Tag Archives: marriage

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon, 2017)

Hope Growing {Book Review – A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti}

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon, 2017)

About the book (from the publisher):

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon, 2017)

Hope grows when seeds are planted-even in the muddy middle of life.

Josiah Chamberlain’s life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife’s unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she’s unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.

Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

My thoughts:

Cynthia Ruchti knows how to pack in the conflict. In A Fragile Hope, readers find conflict after conflict in both Josiah’s external circumstances as well as his internal world. As a marriage counselor, one might think Josiah would be attentive to his own wife’s needs, but the reader meets and reads about a selfish man for much of the book, even down to his internal dialogue. This helps set Josiah up for positive change and growth, but I also found it hard to root for Josiah until the ending chapters. His dangerous habit of assumption also added to his inner turmoil (and added to me questioning him as if I could talk to him throughout the book).

The author obviously did vast amounts of research into brain trauma, hospitals, and ICUs. (I say this as a mother with a touch of experience having been in the ICU with her child more than once.) I loved the nurses’s and doctors’s differences and ways in which they cared for their patients. The author brings readers in with setting details and added to the tension since a majority of the book takes place within a hospital.

I read (and reviewed) another one of Cynthia Ruchti’s books, As Waters Gone By, a couple of years ago. Like in that novel, I found a few of Josiah’s internal dialogue and analogies a bit jumpy, which disconnected the flow of reading a few times. But, also like in that novel, the realistically portrayed side characters in A Fragile Hope became my favorite characters of the novel. From Nancy to Stan to both Catherines, I felt for those side characters, loved when they showed up, cheered for them, and felt thankful they were in Josiah’s life.

This novel offers a tension-filled narrative into truly being present and attentive for your spouse, as well as finding hope in the darkest, most implausible places.

Visit the Litfuse page for more information about this book, the author, and more reader reviews.

Litfuse is also hosting a lovely giveaway where you can win one copy of A Fragile Hope and a metal Scripture decoration. Click on the banner below (or here) to enter. The giveaway is open through May 3rd!

A Fragile Hope Cynthia Ruchti

What Scripture do you turn to when you need to see hope growing?

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the Litfuse Publicity Group as a part of their blogger program. All opinions expressed are my own, and this is my honest review.

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Searching for Sanity by Lindsey Bell

4 Essentials of a Healthy Marriage {Guest Post}

Note from Caroline: Today, I have the privilege of sharing some of author Lindsey Bell’s words with you. Lindsey is a great writer, a friend of mine, and the author of her newly released book, Searching for Sanity! Read her post below, then check the end to learn about her beautiful book and a giveaway opportunity. Also, watch for my review of Lindsey’s book coming soon!

My husband and I will celebrate our tenth year of marriage this year. While that’s certainly not as impressive as someone who has been married for 50 plus years, it’s nonetheless something we are proud of.

We have come a long way since we walked down the aisle at nineteen and twenty years old, and we’ve learned a lot.

Here are a few of the things we know now (that I wish we had known earlier) that every healthy marriage needs to have:

4 Essentials of a Healthy Marriage

1. Honest Communication 

When my husband and I first married, I hated having to tell him what I wanted and needed from him. (He was supposed to know, after all.)

What I’ve finally learned is that my husband cannot possibly know what I need or want if I don’t tell him. He wants to make me happy (just as I want to make him happy) but he can’t do so unless I’m open with him about what I need and want.

2. Forgiveness 

I read somewhere that great marriages aren’t made of great people but great forgivers. I couldn’t agree more.

No marriage will ever survive if the people in it don’t learn to genuinely forgive each other (and then let go of the offense).

3. Selflessness

When my husband and I argue, the primary cause of it (regardless of the issue at hand) is selfishness. He wants what he wants, and I want what I want.

If you think about the primary issues people fight over—like money, intimacy, parenting, etc.—most of the time the problem is rooted in selfishness.

In order for a marriage to flourish, both people need to be willing to give up their desires for the other person. To give up what they think needs to happen for the betterment of the marriage. 

4. Commitment

All marriages—regardless of how much “in love” two people are—take work. No one will ever remain in the honeymoon stage forever.

When difficulties come (and they will), a marriage will only stick together because of commitment. Because of two people who refuse to give up…even if the better doesn’t come until after the worse. 

One thing you probably noticed is that love didn’t make it onto this list. That’s because love is choosing to do each of these things even when you don’t feel like it.

  • It’s choosing to communicate when you’d rather freeze him out or check Pinterest.
  • It’s choosing to forgive when it’s easier to keep a mental log of everything he’s done wrong.
  • It’s choosing him when it’s natural to choose yourself.
  • It’s choosing to stick it out when it seems so much easier to give up.

I hope you’ll choose love this year. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Let’s Talk: Anything else you’d add to this list? Leave a comment below (by the end of the day February 21st) to be entered to win a gift card from Lindsey for her blog tour contest! 

This post is part of a Lindsey’s blog tour for Searching for Sanity, her new parenting devotional. You can read other posts in this tour by going to her blog: www.lindsey-bell.com.

Lindsey Bell, author of Searching for SanityAbout Lindsey Bell:

Lindsey Bell is the author of Searching for Sanity, a new parenting devotional. She’s also a stay-at-home mother of two, minister’s wife, avid reader, and chocolate lover. You can find Lindsey online at any of the following locations:

Her blog: www.lindsey-bell.com

Her website: www.lindseymbell.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/LindseyMBell

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorLindseyBell

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/LindseyMBell01

Searching for Sanity by Lindsey BellAbout Searching for Sanity:

Have you ever looked at your beloved children and wondered, what in the world am I doing? Why did God trust me—of all people—to raise them?

Motherhood is the most difficult job many of us will ever take. Searching for Sanity offers moms an opportunity to take a breath, dig into the Word, and learn from parents of the past. In short devotions designed for busy moms, this book uses the parents of the Bible—both the good and the bad—to inspire today’s mothers.