Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reflections: Three Weeks With My Brother

This book, Three Weeks with my Brother, is an account of Nicholas & Micah Sparks's three-week trip around the globe. As the only surviving members of their family, the two brothers embarked on this journey to visit the wonders of the world. However, on this journey, they discovered themselves. They discovered the truth about life, loss, and love.
This book, unlike many, really hit home with me. If you look closely in the photo to the left, you'll see where I have used sticky notes to mark pages so I can share the passage with you guys. That never happens...

**I will speak about religion as well as my Faith in the post. I am not trying to persuade anyone into believing as I do- I am just sharing my thoughts & how this book has effected me, personally!**

This book is one I think any Sparks' fan should read. It sheds some light on the inspiration behind his novels. It also lets you in on his emotional & personal past. I always find myself wanting to know more about the author behind the novel/ blog and this book cured my curiosity. I do not want to spoil the book for any potential readers, however I am going to share two different paragraphs/ conversations from the book. These two parts really struck a nerve in me. One pertains to relationships, the other about the true meaning of life. Three Weeks with My Brother also reminded me of the importance of prayer.

 I do not know much about my readers Faith/ Religion, nor do any of y'all know about mine. But I am a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ. I was baptized as a baby, and confirmed when I was twelve. I am a member in Providence United Methodist Church, as well as attending a Baptist church with my boy friend every other Sunday. Although the Sparks are Catholic, I really found myself relating to their spirituality. While Nicholas always remained faithful to his religion, Micah struggled to stay faithful as he found himself unaffected by the words he heard during services. They both prayed daily that God would ease their sufferings, but when God didn't answer all the prayers, Micah found himself slipping away. This is a thing I forget to do sometimes when things aren't going my way. I am finding out more every day that you need God the most during the hard times. You shouldn't turn to God only when you have a problem- you should speak to him daily, as you would to a dear friend. Tomorrow, I might do a video post to share with y'all a little thing that came from the childrens church Sunday morning. It was intended for the younger believers, but you are never too old to learn a new thing about the Lord/ a concept of praying.


page 113-114 
     "What do you think the secret of a long lasting marriage is?" Micah asked.
     "I don't know if there's a secret. Every couple is different. What works for one may not work for another."
     "I know. But if you could pick one thing, what would it be?"
     I hesitated. Above me, the sky was charcoal; clouds were rolling and shifting, changing shape by the minute.
     "Commitment," I finally said. "Both people have to be committed to the marriage, if they really want to make it work, then they'll find a way to do it.  No matter what happens in life. If you marry someone who isn't committed- and something goes wrong, the marriage won't make it. Marriage is hard."
     "Hmm," is all Micah said. 
     "How about you? What do you think the secret is?"
     "I have no idea. I've only been married four years. But for me and Christine, I think it's communication. When we talk about issues and really open up to each other, things are great between us. When we keep things to ourselves, grudges and resentments build up and we end up arguing."
     I said nothing. 
     "What? You don't think communication is important?"
     I shrugged. "What good is talking if neither of you are really committed? If one of you had an affair or got addicted to drugs or was abusive, simply talking about it wouldn't take the hurt away. Or fix the trust that's been lost. In the end, marriage comes down to actions. I think people talk too much about the things that bother them, instead of actually doing the little things that keep a marriage strong. You have to know what your spouse needs from you, and then do it. And you avoid doing the things that harm the relationship. If your spouse acts the same way, your marriage can make it through anything."
     He smiled. "Like you and Cat?"
     "Yeah," I said quietly. "Like me and Cat."

I am fully aware that I am fifteen, and un-married. But in my relationship of over a year, this couldn't be more accurate. When Tyler & I do the simple gestures one another adore, we grin from ear to ear continuously. But when we fail to do so, we find ourselves bickering over stupid things that have no importance what so ever. Then my feelings get hurt and the rest is downward slope. People tell me all the time "Oh, I know you think you'll marry him but you won't so don't get your mind set on that idea." Or, my personal favorite, "You are too young to be in love, not to mention actually know what love is." I am not going to aruge either of those points because people will have their opinions that no one could change. But I am in love with Tyler. No one can say I'm not because they aren't me nor are they Tyler. But Tyler is my best friend in the whole universe and I wouldn't trade a day with him for anything in the world. After reading this page of this book on the car ride home from the beach, I shared the words with him. We began to model our own relationship after Nicholas's wise words. We had been doing a simple tactic for our whole relationship. But now more than ever do I ask myself one simple question before performing an act... "Would this make Tyler happy/proud?" If the answer is no, I stop whatever I was about to do, and continue living as the woman I know he wants me to be. So, with all this said... thank you, Nicholas, for making my relationship stronger. And showing me once again that it is important to put the one you love's feelings before those of your own. 

page 338-339

     After our sister's death, Micah changed.
     It was as if he'd suddenly became intimately aware of the fragility of life and how precious time really was. As a result, he made a conscious effort to simplify his life, with the goal of eliminating unnecessary stress. No longer interested in society's definition of success, he began purging his life of material things. Life, he decided, was for living, not for having, and he wanted to experience every moment that he could. At the deepest level, he'd come to understand that life could end at any moment, and it was better to be happy than busy. 

This scripture touched my heart in a completely different perspective opposed to the last one. To me, it is a realization that no one ever promised you another day. No where in the manual of life does it state you will live to see tomorrow. Harsh- but true. So why waste the life you have right before your eyes? I believe you were given your life so you could live it to the fullest you possibly can. Don't just have a life, use your life. I am not trying to say go out and end world hunger... just be happy. Things happen, unexpected things. So why take the risk of dying unhappy/busy/ pissed off? Life, I think, is precious. Again, no where in the manual of life does it say that you have to have a big house, and a big car, on the big side of town to be happy. All you need is love, and everything else will fall into place...

I hope my thoughts and comments made an impact on someone. If so, please comment or email me and let me know! I feel very passionately about the things I just wrote and would love to know if others do too! Again, I did not write this post to push my beliefs on you, or to offend anyone. These are simply my thoughts on an amazing book. If you are a Sparks fan, this is for sure a must read! I purchased it off the Barnes & Noble website marketplace for $0.99! Buy a copy of this book here

1 comment:

  1. Ok, I have to read this book. I'm a sucker for all things Nicholas Sparks and this sounds pretty fantastic.


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