Finding the freedom to laugh and the grace to live sums up Charlene Ann Baumbich’s twelfth book, Don’t Miss Your Life. It’s about probing through the layers of life and addressing the hurry of here and now so that we don’t miss living the life of today. Baumbich’s goal is to encourage her readers to keep a “memory portfolio” that will capture precious moments from one’s past. Her book is packed with examples from her own life to help stimulate each reader’s rusty memory wheels.
Some of the author’s main points include: establishing a foundation of friends and fellowship; getting over spiritual “constipation;” questioning assumptions; creating balance in life; not crashing with a splat; saying bye-bye to negative thinking; waking up to one’s senses; weathering life’s storms; and accepting the great I AM. The reader will find Baumbich’s easy-going style most enjoyable when read for leisure since the pages are filled with personal experience stories that serve as ironic, profound or just plain bizarre examples for her points. Apart from being an award-winning journalist and the author of the six-book Dearest Dorothy series, her ability to laugh at herself is her best credential for writing this book.
Baumbich earnestly shows her readers how to live life one step at a time and how to cherish the moments while actually living them. She sums it up well in her last chapter: “But before you can capture that moment—one in the string of moments that comprise your life—you’ve got to live it! God’s breath already stirs within you” (p. 252). Her readers will be reminded that it is good to dream and then to take the time to catch those dreams and turn them into reality. In following her own advice, she actually went bungee jumping as her prayerful husband watched from below!
The strengths of this book are found in Baumbich’s upbeat voice, conversational style, and her creative word choices. At times it does take her a while actually to get to her main points. Also, some readers may not like her style of writing, which reads like an email since she uses parentheses with unnecessary exclamations such as “HAHAHAHA!” or uncommon words like “YOWZA.” This book is best recommended to adults looking for a relaxing but fun-loving book that will stir one’s mind and memories toward freedom, laughter and grace. – Laurie Filson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Along comes a book by a storyteller who holds the power, in true stories well told, to offer a motivating and healing balm for those thirsting and eager for somebody to remind them to "say YES to life, slow down, wake up, let go, hold on and LIVE!" As readers listen to Baumbich's stories, laugh and cry, and then revisit their own stories, they will discover the sovereign hand of God not only loving them in the midst of adversity but wooing them to live life to the full.
Readers should fasten their seat belts for this warm, fun, provocative, heartwarming ride. "We are so busy running our lives that we are often not enjoying them, giving thanks for them, or realizing our joy and potential," Charlene says. "But if you learn the lively and releasing art of listening to and mining your own stories, you'll learn that your life is, indeed, better than you think!