Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Falling in Love

Hosted by Jennifer Slattery

I know many of you flew through Karen Witemeyer's novel, A Taylor-Made Bride, the first week. I can't wait until next week to talk about the story in it's entirety and learn what drew you most. Personally, I'm reading the chapters as we go to prevent my mind from slurring the details.

Last night I read about the flash flood and Hannah's near death experience. One year our family went canoeing on a river ravaged by a storm--only we didn't know that until we got going. Branches clogged the river and in many places, it was so bad, we had to get out and carry our canoes along the bank until we passed the rubble. At one point, the river curved and began to pick up speed. My husband and daughter capsized. Ahead, a mass of branches acted like a dam and the water funneled beneath it. Seeing this, I jumped out and grabbed the girl in my canoe. My husband quickly carried both girls to a dry patch. And yet, before I could breath a sigh of relief, I looked up to see my husband sailing down the river, clutching the over sized canoe. Praise be to God, the Canoe got lodged in the brambles and not him, otherwise I have no doubt he would have died. It was a divine moment, for sure.

In the story, Hannah expresses similar feelings. She felt two angels saved her life. Do you remember who those angels were?

Jericho seemed less than pleased to hear her praises of his behavior. According to his sister, he was uncomfortable with compliments and was emotional from the experience. I've heard it said that anger is a secondary emotion. Think of a time when you've been scared. Perhaps you lost your child or saw them dangling from a tree branch. Have you ever felt a surge of anger arise?

It is also interesting how often it takes nearly losing someone to realize their value. Although Jericho acknowledged his feelings for Hannah shortly before the flood experience, his love became most apparent, it seemed, when he saw her lying on the log. And did you notice the emotions that welled up within him? He wanted to protect her. I believe men were created to be the providers and protectors and if you look at many of the heroes in novels and fairy tales, often you'll see this same trait. Men want to feel strong, powerful, needed and respected. Women want to be cherished.

Did you find it interesting that Hannah's independence threatened Jericho? Initially, he thought she would use her "wiles" to manipulate him into doing things for her, then later, it was her lack of asking for help that made him feel unnecessary. I wonder if that is a fine balance? In today's world, do men still need to feel needed? And if so, how does that translate in our dual working society?

Here's a personal question for you--do you want to feel cherished? Think of your interactions with your spouse or boyfriend. When do you most feel loved?

Did you like the interchange between Ike and Cordelia? Do you think it was Cordelia's make-over and physical change that drew him? And what about the conversation Hannah had with Jericho? Is it true that men are attracted to beauty most of all? And how do Christian women find the balance between enjoying nice things and becoming overly consumed with appearance? As a mom of a teen girl, this is something I think of and pray about often. I want our daughter to feel confident, but I don't want her obsessed with appearance and I certainly don't want her to become prideful. What about us? How do we maintain that balance?

Lost of questions today. I hope you're enjoying your reading. Have you purchased your copy of Eleanor Gustafson's, The Stones, yet? Should be a great read!

Next week we will discuss the remaining chapters of a Taylor-Made Bride and our over-all thoughts.

Don't forget to hop on over to Clash of the Titles to join the fun!

Have a great week!

5 comments:

Lisa Lickel said...

I think Ike felt like he was given permission to see Cordelia as a possible love interest when she showed that she could be interesting - and that she was willing to step out of her shell, with a little help and encouragement from her friends.

This business of selling our books, for writers, is must like your question. I have to make my product attractive, but do I separate it from myself? Am I supposed to sell myself or my product? I have to be proud of what I do/make, but not prideful.

Karen Witemeyer said...

Hi, Lisa. Pride is such a sticky thing, isn't it? It sure is for me. How do we find the confidence and boldness we need to accomplish the things God calls us to do while not getting carried away and obsessing over the wrong things? It is a constant battle for me. I pray for humility daily.

And you are right about Ike. That was another delicate balance thing. I tried to establish that he already liked Cordelia and had an established friendship, but he just needed that little nudge to open his eyes to the possibilities of a more romantic relationship. My husband and I were friends for several months before he openned my eyes to the potential for more. It was more of an emotional opening than a physical one, but successful nonetheless. :-)

April W Gardner said...

Yikes, Jennifer! What a horrifying experience on the river that day. Praise God for His watch-care. Pride is definitely a sticky thing! The biggest stumbling block in our lives. It's at the root of every sin. Men seem to struggle more with it, but I'm rather glad they do. It gives them that motivation they need to be the leaders and protectors God called them to be. Pride isn't always a bad thing! So long as it's held in balance--just like everything else in our lives. Poor Jericho. He just didn't "get" Hannah, but isn't that what makes him so endearing?

jsltte said...

Great discussion! And I love hearing the writers' perspective, too. Confidence is a powerful and effective tool. I wonder if the difference between pride and confidence lies in our view of others--are we trying to be better than someone else or just striving to be the best we can be? But I agree with all three of you, life is about balance and continually evaulating ourselves and our motives.

jsltte said...

Great discussion! And I love hearing the writers' perspective, too. Confidence is a powerful and effective tool. I wonder if the difference between pride and confidence lies in our view of others--are we trying to be better than someone else or just striving to be the best we can be? But I agree with all three of you, life is about balance and continually evaulating ourselves and our motives.

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