Ordinarily Extraordinary » Discovering our purpose through faith and the personality and giftings God created us with.

Masthead header

Possible Spoiler Alert

Is it possible to love and hate a book all at the same time?

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon is a beautifully written historical fiction novel about Princess Anastasia Romanov and Anna Andrews who claimed to be Princess Anastasia after the Romanov family was brutally executed in Russia.

Historical fiction is my favorite genre and I have always enjoyed learning about Russian history. Lawhon does go back and forth quite a bit in time instead of writing in a straight time line, but that did not bother me and really did seem to work in this novel.

I thought Lawhon did an excellent job of making you hopeful for one ending while giving you very small clues close to the end that maybe it wouldn’t turn out like you hope. But even when I read the ending I still found myself disappointed which is why I say I loved it and hated it all at the same time. I was still somehow hoping for the fairy tale ending even though I know the history and know that the way she ended it is the only way the story could have ended.

If you love historical fiction, especially ones about history of royalty, and don’t mind non-linear time lines, I think you will enjoy I Was Anastasia.


The first season of this podcast investigates the missing persons case of the young Georgia beauty queen and teacher Tara Grinstead who vanished in the fall of 2005. It hooks you in the first episode. You may catch yourself binge listening this podcast.
I’m late to the party on this one. I started listening to Kendra Adachi (aka The Lazy Genius) & reading her blog last fall. I want to be her friend or personal assistant. Either is fine. Except she doesn’t live in Alabama. Maybe a virtual assistant? Her post on doing a bullet journal sold me on trying a bullet journal this year. And her Instagram stories are great. I love how real she is.
Okay I’m a nerd. I love learning more about history but let’s face it. Most history books are snooze fests. I love a good history documentary though. And American History Tellers is like that. It dives deep into specific eras like the Cold War and you learn so much that you would never read or learn about in high school history.
Chatologie is a faith based podcast where Angie chats with various guests. I love the name but don’t think it’s shallow chatting with these guests. The conversations make you think.
This is a new podcast from two of my favorite podcasters Knox and Jamie from the Popcast. Think bible stories you heard growing up in church meets pop culture.
And of course the two podcasts that started it all for me, The Popcast & What Should I Read Next, are still the two I listen to religiously each week.

She’s there almost every time I go to Walmart. An older lady, just sitting greeting each and every person.
Walmart isn’t my favorite place, but this one is convenient to the gym and the business I work for. I try to go early in the morning before it gets busy. She’s there every time I go on a weekday morning sitting on the bench near the shopping carts. Every time she greets you with a “Good morning. God bless you,” or “Have a great day. God bless you,” as you leave. And every time I think to myself that she must have the spiritual gift of encouragement.
I always speak politely to her and say good morning or thank you, but that’s all. I’m so task oriented my brain is focused on the task at hand. Get what I need to get and leave. I’ve wondered for over a year what her story is. Why does she sit there so many mornings greeting people? Where does she live? Is she not able to work?
The last time I went I wished I had stopped long enough to ask her. Something told me I should ask.
As I stopped by Walmart just after 7am on this cold January morning to pick up a few groceries, I knew I was supposed to ask her if she was there.
She was there. Sitting on the bench in the drafty entry way next to the shopping carts. Just like always.
“You’re here all the time,” I say to her.
“Yes I am. It’s part of my ministry. From 6-10 every morning Monday through Friday. I pray for each person that walks through these doors.”
I told her each time I’ve seen her I thought she had the gift of encouragement. You could tell she didn’t want to talk about herself. She just wanted to keep greeting each person and praying for them.
Her name is Elizabeth. And she prays.
I wonder how many people she’s greeted and prayed for over the many weeks and months she’s been sitting there and they’ve walked through the doors of Walmart. I’m thankful I have been one of them.

  • Kim Floyd - January 17, 2018 - 6:40 pm

    Wow ! Thank you for this ! God bless this sweet angel.ReplyCancel

Anne Bogel’s Modern Mrs. Darcy has long been one of my favorite blogs. One of only a handful I read on a regular basis these days. Her What Should I Read Next podcast literally brought me back my love for reading after I thought I would never find decent books to read again. So when she briefly mentioned that she had written a book I immediately went to Amazon to see if I could preorder it which I did. Then when she asked for submissions to be on the launch team I jumped at the chance. Yes, I did receive an advance copy of Reading People as a part of the launch team, but this review is my own honest opinion.

I first became interested in personality frameworks in college when a friend introduced me to the book Please Understand Me that talks about the Myers Brigg Type Indicator personality framework. (I’m an introvert, highly sensitive person, INFJ, & Enneagram Type 1.)

Over the past few years though I’ve loved learning more about the various types of personality frameworks out there and that’s why I think Reading People is such a great book for everyone whether you are just beginning to study about personality types or if you’ve been dabbling in various ones for years like me.

Anne does an excellent job summarizing several different personality frameworks in a way that is easy to understand. It can be overwhelming to pick up books on the most popular personality frameworks, but she pares them down to their basics without losing any of the important things you should know about them. She also shares interesting historical facts about some of the frameworks like how the Enneagram has been around since the fourth century. She also shares resources where you can learn more about each one if you want to dig deeper.

Here are the frameworks she discusses along with a great chapter on introverts vs. extroverts:
The Five Love Languages
StrengthsFinder 2.0
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Kiersey’s Temperments
The Enneagram

Anne understands that when we can view not only ourselves, but our family members, friends, co-workers, and really anyone we encounter that it can make a world of difference in not only how we interact with them, but in also in how we understand tham and so many other ways as well.

“I’ve come to think understanding personality is like holding a good map. That map can’t take you anywhere. It doesn’t change your location; you’re still right where you were before. But the map’s purpose isn’t to move you; it’s to show you the lay of the land. It’s the tool that makes it possible for you to get where you want to go.”—Anne Bogel

There’s still time to preorder and get the great preorder gift of a free audio version of the book plus more. Preorder from your favorite retailer then go to readingpeoplebook.com and fill out the form. Reading People releases September 19th so preorder now!

Me with my Grandaddy Cribbs around a year old. 

Some days, even at 43, I feel old. I think I’ve always had an old soul. My hair seems to think so anyway. (Grey began at 22 so I just embraced it.) He was 68 when I was born. So when I think of old I think of my grandaddy Cribbs.

William Isom Cribbs. My great grandfather. When I think of old I think of him and my uncle Pink. (Yes, his name was Pink. Pink Edward otherwise known as Pinky. But his story is one for another day.) Granny always called him Isom. I can still hear her sweet gentle voice say his name.

I don’t feel old because of my grey hair. I sometimes feel old because I’m highly sensitive and when I get frustrated with situations that irritate me and I think of grandaddy. I can be a curmudgeon in these situations.

I think grandaddy Cribbs was highly sensitive. And maybe introverted. He and granny had 9 kids. Maybe this is why he walked 2 or 3 times a day, usually for an hour each time. But I have no idea if he walked that often as his kids were growing up.

We only got to see them once or twice a year. They lived in Florida. It was a ten hour drive. And they never had air conditioning. He loved to fish. When we would visit all the family would come over for a fish fry. I remember his younger brother helping make the hush puppies and fry the fish.

He would take us to Lithia Springs not far from where he lived. It was a natural spring park with a swimming area. About all I can remember about Lithia Springs was it was always cold even in the middle of July.

I remember his flowers and orange tree.

He took a nap every afternoon. He did wake up very early so it could be he needed that recharge or he needed the quiet time. He was retired by the time I was born so I’m sure he didn’t take a daily nap when he was younger and raising his family.

But as I said when I think of old I think of grandaddy. He died at the age of 91 when I was 23. And when I have moments where my highly sensitive nature makes me want to jump out of my skin I realize how much like him I am.

I’ve been told he came down with shingles when my mother was a little girl sometime in the late fifties or early sixties. The virus seemed to cause nerve damage. He never wanted the television on except to watch the news and baseball. He didn’t like a lot of noise.

Maybe his sensitivty came from the nerve damage. Or maybe his nature from birth was introverted and sensitive to begin with.  Whatever the reason I am definitely his grandchild. At least twice a week something will be “getting on my nerves” and I instantly think of him.

This is not a bad thing at all.

I think everyone could learn a few things from him, especially me:
  • Go for a walk outside every day. Twice if you can. I need to do this. It really does do wonders for your mind and emotions.
  • Take a power nap every day. Think we can get every employer on board with this one?
  • Leave the television off. (Preaching to myself here. Mine is almost always off during the day but I veg out every night to the tv.)
  • Get your hands dirty doing something outside. Whether it be gardening or fishing doing something outside is good for the soul.

I’m just not sure I can ever get on board with going for a cold swim though.

  • Michele - May 15, 2017 - 9:14 pm

    Lovely post. I too am an introvert and a highly sensitive person. You are not alone.ReplyCancel

    • Amy
      Amy - May 17, 2017 - 7:19 am

      Thanks! Yes, it’s always good to know we are not the only ones. 🙂ReplyCancel