September 28, 2008

The Week in Prayer

I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.
~Isaiah 5:1-2 (NIV)

God, you've done so much for me! You've saved me from the pit of hell, rescued me from my sin and a life of captivity. You've loved me more than I could ever imagine and blessed me beyond measure. I pray that when you look at my life, you don't see only bad fruit. I don't want my life to be something that looks good on the outside - has had every opportunity to be something beautiful because of the care you've taken - but yields only bad fruit. It doesn't matter what my life looks like on the outside if all I'm producing is poisonous and bitter.

Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land. They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine,but they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD, no respect for the work of his hands. Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; their men of rank will die of hunger and their masses will be parched with thirst.
~Isaiah 5:8, 12-13

Lord, forgive me for being focused on the material until I don't see you or the needs of others around me. I've sought prosperity by the standards of this world, and look where it's gotten me. I've substituted things for a relationship with you, and for living my life for you. Forgive me for not having any regard for your deeds, and for not respecting the work of your hands.

When we are focused on Christ, when our eyes are solely on Him, we are able to notice Him everywhere. He's integrated into our lives.
~Keri Wyatt Kent, Breathe

Lord, I pray that I may keep my eyes on you and that I will notice you in my life every day.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.
~Isaiah 5:21

Lord, I confess that I often rely on my own strength and wisdom. Forgive me for being so smug and self-confident that I put my faith in my own abilities, because I have none. I pray for a heart that will turn to you and you alone.

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.
~Isaiah 7:9

Lord, help me to stand firm in my be strong in you. The enemy wants to knock me down, but I praise you because you are greater than he. As I battle this world daily, give me strength to stand and to proclaim your name in all I say and do.


September 23, 2008

Narrowing My Focus

Monday I prayed for the Lord to narrow my focus to see only Him. Today's reading in Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life

We do not focus on Christ accidentally. We need to be intentional about it, or we will become scattered and distracted.
The recurring theme in my walk with God this past year has been that my supposed to be about Him.

Throughout the course of each day, many things clamor for my attention. Some good. Some not-so-good. My own sinful heart can't determine what's important and what's not. I have a difficult time looking past my own agenda to see God's. In the noisiness of my life, I can't hear what God's trying to say.

That's why it's become so important...crucial, really...for me to rise early and spend time with the Lord.

As my dear friend Joanne said so eloquently here

I don't want to face even one hour of my day without having first spent time with him. Time with Jesus makes all the difference. I know--because I've done it both ways and there's just no comparison.

Amen, sister!

I'd been finding excuses on and off all summer for getting up at 5:30. I trudged through my days, spinning my wheels and wondering why I wasn't getting anywhere despite my efforts. God has reminded me (yet again) that searching beyond Him is futile at best, and quite destructive at worst. Peace and simplicity aren't gained by accident. They are the reward of intentionally allowing Him to order my days from the moment I wake.

Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where
he could be alone and pray.
~Mark 1:35 (CEV)

A Heartfelt Prayer

It's been a while since I shared my heart here on the blog. Not sure why, exactly, but trust's been for the best. Things here have been bleak lately. Stepping out on faith made me feel strong, courageous even. Then WHAM! ...broadsided by a full onslaught by the enemy.

I was okay at first. Saw it for what it was. Then a week of having a bad cold, coughing til my ribs hurt and sleeping very little all combined to bring me to the edge of despair. A second unexpected (and possibly large) expense within the past month...well, let's just say I fell headfirst into the pit. Sunday night, I told the Lord I was giving up on Peru.

Monday morning, He woke me early to give me a beautiful Word:

And the Lord will create over the whole site, over every dwelling place of Mount Zion and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy (a defense of divine love and protection). And there shall be a pavilion for shade in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge and a shelter from storm and from rain.
~Isaiah 4:5-6 (AMP)

Lord, I need your presence today. Please be that cloud of smoke, and cloud my vision so that I don't see anything beyond you. Take my eyes off the circumstances that are weighing me down. Help me to see you clearly. I've spent too much time worrying about things outside of my relationship with you, and the ministries you've called me to here. Lord, narrow my focus on those things, so that all I see is you.

Lord, may your fire burn away all the junk in my heart. Protect me from evil, and shine for others in my life to see your glory.

Lord, I pray that your canopy of divine love and protection will stretch out over me and my home. Grant us shelter from the heat of the day, from all the pressures this world brings. God, this season is just a little rain...not a storm. But I'm tired and weary of standing here letting this rain drag me down. Give me enough sense to get out of the rain and take shelter in you today.

I'll be honest. My problems...those that I've created and those that have been forced upon me...haven't gone away. They won't overnight. But my attitude has changed. My soul feels lighter, and once again I have peace. Not by my doing, but by His.

As for going to Peru? You bet I am!

September 22, 2008

Sweet September Blog Tour

When I was growing up, I enjoyed spending time on my grandparents' farm. From under the warm covers on the sleeper sofa, I'd watch as Granddaddy ate his breakfast and headed out the door before sunrise. I'd anxiously wait for him to come home at lunch, hoping I'd get the chance to tag along for a while when he went back out in the afternoon.

The notion of living on a farm has always appealed to me (anyone reading this who knows me in real life is probably shaking their head in disbelief right about now). Perhaps it's because of my Granddaddy, I don't know. Whatever the reason, I jumped at the chance to read the Home to Heather Creek Series by Guideposts.

Sweet September - Home to Heather Creek is the second book in the series. Unfortunately, illness has kept me from reading the first book, Before the Dawn by Caroline Aarson, or even finishing Sweet September yet. But I've fallen in love with Heather Creek Farm, Charlotte & Bob Stevenson, and their family.

When I finish both books, I'll give a thorough review at 5 Minutes for Books. For now, I'll give you a taste of the book & a fun contest.

Harvest time at Heather Creek Farm is an exciting time, but the kids don't seem to be getting into the spirit. One day while he's wandering through the fields, Christopher stumbles across an old piece of metal buried in the ground. He doesn't know what it is, but he hides it in the shed.

That night, the garden by the house is uprooted. Who could have done such a thing? Charlotte is determined to find out, but is distracted when she gets news that Sam is failing school. The sullen teen is indifferent and won't study. He starts spending a lot of time with Pete. Though she loves her son dearly, Pete never finished high school, and Charlotte is afraid he'll encourage Sam to do the same. How can she help him get back on track?

A gripping story that examines the Stevenson family's history as well as its shaky future, Sweet September will bring you deeper into the loving community of Bedford and the deep ties of love that bind this broken family together. As they forge new connections, you'll be entertained, inspired, and reminded that God's grace can make all things new.

CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT: Leave a comment on Tricia's blog tour post sharing who your favorite family member is (think beyond hubby and kids) and why. You could win a William-Sonoma’s Pumpkin Harvest Loaf Pan & Quick Bread Set.

Good luck!

September 18, 2008

You Can Find Me

Here & here today.

Thanks for your prayers. They've been working. I'm on the mend, except for a nagging cough. The medicine keeps me groggy. Otherwise, I might think I had 24 youth girls in Bible study last night.

Oh, wait...I DID :-)

Praise His Name! Still doing my happy dance over that one!

Speaking of praising...and dancing...I'm sorry I'm late with the Ayiesha Woods CD giveaway. The winners are:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

1 4 

Timestamp: 2008-09-18 13:11:43 UTC

So that means Alyce & Angela win!

I can't believe it. Alyce is the only blogger I know in real life, a dear friend, and an all-around great gal. I was her Secret Pal in Sunday School this year, and I'm excited to give her one final treat.

Angela is just precious, and I'm glad to be able to share this with her, too.

Have a good Thursday, everyone.

September 17, 2008

Praise Report

My voice is close to giving out, and CJ's tired of hearing me cough. I couldn't curl up to watch Project Runway, though, without letting you know about tonight's study.

The youth director ordered 10 books.

I had 24 girls. TWENTY-FOUR!

Afterwards, near tears, I could only say, "God, you just ARE."

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement. This is bigger than I imagined or expected. But, then again, so is my Jesus!

The Bride Bargain

I'm still under the weather, but I did want to let you know that I enjoyed this book. Don't miss the question I have for you at the end of post. Humor a gal while she's down & play along...okay?

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Bride Bargain

Barbour Publishing, Inc (September 1, 2008)


Kelly Eileen Hake


Life doesn't wait, and neither does Kelly Eileen Hake. In her short twenty-three years of life, she's achieved much. Her secret? Embracing opportunities and multitasking. Kelly received her first writing contract at the tender age of seventeen and arranged to wait three months until she was able to legally sign it. Since that first contract five years ago, she's reached several life goals. Aside from fulfilling fourteen contracts ranging from short stories to novels, she's also attained her BA in English Literature and Composition and earned her credential to teach English in secondary schools. If that weren't enough, she's taken positions as a college preparation tutor, bookstore clerk, and in-classroom learning assistant to pay for the education she values so highly. Currently, she is working toward her MA in Writing Popular Fiction. No matter what goal she pursues, Kelly knows what it means to work for it!

Kelly's dual careers as English teacher and author give her the opportunity explore and share her love of the written word. A CBA bestselling author and dedicated member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kelly is a reader favorite of Barbour's Heartsong Presents program, where she's been privileged to earn numerous Heartsong Presents Reader's Choice Awards; including Favorite New Author 2005, Top 5 Favorite Historical Novel 2005, and Top Five Favorite Author Overall 2006 in addition to winning the Second Favorite Historical Novel 2006!

Her Prairie Promises trilogy, set in the 1850s Nebraska Territory, features her special style of witty, heartwarming historical romance.


Set down upon the wild American plains during the 1850. Clara is desperate for a home and a future for herself and her aunt. When Clara Fields and her aunt are kicked off their wagon train, a store owner in Buttonwood offers a chance at redemption. If Clara is able to wed his grandson off to any of the local girls within a month, he'll sign over his two-story house.

Desperate to provide for the woman who raised her, Clara agrees to find a bride for the man's son--a stalwart bachelor. How hard can it be to find a bride for one handsome Doctor? Apparently more difficult than she imagined when Saul Reed seems determined to remain single.

Will Clara's faith and wits help her wrangle a resolution to The Bride Bargain. Striking a bargain with a lonely trader to fool a head-strong doctor could lead Clara to an unexpected avenue of romance.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Bride Bargain, go HERE


I could see myself in Clara...determined to make her way in the world without a man. Though she didn't need one, she found she might want one...nearly too late. Her attempts to marry Saul off, despite her growing attraction to him, demonstrated how stubborn and prideful she was (anyone besides me?)

Which got me to did you grab your honey's attention (or did he grab yours?) You can leave a comment, or write your own post & let me know about it. When I'm feeling better, I'll come back and share my own story.

P.S. If you think of it, say a prayer for me as I start the girls' Bible study tonight. I'm on the mend, but it's hard to talk much without coughing my head off.

September 15, 2008

Pardon My Absence

A Sunday afternoon nap, followed by a family dinner & a good movie. That's my idea of a good day.

Except when I'm sick. Which is how my yesterday went.

This morning, I'd like to spend the day in bed resting and sending this chest cold off to Timbuktu...but, unfortunately, work calls. I'm taking a long hard look at my calendar, to see what I can cut this week (it figures I'd have a busy week!). One appointment that isn't negotiable is the beginning of the girls' Bible study. The other is a Southern Living show late in the week. Other than that...I'm not making any promises.

I'll see you when I get back.

September 12, 2008

September 11, 2008

Get Cozy, Josey!

I was introduced to Josey Berglund Anderson several months ago in Everything's Coming Up Josey. I liked her from the get-go, and was glad to read more of her story in Chill Out, Josey! I reviewed the first two books over at 5 Minutes for Books, here and here.

Now we come to the third installment of this series,Get Cozy, Josey!. Josey and her husband Chase head off to Siberia, with their twins in tow. Josey learns that the need for Christ is great, but being the Proverbs 31 wife is pretty tough without indoor plumbing. I admit, winter is my favorite season, but even I wouldn't brave the Russian frozen tundra! Our gal Josey is still flubbing her way through marriage, motherhood, and trying to find God's plan for her life. As usual, there are laughs and tears along the way.

To read the first chapter of the book, click here. And if you head to Susan May Warren's site and leave a comment about your favorite winter memory or activity, you'll have a chance to win a Get Cozy gift basket with lots of snuggly goodies!

To read other reviews, you can visit the blog tour, here.

Musical Goodness & A Giveaway

I recently got an email from Gotee Records, asking me if I'd be willing to help promote a new CD. I previewed it for myself, and eagerly responded that I'd be happy to long as I got a copy for myself ;-)

Ayiesha Woods is fairly new on the Christian music scene. I'm hoping she'll be around for a long time. Her sophomore effort, Love Like This, is a beautiful work. It was hard for me to choose a favorite, but I'd have to say that "One Day" and "Refine Me" are my top picks.

You can preview the CD below, then come back & let me know what your favorite track is. I'll draw TWO winners on Monday, September 15th.

In Memoriam...Again

Originally published September 11, 2006

(graphic by Rocks in My Dryer)

Shannon is asking us to share our memories of 9/11. I can't believe it's already been 5 years since that horrible, horrible day. I still have a devotion I wrote shortly afterwards, and have pasted it below. Reading it again today, fresh pain washed over me. I still can't comprehend the magnititude of what that day meant for our country. It's truly one of those "where were you when..." moments; the Kennedy assassination of our generation.

R & I had been planning a trip to NYC. On September 12, 2001, our airline tickets came in the mail (we were flying United). Our hotel was in the Financial District, and was shut down for a couple of days. We determined to keep our plans, and so we went on November 11th. Just 2 months after the attack.

I'll never forget stumbling upon Ground Zero and immediately crying. We were going to visit on the last day of our trip, because I wanted to mentally prepare myself ahead of time. But we got turned around coming out of the subway and were trying to find our hotel. I didn't expect to turn the street corner at that moment and see Ground Zero in all its horror. Two months had passed, but the stench still hung in the air. Ash and debris still fell as workers were trying to put the streets, water lines, and subway system back together.

But the most heartwrenching, devastating part of being there was seeing a parking deck full of cars that were covered in ash and rubble. Cars no one was coming to claim. Looking at the hundreds of vehicles there, the loss became real to me. The statistics had been a number that didn't compute in my math-impaired brain. But there were all these cars that weren't going home to a driveway or a garage...

Everywhere we went, people thanked us for coming. I guess my slight (ahem) Southern accent gave me away as a tourist. We went to a Broadway show, and the cast applauded the audience for our support. The Big Apple embraced us with a hospitality which, though not Southern, was warm and gracious...and more welcoming than almost anything I've ever experienced.

We stood in tremendously long lines at the airport, watched as airport personnel rifled through our bags, waited as R was called aside for one of the random passenger searches, and stared in awe at the National Guardsman with machine guns standing guard. And I was thankful, proud to be an American. Friends thought we were crazy to go, but I've never regretted that trip. It was truly a defining moment in my life.

So...those are my thoughts 5 years later. Here are my thoughts in October 2001 (and you know it had to be from God...because I don't think I'd ever read Habakkuk before in my life!)

“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy...I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.” --Habakkuk 3:2, 16

Where were you when you first heard about the madness that struck our country on September 11, 2001? I was sitting at my desk, caught up in my daily routine, when I heard of the first crash into the World Trade Center. At first, I brushed the news off as just a “freak accident”. Checking with CNN, I quickly learned about the second hit. My work forgotten, I became engrossed in following the latest developments. As the hour passed, I could hardly believe the mass chaos and devastation unfolding as I was watched. Indeed, as I sat glued to the internet and the television, realizing the magnitude of this tragedy, my “heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound.” I realized that life will never be the same again. Days passed. When I pondered this crime & the ramifications for our world, I was astounded by Satan’s sheer evilness. Obviously, I had underestimated the true nature of his spirit. Suddenly, “decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled” at the horror which he had perpetrated.

Six weeks later, the Lord gave me this passage of Scripture which has not just spoken, but shouted, to my soul. I stand amazed at God’s timeliness! I struggled with putting my feelings into words, but He has given me the most accurate description of the emotions that have flooded my heart since this tragedy. He has also reminded me that He is still capable of performing deeds that will make us stand in awe; all we have to do is ask. Oh! how we need to be asking!

Finally, God has reminded me that He is in control. Justice is His, and His will shall be done. Hijackers do not have the last word. Biological warfare does not have the last word. Terror itself does not have the last word. And so, like Habakkuk, I will wait patiently...for I know that My God reigns!

September 10, 2008

Goodies on the Way!

I was recently blessed with a Barnes and Noble gift card. Surprisingly, I had a difficult time trying to decide how to spend it. I still adore books, but the thought of adding more unread books to my shelves held no appeal.

So, after much debate (because I cannot keep a gift card more than a week), I purchased this:

(Gorgeous & soothing)

and this:

(based upon Joanne's recommendation)

*doing my happy dance now!*

September 9, 2008

Food for Thought

Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life by Keri Wyatt Kent is going to be another life-changer! The introduction spoke volumes to me already.

...the pace of our lives has profound implications upon the depth of our lives...It's not just that hurry makes us stressful. It's that when we hurry, we lose touch with God and all He wants to give us. [slowing down the pace] allows you to be fully present, to be mindful, to be intentional, to create space, and to notice where God is working and join Him in that work.
(emphasis mine)

What I've known all along, but couldn't articulate.

There's good stuff coming my friends...and you know I'll be sharing it with you!

September 8, 2008


Last time, I told you that I want God's best. The next day, I read:

If you are willing and obedient, you will eat from the best of the land.
~Isaiah 1:19 (NIV)

This most recent change hasn't been easy, but I can already see His best springing forth.

Praying that He does the same for you, my friends.

September 6, 2008


I'm coming up on the home stretch in the year of peace and simplicity. Just a few precious months left, though I know this will be a lifelong quest. I don't want to get complacent and revert back to the chaos.

Over this

As I've shared many, many times...God has done an incredible work. So much so that routine and organization are comforts to me now. I find I don't function well in the busy-ness and messiness that once ruled my life. I can't go non-stop like I used to. I don't even want to. I crave calm, coziness, and home.

Even greater...things don't hold much appeal for me anymore. And the books (you remember the book sacrifice, don't you?)...when I'm done reading, I immediately pack them in my church bag for donation to the library. I am over being controlled by anything other than the Lord.

Which brings me to an area I've struggled with for quite some time. Blogging. I started blogging in hopes of developing a ministry. A big ministry, to be honest. I've been nearly consumed with numbers and comments, all while ignoring the ministry possibilities blogging has afforded me. I've realized that if I concentrate on relationships rather than responses, I can have a ministry of eternal worth. As with many other things, blogging is taking on a different role in my life.

I've been called to invest in the lives of family, friends, certain members of my church family, the youth, and even some bloggers. I can't invest wisely if I've spent the majority of my efforts on things that don't bring the best reward. A good reward isn't good enough. I want God's best. I'm ashamed to say how many times I've settled for less.

So, I will be seen less around the blogosphere, more in the lives of those God has placed in my path...both personally and through cyberspace. And you know what? I feel a great peace about this change.

It's that simple.

September 5, 2008


To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me [unless they are the offering of the heart]? says the Lord. I have had enough of the burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts [without obedience]; and I do not delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs or of he-goats [without righteousness].
~Isaiah 1:11 (AMP)

I'm thinking if my heart isn't right, it doesn't matter how much I serve's no good.

Puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

More to come...

September 3, 2008

CFBA Blog Tour - Back to Life by Kristen Billerbeck

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Back To Life

Avon Inspire (September 16, 2008)


Kristin Billerbeck

Kristin Billerbeck was born in Redwood City, California. She went to San Jose State University and gained a bachelor's degree in Advertising, then worked at the Fairmont Hotel in PR, a small ad agency as an account exec, and then, she was thrust into the exciting world of shopping mall marketing.

She got married, had four kids, and started writing romance novels until she found her passion: Chick Lit. She is a CBA bestselling author and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year for What A Girl Wants in 2004, and again in 2006 for With this Ring. Featured in the New York Times, USA Today, World Magazine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Kristin has appeared on the Today Show. She is credited with jump-starting the inspirational chick-lit phenomenon. Most recently she has been names as a finalist for the Christy Award in the Lits category for The Trophy Wives Club.

Her other recent books include: She's All That.


Lindsey realized when she married Ron, a man 17 years her senior, that the odds were he’d see heaven before her, but she never expected to be a widow at 35. There’s too much of life left for her to just sit around in mourning. But she can’t seem to kick start the rest of her life.

That is until she gets some help from Ron’s first wife, Jane, who shows up unexpectedly at her door one day as the executor of her husband’s estate. Jane is everything Lindsey’s not… independent, stubborn… and a lot older. Plus she has one surprise after another… including a son named Ron Jr. (she insists he’s not “really” Ron’s son). But an unlikely friendship develops as each woman begins to reevaluate what is really important, and owns up to the mistakes they’ve made in the past.

Told in the alternating voices of Jane and Lindsey, and with the return of many of the witty characters of The Trophy Wives Club, this book is a lighthearted, relatable read for when life goes in a direction you never planned. With faith and friends, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

If you would like to read an excerpt of chapter 1 of Back To Life, go HERE

Around the House - September

I am:

~finished with the Book of John (it only took me 8 months!). I'm glad I took it slowly...what goodness there was to be gleaned!

~starting in the Book of Isaiah, and looking ahead to a good Word!

~so happy that temps have fallen back into the 80s.

~grateful that CJ's primary teacher this year is a Christian (also a friend).

~proud of my girl for seeking out a classmate who was being left out. I've been praying that CJ will grab opportunities to minister to others this year...she's going to have plenty of them.

~wishing Chris Long was still a Cavalier.

~woefully behind in blog reading.

~rethinking how much blog reading I do.

~eagerly waiting to see how God's going to use me with the youth and in my Sunday School class.

~thankful to be getting back into a routine. Summer's freedom was nice, but I don't do well without a routine for very long. I like structure. Rising early, menu planning, and setting goals for the day all do my heart good.

~ecstatic that there is NOTHING. NADA. ZILCH. on our calendar for this weekend! I plan to fill it with giving the house a scrub down, board games, a DVD & popcorn, worship, rest, and good book. Heck, I might stay in my PJs all weekend, except when we go to church Sunday morning!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

September 2, 2008

Classics Bookclub #1 - Pride & Prejudice

If there were one woman in all of literature I could be, it would be Elizabeth Bennet. I simply adore her...her wit, her loyalty, her intelligence, and, most of all, her spunk. If I couldn't be her, I would certainly like to have a friend like her. I guess that's why I've lost track of the number I've times I've read Pride and Prejudice. It's my favorite. book. ever. In fact, when I was pregnant with CJ, I determined that if I had a boy, his name would be Bennet.

So, you can imagine that I was all a quiver when I learned that this book would be our first selection for the 5 Minutes for Books Classics Bookclub. As if I needed an excuse to read P&P again (well, actually I did, since I've got so many books waiting to be reviewed...but I was willing to sacrifice!)

My good friend Lisa agreed to host the first installment of the Bookclub, as P&P is also her favorite book. Like Lisa, I'm not one to ramble on about character development, subplot, irony and such. I just know a good read when I see one. (And, like Lisa, I admit that Mr. Darcy is reason alone to read P&P over and over, and over again!)

I started reading this time with a couple of Lisa's questions in mind:

Did anything strike you differently this time? Anything you hadn’t noticed in earlier readings?

As a matter of fact, yes. I paid more attention to Elizabeth's relationship with Lady Catherine, particularly the exchange concerning Elizabeth's rumored engagement to Mr. Darcy. I was delighted at the fortitude with which Lizzy, a mere gentleman's daughter of no fortune, responded to Lady Catherine, a real hoity-toity. Considering that class was such a defining measure of a person in that day and time, Elizabeth showed more nerve than common sense. In the end, it got her the man she loved.

Do you have any favorite lines of the novel?

Of course, the Darcy/Elizabeth sparring scenes are sentimental favorites. But I have others:

"You have no compassion on my poor nerves." (Mrs. Bennet)

"You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least." (Mr. Bennet)

Had Elizabeth's opinion been all drawn from her own family, she could not have formed a very pleasing picture of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort.

"Because honor, decorum, prudence, nay, interest, forbid it. Yes, Miss Bennet, interest; for do not expect to be noticed by his family or friends, if you wilfully act against the inclinations of all. You will be censured, slighted, and despised, by everyone connected with him. your alliance will be a disgrace; your name will never even be mentioned by any of us." (Lady Catherine)

"These are heavy misfortunes," replied Elizabeth. "But the wife of Mr. Darcy must have such extraordinary sources of happiness necessarily attached to her situation, that she could, upon the whole, have no cause to repine."

I could go on and on, but don't take my word for it. Click here to read what others are saying.