Prolific inspirational author Brumbaugh (Diary of a Wimpy Elf, 2015, etc.) collects a number of her newspaper columns about amusing events in her life and the Gospel-oriented meanings she draws from them.
Each of these short pieces usually begins with an observation of a household incident, and each ends with a pertinent chapter-and-verse quote from Scripture. For Brumbaugh, a housewife from rural Texas, spiritual epiphanies come from the quotidian, such as pulling a seemingly never-ending array of weeds in a fruitless effort to get the perfect magazine-cover garden, or arguing with her husband (aka “Superman”) about who misplaced the TV’s remote control. She describes a brush with “show business” as a supporting singer-actress in the evangelical stage-musical pageant The Promise in Glen Rose, Texas, and about having to contend with the dung from live lambs that ambled in front of the production’s giant, moving sets; she also tells of forgetting to pass a portable microphone to the actor playing Judas Iscariot. The good news, she writes, is that the real Good News didn’t involve such intricate memorization and borderline-absurd stagecraft. She also ruminates on recent archaeological research indicating that Cleopatra and Marc Antony were nowhere near as good-looking as Hollywood likes to pretend. The author’s syndicated column, “Coffee Talk,” has a style like Erma Bombeck’s but with an explicitly religious orientation, and this compact collection of upbeat prose pieces could pass for sermons in a hip, folksy church. There’s no talk about being a “domestic goddess” here, but the author does point out to its red-state target demographic that God is in the details. Along the way, she never hesitates to paint herself as a humble example of a “vain” sinner, drawing biblical morals from such events as cleaning the kitchen floor. Overall, only the hardest-hearted are likely to be offended in any way by these pieces.
Folksy, optimistic discussions on home and spiritual life for those who miss their daily doses of Paul Harvey on the radio.