re a trivia buff. Turns out, it started as duck tape before it became duct tape!