Category Archives: Book Launch Teams

A Review of Placemaker by Christie Purifoy

Today we are celebrating a the release of Christie Purify’s new book Placemaker; Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace.

Being a part of her book launch team is one of the best experiences ever because it feels like a group of best friends gathering on a Saturday afternoon each curled up on couch with a cup of tea.

Scattered throughout this review are bits of my story and the pictures of the current trees in my life.

I first fell in love with Christie’s writing when I read Roots and Sky; A Journey Home in Four Seasons. Her writing is warm, gentle and makes you feel right at home.

In Placemaker, Christie eloquently weaves her story with the story of the trees she and her family encountered in every place they lived from Texas, to Chicago, IL, to Florida and finally to an old red brick farmhouse called Maplehurst in Pennsylvania. A story filled with the beauty and peace of each place despite the challenges encountered.

The day Placemaker arrived at my place.

The book is also about community and belonging, about opening your homes to family and friends even though you just moved in, and it’s about cultivating beauty, comfort and peace whether you are walking though a season of abundance or though a wilderness season.

Definition

What is a Placemaker? It is someone who willingly sinks their roots deep, even though they might be there for a short time.

Making and tending good and beautiful places is not a dishonorable retreat. It is a holy pursuit.

Christie Purifoy
Placemaker; Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

Trees?

Trees first came to mean something special to Christie because of the cover of The Magician’s Nephew one of the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. However, the cover of her copy is not all about trees but somehow they were what she remembered. Guess God was preparing her to write this book even as a child.

Then she discovered that trees spread their roots down and out and feed off one another. They are a community serving one another.

We are to be like trees, sink our roots deep and serve our neighbors.

Sinking roots deep is what Joe and I did when we moved here. We developed wonderful relationships with our neighbors and we have been there walking each other through a garden or wilderness. While there are a few other reasons, my neighbors are the main reason I have never moved – and have no intention of moving.

The trees know waht we struggle to accept; it is right and good to love my neighbor as myself.

Christie Purifoy
Placemaker; Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

A Life of Trees

At first I found myself jealous of how she was able to tell her and her family’s story through the trees that inhabited every place they lived.

Then I remembered, well duh! You can tell your life story through experiences with trees starting with the chestnut tree of your childhood and ending with
the maple tree on my tree lawn and the trees in the woods behind this house.

The tree lawn maple

A Wilderness of Discontent

Like all stories, Christie’s contains chapters about grief, loss and walking through her wilderness season in Florida. A season of running out of dreams, not feeling appreciated, and making new friends at church but they all live on the other side of the city.

Like winter, the wilderness is always a promise. God leads us in and, one way or another, he leads us out again. Or, if he doesn’t lead us out, he does something almost more miraculous: he plants trees in the desert, and he causes rivers to flow there.

Christie Purifoy
Placemaker; Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

Yes, God lead Christie out of the wilderness in Florida to a tree-lined driveway in Pennsylvania.

My Wilderness

In April 2018 I was writing my 10 Year A Widow series, about the lessons learned since Joe’s passing, I was overcome with tiredness. It was as if someone stuck a straw in me and sucked all the life and energy out of me. It’s what led to reduced blogging and…reduced placemaking. I gave up and this house looks like I’ve given up on it and life in general.

Until now.

Thank you Christie for reminding me of the importance of placemaking and that it is a holy endeavor. Your book is nourishment my soul desperately needs.

My Favorite Chapter

Rainbow Over Woods Behind House – June 2008 (about 2 1/2 months after Joe’s passing)

In the chapter titled Rainbow Eucalyptus and Roses, A Place For Those Who Mourn, Christie writes about her brother-in-law Shawn Campbell’s passing off the shores of Oahu. It is a beautiful, eloquent tribute to Shawn.

You will need tissues.

However, after reading about the last event in that chapter, you will be saying “Only God.” Because only God could have planned and carried out that tree event. It has Romans 8:28 written all over it.


28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28
New Living Bible (NLT)

The Placemaker Effect

Christie’s book will inspire you and cause you to reflect upon not only how you can be a placemaker but how where you live changes you.

So if you are looking for a place to be deeply rooted in peace, start by sinking your roots deep into reading Placemaker.

Thank You, Christie

Thank you, Christie for writing a beautiful, uplifting book. I pray it will encourage those walking through a wilderness and inspire those in a garden season to sink their roots deep and wide where ever God has placed them.

I leave you with one final quote, that sums up why this world needs us to be placemakers.

With God’s help, we can pick up the pieces of an old and dying world, and we can make them new. We can make a place where beauty and peace can take root, flourish, and grow.

Christie Purifoy
Placemaker; Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

Additional Resources

Roots and Sky; A Journey Home in Four Seasons – Christie’s first book.

Out of the Ordinary Podcast Christie does with good friend Lisa Jo Baker

ChristiePurifoy.com – A Spacious Place – Christie’s blog

The Legal Pad: All links on this post are non-affiliate links. I am a member of the Placemaker book launch team and received a free copy of Christie’s book in advance of today’s release date. However, the one I pre-ordered on July 3rd, 2018 arrives today. 😀

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of chocolate, red roses and golden retrievers and is an amateur photographer.

Kelly Balarie’s Battle Ready

I’ve been blessed once again to be on Kelly Balaire’s book launch team, this time for her second book Battle Ready; Train Your Mind, Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously.

It is about time someone wrote this book. It is filled with practical tips and actionable items you can do. It is boot camp for your mind.

Kelly also has an arsenal of other weapons at iambattleready.com.

The Battlefield of Your Mind

The mind is where the greatest battles are fought. Battle Ready will:

  • help you change your thoughts so you can launch a counter-attack in the battle you are enduring (because we are all in some type of battle)
  • help you be proactive so you are prepared for the next siege the enemy unleashes on you.
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Kelly’s book on my physical battlefield.

Meant to be Beat Up

Battle Ready will have you dog-earing pages, using a pen, highlighter, coloring pencils and Post-It Notes. Some pages are even suitable for framing – with washi tape.

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The point being, this book is meant to be used.

It is not meant to be read and put on a shelf.

 The Mindsets

Kelly writes about the 12 Warrior Mindsets:

Possibility, Identity, Sensitivity, Activity, Humility, Objectivity, Bounce-Back Ability, Simplicity, Eternity, Positivity, Intensity, and Impossibility.

Every mindset has verses, lists, quotes, and prayers to help you retrain your thoughts. They also have wise words from Kelly based on her experiences.

 My Warrior Mindset

Have you been dealt a major blow – such as job loss or sewer backup?

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Be like me and live in Warrior Mindset number 7 – Bounce-Back Ability.

Bouncing back from sewer back up was not fun but it was easy compared to bouncing back into a full-time job that pays all the bills and lets me save for things such as a sweeper and car repairs.

My call center job feels repetitive at times and there are days I do not want to commute across the hall to work, but I keep doing it because people need my help.

I use my knowledge to tell them their package’s location, when they will be delivered and help them locate packages that went AWOL (Absent With Out Leave).

So I keep James 1:12 in mind as I march forward every day because not every call goes well. 

That is just the nature of call center work.

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Developing Your Battle Plan

Kelly even created a 90 day prayer journal for use in developing your own battle plan.

Every one of us is a unique individual fighting our own battles. So my battle plan will not look like yours.

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In Easy Reach

This book along with a few cherished others will be beside my Bible – I just need to figure out where I want to put this collection of books. Do they belong in my office, beside my bed, or beside the chair in the living room? That I am not sure.

The one thing I am sure of is Battle Ready is on my desk every day for easy reference.

And it belongs on your desk, next to your Bible as well so you are well equipped with the armor of God.

Thank you, Kelly, for creating a wonderful, arsenal of weapons.

Arsenal

The following is a list of weapons for your training, so you will live victoriously.

(Disclaimer: As part of Kelly’s book launch team, I received a free digital and hard copy of Battle Ready. All views are my own. All links are non-affiliate.)

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Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently a virtual logistics contact center representative. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.

What a Widow Needs to Read – “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp

Author’s Note: I was blessed to be chosen as a member of The Broken Way: a daring path into the abundant life book launch team and receive a free copy of the book. I read the pdf version and then re-read it when the book arrived.Yes, I have a thing for sticky notes, which I try to coordinate to the colors used in the book cover.

Upon completing the launch team application, there was a box where I needed to type a reason why I should be on the team. I put something about recommending it as a resource for widows on my site.

So do I recommend it for widows – yes.

It will help you get through your grief by reminding you it is alright to grieve. This is something Jesus knew but society sees as a sign of weakness.

Great grief isn’t made to fit inside your body. It’s why your heart breaks. 

You will also learn that being the G.I.F.T (Give It Forward Today) to other broken people is the best way to mend your broken heart.

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The third lesson you will learn is that like Esther, you were made for such a time as this.  God knows you are broken, God sees the best in you and God will use your brokenness in ways that will amaze you and in ways that will change the world. (I had no knowledge of blogging or websites when I heard “widow’s website” whispered in my ear early one morning.)

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There are many more lessons you will learn as you travel down the broken path with Ann in this book.

So while yes this is a wonderful book for widows, it is also a wonderful book for everyone because we are all broken. I love The Broken Way because it shows you how to truly live an abundant life by giving. The more you give of yourself to the broken the more you abundance you receive.

Struggle

I struggled to write this post because there is so much in this book. Every time I pick up it up and flip through it, something else jumps out at me. I could probably write a year’s worth of blog posts because of how deeply it speaks to my soul – my broken soul.

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My prayer is that you will read and adopt a broken way lifestyle. There are many broken people who are waiting for someone such as you to step into their broken life in a time such as this.

You can order it by clicking here or on any of the other links in the post.

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Thank You

Thank you Ann for writing a joy filled and thought provoking book and for being a wonderful inspiration to the world. Like Esther you were made for such a time as this.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently a virtual logistics contact center representative. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.