The Faithful One {Book Review}

The Faithful One is a modern re-telling of the story of Job. Seth Jacobs is a renowned chef who owns a chain of upscale restaurants called The Perfect Place. He is so successful that there happens to be The Perfect Place restaurants in every single state in the country. He has a beautiful wife, three successful children who are skilled in various areas. Life is good.
But this all changes one fateful day when he gets stuck in traffic on the way to a dinner honoring a would-be presidential candidate at one of his restaurants. Seth is thrown into a downward spiral of catastrophic events that leaves his whole picture-perfect world is shambles.
As he questions God about his recent lack of luck, Seth's three friends (an agnostic lawyer, a doctor and a rabbi) attempt to shed light on their theories as to why God is punishing him. Seth searches his heart and cannot see truth in his friends' theories. Instead, it takes the gentle, but strong voice of a chance meeting with a stranger that truly opens Seth's heart to take a good listen to what God is saying.
I snagged this book because 1) it was free and 2) the storyline was intriguing. As I began to read the book and follow along with Seth on his worst-day-in-the-history-of-worst-days day, I rolled my eyes. It sounded trite and almost comical. But when I thought about it further, I soon realized that this is how bad news is dealt to us. It is one blow after another, after another, after another until we wonder if we're KO. We're reaching for the ropes, eyes swollen shut, blood dripping onto the ring wondering how much more we can take. There are times when we just wish our opponent would take us out and we could call it quits.
This is how Seth Jacobs felt at his lowest of lows. And this is why I fully sympathized with him during his quest to find answers to seemingly lost questions.
If you are familiar with Job in the Bible, then you can probably guess how Seth's journey ends, but Michele Chynoweth puts just enough of a modern spin that you can still be pleasantly surprised by the end. Or if you're like me, you can struggle with the decisions he makes and wonder, if faced with the same set of circumstances, would you make the same choices?
Until next time...

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Facebook Fast Update

It has been 24 days since I have stepped away from Facebook. How am I doing?

Pretty darned good!

I have discovered that I don't miss Facebook as much as I thought I would. I do miss the updates, though. At work, while walking down the halls, I'll hear teachers ask one another, "Did you see [fill in the blank] on Facebook?"

When they ask me, I have to tell them honestly, "Nope."

Since stepping away from Facebook, I've had to rely on getting my information the old fashioned way - word of mouth.

So, naturally, I am completely out of the loop.

This doesn't bother me as much as you might think, except when I go to church on Sunday and discover that someone is sick or someone has died and I don't know because I don't follow the news on Facebook. Then, I look a little insensitive when I ask what I've missed.

Overall, however, I'm doing okay without Facebook.

And for some reading this, you might be thinking, "What's the big deal? So you step away from Facebook for awhile. It's not that hard; just turn off your computer."

And to you I would say, "You are absolutely correct. It is as simple as that."

But I needed to do this to realign my priorities.

I guess I haven't stepped completely away from social media. I have browsed Instagram (it's quick and easy and virtually impossible to spend more than a few minutes on it a day when you just follow friends). And there have been times when I've shared on Facebook what I post to Instragram. But, if someone doesn't physically comment or like on Instagram, I don't see it.

So who knows all the goodies I'm missing out on. Facebook sends me an email every single day saying I have 35 messages and over 99 notifications. Friends and family have even tagged me (I get email notifications about that because I sensor anything that gets tagged on my page). But I have no clue what anyone has to say - good or bad. Someone could be blessing me out or encouraging me or congratulating me. I honestly have no clue.

Oddly enough, I'm okay about it all.

So, what I have been doing during these past three weeks:

  • Catching up on some Bible reading: it's amazing the truths I've been able to uncover
  • Keeping in touch with close family and friends via email and text
  • Connecting with women from my church (although I would do this anyway, it's kind of nice to get information face-to-face rather than through a social media platform
  • Running! Me, who swore she would never run. I'm training with The Boy using a Couch to 5K program. My school is hosting a Tiger Trot on March 8th. I will definitely be trotting (probably at a very slow pace, but I'll be there). Running is me bungee jumping out of my comfort zone. It's something I've never done and it goes hand-in-hand with my Bible study: Disciplines of a Godly Woman. What's more disciplined than training for a run (even if it is just 3 miles?)
  • Losing weight! As of this morning, I am officially losing new weight. What I mean is that I weigh exactly what I weighed when I started working this August. What's more, I am only ten pounds from goal! I think that's pretty awesome, in and of itself. I've never reached this point before. It's taken me five years to get this far (let's say I've done a lot of do-overs!)
So, next Saturday, I can officially log into Facebook (did I mention Pinterest put me into protective mode? I've completely freaked out all of my social media sites!) Am I counting down? I can honestly say I am not. In fact, a friend who inspired me to do the fast (although she was doing it for 21 days) reminded me that she was able to go on today. By the way, she was completely unimpressed with what she saw.)

What now? Well, I can tell you that after "detoxing" from Facebook for a month, it'd be counter productive to go back to my old ways. It would be like me getting to my goal weight, only to resume the way of eating that got to me to my heaviest in my first place. (That was almost 200 lbs, by the way) Why would I do that?

However, when you give something up, you have to replace it with something (those quitting smoking chew gum - or eat; those wanting to lose weight substitute healthier snack options; those who want to stop drinking choose other activities). Why? Because if you don't have something to replace the behavior you want to stop/reduce/eliminate, it's going to come back (sometimes with a vengeance).

So what is my replacement activity?


Looking back at old blog posts, some of them were pretty good. Others, particularly those I did while I was in school and writing research papers on a weekly basis, were pretty bad. But writing is an art that must be practiced. Back when my posts weren't too bad, I was writing more (journaling, mainly). Now - not so much. Furthermore, Facebook is getting all my wit, sarcasm, and "good stuff". No more. I'd rather put it into blogging.

Besides, I need something to wind down my days. Being productive is a whole lot better than being a bump on a log - wouldn't you agree?

Until next time...
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