Where to start? Let’s just say that Thing 1 is still in the midst of A GREAT ORDEAL. Although I am confident she is going to pull out of her 6 month (?) migraine hell, she is entrenched, living in the desert, dwelling in the pit. Occasionally, she comes up for air and we get a bit of a breather, some sunshine and oxygen illuminating the body. But working one’s way out of the mire is tough, gritty, nasty, and brutish. In short.
While I will not apologize for my absence as a memoirist, I do apologize to Lifeway and the author, Kayla Aimee, for not getting this book review out earlier! And for the rusty writing!
Like Thomas Jefferson, I cannot live without books. So, when Lifeway, B&H Bloggers specifically, offered free books in exchange for writing a review, I signed up. One of the options was titled Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected. I picked the book because of the title. I had NO idea what the book was about and had never heard of the author – my big baby’s life was busy spinning out of control and I was not paying too much attention to my smaller decisions. Subliminally, I must have taken it as something of a sign. Thing 3 had been needlepointing me, for Mother’s Day 2015, a design of her own creation. It features an anchor with the words spoken to me by God in church one Sunday: “I got this.” These are words to live by, words to be remembered, words to be inscribed on the heart so as not to forget.
At the time, Thing 1 had been preparing to go off to Honduras on a medical mission for Global Brigades and I was slightly freaking out about the violent nature of that country. It’s not like we hadn’t lived in violent, third world countries before; my concern was real.
So, when I was packing my bag at 3 a.m. the day before Thanksgiving to take Thing 1 to the ER, I threw Anchored in. I had no other reading material. None. That was it. Total famine.
The ER visit turned into an extended stay and during that time I read in the dark, gobbling up the feast of a story of another mother in a hospital, watching her daughter battle for her life and the faith that sustained her.
When author Kayla Aimee’s daughter, Scarlette, was born she weighed “less than six sticks of butter”. Anchored is the story of Kayla and Scarlette, a micro preemie who triumphed and is now a laughing, running, jumping spit fire of a little girl. Anchored is the journey of hope in the face of loooooong, terrible odds. Anchored is the story of two women, both way too young to have had to experience working their way of the tough, gritty, nasty and brutish mire. This book was comfort food for my soul. I learned so much about the medical care of preemies, how to behave in the hospital, and to give myself a pass for all the things I wasn’t doing (praying in a linear fashion, for example; we are still at gobbledygook). Most of all, I was actually able to laugh, which everyone knows is the best medicine. This book is required reading for families with preemies and their friends and an over all primer on HOW TO BEHAVE.
Kayla Aimee is now 28 weeks pregnant with her second child and on bedrest. You can read the first chapter of Anchored for free by going to her darling website and blog. She also posts updates on Facebook and Instagram. It is evident that Kayla now has a template for when the unexpected occurs; her soul is firmly in place, no matter what happens. Best wishes for a joyful rest of her pregnancy – may it be loooooong! I can’t wait to read what she writes next.
In the meantime, I too am finding hope in the unexpected, looking for love in all the right places, and giving thanks that I have been endowed with a preternatural patience that infuses me with Florence Nightingale instead of Nurse Ratched, one that can only come from Above. He’s got this.