#802 The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Any Hollingsworth

The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Any HollingsworthThe Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Any Hollingsworth

Mister Rogers didn’t generally do interviews, but he decided to grant Any one. Maybe Amy expected a personality that differed from Mister Rogers’ television personality, but what she got was the same Mister Rogers everyone grew up with. A friendship continued after the interview and Amy learned how great Mister Rogers really was.

Letters followed and so did stories. Mister Rogers never wrote a memoir himself, so Amy hopes that this book will serve as something of a biography for him.

Mister Rogers was always a spiritual and sensitive man. He wanted children to know it was ok to feel emotions. He wanted kids to know they were worth something. He took the time to take each child’s request seriously. When a blind girl asked if he fed the fish everyday, because he didn’t always say he fed the fish, he started saying he was going to feed the fish.

He created a world of himself inside The Land of Make-believe. Each puppet seemed to be a different facet of himself.

He taught the author that it was ok to be sad and that it was ok to be quiet. Some of the best things can come from silence.

Ultimately, Mister Rogers had to quit his show and he did for, but several decades of children grew up to his even-toned voice. They learned about emotions and they learned to be better people.

What I liked

I, like seemingly everyone else who got PBS on their bunny ears, admire Mister Rogers. He was a great man. He made an impact on the world in a way that so many people can’t. There are preachers and ministers galore, but it was Mister Rogers, who spoke with a gentle voice, that made an impression on children. Children learned that their feelings mattered. It was ok to be sad. It was ok to be angry. This might be a lesson some people could take to heart these days. We are not ever-cheerful automatons.

This man brought a voice of reason and sanity to more than one generation of children. When crazy was all they knew otherwise, Mister Rogers was a constant. He always put on those shoes and that sweater. He always fed those fish.

What I didn’t like

I really would have liked if this book had been more strictly a biography. I like Any, but it would have been nice to know even more about his life.


Won’t you be my neighbor?

Weigh in

What impact, if any, has Mister Rogers had in your life?

Is Mister Rogers an example of how television can impact our lives positively, in your opinion?

#754 Good Health Good Life by Joyce Meyer

Good Health Good Life by Joyce MeyerGood Health Good Life by Joyce Meyer

In this book Joyce Meyer outlines 12 keys for being a healthier person. She advises to start small and always remember that God can help you through any changes you’re trying to make in your life. She also outlines good goals procedures. It’s better to make easily definable goals and build on them.

What I liked

Unfortunately, I can’t get into a huge summary without really going into Joyce’s keys. Ultimately, it’s pretty simple, make a choice to be healthier and make small manageable goals remembering that God is on your side.

Joyce is religious and it definitely comes across in this book, but it’s not annoying. Joyce is able to be religious in a book without sounding patronizing or “holier than thou.” I haven’t read anything of Joyce’s before, and, yes, I do know who she is, and I was pleasantly surprised with her book. I even had to get up and go fill up my water bottle during the part of the book about drinking water. I feel like Joyce is a good motivational person, one that doesn’t make a person feel bad for themselves. I feel like Joyce has an eye on improvement that builds on a person, rather than trying to guilt a person into changing.

I feel like Joyce is more of an encouraging grandmother and that’s not a bad thing.

What I didn’t like

Joyce says never to get fries when you’re eating out in order to reduce refined carbohydrates. As if, Joyce. I mean, I try to eat healthy, but if I’m out, I’ll get fries. Fries are my favorite fast food. Wendy’s and McDonald’s have the best fries. I will almost always get fries when I’m out, unless I’m just particularly feeling a salad, actually, there are lots of times when I pick a steamed vegetable, or coleslaw, or green beans. There is only so much bland steamed broccoli a person can take though, at least season the stuff. Sometimes I’ll get a fry and a side salad at a restaurant and that will be my meal. In all honesty, if you do eat out a lot, it’s probably better to get something other than fries when you’re out. Get the dollar burger and the side salad, whatever.

You’re not going to find anything revelatory in this book. If you’ve read any self-help health improvement books, you will have heard many things like Joyce’s advice, but like I said, I do think Joyce is a little more encouraging in the manner that she presents her ideas.


Let’s all go eat an apple and drink more water.

Weigh In

Do you like Joyce Meyer?

Would you skip the fries?

#752 On Becoming Fearless by Arianna Huffington

‚ÄčOn Becoming Fearless by Arianna HuffingtonOn Becoming Fearless by Arianna Huffington

Arianna realized that her daughters were governing their lives by fear and realized that her daughters’ fears were some of the same fears she had dealt with at their age. She wanted her daughters to be fearless, so she wrote this book. 

Women have had fears about a lot of things, some of those things don’t even matter in the end. 

Arianna’s fighting back against these fears. She wants women to do what’s best for them, and their children. Women should not be afraid of the unknown; something will happen. Women should not be afraid to desire things in life. Women should not be afraid to make their own decisions. Women should not be afraid of their bodies. Arianna also gives strategies for turning those fears off. 

What I liked

I like her. I like Arianna. I think she’s got a lot of spunk and, yes, she is certainly fearless. I like that she’s gone out and done all these things. She really does seem like the kind of woman you’d want to be your role model. 

I like this idea of not being fearful–this is coming from someone who has been shy and has had anxiety, which is just a lot of fear. 

What I didn’t like

I don’t know how sincere Arianna is. Is she the kind of person that would back-bite another woman, calling her fat behind her back, or openly to her face? 

While I love a lot of the things Arianna wrote, it’s not so easy to turn off fear. If you’ve been scared of something your whole life, how are you just supposed to quit being afraid of it? It’s hard to turn off such a strong emotion and the connection that goes with it. I like Arianna’s ideas, but it’s not so easy as flipping a switch.


Try to be a little less fearful in your life. 

Weigh in

Do you have fears you’ve carried with you your entire life?

Do you think women have more fears than men?

#738 The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna GainesThe Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

Chip and Joanna Gaines have stolen many hearts with their show Fixer Upper on HGTV. Chip and Joanna show prospective buyers, several houses, that usually need a lot of work, then Joanna dazzles the buyers with remodeling plans for each one. Ultimately, the buyers choose a house and is always stunned and touched by how it turns out.

Chip and Joanna haven’t always been making giant canvases of people’s houses. There were plenty of hard times before they got to the giant canvas part of life, heck, they weren’t even always together, which might be surprising to everyone who watches the show.

Chip and Joanna met after college and Chip was late for their first date, but Joanna went out with him again anyway, even though he had a bet with a buddy about not calling girls back. The two went out for a while and ultimately ended up married. Chip was already in the real-estate business by this point, as well as the lawn care business. He brought Joanna into the life of flipping houses. The two moved from house to house for a while, sometimes with very little. Joanna opened up a home furnishings store in Waco and was successful for a while, but after she started having kids, Joanna closed the store.

An almost failed development almost bring Chip and Joanna down low, but something happens and they pull through. One day, someone asks them if they would like to be on television. A houseboat helps things along.

The show continues to go on and Joanna has opened her store again. The couple relies heavily on their relationship with God to help them through life, but they also don’t have a television and that seems to help.

What I liked

I adore Chip and Joanna, and their show. I think they’re just a wonderful family. I loved reading more about their lives. After reading, I think I admire them more. They don’t even have a television, which is quite impressive.

I find both Chip and Joanna strong examples of being optimistic, never-failing, and faithful. Again, I know not everyone who reads this website is of a faith, but that doesn’t matter. Chip and Joanna practiced faith in something; you don’t have to believe that it’s God, you can say that it’s the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or even just themselves. The point is, Chip and Joanna had faith and that faith enabled them to do great things.

I find Chip and Joanna wonderful examples for their hard work. I love how they made something out of nothing. Joanna’s life philosophy about making home wherever you are, is a wonderful one. I also thought about how much television I watch. I feel as if I should strive to be more interactive in my relationship, rather than watch so much television.

What I didn’t like

I really liked it. I don’t have a lot of complaints.


Let’s all go out and find a fixer upper.

Weigh in

Can you see the potential in fixer uppers?

Do you think you could live without TV?

#727 The Vow by Kim and Krickett Carpenter

The Vow by Kim and Krickett CarpenterThe Vow by Kim and Krickett Carpenter

Kim and Krickett Carpenter had a whirlwind of a romance, that started out with Kim ordering some sports jackets for his baseball team that he coached, well just the one jacket, but everyone really liked it. Kim was intrigued by a girl named Krickett. It wasn’t her real name, just a nickname, but it fit her just right. The two spoke back and forth, with astronomical phone bills, until finally deciding to meet. They had visits and dates, until Kim asked Krickett to marry her. From the time they met, until they got married, only a year and a half had passed.

Only two months after they had been married something terrible happened. Kim and Krickett were in a terrible car accident. Kim was badly injured, but Krickett’s injuries were worse. It wasn’t even clear if Krickett was going to lie or not. What brought the two together in the first place was their love for God. Kim began praying along with everyone else. They prayed for brain swelling to go down. They prayed for higher blood pressure. They prayed for each milestone of Krickett’s recovery.

The terrible thing is that Krickett did not remember Kim at all. When asked who she was married to, Krickett averred that she was not married at all. She did not like Kim. She remembered nothing about him at all. In the end, Krickett lost over a year and a half of her memory. Kim decided that he wanted to make his marriage work, even if Krickett didn’t remember marrying him. Things were very rough for a long time. Krickett just wasn’t the same. She often had outbursts and threw tantrums, but as time went by things became more normal. Through prayer, counseling, and dating, Kim was able to make Krickett fall in love with him a second time. The pair went on to have two children and they’re still together today.

What I liked

This story was so sweet. Two people stayed together despite some pretty big hurdles.

I believe in a higher power and I believe that Krickett’s life was saved by a higher power, that’s what Krickett and Kim believe as well. This is just one of those situations where there is really no scientific reason for Krickett to have survived, but she did. Krickett has her share of stubbornness, which helped her survive, but she also had great faith and so did her family. It’s stories like this one that remind me that God, or whoever you want to believe in, still does things for people. I consider Krickett’s story a miracle. Call it a medical miracle or call it a religious miracle, either way, it’s a miracle.

These two are a couple that other couples should aspire to be like.

What I didn’t like

Sometimes I felt as if Kim was too short and a little mean to Krickett.

I don’t think I could have gone through with this, if I had been in this situation. If I had been in Kim’s position, I couldn’t have done that. If I had been in Krickett’s position, I couldn’t have done it either. Maybe it speaks to weakness on my part. I don’t know that I could have stayed married to this person, I was barely married to anyway, if they had become someone entirely different. I also don’t know that I would stay married to a person, knowing that I was completely different. Wouldn’t it be unfair to them? If you’re an entirely different person than you were when you got married, isn’t that a ground to just end it?

While I do admire Kim and Krickett’s doggedness to stay married because they were Christians and they decided that they should stay married no matter what, I don’t agree. Look, I’m a Christian and I’ve been married, and divorced. Honestly, if I had had a choice, if I could have made things work, I would still be married. I didn’t ever want to get divorced. As per my beliefs, I did believe that I was supposed to stay married once I got married. It was when I realized that the situation was not healthy or good for me that I considered divorce. I’m a heck of a lot better off now. I can’t imagine what torture my life would be like right now if I were still married to my ex-husband.

I do believe that Kim and Krickett had the same end goals in mind as far as marriage went and although it was hard to put their marriage back together because of Krickett’s injuries, it was easier than if they had been two people without the same life goals in mind. Could my former marriage have survived something like this? Probably not, although my ex was pretty stubborn. Maybe he would have kept me around, even if I had a brain injury, but then I’d have to find out all over again how awful he was.

While I do admire Kim and Krickett so much, there are circumstances in which marriage should be dissolved, but I don’t necessarily think that Kim and Krickett’s hardship is a reason for divorce, but I can certainly see why people in their situation would get divorced.


Good vibes to Kim and Krickett.

Weigh In

If your significant other had a brain injury that changed who they were, would you stay?

If you had a brain injury that changed who you were, would you want your significant other to stay?