Heaven Is Here: My Thoughts

I am a BIG fan of reading, and have been since I learned how around the age of five. When I was younger, anytime I had friends over to play my mom would have to force me to put my book down and play with them. It's something I have always loved, and I can get wrapped up in a book so easily that everything around me disappears. I don't have much free time to read anymore (what with working full time, taking care of a home, and now, blogging) but I try to fit it in wherever I can. So I thought whenever I read a truly great book, why not share it with you all?

I'm always looking for book suggestions, so maybe some of you will enjoy this as I would. By no means will this be a "regular" thing on my blog, at least at the present time, because unfortunately my reading is a bit sporadic these days. However, I did recently read a book that I absolutely loved, and that truly touched me: Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson.

The first time I heard of Stephanie Nielson was on Oprah. I've never been an avid Oprah watcher, so it was random that I happened to be watching that day. I remember being completely overwhelmed by her story and amazed at the strength and courage she had, and I would think of her from time to time.

Fast forward a couple years, and I slowly started to become a part of this amazing blogging community. Stephanie, or NieNie, is one of the blogging world icons. I saw mention of her new book several places, and decided to pick it up.

After just the first few chapters, I was hooked. She describes her life before the plane accident she was involved in so beautifully, and as a newlywed myself I can only imagine the complete happiness and contentment she had when her little family started growing. She had everything she had ever wanted: she was a stay-at-home mom to four little ones, she and her husband were madly in love, she had a new home that she was making their own, and she had recently found a wonderful pastime in blogging. Maybe I connected to it so much because that's really my dream for the next few years of my life, and I can only imagine how elated you would be when it started coming to fruition.

And then out of nowhere, her perfect world was shattered. In a way that you could never imagine happening to you, and to the most horrifying level.

The amount of strength that this woman possesses is truly amazing. When I think of myself in this position (because when you're reading this story she's so easy to identify with that you can't help but imagine it happening to you) I wonder if I could be so strong. I can't imagine that I could.

Her recovery after the plane crash that took the life of a friend and burned the majority of her body, as well as severely injured her husband, is something that is tough to read at times. From being in a coma for months, learning that she was severely disfigured, re-learning how to do the most basic tasks, and her children being afraid to look at her, it's emotionally draining to read. I cannot comprehend going through it myself, and I was brought to tears several times thinking of this poor woman and all that she had to endure.

But more than anything, what I got from this book was a message of hope, courage, strength, determination, and faith. For someone who lost so much, she has embraced life with such a beautiful attitude. I'm a faithful reader of her blog, and I know that she still struggles with things on a daily basis, such as people making remarks about her appearance or not being able to do something that she could have so easily before the accident. Again, heartbreaking and tough to read, but the perseverance and amazingly upbeat attitude that she has is truly encouraging. 

I came away from this book with a renewed sense of gratefulness for all that I have, and a determination to not let the little things get me down. It's so easy to dwell on the negative (for me especially), but to see someone who has overcome so much is truly encouraging. I 100% recommend this book to anyone. I think you will be truly inspired by her story.

Now, a question for you all: Does anyone have any book suggestions for me? I'm always looking for my next favorite book, and I will read just about anything and everything. I would love it if you would share your favorites with me!

1 comment

  1. You totally sold this book to me Celeste, I'm putting it on my must read list! I adore the Mitch Albom books, I loved Kite Runner, and I am a big fan of Michael Pollan (which some people call a dull read). I also loved the book Room, so interesting! Let me know if you check any of them out!


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