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#1 of 26 Old 07-19-2008, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey :. I'd love to discuss The Shack by William P. Young.

I've just finished it and want to find some other moms (or dads) and how you are doing on your spiritual journey, and how do you teach this stuff to your LOs?

If you haven't read it yet, its an easy read and well worth it!

Proud mommy to DDs (12/04) and (11/07)
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#2 of 26 Old 07-27-2008, 08:26 PM
 
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Oh, I'm so glad I took someone's advice to come here! I'd posted about it in spirituality, and so far there's one person who's read it -- then someone said I should cross-post here, and lo-and-behold I see you've already started the thread!

How to teach this stuff to my LO's? Mainly modeling right now! I'm especially intrigued with this new concept (new to me, I mean) of the Three Persons of the Trinity living in submission to One Another, with no one Person being in charge of the others -- and I'm focused in wanting to live this out in my own family.

Since Papa, Jesus, and Sarayu created us in Their image, it makes sense that God is calling us out of hierarchy into relationship.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#3 of 26 Old 08-01-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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My copy of The Shack arrived yesterday. I am starting to read it and look forward to the discussion.

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#4 of 26 Old 08-03-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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mine should be here next week. I'm so up for a discussion
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#5 of 26 Old 08-03-2008, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay! : I was begining to think I ought to take the thread down.
Being and example is such a relief for me. That is how I'd like my family to interact, too (at least most of the time).
I love the examples of true love that are in the book, like showing love by limiting yourself to what your kids' abilities are, and the scene where he drops the bowl and there's no "issue" with it - just another opportunity to show love (that one really resonates with me). There's no shaming, no blaming.
I have just been feeling like you have to be the 'perfect' mom all the time. That the way you 'take care' of your family is to keep them all perfectly clean, feed them perfect food, provide the perfect environment, respond to each situation perfectly, SOLVE each situation, and be busy doing these things all the time.
The more I keep my focus on this stuff (showing love, being connected), the other things get done just enough, at just the right time, and I have time and energy to just be free. I am working on it but it really does work.
I can't wait for others to join in.

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#6 of 26 Old 08-03-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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Yay! : I was begining to think I ought to take the thread down.
Oh, I'm so glad you didn't!

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Being and example is such a relief for me. That is how I'd like my family to interact, too (at least most of the time).
I love the examples of true love that are in the book, like showing love by limiting yourself to what your kids' abilities are, and the scene where he drops the bowl and there's no "issue" with it - just another opportunity to show love (that one really resonates with me). There's no shaming, no blaming.
Yes, I love those examples, too.

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The more I keep my focus on this stuff (showing love, being connected), the other things get done just enough, at just the right time, and I have time and energy to just be free. I am working on it but it really does work.
Yes, it's all about drawing on our "ability to respond" -- instead of getting mired down under the weight of "responsibilities" we were never intended to bear.

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I can't wait for others to join in.
Me neither! I'm happy about the posters who are reading the book ... and just eager to hear what everyone has to say.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#7 of 26 Old 08-04-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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Ok done! Actually I was done on Friday but had company this weekend. Once I started it I couldn't stop...which is why I don't read fiction very often.

Anyway, I really liked it. It made me cry a lot, especially the part about the little girl getting kidnapped, I hate that stuff now that I have a little one. But I enjoyed the story, and it made God seem more real to me by presenting Him in a different light. I really liked the way the Trinity was portrayed. And yes, I liked the same things you guys did, about the completely nonjudgmental love and mutual submission that flowed between the members of the Trinity, and that flows from God to us. It was beautiful..

I knew before I read this book that a lot of churches and pastors have spoken against it, but I don't really know the details of that - why didn't they like it, and what aspects of it were such dangerous theology? I mean, I found a couple things in there I didn't completely agree with, but most of it was fairly orthodox...and you have to remember that it's fiction of course...I guess I was expecting a few more controversial thoughts. Most of the ideas in the book are things that someone like C.S. Lewis might say, and nobody gets all up in arms about him.

Oh I also liked the part where he was talking with Sophia and was slowly realizing that the way he loves his kids is the way God loves him, or even more. What a great picture of Jesus' work.

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#8 of 26 Old 08-04-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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I knew before I read this book that a lot of churches and pastors have spoken against it, but I don't really know the details of that - why didn't they like it, and what aspects of it were such dangerous theology?
I haven't explored all the objections -- but I found some site (can't remember where now, where someone talked about The Shack having a counterfeit Jesus. The writer was very critical of the "culturally relevant" and "playful" God portrayed in The Shack.

Without having looked too far into the objections, I'm guessing that a big piece of why it's seen as dangerous, has to do with the abandonment of hierarchy and rules.

Similar to why the religious leaders didn't like Jesus. They didn't want to release their power over people ... didn't want people to feel free enough to stop worrying about rules and start enjoying relationship.

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I mean, I found a couple things in there I didn't completely agree with, but most of it was fairly orthodox...and you have to remember that it's fiction of course...I guess I was expecting a few more controversial thoughts. Most of the ideas in the book are things that someone like C.S. Lewis might say, and nobody gets all up in arms about him.
Actually, there are some fundamentalist Christians who are very up in arms over C.S. Lewis, believe it or not. Again, I don't remember links at the moment -- but I've read at least one article where the author was speculating over whether Lewis was even saved.

I just absolutely love C.S. Lewis. Lewis himself said he had a "rumpled" theology, and his works were not intended to be read as theological treatises, but simply to be enjoyed. Lewis's writing has stretched my brain, and led me to such joy in the Lord.

Especially his Last Battle, and his Great Divorce (not about divorce, but about a bus-ride from hell to Heaven. I read them knowing Lewis hadn't yet seen Heaven and wasn't giving an "authorized" account of anything that had actually happened or would happen.

These books just stretched my imagination, and again brought me great joy, because these fictional accounts were so wonderful -- and I know what God has prepared is even more wondrous than anything any human (no matter how gifted) could envision.

So, yeah, there are people who get up in arms about Lewis.

I don't like Christian leaders who take it upon themselves to dictate what other believers should (or shouldn't) read. And I think many of them do it to cash in on the popularity of the bestsellers they're maligning.

For instance, dh and I enjoyed listening to The Davinci Code on audio a few years' back. There was, uhm, a whole lot we disagreed with -- but reading the book seriously didn't shake our faith or anything. Then I was at a friend's house and noticed she had a copy of some book telling Christians how to interpret/discuss The Davinci Code when encountering folks who've read it.

So many pastors were preaching against it, I suppose lots of Christians wouldn't want to be caught with a copy of the actual book. But I'm sure they were curious, so I suppose buying a copy of the "how to" book served to at least partially assuage their curiosity, while enabling them to feel good about the preparations they were making to witness to the masses who were getting deceived by The Davinci Code.

Whatever.

Like Lewis's books, The Shack is drawing me closer to the Lord. I think it's sad that so many leaders have such a low opinion of "the masses." They think we worship the printed word, I guess. That if we read anything in a book, we assume it must be true. We'll jump off a cliff if some printed words in a book say it's a good idea.

Personally, whether I'm reading a book or listening to a sermon interpreting some passage of the Bible -- I'm lining it up against what God's Spirit is telling me, and what I'm hearing myself from God's word. So ... to me, a pastor isn't "the final authority" any more than an author is.

God's Spirit lives in each and every one of us who believe. So no one person needs to exert authority over another, or tell us what we should or shouldn't read or think about. It seems like I hear the religious world saying some variation of "There is freedom in Christ, but ..."

And I hear Papa speaking freedom without the "but."

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Oh I also liked the part where he was talking with Sophia and was slowly realizing that the way he loves his kids is the way God loves him, or even more. What a great picture of Jesus' work.
I agree!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#9 of 26 Old 08-04-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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Actually, there are some fundamentalist Christians who are very up in arms over C.S. Lewis, believe it or not.
Wow, I did not know that.

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#10 of 26 Old 08-04-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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Wow, I did not know that.
I certainly don't mean "all" fundamentalist Christians: I grew up in (and still am in) a fundamentalist background, and Lewis is very popular among many there.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#11 of 26 Old 08-05-2008, 12:42 AM
 
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I just read this today. I am interested to follow the discussion. I honestly was reluctant to read it, but my former high school teacher gave me and several other former classmates copies and asked us to read it and discuss. We haven't started discussing it yet. I'm still digesting it, but overall I liked it. Though I will warn you all that I have broken away from Christianity, so I may be coming at it from a different perspective than others.

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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#12 of 26 Old 08-05-2008, 10:35 AM
 
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I certainly don't mean "all" fundamentalist Christians: I grew up in (and still am in) a fundamentalist background, and Lewis is very popular among many there.
Oh, certainly. I attended a pretty fundamentalist church for a while and as far as I could tell, nobody had anything against C.S. Lewis. I was just surprised because I thought everyone liked him, lol, but I googled and I see you are right, he is a tool of Satan according to some. Which I guess is to be expected, there's always someone who is against everything.

Anyway, back to the Shack. Fiestabeth, I am very interested to hear your opinion on the book from a non-Christian perspective, although it sounds like you used to be a Christian? If there is someone who has never been a Christian who has read the book I would be interested to hear what they thought too.

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#13 of 26 Old 08-05-2008, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so glad to see some activity here, now.
This book combined my 'sunday school' vision of the trinity with my adult vision of a connectedness among all living beings with a 'source'. Does that make any sense?
I had begun to realize that God was that universal source (and I do think that every person has a different name for that, just as every person has a different type/amount of relationship with Him). But I really couldn't yet figure out how the 'sunday school' version of Jesus and Holy Spirit fit in there. This book made that part clear to me.
Mammal_mamma said that a pastor doesn't mean that they have any more authority than an author, and I totally get that now, because there is no hierarchy among people in God's eyes. I grew up thinking that people 'of the church' must know more about God than me
So, am I understanding this right, that Jesus was the one physical person who was able to fully live in relationship with God and Sarayu? That he is the 'proof' that a person can do that? That is why he is so important to the trinity?
Just wondering how I can wrap my head around this stuff (keeping in mind how/what to explain to my kids since dd is asking me questions like, "where is God?" and "Does God eat dinner?" Yikes! I thought I'd have a couple of years before she started in on these, kwim).

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#14 of 26 Old 08-05-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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So, am I understanding this right, that Jesus was the one physical person who was able to fully live in relationship with God and Sarayu? That he is the 'proof' that a person can do that? That is why he is so important to the trinity?
Wow, that's a neat way of looking at it! I keep seeing new aspects of the Trinity, and Jesus' role, as I grow. Jesus is the One Who made God fully human. I never understood 'til reading The Shack, that when Jesus became human, so did Papa and Sarayu.

I still embrace what I initially learned, that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross destroyed the sin-barrier and made it possible for us to come to God and live in full relationship with Him. I'm constantly growing in my perception of sin. The Shack is helping me see how it's rooted in an attempt to live separate and independent from God.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#15 of 26 Old 08-06-2008, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I still embrace what I initially learned, that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross destroyed the sin-barrier and made it possible for us to come to God and live in full relationship with Him. I'm constantly growing in my perception of sin. The Shack is helping me see how it's rooted in an attempt to live separate and independent from God.
Yes, that's what I mean. There is a part in the book where God explains that Jesus made the whole plan complete, the whole 'risk' of loving us enough to leave us to have free choice.
I love how you say that sin comes from an attempt to live independently. That is really it, I think. Now, how to apply it?!
I find myself worrying less, in that I know it will do no good for me to over-worry something because I have to trust what God's plan is. But I feel like that's step one. Living in the moment enough that you are actually in communication. That is hard (especially for someone with control/compulsive issues like me).
I've been trying to say things out loud with dd so that she can see keeping a focus on God and being grateful for what we have, by His grace. I'm not quoting bible stories all day or anything but I will mention (non-chalant) that God made all these wonderful plants and flowers for us to enjoy, or that we say a grace at mealtime. I feel like its helping me to keep from getting too wrapped up in thinking that I have to be in charge of everything, too.
This is all new to me. I feel like The Shack really solidified the feeling that I'm on the right track.

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#16 of 26 Old 08-06-2008, 12:22 PM
 
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Anyway, back to the Shack. Fiestabeth, I am very interested to hear your opinion on the book from a non-Christian perspective, although it sounds like you used to be a Christian? If there is someone who has never been a Christian who has read the book I would be interested to hear what they thought too.
Yes, I am a former Christian. I thought the book was well written, and a compelling story. I think that it has the potential to do great things for the people that read it and take it to heart, and there were certainly things that I took away from it. But since I don't have a belief in Christ any longer, I didn't feel it was incredibly relevant to my life, and although it was compelling, it didn't make me want to come back into the fold.

I highly appreciated the personifications of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I also thought Young was really brave with some of the assertions he made; that a lot of churches might take offense at the idea that Jesus doesn't care if people attend church, and that it's not about being like Jesus. There were a few instances throughout that made me wonder if Young has Universalist leanings, and apparently others got that impression as well, but I visited his blog and he has refuted that.

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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#17 of 26 Old 08-06-2008, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Its funny you looked up one of the same things I did on his blog.
You're right about the assertions he makes but in a way he can do that because he isn't a pastor or anything, just a guy who likes to write and is deeply spiritual and connected to God. He's had all the background: seminary and all, but he still has come away with those ideas, as you said. I think the chapter about the celebration is what kind of gathering that he set as an example for worshippers, not a structured church setting but rather a group of people coming together. I thought the point was that there wasn't a set structure or any authority, just a group of people and Jesus. That was the point.

So, what messages did you find that you did take away, even if you wouldn't consider yourself a christian? I found a whole other part of the message just saying that all people are God's children and even bad things can be used for good.

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#18 of 26 Old 08-07-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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I'm off to bed, and I will post a bunch later, but I just wanted to thank the person who posted about this book in spirituality and posted the link to get the free copy. I got it yesterday in the mail and finished it today. Loved it. Thanks for the great read mama! Nighty nite!

Katie, mama to Katherine 19, Christian 17, Johannah 15, Nicholas 10, Genevieve 8, Matthew 5, Andrew 11/16/09 10#6oz home waterbirth and madly in love with  my husband, Scott

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#19 of 26 Old 08-07-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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I find myself worrying less, in that I know it will do no good for me to over-worry something because I have to trust what God's plan is. But I feel like that's step one. Living in the moment enough that you are actually in communication. That is hard (especially for someone with control/compulsive issues like me).
I agree with this. I have a tendency to get frustrated with my one-year-old (I'm sure everyone can relate), and I have been telling myself lately to relax, choose not to get angry or depressed about (whatever it is), rest in God and in His plan, stop and thank God and pray for his guidance throughout the day.

Another point that I think the book made though, which I agree with, is that we DO have free will and so everything that happens will not always be God's will or really under God's control, because He allows us to do things that are against His will. So that's a little scary, but it also made the point that He can bring about good through anything bad that people do. I am coming from a very Calvinist, sovereign God, "God is in CONTROL" type background, so although I've thought about this stuff before, I'm still working through it. Maybe God's control is more gentle guidance than the rigid idea we usually have when we speak of control.

ETA: Which is perhaps a good description of one way we can demonstrate God's love to our kids.

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#20 of 26 Old 08-07-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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I'm off to bed, and I will post a bunch later, but I just wanted to thank the person who posted about this book in spirituality and posted the link to get the free copy. I got it yesterday in the mail and finished it today. Loved it. Thanks for the great read mama! Nighty nite!
Oh, I'm so glad you got one!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#21 of 26 Old 08-08-2008, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Another point that I think the book made though, which I agree with, is that we DO have free will and so everything that happens will not always be God's will or really under God's control, because He allows us to do things that are against His will. So that's a little scary, but it also made the point that He can bring about good through anything bad that people do. I am coming from a very Calvinist, sovereign God, "God is in CONTROL" type background, so although I've thought about this stuff before, I'm still working through it. Maybe God's control is more gentle guidance than the rigid idea we usually have when we speak of control.

ETA: Which is perhaps a good description of one way we can demonstrate God's love to our kids.
Oh, I like this idea. I am also coming from a similar background, where I thought that God was in control, as in things that happen are because he is orchestrating it all. But loving us enough to give us free will, that is big. AND using what we do to make good, that is another big idea. These are the parts that are hard for me to grasp/balance. I am looking for the gentle guidance, that is what you feel when you let go and let God communicate with you and show you. You have to actively seek it, I think, for it to work right-according to His plan.

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#22 of 26 Old 08-12-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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i just finished reading the book and i LOVED it!
I am going to go back through it and underline my favorite parts and then i will share them.
i like his portrayal of the new jerusalem and that God did not create institutions among many other things.
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#23 of 26 Old 08-12-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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Some of the things that I really enjoy include:
The explanation of the New Jerusalem on p. 177 where he says that our final destiny is not "heaven with pearly gates", but that the new heavens and new earth will be a new cleansing of the univers and that the New Jerusalem is the Church, the bride - individuals who together form a spiritual city.
I also like on p 179 where he rejects religion and innstitutions and on p. 203 where he explains that the purpose of the law was to show us that we needed Christ and that to try to keep the law is being independant and is a vain attempt to create certainty out of uncertainty (p. 202-203).
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#24 of 26 Old 08-12-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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... he explains that the purpose of the law was to show us that we needed Christ and that to try to keep the law is being independant and is a vain attempt to create certainty out of uncertainty (p. 202-203).
I'm glad you reminded me of that. I really need to spend more time re-reading The Shack ... there's so much great stuff that it's impossible to take it all in the first time.

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#25 of 26 Old 08-13-2008, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Some of the things that I really enjoy include:
I also like on p 179 where he rejects religion and innstitutions and on p. 203 where he explains that the purpose of the law was to show us that we needed Christ and that to try to keep the law is being independant and is a vain attempt to create certainty out of uncertainty (p. 202-203).
The other part I like is when they explain that you can be a part of the institutions as needed when you are connected. I am working on how to explain the idea that the fact that you are not in control (certain) does not mean that you are less powerful. In fact, being a part of the connection, being, "in relationship," is EMpowering. Being in touch with the holy spirit, knowing that Jesus is with you: that all gives you the most certainty and power that you could have, you just won't 'know' (be certain) how it will all work out.

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#26 of 26 Old 01-05-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: In the basement of the Alamo
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I read it while my MIL was visiting in early Dec. - she left it here at night twice after she went to her hotel.
I have to say, I really did not like this book at all.
***
Okay, little one up, saving this spot to continue after putting her back to bed!!!

Kier: wife to Jared, mama to Emma ('05), Savannah ('07), and our newest little love Reid (June 30, '09) -intact because of all of YOU! I had an ecstatic birth, at home in the water!
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