Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Promise by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

If you haven't started reading, The Restoration Series, by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley, you are missing out. I admire these two authors so very much. Their works are magnificent. When they come together something spectacular happens. This is one of the best series I have had the pleasure of reviewing. 

The Restoration Series brings us to know a family in need of restoration. Life happens. Struggle appears. We lose sight of what is important. We get off track and it's hard to find your way back. The first book in the series, "The Dance" (check out my review), brought us to know Jim and Marilyn Anderson. In this new release and second installment to the series, "The Promise", we get a close up view of Tom and Jean Anderson. Tom is the son of Jim and Marilyn, and of course Jean is their daughter-in-law. Tom and Jean are blessed with sweet children. They really do have the picture perfect life to all that are looking from the outside in. 

This is part of the trap. Appearances are not what they seem. Tom is hiding things from his wife. Jean isn't being totally honest and upfront either. Their marriage is in need of repair. Now, just as we seen, Jim and Marilyn face difficult issues and find themselves once again in the dance that gave them new hope, we too see Tom and Jean come together in the promises they once shared. 

You may think I'm giving away something, but not at all. I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. There is so much to these stories. If you haven't read, "The Dance", I encourage you to go back and read it first. It holds valuable information in understanding the characters. 

What do I love about this series? The characters are real. They are facing issues that you and I face today. These are issues our parents and grandparents faced. Issues that we keep hidden. I can relate to these characters on many levels. In our faithfulness we want to keep things from our spouse because we think we are protecting them. In reality we are hurting them but not being honest. As we see with Tom and Jean, their marriage issues are not only effecting them, but their sweet children. 

Through, "The Promise", I have realized sometimes you must go back to find your way forward. Tom had to realize many of his emotional issues were from not having support and encouragement from his dad. I knew my daddy loved me. Sadly I lost him to his battle with cancer when I was only nineteen. I never heard my dad say that he loved me or that he was proud of me until the week before his death. These words are so important for a child to hear from a parent. These words allows them to soar and it helps them to be real with themselves. 

I love that as we see Tom's and Jean's story unfold we too get to continue on with Jim's and Marilyn's story. I could relate well with the women, but too with the men of this series. It has opened my eyes in new ways as I look to my husband and his relationship with his father. Really, such amazing life lessons are woven within these pages.  

I too see the importance of passing down our faith to our children and grandchildren. Through this series I understand more than ever it's okay to share our mistakes with our children. It helps them to understand we are not perfect. We face issues that are difficult, but with faith and trust, we can know that the Lord is there for us. That person we married is there for us and we can learn together God's grace. 

In, "The Promise", Jean is trying to understand why Tom has such a bad attitude. He is crabby and at times downright mean. She is thinking it's something she has done. The kids are wondering why daddy is mad. Tom is trying to figure things out himself. Their emotions are all over the place. As we continue on in the story we see the journey and we see that it's all worth it. We aren't to give up, but to hold tight to hope and the promises of building our lives upon a firm foundation. 

Something extra that I enjoyed about these books are the interviews with Dan and Gary. They share about the books and their personal stories of restoration. Yes, friends, this is indeed a special series that will bless you and leave you with nuggets of gold to carry along in your walk ahead. 

This book was a gift from Revell for sharing my review with you. 

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Dance and The Promise with Gary Smalley, as well as The Unfinished GiftThe Discovery, and The Reunion. He has won three Carol Awards, and two of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year for 2011 and 2012. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for twenty-five years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. Visit www.danwalshbooks.com for more.

Gary Smalley is one of the country's best known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the bestselling and award-winning author or coauthor of 16 books, along with several popular films and videos. He has spent over 30 years learning, teaching, and counseling, speaking to over 2 million people in live conferences. Smalley has appeared on national television programs such as OprahLarry King LiveExtra,The Today Show, and The Sally Jessy Raphael Show, as well as numerous national radio programs. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 49 years and live in Branson, Missouri. They have three children and six grandchildren.


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