Book Review: Something Needs to Change by David Platt

91XundaLFLLIt’s rare for me to be torn between savoring a book or reading it all at once, but this book made me feel that tension the entire time.

Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need by David Platt is truly a MUST read for anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus. The author’s vulnerability and honest questions are so refreshing and compelling in our current culture, even in the church, of leaders needing to be “perfect.”

David Platt tells of his trek through the Himalayas and the people/situations he experienced along the way. He talks about the poverty, the darkness, the challenges these precious people face each day. He also shares about how the church operates there and how they are truly changing the world, one life at a time, even in the face of severe persecution and other challenges. He shares such wisdom throughout the book and I have been truly challenged by his words. I don’t say that lightly. 

As I read, I was reminded of my time in North Africa fourteen years ago. I was part of an “undercover mission team” and we observed the persecution of the church there. As we heard the stories from the believers we met, we were humbled and challenged because we have it so easy in the U.S. as Christians. Reading this book made me realize how complacent I have become, and how I need to be constantly sharing the love of Jesus with others in tangible ways and with my words.

I realize that God is calling me to new heights of love for him and others. To a kind of love that goes beyond all my religious learning or sense of religious responsibility. To a kind of love only God can create. A kind of love that causes you to change the plans you might have had for your life or your family or your future. A kind of costly, uncomfortable love that’s neither complacent or content to protect yourself from the needs of those around you. – David Platt

The life Jesus called us to is not one of comfort and complacency. He called us to CHANGE THE WORLD. Are you doing that? Am I doing that? What do you want the Church to look like?

…I long to be part of a church…that is simply committed to the most important things: caring for the hurting with compassion and spreading God’s love to the hopeless with courage. I want to be part of a people who are fearlessly holding on to God’s Word while selflessly sacrificing to share and show God’s love amid urgent needs in our world. I want to be part of the church like God has designed it to be. The kind of church that can change the world. – David Platt

Please read this book. Allow God to speak to you through it. And then make changes. I know I will be reading and rereading this, and I’m already praying about what I can be doing differently because something needs to change.

I received an ARC from the publisher and this is my honest review. 

Krabbe Awareness Month: Day Twenty-Two

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Tori received vision, physical, and occupational therapies through Early Intervention, at no cost to us.

The cost of her stander (a vital piece of equipment) was $13,000. Thankfully, our insurance covered it. That isn’t usually the case for most families.

Her adaptive stroller was over $5,000 (again, covered by insurance).

We were so fortunate to have a generous insurance company, and we were even more thankful that they never fought us for any of the needed equipment. But, sadly, this is not the norm. Most parents end up spending valuable time fighting for needed equipment and therapies instead of having quality time with their child. This needs to change.

Krabbe Awareness Month: Day Twenty-One

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Most of us have no idea we carry Krabbe until we have a child born with it. For those families, if a subsequent pregnancy were to occur, they could be tested as early as 10-12 weeks to see if the child has the disease. If the tests are positive, they prepare for a stem-cell transplant and often induce labor at 35-36 weeks to ensure that there is little to no disease progression at birth. Someday they hope to do the transplant in utero without chemo, which will be easier for the child.

Krabbe Awareness Month: Day Twenty

Because Krabbe is an autosomal recessive mutation, the chances per pregnancy are 25% that the child will be affected, 50% that they will be a carrier, and 25% that they will be unaffected. That may seem like a low chance that a couple would have an affected child, but Dr. Escolar told us that she often sees repeats in families.

On diagnosis day we were told two things in the same minute: Tori had Krabbe and was dying, and that we shouldn’t have more children. We were devastated.

Thankfully, we found out about IVF as an option to have healthy children and our twins are not even carriers of Krabbe. ❤

There is HOPE for families like us to have more children, whether through IVF, adoption, or foster care. Krabbe doesn’t have to mean the end of your dream of having a family. 

Krabbe Awareness Month: Day Nineteen

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We love Hunter’s Hope Foundation for so many reasons, but the Leukodystrophy Care Network is at the top of the list.

We were fortunate that our local hospital (Penn State M.S. Hershey Medical Center) was willing to consult with Dr. Escolar and follow her recommendations, but many hospitals are unwilling – or unaware of the need to consult with her. This can result in inadequate care for Leukodystrophy children.

To learn more about the LCN, go here.

Krabbe Awareness Month: Day Eighteen

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In the rare disease world you must be careful about choosing specialists. With Krabbe, there are few doctors who have had any experience with it, and only two I would consider to be experts: Dr. Maria Escolar at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke University.

Dr. Escolar was such a wonderful and crucial part of our journey, offering her expertise with each visit, phone call, email, or text. She consulted with all of Tori’s local specialists to ensure that they knew how to care for her, and for that we are so grateful.

Hunter’s Hope Foundation and their Leukodystrophy Care Network are working to make more doctors aware and able to care for children with leukodystrophies, and they are also in the process of publishing clinical practice guidelines so that each child can receive the same recommendations and care no matter where they are seen. You can read more about their work here.

Book Review: The Complicated Heart

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The Complicated Heart: Loving When It Hurts by Sarah Mae is a powerful retelling of a complicated mother-daughter relationship and a story of unforeseen redemption that only God could accomplish.

Sarah masterfully and vulnerably weaves together a picture of her childhood struggles with her alcoholic mother while also showing how God was working the entire time and how He healed her soul, and ultimately their relationship.

More than that, she offers such wisdom about how to set yourself free from toxic relationships and how to love those who have hurt you.  Sarah gives a refreshing take on grief and how sometimes you have to grieve your unmet expectations of relationships with living people in order to heal.

“Pain is not shameful, and neither is the vulnerability that comes with it.” – Sarah Mae

There are two sides to every story, and Sarah Mae does a beautiful job of incorporating the words of her mother, words she didn’t discover until her mother had passed away. It was incredible to see her mother’s thoughts and feelings about the same situations Sarah addressed.

Though I do not have a complicated relationship with my own mother, I have had difficult relationship issues in my life (even recently with a friend), and this book spoke to me in many ways. I highlighted many quotes and will continue to ponder them.

It’s okay that we will always have a little bit of sadness in our life regarding loss. The goal isn’t to never be sad, it’s about getting to the point where the pain no longer consumes us or controls our perceptions of ourselves, others, God, and the world.”

Check out The Complicated Heart – it just may be what your soul needs.