Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book Review: Going Rogue by Sarah Palin and Lynn Vincent

Although I have been involved in a few political campaigns, I am passionate over certain political issues, and I make it a point to vote in every major election, I don't consider myself to be an extremely political person. I don't mind talking about politics (or "religion", the two things you're not supposed to talk about), but it just isn't one of the things I really get excited over. I don't usually read political books, magazines, or articles.

Therefore, I didn't know much about Sarah Palin before reading this book. However, I'm glad I did.

Going Rogue: An American LifeThe book began by describing Palin's early years as a typical American girl who is obviously proud of her Alaskan childhood. She gives us a sense of what it was like growing up in America's Last Frontier in the 60's and 70's. She had a happy family life, evident in the memories she shares of her parents, grandparents, and siblings.  

One thing I especially enjoyed reading about was how she became a Christian. I admire her for her boldness in proclaiming her faith and her trust in God in all aspects of her life. Several times throughout the book Palin refers to the fact that it is God who has planned her future and that she desires to follow Him and rely on Him for everything.

Palin also writes about her husband and five children and some of the adventures they have shared in their lives together.

The next part of the book talks about Palin's early political career, from city council to city mayor, and eventually her stint as governor of Alaska.

There is then a section on the campaign for vice-president and, finally, a chapter and epilogue which contains, in my opinion, the best parts of the book: Palin's views on where we are as a nation and where we should be heading. This is the section where she gets into what has made our country great (with a heavy emphasis on the Reagan administration) and the steps she considers necessary to get us out of recession and moving forward into "freedom and prosperity."

There were times when I was reading the book that I thought Palin was griping about her detractors a little too much (one blog called it "whining"). But in a lot of the cases she mentioned I felt that I was finally getting "the other side of the story" instead of what I usually hear on the evening news about what is happening on the political scene. I have read that there are several untruths in this book, but I can't tell if this is people really trying to set the record straight, or if they are just people who don't like Palin and are attempting to discredit her.

I enjoyed the stories Palin told about her husband, Todd, and her children. I can relate to much of what she said because I, too, am a working mother of five who is attempting to do what is best for her children. Sometimes I felt sorry for her family because of the sacrifices they had to make, but it is apparent that they have been very supportive of her and her efforts.

As I finished reading, I came away with the sense of hope and of thankfulness to God that politicians like Sarah Palin do exist (although I don't think Palin would want to be called a politician because of the bad connotation it has received). I am also thankful that we have a government where the people can decide on who will lead our country, even though I am not happy about Obama being that person. I'm glad we have only three more years until we can possibly replace him with someone better. And I am convinced that someone like Sarah Palin (or John McCain) would make a good choice.

This book is good reading for anyone wanting to know Sarah Palin more, regardless of your political viewpoint. If you cannot (or will not) read it all, at least read Chapter Six, Epilogue, and  "A View from Alaska." Those sections make the whole book worth the read.

Other reviews of Going Rogue (pro and con):

Basil and Spice

(Unfortunately, there were several negative reviews that I could not provide links for because of the vulgar language used in them. It's sad that some people cannot write dissenting reviews without such words.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

ROAR (Read Other's Amazing Reviews)

I tried this last week and no one added any books, so I'll do it again. If no one is interested, then I won't keep on posting it. But I hope many of you will join in. I think it would be fun.

Let's share books we find with each other. The ones we want to add to our TBR list. Not only from the reviews on Saturday Review of Books, but any review or book description we come across in other blogs and websites throughout the week that we want to pass along. This could be a link from a bookseller's website, or a discussion of a book on a news website, etc. Wherever you find a source of a good book, let us know!

Here's how I'd like to do it: when you read a review/description/discussion of a book and you decide you want to read that book, write a post about it, then come and add a link here at Seize the Book in Mr. Linky to the specific post where you blogged about the book. If you don't have a blog, or if you decide not to write about the book on your blog, add a link in Mr. Linky to the specific post of the original review or website page. Be sure that your link is to the specific post or website page and not to the main page. The text should say: (Your name or Blog name): I want to read (name of book and author). The first few have been done for examples.

I hope this will be a fun way to share with each other the books that we find. For ideas on where to find blog reviews, see my blog roll on the left side of this blog entitled "Fellow Bibliophiles". Come on, let's ROAR!

Carpe Libris!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

From Books to Movies

Why do so many movie makers want to mess up perfectly good books with perfectly not-so-good movies?

As I was writing this review, I thought about my favorite Lynn Austin novel. It is called Hidden Places. Oh, my, what a great book! This was one of those books that grabs you at the beginning and doesn't let go. It had several surprises and simply satisfied my book-reading heart. I was talking about it to everyone for days.

Then, a little while later, I saw the movie-based-on-the-book in our library. I instantly took it off the shelf and checked it out. I then took it home and told my family, "We are watching this tonight, and you are going to LOVE it!"

Well, about halfway through the movie, I began to wonder if the screenwriter or producer had even read the book. I actually looked at the cover of the DVD to see if it really was the movie for the book I had read. It was. However, the problem was... THEY LEFT OUT A MAJOR PORTION OF THE PLOT (Yes, I am yelling. Sorry.) I couldn't believe it! What made the book so good (or better than most) was a part that was not in the movie at all.

My family did not understand my disappointment. They enjoyed the movie. I could see how they did, because it was a nice romantic story, the characters were loveable, and the acting was pretty decent. But since they had not read the book, they could not see what I was so upset about. What was a nice movie could have been an EXCELLENT one! I can't imagine how Lynn Austin felt about it. Surely she was not the screenwriter (I hope). If she was, I know she must have cringed when she had to leave out that part.

Now I know that screenwriters often have to cut the book down for lack of time. You just can't put an entire book into an hour-and-a-half to two-hour movie. That's why a lot of them are not as good as the book. Even though I like the visuals you get with the movie, the details of the book make the story so much more rich. However, to leave out such a vital part of the plot was unforgiveable. You just don't do that (in my opinion).

I was also confused as to why they changed the ending to My Sister's Keeper (book by Jodi Picoult). The book's ending was much more interesting.

And (bear with me, I'm on a roll), I don't understand the fascination with movie makeovers, like Cheaper By The Dozen, Parent Trap, Pink Panther and Get Smart. I can think of only a few of these I liked such as Yours, Mine and Ours (Dennis Quaid, yum!), and 3:10 to Yuma (except I never saw the original).

I read something today where someone is going to make a new True Grit. Come on, who can do that better than John Wayne?

Or TV shows made into movies like Bewitched, Leave It To Beaver, The Simpsons, and The Addams Family. Are any of these any good? And comics-to-movies (Dennis the Menace comes to mind.) Of course, I'm not referring to Peanuts movies. Who doesn't like Snoopy and Charlie Brown?

Don't even get me started on the topic of movies-to-books. Most of those are pretty bad. It's usually just a word-for-word text of the screenplay without stage directions. Blah!

What do you think? Have you seen any movies made from books that you liked? Do you know of any TV shows-to-movies or movies-to-books that you enjoyed? Tell me so I can enjoy them too. I want to know. Really.

Waiting on Wednesday: House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we share books for which we are eagerly awaiting publication.

My choice this week is House Rules, by Jodi Picoult, to be released on March 2 by Atria. I have read all but two of Picoults' books and I've enjoyed them all. Hopefully, this one will be as good as the rest.

Product description from Amazon:

House Rules: A NovelJacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject -- in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do...and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's -- not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flat affect -- can look a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in, feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way -- and fails those who don't.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays is a meme from Should Be Reading, where we answer three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? and What do you think you'll read next? I you want to participate, answer the three questions, then put your link on the Should Be Reading Blog in the comment section. Happy reading!

What I am currently reading:

Going Rogue: An American Life     Shades of Blue

I am still reading Going Rogue. It is a great read, but long, so I read two other books while I continued this one. I am trying to finish it today, so you should see a review of it in the next few days.

Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury is one I picked up at the library. I like her style and this one looks like it has a good plot.

What I recently finished reading:

Though Waters RoarI just finished Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin. You can read my review below.

What I will probably read next:

Intimacy Ignited: Conversations Couple to Couple: Fire Up Your Sex Life with the Song of Solomon     The Help

Intimacy Ignited by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Plantus is a book from NavPress that I will be reviewing. And The Help is one I have been wanting to read for several weeks now and I have just gotten it from the library. I have heard so much about it, I know it will be good!

So, what are you reading this week? Come share with us!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Review: Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin

Lynn Austin has always been a favorite of mine. Her characters are believable as well as likeable. The plots are well established and interesting. She often writes with historical settings which come alive to the reader.

This book was no exception. The plot grabbed me from the start as we find the main character in a difficult situation: Harriet is in jail for running illegal liquor. What brought her to this place is what the book is all about.

Though Waters RoarI enjoyed reading about Harriet, her great-grandmother Hannah, her grandmother Bebe, and her mother, Lucy. The men in her life are also interesting and their lives fascinating. Mrs. Austin makes them come alive as she describes life from the Civil War to the early 1900's.

This is no "life on the prairie" novel. Instead, it is a look at the lives of men and women who lived (and died) for what they believed in and  a look at their struggles along the way. It is also about choices and changes that people go through as they wrestle with what is right and wrong.

I recommend this book for anyone who likes a good historical novel with happy (and not so happy) endings. This one will make you think, and it will make you grateful for all the blessings in your life.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Review: By Grace Alone by Sinclair Ferguson

I have heard Sinclair Ferguson speak before and I have admired his preaching. He is a sound preacher and when I saw this book written by him, I knew I wanted to read it.

As a Christian, I often find myself getting caught up in this world and its struggles and sorrows. I allow these things to overwhelm me and I forget the truths of God's Word. Instead, I listen to the lies of the enemy and lose the joy of my salvation.

By Grace Alone: How the Grace of God Amazes MeThat is why Mr. Ferguson wrote this book. Some may think that when a person becomes a Christian, he no longer needs the gospel, that the gospel is necessary only for salvation. The truth is, we need the gospel every moment of our lives. The fact that Jesus came and died and rose again to pay for our sins and grant us his righteousness is something we need to be reminded of constantly. Otherwise, we tend to forget and let the noise of this world drown out the voice of God.

"Sometimes we imagine that our greatest need is to move on to the 'higher' or 'deeper' teaching of the gospel. But in fact, our real need is to get a deeper and firmer grasp of the main truths of the gospel."

I like how the author brings forth the truths of God in this book. He uses a song written by an African pastor named Emmanuel T. Sibomana, who, in 1946, wrote a hymn entitled "Umbuntu Bg Imana." The hymn was translated by an English missionary as "O How the Grace of God Amazes Me." Mr. Ferguson breaks this song down into seven parts and writes a chapter on each. He covers the various struggles we encounter as Christians as we face temptations and attacks and how we need to have a better understanding of God's amazing grace to help us have answers for the lies we hear and encouragement for the journey we are on. This then, leads to praise to our Lord and joy in the salvation we have recieved.

As I read this book, I became more aware of how truly amazing God's grace is. I was confronted with my lack of trust in God and with the greatness of His love for me. Mr. Ferguson writes in a completely understandable manner, yet conveys deep truths for us to grasp and to praise God for the great things he has done for us in Jesus: "We have been united to Jesus Christ in His death to sin and His resurrection to new life. We have been raised into a new order of reality altogether - where sin no longer reigns because grace reigns."

I highly recommend this book for any believer in Christ as well as for anyone who is searching to know God and his ways. It will comfort and strengthen the former while enlightening the latter. This book would also make a great gift for anyone you know who needs to hear the gospel. And I think that includes everyone!

(I will recieve a free copy of this book from the publisher, Reformation Trust, as compensaton for this review. I receive no monetary compensation. All opinions in this post are strictly my own.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Blonde at the Library

Books Seized This Week

Here are the books that came into my house this week:

From the publisher for review:

Beguiled       Never Say Never

 Distant Melody, A: A Novel (Wings of Glory)      A Week in December 

For blog tours in March:

Letter to My Daughter: A Novel      The Cutting

From the library:

Exposure: A Novel

I checked out a few more from the library, but not for review. They were just craft books to look at and wish I had time to make some of the projects! They'll be going back in just a few days.

Look for my reviews of these books and more in the next several days/weeks.  

Friday, February 19, 2010

Let's ROAR (Read Other's Amazing Reviews)!

One day this past week, I was on Twitter (my name is seizethebooknow if you want to follow me) when I noticed one of my fellow bloggers telling us that she wanted to read certain books. I found out that she was reading the reviews from the links on my sister's blog, then when she found a review she liked, she Twittered (is that a word?) about it. She says her TBR list is growing every day.

So, I came up with an idea. Why don't we share all these with each other? Not only the reviews from Saturday Review of Books, but any review or book description we come across in other blogs and websites throughout the week that we want to pass along. This could be a link from a bookseller's website, or a discussion of a book on a news website, etc. Wherever you find a source of a good book, let us know!

Here's how I'd like to do it: when you read a review/description/discussion of a book and you decide you want to read that book, write a post about it, then come and add a link here at Seize the Book in Mr. Linky to the specific post where you blogged about the book. If you don't have a blog, or if you decide not to write about the book on your blog, add a link in Mr. Linky to the specific post of the original review or website page. Be sure that your link is to the specific post or website page and not to the main page. The text should say: (Your name or Blog name): I want to read (name of book and author). The first few have been done for examples.

I hope this will be a fun way to share with each other the books that we find. For ideas on where to find blog reviews, see my blog roll on the left side of this blog entitled "Fellow Bibliophiles". Come on, let's ROAR! (Thanks, Jennifer, for being the inspiration for this idea!)

Carpe Libris!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Book Review: Why We Love the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck

Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion
There have been many books written lately on people leaving the church. It is a disturbing trend that makes me wonder if they are just leaving the church, or also leaving the faith. I find it hard to separate the two. I cannot imagine a life without either. Thank God he has given us fellow believers to travel this life together. The support and encouragement I receive from these saints is truly invaluable.

This is one of the reasons why these men have written this book. They are both concerned about the growing number of people who have become dissatisfied with "institutional church". They address many of the concerns these people have and tell why they disagree and love the church, in spite of its flaws: "Do we assume police officers are worthless because we still have crime or parents are pointless because kids still do stupid things? Not at all. Why then do we assume that the existence of an unmet need or ongoing tragedy in the world is unassailable proof of the church's failure?" (Kevin DeYoung)

They ask four questions for critics of the church that I believe are valid. The answers to these questions would help us understand these church-leavers and why they are so "anti-church":

1. Are you rejecting the church or the faith?
2. Are you trying to have your cake and eat it too? DeYoung says: "They want church unity and decry all our denominations, but fail to see the irony in the fact that they have left to do their own thing because they can't find a single church that can satisfy them."
3. Are you making an idol out of authenticity?
4. Are you repeating the mistakes of previous generations?

(DeYoung) "It's more than a little ironic that the same folks who want the church to ditch the phony, plastic persona and become a haven for broken, imperfect sinners are ready to leave the church when she is broken, imperfect, and sinful."

Yes, I can understand how some people have been hurt by the church and have legitimate gripes about how others have treated them badly. But I think maybe they are trying to "throw the baby out with the bathwater." Just because you have had bad experiences doesn't mean you should abandon the church altogether. We have our strengths as well as our weaknesses. And I think our strengths greatly outweigh our weaknesses, because our strength comes from the Lord himself. As DeYoung says: "It's easy for the church to be blind to her failings. But it's also easy and borderline slanderous to constantly berate the church for all her failures as if she cared for no one, helped no one, and made no difference for anyone anywhere."

Maybe we have more of a problem here than simply a dissatisfaction with how the church "does church" or the fact that we have been hurt by someone in the church. Maybe "it's possible our boredom and restlessness has less to do with the church and its doctrines and more to do with a growing coldness toward the love of God displayed in the sacrifice of His Son for our sins." (DeYoung)

Just so you don't think that the book is full of negatism against the critics of the church (it's not at all), I wouild like to give you one more quote from the book. It is a plea to those who are contemplating leaving or who have already left the church:

"If I could leave you with one thought, it's this: Go. Go to church. Don't go for the coffee, the presentations, the music, or the amenities. Don't even go for the feelings you may or may not get when you go because, no offense, these feelings may or may not be trustworthy most of the time. Go for the gospel. Go for the preaching. Go to be near God's Word." (Ted Kluck)

I recommend this book for anyone who is concerned about the church. I also think it would benefit those who have left. Read it. Answer the four questions. Give the church another try. Give God a try. He may surprise you!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book Review: The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris

Book description:

Tim Farnsworth is a handsome, healthy man, aging with the grace of a matinee idol. His wife Jane still loves him, and for all its quiet trials, their marriage is still stronger than most. Despite long hours at the office, he remains passionate about his work, and his partnership at a prestigious Manhattan law firm means that the work he does is important. And, even as his daughter Becka retreats behind her guitar, her dreadlocks and her puppy fat, he offers her every one of a father's honest lies about her being the most beautiful girl in the world.

He loves his wife, his family, his work, his home. He loves his kitchen. And then one day he stands up and walks out. And keeps walking.

My review:

I was intrigued by the premise of this book. What would it be like if I or my husband had such a condition that forced me to walk for hours on end? One that no one else seemed to suffer from and doctors could not diagnose? How patient would I be in dealing with this strange "disorder"?

The UnnamedAs I got into the first few chapters, I saw a loving wife who, despite all the difficulties and dangers involved in her husband's walks around the city, is determined to take care of and protect her husband, no matter what it takes. At one point, I got excited as the plot took a huge turn and became rather exciting.

However, the excitement did not last for long. The rest of the book was monotonous and repetitive as the main character left home for good and wandered around the country, sleeping in a tent and refusing offers of help from others. There was no real climax or satisfying conclusion. Where there should have been some kind of growth in the characters, there was  only selfishness and resignation to fate.

I finished this book with a disappointed feeling. What started out as a good idea ended with a not-so-good novel. Obviously, I do not recommend this book to anyone.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays is a meme from Should Be Reading, where we answer three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? and What do you think you'll read next? I you want to participate, answer the three questions, then put your link on the Should Be Reading Blog in the comment section. Happy reading!

What I am currently reading:

Going Rogue: An American Life
Going Rogue by Sarah Palin and Lynn Vincent

I want to know more about this woman who might be one of our next presidents. After I read this, I'll probably (at some point) read Game Change, which is about the presidential campaigns of 2008. From what I've heard, it ought to be quite a contrast from this book.

What I recently finished reading:

The UnnamedThe Unnamed by Joshua Ferris

I thought this one was going to be good at first, but it didn't hold my interest. I'll be reviewing it in a few days.

What I will be reading next:
The Cutting
The Cutting by James Hayman

I received this book for a blog tour I will be a part of in March. It looks like a good suspense novel. I'm looking forward to reading it.

How about you? What are you reading? Please comment here and if you have a blog, post your answers on it and then share with us on Should Be Reading's blog.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Read a Book

I just read a great article by Susan Wise Bauer. She suggests that we are not challenging ourselves (or our children) enough to read books beyond our reading level. She gives suggestions on how to do this as well as how to find the time to read more.

She says that we should be careful not to judge a book's content until we have read it all the way through and thought about it:

“Some books are to be tasted," wrote the sixteenthcentury philosopher Francis Bacon, “others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." In other words, there are three stages to understanding any book. First, you read the book at what I call the “grammar stage" level; just get through the book and try to understand the basic principles, the basic story, the basic argument. Don't try to understand all of the book. Just create a mental overview of the ideas. The second stage of reading is the logic stage: after you've read the whole book, stop and think about what the book is saying, how it's saying it, and try to decide whether or not you agree with it. And then, finally, you enter the third stage of reading: the rhetoric stage, in which you form an opinion about the book. Unfortunately, we have been trained from our earliest days to pick up a piece of writing and go straight to the rhetoric stage. Our first question, after we read twenty pages, is “What do I think about this book?" This habit of thought is epidemic, something that we're taught to do from very early on.

And that's our problem.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What's Your Favorite Short Story?

I have a new project going on here at Seize the Book (I will be announcing it next week, so please come back), and I need your help.

I would like for you to tell me what your favorite short story is (or one that you really like). I would like to read more short stories, so I would like some suggestions. Here are a few that I came up with:

The Last Leaf - O. Henry
The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
A Rose For Emily - William Faulkner
The Death of Ivan Ilyich - Leo Tolstoy
The Ransom of Red Chief - O. Henry

And I also thought about these authors who wrote short stories, but I'm not familiar with particular titles that they wrote:

Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, W. Somerset Maugham, Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Mark Twain

Do you know any stories from these authors that you like?

Also, when I Googled "favorite short stories", I found these:

Hills Like White Elephants - Ernest Hemingway
The Lady With the Pet Dog - Joyce Carol Oates
The Secret Sharer - Joseph Conrad
The Guilded Six Bit - Zora Neale Hurston
An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge - Ambrose Bierce
There Will Come Soft Rains - By Ray Bradbury
To Build a Fire - Jack London
The Story of an Hour - Kate Chopin
The Open Boat - Stephen Crane
A Boy and His Dog - Harlan Ellison
The Library Police - Stephen King
A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

Have you read any of these? Did you like it?

One more thing, I am not interested (for this project) in any Disney, fairy tales/fables or stories from children's books.

The story can be humorous, sad, scary, weird, etc. And you can suggest more than one.

Please help me by leaving a comment. Thanks!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thoughts on Valentines, Love, and Marriage

(Lady Astor to Winston Churchill) "Sir, if you were my husband, I would poison your drink."
(Churchill's reply) "Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it."

When I was thinking about the books Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (my review here) and Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani (my review here) in order to write my reviews, I realized how different the authors' views are on love and marriage. Gilbert wrote such negatively about the subject. So, it was refreshing to read Trigiani's book and see that maybe I wasn't the only one who felt differently. I'd like to share with you some quotes from Brava, Valentine that made me want to jump up and thank Trigiani for writing such true words.

Even though this is a work of fiction, there are many great insights in it about love and marriage:

"I try to let go of the old habits and prejudices I have about love in order to make room for the mystery. I don't have any control over what will happen. I'd like to know where this (relationship) is going because I don't want to get hurt again, but I don't have any control over that either. I have to accept that I don't know where this leads - I have to be bold about it and move toward happiness and trust that everything will work out the way it is supposed to."

"Oh, now you have to sacrifice for me -"
"What do you think a relationship is, Valentina?"
"Evidently, I have no idea!"
"Finally the truth! You've treated me poorly. Maybe you expected me to take it, but I've had far too good a life to spend what's left of it waiting around for you to grow up."

"I know exactly what will happen to me if I stay on course, if I choose never to trust anyone. I'll wind up all alone in assisted living wearing a muumuu and bunion pads, nursing a highball with nothing but my bitter thoughts to keep me company."

"Trust means I can be secure in the knowledge that no harm will come to my heart. Trust means we will figure out a life plan that includes his dreams and mine. Trust means I have someone who loves me and is on my side even when I fail, come up short, or do something rash."

Hmmmmm...... Isn't that what it's all about? Sacrifice, trust, letting go? I'm so glad I have entrusted my heart to someone who has done the same for me. Yes, we have our problems and struggles, but in the end, I know we will be committed to each other and love one another no matter what. That may seem naive to you, but if I am to choose between trust and a life lived in bitter loneliness, I'll choose trust. And if it means a little pain along the way, so be it. I love because without it, I am most miserable. And marriage is the way we choose to demonstrate that trust and sacrifice. We have now been married for 28 years, and I have never regretted it. I am in it for the long haul!

How about you? How would you define love? Are you married? If not, do you want to be? What are your ideas about trust, sacrifice, and committment? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Happy Valentine's Day and may you find love (and commitment) wherever you are!