Book Reviews

Now this feels like Home by Gail Masondo – book review

Updated Friday, 27 January 2017

Now, This feels like Home is a treasure of a book – offering an honest account of Gail’s life experiences, a memoir with a difference. It takes on the familiar sensations of loss, fear, sadness and regret. We have all experienced these and while reading Gail’s autobiography, we share these feelings with her while on her journey to a place called Home. Home is the Gift of Welcome, the Gift of Serenity, the Gift of Affirmation, not just a place or a building or a country. Gail invites you to journal your experiences and what Home means to you. You might even find yourself going through a healing journey of your own. This is a must read – 25 Life -Gifts revealing the essence of home!

About Gail Masondo

Gail MasondoThe definition of “home” presents itself in a myriad of different ways. Yet, life has taught Gail Masondo that dreams do as well. Since adolescence, this native of New York has always had a desire to help others by becoming a missionary. Life would not follow this path as originally envisioned. Gail, with a background in Behavioural Sciences and Psychology, would gain international success in the entertainment arena – a seemingly far cry from her first love.  Still, in hindsight, Gail has never lost sight of her passion of service as she has served in the “mission field of life” as a wife, mother, visionary, songwriter, executive producer, entrepreneur, public speaker, chaplain, counselor and now… first-time author of, “Now this feels like Home: 25 life-gifts revealing the very essence of home”.

About the Book

This book, while it is filled with one woman’s take on what home means to her, I think it will grab the attention of anyone who reads it because her gentle-yet-thoughtful prose beckons all of us to define home for ourselves in ways we may have never considered before reading it.  At the end of this day, at the end of our lives, it’s not really about how much money you make, how many rooms are in your house or even totally who shares the space with you from chapter-to-chapter of your own unwritten autobiography. It’s more about knowing that everything serves its purpose and for every heart that’s willing, there is a memory that holds a lesson.

Yes. This is a book, but in the wise words of the late author, C S Lewis: “You don’t have a soul. You have a body. You are a soul.” If we could respectfully tweak that to fit what’s within these pages, “Where your body lives may be a house. When your heart resides. That is your home.”

Shellie R. Warren (“Shellie Belle” to the author) author of Inside Me, Lessons of Lust, Love, and Redemption, RelevantBooks.

 

Gail Masondo has been a person I’ve admired for years! Her capacity to love, her energy for life and the hope she carries for all humanity is simply outstanding! She has an undeniable gift from God Almighty, used to bring about positive change throughout the world. Now this feels like Home reminds us all, that we do belong and are extremely valuable and precious in God’s sight. It encourages us to find our rightful place of purpose by describing how good home feels and how it directs, guides and leads us throughout life to live our best lives for ourselves and for others. Peace that surpasses all understanding rules and reigns at home!” – CeCe Winans Multiple Grammy and Dove award winning Christian Music artist

An excerpt from the book

Now This feels like Home

Dorothy is lost!
She can feel it as soon as she wakes up, rubs the sleep from her eyes and looks around.
Her surroundings are not familiar, which causes her to become anxious, confused, fearful and longing for home in an instant and wondering just how in the world did she get here from there?
What else becomes clear from the onset is that she will not be able to find her way back home without some help! It’s home she’s looking for, where she knows she belongs and nothing else matters at the moment except that truth.
In the stage adaptation of the movie The Wizard of Oz, Stephanie Mills, black American actor and recording artist, who plays the role of Dorothy, steps onto the stage and into the spotlight marked especially for her.  There she opens her mouth, singing for all she’s worth the words of the song ‘Home,’ written for the Broadway production:

When I think of home, I think of a resting place,
A place of peace, quiet and serenity!
When I think of home, I think of a place
Where there’s love overflowing.
And oh, if you’re listening,
God please don’t make it hard to know if we should believe in the things we see
Tell us, should we try and stay…
Or will it be better just to let things be, let them be!
– Charlie Smalls

A mere song for a hit stage production or a prayer prayed for those of us who have lost our way along this path called life, looking for our very own yellow brick road that promises to deliver us to someone, somewhere who promises to get us back on the right path, back home!
Much like the character of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I have longed for home, and what it means to be in the company of a safe abode! It’s been the slow but sure waking up to this realization the last few years, which has allowed me the opportunity to see life differently than I had seen it before. For so many years, I saw my life through the lenses of a broken and wounded spirit!
There was a time, not so far from here, when the stench of lost joys, hopes and dreams lingered in the air of my existence.
Looking back over my shoulder now, I can see clearer and better, accepting that those moments of loss were allowed and used to gently, yet persistently, guide me, sometimes screaming and hollering along the way to a whole new and different definition of hearth and home.
These times have given me pause to think while I have had to re-evaluate the word ‘home’ again and again these last few years in South Africa, this land of my adoption.
And with each passing day of this time, I have been in the process of learning to embrace this one profound truth, that ‘home’ is more than a location!
The true meaning of home is much more than the address or the contents within; after all, Luther and Dionne got it right when they sang, at the end of the day, ‘a house is not a home, a chair is still only a chair!’ Home is indeed a safe place for the heart to abide.
Somewhere along the way, on my own yellow brick road experience from then to now, I began to lose touch with the simple, yet profound, truth that says, the truest essence of home is an accumulation of memories tied neatly together with the rich lessons of early childhood development. On the way back home, the journey has also included my very own personal ‘tin men, lions and scarecrows’ who showed up and stayed in the form of family members, rich and abiding friendships and  those relationships that come for a season, personal or professionally and leave their mark for the good!
I was given to and led back to those who really, without reservation, loved me, accepted me, cheered me on, celebrated me and corrected me, when correcting was the most appropriate measure needed to give, when ‘I got too big for my britches’ as my grand Aunt Ruth would say.

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you, the reader, this collection of memories, those abiding places where my heart found its peace and rest!
These places – for my heart to find its rest – have shown up, revealing themselves in neat little gift packages referred to and also remembered as seasons of my life, precious never-to-be-forgotten occasions filled to the brim and overflowing, used to intentionally communicate a time for change in the way I viewed hearth and home.
I would learn to agree that home is where you are properly looked after, nurtured and cared for, while passing on to you the tools of wisdom and grace much like a baton is passed along in a relay race, guiding you to do the same for those who will soon follow them!
These tools are more easily described as gifts.
These need-for-change messages would come, offer themselves to me in the comforting gift of compassion from my three-year-old son, in the gracious gift of forgiveness from my adult daughter, in the rich gifts of intimacy, patience, and respect from my husband, in the precious gift of enjoyment of this life. The opportunity to live and adore has been given to me.

Now, this feels like Home!

These gifts would present themselves in significant life-defining moments custom-made and designed just for me, as the pledge of loyalty taken between a sister-friend and myself on the busy streets of New York. The gift of acceptance given to me by my new Zulu uncle-in-law in the new land of my adoption.  The gift of a kiss planted on each of my cheeks as a gesture of welcome from an elderly statesman once a prisoner and now the former president of the Republic of South Africa. The gift of a surprise birthday celebration given to me at a time when celebrating seemed like the last thing I should be doing by a new mentor and friend divinely called in to assist me in the next stage of my journey. These are moments wrapped in my heart and soul, freely given to me by people, places and occasions that have carried me through, held me tight, and given me pause to reflect. They all represent the very essence of home to me!

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