Monday, July 1, 2013

Stealing the Preacher

Hello World,
We are starting to get back into the swing of things :)  The house is still a little bit in disarray, but what can one do when you have lived out of your suitcase for two weeks?  Yesterday one of our church pastor's spoke about being a diligent worker.  It was like a light bulb went on for me, even though I'm a stay at home mom I still have a job to do.  I should be giving my all, diligently and with effort.  I love being a mom, but sometimes I forget that these children are my job and God has put them in my life for a purpose.  What an awesome reminder that I need to be diligent and hardworking as a mother.  Has a light bulb popped up for you recently?

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer is about Crockett Archer.  Crockett is on his way to interview for the position of pastor when all of a sudden his train is being robbed and he is kidnapped!  Crockett never imagined God would have a hand in this incident or that good was meant to come out of it.  Always, God's path is the best even when it contains an ex train robber, a sweet red headed lady, and a community in need of their own pastor.

Oh those Archer boys!  It really is a delight to read about these delightful brothers and see how they're doing.  I will say that you can read this book as a stand alone though and not feel like you missed anything.  From the moment you start reading you are thrown into the tale and trust me dear readers you are in for a roller coaster of an adventure.  You'll have a train robbery, a sweet courtship, a stubborn man, and a story that will wrap itself around your heart in no time.  If you want a great read, I highly suggest Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer.

Proverbs 12:24
The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.

Here is the verse that got to me yesterday.  As you can see there really isn't any way of making that look pretty :)  If you're a diligent worker you will be highly regarded and if you are not, labor will be all the more harder.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Slow Moon Rising

Hello World,
Well we just finished up a whirlwind vacation in Wisconsin.  It's a bittersweet feeling I have, one where I miss all of my family and friends and the feel of comfort called home, but sweet because we truly have developed lasting friendships and life here in Amarillo.  So it's sad to say goodbye to the comforts that I would consider to be my childhood home, but it's nice to be home with friends and the simple joys of living a very blessed life.  I hope that makes sense, as I'm typing I'm trying to sort out everything that I'm feeling and hope that you understand that I love both just as much.  Truly God has blessed me greatly.  Has he blessed you with something unexpected lately?

Slow Moon Rising is the third and final installment of the cedar key novels by Eva Marie Everson.  Written over numerous years; five women's viewpoints are seen through the eyes of the reader as they come across unexpected secrets that have affected themselves and their families.  These leading ladies have to deal with the consequences of other's actions and in the end understand the grace of God.

Deep breath.  This is a hard book to read, please don't get me wrong Eva Marie Everson is a great writer.  She just deals with really tough topics that will make you contemplate and see that in the end sin really can have a ripple affect over the years.  Understand though, that God's grace and amazing forgiveness is throughout the book and just like Christ overcoming death so does this book overcome sin with forgiveness.  So dear readers if you are looking for a deep contemplative book to read, I suggest you read Slow Moon Rising by Eva Marie Everson.
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
"Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

Philippians 4:4
 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

I love the simplicity of this verse.  Always, rejoice... Through the good times and the hard, the laughter, and tears, the contentment, and through the strife, through times of poverty and richness.  Always Rejoice.  So dear readers, Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Touching Heaven

Hello World,
We are vacationing this week!  It has been such a blast seeing family and sweet friends.  Reuniting with them is always memorable and fun.  Are you doing anything fun this weekend?

Touching Heaven by Leanne Hadley are little stories that show the faith of children when it seems that they have nothing.  These children have been diagnosed with brain tumors, cancers, rare diseases, and yet they are resilient and filled with joy.  This book is about their lives and deaths, their love and joy filled ending.

Being a mother of three this was a book I read with a kleenex box.  Not only does this book tell some very hard stories, but it also tells about God and His amazing love for everyone.  Dear readers, I know this review is short, but I highly recommend this book to you.  It is something that I feel everyone should read.

*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

*Available June 2013 at your nearest book retail.

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

I don't think there is a single person in this world that hasn't experienced being tired.  I know for me when I'm tired the thought of rest seems like heaven to me.  And here we have Jesus telling us to come to Him, anyone who is weary or burdened, come to Him and He will give you rest.  What a beautiful thing.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Deadly Devotion

Hello World,
Today we celebrated our youngest child Liv Shelby's birthday.  It's fun to see the confusion on their faces when everyone is singing Happy Birthday to them, and then the complete joy on their faces when they realize that they get to eat cake and open up presents too.   It truly was a treat to see Liv's expressions on her special day.  Did you have any special occassion happen today?

Deadly Devotion by Sandra Orchard is a mystery set in Port Aster.  Daisy Leacock seems to have taken her life.  Kate Adams a close friend and co-worker of her's doesn't think that it was suicide.  She thinks that someone murdered her.  Can Kate unearth this closed case and put it back into the hands of dectective Tom Parker?  Can she find out who killed daisy or is she just imagining things?

This book had many twists and turns.  If you are not avidly reading it, you might be a little confused, but if you stick to the story line you'll find yourself immersed into an interesting mystery.  It had many characters playing in it, and it almost had a guess who feel.  A lot of suspects, but not a lot of evidence to pin it on just one.  Dear readers you'll enjoy this mystery romance, but I must warn you that it does kind of leave you hanging and wanting to read the next book in the series.  Hopefully Ms. Orchard will have it out soon :)
“Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Since I'm on vacation :)  I want to do a little something different.  If you comment what your favorite verse is, I will put your name in a raffle to win Deadly Devotion.  Go for it, and just so you know my favorite verse is Romans 4:20.  "No distrust made him waiver concerning the promises of God, his faith grew stronger as he gave glory to God".

Monday, June 10, 2013

Once Upon a Prince

Hello World,
Today is my Kylar Marie Parker's Birthday :-)  Five years old!  It just amazes me that she is that old and how fast time flies.  Do you have anything that just seems to fly by?  I would love to hear about it.

Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck is the story about Susanna Truitt.  A woman expecting a marriage proposal after twelve years of dating her high school sweetheart, instead she gets dumped.  With her ex saying "I found the right ring, but not the right girl".  Ouch.  Love has taken a dive in her life and it seems that nothing is going right until a certain prince (literally a prince) comes and rescues her by fixing a flat tire.  Will they have a fairy tale ending or has Susanna stopped believing in the happily ever after.

Oh boy did I love this book.  It was so incredibly romantic with just the perfect amount of tension to build your expectancy up.  It was the perfect read for the start of my summer.  I can't say enough about how well it was written and how the characters were fun to read about and to delve into their lives.   So dear readers if you are still a dreamer who loves a good modern fairy tale, I highly recommend Once Upon a Prince.

I'm not doing a verse today, but I'll be putting something that I wrote for Kylar.  Readers, if you're parents please pray for them, tell them they have great things in store for them.  That God has given them a gift to be used for His glory.  So without further ado, here is what I wrote for Kylar

I remember when I first got to hold you, your first smile, and massive blow out diaper. How you would sit on top of Puma while he slept or when we cheered Daddy while he coached soccer. Your first ballet lesson and how you laid on the floor to make a snow angel. How you told me last week, "Mom, that's just not my style". Happy Birthday Kylar Marie, We pray that you be a leader, a woman who is strong and intelligent, who knows her worth and will not settle for anything but the best. We love you baby girl and can not wait to see what God has in store for you, you are meant for great things!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

That Certain Summer

Hello World,
It's a brilliant cool summer day, my windows are open and right now at this moment the kids are watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  I have a few moments to write this review out.  I also wanted to give you another cute picture of my oldest Kylar.  She is an avid reader, she loves laying about and reading.  I hope you enjoy it :)

That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon is  a multi-faceted story of several characters who are in essence thrown together.  Circumstances bring two estranged sisters together, as well as a broken musician and a widowed father.  Karen and Val's ornery mother has suffered a stroke and Val must come home to help with the care taking.  While Scott is recovering from a tragic accident that stopped his career, and David is looking to start over after the loss of his wife.  As the story enfolds more truths are unveiled and the four come to understand what God has for them.

This story was something that you needed to read and ponder.  This book made me  experience emotions that only come from a well written book.  I was angry at the mom!  She was definitely not a nice woman, and she made life miserable for her two daughters.  She was controlling and manipulative and really not a very nice person.  When you have an author that create emotions in you whether they may be good or bad, I would say it's a good book.  Just know that this book touches on issues that may not be appropriate for a young reader.  So dear readers if you want a book that is a contemporary romance that brings emotions out of you, please read That Certain Summer.

*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion, and I honestly gave it.
“Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Jeremiah 29:11 
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

What a beautiful verse, can you imagine all that Jeremiah went through?  Yet God's word is true, he protected him even when circumstances seemed to be bleak.  Remember that dear readers when your circumstance looks bleak.  God knows the plans He has for you!  Plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Full Disclosure

Hello World,
Today is the 2nd day of summer.  I absolutely love the feel of sun, splashing water, Popsicle kisses, and warm hugs.  We kind of slow down in the summer, not only is soccer season done for my husband, but school, and extra curricular activities are done too :-)  Because it is summer, I thought it would be fun to share a little bit of what my family does and how we all relax.  One activity we do each morning is a reading time, the kids pick their books and then go off to read quietly.   Here is a picture of my sweet Liv Shelby during her reading time.
Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson is the story of Ann Silver and Paul Falcon.  Both Ann and Paul are in law enforcement, each serving this country faithfully.  Their lives will intersect when a car crash unexpectedly turns up a middle man that brokered numerous illegal activities.  As more clues are uncovered Ann and Paul come together to solve a mystery that has been open for decades.  Will they catch the Lady Shooter, or will she slip through their hands as always?

Dee Henderson has a unique way of telling a story.  I can't really describe it, but all I can say is every time I read her works I'm always taken by surprise.  For instance in this book you will be introduce to past characters in her book, but with a different angle.  I loved how she did it, and how easily it was to see where she was coming from.  I also enjoyed the mystery part of the book, it was like a great big ol' jigsaw puzzle that you put together to finally see the finished master piece.  The romance was constant, and grew.   It was a slow relationship that at first made me frustrated, but as the story went on I understood why.  So dear readers if you are a mystery lover I highly suggest you read Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson.

Lamentations 3:37
Can anything happen without the Lord's permission?

I really like this question.  It makes me think that my life isn't just a wayward ship in the sea, but guided by the Almighty Father's hand.  When I ask the Lord for guidance or when I step unto a new adventure I can be sure that the Lord is with me, opening one door or closing one.  I will be assured that He is guiding me because in life, nothing can happen without the Lord's permission, even when the times are tough it is by the Lord's permission.  This allows me to trust Him completely, to understand that even when the time is hard He has allowed this for a reason.  So I ask YOU dear readers, can anything happen without the Lord's permission?  I think not :-)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

When a Secret Kills

Hello World,
What a great day :-)  I really can't say how incredible today is.  So, in honor of Mother's Day and my fantab day I want to treat you to this book.  Here is the question for the When a Secret Kills give away.  Who is a woman that has been a great impact in your life?  If you leave your question in the comment section, or on my face book page, I will put your name in for the give away.  Best of luck dear readers!

When a Secret Kills by Lynette Eason is a mystery romance novel.  Jillian Carter has kept a ten year secret, a secret that could potentially harm someone she loves.  Tired of always having to look behind her shoulder she makes her way back to her hometown to finally tell the truth of what happened ten years ago.  What is different now is, she is no longer the scared high school graduate, but an investigative reporter wanting to expose the truth of a corrupt politician.  Will she be able to uncover the truth or will it be too late?

Ok, I have a secret to admit...  Every mystery I read, and I truly mean EVERY mystery, I skip to the end first to see who dunit!  I know, it's bad I have tried in the past to read straight through the whole story, but it's like being a child waiting for Christmas, you can't not look for the gifts.  Once I read the end of the book, I can then calmly go back and read the whole book.  Don't laugh, or be sad dear readers, it's a horrible habit that I have tried to break, but just can't.  That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns that Ms. Eason put into this book.  Really, it's an amazing mystery that will keep you reading.  One thing that should be noted is that this book is in a series and if you haven't read the first two, you might be slightly confused by certain references.  So dear readers, if you love a good mystery romance this is the book for you.
“Available May 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Psalms 43:5
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Hope is such a beautiful thing.  When a situation arrives in my life, my hope in God bringing me through the situation is sometimes the only thing that holds me up.  So dear readers, don't forget this, when you are cast down, when your soul is in turmoil within.  Hope in God!  Praise him, he is your God, and your salvation!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Couponing for the Rest of us

Hello World,
Well these past two days have been all about me :-)  I know it sounds awfully selfish, but by golly it's my husband's fault.  Yesterday he said, why don't you go shopping and treat yourself for Mother's Day.  I was like, I would love to!  So I took my little ol' self and got me some nifty clothes and shoes, really I kind of felt a little guilty because I felt I was spending too much.  Well, when I got back home I told my husband the amount and he was like, that's it.  I'll admit I started laughing and said, if you want me to I can go again tomorrow and spend a little more.  He being the amazing husband said "yes you deserve it".  What an incredible husband, and I feel very blessed to have him in my life.

Couponing for the Rest of Us by Kasey Knight Trenum is the how to guide of couponing, saving, and being thrifty.  This book gives you the in's and out's of the couponing world, but levels it with scripture to help you not go over board.  Kasey also hosts the blog Time 2 $ave/Time 2 Give.  If you're interested in more of learning about her please click here.


You know what I loved about this book?  The fact that it can fit in my purse and it's not bulky.  I know that sounds slightly crazy, but sometimes financial authors can have very big books with a lot of steps that just makes life a little too confusing.  Kasey does a great job at getting the essentials of couponing without all the added fat so to speak.  This book is easy to read and follow.  So dear readers if you are one of those wanna be couponers and you're not too sure where to start, but dream of one day being the ultimate thrifty couponing king/queen, I highly suggest this book to you :-)
“Available May 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Proverbs 31:28
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:


My sweet little ones are 4, 3, and 1.  What an incredibly blessing they are.  Even on days where the laundry is piled high, there's dirt on the floor from one of them playing outside and then walking into the house, or the dishes (I could have sworn that sink was empty) are over flowing on to the counter tops from just one meal :-)  This is my life and yet I still get  the I love you mommy, your the best mommy, or as my Kylar Marie says you're a beautiful queen mommy.  Now those are blessings, and my husband who see's it all still praises me and encourages me.  I pray for you sweet mother, who is reading this, that you look and here the small blessing that your children are rising up to say, or the praises that your husband might whisper to you.




Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Organic Outreach for Families

Hello World,
I don't know about you, but our weather here in little ol' Amarillo is crazy!  Yesterday it was 95 degrees today it dropped to about 50 degrees and tomorrow we're supposed to get snow :-/  Seriously, let's just call the whole thing off and make it a nice 80 degrees so the kids and I can go swimming.  What are you doing today?  Anything fun?

Organic Outreach for Families by Kevin G. and Sherry Harney is a book about being a light.  Not only you as an individual, but as a family.  It talks about how your home can be a warm place for people to come to and a safe haven for your children and their friends.  It's a book about spiritual growth as well as growing closer to one another through the grace of Jesus Christ.  To summon it up, it's none of the preservatives, or fake chemicals of commercial Christianity, just all natural home grown goodness that God intended it to be
 :-)

As our small little family is growing up, my kids are no longer in the shelter of our quaint home.  Kylar is off to preschool and ballet, Drew is in swim lessons, and who knows what our sweet Livie will do, but they're outside in the world.  Where the harshness of the world, can sometimes be overwhelming.  I loved this book because it talked about living your faith with your family.  It was a great reminder to me, that if we raise our children with the message of Jesus, sharing His grace, and His love, there is a big chance that I am giving them tools to be small beacons of light in public school and their friends.  It was a really great book and I hope anyone with a family will read this and take the important lessons from it to help your family create an organic outreach.

*This book was given to me via booksneeze in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Ezekiel 3:10
Then He added, "Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first.  Listen to them carefully for yourself."

  Here God is speaking to Ezekiel about the things that will be happening in the future to Israel.  These words truly took me in and held me.  What a visual to literally have the words of our Father sink deep into our heart first, and then listen carefully to them.  We have such an incredible, living Word (the Bible)  I pray that those words dear readers sink deep into your heart, and that you listen carefully to them.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Love at Any Cost

Hello World,
How are you doing?  What a week!  Dear readers if you or someone you know that has been affected by the bombings during the Boston Marathon please accept my heartfelt prayers for you or your loved ones.  This is truly tragic and makes my heart hurt for the people that went to this marathon thinking it be a time of exuberance and it ended with fear and violence.  If you need prayer in any way please feel free to write your prayers in my comment section and I will be praying for you this week.

Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman is by far my favorite book that this author has ever written.  It doesn't hurt that our main character Cassidy McClare is an oil heiress from Texas (my hometown).  Poor Cassidy had been jilted, one week away from her wedding.  To escape the cruel remarks, she travels to San Francisco to nurse her wounded heart and to hopefully escape the gossips.  Little did she expect the same type of man who broke her heart to literally knock her over when she steps off the train.  Can she keep grounded enough to not get hurt again or is Cassidy in a load of trouble.

Like I so stated in the above statement this book was fun to read.  Not only did I feel that Ms. Lessman did a great job weaving faith and God's love into it, but as always she writes surprises behind every page turn.  I think you'll appreciate how well she writes about the historical aspect of the book too.  The gilded age is by far one of my favorite time periods to read about and Ms. Lessman did not let me down.  So dear readers, if you're looking for a fun romance, with new twists and turns please read Love at Any Cost.

“Available April 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

So I wanted to do something a little different today.  With church being this morning for me, this song that was sung has truly been in my mind all day.  It's by the band Jesus Culture and it's such sweet words that I wanted to share them with you.  Please read them and then go ahead to the link and listen to the melody.   What an awesome to praise God through song.  I hope you enjoy it, it's called One Thing Remains.




Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing… Remains [repeat]

[Chorus:]
Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me [3x]

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains

[Bridge:]
In death, In life, I’m confident and
covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid, there’s nothing that can
separate my heart from Your great love...



For the link to listen to it please click here!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Dance

Hello World,
We have been enjoying some incredible weather these last two days.   Which is nice because my oldest had been sick all of last week with strep throat.  My poor baby girl is such a trooper, all she did was just lay in bed watching movies and sleeping.  I feel so blessed that I could stay at home with her and help her get better.  I may have spoiled her a little bit too :)  Do you do anything special for your child if they're sick?

The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley is the story of Marilyn.  Marilyn has the perfect life, so it seems.  She goes to church at a well respected church, she drives the right car and her husband and her have been married for 27 years.  The only thing is, that her husband doesn't love her.  Tired of feeling that nothing will change she makes a choice that won't just affect her, but everyone around her.

This book was something that I feared reading, not only is the plot extremely realistic for any married couple but I have seen this happen numerous times.  When I started reading this, my heart was routing for Marilyn and Jim; hoping that they could work out their problems in a way that honored God and drew them closer to each other.  Mr. Walsh and Mr. Smalley did not disappoint me.  The book was a good read and I sure am glad that I read it.  So dear readers if you are looking for an insightful romance that brings the power of the Lord to the front of your mind, I highly suggest you read The Dance.
“Available April 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

1 Corinthians 10:10
And do not grumble.

Each night or at least we try for each night, the kids and I sit on our couch and read a devotional from the book Jesus Calling (specifically for kids).  This night hit me.  And do not grumble, it all of a sudden ocurred to me how much grumbling/complaining can be a sin.  How often to I grumble, and how rare is it for me to find the good in something I could very well complain about.  Such a simple reminder, now I just have to remember it when I start to open my mouth and...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Scent of Lilacs

Hello World,
I am most certainly sliding in by the skin of my teeth with this book review.  Just yesterday we put new flooring in our master bedroom, and boy oh boy does it look great.  I am so thankful for our carpenter Jack Moore and his incredible guidance while Todd learned from him how to put in wood flooring.  Dear Amarillo friends if you are in need of a home renovation or really any carpentry needs please call Jack he's awesome. You can message me for his number :)  or find him on the world wide web.

Scent of Lilacs is the story about the Brooke family.  This tale is narrated by Jocie Brooke, a young lady full of wit and frank truth, she is a girl after my own heart.  Jocie feels that everything seems to be unfolding the summer of 1964.  Not only does her life have many unanswered questions including why her mother left, but the town is full of mystery and intrigue.  Can Jocie find out the truth and when she does will she regret learning about it?

Ms. Gabhart has a way with writing characters so real and situations that could happen that I find myself immersed in her books wondering the what if's.  She doesn't cover sin up, but the blatant truth of it is clear to any reader.  She uses her pen to show the world what sin can and will do.  She also writes with clarity of what Christ can and will do in ones life.  Dear readers if you want a book that will grab hold of you, and keep you thinking into the night I highly suggest you read Scent o Lilacs.  It is poignant, beautiful, at time laugh at loud, and definitely cry out loud too.
“Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.  

Genesis 50:20
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Oh to know that what is happening is in God's perfect will, to truly trust that whatever is happening, whoever is trying to harm you, or whatever situation has fallen on you is God's will.  That it doesn't matter what is happening now, because God means for whatever happens to be for your good.  Don't forget that dear readers, you truly are loved, you truly are cared about, and whatever you're going through will be meant for good.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shattered

Hello World,
I can smell spring :)  The windows are open and the kids are playing in the backyard as I look on them as I type.  I also can tell it's spring because I started working out.  I'm not a very motivated lady, but a friend of mine encouraged me to run a 5K.  I was like I can so do that, so now dear readers your Jesus book girl is preparing for a 5K and her goal is to run it around 22 minutes.  I used to be able to do 6 minute miles so I'm hoping I can run this baby with 7 minute miles.  Here is to hoping :)

Shattered by Dani Pettrey is the second book in the Alaskan Courage series.  The Mckenna family is once again in a bind when their brother Reef is incriminated with murder.  Not only is the evidence steeped against him, but so is the town's people he once grew up with.  The only thing Piper Mckenna can do is her own investigation.  Deputy Landon Grainger has been Pipers best friend for years and the last thing he wants is to arrest her brother for murder.  As the two join together to investigate the murder, they realize a deadly game is being played, that the two might not make it out alive.

This book is a hold on to your horse, this is going to be a fast ride.  If you love a good mystery, dear readers this is the book for you.  Not only does Ms. Pettrey dish out the suspense, but she adds just enough romance in it to keep me cheering for Piper and Landon.  Even though I haven't had the pleasure of reading the first book, I didn't feel that it put too much of a damper reading Shattered.  So dear readers if you haven't already read the first book of the series don't feel shy go ahead and jump into Shattered you won't regret it.

*This book was given to me via Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NRSV)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


This past week our church, Hillside Christian Church gave a sermon on complaining.  As Pastor Tommy explained, complaining basically perverts the blessings God has given us.   The definition of pervert is to Alter (something) from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended.  Man did that definition stay with me.  It made me realize that God has numerously given incredible things/blessings to me and here I am complaining and wishing for it to be different.  Lord Jesus forgive me for perverting your blessings time and again, May I continually rejoice, praying without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances, because that is your will.

On another note congrats to Carmen Benge who won the book Love in a Broken Vessel :)  Leave me your address so I can get it to you.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Love in a Broken Vessel

Hello World,
Today I got all of my Easter shopping done.  I'm pretty sure the kids will appreciate the fun books, candy, and toys we got for them.  Each year for Easter the kids get a basket at the table and an egg hunt in the afternoon.  I usually play in the morning so our dinner is late afternoon to early evening. So I can thoroughly prepare our meal and other fun things for my family.   Is there anything you do as an Easter tradition?  I would love to hear about it, and if you comment I'll put your name in a raffle to win this book :)

Love in a Broken Vessel by Mesu Andrews is about the book Hosea from the Bible.  If you're not familiar with the book of Hosea.  Hosea was a prophet in Israel, and he was asked by God to marry a prostitute to show God's love for his bride (Israel) and the bride's repeated adultery on God.  It is a book full of compassionate love in the face of blatant sin.

When I first heard that Ms. Andrews would be writing about Hosea and Gomer I kind of was like "Oh snap she just took a big leap".  If you're not familiar with Francine Rivers Redeeming Love it replicates the book of Hosea like Love in a Broken Vessel.  What Ms. Andrews did differently (which I will say is in her favor) she literally took the book and made it fictional instead of placing it in a different time and different characters.  I enjoyed reading about familiar prophets and kings of the time.  I really loved envisioning the culture of that time and connecting the pieces to a puzzle (i.e. the Bible)  that were slightly fuzzy to me.  This was a good read that stayed respectful to the actual events.  So dear readers if you like a good fictional book about Bible characters I highly suggest you read Love in a Broken Vessel.
“Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
This book was given to me via Revell a divions of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Psalms 105:4
Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!

Today has been full of tears, angry words, and broken dishware from my three little ones.  It is indeed a day that I need to seek the Lord and His strength.  My three sweet little bebs are a good reminder for me to Seek His face evermore, because truthfully where else am I going to get that kind of strength.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Longing

Happy Wednesday Everyone,
Well we are in the midst of spring break.  On the first day off Kylar asked me if  "Spring Break is over and if she can go back to school".  I don't think I'll hear that after a couple of years at school.  I told her that Spring Break is supposed to be fun and we do fun stuff.  So of course we had to go to the Discovery Center, and then to the indoor water park at a local university here.  So far I think we've had fun, but to my little girl she still asks every morning "Mommy, can I go to school today".  It has me chuckling every time she asks.  Do you have unexpected questions from your kids?

Longing by Karen Kingsbury is the third book in the Bailey Flanigan Series.  Bailey is an aspiring, talented actress making her way in the broadway/acting world.  She faces struggles living and acting in such a secular job, but her faith is strong.  During this time she faces a hard choice to go back to her first love who has basically ignored her for a year or to start anew with heartthrob Brandon Paul?  What is a girl to do?

Ok, believe it or not this is my first Karen Kingsbury book!  I have been told for years to read her as an author, but it never seemed smart to me to just jump in to a middle of a series.  So when I saw this book available for bloggers through Zondervan I figured better just jump in and see if you like her.  So I did, and I sure am glad I did.  First off I am so, for team Brandon,( I don't have the background knowledge of team Cody) for me I read about a man who was truly pursuing the woman he wants to be with.  Cody in this book seemed incredibly wishy washy, which for me means he shouldn't commit to any relationship.  

*Spoilers following!!!!

Now I can understand readers who have read about Cody and Bailey from the beginning, but like in life you don't always get your fairy tale with the first person you fell in love with.  I can really relate to Bailey on this topic and I am ever so grateful that my first love and I didn't work out, because I got a way better man in my husband.  So for me this book rocked, but I can understand why so many other readers were disappointed. So dear readers if you haven't invested  in team Cody or you felt the way I feel, I highly suggest Longing by Karen Kingsbury.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

So I started a program today through a Bible app to increase my ability to memorize scripture.  This is my first Bible verse to memorize and I think I didn't pretty tootin' good :)  As I dwell on this verse it amazes me how God created so much.  I struggle to make my garden grow it's not without toil and back breaking work, and here our awesome Father created the heavens and the earth in six days.  What a cool thing!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Moonlight Masquerade

Hello World,
I'm enjoying a Saturday morning blogging in bed :) I was also talking to my mom this morning too.  I love Saturday mornings, they are incredibly slow, lazy, and simply wonderful.  What are doing this morning?

Moonlight Masquerade by Ruth Axtell is the story about Lady Celine Wexham.  She is a French widow living as an English countess during 1813.  Rees Phillips has been given the assignment to figure out if Lady Celine is spying for Napoleon Bonaparte or just enjoying her life as a lady on English soil. 

This is a fun romance, full of adventure and mystery.  I just had a slight problem with the historical aspect of it.  Lady Celine is clearly a revolutionist.  Now I know that the French Revolution brought a lot of liberties to France and allowed many people opportunities that would have never happened under noble rule.  Did you also know that the Catholic Church was desecrated, priest's and nuns were killed, churches were burned to the ground during this time.  The churches of France suffered greatly, because the revolutionist's thought that the church restricted the liberties of the French people.  I had a hard time knowing this and then seeing our main character be someone who would except this.  Especially when she learns of Christ's love and salvation.  Revolutions are not pretty and every story has two sides to it.  Unfortunately because I know the background and historical aspect this book was just not as enjoyable as it could be.  A lot of you might not have a problem reading it, but I wanted to give you a heads up if you are a history buff.

For more information regarding the French Revolution and what happened to the Catholic Church I highly suggest you visit this website for an unbiased opinion on this topic. Please click this French Revolution to find out more

“Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

1Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,[a] that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

I don't know if you have noticed, but there are an awful lot of tv shows, and movies on the end of the world.  I wanted to give you hope for you Christians, to see that Jesus is coming back and that we will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord.  What a beautiful moment that will be.  Be encouraged by these words dear readers and don't forget He is coming!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are? By: Mark Driscoll

Hello World!
Yesterday was Kylar's first day of preschool.  I'm going to admit it was a little hard to let my sweet baby girl go and be a big kid.  It was fun to pick her up and listen to her talk about all her new friends and the activities she did.  Do you have any kids and if you do, do you have any first day of school stories?

Who Do You Think You Are by Mark Driscoll takes you through certain questions to help you define who you are as a Christian.  It's a book that will bring up questions to think about your past, present, and future.  It will take you through the scripture to see how to truly be like Christ.

I think this book would be a great starter book for new Christians.  Not only does it deal with struggling with past sins, but it helps you see what could possibly be holding you back from having a deeper relationship with Christ.  Now for you Christians who have been one for a while, don't think that this book wouldn't be for you either.  It really is a good reminder of who Christ is, and what we are to be too.  This isn't a fluffy book, it's chalk full of in depth research and content, but don't let it scare you :)  Just dive in and take it chapter by chapter, you dear readers will not regret it!

*This book was given to me via Booksneeze in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Romans 8:1-2 NKJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 

There is a difference between conviction and condemnation and as Mark Driscoll says they're stark.  Conviction is from God, condemnation is from Satan.  Conviction leads to life, condemnation leads to despair.   Conviction ends in joy, condemnation ends in sorrow.  So when you do something that the Holy Spirit convicts you of, don't allow Satan to condemn you.

Monday, February 25, 2013

When the Heart Heals

Hello World,
How are you doing today?  So my little town of Amarillo, Texas has called in the national guard today for inclement weather.  I personally think this is the first real blizzard I have experienced in Amarillo.  It truly is a blizzard.  I will say it's nice to be able to snuggle down and enjoy the warmth of our home.  Todd's even home to enjoy family time :)  Do you do anything special when you have a snow day?

When the Heart Heals by Ann Shorey is the story of Rosemary Saxon.  Rosemary helped serve in the Civil War as a nurse.  Unfortunately because of her unfeminine position people have ostracized her in the small town she lives in.  Being a single woman she doesn't have a choice, but to continue as a nurse with Dr. Elijah Steward.  Even before she starts her job, threatening notes start beginning to be left on her doorstep telling her to stop her witchcraft.  Will she be able to stay in town or will she be forced to leave because of the towns view of women in the medical field.

Ms. Shorey has an incredible way with words.  She builds a great story with them, that touches on a little bit of everything.  From conflict, to medical issues, and history of post Civil War you will feel immersed in a great read.  If you are a history romance buff I would highly recommend this book because it's an interesting point of view that I haven't really read much about.  She also does a great job with weaving God's awesome love into each part of the story.  You will not regret reading this book.
“Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Deuteronomy 20:7
For the Lord your God is going with you!  He will fight for you against your enemies, and He will give you victory!

Sometimes it's nice to have a reminder that God is on your side.  That he truly wants the best for you and that He will fight for you against your enemies.  Remember the battle is already one dear readers!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Picture Perfect

Hello World,
Well for the first time in the privacy of my own house :)  I worked out.  I loaded up a few Zumba dances from Youtube and got down and sweaty.  I had a blast and it was fun trying something new to make my workout go slightly faster.  Do you do anything to workout?  Do you enjoy working out?

Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson is the story of Irish lass Hannah McDermott.  Hannah has always struggled with coming in second.  Not only does she always seem to be putting her foot in her mouth, but she seems to ruin the best laid plans.  She swears that this will be the last time and her celebrity client will have the best pictures taken for her wedding.  The only problem is the archival photographer Drew Kincaid.  He seems to be at the right places at the right times and it doesn't hurt that he's good looking.  What is an Irish girl to do?

This fun lighthearted book was the perfect book for me to read.  It seeped with God's gracious wisdom and had the cutest romance :)  I loved that Janice Thompson wrote a romance where the man literally pursued the girl he liked.  I love a good book where the man knows what he wants and actively goes and gets it.  So dear readers if you're interested in a lively book that will make you laugh I suggest you read Picture Perfect.
“Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Oh snap, have you ever thought that after you just said something that you knew you shouldn't?  I have, many times, actually too many times to count.  This verse is my prayer to myself that nothing corrupt should proceed out of my mouth, that only things that can impart grace to others should be coming out.  This is a good reminder for me, and hopefully for you too.



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Iron Butterfly


 
Hello World,
How is everyone doing today?  We've been playing outside a lot and enjoying the beautiful Texan weather.  Some of the kids favorite things to do is color with chalk, bike, and play with bubbles.  I just recently bought colored bubbles at Target, that are a complete blast.  It was fun to see the kids catch them and have purple pop all over their hands :)  I was really surprised too that it was really easy to wash off.  What do you like to do outdoors?


Today I'll be reviewing the first book in The Iron Butterfly series by up and coming Chanda Hahn.  Let me preface that this is a young adult series that is for the secular world, but I was surprised when I read threads of faith throughout the two books.  Upon researching her more, I come to find out that the author is a Christian, and formerly a children's pastor for a church.  Extremely neat, and I love that this author is breaking into the secular world of young adult books.  

The Iron Butterfly introduces the character Thalia.  Thalia is a tormented young woman who was captured by a secret cult to be experimented on.  She and another prisoner finally break free of their prison and are thrown into the world with little knowledge of the hidden powers that were put into them.  This is Thalia's story of surviving a horrific time in her life and dealing with the consequences of the evil that she was forced to endure.

I'll admit I found this book in the top 100 free section of kindle.  It intrigued me enough to get it and I am so glad I did.  Not only are the characters well developed, but they have sustenance.  The plot was fast paced and incredibly well written.  I found myself totally immersed in the difficulties Thalia had to endure, and I loved how her character developed into a beautiful strong woman.  She didn't allow her past to crumple her, but instead she became strong.  This is a great book for young women and older women :) to read.  So dear readers if you're interested in a good young adult fantasy I highly recommend this book.


Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Don't give up hope dear readers.  Maybe right now you have lost all hope that the future holds something good.  Please remember God's promise in this, that He know the plans for you, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you!  Cling to this and don't ever stop trusting in the Lord's promise.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ring of Secrets

Hello World,
How is everyone enjoying their Valentine Day?  The kids were extremely excited to get treats for the day and a Valentine monkey.  I also got a very nice box of chocolate covered strawberries, from my amazing husband :)  I hope everyone is having a great day from me to you the Jesus book girl.

Ring of Secrets by Roseanna M. White is the story of Winter Reeves.  A young girl looking for a husband in the very elite and loyalist sect in Revolutionary American.  Though she plays the flirtatious young miss she is actually a young woman on the look out for secrets that she could give to the Patriots.  What she didn't expect was to meet Bennet Lane a man with his own secrets.  These two play a deadly game that could end up in death if they don't rely on the One who is in control of everything.

This was a very interesting twist to a story, and I really found myself immersed in this book.  It's been  long time since I've found myself that immersed, that I looked at the clock and was like "eek it's 11:30 at night, must put book down and go to bed".  Ms. White not only knows how to write a good romance, but I loved the historical aspect of it too.  Seeing timeless figures from history come alive was a fun aspect, and I also enjoyed how well she wrote.  I'll definitely be reading more from this author.
*Available March 1, 2013
*This book was given to me via Harvest House Publishers in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Song of Solomon 5:16
His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

What an honor it is to be able to call my husband my lover, my friend.  He truly is a blessing from God and not only does he love me on Valentine's day, but every day he pursues me.  I am indeed blessed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rebekah

Hello World,
We are having a slow day today.  The snow is falling in Amarillo and it looks like a winter wonderland outside.  The kids and I are snuggled in watching movies, eating popcorn, and sipping hot chocolate :)  I love days like this and they are so very few.  I know how little we get snow in Amarillo because for the last two years it's only really snowed a lot on Christmas day.  Now my son Drew thinks that anytime it snows it's Christmas.  He asked me this morning where the presents were.  I was laughing quite a bit with that comment.  Do any of your kids have expectations when something happens like mine do?

Rebekah by Jill Eileen Smith is the story of Isaac and Rebekah.  The story is told from both of the characters point of view.  If you're not familiar with this classic Bible story it is a love at first sight beginning.  Isaac's Father sent his servant to find a bride for him from his family back in his homeland.  When they first see each other; Isaac and Rebekah love each other immediately.  What follows is a lifetime of love, tears, laughter, betrayal, and growth.   

I will admit I am not the biggest fan of fictional stories being written about factual Biblical people.  This being said, I was pleasantly surprised by the care that Ms. Smith handled the book.  She not only put Biblical references in each part, but she also explained the liberties that she had taken while writing the book.  If you feel uneasy reading fictional books about Biblical stories I suggest you read her author's note at the end of the book, to better understand where she is coming from.  After reading it, I felt much better about reading this book. 

Ok, now on to the writing.  This book is a great lifetime romance, beautiful and poignant.  Ms. Eileen does a great job at weaving a story that not only shows love, but the cracks that can happen when you place your own desires above others.  It's a story of learning to trust not only your husband, but God.  So dear readers if you love a good lifetime romance about the people who have shaped the Bible I suggest you pick up Rebekah.
“Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Luke 5:15-17 NKJV
However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.  So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed

I love that in this verse it says that Jesus often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.  Now you might think I'm crazy, but do you want to know where my wilderness is?  My wilderness is the shower.  I lock the door and turn on the flowing stream of water and I sit underneath it.  There I have to close my eyes, there I have to bow my head (so I don't get water in my nose :).  There my worries fade, and my praises are raised to the sky.  For the few minutes of that day I am with God, in His beautiful presence, and completely adoring him.  My cares and worries are given to him, and I have peace from this world.  Where is your wilderness dear readers?  If you don't have one, find one :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

5 Days to a Clutter-Free House

Hello World,
How's life :)  We are getting down and dirty today conquering the house one step at a time and using our weapons of cleaners, sponges, and scrubs to win one battle at a time.  The kids rooms, kitchen, and living room are clean and after I write this amazing blog I will will pick up my weapons of mass cleanliness to tackle the rest of the house.  What are you doing today?  Are you tackling anything?

5 Days to a Clutter-Free House by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims is a great book to get your house back in order.  It's a book that talks about attacking your house with a vengeance to finally see the counter top that you haven't seen in months or that bedroom floor.  It's not only just your house, but also your life in general, like remembering to pick up the kids or having dinner on the table every night.  This book is meant to help you get control of the things that seem out of control.

I really enjoy books like this, maybe because deep in my bright chaotic mind there is a place that truly desires to be clutter free :)  Now to just be able to get it out of the back corner of mind to do it.  What I liked is how Felton and Sims wrote.  They didn't write like the clutter person was someone to be condemned, quite the contrary they showed the positives of being someone who seems to live life freely if not a little messy.  I didn't feel ambushed by the impossible either, I felt rejuvenated like I can finally do this and get a hold of it to maintain the house and my life.  So dear readers if you are a messy beautiful type like me and desire to put a little order back in the beautiful pick up this book.

“Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

 *This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.


Today instead of a verse I want to be able to give you this book, so if you want this book please comment with your favorite verse.  I will draw a name from the comment names and let you know the lucky winner in my next blog.  Happy commenting dear readers!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

To Honor and Trust

Hello World,
With a day of just sitting and getting better yesterday I was able to read a couple extra books that I don't normally get to do :)  So here is a special edition of my blog (probably tomorrow too).  I hope you guys have a great Thursday!

To Honor and Trust by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller is the story about Callie Deboyer.  Callie is a young lady who's parents are missionaries in Africa.  With her parents in Africa she has decided to be a governess for her grandmother's friends the Bridgeport family.  Spending the winter in the beautiful Bridal Veil Island resort she encounters Wesley Townsend.   Thinking that he is a golf instructor, she soon finds herself falling for the man.  Unfortunately, Wes is hiding a few secrets and doesn't know how to be open with Callie.  With all of this happening robberies have been occurring at the resort and Callie is under suspicion.  What is a young Christian woman to do?

Peterson and Miller are a great team and they always have a very beautiful story to tell.  I enjoyed this simple story of love and the obstacles that happen when there isn't open honesty in the relationship.  It's a great reminder to the reader that dishonesty has a consequence.  I also enjoyed the little bit of mystery thrown into the book.  So dear readers if you're looking a beautiful Christian romance with a dash of mystery I highly suggest you pick up this book :)

*This book was given to me via Bethany House a division of baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

2 Samuel 7:29
And now, may it please you to bless me and my family so that our dynasty may continue forever before you.  For when you grant a blessing to your servant O Sovereign Lord, it is an eternal blessing.

Have you ever stopped to think about forever, or eternal?  I don't think I can fully wrap my mind around the fact that when God blesses us it truly is unending.  It's mind blowing to me that our Sovereign Lord will grant us such a gift.  This morning Todd and I prayed that we would be blessed by God and our family for generations to come.  I thin you should pray that too :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A New Home for Lily

Hello World,
Well we are a sick house today.  Poor Todd has been sick since Sunday and then Liv and I got a stomach bug yesterday.  I'm kind of bummed because I was doing so great on keeping the house picked up and cleaned and then wham bam the house is back to it's usual cluttered self :-/  What can a sick girl like myself do :)

A New Home for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher once again tells us the adventures of Lily Lapp.  Here we find that the Lapp family has moved to a small Amish community in Pennsylvania.  Not only does Lily have to go to a new school, but also make new friends, and learn new traditions.  As she makes her way through this new Amish Community she will find in herself strength and character. Lily is still her winsome cheery self and we get to enjoy new experiences through her eyes.

I really enjoy that I can read this book with my daughter.  I also like that each chapter is like a small story in and of itself.  I don't have to worry as I'm reading one chapter to my daughter that we might have a cliff hanger at the end of it, and for that matter that Kylar (she's four) will not remember what happened.  I think parents will be pleased with the wholesome and winsome ways of this little Amish girl and children will get to see what Amish life is really like.  It is a must read, dear readers for your little girl.
Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Romans 5:3-5 msg
There's more to come:  we continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.  In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged.  Quite the contrary-- we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit.

This is just a beautiful verse to me, and I love how the message describes it.  don't ever forget that we can expect great things from God enough that we can't ever get enough containers to hold all of His generous offerings for us.  Dear readers if I can get you to understand one thing.  We have a God who loves us and loves our imperfect progress enough to generously pour into our lives through the Holy Spirit.  Don't ever forget that!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Flora's Wish

Hello World,
Well sorry that it's been a week of nothing from me, but I kind of been in a reading stump.  I have all these fabulous books to read and I just was a little tired of reading.  Maybe it was because I've been watching the Amazing Race on Hulu, that show is slightly addicting.  Anywho I am back and ready to give you some awesome books to read :)

Flora's Wish by Kathleen Y'Barbo is about the story of Flora Brimm.  Flora has the unfortunate task of saving her families plantation by marrying and having a child.  If she does not do that she loses the plantation to her cousin Winny which is just preposterous (as her Grandmother would say).  The only difficulty has been trying to keep her fiances alive!  Four fiances later Flora is desperate and takes the matter into her own hands.  What she didn't expect of a con artist or a pinkerton agent, or an adventure that would be frowned upon the society she lives in.  But right now she has a husband to catch and a plantation to save.

This, my dear readers is an adventure around every corner. You will have fun reading how Flora gets herself in a bind. You'll giggle out loud at the witty conversation and fun by plays of Lucas and Flora. You'll wonder if Will Tucker is really a con artist only out to get money, or does he truly want to be married to Flora. Either way you find yourself immersed into the sweet Southern world and into a good book. So if you are wanting a light read with sprinkles of God's love and everlasting amazing will in it you need to read this book.

*This book was given to me via Harvest House Publishers in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it :)

1 Chronicles 16:11-12 NKJV
Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!  Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,

How's your quiet time going?  I find that when I'm closest to God when I'm truly seeking Him and His strength I'm in the Word daily.  I'm digging into the Bible early in the morning, before the kids are fully awake or are eating their breakfast, seeking His face and reading about His works.  My day may be horrible, but I have a calm and a Holy Spirit dwelling in me reminding me of God's perspective of the day instead of mine.  So once again I ask you, how's your quiet time going?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cheaper, Better, Faster

Hello World,
Yesterday we took a mini-vacation to the city Lubbock.  I had a dear sweet friend who is an Auntie for one of the African Children's Choir.  It was great to see her, and to see her love for the kids. If you are interested in learning more about the African Children's Choir please feel free to click here.

Cheaper, Better, Faster by Mary Hunt is a great book of tips.  To be exact "Over 2,000 tips and tricks".  It has tips for car repair, tips for decorating your home, tips for washing your clothes, and tips for food.  I don't think there is a single thing that Mary Hunt did not cover to make your life Cheaper, Better, Faster.

I really think this book is full of common sense and sound advice.  The chapters are split up into little sections that points to helpful hints and making something cheaper.  There really isn't an area that Mary Hunt doesn't touch on.  So dear readers if you are the kind of reader that likes to save, make life slightly easier, and faster I would get this helpful book.
“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
This book was given to me via Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

Romans 8:28 (The Message)
26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

I've been really enjoying reading the Bible in The Message version.  It seems to me the verses that I have read so many times are being transformed in my mind and a new understanding is being placed.  I love that there is reassurance in my waiting.  That if we don't know how to pray that God knows our hearts and understands what we need.  It's truly is a beautiful thing when you have an Almighty God working out every detail of your life and making it good.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow

Hello World!
Sorry again for the late blog, it has been a rather hard week :)  It's been interesting to say the least.  We have a house in Oshkosh, WI that is beautiful and it was our first home and it was simply just a great house for our little family.  When we moved we thought that it would be easy to sell, unfortunately the housing market dropped significantly.  It's been five years and the house has yet to sell.  If you can say a prayer for our family as we decide what would be the best in our circumstance I would appreciate it.

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is the second book in the Avenue of Dreams series by Olivia Newport.  We first heard about Charlotte in the book The Pursuit of Lucy Banning (click here for the review).  Charlotte is a maid in the prestigious Banning household during the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.  Her life is secure and her son safely secret at an older woman's home.  Until the day his caretaker drops him off at the Banning household.   Charlotte's Dilemma starts the moment she leaves, does she come out and say Henry is her son or allow the Banning's to determine her sons fate?  How will she trust God or anybody else with this beautiful secret?

This book was an incredible book, but in all honesty it was a tear jerker.  I have a very vivid imagination so when I read a book where a woman around my age is put in a situation of being forced to keep her son secret or lose her job it rips my heart.  I could not possibly fathom the pain of choosing between life of being destitute or losing your son.  My heart went out to Charlotte and the life she was leading.  I also was able to see the world of a servant, Ms. Newport's detailed descriptions of being a servant in an affluent home was historically accurate and telling.  The limits of what they can do for the pittance of  pay was eye opening to me.  So dear readers if you like a good historical romance this is a book for you.
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Matthew 6:30-33 (The Message)
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers-- most of which are never even seen, don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?  What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving.  People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works .  Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  Don't worry about missing out.  You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

I have had to cling to this passage this week.  As I pray for our house in Oshkosh the reminder that God will meet my everyday human concerns is a relief.  Now to just keep reminding myself so I don't fall into despair over a house that isn't selling :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Waiting for Spring

Hello World,
Our sweet kids were up super early today.  Liv leading the infantry with giggles and lots of kisses.  She has found a way to get up on our bed, and then our sweet Kylar came in asking "Mom is it morning yet" and then our rough and tumble Drew ran and jumped into bed with me too.  What a blessing my kids are, it's mornings like this where I feel fully encompassed by love :)  Are you having a good morning?

Waiting for Spring by Amanda Cabot is the story of Charlotte.  Charlotte has many burdens and secrets she is trying to hide from the town Cheyenne.  She has to be very careful with who she get's close to and in no uncertain terms she can not get close to a perspective senator Barrett Landry.  Barrett has dreams of greatness but in order to take the first step to being a senator he must marry.  The perfect bride would be Miriam the daughter of the local newspaper owner.  The only problem is he can't seem to get Charlotte out of his mind.

Ms. Cabot writes an interesting book.  Full of beautiful landscapes of the Wyoming territory, and an intriguing story line that will keep the reader wondering.  I loved how Ms. Cabot weaves Christ's lessons of love, forgiveness, and ultimately grace in her story.  The characters are real and you feel their pain and, but also their joy.  So dear readers if you're looking for a wholesome romance please read Amanda Cabot's Waiting for Spring.

“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
*This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

What a great reminder :)  When I was in high school I wrote this verse on my wall, so when I woke up it would be a reminder to me how I should treat others in school.  Now as I'm older I'm thinking I need to write this on my heart, to daily remind me once again how I should treat others whoever and whenever I meet them.
 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Choices of the Heart

Hello World,
I had just an amazing morning with my mom's Bible Study.  I love that I can get together with like women to grow closer to God.  It really is a big blessing and it also rejuvenates this tired mama :)  Do you go to a Bible Study?  If you live in Amarillo I want to encourage you to check out Hillside Christian Church, they have some awesome studies this semester and it seems that they always have a group for each life point.  If you're a mom in the Amarillo area I would love for you to join us at 9:30 on Mondays for our Bible Study Unglued :)

Choices of the Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes is the third installment in The Midwives series.  This story is about Esther.  Esther comes from a long line of midwives and is fully expected to become one herself.  Her life is full of potential until she makes a poor choice and she is forced to leave her beloved family.  Hoping to seek refuge in the mountains of Virginia as a teacher, she unknowingly walks into the middle of a family feud.  Now Esther is not only forced to deal with her past choices, but also the present choices that could potentially be life threatening.

To all my love triangle fans out there, this book is definitely for you :)  I think you'll enjoy the relationships between both Esther, Zach, and Griff.  It definitely made the story interesting because of the rift between Zach and Griff's family.  I also really enjoyed how we didn't find out right away what Esther's poor choice was.  I was dying to know and Ms. Eakes very skillfully kept me waiting.  This was an interesting read about the mountain people of Virginia as well as the health practices of that time.  So dear readers if you're looking for a good family feud and a love triangle go ahead and read Choices of the Heart.

This book was given to me via Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in hopes of my honest opinion and I honestly gave it.
 “Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It is really easy for me to get in a pattern.  I would like to say my brain is like a big ol' pile of mud and when the world rains down on me little tiny rivers go through that mud and make patterns on my brain.  With this verse I am reminded of the need to constantly bring the light of the Word in on my big ol' pile of mud to erase those worldly patterns.  In doing this I make room for God's will (or river on my mind)  His good, pleasing and perfect will be creating patterns in my mind instead of this worlds.