Thursday, June 26, 2014 Review of A Short Walk to the Edge of Life

Last week my boss told me about a great blogging opportunity for me, called He knew I had just started a new blog, plus he could see how quickly I read books, based on how many I have read since I started working for him.

Anyway, he asked me the next day if I'd had a chance to check out the site yet. I had not, and could not remember the name of the site, so he wrote it down. This may seem obvious, but if your new boss suggests something to you that he thinks you'd benefit from, especially if he's also a pastor, you would look like a jerk if you didn't at least give it a try. Also, I have found that 'no accountability to writing' equals 'I don't write'. (Even to write this review I wavered between opening a Word document or Candy Crush Saga, and had to make a conscious choice to blog!) So I am thankful to Mark for giving me a reason to write; besides, it is a pretty awesome deal-you pick a book, they send it to you and you write a review!

There were many varieties of book to choose from, and I chose "A Short Walk to the Edge of Life: How My Simple Adventure Became a Dance With Death-and Taught Me What Really Matters" by Scott Hubbartt. My only negative thing to report is that I had a horrible time remembering the name of the book! And I am just talking about the main part of the title, before the colon. I wanted to tell Mark about it when I got to work the next day, but realized on the drive in that if someone held a gun to my head and asked me the name of the book, I would be dead. Weirdly, while I was telling him what I could remember about the title, he realized that that was the same book he was waiting for!

After I had registered and selected my first book, I was given the option of print or ebook. I figured I was geared up to read it, and my Nook is my computer, so I chose the ebook. Long story short (too late!), I thought I had done something wrong while trying to download it, so I was exchanging emails with someone at Blogging For Books about getting the print version instead. I tried one last ditch effort by downloading a different e-reader app, and woohoo--it was there! I emailed back saying I had figured it out, and he told me that he fixed it so that my account showed it was time for me to select a book. I could either pick that book or a different book, So I decided to pick my next book, and while waiting I would read this one. The only thing is that I can't post my review there, because it doesn't show up as one of my books, but I still feel the need to review, because it was excellent!

I love true accounts of people LITERALLY being saved by prayer and/or their faith. One of my top five books is Left To Tell, written by a woman who survived the Rwandan genocide through multiple evidences of divine intervention. This story was in that same vein. I found myself highlighting every part of the book where Scott prayed for help from God, where and how those prayers were answered, and where he realized and accepted that God was in charge, and His will be done. I highlighted so much that instead of going back and re-reading those parts before writing this review, I will just say, 'Read it.' If you want some proof that He exists, this book will get you started in the right direction.

The fact that Scott is a chaplin yet he also struggled with faith issues was somewhat responsible for my trust that his story is true. He asked for help, he asked for guidance, but until he began listening for answers, nothing was working for him. Now the quiet of his desolation was forcing him to listen. Even on what could very well have been his last day on earth, he followed the signs he received and backtracked two miles down a mountain that had taken almost every ounce of his strength to climb, knowing that it may be for nothing and he would have to find the strength to climb up that same mountain once again. He literally trusted God with his very survival, and everything that came next happened because of making those choices.

This book also appealed to my love of survival shows like Survivorman, Dual Survivor, Man vs Wild, etc. I learned from these shows, and now I was vicariously experiencing an extreme worst case scenario through Scott's story. I knew he was way past the point that he should have survived without water. It is a true miracle that he made it.

FTC disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mail From Dad

**In honor of Father's Day, I am reposting what I posted last year on this date. Update: I got the job!**

It’s Father’s Day, so I wanted to share something that happened to me last week.

I have watched enough medium shows and read enough books about the afterlife to recognize a sign when I see one. How many times has Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, told someone that their loved one was with them when they were wearing something of theirs, or doing something in honor of them? It happens all the time. Or someone will find pennies from heaven that they know came from someone they lost? Or every time they see a butterfly, they feel it is their departed loved one sending them a spiritual hug? These themes come up over and over again, enough for someone like me to have zero skepticism.

My dad used to sit outside a lot, and he always called cardinals “red birds”, so when one flies by at a time when I need to feel some reassurance that everything is going to be okay, I take it as a sign from my dad.

I have a tie tack that was my dad’s. It is an elephant standing on a ball, which is significant because when my dad was a kid, he survived the horrific circus fire in Hartford, CT. His mom had told him not to go, but he went anyway. (This story was told to us often as kids to reinforce how important it was to obey our parents if they told us we couldn’t do something) Lucky for him, they were up in the top row of seats and his friend sliced the tent with his pocket knife so they and others could escape tragedy. So this tie tack is my lucky charm. I wear it when I need strength to be at my best.

I wore it to a job interview, as I would normally do, and while I was waiting for the interviewer, I touched the elephant and whispered to my dad to help me out. The interview went amazingly well, but that’s not what this story is about. It’s about what happened later that day when I checked the mail.

{Now, for those of you who don’t know much about me, my husband and I moved to Rhode Island a year and a half ago after living with my mom in Connecticut for five years. We had moved in while my father was still alive to help my mom out as he was suffering from Alzheimer’s.. He passed away six months later.}

Anyway, as I was going through the stack of mail so that I could toss the junk, there was a mailer from a Rhode Island furniture store that we had never heard about in Connecticut. Naturally, my husband and I had changed our address with the post office over a year ago, and my last name hasn’t been McCue for 13 years. That’s what made this so cool. The Cardi’s Furniture mailer was sent to my Rhode Island address to “Donald McCue or current resident”.. This address has nothing to do with my father, and our mail forwarding had stopped months ago. There is no conceivable way that this should have happened, so I know it was a message from my dad that everything was going to be okay.

On Friday, driving home from my third interview for the same job, a cardinal flew across the highway right in front of our car Seems like a good sign..

Thanks for the mail dad, and Happy Father’s Day from “The Poor Kid”