“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” - Psalm 37:4
This charming novella by Robin Lee Hatcher takes a look at the choices we make in our lives. The dreams we give up and the dreams we chase. Hatcher explores the gifts we have from God and how to use them. Both Jonathan (Johnny) and Carol Burke gave up so much to marry at such a young age. Will the sacrifices they made prove too overwhelming for this young couple or can they count on their love for each other and their dependence on God to see them through the hard times in their first year of marriage?
I love how Hatcher used Carol and Johnny to explore the reality of marrying young and the struggles involved. She shows the difficulties and what it can do to a marriage. The Burkes give us a glimpse of what it can be like to have second thoughts when things don’t go as planned, yet underneath all the struggles and disappointments there is a love that still burns.
The subject of God-given talents is presented throughout the book. Hatcher also explores the scriptural truth of God giving you the desires of your heart. Can Carol and Johnny ever figure out the true meaning of this wonderful passage in the Psalms? As they share their first Christmas together they have so many desires; but which of them are selfish desires and which of them are selfless? Will they possibly learn the difference in time to save their marriage? Or will the desire of young dreams take over and destroy their fragile love?
This is a page-turning book that I read in a single sitting. I enjoyed the characters and found it easy to have compassion for their situation. I appreciated that Carol explores her dreams, giving her a chance to question and seek God. I loved that Johnny understands the road he goes down and the consequences it could lead to. The book has a wonderful epilogue and includes a sneak peak chapter of Return to Me, the continuation of the Burke family’s story. -- Brandi Webster, Christian Book Previews.com
Never underestimate the true spirit of Christmas …
Carol Burke was born to sing. It was the life she had always dreamed of. There was only one thing she loved more, one person for whom she would willingly sacrifice her dreams: Jonathan Burke. Married against their parents’ wishes, both are determined to make a life together despite the hardships. Jonathan works hard at his father’s department store, leaving Carol alone in their tiny apartment. But long hours turn into late nights, thanks to Jonathan’s insatiable desire to prove himself to his father … even at the expense of the one he loves best.
Into the midst of an increasingly empty marriage comes an unexpected chance for Carol to sing again. Is this the opportunity of a lifetime, or a time for her to let go and trust her future to God? Carol knows one thing: she longs most of all to share her first Christmas with Jonathan, creating their own memories and traditions and breathing new life into their marriage.
Then a broken promise leaves her wondering. Can anything, anyone—even God—heal her crumbling hopes? The answer comes when Carol finds herself face-to-face with the true spirit of Christmas …