Categories: Book, Faith, Just for fun



I love hearing stories about how someone heard about a book. I think I first saw a picture of Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy reading some blog (I know, very specific). But when it really caught my eye was when I read about it in Ed Cyzewski’s newsletter. He mentioned that Christie’s first book was coming out the beginning of February and around that time her brother-in-law Shawn, a Marine pilot, was on board one of the helicopters that crashed off the coast in Hawaii. Leaving her sister a young widow and her nieces and nephews, fatherless.


The longed for launch of a book, suddenly no longer the focus. Ed asked in light of this reality if any bloggers would be willing to read a copy of her book and blog about it.

Guess what didn’t happen the week my book launched.

Nobody in my family died. None of my friends died. Instead, we got to celebrate without sorrow mixed in.

I do not know Christie, and if she (or Ed) had asked for someone to sign up and bring her food, I would have deleted that message in a hot minute. But read a book and share my opinion? Could God T it up any better for me? So, last week after telling Ed sure, Christie’s publisher contacted me and last weekend doing something useful with my time before I could watch football with my family, I read Roots and SkyIt turns out to be the perfect book for February.

Here I’ll share three reasons to entice you to read it:

1. Who in the midst of February’s cold, dark days doesn’t wonder about life? In this memoir, instead of tackling a large chunk of time, Christie shares about the first year she moved with her young family to a farm house in Pennsylvania. Seeing the four seasons pass in a weekend reminded me to be present in my life, in the ordinary, because that is where God works.

2. It introduced me to the Christian version of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” which I’m calling Six Degrees of Kimberlee Conway Ireton. 

For reals.

Imagine my shock when I read, “My friend Kimberlee once reminded me that Epiphany has traditionally been a day for saying a blessing over one’s house. . . And by the light of the candle, we read the words of the prayer Kimberlee gave me.” Look at how Kimberlee spells her name! It’s our Kimberlee! She’s friends with Christie too.

This book is titled Roots and Sky. This is the roots part. We are all far more connected than we might imagine.

3. The sky part is the beautiful language. 

“No matter the season, we privilege balance and moderation. But creation scoffs. If we would listen, she would tell us to save our moderation for long summer days or lingering winter nights. Spring, especially, is for the extravagant. This season is for those willing to go all in.”

I sometimes think that every good gift I’ve been given has its roots in emptiness. I cannot separate the blessing of these four children from the years of infertility and longing. I cannot distinguish this hilltop from the restless wandering that brought me here. Even summer is a gift we receive only on the far side of winter.”


Roots and Sky is a February kind of book. I’m glad I read it squeezed between the anniversary of Dad’s death and the Broncos victory. This February it needs to be added to your reading list. And by leaving a comment, you will be entered in a drawing to win a copy of this book. I was given my copy to read, but I want to buy a copy for one of you.

So we can all increase our connectedness with the world, who is a famous or “famous” person you have met? Impress us :) . . . or make us laugh! I’ll share mine in the comments . . .

Leave A Comment

  1. Avatar photo
    Amy February 12, 2016 at 5:37 am - Reply

    Years and years ago I had flown out to Michigan to visit my grandparents. We were sitting in the airport (I now can’t remember if this was in Lansing or Detroit, but it was small, so I’m thinking Lansing). I was going to fly to Chicago and then back to Denver and all of a sudden, Michael Jordan walked by! So now all of you are one degree closer to Michael Jordan :).

  2. Lynn February 12, 2016 at 7:16 am - Reply

    When I was in middle school, I was with my parents in Colorado for a trip to the mountains in the summer. We were Aspen for the day enjoying the quaint town and mountain views. They happened to have a parade that day, but I can’t remember what it was for – maybe July 4th but it doesn’t seem like it was that big a holiday. Anyway, in the parade was Jimmy Carter. This was after he had been president so it was pretty cool to see him and know who he was for this middle school kid. :)

    • Avatar photo
      Amy February 12, 2016 at 7:43 am - Reply

      What?!! Jimmy Carter in a parade in Aspen! That is pretty cool :)!!

  3. Lisa February 12, 2016 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Pick me! I am dying to read that book

    • Avatar photo
      Amy February 12, 2016 at 7:43 am - Reply

      You’re for sure entered! For our party game, what “famous” person have you met?

  4. Bridget February 12, 2016 at 7:28 am - Reply

    I have met actor Rainn Wilson. I have also met authors Lisa See and Mary Kubica.

    • Avatar photo
      Amy February 12, 2016 at 7:44 am - Reply

      did you get to talk to Rainn? How similar to Dwight is he? :)???

  5. Reese Board February 12, 2016 at 8:30 am - Reply

    So, mine is also an airport meeting, and also a famous athlete. I was waiting to fly out of Indy in winter, so people all around were bundled in long, mainly drab, warm clothing. And then, like a ray of sunshine, along bounds Richard Simmons, complete with huge hair, tank top, and super short patriotic shorts. He was totally ON, surrounded by an entourage, speeding down the hall on his toes, waving to everyone more than Miss America in a parade, and hollering hellos to everyone in the place. We made eye contact, and I knew in that moment, I would be forever changed.

    • Avatar photo
      Amy February 12, 2016 at 8:34 am - Reply

      You slayed me!!! I’m forever changed too :). Wow. What an encounter you had! I’m a tiny bit jealous :)

  6. Alice February 12, 2016 at 9:02 am - Reply

    When I was in the third grade Ronald Reagan made a campaign stop in our town. My parents took me out of school so we could go hear him speak. I managed to squirm myself through the crowd and settle right in front of the stage. I remember thinking while he was speaking that I was close enough to untie his shoes! I didn’t untie his shoes, but when his speech was over I hollered loud enough to get his attention and he reached down to shake my hand and I was able to hand him a note I had written to him wishing him well in his campaign.

  7. Martha Lester February 12, 2016 at 9:48 am - Reply

    I would super enjoy winning and reading this book. My encounter with a “famous” person happened to be when competing in a gymnastic event (I was a lowly intermediate level gymnast). There competing in the Elite Level, was a girl from a Louisiana Gymnastics Club who ended up going on to compete in the Olympics for the US Gymnastics Team back in the 1980s. I cannot even remember her name now, but that was my brush with the “famous”. Another encounter was finding out that I was tutoring a girl whose father was the top government official in the province we lived in in China. Met the mom in person but never the dad.

  8. Carol Wilson February 12, 2016 at 9:59 am - Reply

    I had the joy of serving in Pregnancy Resource Center ministries in Amarillo, Portland, and Vancouver, WA. Well-known speakers were often booked as keynote speakers. Alveda King (niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.) and Jennifer O’Neill (model and actress) were two of those speakers. Both shared about their personal experience with abortion. I got to pick them up at the airport. It was pretty neat to have that extra time with each of these special women.

    I’ve also met Kay Arthur. She’s famous with us “older” women. She’s the founder of Precept Ministries. I got to attend Precept Training in Chatanooga as a baby Christian.

    Another: Peter Marshall, historian & author. He spoke at a church where I was the Sr. Pastor’s Asst. Peter was the son of the U.S. Senate Chaplain, Peter Marshall and Catherine Marshall, who wrote Christy and the movie, A Man Called Peter.

    Okay, they’re not super famous, but they count, right?

  9. Bess February 12, 2016 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Your other recommendation by Kimberlee is becoming a real joy as I read it season by season. For this reason I would love to have this new book recommendation of yours to read. I am getting a list a mile long of recommended books. The next one I want to read is your book Amy. This September I am coming off the mission field after 27 years in a church planting ministry in Mexico City… so your book is so appropriate for this season I am traveling. I know it will be a GOOD read also. Blessings. Bess

  10. Jody Collins February 12, 2016 at 11:15 am - Reply

    I called our Ms. Kimberlee as soon as I read those lines. She was so surprised and pleased.

    Famous encounter: Kathie Lee Gifford came to Seattle two years ago to attend the production of her play, Saving Aimee, about Foursquare Church Founder Aimee Semple MacPherson. Two of my girlfriend s and I attended the second to last performance. It was like church. As we wandered through the Fairmont Hotel back to our car we were right behind Kathie Lee and her friend on our way up the escalator. I called out her name, she took my hand and when we stepped off the elevator we all chatted and ended up praying with her.
    That was a gift, for sure.

  11. Suzanne Oliver February 12, 2016 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    I was at the old Stapleton airport, probably headed back east to see my parents, and I almost stumbled on Vernon Grounds, one of my favorite people in the world. We shared a quick greeting. I truly loved that man. As I’ve said many times, being with him was like receiving a benediction. He personified grace and peace. Enjoy heaven, Vernon! Without meaning to be blasphemous, heaven is better because you’re there.

  12. Mike February 12, 2016 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Famous encounter: When I was in college (I won’t say how long ago that was!) I was with our college’s soccer team. We had just played a game and were on our way back (4-hour drive) when we decided to stop at a hotel for a bathroom stop before starting our drive. And there, standing at the check-out desk was Pete Rose (before his scandal; so now you know it WAS a long time ago!). Me and several of my soccer friends were about to go up to him and tell him that we enjoyed watching him play, when someone else we didn’t know beat us to it. Oh wow! Was I ever glad it wasn’t one of us! I don’t know if Pete was just having a bad day or what, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone as rude to another person as Pete was to his fan! So, yeah, you might call this my meeting of an infamous (rather than famous) person.

  13. Mike February 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    One more: While we were living in Cayman, I was directing the Girls Brigade (British version of Girl Scouts, sorta) band, and we got to play for Queen Elizabeth when she visited one part of the island on her round-the-island tour, back in the early ’80’s. That was pretty cool!

  14. Kimberlee Conway Ireton February 12, 2016 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Oh. My. Goodness. I just got compared to Kevin Bacon! I just replaced Kevin Bacon in the Kevin Bacon game! I am still laughing. I think I will laugh until I fall asleep tonight, and I will wake up laughing in the morning. Thank you for ending my week with a cherry on its top!

    Please don’t enter me in the book giveaway–I have a copy of Christie’s lovely book sitting on my counter, waiting for me to finish the three other books I’m halfway through…

  15. Michelle Haseltine February 13, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    I went to college with Chris O’Donnell. I met him once I the computer lab. Amy Poehler and I took a class together senior year. She was smart and kind and funny!!!

    • Avatar photo
      Amy February 16, 2016 at 5:58 am - Reply

      I’m a bit jealous! I’m glad to hear Amy Poehler was smart and kind too! I agree she’s funny!!

  16. Kris February 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    I would love to read this book! I haven’t met anyone famous… maybe someday :)

  17. T February 27, 2016 at 1:29 am - Reply

    I went to college in Sterling, KS. A group of us went to see Jars of Clay perform during their first big tour (the one with Flood and Like a Child). I think it was in McPherson. Anyway, some crazy people in our group (okay, everyone but me, I think and maybe one other) were so hungry that they didn’t stay to wait for autographs, but ran to McDonalds. At least they agreed to get me my food while I waited in line for them. The line went down, and my friends weren’t back. I begged the JOC guys to stay and wait a few more minutes for my friends to get back, and told them they could eat my french fries if they did. So, they agreed and we all had pics together with my french fries! Also, (you can tell I spent my summer earnings on concert tickets) one eve in Wichita, my friend and I ate pizza with Seven Day Jesus (anyone remember them???) and one of the guys said I looked like Sully from the X-files. Oh, also, my memory is really bad, but I had family dinner with the guy who (I think!!) made up the 10-40 window, in CO Springs. He was the mentor for my friend’s friend while she was doing a special course at Focus on the Family. Funny, but that chance evening really impacted my life!!!

  18. LeAnne P March 3, 2016 at 12:06 am - Reply

    I’m way late with this but imagine you’ll see it anyway. Back in 2001 or 2002 I worked for Alltel (wireless provider that has now been eaten up by Verizon) in Cleveland, OH. I was in a program where I did different jobs for a few weeks each to be well-rounded in the company. During my stint with business sales, I went with the business rep who handled Brad Paisley’s account to Brad’s concert. We watched the concert then met him backstage to talk business. He was dating Kimberly Williams (Father of the Bride movies) at the time, and she was there. They were both very kind.

    Many years ago, I was able to go back stage at a Women of Faith conference and met Patsy Clairmont.

Related Posts