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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blessed: Living A Grateful Life...Review

About the book:
Sometimes we just need to stop for a moment and absorb the quiet moments in the world around us--to take a deep breath and appreciate the things in life that make us thankful and bring us joy. Blessed is a call to do just that. In this heartfelt collection of her online columns from Diane, the flagship magazine of the Curves women's fitness center organization, author Ellen Michaud reminds us of the everyday blessings that surround us, but we all tend to overlook.

Entries include:  

Summer in a Jar: On a 200-acre farm known for its Jersey cows and prizewinning cheese, two women harvest a cornucopia of produce that looks like it came from the Garden of Eden. Although the visit was intended to pick up ingredients for "one of the finest salsas in the near world," the end result is a view of a fertile valley, the rich smell of vegetables freshly tugged from the earth that speaks to the soul, and the natural rhythm of friendly conversation. 

The Teapot: During a snowy winter storm, the author pulls her great- grandmother's worn silver teapot down from a shelf. As she polishes the teapot's tarnished surface, she contemplates its long journey over an ocean and through the generations. As she discovers engraved hallmarks that lead to a deeper understanding of its 200-year history, her appreciation for the women who traveled with it grows. 

Welcome Home: As an Airbus 321 begins its descent toward the coastal lights of Los Angeles International Airport, the pilot makes an overhead announcement that stills the restless and rustling passengers. What follows are moments of contemplation about the sacrifices of soldiers and, how regardless of one's politics, there is still a shared sense of love and respect for those who fight for our freedom.

The Courage to Change: After a lifetime of self-built barriers, the author's 88-year-old aunt overcomes discouraging memories and years of grief to prove that it's never too late to open yourself to new experiences, take risks, and start over.

A beautiful little book that reminds us about the importance of expressing gratitude and recognizing the blessings in our lives.

As women, we are always on the go and focusing on the needs of others, be they family, friends or simply someone in need.  Too often we don't take time for ourselves. We don't stop, sit and listen.  So many of our daily blessings are the little things we ignore.  The sunshine, the birds singing, food on table, a cold drink on a hot day, the smile of a stranger, the hug from a child.  Ellen reminds us to take the time to notice the blessings surrounding us each day.

This little book fits perfectly into a purse.  I kept it with me and read it over the course of a day or two.  The chapters are two or three pages of story and vignette and I could read one or two as I waited to pick up my children, or waited in line at the bank drive-up.  It would make a fantastic addition to a coffee table where you could pick it up and read a chapter or two at a time. 

Thanks to Ruby at FSB Associates for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Ellen Michaud here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 5/11

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

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