Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Book Review: Hugs, Hope and Peanut Butter

Hugs, Hope and Peanut Butter: Finding the Light Behind the Clouds
By Marsha Mott Jordon
ISBN: 0977134342

Mrs. Jordan first contacted me about Hugs, Hope and Peanut Butter, the children's charity she started for critically ill children. She asked if I'd place a link on the blog to let others know about this wonderful ministry. After I looked at the url, I was more than happy to do so.

Hugs, Hope and Peanut Butter's Kids Club would make a wonderful ministry opportunity for anyone, but especially the homeschooling parents who are looking for service opportunities they can do with their children. Many homeschooling families delight in participating in Operation Shoebox each Christmas season. Well, this is like Operation Shoebox that lasts all year! It would be such a blessing to put together a package of happy mail for a child who copes with daily health problems. Imagine the child's face when he gets mail and finds out someone he's never met cares about him.

When the author mailed me a copy of her book for this review, I was a little hesitant thinking it might be a compilation of sad stories children have faced. How mistaken I was! Within minutes of opening the cover, I was laughing so loud my family came to find out what was going on. After I read them a few paragraphs about King Louie, her demented and spoiled poodle, they were laughing too. I have caught my husband, Clint, reading and laughing whenever I have left the book open on our bed. Marsha send him his own copy so he'll leave mine alone!

This book is full of observations the author has made of her own life. She has faced disability and other health challenges which she shares throughout, but she does not let them keep her from living life to the fullest. This isn't a long list of complaints, one sad depressing event after another. It's a story of triumph by the grace of God. It's a kick in the pants for the hopeless and depressed. It's a laugh in the middle of the day.

Each short essay is a life illustration of a Biblical truth. She imparts her message with a humorous, down to earth style that lets the reader readily apply Biblical truth to their own situation. The book is made even more beautiful with artwork of critically ill children.

Clint has used a few of the stories in his sermons as a way to draw interest to the lesson. I have read many of them aloud to our homeschooled children as a way to share faith and life lessons. The stories are short enough to be enjoyed at any time: between homeschool lessons, while waiting at the doctor's office, before bed, potty breaks, etc.

Marsha is my kind of gal. She's tough, direct, honest, warm, spunky, funny and loves the Lord. This is a woman who is truly beautiful inside and out who has learned that helping others is the best way to help yourself through a crisis. She sees God's perfect work in her imperfect life.

My favorite "Marsha quote" is referring to God using the donkey to talk to Baalam. "If He can use that jack ass, He most certainly can work through you and me too." How true! Sometimes we need a reminder of God' ability to change our focus from our inability.

If you know someone who is struggling through a trial, facing discouragement, disappointment or just needs a laugh with meaning, pick up a copy of this book! It will make a wonderful, thoughtful gift and will bring much enjoyment. Not only will you bring laughter to the recipient, but you will be supporting the children's ministry Hugs, Hope and Peanut Butter since all proceeds go to the charity. If you are looking for a one size fits all inspirational gift for friends or employees, this is your ticket!

This book will not only warm the heart, it will feed the soul.