Tag Archives: rainbow

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.

What God Has Built Up From Tears

Today’s post is part of the devotion I read this morning from Streams in the Desert devotional by L.B. Cowman; edited by Jim Reimann.





The flowers live by the tears that fall

From the sad face of the skies;

And life would have no joys at all

Were there no watery eyes.

Love the sorrow, for grief will bring

Its own reward in later years;

The rainbow! See how fair a thing

God has built up from tears.

Henry S. Sutton


Weekend Wisdom: Time Off

What a wonderful way to spend some time off.  I have dibs on the red one and hopefully I’ll slide into a pot of LOVE!

 Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold.  But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. 


~Douglas Pagels,

These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You


A Rainbow During A Storm

It was dark and stormy when I left work yesterday.  After getting in my car I looked out the windshield and immediately opened the car door, jumped out into the storm and grabbed my digital camera from the trunk.

What did I see that excited me so much?

This HUGE rainbow. It spanned the parking lot, the road and ended somewhere into the fields on the other side of the road.

These pictures do not do it justice and if I had not been at work, I would have gotten some buildings in the picture so you had a better perspective. I am not sure if the company I work for would appreciate pictures of their building on my blog.

Yes, I stood out in the storm with lightning and thunder all around to get these shots.  There was just enough light getting through from the Western sky to cause the rainbow.


A Lesson

Just like this rainbow was there during a nasty storm…


so God is with us during the nasty storms of our lives.


May you always find the rainbow God puts in your storms.  All you have to do is look for it.


Rainbow Coincidence?

Swingin’ Summer Saturdays and Sundays is taking a break this weekend.

Late yesterday afternoon we had thunderstorms.  During the storm the sun came out and was shining very, very brightly.  Well, you know what happens when rain and sunshine mix. Yes, – rainbows!

I have always loved rainbows but my love for them deepened in 2008, the first summer after Joe moved to heaven.  There were lots and lots of rainbows that summer.  I took them as reassurance everything was going to be alright.

Yesterday’s rainbow was tall, wide and very bright. I only got good pictures of the north and south end but none of the middle.

Oh, and yesterday was also the 1 year anniversary of my father’s move to heaven.  So was the rainbow a coincidence?

“North End of Rainbow”

“South End of Rainbow”


Spectrums & Rainbows

Spectrums & Rainbows


Rainbow Over Woods Behind House - June 2008 (photo by Michele Kearns)


Choosing blog theme

The WordPress theme I choose  is  “Spectrum”.   There were others that I could have made work for this blog, but then I found Spectrum and knew it was the one.

 It was perfect for two reasons:

1.)    It reminded me of a college course.

2.)    It reminded me of God’s promise.

The College Course

The Spectrum theme reminded me of a college physics course entitled “Seven Ideas that Shook the Universe.”

I opted to take it in place of a math course because math and I were never friends.  Our bad relationship started after I added 1 + 1 and got 11 in the first grade.

“Seven Ideas” reputation was that of an easy course.  It dealt in part with the theory of “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” and the “Theory of Relativity.”  Or maybe those two are the same theory.  Anyway as you might guess, I was flunking big time, so three-quarters of the way into the semester I went to the professor for help.  For extra credit, I was to write a paper.  If the paper was extremely outstanding then I would get a passing grade but my chances of doing so were slim to none, according to my professor.  So for my topic I choose “Color” and dove into spectrums, light, and the role of color in our world.  Bottom line, I wrote what the professor called an extremely outstanding paper and passed the course.

Rainbow Over Neighborhood - June 2008 (photo by Michele Kearns)

God’s Promise

The main reason I choose the “Spectrum” theme was because it reminds me of a rainbow, which is God’s promise that he will never again destroy the world with a flood.

Looking at the theme reminded me of all the rainbows I saw the year Joe died.  He went to heaven in late March 2008 right at the end of winter and beginning of spring.

The majority of the time it rained during that spring and summer there was a rainbow.  Never had I seen so many rainbows   I would get so excited upon seeing one.  They also represented a promise from God that he would see me through this nightmare.  The rainbows were comforting, gave me hope and brought me joy. If rainbows brought me joy then hopefully this blog’s design will help someone smile with joy upon visiting this site.  

Wishing you a weekend filled with joy and rainbows,


By the way, the seven ideas are:

Copernican Astronomy                        

Newtonian Mechanics & Causality

The Energy Concept                               

Entropy & Probability

Electromagnetism & Einstein’s Relativity                              

Quantum Theory and the End of Causality

Conservation Principles & Symmetries

Double Rainbow Over Woods - June 2008 (photo by Michele Kearns)