a child shall lead them.

I recently read the popular young adolescent lit novel, "The Fault in Our Stars," by John Green. It was a touching read to say the least. I finished it late Friday, and it is still on my mind. Thank you Jenny for the wonderful recommendation.

As to not give away the book, I will only address one of the many lines that stood out to me. If you know me, you know that I annotate nearly every page of every book that I personally own. It is, in part, one of the reasons I don't like checking books out from the library. I know it saves me money, but it really pains me to turn page after page without adding my own commentary or thoughts. This novel was no different. I began reading it on the plane ride to Miami (I know...can you believe I actually read 100 pages while taming three young children on a box in the sky? Tim obviously helped a lot. A LOT!), and the only writing object I could find was a yellow crayon. That yellow crayon has now left its print on so many pages.

I digress. I always digress. Sorry.

Back to the line on my mind today. Near the end of the book, the protagonist is speaking with her father about why certain things happen to certain people. She quips, "So everything happens for a reason and we'll all go live in the clouds and play harps and live in mansions?" Her dad smiles, kisses her head and says (this is the line), "I don't know what I believe, Hazel. I thought being an adult meant knowing what you believe, but that has not been my experience."

I had to shut the book and close my eyes after I read that line. I felt like her dad was speaking directly to me. I, like Hazel's dad, used to think (in my naive teenage years) that everything would come together in adulthood. I thought my faith would be unshakable. I thought my ideas of love, marriage and family would be concrete. And I thought I would definitely be able to discern between right and wrong. But this too has not been my experience.

Time and experience have only made believing more difficult. Life has a way of knocking you around a bit just to remind you that you are not in control. And that lack of control always gets me. It makes me question just about everything I am and everything I believe. It complicates the simple nature of faith. I obviously realize the idea of faith is complex and deep, but just as it is deep, it is simple. Children understand that, my children specifically.

Mya recently participated in a program at church, which encouraged young children to motivate their parents to pray twice daily with them, read the scriptures daily and hold a weekly family night. The program lasted two months. I remember the day Mya came home from church and told me how excited she was. She told me that she would be able to color her chart for each time that we did one of the three things. Mya has simple faith. She told me that she knew we could do it and that it would help us be happier in the mornings. (She aimed that one particularly at me because mornings are generally a fight around these parts.)

So we did it, or at least we attempted to do it. We missed a few days here and there, but we really started getting into a pattern with things. She led me along and reminded me when I forgot because let's be honest, it's so easy to forget.

We are actually doing better now that the program is over than we did when it was running. One night when I was talking to Mya about all the things on her mind, I realized that I really needed to help solidify a firm foundation for her while she is still a child because I wanted her to have something to fall back on when times get tough, which they inevitably will. And I realized that if I don't do it, no one else will. Let's just say it was a nice kick in the pants.

I have no idea where life will take us, but I know that life will continue to bruise us and knock us down whether it be by our own choices or the choices of others. And while I will continue to question just about everything because I believe it is my right to do so, I will cling to the one thing the adult me has over the teenage me, and that's hope. I have a lot of hope these days. I've been through enough winters now to know that spring will always come. Always.


  1. So glad you read the book! I still think about it from time to time. Glad you are back in the blog world. Missed your wisdom.

  2. This was beautiful. I always enjoy your writing. I am needing a new read. I'll have to look this one up! Sounds like a good one.


"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley