A Place To Land (Book Review)

As soon as I saw Kate’s book, I knew I wanted to read it. Not just because the cover makes me remember the first time I went to visit a friend in Texas. Or that I’m captivated by how the sun looks, It was title and the blurb of how she struggled with her parents divorce and the longing for home. I felt interested that maybe someone could put to words what has been hard for me. She did. 

Kate Motaung’s memoir, A Place to Land tells her story of her struggle growing up torn. From her parents divorce when she was young and all that went along with that. Two separate houses. Holidays. Friends that had married parents. To moving to Cape Town, South Africa where she met her husband and the longing for there and home in America.

Kate also tells of her mom’s battle with cancer. I had a really hard time reading parts where she longed to be with her mom, but couldn’t be because she was on the other side of the world. Her bond with her sister, Sarah during this time was fascinating to me. Through all of the stress and just complete overwhelm during that time and even after, the bond between them only strengthened.

Through all these changes, Kate’s faith remained steadfast. The way she cried out to God with each new change gave me hope. Her story gave me hope that God does hear us when we call to Him. He comforts us when things are hard and loss is heavy. God remains faithful through all things.

I learned a lot about South Africa culture while reading this book. Table Mountain sounds really cool to look at in person. Wine Gums are not anything to do with wine, but are fruit flavored gummies that taste really good. I even asked two friends about them who live in Cape Town about them and took the plunge to buy them. 


Also, Sweppes isn’t ginger ale like it is in the U.S, but seems like it would be good to try. I also learned Rand is African money, tripe is the second stomach of a cow (yes, I know a really random fact, but I never knew.) and vulvuzelas are plastic horns.

I loved Kate’s writing throughout the book. It felt like I was sitting down with a friend, listening to her tell me her story while being reminded of God’s faithfulness again. That He is the giver of all things and where we find true belonging.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“When you notice that you’re getting to the last of the presents under the tree, you start to unwrap the gifts more slowly and deliberately, careful not to tear any piece of the paper-thin moment.”

“Though the Lord doesn’t always answer my prayers the way I want, He always grants the gift of His presence.”

“We’re all needy—in desperate need of grace and redemption, groaning to be clothed in our heavenly dwelling (2 Corinthians 5:1–2). We’re all living in a temporary homeless shelter, ready and waiting for something better—for a home that lasts.”

“Some people say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I say absence just plain makes the heart hurt.”

“Sometimes it just takes the right words at the right moment from the right friend to shift perspective and help the light come into view.”


If you are going through or have struggled with:

• Divorced parents

Moving frequently

• Feeling unsettled

• Longing for more

• Dealing with cancer

• Grief

• Loss of a mother (or loved one)

• Living cross-culturally

 

this book will bring hope and comfort. It definitely has to my heart. 

Read a free chapter here

Advertisements

1/24/18

//

Day 58

//

O Lord,

You have searched me 

& have known me (like how I REALLY want to see the skit guys with Megan & help Kelly with her book).

You know when I sit down 

& wonder: she really bought the tickets…? We can’t travel that far In one day. That’d be exhausting. Could you do a favor with a hotel? Lord, is this real? I know I said please please and held off until yesterday, but I’m just wondering how You’ll come through. And sitting at Steak n Shake with Kelly last night, laughing so much I thought I might just go to be with You. I couldn’t catch my breath – but I remember the way I told her about a dream I have & the way she thanked You & then asked me if I’d write the foreword. For her book. And God, this is where I’m in awe of You. So in awe. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I always thought famous people wrote forewords, and I think a part of me is afraid I’ll mess up, but I’ll lean on You for help. And there You go playing

Songs of Deliverance by Ellie…

Your intentions are not shaken

Everything that once was breaking

Tear me down and bind me up

In You I place my trust.

You are really redeeming something. I can’t wait for this weekend. Way too excited to see a movie and have a girls weekend with Kelly. Whoa. God. I just realized last night was like the Beloved Challenge in Whispers of rest, the girls night and this weekend will be like another one, plan a fun weekend (think that’s what it’s called..) I think you may actually be answering one of my prayers. You are, aren’t You?

love, 

your tender-haired girl 

Ps. Actually, I think multiple prayers. Deep friendships, yes please.  Thank you. 

11/18/17

//

Day 15

//

God, 

I love the depth to our friendship. The way You make space for me to be real even if it scares me. A lot. But even as I’m saying it, I feel Your peace. I don’t want my own belief of marriage to stop her from sharing her heart. I don’t want to be cynical (cubical really doesn’t work. Haha.) toward love. Every time she tells me how this boy has loved her, my heart is so happy yet so doubtful it is real. Happy for her. Doubtful for me. And the fact she believes You will change the way I see marriage – really means more to me than I can say. 

If You bring a guy into my life, will he know to take care of my heart? Or that I like to be surrounded with words? Books. Notes. Texts. That I’d like to be held forever. Or at least a really long time. And flowers. I’d probably burst into a grin at his just because I love you. Will he want to stay up late with me to hear me ramble on about whatever and mostly You?

Will he let me sing in the car or just offer to put on my fave artist because he knows I love them and maybe likes to listen to me sing even if I get emotional? Will he encourage me to write even if it’s not something I ever get lots of moola, enough to live off of? Will he be understanding when I most likely cry if he talks about having kids and hold me because it’ll probably still hurt? Will he take me to see long distance friends? because we know I’m going to tell him all about the ones from my blog and launch teams. Will he understand that if at any time he hurts my feelings or we argue, that I need calm tones to get me to open up, or I will withdraw?

Will he read books to me or Your Word? Or both? Will he not even see my disability and my just my heart? That I want to love and be pursued? Will he sing to me?

Telling You all this makes me wonder. Will You bring this to pass? Will he be my friend? Because if he’s not that first, we will never work. I’m not breaking my heart again by trying to be a pursuer. Nope. Not happening. 

See? I just dreamed a little bit. And it makes me feel this swell of emotion because my heart maybe wants this. But I need this friend to keep on dreaming for me until I believe. And if it happens that I marry, please bring her to my wedding so we can thank You together. 

love,

your tender haired girl

Ps. and if he gives me dark chocolate – he’s a keeper. 

previous letter from Letters From A Tender Haired Girl found here

11/17/17

//

Day 14

//

God,

I have no excuse not to tell you how I feel. And honestly? Confused. Hurt. Mystified. These aren’t words that accurately describe it. I hate that I think I hurt her feelings with how I feel about marriage. I hurt with the way I view marriage. Like its not worth it. You are going to wind up hurting each other or divorced. And you know where that leaves your kids? Confused. Hurt. Starving. And bringing all that hurt into other relationships. And it’s not like I want to believe this. 

five minute Friday prompt: excuse 

previous letter from Letters From A Tender Haired Girl found here

11/16/17

//

Day 13

//

God,

I love how that was timed. You knew I was going to look at that and have the memory of not knowing my place, leaving school and feeling like a failure all over again. It’s true though. I do. I have no drive or passion but to go one on one with people, as in friendship but not something I want to work toward to give me some money. It would be nice to be able to read again without becoming totally bored. I’m not with Your Word, but it took me forever the other day to finish a chapter of The Book Thief. I hope that doesn’t happen with The Shack. Please help me. 

And then I read this in the plan about Your favor: “The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God.”

‭‭ROMANS‬ ‭8:16‬ ‭AMP‬‬

And all I see in my head is You placing Your hand on my shoulder, telling me You love me. Or maybe it’s just the hand. And then in the next verse it says how I’m co heirs with You and if I suffer, I will also share in Your glory. I get it with the suffering. I do. It helps me see You in ways I wouldn’t be able to if things were all hunky dory. Really there is a better phrase other than ‘hunky dory’ but it’s what came to me.  

But I wouldn’t mind some days of hunky dory or for me to be excited. Which I am about reading The Shack with Kallayah and getting cupcakes when I finish reading all of Your Word at the end of the year. Seriously, I don’t know why I’m so focused and pumped on finishing it. But I am. Thanksgiving and Christmas aren’t really hitting it for me this year. Then again, holidays always seem to be a bit harder every year. But you’ve put some awesome friends in my life that remind me of Your presence and the atmosphere of the family changes a little on the day. 

God, I just want to see this, to know it: When you know you are loved, and you know who you call family, and you know your name is Daughter, Beloved, Chosen One, you can rest, and you can live, and you can be free.  

This from the loop devotional. I need help knowing I am loved. Please please please. And resting in it. I know I’ve seen glimpses but I need more. And it’s hard right now. I feel like a crazy emotional person who can’t give as much as she’d like to, who really wants to rest. Sleep. And then wake up, I wonder what God has for me today! But that last part isn’t me. Because if we are going to be honest, I wake up like, ugh what? Need to get dressed. God, pants. Shoes. Okay. I’m going to sit here and stare into space. 

And then I come up here, sit at the table and work through oatmeal and tea. And look at stuff. And then start thinking, wonder if Sarah will bring coffee? She has been awesome and so kind with the randomly (You are never random) bringing me coffee. And it makes me think of one of my soul sisters-Hollie. Pretty much every time. And we know what I’m getting Sarah for Christmas now. But honestly, that and wanting a friend to just text me. Or come over and just sit with me. But I think I’d be delirious either way. 

And yes I know so much wanting and mememe. But I love that You are okay with it. I only have enough space for some people right now and even that is a challenge. And maybe it’s not so much about me but to experience with these friends. One who is right now floating in my memory. 

You know, when I said sometime in the car to, savor the Saviour. Yep. I don’t remember exactly why I said it. I’m pretty sure I smiled though. I think I thought it was funny, how it came out of nowhere. Or You. It’s been rolling around in my head though. How this year has been a deep savoring. Or complaining. Or fear. But I want to savor Your love. So,

Thank you for no spider dreams. Thank you for the oatmeal. And the pears. And the chai tea. And the sun. And the devotional that made think of some friends. And getting to the book of Galatians. And my moo who let me complain this morning. And this jacket. 

I need you. 

Love,

your tender haired girl 

previous letter for Letter From A Tender Haired Girl found here. 

And to know more about Loop, click here. (It’s really good stuff.)

Whispers of Rest

Rest. It is so much more than a nap or a good night’s sleep. 
In Bonnie Gray’s new 40 day devotional, I’m learning about the ways God calls us to be still and relax in his love. Whispers of Rest has come into my life when I’ve been recovering from a hysterectomy. For the last few weeks, I’ve felt no where near worthy to be God’s beloved. From the way my emotions have flip flopped every other day to wanting to nothing at all, or completely running away, I’ve watched God gently meet me in this journey of being his Beloved. Hearing him say, over and over, “It’s okay. Embrace my grace.” through friends and family.

This journey takes through 6 parts of being God’s beloved, with a word or phrase to center the day on. There is personal stories from Bonnie, Scripture, God’s words to you, questions to help you through your own story, prayer, Beloved Challenges, and trail notes of research found about the challenges, and more.


One of the things I’ve been loving most is the different ways to pray. On Day 4 we are invited to come write a letter to Jesus. This helped me so much in letting go of a lot of anger and sadness I’ve been feeling lately, laying it out before in something different than a poem. A challenge that follows the prayer is to write a letter to someone we love about how much we appreciate them. As I wrote this letter to a friend, part of me struggled to get the focus off of me, what I should say, how long it needed to be, but as I sat there with my thoughts in the quiet, I noticed a shift inside. A shift from what I feel I lack to the gift this friend has been to me in a time when I’ve experienced a lot of grief. It was good to focus on how God has provided me laughter through when I’ve struggled to believe I could anymore.


Other prayers such as making song lyrics as prayer and kneeling to pray have been helpful in getting me away from rambling on. It’s helped me be still for a few minutes (hard for my brain), and listen in the silence with God. Some of my other favorite challenges so far have been drinking chai tea and listening to favorite worship music for 10 minutes (hello, Ellie Holcomb!). I get excited everyday to see what the next prayer practice and challenge will be.

Trail notes I’ve found really interesting:

  • flowers are a natural mood booster
  • coffee helps fight depression while tea lowers anxiety. 
  • vitamin c helps us come back from stressful situations faster. 

I don’t think I’m going to be able to look au flowers, chai tea, or tangelos the same.  Learning all these facts has been fun.
I’m only a little more than half way through this book, but I have loved watching God show up for me through this book. I can’t wait to see what happens when I finish. I pray he meets you in this book, too.


Let’s rest and be still for a spell.

at tears within me.

God,

I’ve lost my mind. Really. Can someone be this emotional? I never said I wanted a child. Well, with Michael I did. Not for right reasons though. I was so overcome with the fact he thought I could write or that I could raise someone. A baby. I am one, you know? My emotions are all over the place. I can’t stop touching the incision, the place where there will be a scar. God, I should trust you with this healing. I am afraid of what’s on the other side. I want to be held now, so tightly. I want to be told everything will be alright and weep wh

FMF: should.

So, I’m trying something new: writing letters to God in actual paragraphs. This is as close as I got in 5 minutes. I don’t think it’s that bad. I honestly thought it would be a poem. I’m so used to breaking up my words that putting them together is weird and almost foreign.  

Everything feels that way. This letter is about my recovery of healing from a hysterectomy. I’ve wanted to write about this for awhile, but have felt afraid. I don’t how to articulate the sorrow, the way I saw God show me His face. The compassion of the nurses and the way I learned as much as I want to talk, so does everyone else. There was a night nurse I learned this from. We all long to be heard.

She fed me jello and lingered with me when other patients needed her. We talked (well, I don’t know how much talking I did with my medicine loopiness) about books and TV. She told me about buzz lightyear and woody. I immediately smiled when she said she got her nephew a pull string Woody. Her smile was glorious. What I felt in my heart to be heard, noticed and seen, I saw in her eyes. 

It showed me how when God wants to spend time with us even in very difficult circumstances, it isn’t a “hey, do this for me, would you?” It’s more, hey, I wouldn’t mind if you asked me questions and I share my heart with you. I don’t always want you to do something. I want to be with you. And you with me.

All I’ve thought about since coming home from the hospital is, how does a woman leave her children to go take care of others who may or may not acknowledge her? And do it with such joy, patience and kindness at 12 AM, 2 AM…? It was Jesus right before me as I was weak and sad and alone, but when He spoke, something quieted. I just wanted to stay there with the ginger ale and the jello, the smile.

Presence changes everything, especially when you’re still enough to appreciate not only the receiving, but the giving of ears to listen too.

I could go on, but it will make me cry most likely too. Learning a lot about myself lately. Like this:

 

And this:


I’m on the launch team for this new devotional book from Bonnie & ughh, so good. There’s probably going to be more graphics and rambles until I review later this month, so look out for those. ☺️

All this aside, the fact that I’ve been afraid to write here and this came out clearly shows the lie I’ve been believing I’m not a writer with no purpose is just that: a lie. Oh Lord, let Your light and love be my trust. My hope. All these new things that feel risky, You will continue to light the way and keep my feet from slipping. You will uphold me with Your unfailing love. Support me. And when my emotions swirl and spill before You, may Your comforts delight me. Thank You for healing me today.