Tag Archives: Peace

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.


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 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.

52 Bible Verses For A Joy Filled Year – Week 4

The verses used in this weekly series are from Norman Vincent Peale’s 52 Weeks To A Positive Life, which is a series of 52 cards. However, the card for week #4 is missing. So I found another Bible verse that is not in the cards.


This is one of my favorite verses and there is a magnetic book mark standing on my desk to keep this verse front and center in my mind. I find it very comforting and uplifting. Hopefully you do as well.

May you overflow with hope this week.

52 Bible Verses For A Joy Filled Year – Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of 52 Bible Verses for a Joy Filled Year.

Peace is the subject of this weeks verse. We desperately need more peace in our lives and in our country.

Jesus did not promise an easy life, only that He would be with us and for us to rest assured that He has overcome the world.

Let these words echo in your heart this week.

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27


Going Away

Yesterday was the 7th day of the new year – 7 days in and I’ve already crashed and burned. So I am taking a break till Tuesday because I am tired and weary. I need to renew my strength and resolve for this fight called life. And life is a fight – otherwise we would not need the armor of God.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God,so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Tuesday 1/13

Four years ago today I signed up with WordPress and on 1/13 it will be 4 years that I published my first post. So there will be a brief anniversary post on Tuesday and then I will go away for awhile.

You will have a better chance of finding me over on my  photography blog OgleOhio since no words are necessary there.

You are able to reach me by either completing the contact form at the bottom of this post or at michele dot kearns at joyreturns.com 

Until such time as I see fit to return:

May the God of Hope fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust in Him. 

Romans 16:13

Weekend Wisdom: Make Me An Instrument

This poem by St. Francis of Assisi seemed like a good one to post this weekend.


Make Me An Instrument

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, 

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy. 

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love, 

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Weekend Wisdom: Live In Peace With One Another

(Author’s Note: Yes, some of you are seeing this for the second time. It mistakenly got published yesterday along with “Offer Hospitality To One Another.”  Sorry about that. Hope your Sunday is filled with sun.)

The Bible verse for today is:

Live in peace with each other

1 Thessalonians 5:13


Today’s quotes come from 2 singers, a nun and an American essayist, lecturer, and poet.  Enjoy and know that if we all lived by the last quote, we would indeed live in peace with each other.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.

Jimi Hendrix

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

Mother Teresa
Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.
Carlos Santana
Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Peace begins with a smile.
Mother Teresa
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