Friday, December 19, 2008

Remember The Old Days?


The Internet is such an impersonal place sometimes. With one click of the mouse, feelings can be wounded, issues can be misunderstood, and the next thing I know...

...I've made a mess. That was this morning. Someone thought they were assisting me, I took it incorrectly, and over-reacted.

For that, I apologize. Very humbly.

But let me make this very, very personal...

Last night, I spent 2 hours in the company of some very special women. My sister, her husband and I drove 3 hours to share in Family Night at a mission where my niece is staying.

She didn't know we were coming. I was to be a Christmas surprise.

But the surprise was on me.

I was astonished at her joy when she saw me. I mean, I know I'm Aunt Deena, but I'm just me:-) What amazed me more was her introduction to the other women she's working alongside at the mission.

"This is my Aunt Deena" garnered a mild greeting. Then she added, "She's the Book Lady".

I was overwhelmed with love and friendship immediately! What beautiful women work side by side at that mission of hope in Central California! The director reminded me of Joni Eareckson Tada--soft spoken and a heart full of love. She shared with me some things that both blessed my heart and left me in awe of how God works.

One of the young women never read--until I started sharing my books. I get so many to review, and I offer tons for giveaways. Still, my shelves overflow, so I've started donating them.

Receiving them free, I don't feel right selling the great books I get to review. I can't keep them all--much as I'd love to. The teachers at our school love them, but they only have so much time to read--I've drowned them in donations!

So I've prayed for a new place to donate my treasures--and now the women at the mission are loving them as well. I bought and gave a copy of 'Riven' by Jerry B. Jenkins... has a waiting list. I'm trying to get them another copy after Christmas. That book is changing lives. I have a list of teen fiction, what many of them enjoy because it is quick and so applicable to where they are in life.

When I asked how I could support the work being done at the mission, I was told three things: pray, write, and keep sending books.

Do you know how that moved me? I review for such a time as this! To put great Christian fiction and non-fiction into the hands of women who may be new to their faith...

...struggling in their faith...

...have never read anything or enjoyed a book before...

...what an amazing and rich blessing!

It reminded me of how excited I would get when I was little and the library bookmobile came through, or we had a book fair at my exciting and inviting!

These women are devouring God's Word. Their Bible studies are astoundingly deep and applicable. They are always studying, working, counseling...and now, when they want down time, they have books that reinforce what they are learning and working on in their lives.

I have no real words for how good and how blessed that makes me feel. If you have great Christian books, consider donating them to a shelter, a mission, your school staff...anyone who may need an encouraging reading experience.

Especially a reading experience that will drive them into the arms of Jesus. I'm honored to be able to bless these seven gorgeous women of God, along with their staff, in this small way.

Thank You, God, for allowing me to be used in this way. I'm humbled, and so ashamed of my earlier behavior. Weary minds are not supposed to respond so quickly to things that don't quite make sense. I reacted wrongly, and I apologize again.

If you'd like to help get great books into hands of eager readers, contact me. I have a huge wish list of new and older titles. You'll never believe the amazing feeling you'll get from sharing. My email is thedeena63 at hotmail dot com.

Teen Lit is especially desired:-)

Thanks for your patience with an over-tired and over-whelmed reader and believer. I'm nothing without Him, and I wouldn't enjoy this nearly as much without YOU!

Happy Reading!



Wendi said...

What an amazing story! I've taken some of my books to the local hospital where my son was born. They have a nice antepartum department for women on long-term pregnancy related bed-rest. They get bored (I know - I was there for 3 months!), so I try to bring new books from time to time, but I still have some leftovers, and like you, I don't feel right selling them. I think a women's shelter is a great idea! I'll have to look into some in my area.

:) Wendi

Ruth King said...

What a blessing, Deena! Thanks so much for sharing this.

M. C. Pearson said...

Oh! That is such a special post! It makes me happy to hear this kind of ministry. Wow.

Rel said...

Great post, Deena :) I totally agree.


Dawn said...

I donate mine to the county jail. They are not allowed to have their own books, only the books that are in the jail "library" and they never have enough books.

Kathleen said...

For the most part I don't read Christian books but I do love getting the books I've read into other's hands. I wish I had the money to hold giveaways but since I don't, I created a yahoo group for people in my city. I post about the book and they have a week or two to get back to me. If more than one person expresses interest I draw a name. The winner has to get to my house to pick up the book his/herself.

As for selling the books, I've been told many times that by accepting review copies I'm agreeing not to sell them.

Andi said...

Awesome Deena! God is using you mightily for His kingdom! Thanks for sharing! Love you sis! Andi