Monday, April 9, 2012

We Lived in Heaven Blog Tour: Book Review

Title: We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Author: Sarah Hinze
Publisher: Spring Creek Book Company
Release Date: November 2006
Genre: Spiritual/Inspirational Nonfiction
Received from the author for review.
There have been many books published about the “near-death experience” where people die and then are revived after visiting another realm. This book covers another part of that spiritual spectrum, the “pre-birth experience.”

Author Sarah Hinze has compiled dozens of uplifting and remarkable accounts of parents and families who have had the opportunity to meet the souls of their sons and daughters before they were born. These souls share that we are all eternal spirits who lived in a realm of light and beauty before coming to earth.

The book also shares stories of the vivid memories of that realm as recounted by young children, and the dramatic stories of prayers answered by the guardian angels who watch over us. Sarah’s own story of her experiences with her children gives fascinating insight into the fact that earth life is not the beginning of our existence.

Sarah has spent more than two decades researching near-birth experiences, and she has become widely recognized as the foremost expert in this field.

We Lived in Heaven is a collection of 33 stories told by individuals who have had spiritual experiences with spirits who have yet to be born. The author, Sarah Hinze, compiled these stories, researched this phenomenon, and also shared her own personal experience.
It is my hope that this book will reassure you that you come from heaven. You are a child of God and here on this earth by divine appointment. No matter how difficult the task may be, a loving Father's comfort is only a prayer away. [p. 121]
I love the feeling in this book! I definitely got "chills" a number of times from the spiritual and sacred experiences that were shared. Theses stories were also enhanced by poems, sayings, and scriptures that the author sprinkled throughout the book. This one captures the overall feeling of this compilation:
Ode on Intimations of Immortality

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

-William Wordworth
I personally have not had a "near death" experience or been visited by pre-mortal beings. However, the emotions that the experiences presented in We Lived in Heaven evoked were extremely sweet and tender and made me ponder on my own beliefs about the spirit world.

I truly believe that we did live before this life so it is only natural to also believe that pre-mortal spirits could visit family members on earth. After being a mother myself, I know what it feels like to look into the eyes of a newborn and see a mature spirit. I do believe that my children and I were friends before we came to this earth and I hope that they were both excited to come here and be a part of our family.
The stories in We Lived in Heaven dealt with spirits that had yet to be born, most of which had visited their mothers sometime right before or during their pregnancy. Some of the stories I enjoyed the most included "The One Who Brought Me to Earth" (p. 27), "A Letter to My Son" (p. 50), "The Castle Where Jesus Lived" (p. 61), and "Kidnapped" (p. 78). Each of these experiences was both fascinating and touching. 
I also appreciated the Afterword written by Sarah's husband, Brent in which he discusses evidence supporting pre-mortal experiences. It was intriguing to learn that pre-mortal experiences are not a new phenomena. Since the beginning of earth life, civilizations all over the world have documented these type of events.
We Lived in Heaven is a special and sacred book full of beautifully told, heavenly stories experienced by regular people. I feel privileged that the authors in the book were willing to tell their stories so that others could share in these spiritual experiences.

About the Author

Sarah Hinze grew up in Tennessee. After a brief stint of teaching school, she, with her husband’s support, decided her greatest work would be as a full-time mother. This decision led to nine children, nine foster daughters, a Laotian refugee family of eight, and uncounted sojourners who have been nurtured, healed, and strengthened in her home over the years.

In 1992 Sarah was named Arizona Homemaker of the Year. Sarah is married to Brent Hinze, Ph.D., and, along with their nine children, enjoy a growing cluster of grandchildren. Together they offer lectures and seminars.

Sarah is a pioneer researcher, author, speaker, and advocate for children and families. She has appeared on many national radio and television programs, including a documentary. She has lectured at several colleges and universities, including the University of Connecticut, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University.

Currently, Sarah is working with the Village Connection as an Education Consultant. She develops workshops and other educational seminars for families. 

Sarah is also the author of The Castaways, Life Before Life and Coming from the Light.

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