"Life's circumstances have a way of shaping and molding individuals who cannot realize that inner forces within us guide and protect us no matter what comes our way."

Wood would be one of the first to admit that life is not always a bed of roses. Experiences such as having a friend take advantage of you sexually or spending eighteen months in the hospital as a child quickly wakes one up to that fact. But despite having survived such challenges and more the author has learned to work at being content in all circumstances, to seek out joy in life's various trials, and to maintain an attitude of thankfulness for the blessings she has received along the way.

The author grew up in a small town in Virginia, and while her family was far from rich, her parents owned their own farm and managed to always provide for their many children. Despite having missed so much school at a young age due to her hospital stay, Wood bounced back and eventually graduated from high school with honors. However, she faced some opposition in furthering her education both from her parents who wanted to keep her at home and also from her high school counselor who viewed her as "severely handicapped" due to her impaired mobility. Wood refused to let these pressures stop her, though, and went on to gain several degrees and have a long career in the federal government.

Although her book is labeled a memoir and does contain a good deal of autobiographical material, Wood spends a significant amount of time ruminating on life and the lessons we can learn from it. In some ways this is reminiscent of writers such as Elisabeth Elliot and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who were masters at this blending of personal history and inspirational meditations. Insightful and encouraging, Wood's reflections on her past and what it has taught her make for some good inspirational reading.

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