Book report: Heavy bidness edition.

I like to read. And, since I suddenly have lots of free time, well … there’s been lots of reading going on.

Want to feel better about whatever trifling little problem has you all down and out? Pick up Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielsen – you know, Nie Nie, from The Nie Nie Dialogues? Yeah. She was burned over 80% of her body and still managed to work through all the physical and psychological pain to keep on living her life. She’s truly lovely and amazing. I think Stephanie’s book is interesting, too, in how it addresses how humans can’t help but look … after all, she was horribly scarred. But what’s really telling is what we actually see. I hope everyone who sees her sees a graceful warrior.

I enjoyed Nie’s book and appreciated how it put things in perspective. However, she’s totally focused on her kids and wanting to have more kids, and family family family. So, her book wouldn’t be my first choice for a So, You Just Found Out You’re Barren Book Club. Because in that way, it made me feel sort of bad.

But, any So, You Just Found Out You’re Barren Book Club – or, any book club, really – would be well-served to read The Sacred Acre by Mark Tabb. This book offers a great look at how to positively impact people’s lives, no matter who you are.

It’s the story of Ed Thomas, small-town Iowa football coach. Thomas was NFL high school coach of the year, because his tiny program produced 4 NFL players. But there’s so much more to the story … Thomas considered his job to be raising men, not training football players. When his town was leveled by an F-5 tornado, Thomas led the clean-up efforts and vowed his team would overcome adversity to play its home opener on its own field just 100 days after the storm. And they did.

Thomas was shot by a mentally ill former player. And then? How his family responded was amazing. Watch this 10-minute video from The ESPYS to learn more. It will be 10 minutes well-spent.

I love this book. I’m not from this particular small town, but when people ask me where I’m from, I just want to hand them a copy of this book and say, “Here.” Because it’s the same sentiment.

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