Thursday, July 12, 2018

Books: Ainsley Earhardt's "The Light Within Me"

The Light Within Me
By Ainsley Earhardt
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, $27.99

Ainsley Earhardt, a leading Fox News anchor and #1 New York Times bestselling author, offers a powerful, uplifting look at her life and her spiritual journey, with reflections on her family, her faith, and her successful career in her memoir, The Light Within Me.

Earhardt reminisces about growing up with a father who loved his children unconditionally—a cherished model of parenthood she has adopted with her own daughter—how her Christian faith has shaped her life, and the dynamic journalism career that has made her a trusted household name.

Ainsley credits her success to the values she learned from her parents, and to the enduring Christian faith that has been her ballast through thick and thin, in good times and in periods of great difficulty.

"My mom worked to provide a better life for her family," Ainsley writes. "When I go back to Proverbs 31, that is the very definition of the 'wife of noble character' the writer praises. He describes her as one who 'works with eager hands' (verse 13) and 'gets up early  while it is still night,' to provide food for her entire household (verse 15). The wife of noble character is a businesswoman who buys a field and plants a vineyard (verse 16) and engages in profitable trade (verse 18). Vocations change over time. Proverbs 31 was written nearly three thousand years ago. I don't know about vineyards or engaging in profitable trade, but I know that when I get up and go to work every day, I do it to put food on my family's table. My parents taught me to save, and now I save as much as I can to secure a future for my daughter. The guilt I felt when I thought about going back to work, and the guilt I deal with on a regular basis just because I am a working mom, is nothing but a lie I choose not to believe. God gave me my family and He gave me my career. I want to be the woman worthy of praise who excels in both."

Filled with inspirational quotes taken from Scripture and illustrated with sixteen pages of never-before-seen photos, her memoir is infused with her spiritual beliefs and will touch the hearts of all her fans, reminding them to count the blessings God has given them every day of their lives.

This is a complementary work to Ainsley's bestselling children’s book, Take Heart, My Child, in which she drew on her childhood and the inspirational notes her father wrote her before school each morning.

Ainsley looks at the evolution of her career and the factors that have propelled her to the top of her field, becoming a co-host of Fox & Friends in early 2016 and contributor to Hannity. From her insightful political coverage, to her powerful reporting covering some of the most headline-making national events, to her live coverage of major events, she has seen it all.

"On that first day as the permanent anchor on Fox & Friends, I felt more at home than ever," Ainsley writes. "Why?  I felt like God put me in the position for a reason. I had confidence and assurance in that. I knew He was protecting me and watching over my daily experiences. Therefore, I had permission to be myself - trusting Him all the while. The Ainsley that found her inner voice on Outnumbered (when I talked about the flag) was the Ainsley I wanted to be on Fox & Friends. And, I allowed that Ainsley to come out again and not worry about the consequences. Since that February morning in 2016, I have been the real, genuine Ainsley and - like it or not - I never looked back. Living under the watch of my God is actually the most freeing, liberating move I have ever made. I can be myself and trust in Him to direct my path.

"I don't believe in coincidences. I think everything happens for a reason. It was not a surprise that I joined the Fox & Friends family when I did. God gave me this job right in the middle of one of the most significant elections in the history of the United States. Regardless of how you feel about the results, everyone agrees that from start to finish it was one of the most surprising races ever. Not only did I get to report on it, attend many of the debates, and cover the Democratic and Republican conventions as one of the anchors on Fox & Friends, I also had the privilege of interviewing many of the key players, including the future president and first lady, the Trump children, and the future vice president and his family.

"The first time I met Donald Trump I was walking down the hallway at Fox News near the hair and makeup rooms.

"'Ainsley,' he said to get my attention. 'Hi, you are doing such a great job.'

"I did a bit of a double take to make sure he was talking to me. 'Hi, Mr. Trump, thank you,' I replied. I was baffled he knew my name. At the time I reported overnights, and he was a billionaire New York real estate developer, star of The Apprentice, and a regular on Fox & Friends. There was already talk of the possibility of Mr. Trump running for president, but I never imagined he would actually do it.

"My first formal introduction to candidate Donald Trump came on August 16, 2016, at a town-hall meeting in Milwaukee hosted by Sean Hannity. I traveled to the city with a Fox & Friends producer and our crew (camera and audio guys) to give the Fox News viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the event and introduce them to the Trump supporters, many of whom had driven hours to hear him speak...

"After interviewing the crowd at the town hall, I made my way downstairs, where all the town-hall guests were waiting. Sean Hannity had just arrived and I hoped to get a quick interview with Donald Trump. I knew it was now or never. Once it was taped, the future president would be escorted off the stage and taken to his car immediately. I had already requested an interview and was waiting to hear if it was truly going to happen. His handlers came in before he arrived. Security was sweeping the place and his staff was feverishly making sure everything was in order. We didn't see Mr. Trump arrive, but we could tell from the buzz in the room that he was there.

"A few minutes later, one of Sean Hannity's staff members came over and directed me toward another room.

"'Ainsley, Mr. Trump would like to meet you,' he said.

"'All right, let's go,' I said.

"I followed the staffer down a hall and into one of the dressing rooms. Secret Service agents and security were everywhere. They let me right in when I walked up to the door. The dressing room was like something out of the movies. There were mirrors covering all the walls and those large, round lightbulbs attached to the wall. Sean and Mr. Trump were talking and laughing. As soon as they saw me, Mr. Trump stood up, gave me a hug and said, 'I am so happy to see you. I am so proud of you. Congratulations on the success of Fox & Friends. I understand your ratings are up thirty-three percent.'

"'Thank you, Mr. Trump,' I said. I was blown away and a little embarrassed. Here he was, running for president of the UNITED STATES, and he's asking questions about me. He wanted to talk about my career and my success. In the midst of a all his preparations for debates and speeches and rallies he had taken the time to check on the ratings of my show. Who does that!? I could see why he was so successful as a businessman. He genuinely cared about others. I remember meeting Bill Clinton at a party in New York and all the guests were saying the same thing about him: 'He is very engaging and will make you feel like you are the only person in the room.' I saw those same qualities in Mr. Trump and I knew instantly he had a good shot at winning the presidency even though the 'experts' said he was going to lose in a landslide."

Ainsley Earhardt wrote The Light Within Me in a very engaging, conversational way, while giving insight into her family, the influence of religion, and her rise into one of the leading news anchors on television.

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