Hunting Hope – #LitfuseReads Dig Through the Darkness to Find the Light by Nika Maples

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In 2012, I was asked to represent my school by attending the “Straight to the Top” conference. Most of the meeting was familiar territory — slideshows, guest speakers, and data. One of the speakers really caught my attention that day. Nika Maples, Texas Teacher of the Year for 2007, stood out because she could stand. Her message spoke so loudly to my heart that I remember her to this day (and believe me, I’ve heard a lot of guest speakers!) She encouraged teachers at the meeting to find their joy again. Although we often get bogged down with the bureaucracy of paperwork,  testing, and other minutia, it’s the love of teaching children that drives us every day.  When I had the opportunity to review her book Hunting Hope, I was thrilled.  I couldn’t wait to hear what she had to say this time!

Hunting Hope - a MUST READ!

As I quickly learned when I saw her in person, Nika Maples is not the type of person to sit back and wait for life to come to her.  She didn’t let her tragic illness get her down. Literally, she fought her way back onto her feet.  In Hunting Hope, Maples takes the bull by the horns and demands her best self to show up.  She turns Bible stories into her own personal proverbs.  People who like to highlight in books, you’d be in heaven!  There are all kinds of little gems, such as “A man without hope cannot call a trial a blessing.”  It’s like your own personal write-me-on-a-rustic-board goldmine.  Want more of that joy and light?   You need to visit her website!

While I adore her perky writing style and delightful spirit, I find these pages almost too much to read all at once.  They’re better when savored like a piece of expensive chocolate – just a few bites at a time.  I try to be a cheerful person and usually succeed better in public than at home, so I decided to save my Hunting Hope moments for the evenings.  I read just a few pages at a time — like, 5 or 6 — and tried to focus on that thought.  If the message was about fleeing from spiritual darkness, I prayed about it that evening.  When the pages described her family’s trip to the circus, I decided to be tenacious in praying for my children.  Hunting hope became easier for me when I was able to look for it all around me, rather than pinpointing one sparkle in a diamond.  If you know someone who could use a little hope, take the time to read this book!

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  1. Dede, this review was so fun for me to read! Thank you for even sharing the WAY you read the book — a few pages at a time — that is fascinating to me … and so rewarding as a writer! What a terrific encouragement for me today. And I am glad you were encouraged by my visit to Straight to the Top! God bless you coming and going!

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