Ever After: Life Lessons Learned in My Castle of Chaos
Reality with a huge twist of humor
Little girls often grow up with their heads filled with the stuff of fairy tales: You grow up, Prince Charming finds you (even if it means slaying dragons, defeating witches, and dealing with evil stepmothers, etc.), you marry, and ride off in your shimmering carriage to live happily ever after in your beautiful castle. Right?
Reality Check!! Tiny apts.; sky high bills; work demands; the pumpkin that turned into a carriage is actually a 'lemon'; the fairy godmother loses your new address; the sweet babies you envisioned cry, make messes...and turn into teenagers; Prince Charming doesn't always make your dreams come true; and , truth be told, your "princess persona" and crown may slip a notch or 2...sometimes. Vicki Courtney calls this Ã¢ÂÂFairy Tale Letdown.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ever After: Life Lessons Learned in My Castle of Chaos should be required reading for those who need a dose of reality, but I also absolutely recommend it for those who long realized that life isn't a fairy tale...but is so much more exciting. This is written from the perspective of a married woman, but is also a great book for divorced or never-married women; there are topics that appeal to all women. Courtney's sense of humor shines through the pages as she tells stories from her own life about mistakes made, lessons learned, tears, laughter, and the reminder that God's grace is sufficient for our happy ending and the Prince who awaits us.
I rarely give out a 5, but I would give this a strong 4.5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Shelton Interactive, as part of its Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
August 22, 2013
Once upon a time....giving up the fairy tale
There is a reason that fairy tales begin with "Once upon a time..." Because it only happens once. upon. a. time. Long, long ago when ladies were served and princes, I mean men, were perfect and, well, charming. Now, we live in a time where women are "supposed" to serve and men are not the charming creatures we read about in fairy tales.
The problem is that we continue to believe the prince charming myth right up until we discover the perfect man we married has faults and no longer thinks we are his lady in waiting. Then, there are the demands we place on ourselves as wives and mothers trying to live up to the lives we see on Facebook and Pinterest. What we see and read online lead us to believe in a modern-day fairy tale--that women can work 40 hours a week, work out for 2 hours a day, cook gourmet meals 7 days a week, take care of the kids and the housework and still maintain a scrapbook for three kids, sew their own clothes, grow their own food, etc. etc. etc.
The truth is that women can't do it all. We can't build a home and have a family on a steady diet of fairy tales, Facebook statuses or Pinterest ideas. In her book, "Ever After", Vicki Courtney shares her life lessons about marriage and motherhood (some quite humorous) and helps put them into perspective. There is only One Person who can meet us where we are and be the happily ever after we long for.
Courtney shares her mistakes and the lessons she learned and shows us what a real fairy tale looks like--the one where the husband and wife argue, the kids get sick and the house gets dirty. Wherever you are in your journey, Christ meets you there.
If you struggle with how you look or the aging process, you will find peace in the last few chapters where Courtney shares things to consider as we face body image and aging issues. She helps us realize that things aren't always what they appear to be online or in magazines. I highly recommend "Ever After" for women in all stages of life. This would make a perfect gift for a girl as she prepares to leave the nest. This is, after all, the best time to put all those fairy tales to rest.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Shelton Interactive, as part of its Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255: Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
August 21, 2013
I really wish I could just read aloud to you the introduction of this book. After hearing it IÃ¢ÂÂm pretty confident you would say, Ã¢ÂÂGive me that, I need to read it for myselfÃ¢ÂÂ. If you've ever had the privilege of hearing Vicki speak and enjoyed it you are definitely going to delight in reading this book. Her witty yet wise voice comes through in her writing.
Each chapter addresses one of our fairy tale notions and walks us through what the reality is and should be. DonÃ¢ÂÂt get me wrong this isn't a preachy youÃ¢ÂÂre doing it all wrong type of book. How could it be with chapters that include: P-31 Flunkie, Great Sexpectations, Prince Charming Letdown and Fine Whines: Aged to Perfection.
This book is designed with every woman in mind. It is for the single woman who is looking for her prince charming. It is for the young married woman who canÃ¢ÂÂt believe her prince is looking like a frog. It is for all those mommas out there just trying to keep the moat around the castle clean. And it is also for the woman who is looking back and ahead at the same time.
Since I couldn't read you the beginning let me at least leave you with a quote from the ending:
Ã¢ÂÂNo fairy tale can match the rescue mission that took place in GodÃ¢ÂÂs story. Ã¢ÂÂBud God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for usÃ¢ÂÂ (Rom. 5:8 ESV). Our Prince awaits. Ever after begins today.Ã¢ÂÂ
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
July 29, 2013