Janet Sketchley’s Kind Review!!

Review: The Pregnant Pause of Grief, by Brenda J. Wood

Cover art: The Pregnant Pause of Grief, by Brenda J. WoodThe Pregnant Pause of Grief, by Brenda J. Wood (Word Alive, 2013)

“I’ve trusted God and His promises for years. Will they hold true in widowhood? I don’t know yet.” [p. 4]

So begins Brenda J. Wood’s poignant account of her “first trimester of widowhood” after the loss of her beloved husband, Ron. The book is written as a series of journal entries, in a conversational style as if Brenda were talking with the reader via email.

She writes about whatever’s on her mind that day, from spontaneous tears in public to fear of forgetting Ron to what she’s learning from God on how to cope. As hard as this new life is, she’s determined to push forward into it, even to laugh again. Ron wouldn’t want her to give in to the misery.

Most of the book is written during the third month ‘AR’ (After Ron’s passing), but the final pages include Ron’s testimony of the difference God made in his life, with brief notes from Brenda taking us past the anniversary of his death.

Brenda and Ron weren’t a perfect couple, but they loved each other deeply and for almost 50 years. One of the main take-aways from this book is the call to love our family and friends well, while we have them in our lives.

It’s a book that can help those who haven’t lost a spouse to understand the thoughts, emotions and needs of a grieving widow or widower. For example, I didn’t know that finances are often in short supply in the early months until the government, insurances etc catch up on the paperwork.

I think it would be a good resource to let newly-grieving readers know what they’re going through is normal.

One of the things I found most encouraging was Brenda’s determination to remember how God had looked after them in the past and her choice to believe that even in this new, painful place, God still had the power and the compassion to care for her.

Brenda J. Wood is a motivational speaker and writer based in Ontario. She’s also written a book to help children deal with grief, The Big Red Chair. You can read the first chapter of The Pregnant Pause of Grief or learn more about the author on her website, heartfeltdevotionals.com.

review -The Queen’s Handmaiden by Tracy L. Higley

The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley


The Queen’s Handmaiden by Tracy L. Higley is a great read but even more than that, a history tool. Ms. Higley clarifies the Biblical timeline and backs up her story with what she calls ‘the story behind the story.’ On top of that she weaves a love story through the whole thing Her heroine, the slave,Lydia, has to deal with Herod, Octavia, Cleopatra and many others. I hope there is a sequel.


We forget that in Biblical times, people were real, and suffered as we do, even loved as we do.

This is my first experience with Tracy L. Higley’s writing but I shall look for her in future. Some of her other books include So Shines the Night, Garden of Madness and Isle of Shadows.

Thomas Nelson Publishers gave me a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.

Brenda J Wood, http://heartfeltdevotionals.com

The Third Grace by Deb Elkink


The Third Grace is an amazing piece of writing with twists and turns intertwined with Mennonite heritage, language nuances, fabrics and sewing. At the beginning I thought I must like it because of its many references to fine fabrics and designs. Then I realized I loved The Third Grace it for its plot and depths of meaning.

After all, it revolves around an ancient love affair, a return to roots and faith and an intriguingly evil co-worker. I spotted her right off and wanted Mary Grace to see her wickedness…but then there would have been no story.

I was surprised to discover that this novel is Deb’s very first. Bring on more please, Miss Deb. One small suggestion? I would like a page of translations for words like nietlijch.

You can find Debbie at www.debelkink.com.

Brenda J Wood

The Boy Who Changed the World-children’s version

Andy Andrews is trying to reach children with the same life principle he uses in The Butterfly Effect. My interpretation? Your tiniest action creates a big tornado in life’s journey.

Again the message is great but I don’t think it is geared to the audience. The drawings (really wonderful by Philip Hurst) would attract a smaller child but the words are for an older one. Still well worth the read for the action it might create in your own life…

Yes you can make a difference!! Why not do that? Every choice we make affects someone else down the line…Choose well.