Learning to Trust God
"Life is filled with difficulties. This isn't heaven. We have these big mountains, set right in front of us, and we have no choice but to climb.”
Her mom looked down, took a long moment, then squeezed Madison's hand. "When you were a little girl, you didn't like going barefoot, you remember? You had such tender feet."
"The grass tickled, and the sticks and rocks hurt."
"Even that time we went to Lake Michigan, you wore your sandals on the beach except when you were on your towel."
"The sand was hot."
"You remember Michael though?" Mom laughed. "Mercy, I couldn't keep that boy in shoes. It was all I could do to make him keep them on at church. I'd come into the nursery and there his socks would be, all balled up in the corner, and him running around barefoot."
Madison smiled at the remembrance. "We were different as day and night."
"But still so close." Mom tucked Madison's hair behind her ear and looked at her knowingly. "Sometimes we have to find the courage to take off our shoes and feel it all. Even the bad stuff."
"Sometimes those negative feelings are so strong, they're overwhelming, and it's easier to just not deal with them. But they always come out one way or another. You've always been afraid of feeling, Madison. But death is part of life. Not my favorite part, not by a long shot. But God does not owe us ninety years on this earth. Life is a gift, however long it lasts. It's God's to give and take away as He sees fit. We go through life thinking we're entitled to our ninety, but we're not entitled to anything. All we can do is trust that He knows what He's doing. That He has a plan for all of us, and that no pain He allows in our life will go unused. I supposed realizing that has given me a measure of peace." (Barefoot Summer pp. 235-236).
Madison McKinley is still grieving her twin brother Michael’s death. She has nightmares about him that prevents her from sleeping, and she has decided that the only way to get them to stop is to fulfill Michael’s dream of being the youngest winner of their town’s annual regatta. There is only a couple things that stand in her way…her crippling fear of water, and the fact that she doesn’t know the first thing about sailing a boat.
Her plan is to learn to sail with Evan Higgins, a longtime winner of the regatta. When Evan’s work schedule doesn’t permit him to give the lessons, the job falls to Beckett O'Reilly, Chapel Spring's bad boy and the son of the town drunk. Madison doesn’t like the change of plans, but what choice does she have? Especially when she is determined to see Michael’s dream come to fruition.
Beckett has his own reasons for being apprehensive about teaching Madison to sail. He’s had a crush on Madison since High School, but he doesn’t think he has a chance with her. Beckett believes she would never want to date a guy like him. Even though he is a Christian now, and has turned his life around. But he thinks it’s too late. She would never want anything to do with him if she really knew the truth about him.
I don’t want to ruin the story for you by saying too much. But I will say that there are twists and turns throughout the book that kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. I liked how Denise used Beckett and Madison’s mother to help Madison see her need for Jesus. Watching Madison finally learn that nothing she did, not training for the chance to win the regatta, her job, Beckett or her family could heal her hurt, and seeing that only Jesus could was one of the best parts of the story.
I am looking forward to Denise’s next book in the Chapel Hill series- - Dancing with Fireflies; unfortunately it won’t be available until April 2014.
About the Book:
Madison’s heart has been closed for years. But one summer can change everything.
In the years since her twin brother’s drowning, Madison McKinley has struggled to put it behind her. Despite the support of her close-knit family and her gratifying job as a veterinarian in their riverside town, the loss still haunts her.
To find closure, Madison sets out to fulfill her brother’s dream of winning the town’s annual regatta. But first she has to learn to sail, and fast.
Beckett O’Reilly knows Madison is out of his league, but someone neglected to tell his heart. Now she needs his help—and he’ll give it, because he owes her far more than she’ll ever know.
Madison will do anything—even work with the infamous Beckett O’Reilly—to reach her goal. And as much as she’d like to deny it, the chemistry between them is electrifying. As summer wanes, her feelings for him grow and a fledgling faith takes root in her heart.
But Beckett harbors a secret that will test the limits of their new love. Can their romance survive summer’s challenges? And will achieving her brother’s dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?
Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
Denise invites you to visit her website to learn more.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*Denise Hunter is celebrating her new Chapel Springs Romance series with a Summer Fun Giveaway. The first book, Barefoot Summer, is already a favorite with readers. “Hold-your-breath romance, heartache, and laugh-out-loud moments. It’s more than a good read. It’s a delight.” -- Lisa
Summer: it’s all about sunny skies, star-gazing, swimming, spending time with loved ones, and living as if a small part of the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.
Get ready for some serious summer fun with Denise’s 12-Day Summer Sun giveaway. From June 10-21, keep your computer near as you head to the lake or your friend’s barbecue because Denise will be giving away a summer essential each day!