About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources

My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Pound to Palace

My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.

Little Halos

Proverbs 31 Ministries


Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Saturday, January 12, 2008

FINAL BOOK REVIEW... until I read another good book

Let me be so bold as to encourage you - if you have a son, make hearing MY GRANDFATHER'S SON required listening. Sit with your son, experience American History now – in the making, and be together empowered to face your dragons. I promise you – the young man God has given you to mold for the future - to do His good will, will not soon forget time spent with his parent and lessons learned from a true American hero whose decisions today chart the course for tomorrow.

When I was in the 6th grade my mother, my sister, and I returned to the US from Colombia which was home for our family until my young teen years. The three of us moved into a downstairs apt of a great big ole house and my mother completed her master's degree. That was a lonely year for me. Although I'm an American citizen - my parents are a Texas cow girl and a wonderful southern gentleman from Mississippi, I felt like a foreigner whenever I returned "hone." (My dad worked in the oil fields of Venezuela and Colombia - that's why I grew up in South America.)

I am off track...

So we moved to Denton, Texas where my mother studied A LOT. I decided to pass the time that year - reading. It paid off. By the end of the year I had read, and reported on, more books than any of my classmates. I won the award for most read books! The teacher gave me a Silver Dollar along with a certificate. I don't know where my "trophy" is. I wish I could find it.

That is my intro for this final BOOK REVIEW.

Books are fabulous friends. Books...
-are faithful.-never walk away.
-can always be found right where I left them, waiting for me to continue the relationship where we left off - a few minutes ago, yesterday, or months ago.
-tell it like it is.
-portray the good, bad, and ugly.
-offer choices.
-describe consequences to choices.
-can be full of truth or lies.
-invite the reader to discern.
-change, hopefully for the good.

I invite you to add to this list. Tell me what has stuck with you as the result of a good book, even recommend a book on your blog and tell us about it so we can visit you. I would love to hear about another good book I should read.

Driving back and forth from AR/MO to NC my DH and I listened to MY GRANDFATHER'S SON by Clarence Thomas, read by Justice Thomas. I recommend you listen to this book, if you are at all interested because he reads his own story and his voice is incredible.

Let me tell you why I thought this book to be such a tremendous story.

-If I had not heard his story I would have never known the abject circumstances surrounding his life - his climb from the bottom - and I do mean bottom - to the top. One always believes that those at the top got there because of privilege. Ha – not so in this case! He shares the horrific conditions under which he began his life. The vivid details of overcoming cold, hunger, poverty, and growing up black in the South will not soon be erased from my mind. I will never look at the men and woman of our supreme court again without feeling much admiration for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (I did have the privilege of watching him, live in action, when I visited Washington D.C).

-Each chapter challenged me to look at my own life. As a child whose single mother could not care for him, he went to live with his grandparents. His grandfather loved him, but he was harsh. I didn't approve of his tactics - some could have been considered abusive - today young men would run away from such a lifestyle, but Mr. Thomas' grandfather looked to the future. This grandfather knew what he must do to prepare his grandsons to acheive success he went to extremes to prepare them to compete. Nothing that happened in the justice's life was wasted. Without his extremely difficult childhood he would have never survived the journey set before him and risen to his position.

-Clarence Thomas faced opposition as a child and then as an adult. A brilliant man, he was often overlooked. An honest citizen, he rarely experienced any good-luck breaks. A hard worker, he was seldom praised as was his due. Yet he continued his climb in public service.

-I learned to admire this national leader and hero. A godly man, he is soft spoken. A man of integrity, he is not swayed by public opinion. I know of no one who welcomes adversity. We go to great measures to avoid it. Yet this autobiography gave me some insight into strength building. It is necessary to step into the emotional weight room. There we develop and become the men and women God has planned for us to become. Without true refining we cannot be equipped to face life.

-Justice Clarence Thomas spent his life in the furnace. Few know his story. I am glad he wrote the book. When I watch the Supreme Court in action, in addition to seeing a dignified and quiet African American deliberating how our nation's laws should be carried out, I see Silver - refined - a man I truly admire, a role model for the times when I am tempted to give up because I simply cannot overcome the challenges placed before me.

-Please do this - get his book on tape. Set aside an hour each week. If you have children who are in middle school or older - sit together as a family and listen to your Supreme Court Justice share his life. You and your children will find yourself in the midst of American History and emerge from this story time, compelled to ignore any obstacles that ever threaten to keep you from following your dream! The next generation deserves to be exposed to this tale.

-Let me be so bold as to encourage you - if you have a son, make hearing MY GRANDFATHER'S SON required listening. Sit with your son and be together empowered to face your dragons.

Off to fight my own fires... and overcome - because I have a godly role model whose life story has convinced me that
I can, especially when I call upon the name of the


Alyce said...

Hi Van..
found ya through a comment you left on Rachel O's site.
Your profile says your location is Afghanistan..is that right? I just wasn't sure and havent read enough on you to know..and my time is getting away from me today!

Laura said...

It was so nice to get to know you a little better tonight,my Dear friend, by reading your background comments. I picture you, a young girl, finding company in your books, and I see myself! Looking back, can you see how that time made you into the sweet and sensitive person you are today? Thank you for sharing your book review. My boys are soon to be 9 and 11, but are used to reading together every night. Do you think the book is too old for them? I will get it and see for myself, you have sold me! A book that I have read recently that moved me terribly was The Glass House, by Jeannette Walls. She spent part of her childhood in WV, and the poverty and circumstances she endured are heartbreaking. I could relate to a lot of her story...we Appalachians are a strange lot, and our people are not new to dysfunction. Anyway...can't wait to check out justice Thomas' story.
luv, laura

Kelly said...

Hi Van,
This sounds like a wonderful book, especially hearing the audio version of it. I put your lovely pictures of you wearing the scarf on my blog so you will have to check it out!
Many Blessings,

La Belette Rouge said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Really nice to meet you and your dog--you are both so beautiful.

What a rich and interesting background you have. I totally agree with everything you say about the importance of books. I always am reading 4-5 at one time. As a matter of fact, I was just deciding which book to take with me to NYC before I came to your blog.

And to your invitation, to add to your list. Here is my contribution:
Books have taken me places that would have otherwise required a passport, tickets and even shots.
Books have allowed me to meet people I would otherwise never know.
Books have opened me to ideas I had never before considered.
Books have been a friend when I was lonely.
Books have given me an education which has led to a life beyond my wildest dreams.
I could go on and on.;-)

Charlene Kidd said...

My husband has talked about this book. I think we need to get this one. Thanks for the information.

Laura said...

I heard just the other day what a great story this is. I will be looking for it for sure! Thank you!!