Thrive in Retirement by Eric Thurman

Thrive in Retirement, Simple Secrets for Being Happy for the Rest of Your Life, by author Eric Thurman took me a while to read.  I am more accustomed to Christian fiction with stories that take me away to another time and place.   This 240 page non-fiction book kept me right here but was packed full of great information for everyone.  I am very glad I continued reading it.


The author has put together information to help anyone going into retirement.  A lot of the information is common knowledge, but a lot of it was also new to me.  The author’s writing style was a bit of a mixture.  He included charts, quizzes, and lists along with his thoughts and some personal experiences.  Some chapters felt like a textbook while others were less strict and felt like he was talking one on one.

I gleaned a lot from this book.  It was interesting to read the author’s insights and ideas on retirement and what one should do.  Not only is retirement discussed but what the author calls “the third season of life” which include retirement, aging, and death.  He has tips and suggestions as well as forms to help readers and their loved ones transition into this.  Everything he has written is to help readers be prepared.  It is easy to forget something important so author Thurman has placed all of the information needed in his book.  Now readers have a retirement guide at their fingertips!

I would recommend this book to anyone.  People that have retired or are preparing to retire, young adults with family retiring, people needing a retirement gift, and so many more would all benefit from this book.  It comes out February 26, 2019.  Get a copy and read it with a group so you can share your thoughts.   I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book from WaterbrookMultnomah but was not required to write a review.  These are my own, honest thoughts.


About the book:

Never before in human history have so many people lived for decades beyond their working years. 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day, and their average life expectancy is another 20 years–and many will live longer. But will they just live or have a meaningful life? The truth is that many–if not most–people approaching the latter years do not have a plan, much less a strategy to thrive instead of just survive. Packed with information based on research as well as common-sense wisdom, here are some examples of what readers will discover:
* How retiring at the wrong time increases the likelihood of dying 89%.
* What can delay Alzheimer’s onset an average of 9 years.
* How everything that makes you happy comes in just 3 forms.
* Which partner is most likely to initiate divorce after decades of marriage and why.

About the Author:

After a career that took him to half of the countries in the world, Eric Thurman found retirement to be a much bigger adjustment than he expected. His freer schedule was great but trying to pretend life was little more than an endless vacation quickly grew stale. He set out to understand how to make the most of life if he had another 20 or 30 years still ahead. He drew on his early background as a journalist to uncover the latest research on aging and then he applied his leadership skills as a CEO to organize his discoveries into a practical plan. What he found that energized his personal life became the principles he outlines in his latest books and courses.

Eric Thurman has a history of blazing trails. As International President of a large nonprofit organization, he created a program that now serves orphans and other hurting children in more than 30 countries. Previously, he was CEO of two leading microfinance organizations that enable families in dozens of developing countries to expand tiny businesses and work their way out of poverty. In addition to his writing and speaking on happiness in retirement, he continues to advise international nonprofits and major donors on how to be most effective in helping people thrive.


The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

The Minimalist Home by author Joshua Becker is a book filled with ideas on how to simplify your life.  Decluttering or minimalizing is a hot trend now.  Most people talk about it but few seldom actually do it.  This book helps readers go from the dreaming to the doing stage.
It was a tough sell for a sentimental old bird like me.  Am I a minimalist?  Absolutely not.  Just a wannabe.  It sounds good until the garbage bags come out and my cherished items start clinging to me.  After reading Author Becker’s book, I have decided enough is enough.  I can and will do this.
The author goes room by room giving readers encouragement and a well written plan.  He has traveled this road before so he understands all too well the emotional roller coaster participants will ride.  Giving encouragement of “Less house means more home” and “Just because you have space doesn’t mean you have to fill it with stuff” spurred me to change.
By decluttering your home, it will allow you to live your life there and do things you were created to do.  Let that sink in.  If my home is less cluttered basically I can focus more on my family and God. Sold!  There will be less distractions and less upkeep.
Have the things I owned cluttered my house to the extent that they caused me not to have friends over because my house was too messy?  Certainly.   Okay, no I see the problem.  I am basically being owned by my possessions instead of me owning them as the author explained.
This is a well thought book that is written to help.  It is broken down into three sections and twelve chapters.  The author has done his research and organized his ideas wonderfully.  It will take a while but thanks to this book and its author, I have begun the journey.
I would definitely recommend this life changing book.  It gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.  Get a copy for yourself and start the process for yourself.  A copy was provided by the publisher but all opinions are my own, honest ones.54641D6B-7A59-4296-B104-CBFB182CC7DE

Book Review: The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall



The Christmas Remedy by rauthors Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall is a charming 198 page Amish Christmas book.  The Woodsmall authors do a wonderful job of mixing contemporary Amish and what they call Englisch (us) cultures in this story.  The sweet romance is a also a mystery.  So we have a contemporary Christian Amish romantic mystery.  What a great combination!

Their writing style is like opening the door into another place.  I gladly glide on in and stay, making many friends while I am there.  It was easy to become invested in this book.  I did within the first few pages.  It was difficult to put the book down until I had finished it.  I felt like a kid wanting to stay on vacation a few more days.  The characters were too likable to just leave.
This is the tale of Amish young woman Holly Zook.  She works in the town pharmacy.  After a medical issue her boss’ son, Brandon, comes home.  These two characters are well defined and true to life.  I met Brandon’s father, Lyle, the beloved pharmacist.  A helpful chicken farmer, Josh Smucker.  There were too many characters to name.  All distinct and likable or perhaps not.
This book taught me some things I did not know.  One of my three favorite things in a book.  Teach me something.  It also had a God glorifying message.  Check.  I wasn’t sure about that one, but good things come to those that wait.  The last is I want to feel like I am there.  I did.  Obviously these wordsmiths know what they are doing and do it quite well.
The Christmas Remedy was a tad predictable but that did not make it any less enjoyable.  There were issues touched that effect most all of us.  Family, forgiveness, loving others as ourself, helping, healthcare awareness, and envy are a few of those topics.
I truly enjoyed this Christmas book.  There were friendship, blossoming love, caroling, health fair, smores, family gatherings, and good Amish food.  It received 5 out of 5 stars from me, especially for the strong closing message.  This would be a great stocking stuffer for the reader on your list.  Buy one for yourself.  You will enjoy traveling to Amish country during the holidays while sipping cider in front of your fireplace.
I received a copy of this from Waterbrook and the authors.  All opinions are my own, honest ones.

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Book Review: This is the Day by Tim Tebow, 5 Stars

This is the Day by author and sports figure Tim Tebow is a wonderful book. It is filled with encouragement and inspirational words to uplift and motivate readers. In his book, Tim challenges readers to search for joy, whether little or big, every day.   The Bible says. In Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”   The author is explaining just how to do exactly that. He challenge readers to put life to that scripture daily.


I have never read one of author Tebow’s books and was pleasantly surprised by his writing style. This is the Day is well researched, planned, organized, and written. Tebow’s style is easy to follow and flows effortlessly. Like coffee with a friend, I drank up the stories in this book with enjoyment. I enjoyed reading this book and learned many insuring things.


Using his own personal experience the author has written this book from a Christian perspective. He uses the stories of others’, too. It is a positive book for anyone and will help them turn their negativity around. It appears the main goal of this book is to encourage both Christians and non-Christians to change the way they may be thinking about themselves and/or their circumstances.


In this God glorifying book, each of the twelve chapters reveals how God worked in Tebow’s life. Even though we might not be aware, God is always there and always in control. He encourages readers to dream dreams, make goals, be intentional about doing things that matter, to have a positive influence in the world around them, and most of all to make today be the day to live a life of purpose, meaning, and significance. Wow. How is that for encouragement?


Beginning each chapter is a relative quote from a famous person of note. Then the chapters themselves tackles relevant subjects among which are Listening to the Right Voice, Live with Open Hands, Put in the Work, Open Your Eyes, and Get in the Game. Each chapter ends with a section called “Make this your day”. Questions are proposed and suggestions given on how to apply the chapter’s principle in today’s life. A self reflection question ends this section. Definitely leaves readers something to ponder. Acknowledgments, information on the author and Tim Tebow Foundation close the 209 page book.


I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Middle schoolers to grandparents would enjoy reading it and be inspired. They would be able to help encourage others, too. It would make a great small group or reading club book. Perfect for birthday or Christmas gifts. It definitely earned a 5 out of 5 stars from me. I received a complimentary copy of the uncorrected proof of this book and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.


Find a Book Friday: The Life-Giving Leader

Are you a leader in any form in your life?  Most of us are in one way or another.  Whether at work, church, or home at one point we are given the reins and people look to us for directions.  The Life-Giving Leader by author Tyler Reagin is a 208 page book published by Waterbrook Press to help leaders assist others.  Author Reagin is the president of Catalyst, a leadership development organization that exists to unify and equip leaders who love the Church.  Until reading this book, I was unfamiliar with him and his organization.

This is not your typical leadership book.  In The Life-Giving Leader we see what happens to a team or individual’s under a good leader.  Normally in leadership books the focus is on the leader and what he or she accomplished.  This one is just as much about the people on the team and how the leader has changed their lives by example.
The writer’s style was a bit difficult for me.  It was more abrupt and seemed a bit uneven.  After acclimating myself to it, I got in the grove and it became easier to understand.  A rocky start did not stop me from gleaning a lot from this helpful book.  I had many highlighted pages after finishing it where I found words of wisdom.  Here are some of my favorites:
“Life-giving leadership is all about staying in deep relationship with our Heavenly Father so we can love those around us best and bring life to the people God has put in our circle of influence.” (Page 21)
“Life-giving leaders make people around them shine.”  (Page 24)
“Life-giving leadership begins with self-awareness and self-acceptance, nonnegotiable hallmarks of authentic leadership.” (Page 50)
“Self-awareness is the foundation for a lifetime of leading well.” (Page 52)
This book is sprinkled with scripture rather than having the heavy handed dose I had hoped.  The author gives food for thought and growth both personally and as a leader.  He uses personal stories, life experiences, contemporary references, and even tells us what did not work for him.  He holds nothing back.  Anyone would benefit from parts of this book.
I recommend this to leaders, aspiring leaders, and anyone wanting to improve people skills.  Actually, everyone will glean something from this book if only to realize that we are all a leader of some sort.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Find a Book Friday: Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer

If you are like me, you enjoy reading novels about different times, places, and ways of life.  These fiction books provide information, and I always learn something.  In author Kim Vogel Sawyer’s Ours for a Season, I was taken into a small part of the Old Order Mennonite world.  It is part Amish but with a modern touch.  In this novel, you will find a lot more depth than a normal fiction book.  This is not your typical Amish or Mennonite story.  It deals with real life issues in heavy doses.  Anyone will be captivated with it.


In Ours for a Season we meet Old Order Mennonite husband and wife, Anthony and Marty Hirschler.   They are part of a small close knit community in Pine Hill, Indiana.  They have lost a child and have not been able to have any other children.  Doctors have confirmed they will not have any others.  Each deal with this loss in a different way.  Anthony pours himself into his construction business.  Marty is battling depression and yearns for a child.  She struggles with living in a community where children are so important as are large families.  Their marriage is a bit rocky.


Brooke Spalding, is a childhood friend and reconnects with Marty.  She offers the Hirschlers an opportunity to get away from Indiana which they hope will mend their fragile relationship.  Brooke has ulterior motives.  This journey is a roller coaster one filled with twist and turns, mystery, faith, intrigue, action, hope, and love.

All of the characters in this exceptional book are so well conceived.  It is easy to become invested in their lives.  They come alive on the pages.  The author has done a wonderful job with tackling so many issues we face in today’s life.  Tough, heartbreaking issues.  The message of redemption, trusting and turning to God is in the forefront of this hauntingly beautiful, power story.  There is no confusion about whether or not this is a Christian novel.  It absolutely is.


I completely loved this emotionally charged story.  It pulled, not tugged, on my heartstrings more than a few times.  The author has done an exemplary job in researching, planning, and writing this novel.  Her talent is evident in this “do not stop reading me” book.  It drew me in within the first few chapters and I was hooked.  Completely hooked.

This is a definitely yes, 5 star recommended book from me.   With the issues broached I would lean toward teenagers and up as it might be too much for tweens to handle.  The storyline is too good to share any more and ruin experiencing it for yourself.  As I read this page turner, I kept saying WOW.  Yes, it is a wow read that you need to experience yourself.  Then find sometime to discuss it.  Maybe a reading group.54641D6B-7A59-4296-B104-CBFB182CC7DE







Must Read Monday: Daily Question for You & Your Child

The Daily Question for You and Your Child by Waterbrook is a delightful daily journal for parent and child.  This hardcover book has a place on its cute cover for a picture.  The cover is designed so that both girls and boys may use it.  While older kids will enjoy the questions, the cover will be a bit juvenile for them.


Waterbrook has given customers a three year journal to mark the growth of children.  Each date has a specific question along with places for three answers.  One for each of three years.  Parents with three children can adjust to include all three children in one book with replacing names for years.

It is a great interactive book.  Questions include “What is your favorite thing God has created?”  “What is your favorite shirt and why?”  These are simple questions that would receive different answers as children grow and mature.  It would make a nice keepsake for when the child has grown with a family of their own.


Journals become a chore after a few weeks, but this one certainly has potential to stay the course.  Questions could be asked before nightly prayers or at the dinner table.  Even parents could get in on the discussion to aid in kids opening up more.

This book would make a great gift.  As I stated earlier, it would make a treasured keepsake, too.  Pick up two so that you could present a completed one and blank one to a mother or father-to-be.  Grandparents would benefit from quality time discussing these questions, too.  Parents would, too.  Don’t all children need to spend time with their parents and grandparents talking about God?


I highly recommend this for anyone with kiddos.  The age is so widespread and depends on the person answering.  I rated it a 5 out of 5 stars because I love sentimental, nostalgic things.  Completed it would be a treasured book in this Gram’s library.

I received a complimentary copy from WaterbrookMultnomah.  Opinions are my own, honest ones.