Snow is falling as Jordan visits her shut-in Mamaw. Jordan shows up preoccupied with life and worried about clearing the snow away. However, as she sips on coffee and talks to Mamaw she is reminded of the memories the snow holds and how when we remember the people and things of the past we enter into something like heaven on earth.
This short story is available exclusively on my Patreon page. In order to receive access to exclusive content like monthly short stories, you need to join my page and pledge anywhere from $5-$20 a month to help support The Ameri Brit Mom. All members receive discounts, freebies, and monthly stories as a thank you for contributing to the growth of this business.
Author Annie F. Downs is raw and witty in this retelling of a year in her journey to discover the answer to the question: Is God kind?
Beginning with her initial disappointment of being single in her mid-thirties, Annie sets out to embrace her friend’s prophetic word-of-the-year: Love. Over the course of the next twelve months, Annie grows closer to the God who provides for his sheep. She leans into her friend’s prayer and begins the year ready to close this chapter of singlehood.
As the year passes and Annie’s prospects are unchanging she wrestles with God and whether or not he is kind. How could a God who knows the desires of our hearts keep us in a state of wanting for so long? Can he possibly be kind?
Annie brings her readers on a journey of fasting, prayer, heartache, excitement, disappointment, and healing as she seeks out God in the process. This isn’t a book with a nice tidy ending (or overall structure for that matter), but it is one that reminds us that God is in control of the details and our understanding of kindness is so limited by a world that defines it by standards that don’t align to God’s.
In these pages I wrestled with what kindness means and how I react to God not providing in the ways I expect. As Annie lamented over her unfulfilled wishes I walked alongside her and spoke my own disappointments to God. I was also reminded that He shows up in the unexpected, and so I began to search for God everywhere. When life changes, so do our relationships with God. And each of us should remember to celebrate what we have instead of mourning what we do not.
And above all else…we remember God even when the end of the story (or year) doesn’t have the neat and tidy ending.
This was my first time reading anything by Annie F. Downs (although my husband enjoys her books a lot.) I picked this book up while walking through my own season of disappointment, and through the reading I felt as though this journey was not something I was on alone. In my most vulnerable moments I felt a connection to the honest words of the author that reminded me that what I see as the resolution to the story may not be God’s and I have to learn to accept that. What I see as provision may not be God’s plan and I need to trust Him.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a memoir like this. How refreshing it is to join in another’s human experience and to realize I’m not the only one who wrestles with these thoughts and disappointments. And at the end of it all–God is kind.
Check out my Goodreads account to see what else I’m reading!
The Ameri Brit MomWriting and Editing Service is approaching the end of it’s tenth month as a business and brand.
As a gift of gratitude for my readers I am offering FREE edits for up to 5 pages for anyone who pledges $1/month or more to my Patreon page. You can choose to have a resume, story, poem, article, essay, or presentation edited by a professional who wants to help you produce content that makes you a confident communicator.
With your pledge you will receive these edits along with a monthly short story released exclusively to patrons, newsletters, and additional suprises in the coming months. My patrons are the first to know when I’m open for edits and they get advance details on future projects. Please consider pledging $1/month or more to support The Ameri Brit Mom.
It’s been a while since I updated on all that’s going on with The Ameri Brit Mom. I wanted to take a minute and showcase this business that I have been working so hard to cultivate. The Ameri Brit Mom Writing and Editing Services is my passion project and something that brings me joy and a sense of accomplishment. Every comment, like, inquiry, or client means the world to me and so I wanted to take a moment to share what all has been going on behind the scenes.
The easiest way to remain up-to-date with all things The Ameri Brit Mom is to join the free subscription. When you join, you receive a monthly newsletter with all of the past and upcoming news. There is always an exclusive letter to my readers included in this newsletter and it is a great starting point if you want to support The Ameri Brit Mom, but are unsure what that means.
My Patreon page is a place for exclusive content and offers. Members pledge a monthly amount (anywhere from $5-$20) and in return receive access to content that is available in no other platform. As part of The Writing and Editing Services, I offer unique stationery and graphics to patrons as well. Those downloads come free to those who invest in The Ameri Brit Mom on Patreon.
Each month, I offer original pieces to my Patreon members. This is included in the price of the monthly pledge. Stories and essays range from current Works in Progress (WIPs) to short works of fiction or poetry. I enjoy adding to my collection each month and receiving feedback and suggestions from members in my community. This is a project that I enjoy putting time into each month and I am always looking for clients to help create portfolios of their own.
Most of my income comes from providing writing and editing services. Over the summer I worked with half a dozen clients to spruce up their resumes. I have done a couple of thesis paper edits as well. My favorite types of projects include longer pieces. My skills as a reader and writer are most challenged and I feel the most reward after working with a client for several weeks on a piece that has a deep meaning to them.
I am currently working on my first Quarterly Book Club Discussion Guide release. After many conversations with clients and friends, I have decided to offer resources to members of the reading community. There will be alternations between Bestsellers and YA titles in the lineup and I plan to release one discussion guide per quarter. In the meantime, you can download your own FREE copy of the Guide to Hosting a Book Club.
My October calendar is pretty open, and I am hoping to connect with both new and returning clients. If you have a resume, letter, presentation, lesson, essay, or manuscript that you would like to work with me on I am open for new projects. Complete the survey below and I will get back to you on the details and prices for working with The Ameri Brit Mom.
Thank you so much for stopping by to see what all I’ve been up to. The fall is always a busy time, but the work of The Ameri Brit Mom is still ongoing and giving purpose and confidence to the writer within all of us.
This is my first school year since I began my teaching career 12 years ago that I do not teach an English class. I am exclusively a World History teacher and I am loving that role. However, English runs in my veins and I am missing some of the class discussions and learning surrounding novels in my classroom.
Nothing can replace the collective investment in the same characters and story. I miss the days when students would come in and beg to read all period so they could find out what happens next.
Just because I am no longer a high school English teacher doesn’t mean those experiences must come to an end.
I’ve taken years of experience in the classroom, my passion for books, and my interest in growing deep rooted communities to create a Guide to Hosting a Book Club. This four-page workbook walks you through how to plan for a successful book club launch or how to streamline the organization of an already established club.
In this guide, I walk you through creating norms for your group and choosing the right material to consider. I am also happy to launch this guide as a free resource for The Ameri Brit Mom community.
My experience in the classroom and with online teacher forums has led me to question the recent pushback from families and stakeholders over curriculum. While it may seem like a new trend that has today’s educators hyper-vigilant about what they post and send home, it is far from a new experience in the profession.
In fact, censorship of reading material has been around for thousands of years. And it’s been in the classroom since the printing press brought us the ability to read mass-produced literature.
Covid and distance learning brought curriculum to more eyes than ever before. That, coupled with social media has led to a recent increase in public inquisitions. But, this is not a new battle for society. We’ve been banning books and censoring author’s voices since the written word began to exist. Although educators may feel under attack during this time, we also must remember that in order for an individual to grow they must question.
I’m all for healthy challenges that lead to growth and a better understanding of our world. I also see tremendous value in challenging the censorship and reading the material that others try to ban.
Today, as we observe national Banned Books Week, I wanted to celebrate some of my favorite books from the list. Many of these books have shaped our society and brought to the surface the problems plaguing our world. They’ve caused us to think critically or in some cases, just to escape reality for a while to a land of what if?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
For a more extensive list of Banned Books in the US, check out this Barnes and Noble list, and remember that when society questions printed material it often brings to light productive conversations about topics of controversey–and that’s where the growth happens.
Life changed for everyone the day the boxes arrived. The world awoke to a wooden box with a single string inside. Before long, the phenomenon of the strings and their purpose became clear–each string is a measure of the amount of life that remains for each person.
While some were encouraged by the length of their string, others were given the harsh truth that life would end sooner than they’d hoped. Before long, the world began to dichotimize into Long Stringers and Short Stringers. Those with longer strings called the shots and limited those with shorter strings to “safe” roles in society.
Things became more complicated for those relationships where one learns they will far outlive the other, and society is rocked as it begins to wrestle with the terms of the strings and how each person should live out the remaining days or years.
This is a thought-provoking tale of
-an archetect who is afraid to tell his family of his fate
-a politician who uses the strings as a campaign ploy
-an editor who learns to cherish her partner and their moments together
-a college student who bravely chooses to serve his country in his final days
-a doctor who is near retirement
-a teacher who refuses to open her box
Each of these people are connected to a support group for those with short strings. Together, they ask the tough questions–now that you know your time is short, how will you spend it?
This story was equal parts engaging and thought provoking. I fell in love with the characters and questioned my life right along with them. Erlick beautifully wove some of life’s most important questions into a story about likeable characters. This was my favorite book of 2022 so far, and a debut novel for this author.
Be sure to follow me on Goodreads to see what I am reading next and to check out other reviews like this one.
Four elderly pensioners living in Cooper’s Chase, a retirement community in England, make up the membership of the secret Thursday Murder Club. Each week a retired detective, nurse, psychologist and intellectual gather around the jigsaw table in the community meeting room and discuss crimes and investigate them on their own. The group leans on the insight of an underappreciated young copper named Donna to inform them of police intel, and they help her to solve some of the cases that police have given up on.
When a murder spree strikes close to home, The Thursday Murder Club break out all of their tricks and try to get to the bottom of it before the local police.
Their investigation puts them in harms way and gives each of the club’s members an opportunity to flex their atrophied muscles. The search for who would want the community’s developer dead leads to a long list of subjects, many uncovered secrets, and a trip to Cyprus.
This English Best-Seller is well read for a reason. The four main characters are charming and unique. Even though the crimes of the community are serious there were many endearing and light moments between the elderly characters. The ending was a twist I did not expect albeit a bit convuluted. I rated this a 3-star book because although I enjoyed the characters, the ending could have been stronger.
You can follow my reading journey on Goodreads. Join me and see what I’m reading next or any of my recommendations from past reads.
Encounters with big time celebrities don’t happen in the small, British town of Belford, so when V finds herself making tea at the local cafe for an A-lister she is caught off guard. She was used to the painstaking customers from the pensioners court down the road-not gorgeous men from London.
In this short story, you can experience the essence of a quaint British bakery based on my own experiences this summer.
“The Closing Shift” is the latest installment in my short story collection. For access to exclusive content including this 8 page story, you can join my Patreon page.
Each month, members of my Patreon receive critiques, calendar pages, newsletters, and a short story. You can become a patron for only $5/month. When you join, you not only receive exclusive content, but you help me to grow and launch this brand and business into the world.
With a subtitle of How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life, the expecations were high from the beginning. I approached this book with the end of the school year behind me. Each summer, I try to get rid of all the awful habits I formed while on survival mode during the school year. The reason this title spoke to me was because I needed a good pep talk to reignite my motivation after a pretty difficult year of teaching.
This five-part book explores the elements of self-love:
How You Got This Way
How to Embrace Your Inner Badass
How to Tap into the Motherlode
How to Get Over the BS Already
How to Kick Some Ass
The gut punches came right at the start as Sincero explores the psyche of self-sabotage and the creation of obstacles to our productivity. The power of being present is something we have control over, but first we must manage our natural tendencies toward snoozing through life.
The tools for embracing our badass may seem simple at first, but Sincero gives stories and practical steps for breaking out of the self-destructive cycles. A strong focus on self-love is the theme of the book, and many examples are provided for ways in which you can love yourself more each day.
Falling back in love with your life and the God who made you is the premise here, and when I got to the last page I felt like I just got a kick in the seat of my pants from an old friend. Jen Sincero does a great job of motivating through tough love and strong truths. I came away from this book with affirmations and goals to live the most badass life I could imagine.
I gave this book a 4/5 stars. I tend to prefer novels and fictional books, but a good non-fiction every now and again has the power to change your life. While I’m not sure much of this book was earth shattering in my journey, I did feel pumped up to get to work on myself.
Check out my Goodreads account to see what I’m reading next!