Saturday, November 17, 2012

Heaven Changes Everything by Todd & Sonja Burpo

It is true when I read a sales advertisement that said “Their book offers insights into what God might be doing with the interruptions He allows, and how to keep the hope of heaven alive in our lives.” I would say this would be good before or after reading their 1st book, but would really say read that one first. I love the way they put that book into this one and give more insight on their feelings as parents and how they relate to how this world is just temporary and we have a heavenly home that seems to great waiting for us! Both books are such a blessing to read if you have a sick loved one or one that you have faith that has passed on to such a great place. It offers great peace in knowing that there loved one is in such a better and happier place. Thank you to the booksneeze reading program and Thomas Nelson for providing me this book for my honest review. I love each verse after each short chapter that emphasizes something Colton had said. Over all I believe every believer and non believer should read this book! I'm thankful I have had the opportunity to read the Burpo's books. This is a very quick read and not a book that on a shelf with only reading 1 chapter at a time.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Month of Being Thankful! 1-10

Everyone is on FB daily telling what they are thankful for,  it gives a good glimpse into each one of my friends. Here are some of mine:
1.        I’m thankful for a heavenly Father that is always watching over me, protecting me, and blessing me.
2.       I’m thankful for my blessings of my youngest. He keeps me smiling and has such a big heart for Jesus. I pray that I can be the best parent to lead him to Jesus daily so that he will always have that heart for the Lord.
3.       I’m thankful for my difficult but very special to me stepchild who always keeps me on my toes!
4.       I’m thankful for my husband. It is good to know that I have one that I can trust and will always be there for my children.
5.       I’m thankful for my parents, step-parents, and grandparents… They have laid the foundation of who I am today!
6.       I’m thankful to have a job that will help provide for my family.
7.       I’m thankful for a good cup of coffee! Never know how good a hot cup is until you can’t drink one.
8.       I’m so thankful my youngest can go to a school that encourages and teaches him about Jesus!
9.       I’m thankful to have a job like I do. Though there are days I would love to be a stay-at-home mom, I am thankful I do have a job that helps me provide for my family.
10.    I’m thankful for my sister who is more than a sister to me. Siblings are a blessing!

Week 1 – Making Your Home a Haven

Week 1 – Making Your Home a Haven

Proverbs 14:1 says: “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
Courtney writes: You have the power – as the woman of the home – to effect the mood of your home.  Your home can feel sterile and cold or warm and inviting.  It can feel chaotic and unstable or subdued and managed well.  It can feel like a cold shoulder or a warm hug.
But simply lighting a candle is not enough to change our homes.  We must be women of prayer – praying for each individual that finds refuge under our roof.  It’s easy to get busy and distracted and forget to pray for those we love most.
So let’s begin.  Light a candle and begin praying over your home every time the glimmer of the candle catches your eyePray for peace.  Peace with each other and peace within your soul.
Billy Graham said, “The happiest Christian homes I know are those given to hospitality, where neighbors feel at home, where young people are welcome, where the elderly are respected, where children are loved.”
I think my ongoing goal is best spoken by Billy Graham. I honestly let life get the best of me, being tired by the time I get home after working 8 hours, and getting started on my daily chores of supper, picking up, and clothes washing. I forget to focus on spending special moments with my children. I will catch myself and stop to enjoy them. I want to get better that this. When they say, “LOOK,” I want to be able to stop and give them that attention to make memories with them.

I have my candle already out, and of course it is pumpkin scented right now! I look forward this challenge to pray for my family as I catch it lit throughout the afternoons. I also pray I don’t leave it lit all night since I don’t use candles much these days!

I love my home. I am one of those people who enjoy spending full days at home just piddling and playing with my kiddos. I love coming home to a clean house at least 1 day a month. It seems no nice to have everything picked up and cleaned at 1x, even if it isn’t near as pretty the next morning after life has happened to it! I love the sounds of my kids giggling and playing together. I love when my family comes over to visit, and we can stop and just visit.

I pray that during this week I can pray for more peace through the house, more teamwork, better attitudes, and hopefully make more family memories by trying to come up with family fun at least a few nights during the week.

I am so very thankful God has given me the family he has given me. Even coming from a split home, I have great memories which include just being in the homes provided by my parents. Each place has great memories, and I pray to leave my children with memories that happen in our home.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall

A Season for Tending
Amish Vines and Orchards, Book 1
By Cindy Woodsmall

A great story line:
This was the first time for me to read a book by Cindy Woodsmall. Knowing it was a series made me a little hesitant to go ahead and read since I like to have all of a series when I read so I don’t have to wait. I really enjoyed the book. It had good reading, and even though it left you wanting to know more of the story, enough of it was told to say it was a good book with a good story. Although I will have to keep my eye out for the 2nd book b/c I will want to see the next phase of this story. The plot kept you going at many different angles so it kept you interested throughout the entire book. I enjoyed the plot of Rhoda the best. Her world fascinated me on how well she gardened, canned, to moving past a tragic lost that she kept herself at fault, even though it wasn’t. There wasn’t much of a devotion to learn or bible verses that this writer concentrates on, but the Amish’s simple life was enough for me for this story. It did show that their are many seasons a person must go through in life. This book was given to me by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Being thankful for what we do have!

My youngest is all about Toysrus right now. They have all the toys and he doesn’t have them all. I am trying my best to make him realize all that he has been blessed with by all the mounds of toys he already has. But he is focused right now on all the info commercials and toysrus! It really didn’t help that we got the big book of toys from ToysRus yesterday.
When we relate this to our relationship with Jesus, it makes me see that if we constantly ask for more without being appreciative for what we have and the blessings we do get – WHY would God want to bless us with more? If we really aren’t thankful. Just something to think about while I try to work with my lil’ one about learning this.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Prayers of a Stranger: A Christmas Journey

Prayers of a Stranger: A Christmas Journey
by Davis Bunn

This was a great inspirational book. The main characters have suffered a great loss in life and the future doesn’t look much promising, still they hold to their faith. It was an uplifting story about how God places people in our life to support us during our time of need and how God places us in situations where we can use our past to help others. We might not know how many people are out there praying for us and lifting us up, but we should place our trust in God’s hands and watch his story unfold. There were many side stories in the main story of this book, but one special one to me was being able to forgive and accept back a special person in ones life even after damage has been done. I love reading books where you see God’s will working in the lives of not just one, but how one or two people can make such a difference in this world that we may thing is so big.
This book was given to me by Thomas Nelson though the Booksneeze program for my honest review. I would strongly recommend everyone reading this book, but be sure to keep a tissue close by because it hits the heartstrings a few times, in a good way.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review of The Widow of Saunders Creek

This was the first book by Tracey Bateman for me to read. As a former Army Wife the subject intrigued me, and I thought reading about a person moving on would be worth the read. I found this book to be very interesting. Not too many times do you run across a book talking about hauntings and ghost and trying to explain them vs the biblical realm. I love how it is broken down and how we must realize the evil spirits among us in this world and how the devil tries to deceive. I found myself brought in wanting a great outcome to come for Corrie since she had been through so much; I found myself on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would come next in the story. The verses before each chapter were some of my favorite to see.
I also enjoyed the character of Eli. His storyline and everything he stood for gave for a good reading. I feel it was hard in his community to keep his faith and stand his grounds, but he was a man of great faith. I think this would be a good read for anyone!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Multnomah Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

To Heaven and Back - Easy reading & encouranging

To Heaven and Back  by Mary C. Neal, MD
I opted to read this book after reading another book about someone's journey and wanting to "compare" their stories. I found ea. entirely different and inspiring. In this book it more about lessons learned and experiences of death and life after such an enounter.
The book is so easy to read like someone is sitting there telling you their life's stories... Each chapter has either an inspiration or inspiring quote which is really touching.
It was so great to read about each encounter this doctor had with miracles and her death and return from death and the life she chose to live after that. It also shows how we can get caught up in life, and how we have to chose to return to live daily for Jesus. I love her daily list of reminders and the 3 most important lessons she learned - which were verses from the Bible.
Just by reading this it inspires you to live each day to the fullest and realize we are here for a purpose greater than our day to day life that is so easy to get caught up in. We are truely part of God's bigger plan.
I am thankful for the Waterbook press and their blogging program that provided this book for my honest review.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Children's book: God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren

This book has a great explanation of love!
My child was excited when a book that he could hold and read came in the mail! He loved sitting and letting me read it to him over and over. The only negative I could say is it has a lot of words on it and he would be ready for me to turn the before I finished reading.
I loved the way it gave all the meanings of love and all the types of love - mommy/daddy love, loving even when we might not like someone, grandparent love, and esp. God's love! It talks about sharing God's love, and how love makes us better people and better as a family. I loved all the meanings the book gave and a way a child can understand.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Press a division of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging For Books Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The eyes of your heart?

Years ago a song same out, "Open the eyes of my heart Lord" …. And while I sang it, I began to pray that God would show me his ways and open my eyes to things of Him. As the years have passed, I can tell God has opened my eyes and convicted me of things that I was doing. A lot of it had to do with my entertainment choices – movies, tv shows, and books. I started feeling convicted and actually sickened at time when certain shows or subjects would come on TV. I mean there have been times I’ve cried or wanted to literally throw up. It is sad b/c if it really breaks my heart that bad, can we imagine what it does for our Creator? One area was I had to quit basically watching shows that included the supernatural or murder. I would watch some witch type shows, spirits talking to other shows, or just the common murder mystery shows. I started having nightmares where I could tell that God was telling me to take a step away.
I know there are verses out there and I can’t put my hand on them this morning, but I know God doesn’t want us putting all this junk in our minds and our spirit! Our inner most parts should be longing for our God, not for the things of this world.
Here lately books have come out that people are raving out. I’ll go read reviews and I see it is all about either murder or sex. Really? Why are people raving about this? Why do people want to read about people killing other people or some book that wouldn’t even get an R rating on a movie? I guess b/c I have been praying that simple prayer for years, I see things differently, and I know that I couldn’t dare try. It just hurts my heart seeing so many "Christians" putting out there they are reading these books, but I can only pray that God will open their hearts…. So I say a prayer and move on… I just wish and pray that more people would look toward more positive media to promote more positive uplifting things for our children to see and be exposed too… so just a thought… when was the last time you asked for God to Open the Eyes of YOUR heart?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ANGEL EYES by Shannon Dittemore

This story really brings to life the scripture, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places..."
This was the first time for me to read a story by this author and it was a great book mixed with drama, love, heartbreak, and mainly opening my eyes to the things unseen. We hear that there is always a battle b/t angels and the demons and how the demons fight for us.... How often do we think about that during the day as we busy ourselves. Many times we don't think of how we affect a bigger story for the Almighty and winning souls for him. It also shows how some of our hurts and heartaches might be used for that bigger purpose. Also we never know when there are Angels Amoung us!
The story is intense but I love how Brielle learns about the "hot" guy and how the angelic nature brings her instant peace. I do like the description of Fear....
I would reccommend this book for others to read. It is an eye opening experience.
This book was provided by the booksneeze program and Thomas Nelson Publishing for my honest review. Thank you! I loved it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock

Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock
A great story that keeps you on the edge of your seat and tears at the heart of a mother! Two children that belong to such a special family until tragedy strikes and are thrown into a life that no child deserves. It broke my heart as it reminds us that there are children that face this sort of life daily! Maybe it will open our eyes more so someone of us have the opportunity to help these children. Then after they turn 18 and are offered the choices of their life, it is a great example of Christ’s love for us and how we are all given a chance for forgiveness, freedom, and a wonderful life – all we have to do is follow him. I love how this heart wrenching story gives such a great example of this! It is a great book for all, but I know it is especially special for parents. It will make you want to hug on to your babies a minute longer every day! We all have our stories, we all have had heartaches of growing up, but we all have the chance to follow Jesus and to accept the wonderful life he has just WAITING for us! Sometimes we do have to face trials and delays before we receive our peace and inheritance, but he is there with us! I love how this story brings all this to life! "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9)
This book was provided by Thomas Nelson and the booksneeze program for my honest review! Thank you to both of them!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Brush of Angel’s Wings – A book everyone should read!

This has been one of the best books that I have read lately. It only took about 3 days to read. The story of hurting people – 1 hurt by a father leaving the family and trying to figure out his life and the 2nd blaming herself for her brother’s death. My favorite part of this book was the battle b/t the angel and devil. We have heard that they are at constant battles for us, but Ruth Reid takes it to another level in this book. We read the constant fight during many circumstances and how the angel sends prayers up for us and guards us. How often do we miss the Lord trying to get our attention? How often do we let the devil feed negativity in our thoughts when we should stop to pray? How often do we take the negative thoughts and let our spirit run with it? I believe this is a book everyone should read to become more aware of this spiritual battle going on. I know the world is letting the devil’s thoughts keep them going with low morals, etc. More people need to read books like this and take thought of what is really going on in the world around them… and see how loving God and family are truly important.
_Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing and the booksneeze program for the copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Waiting for Morning" by Karen Kingsbury

Another Great Story from this Author!!
"Waiting for Morning" by Karen Kingsbury I found to be an emotional story. Hannah Ryan is home waiting for your children and husband to arrive and realize something is wrong. We all have this fear, but here in this book the character has to face her reality when some of her family is killed by a drunk driver. Hannah has to hear the words,

"I’m afraid there’s been a car accident..."
Karen K. does a great job of going thru the stages of grief based on the Book of Lamentations. It is a heart breaking story with forgiveness as the main battle of the story. Could and would you actually forgive? Will Hannah seek revenge or allow forgiveness in her heart? How will the driver move on and forgive himself? How does the 1 surviving daughter cope after this ordeal? Could you give your life to God even through the hard battle? This story really gets to the mother’s heart and makes you think. It is time to treasure every day we have.
** Waiting for Morning by Karen Kingsbury was provided for me free by Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Do we turn our heads or try to help?

God calls for us to stand up for what is right and to help those hurting, hungry, and lost. Do we turn our heads to orphans? Widows? The lost? Or do we try to find a way to help or offer support to those willing to go the distance to help. It is sad to think of the hurting people in the world not to mention that in a day like today there is human trafficking going on. I just saw a show last week about how people can get a Mail Order Bride. Really? Not to mention the actual trafficking of women and children for sex.
My heart is happy to the idea of a college friend of mine going this weekend to Ethiopia to rescue an orphan and that she is now a daughter to a happy family, even better she is going with 3 other couples to pick up children. It isn’t that she can’t have children, but is that she wants to obey God and rescue a child and give that child a hope and future and teach her to love our God!
Our church even donates the cost for one of Children’s Cups houses in Africa. This does the heart good knowing that $2,000 of our money can run a school for a year.
"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

"Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!" (Isaiah 49:15, NLT)

Monday, February 27, 2012

FRIENDS ~ A Time, A Season, or A Lifetime

True friends are really hard to find these days in busyness of life. I have found it easy to get my feelings hurt by friends, but then I try to stop and think that we are all human and make mistakes. As a true friend we should forgive and move on. I am very thankful for the friends that I have made throughout my life. Some came in my life just when I needed them the most. They might not have stayed in constant contact, but in the end I know we are friends, if I need something or to talk, I know I can. Those are really true friends. I do enjoy with fb that I can keep a watchful eye on their lives and sort of keep up with what is going on in their lives.
I think some of us as woman get caught up in gossip and enjoy tearing each other down. Really we should be there to lift each other up and try to speak positive words into their lives. If you find a friend discouraged or complaining – try to point out the positive in her life. Also do you feel yourself as a giver or taker in friendships? I feel like I am more of a giver… Today try to think if you are the one that calls, sends emails/texts first? What do you add to your friendships? Positive contribuites?
Also I think as a friend we should look for those that look friendless, widows, and the elderly. Try today to reach out to a friend…
Philippians 2:4, "Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." (NLT)
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34 (NIV)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What a wife should be!

Proverbs 31: 9b-31
The Wife of Noble Character

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
6 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Has God had to PUSH you lately?

I am personally a creature of habit to a very high extent. I think God shows us certain things and when we don’t act, he might sometimes have to PUSH us out of our comfort zone. I recently had it happen a couple of months ago when switching daycares. It hurt me deeply to think about changing my child from everything he had known his entire life. I think God knew I wasn’t happy with his daycare not being lead by Christians and not teaching my child about Him or even simply blessing the food before they ate. I saw a lot of things that bothered me but then again I am a creature of habit and the idea of change hurts deep within. I guess I could write a book about how I got that area of lifetime changes. In the end, I see where God had to PUSH me out of my comfort zone to get me in a place that is so much better for myself and my child. I love how he really knows Jesus more and talks about Him and his creations.
I am also witnessing God pushing a friend right now over a job. She has known she needed to change her job, but I guess never got around to it just yet. Well now I really believe God is giving her a Push to get her into another area of her life. It hurts seeing her upset, but it reminds me of God’s faithfulness and the joy that comes after the storm of change.
The point:
How often do we truly pray for God to guide our life and then listen to what he has to say, or are we stubborn and he has to PUSH us into the area he wants us to. In the end his best shines through, and we need to remember to Thank Him for it!
Also when changes occur how often to we doubt?
"You of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:31) "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Treasure every day and your time with loved ones!

    The past couple of months I have said good bye to a special loved one and seen a very special person to me fight illnesses and continue to be blessed with another day. We are not promised tomorrow. We should treasure every day we have and enjoy every moment we spend with loved ones. This world has gotten so busy! I feel like there is always way more to do, even as I finish things off my to do list.

Teach us to number our days ~ that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
     My aunt was given that her days were truly numbered about a year and a half ago. I saw her take those words and run to enjoy life! She had a great laugh & smile! She truly enjoyed every moment of life – even thru the pain. May we take her outlook on life and try to find enjoyment and time with family every day we live! May we also try to do at least 1 thing to show kindness and God’s love to at least 1 person a day!
    My Granny has been fighting illnesses since November! Could you imagine stepping out of your house 1 day and not going back for about 3 months! She was even in multiple organ failure and now is ready to get out of bed so she can get home! It is amazing the miracles God has blessed my Granny with. She says God has blessed her in more ways than she can imagine. It is a blessing to see all the family that stands beside her and prayed for her. We really need to take every day as a blessing. We are not promised a tomorrow here on earth – just many more in heaven! She is a true example of how God hears our prayers. Her healing makes her a witness of God answering prayers, she says words do not need to be spoken – they can see it with their own eyes! I have seen many doctors lately standing in awe of her. She gives all healing as a miracle from God.
Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. Mark 6:31
Life has a never ending to do list. As a female, mom, and wife, I think our to-do list is endless. We always need to find time to rest and realize that true rest comes when we stop and spend a few moments with our Heavenly Father! I believe when we do this we get strength and rest like never before. May I try to do this more!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

starting out slow...

I am daily trying to get a little extra done and trying to find a little drawer or cabinet to slowly go through. As usual, once we really on track with life ~ the devil will attack. Two of my closest family members do not have good health, 1 is barely hanging on, and when going through trials... you really see the friends that check in on you, see if you need anything, or simply just let you know they are thinking about you.... Those things really mean the most... and in these times you see the TRUE friends... I guess God was just allowing me 1 thing on my simplify life list of Friends...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 ~ The year to Simplify!

Happy New Year
2012 ~ The year to Simplify!
I was already pondering a focus for this upcoming year.
2011 wasn’t a bad year for me. I received many blessings and enjoyed making memories with my family. So what to look forward to for 2012? Then I checked a blog email and saw the word ~ SIMPLIFY. Yes! That has been my goal but now I have a cute name for it.
I have already tried hard this year to stay out of the stores. My insides are telling me that there are many sales that I need to go find. But if I am honest with myself: Do I need clothes? no. Is there honestly anything I NEED – not want? no I have come across friends recently that are honestly just broke. It makes me see that I am truly blessed beyond measure. Yes a lot of it comes from me wheeling and dealing and coupons, etc., but over all at the end of the day I am blessed!
There are many ways I need to simplify ~
And the list goes on! Not to mention there are many categories to each listed above.