Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

THE SYCAMORE STANDOFF/A REVIEW
Friday, June 24, 2022 by Linda Wood Rondeau

FICTION FRIDAY

A REVIEW OF

THE SYCAMORE STANDOFF

BY 

STACEY WEEKS

 

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Grace and Love Publishing (April 29, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 198 pages

The Opposite of Fear is not Always Courage. It can also be Peace

In general, the Western world—and many in the church—do not know what to do when confronted with fearsome circumstances or unexpected suffering. We need only to observe the world as it navigates out of a global catastrophe that has torn through churches and communities to see that God’s people haven’t always suffered well amidst the fearsome unknown. Yet our responses have the power to either draw others to the Lord or drive them away. How we represent Christ while we face our fear matters.

This is part of the reason I love writing fiction. It’s therapeutic to craft characters who love the Lord and then put them into situations where God stretches and tests their faith. It helps me work through impossible choice scenarios, consider how to rebound after failure, and how to seek the Lord humbly. 

Meet Meg Gilmore

Meg Gilmore seeks more than an absence of anxiety, fear, or stress. If that’s all that inner peace required, her twisted insides would have smoothed out when she escaped her abusive ex and resettled in the small town of Sycamore Hill. But the peace she sought didn’t come through removing the source of tension. 

Meg wants the Lord to remove the root of her fear (like her ex trying to extort her). She wants God to save the ancient tree that’s become her safe space. But neither would guarantee her the kind of peace that remains when the storms rage. She needs a peace that is different from the world’s peace (John 14:27). A peace that doesn’t come through the removal of trials but from enduring the trials with a trust that what the enemy meant for destruction will be the very vehicle God uses to strengthen her soul.

Meet Eli Martin

Eli’s need to control his environment feeds feelings of anxiousness and challenges his theology. Which is true? His chaotic feelings or God’s promise of peace? 

His flesh whispers that failure is guaranteed, but the Spirit says he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him (Phil 4:13). His flesh pushes people (and God) away, but wisdom says humbly seek the Lord, and God will meet every need (Phil 4:19). His flesh screams there is not enough time, but the Spirit reminds him that there has always been enough time when he keeps the Lord first (Matt 6:33). Yesterday, fear overwhelmed him. Today, he starts again with the Lord and trusts Him for another day. God’s mercies are new every morning. He is faithful (Lam 3:22-23). Eli knows this. Now, he has to live like he believes this. 

ABOUT THE SYCAMORE STANDOFF

Meg and Eli fight for biblical thinking one day (one hour!) at a time, and they learn to live and focus on each day as it comes, not worrying about tomorrow (Matt 6:34). Peace follows this battle for their minds. It is exhausting but freeing. It feels dangerous yet is safe. It provides no answers, but it causes them to depend on the One who holds the answers, and that is why it brings peace within circumstances that haven’t changed. Meg’s fearsome past still exists. Eli can’t control the present. Yet peace anchors them—to God and each other. 

Perfect Peace in the Face of Fear

Managing our circumstances will never bring lasting peace—the darkness and pervasiveness of sin roots far too deep than that. Instead, peace comes with an understanding that God uses suffering to accomplish far more extraordinary things than He would by removing suffering.

Like Eli and Meg, I’ve found God in the blessings and provisions of life, but the spectacular sights and rewards that come from the harder work of seeking God in difficulty are even more precious. God has strengthened me to endure and revealed that nothing I fear can limit His hand. 

ABOUT STACEY WEEKS

Stacey is a ministry wife, mother of three teenagers, and a sipper of hot tea with honey. She loves to open the Word of God and share the hope of Christ with women. She is a multi-award-winning author, the primary home educator of her children, and a frequent conference speaker. Stacey has a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Ministry from Heritage College and Seminary, and she is working toward a Graduate Certificate in Biblical Counselling. 

Links:

www.staceyweeks.com

Newsletter sign-up and free short story

F: www.facebook.com/writerSWeeks

T: @writerSWeeks 

I: @writerSWeeks 

Universal Purchase link:

MORE ABOUT THE SYCAMORE STANDOFF

She wants independence. He wants her affections. They’ll have to face her past for any chance of a future.

Escaping an abusive boyfriend, Meg Gilmore finds refuge in Sycamore Hill. She’s particularly drawn to a 250-year-old tree she names Alfred. Like her, Alfred is a survivor, and the shade beneath its protective branches is her go-to place for solace. When a construction firm slates the majestic tree for destruction, Meg resolves to save Alfred. But Meg underestimates an adversary who refuses to yield to her requests to work around the tree.

Eli Martin’s family money is as old as the tree Meg is desperate to save. Attracted to Meg from day one, he sees Meg’s campaign to save Alfred as his chance to seal her affections. The best way to fight big business is to attack them in the pocketbook, and he devises a plan that Meg’s adversary won’t be able to afford to fight.

When Meg’s ex arrives, Eli once again rises to her aid. However, Meg insists he can’t simply throw money at problems to make them go away.

Together they face what truly terrifies Meg, finding freedom and love in the most unlikely places.

MY REVIEW ****

This novella held my interest from start to finish, wondering if Meg would endure the standoff: not only her quest to save her beloved shade tree but to stave off the harassment of her ex-boyfriend who shows up demanding money from her. Meg is fearful of her past becoming too well known in her adopted Canadian town and has kept a life of solitude except for her church friends and Eli. She considers whether she should allow Eli into her life as more than a friend … he seems to want that too. 

To save the tree slated for destruction by a construction company, Meg must find the courage to go public, though doing so would risk her past becoming headline news. 

As many new Christians do, Meg has difficulties forgiving her own past that God has freely erased from his memory. The author does a good job of showing how a Christian can let their past hamper the present life God wants us to live in him. 

I recommend this book.  

Share This Blog:


Previous Posts

HOW TO WRITE YOUR BOOK FAST
Linda Wood Rondeau
11/18/2022

ESCAPE FROM AMSTERDAM/A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/25/2022

THE NAZARENE'S PRICE/A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/21/2022

SAY GRACE: A SCRIPTURAL FIELD GUIDE FOR WEIGHT LOSS/A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/18/2022

RAISING KIDS FOR TOMORROW'S WORLD
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/11/2022

PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE PROZAC/A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
9/20/2022

HIS GIFT/A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
9/9/2022

Christmas Tree Wars
Linda Wood Rondeau
9/2/2022

HANG ON EVERY WORD/A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
8/15/2022

YOU WON'T KNOW HOW OR WHEN/ A BOOK REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
8/5/2022

PROTECTED: A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
7/16/2022

A REVIEW OF BENT TREE BRIDE
Linda Wood Rondeau
7/11/2022

THE SYCAMORE STANDOFF/A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
6/24/2022

CAST OUT/A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
6/10/2022

A REVIEW OF THOUGH THE MOUNTAINS BE SHAKEN
Linda Wood Rondeau
6/3/2022

CLEANSED BY FIRE/A FATHER FRANK MYSTERY
Linda Wood Rondeau
5/27/2022

DONKEY DEVOS: A BOOK REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
5/24/2022

THE DARK GUEST: A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
5/20/2022

AUNT IMA AMAZING
MICHELE MCCARTHY
5/10/2022

Journal the Word for Girls: My Review
Linda Wood Rondeau
5/10/2022

FLYING INTO LOVE: A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
5/6/2022

Collapse: Death of Friendship
Angela Shelton
4/29/2022

PRODIGAL LIVES
Linda Wood Rondeau
4/15/2022

Madness in Wonderland
Linda Wood Rondeau
4/12/2022

ELIZA'S HOPE
Linda Wood Rondeau
4/8/2022

DEFENDING DAVID/ A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
4/5/2022

NOTHING IS EASY/A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
4/1/2022

Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer
Linda Wood Rondeau
3/22/2022

Sweet Rivalry
Linda Wood Rondeau
3/18/2022

Sweet Cranberries
Linda Wood Rondeau
3/11/2022

REFLECTIONS ON THE NAME OF GOD: A REVIEW
Linda Wood Rondeau
3/8/2022

PROTECTING HER WITNESS
A Review by Linda Wood Rondeau
2/18/2022

Love Under Construction
A Review by Linda Wood Rondeau
2/11/2022

52 WEEKLY DEVOTIONS FOR FAMILY PRAYER
A Review by Linda Wood Rondeau
2/8/2022

A Heart for the Sailor
Linda Wood Rondeau
1/28/2022

ALL THAT IS HIDDEN
Linda Wood Rondeau
1/21/2022

A NEW FICTION FRIDAY FORMAT/REVIEW OF DANGEROUS PURSUITS
Linda Wood Rondeau
1/7/2022

WHY WRITE SUSPENSE?
CAROLE BROWN
11/10/2021

WHERE DO WRITERS GET THOSE MARVELOUS IDEAS?
Linda Wood Rondeau
9/21/2021

WONDERS OF THE GALAXY: A COLLECTION OF COSMIC TALES
Linda Wood Rondeau
9/9/2021

THE ADVENTURE BIBLE FOR KIDS
Linda Wood Rondeau
9/7/2021

101 QUIPS AND QUOTES
ADA ADELEKE-KELANI
8/24/2021

MAD LIB FUN: A FORMAT FOR BOOK REVIEWS
HEIDI GRAY MCGILL
8/17/2021

A STUDY OF GREY’S ANATOMY
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
7/6/2021

THE BUTTERFLY BLUEPRINT
STEPHANIE MILLER
4/27/2021

THE RELUCTANT BILLIONAIRE
CAROL UNDERHILL
4/13/2021

NIV BEAUTIFUL WORD COLORING BIBLE FOR GIRLS GIFT SET
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
2/7/2021

A REVIEW OF NIV FULLY REVISED BIBLE STUDY
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
10/5/2020

NRSV Simple Faith Bible
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
8/31/2020

BIBLE GATEWAY'S NEW WEBSITE LOOK
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
8/3/2020

Bible Gateway's Bible Audio App
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
5/21/2020

ARTISAN COLLECTION BIBLE FOR GIRLS
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
3/25/2020

MY REVIEW OF THE JESUS BIBLE ARTIST EDITION
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
2/10/2020

THE PUTTING GREEN WHISPERER
ZOE MCCARTHY
9/14/2018