Books Review: Francine Rivers’ Her Mother’s Hope & Her Daughter’s Dream

There could not have been a much better time (Mothers’ Day) to read these two books – Her Mother’s Hope and Her Daughter’s Dream authored by Francine Rivers. The books’ theme centred on strained relationships between mothers and daughters that span about five generations. It began with Marta and Hildemara in Her Mother’s Hope, running through Her Daughter’s Dream with Hildemara, Carolyn and then, Dawn.

Marta, a stern woman, largely shaped by her childhood especially by her not-so-good relationship with her dad, who hit her at the least provocation including when she excelled in her exam. She was pulled out of school, sent to an institution that taught house-keeping and after acquiring those skills, had to work for her father in exchange for the cost of tuition. She finally left home and that began her adventure of meeting people and acquiring new skills especially in catering. Her entrepreneurial skills, drive and the money she acquired allowed her to set up her own boarding house which she later sold. She got married and moved from one point to the other with her husband and their four children. Marta was particularly stern with her first daughter (Hildie) who she saw as feeble and very much like her own sister who died at a young age.

In her Daughter’s Dream, Hildemara becomes a nurse, gets married and has two children – Charlie and Carolyn. You may think that the strained relationship between her and her mother would make her a better nurturer. Instead, circumstances kept her pushing her daughter, Carolyn away and straight into the arms of a child molester. There was a lot of misunderstanding between the two, stretching their relationship further till Carolyn goes to the University where she meets Chel, indulges in a lot of vices and vanishes for about two years. Carolyn comes home finally and her family discovers she is pregnant and the father of that child, unknown.

Carolyn also begins another strained relationship with her daughter, Dawn, because of obligations she needed to meet. Her daughter, Dawn grows quite beautifully (even though she also makes some mistakes) and becomes the one who helps to reconcile her mother Caroline, and grandmother, Hildemara.

The book is about these wonderful women, their relationships with each other and their husbands and children (both strong and strained). There were lessons of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, reconciliation, romance and, how Christians and pastors treat people who may have sinned. Both books take readers through a number of remarkable world history including the World Wars, America’s war with Vietnam, the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in the 2000s among others.

My personal takeaway from the two books is to be deliberate in the relationship I build with my child(ren). Unconsciously, it is possible to transmit negative traits I may have acquired from my childhood into the family I’m trying to raise and there is that possibility of my child carrying that into her family as well.

I always fall in love with the male characters Francine Rivers’ develops but my favourite in this series is Carolyn’s husband, Mitch. He was given the difficult task of loving a very battered wife and a stepchild whom he loved nonetheless.

There were definitely aspects of the story that I could not relate with, particularly, when Dawn drove through one part of America to another, admiring geomorphological features and getting sad she could not stop to visit those places. I felt that aspect of the story dragged. I could also not relate with a pregnant woman, in her last trimester who had been diagnosed with another life-threatening condition, managing to drive for several days to another location with a terrible weather condition and no hospital close by to patch the relationship between her mum and grandma. That was a little to the extreme and a lot could have happened to Dawn.

Nonetheless, Martha’s Legacy are definitely must-reads. I loved the various characters, my heart skipped, there were portions in the book that saddened me too. I was disappointed and other aspects had me closing the book to imagine the scenes before continuing. This only goes to confirm my earlier assertion that Francine Rivers is an awesome writer, probably, the best when it comes to Christian novels.

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A Mum’s Pledge

I vow to be a good mum.

I intend to make you my friend even when you’re too young to understand me.

I’ll do my best to protect you.

I’ll teach you the love of Christ.

I’ll show you the power of prayer.

We shall enjoy each other’s company no matter what.

We’ll have genuine conversations to know each others thoughts and feelings, especially when you’re growing.

No one will hurt you because I’ll be praying for you.

In my capacity, I’ll provide for you but I’ll allow you to explore.

When you disappoint me, I’ll let you know but I’ll forgive. Learn to do likewise.

I’ll use my experiences as a beacon to teach you about life.

I’ll make time to know you and all that concerns you.

I’ll teach you to love people.

I’ll not downplay your purpose, talent and personality.

I’ll not mar your dreams, instead I’ll help you to fulfill them.

When it’s time to fly out, I won’t stop you.

You’ll excel in all that you do because I’ll continually pray for you with all my heart.

So help me God.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

Seven years ago, I fell in love with the act of blogging. I thought the most essential skill needed for blogging was to be a good writer and writing was something I enjoyed so, cool beans.

Instead of feeling proud for blogging consistently (well almost) on different platforms, here I am in 2020, sitting behind my laptop and reflecting on some of the stuff I have discovered for myself on this journey.

In 2013, when I started, I wish someone had told me that:

  1. Blogging was not just putting words in electronic format but it was a deliberate act that required a lot of dedication and consistency. One needed basic blogging, marketing as well as some graphic designing skills.
  2. Using WordPress (the one I am most familiar with) is like managing any other social media platform. It requires constant engagement with your readers and other bloggers.
  3. Knowing the purpose for starting a blog is key since that would guide you to select a suitable name, design and topics for the blog.
  4. It’s your space, don’t limit yourself. If a particular niche is restricting your creative abilities, you can gradually make changes to the blog by including other similar subjects. That should provide you with topics to blog about.
  5. As much as you’d say your blog is not a personal one, it would be great to fold up your sleeves a little bit. Write a few things about you so readers get to know the face behind the blog.
  6. If you are concerned about getting a lot of followers, keep being consistent and engage with other bloggers as well. Read their posts and leave fair comments. They MAY notice and follow you (stressing on ‘MAY‘).
  7. What is the ultimate purpose for the blog you are creating? Is it for monetary gains, to market your writing and editing skills or for socialising purposes? That must dictate your tone, your choice of words and the style of writing you’d employ.
  8. Don’t get intimidated by other good bloggers instead, engage with them and let their works inspire you.
  9. You do not need to be present on all the social media platforms to promote your blog. That may even be counterproductive. Being present on one or two additional platforms should be enough (especially if you are the only one managing content on all of them).
  10. The WordPress app on your phone doesn’t bite. On the other hand, it allows you to blog easily. Use it!

How long have you been blogging and what lessons have you picked up? Do share 🙂

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Shall We Dance?

Take my hands

Slowly walk me to the centre of the room

Where the tune is the loudest

And the only thing that will matter will be two hearts.

Let your right arm rest on the small of my back

And your left on my neck

Let’s sway to the beautiful melody

Allow the rhythm to dictate to our bodies

Let’s recreate the memory of our first time

The song makes it feel like it

My knees are jerky and my palms sweaty

Hold me tight

Let’s waltz, tango and do the salsa

I may seem to have two left feet

With you, it doesn’t matter

Let’s continue swaying to the rhythm

To the tunes meant for only lovers

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Reasons I love these 5 books

The list below is not exhaustive but these books left an impression on me and they include:

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – I got hold of this book accidentally when I was about 15 years, waiting to enter High School. I couldn’t help but marvel at J.K Rowling’s creativity. How she was able to come up Quidditch, the sorting hat and characters like Dumbledore and Hagrid still baffles me till date. I believe Harry Potter books are way better than the movies.
  2. And the Shofar Blew – I had literally stopped reading novels when I chanced upon Francine Rivers’ Scarlet Thread. I thought it was a cool book till I read her And the Shofar Blew. Amazing book with a lot of characters aiding to craft the story. It addressed a lot of issues that I hadn’t really thought about including old age, nursing homes, death, divorce and how modern churches were being managed by ‘some calibre’ of pastors. I still believe this book is Francine Rivers’ best.
  3. The Purple Hibiscus – I loved how 15-year old Kambili narrated the story from her perspective. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie takes readers to Enugu and Nsukka (Nigeria) in this masterpiece. It was softly written (from the point of view of a 15-year old) but the issues raised in the book were ‘hard.’ It showed that thin line that could exist between being religious and an oppressor or a fanatic. The story is great and perhaps, the best book I’ve read so far, this year.
  4. Smart Money Woman – For someone who hardly reads non-fiction, I liked how Arese Ugwu incorporated a story to what could have easily been a self-help book (not saying that is bad). Each chapter of the book came with suggestions and little projects on how readers could better manage their finances and Zuri, her friends and their money troubles made it an interesting read.
  5. Good Morning Holy Spirit – Benny Hinn, in this book, breathes life to the person of the Holy Spirit. He makes the reader understand that the Holy Spirit could be relateable if we accorded Him the needed recognition. The content was simple to read and I enjoyed the personal testimonies he shared.

Which books do you find remarkable and why? 😊

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20 Facts about Me

1. The only series I’ve ever seen are some episodes of Game of Thrones and Empire.

2. Even though social media wears me out, I’m always scrolling to see what’s new on my timeline.

3. I mostly watch movies that have been recommended to me.

4. I prefer high-school themed movies although I’m old. 😆

5. WordPress over Facebook.

6. I never read long messages that have been forwarded on WhatsApp. Neither do I download forwarded videos (I’m sorry 🤭)

7. I’m a fast reader because I anxiously want to know what happens to the characters at the end of the story.

8. I ❤ love songs.

9. My husband is my current best friend.

10. To me, love in relationships are deliberate decisions.

11. I travelled in an aeroplane for the first time, last year (right before covid19)

12. I do not like to physically exert myself (unless it’s absolutely necessary).

13. I have never participated in any competitive sport all my life.

13. I can swim.

14. I can only focus and be creative on one project at a time.

15. I struggle to eat vegetables.🤫

16. It took me about five years to acquire my driver’s license.

17. I’ve never listened to any podcast.

18. Gospel tunes over long sermons.

19. Chocolate or red velvet cakes.

20. I believe in the power of prayer.

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Why I write…

I feel there is a voice in my head and it frantically wants to be heard  read.

It is the director of the movie and I, the actress

It whispers to me when it sees prompts.

It dictates how the story should go.

It is the conductor of the choir.

The voice uses my fingers to put stuff on paper and the words jump at me even.

The voice is that extrovert author, always wanting to be heard and seen and I, the introvert.

It literally forces me to write because this voice desperately wants to be heard read.

I am not that voice. That voice only uses me.

Blame that voice when you dislike what you read.

Embrace the voice if you like the content.

For it is the views of the voice that you see and read. Not mine.

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