A Different Beautiful: Discovering and Celebrating Beauty in Places You Never Expected - eBook  -     By: Courtney Westlake
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A Different Beautiful: Discovering and Celebrating Beauty in Places You Never Expected - eBook

Shiloh Run Press / 2016 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Free ePub
Vendor: Shiloh Run Press
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 9781634099233
ISBN-13: 9781634099233

Endorsements

Westlake had never heard of the medical condition of harlequin ichthyosis until her daughter, Brenna, was born with the genetic skin disease in 2011. Westlake, already the mother of a healthy two-year-old boy, Connor, was thrilled to discover she was carrying a baby girl. Her happy anticipation soon turned into overwhelming fear when doctors and nurses whisked Brenna off immediately after her birth because her skin was shedding from her tiny body. Westlake shares in up-close detail the courageous journey of parenting Brenna, and how outsiders have greeted their daughter's condition with stares and nasty comments. Rather than grow bitter, Westlake and her husband daily give thanks to God for their beautiful daughter and the countless blessings and life lessons she imparts. This is an emotional story that takes readers from those first tenuous shaky steps to a confident stride that will both inspire and fortify. Westlake's message will especially resonate with parents who have endured difficult medical challenges with their children, but her joyful, resilient, and grateful outlook will encourage individuals of all kinds. -Publisher's Weekly

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
4.7 out of 5
(24)
(5)
(2)
(0)
(0)
Quality:
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
Value:
4.2 out Of 5
(4.2 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.2 out Of 5
(4.2 out of 5)
100%
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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Displaying items 1-5 of 31
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  1. Madison Heights VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    TRue beauty
    November 28, 2016
    Rhonda Nash-hall
    Madison Heights VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Courtney Westlake's water broke earlier than she had planned, and she awaited expectantly for the precious daughter that she and her husband, Evan, would soon hold in their arms and gaze in her eyes. It didn't work out that way though. Brenna was wiped and confusion and worry showed on the faces of all the doctors and nurses in the delivery room. The loving mother's heart cried out, "Where's my baby? When can I see her, hold her, kiss her tiny face?" Instead of placing her sweet daughter in her aching arms, a neonatologist was summoned immediately. Something was wrong. Something was wrong. Something was wrong with Brenna. Brenna was facing a fight. She just entered the world and she was in pain and she had to fight, because the medical staff told her that babies born with harlequin ichthyosis rarely survived more than a few days. They could keep her painfree until she passed. That's when the heaviest decision fell on their shoulders. Were they going to let Brenna just go? She'd just arrived and they longed for this daughter.

    Brenna's young mother, Courtney Westlake, walks us through the struggle for Brenna's life and then the joy the beautiful little girl brings to their home. Brenna is blessed with the most compassionate brother and parents that God could have given her to. I love the personal stories and the brutal honesty expressed in this book. I did wish there were photographs. I looked on Courtney's blog and looked at Brenna and smiled with tears in my eyes and whispered, "She is beautiful. She is precious." Honestly, from the description in the book of her birth, I thought she would look frightening. But she does not. Her smile is infectious. I did think that more scripture would have been helpful to accompany the stories and opinions. What a lovely book, what an inspiring family!

    As I finished the book, I thought of the song, "How Beautiful" by Twila Paris.
  2. TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Insightful
    August 26, 2016
    tmurrell
    TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Courtney's world was changed completely when shortly after the birth of her daughter she was given the news that Brenna had a severe skin disorder. Courtney's dreams for what her future with her daughter would look like were instantly changed. Courtney shares her insights and thoughts on what she's learned in the four years since receiving the diagnosis. Her concept of beauty was changed as God worked on her heart while she cared for her daughter.

    The book is written simply, yet eloquently. Courtney shares from the heart about how her experiences have changed her, but she also shares a few personal details about her precious daughter Brenna. This book changed some of my thoughts and gave me a glimpse into another perspective. The book is touching, heartwarming, and thought provoking. The writing was real and honest and it felt like it came from the heart. It has stories that break up the thoughts, making this an interesting read as well. I think this is a book that everyone should read. We all need to step out of our comfort zones and preconceived ideas to take a look from someone else's view point.

    I received this book free of charge from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
  3. North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Touching Story
    August 12, 2016
    Susan B
    North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 3
    "A Different Beautiful" by Courtney Westlake is a touching read which challenges us to examine our perceptions of the world around us. Following the birth of her daughter, who is born with a serious, severe skin disorder that is life-threatenig, Mrs. Westlake goes on a journey of discovery about "beauty" in both the physical and spiritual world around us. She shares her journey with us in her book.

    While I enjoyed the chapters individually and learned much from the insights that Mrs. Westlake shared, I found that the book was difficult to read as a continuous story. There was no logical sequence to the telling of Brenna's story, therefore I found myself reading it more of a devotional or study book, requiring time to absorb the leason or point taught in each chapter. I think this would be a good book for a study group, or book club. However, for me individually, I would have preferred to read Brenna's story chronologically and how she and her family grew in the Lord over time.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Read! Beauty beyond just what can be seen on the outside!
    August 9, 2016
    thall5
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What is true beauty? Who defines it? How is it defined?

    This engaging and very thought provoking read caught my attention on the first page as the author walks us through the birth of her what was supposed to be a healthy daughter, a diagnosis that was life threatening, their days in NICU fearing for their daughter's life, and the days of toddlerhood and learning to give grace to those that could not see the true beauty in their daughter.

    I loved how the author weaved in stories she herself had experienced and learned from as well as stories from others that helped her learn how to extend grace to deal with others and their attitudes and comments toward her daughter. So many of those stories and experiences made me stop and think myself about how I would deal with certain situations and how God truly desires us to give grace to others and to show them love and compassion even they may not deserve it. I also loved to see how they allowed this unexpected journey to bring them closer together as a couple and family instead of tearing their home apart.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Discovering and Celebrating Beauty in Places You Never Expected
    August 8, 2016
    The Flawed Stitch
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

    With this out of the way, I have to say I am so glad I read this amazing piece of work. I absolutely LOVE this book!! I have cried, or at the very least teared up, most of the way through this book. The author, Courtney Westlake, tells how she came to embrace a Different Beautiful for her life since the birth of her daughter, and she has challenged her readers to look at life from a different viewpoint than we are conditioned to have from birth.

    As a mother and grandmother, I fully understand the grand plans Courtney dreamed of as she progressed through her pregnancy. Parents, especially expectant moms, often look ahead to what life will be like when their baby is finally born. They envision their childs first steps, their first day of school, their first boyfriend, shopping with them for the perfect prom dress, and eventually their childs wedding day. These dreams, under normal circumstances, are a natural progression of life.

    Courtney thought about all these things in anticipation of her daughters birth. However, her dreams were shattered (or at least put on hold) when her little girl was born with a rare life-threatening disease; Harlequin Ichthyosis. She went from dreaming of each little (and big) milestone her new baby girl would accomplish, to praying she would survive one more day, one more week, one more month.

    As she shares her daughters story, Courtney also shares with her readers about Gods dream for each of us. God gave all of us a beautiful life. He has plans for our life, and His plans vary from one individual to another. Though each of us is crafted by our Creator differently, we are all beautiful in His eyes.

    While Courtney struggles at times with the reactions people express toward her daughters appearance, she sees this as an opportunity to teach her children about acceptance. There is much emphasis placed on appearance and looks and difference is very much a negative way. We often instill these sayings and values into our kids without even thinking about it.

    Instead of reinforcing this focus on outward beauty, Courtney reminds us we must turn our focus on who each person is and cherish them for their uniqueness, their inner beauty. God looks at the heart. And we have the opportunity, every day, to glorify God by looking at the heart, too.

    For anyone who is struggling with their dreams being swept away, no matter the reason illness, loss of job, death of a loved one, rejection, etc. your new situation can be just as wonderful or even better than the dream you once chased. Wherever God leads you, whatever twist or crooked road your life takes, you can find love, happiness, and a Different Beautiful.

    I loved this book and Courtneys willingness to share her beautiful daughter with us. This book is for anyone who has had or is facing a difficult situation that has altered the dream life they thought they were going to live. This book can reach beyond the physical and touch the spirit of all who read it.
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