3.02.2015

So I'm not married yet, but to be prepared I picked up this book, The Uncommon Marriage Adventure.

Tony Dungy is such a great man and outspoken about his faith and you know what the old saying is, 'behind every great man is an even greater woman.' Not sure how often that's true, but I think this couple is proof of that somewhat.

This book is written in a devotional type style by two strong Christians. With Scripture and personal stories throughout you'll not be disappointed with it. It feels like a pair of spiritual parents sitting down to tell you how to overcome obstacles they've already encountered. Very helpful and needed today.

If you're in a serious relationship and looking to get married or thinking about it or are already married I would recommend this book to you.

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for a review. All views and opinions expressed are mine.

2.26.2015

Keep It Shut - book review

I'm definitely not the best listener. I am also very good at talking. That means that sometimes I come off as a self-absorbed person who likes to talk only about what she likes and doesn't listen at all. Unfortunately, that's how I act sometimes.

Seeing this about myself wasn't fun, but I saw this book Keep It Shut after reading The Best Yes, both of which are good books and both are written by two women from Proverbs 31 ministries.

I like books with a lot of Scriptural insight. Check.
I also like books that are written by people who keep it real. Check.
I also like books that can keep me interested AND teach me something in the process. Check and check.

One thing I learned from this fabulous book by Karen Ehman is that when we're talking to someone we don't need to just talk at them. We need to pause. We need to LISTEN.

Ladies, we stink at this sometimes. We need to brave enough to see it and smart enough to change it.

If you're like me and wanting to read a good book that will help you in learning what to say and when to say it and what to NOT say and how to do it then I think you will find this book helpful. It's also a good book to hand to a friend and *hint, hint, wink wink* ease them into their issue of being a blabber-mouth. ;) I'm just kidding! Read it and then share it in love though!

Note: I received a free copy in exchange for a review.

1.01.2015

Happy New Year!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

I did stay up to midnight which was pretty close to God's first answered prayer for me (that I didn't really pray about...) for the new year. ;) Y'all, I'm a baby. I can't stay up till 12 at night. It almost kills me... every. single. year. :P

But we did it. We made it through another year. But do we want to "make it through" this year or do we want to make it thrive this year? I want my life to thrive.

Goals are always a great thing to have, not just at the new year, but any time. God's Word says we are new creations when we accept Christ and I believe that's a clean slate and a fresh start at any point in the year.

I'm starting out this year with a prayer of repentance in my heart and mouth and for blessings both through me and to me this year.

I chose 1 Peter 3:3-4 as a focus verse for this year (at some point this week I'll write it down so I can read it day after day). It says,

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."

Y'all, I really like outward adornment. I like the makeup and the hairstyles and the clothes and the shoes and the jewelry.

But I also like my Bible. I love my God (or am seeking to) and I love the people around me. I also want the unfading beauty of  a gentle and quiet spirit. These, my friends, are most important.

I recently became allergic to some makeup so that messed up my routine a bit. Why does it matter you ask? Because I've been wearing my makeup a little different and a lot less and it's made a difference in my confidence and in realizing the eternal things and the non-eternal things in life.

Blessing in disguise. :)

Some goals for this year are:

-Draw closer to God.
-Be confident in who I am as God's child.
-Love more.
-Live more.
-Be a godly woman more and more.
-Have a better attitude.
-Glorify God in all I do.

What are your goals for the year? What has God been speaking to your heart recently?

12.31.2014

Fierce Convictions - book review

I must say that I had a hard time getting through this book, and didn't finish it. :/ I tried, but for some reason I could not stay interested.

Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior is a book that tells the story of Hannah More - a woman who was a reformer, abolitionist, and a poet. She came from a family of quite a few women, which could be why she was such a passionate, unordinary one. She had good people pouring into her and good came out, though not at first.

This book is written very historically and factually based. It's not told from a story-type perspective (I've read a few biographies that were and tend to enjoy them more), rather, the author who happens to be a teacher, I think wrote it from a more teaching based mindset which means this would be a great book for home schooled children or bold teachers who want to include more in their classes.

This book wasn't my cup of tea, but it may very well be yours. If you enjoy exciting stories, I think you'll like this one. If you like history, you might enjoy it. Like I said, I think this would be great to use for teaching purposes because it is filled with so many facts and discussion starters.

Note: I received a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

12.30.2014

Christmas Undone And The New Year Almost Begun

Christmas can be such a crazy time and by the grace of God, I've missed of the craziness.

Until this year.

This year was different. The struggle to find peace was real and the to-list/to-get list was a lot longer and more time consuming than expected. But I managed to make it through and get the gifts and go to the parties and have a genuine smile on my face (despite being sick on Christmas Eve. Yuck.).

But then my church family had a few unexpected deaths. As I was praying for them one night, I felt conviction. They weren't running around searching for gifts or seeking help getting the house decorated for Christmas because their loved one was not there anymore.

Perspective changer.

They didn't have the stress of finding that "just right" gift because that person was no longer with them and wow... can I say we might be missing out on the great gifts God has placed all around us that aren't things at all??

How I've missed this. The people. The people, y'all, are the beautiful ones. The blessed ones. The chosen ones. The gifted ones. THE GIFTS. God gave us companionship after He sent His only Son to save us. After giving us the GREATEST GIFT, He gave us many others to bless our lives year after year.

What do we do to show people we care? That we love them? That we cherish them? That they are wonderful?

This thought left my Christmas a little undone because it just seems ludicrous to only enjoy people and appreciate people and show them love on Christmas day. Shouldn't we be seeking to pray for them, listen to them, love them, hug them just because, buy them a gift because we want them to know their thought about... all year long?

Oh, but it's not too late. The New Year is coming and with that I have resolved to love God better, myself better, and others a whole lot better because the people in my life are the gifts and I love them.

What's some of your new year resolutions? Has God spoken anything to your heart lately?

11.17.2014

If God Is Good - book review

I've never read anything before by Randy Alcorn but early last year I went through a very hard season of doubt and struggle and someone recommended I read this book. When I saw it was available for review I decided to pick it up.

When I first saw it I was at Lifeway checking out more books (can you say book junkie?). It's almost 500 pages... to be honest that kind of scared me. Who wants to read that many pages of a non-fiction book, especially on the goodness of God? You could find yourself in deeper waters than you thought, right?

Well, don't let the number of pages scare you. I've read several chapters of this book and it is just so good!! One thing I absolutely enjoy about this book is how it's PACKED with Scripture. Few books nowadays have the Word in them and I think it's a great benefit, especially to a book this important.

Who hasn't asked, God, why does this happen? Why them? Why her? Why ME?

In the midst of trials and suffering and pain we get real and raw and we ask questions, but more than that we start to SEEK. Is this all there is? How do I live after something like _________? 

Randy Alcorn uses grace and truth to help guide you through the questions to find yourself growing closer to your Maker and having a better understanding of evil. I wish I had had this book when I was going through doubt and depression and questions because he so beautifully points out all the bits of truth I needed to hear. Not all your questions will be answered, but the ones that really count are addressed here and I think you'll be blessed for reading it. If you know someone who is a skeptic or doubting or just struggling through life, I definitely recommend this book. It's lengthy so grab some coffee or hot chocolate and your Bible and get to work.

Note: I received this book for the exchange of a review.

11.14.2014

The missing ring

So the other day I was at work. I was in the middle of washing my hands when suddenly I noticed that the ring I wear all the time and has a very special meaning to me, was gone.

Um.. what?!

So I began looking through the trash quickly and couldn't find it. I looked through the other trash and still couldn't find it.

I told myself (being the drama queen I am) to calm down and not cry because this was not worth crying over. I began to look through more garbage and re-trace my steps and still couldn't find it. My co-workers helped me and still I couldn't find it.

I began to pray, because recently I've been trying really hard not to get overwhelmed and be overly emotional, but to tap into the self-control that God gives and be patient.

So I prayed and then went about my day content. I thanked God and tried to get over it.

As I prayed I began to realize that sometimes I get SO wrapped up in things that don't matter that I forget and take for granted the ones I love. More than that, I forget to show that love.

After work I made my way home and there it was... on my dresser. (If you were wondering... yes, I felt dumb.)

Maybe it took that experience to remember that love is important and things are not as important as people...

God works in wonderfully mysterious ways.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13

Plush Bible - review

Reading God's Word is SO important to getting through life, and not just getting through it, but enjoying every day of life.

Enjoying God's Word is also important. Finding the right Bible helps with this because if you don't understand the translation, then you can't apply what you read and application is just as important as reading and understanding what you read.

Zondervan's Plush Bible is an excellent Bible. It's good for pre-teens and teens alike because it comes in several different styles. The font is very easy to read (extra points for that) and guess what? It's fuzzy! That's right, they have a furry, fuzzy Bible for the older kids too now.


Benefits of this Bible:
- Hardback with a fuzzy cover, front and back
- Good size print
- Measurements table page listed in the back
- Words of Jesus written in red
- Durable (for those tough on things ;) )



If you have a younger child or teenager and you're looking for a Bible to get them for Christmas, this would be a great one. I'm not a big fan on finding "stylish" Bibles because I think that we need to remember that the words inside are the Life and Bread and that everything else is not of much importance, but teens will be much more satisfied with a Bible that looks good too and this Bible offers that.

Note: I received a free copy of this Book for the exchange of a review.

11.07.2014

The mind and the mouth

The battle of the mind and the mouth is so difficult to overcome.

We're told in the Word to take every thought captive to Christ, but do you ever just get mad and not want to do that? Yeah, me too...  more than I care to admit. I allow those ugly, not good thoughts to fester and at some point the filth spills out of my mouth into the air and I'm left wondering how I could have failed in my words... again.

No matter how tired we get, we need to depend on God's grace and help to not even think bad things, because once the thoughts are there the actions surely follow.

Let me tell you that I have to pray about this A LOT. I'm a very emotional, wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve type of person and keeping my thoughts and opinions to myself is very difficult so I doubly have to watch my mind. I have not mastered this at all, but I have learned a few things.

One thing I learned is if you're thinking something rude or wrong or bad, sleep on it. Pray about it first and then leave it until the next day. If after prayer and some sleep (sometimes, ladies especially, we are just exhausted. Don't be afraid to take a nap.) you still think this is something worth saying and thinking about, then continue on in grace not with a hypocritical, rude, or mean attitude.

The second thing I have learned/am learning is not all thoughts need to be voiced. Sometimes it's a prayer sent up telling God alone what's on your mind and heart and sometimes it's worth journaling about, but telling your family, your husband or wife, your girlfriend or boyfriend, your best friends about what's bugging you can easily turn into a complaint, "here's what's in my head" ordeal. Be careful.

The third thing I have learned is to dwell on Truth. Read God's Word. If what you're thinking lines up, continue on. If not, reject it and find a verse or a prayer to think on. I promise this helps so much with the battle between the mind and the mouth because you'll find you slowly are becoming more like Christ because you're getting to know Him more.

Finally, pray for help in the battle. Pray for His help thinking pleasing thoughts and saying pleasing things.

Alone we cannot overcome, but through Christ victory is ours.

"Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always."
- 1 Chronicles 16:11

11.04.2014

What's YOUR Story?

Being a girl, I know what it's like to have insecurities and constantly compare yourself to everyone around you. It's really hard not to get sucked into it when you're watching youtube videos, looking at instagram, and liking things on facebook.

Don't you ever just want to be content?

Me too.

Life is filled with more joy when we learn to be content with what God has given us now. We find it difficult to be thankful with our much and end up giving God less. I find it easy to get into a foul mood when I want something and end up thanking God for little to nothing when He has given me literally everything.

So I thought today, why do we compare our stories to other people's stories? God made us unique which means your story and mine may be similar, but they are vastly different. We may have struggled through the same things but in different ways and different thought processes.

Guess what? That's okay.

If we are following the Lord, then how your story turns will be different from other peoples but it will also be beautiful because His hand is on you. It may be messy and ugly at times, but there is redemption in Christ.

So what's your story? Be thankful God made you you. You are His. Embrace that and live in confidence.