REVIEW: This book is a memoir of one extraordinary woman’s journey of faith in Uganda. I really wanted to love and be inspired by the book, and that happened, but not to the extent I was hoping for. From the standpoint of a reader I found myself skimming the first few chapters looking for something to move the story along. Perhaps a bit tighter editing might have kept the story moving without losing the impact of the inspirational parts. (Note: I found the second half better in this regard.) Besides the enthralling story, there are multiple positives about this book including that it is well grounded in scripture and the author makes it possible for the reader apply her faith and growth in Uganda to a completely different life in another country. I particularly related to her realization that she was tired (chapter 11) but that God never gets weary. I highly recommend this book to a bible study as well as a Christian book discussion group. I received a complementary copy of the book for this review.
Katie Davis Majors
Thirteen adopted daughters
Patrick and Celeste – friends – adopted Gift
Christine – friend and co-worker
Stayed at house while ill or recuperating
Jane – 4 years old
Lisa – biological mother
Gift – orphaned baby
Mack – injured leg and Katie dressed
Katherine – young, ill widow with six children
Simon, grandmother and Anna (mother)
NOTE: The page numbers are from the hardback edition.
- Consider the idea of joy versus happiness. The author writes that, “The difference between shallow happiness and a deep, sustaining joy is sorrow” (page 89). Do you agree? How does experiencing sorrow help you experience joy?
- In the same vein, when considering the sunflowers planted by her daughters in the backyard she writes, “Maybe the greatest joy isn’t just in beholding the flowers but in the process” (page 71). Can you think of a time in your life when the process was more meaningful than the outcome?
- Do you think a missionary can separate their personal life from the lives they are ministering to? Katie writes that, “…this separation seems not only unbiblical but impossible” (page 59). Do you agree?
- One difference she noted was the Western idea of, “… valuing personal space and privacy” (page 59). How difficult would it be for you to give up your personal space?
- On the same page (59), one idea that really hit home to me was that she decided to, “practice the art of being interrupted.” How difficult would this be for you?
- The Bible teaches that God works all things for our good. Mack stated an example of this when he said to Katie, “If I hadn’t hurt my leg, we wouldn’t be friends now. I wouldn’t know you, and maybe I wouldn’t know Jesus. This leg, it was bad. But now it is good, you know?” (page 31). Can you think of other examples in the book? In your own life?
- Katie wrote that, “…the most powerful thing we can do for another person is not to try to fix his or her pain or make it go away but to acknowledge it” (page 101). How difficult is this? Do you think our culture is too focused on fixing everything? What about things we cannot fix?
- One of my favorite quotes from Aristotle is in the book, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit” (page 139). How does this apply to your religious faith?
- Did this book help you see things such as courage, burdens, being tired, etc. in a different light?
First Semester Success: Learning Strategies and Motivation for Your First Semester (or Any Semester) of College, by Dr. Arden B. Hamer, is available at amazon.com, wordassociation.com and barnesandnoble.com. Click on the upper right link.