Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Book Review, Part II: The Closer, My Story by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey

I can't believe I forgot to post the rest of my book review! I got an email today from the publisher asking for my link, and I looked at my blog and, sure enough, I had forgotten all about it! Getting 2 children in the workplace apparently distracted me from the rest of my life!

I had posted in my initial review (before I finished reading the book) that I was struggling getting into the story because it's in first person, and in a present tense sort of way. I will admit that it does make reading a little more challenging for me, but I loved the story so much!

If you're a baseball fan like I am, you are going to absolutely love reading all of the details about what was going on on the field and in the locker room during some of the most exciting World Series in history. Reading about the first moment that Mariano met Derek Jeter and knew he was going to be a great player - we can all read that now and think, "Of course!" But then you have to really think about it. He knew Jeter when he was just a kid, not much older than my own son. There are tons of kids who play in the minor league system and not very many of them make it to the bigs. Anyway, I loved reading all of those little details and behind the scenes stories.

I also loved reading how Mariano gives all the glory to God. But not in an artificial, or forced way. In fact, he tells the story of how God humbled him right as he was getting ready to pitch in a very big game. That gave me goosebumps! We all make mistakes and we all stray from the path God has for us - in small ways or in big ways. But we can focus again on God and His plan, and just do what He has set out for us to do.

Know, if you know me very well at all, you know I do not like to write in my books or to turn down the corners. But I came to a section and simply had to turn the corner down so I wouldn't lose it. These two lines spoke to me so deeply that it brought me to tears:

"I very rarely pray for specific outcomes."
"For me, the most meaningful prayers are when I ask for God's wisdom."

Whoa, that is incredible! I know that we can be very specific in our praying to God. But sometimes I wonder if that keeps us from welcoming all of the blessings God has in store for us? The last few months, I've been praying that God would give us the means to be able to go to Cooperstown for our 20th Anniversary. Money has been getting tighter and tighter over the last year. I remember saying to my husband last summer right as all of this stuff began, "I wonder if God is wanting us to give control to Him with finances. Instead of trusting in our savings account, He wants us to trust Him more to provide." Russ agreed - he knows that financial security is a big thing for me. And having that funded savings account is something I cling to. Well, over the course of the last year, we have had emergency after emergency that has not allowed us to rebuild the savings - so it's pretty much gone. After spending years of building it up and knowing it was there. Now we have to rely on God to cover our needs, trust that they are not really 'needs' if He hasn't provided, and just basically believe that He will take care of us. And He has. But that doesn't mean that this trip is going to happen. I have been praying and praying and praying like crazy that He would make it happen. Maybe I just need to pray for His wisdom - and realize that I am blessed beyond measure, even if I don't get to take my first real trip with my husband in our 20 years of marriage and see Tom Glavine, Bobby Cox, and Greg Maddux (and did I mention Tom Glavine?!?!? LOL) inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I started to cry when I put it all together. It makes me wonder if that's why I didn't "have time" to finish the book back when I was supposed to? Because I needed that message at a later date?

So the bottom line is, if you're a baseball fan who enjoys knowing more about what is going on on the field, in the locker room, and in the minds of some of your favorite ball players and managers, you will enjoy this book. If you're a Christian who enjoys reading about how God can change lives and use people in a might way, you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy a good biography, you will enjoy this book (in fact, it's going to be added to my son's reading list this coming year - for his Senior year as we study the last 100 or so years of history)!

Thanks for all of your patience for my tardy book review! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can! 


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