5 Stars Out Of 5
Discovering and Celebrating Beauty in Places You Never Expected
August 8, 2016
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.