Sure, Molly McBride is a children’s book character and this blog mostly addresses stuff about kids and parenting and why we no longer go to the Columbus Museum of
crap I mean ART, and great children’s fiction books, etc. But sometimes I want to throw in some stuff for my GFs (and dad’s, too, of course!) Today I’ve got not 1, not 2, but THREE inspiring books just for us for grown-ups.
First up is I Once Was Blind, But Now I See with Kimberly Cook. Kimberly refers to the subject of this autobiography she co-wrote with Charles Picirilli as her “own personal Padre Pio” and, I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but, yeah. You’ll see why after reading it! I Once Was Blind is the faith journey of a man who falls in and out of faith many times, but each time he comes back to the Church, he comes back even stronger. This man’s temptations and struggles have ranged from as mundane as cigarettes to as shocking as the occult. But the clear, humble descriptions of Charles’ personal battle with each of the hurdles he experiences is truly inspiring. Be prepared for miracles!
Next I’d like to tell you about Broken Brain, Fortified Faith by Virginia Pillars. This award-winning account of a mother’s “lessons of hope through a child’s mental illness” was difficult for me to put down, but my family started getting REALLY LOUD about dinner. (The burned pork chops were totally worth it.) This is one of those stories that won’t let you go. It takes you into some pretty dark places but blessedly shows you the light that is our God. Pillars’ writing is straight-forward, and the book moves at a good pace. Mental illness is hard to talk about, and that leaves many people feeling alone in their silence. Broken Brain, Fortified Faith is like a comforting friend who understands and shares that pain.
I’m gonna plug my brother’s book for my third recommendation because it totally fits in with these inspiring, faith-strengthening grown-up reads. Dreams Of My Eagle has knocked the socks off both me and *cough* the Holy Father! (Nope, I am not EVEN name dropping.)
William David Schoonover (my big brother Bill) went through hell and back. Twice. The first time he was alive. Donna, his wife of 34 years, died an agonizing death of metastatic colon cancer. She was only 57, a full-blooded Cherokee Native American “non-religious” Hospice nurse, but she had a deathbed conversion while holding a rosary. A ton of mystical stuff happened surrounding her death, stuff I totally witnessed, Friends. Also, Bill discovered some manuscripts. Donna had been secretly documenting her dying patients’ near-death experiences for much of her career. This hair-raising, goose-bump inducing tale of golden eagles that appear, pure elemental gold dust that appears and disappears, and Donna’s personal words made its way to Rome. And back. And Pope Francis’s own personal notes are scrawled in one precious copy of Dreams Of My Eagle that is now locked up for safe keeping somewhere in Southern Ohio.
Twice, you ask? Oh, that. Shortly after Dreams Of My Eagle got published and Bill was doing the book tour thing, he dropped dead. He was coded on the street for 20 minutes before paramedics arrived and transported him to Kings Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, KY . There he went from blue-black dead to the induced hypothermia protocol to funeral plans in the making, to . . . now working on his second book. Rumor has it, the first line of this new book might read something like, “They froze me for 3 days, but it was warm in Heaven.”
Coincidence? Power of suggestion? You decide.
Want to share with us some more inspiring reads that’ll renew our faith? Please comment below!