Thursday, September 18, 2014

Treasury of Bible Stories {Review and Giveaway!}

This opportunity for this book review was perfect! 

It was starting to became obvious we had been neglecting opportunities to share God's word with Hadassah and Mordecai. They needed a more consist time with either Mom or Dad reading the bible and learning about Jesus. 

With my first few kids we never even had a secular movie in the house. Maybe Elijah would watch Bob the Builder from time to time, but it was all praise videos and bible stories. It is adorable when Mordecai shouts the lyrics to "Christmas Monkey" from Curious George, but since toddlers will soak up all they see and hear.. it was time for Mommy to set aside a special time apart from raising her "pre teens" and focus on the little ones --- and of course a fun NEW Bible Treasury Book helps!
We really enjoyed Magnificent Tales: Treasury of Bible Stories. Of course, as you can see from above; we got quite the giggles from the illustrated buggy-eyed Jesus, but ended up loving all the fun art. 

There are 20 Treasury of Bible Stories in all (see the table of contents here). It took me a few stories to get the poetic rhythm and I was concern that it would not keep their focus, but they loved the stories. 

Each story is a good length which makes them perfect for bedtime. Often we read two just because they did not want to be done. Their favorite story- Food for a Fish (Jonah and Whale). 

From a parent point of view, I really appreciated the author keeping many biblical details that other children's bibles often leave out. 

Here is a little video of Mordecai's thoughts! So adorable.

Ok, so you know we loved the book and we are blessed to let you win a copy! 
At least try the Rafflecopter below!! 
Giveaway will end OCTOBER 1st!

Please watch they book trailer below too!

About the book:
Featuring lyrical stories that will make you laugh, this colorful collection is perfect for reading out loud. Magnificent Tales are rhyming Bible stories with clever art and clear lessons the whole family will enjoy. The stories and illustrations are so engaging that you won’t grow tired of reading a Magnificent Tale night after night! From “The Salty Tale of Noah’s Ark” to “The Lasting Story of the Last Supper,” the rhyming tales in this book remind us that God loves His people—in the Bible and today! 

About the author:
Kelly Pulley has illustrated dozens of books in The Beginner’s Bible series and has authored and illustrated several other children’s books, including Ten Unusual Features of Lulu McDunn andThe Cycling Wangdoos. He enjoys spending time with his four grown children and his beautiful wife, Vickie, in the Nashville area.

Book Trailer

In Him,

Winner has 48 hours to respond before new winner will be chosen. "Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 'Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonial in Advertising.'"

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Trying to Understand Grief.

the last time i held his hand..

This post has been tumbling around in my head for months. Ever since Fathers Day, when I lost my Daddy.

When I am alone running, worshiping, sleeping or when my house is actually quiet- grief will slap me the face or creep up slowly as I try to push it away.
Even last night I woke up twice- bawling.

Truth be said- I miss my Dad.

In about 3 days or so, it will have been 9 years since I my brother died. I cannot believe it has been that long.
The death of my dad does not lesson the hurt of my brother, but it cuts deeper. I can only how much it hurts to loose a child or a spouse. God, be my help if He ever chooses that for me...

Where it hurts the most- not knowing his eternal state. Yeah, Yeah.. I get it. My apologies ahead of time, but comfort and reassurance from those who say he is "looking down at me" will not help.

My dad was an amazing man.. yet stubborn as the get go. He honestly showed me what a father can be and allowed me to walk out my faith from a young age. Yet, faith/religion did not settle well in topic. He had been hurt by the Jehovah Witness church or many other things I suppose. An anger arose in him, if you even brought up Jesus. Through grandkids and his own kids loving him with the love of God, we hope in his dying unconscious state he surrendered. All I can do is HOPE, but in that hope it HURTS. Even I times I grow frustrated. I want to be in heaven with Jesus all the more.

I was his baby out of 8 kids and two marriages. He was always there for me. Being able to run into his arms, was such a picture of what my heavenly father has and will always be for me.. does that make sense? Some people have a hard time understanding the love God because their relationship with their own father was dysfunctional. The exact opposite was my relationship with my dad. For that I am ever thankful.

I wish I had more time with him. I wish I could have been by his bedside when he took his last breaths...

My dad was an incredible runner back in the day. I have many memories cheering him on...and he did the same for me. Almost every race, he was always there. I plan to run another soon, but I am afraid of the reality I must face at the finish line- he will not be there. more grief.

God, let that not be true with eternity!

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.…Hebrews 12

For now I have to choose joy. choose to pray. choose to journal. choose to enjoy life. many moments it does not come easy. sorrow sucks. sorrow hurts.

I will keep looking up to the Lord for he is where my help comes from.
my big 10k, selfie at finish line.

this is what I am going to do with dad in eternity-
coffee and carrot cake.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Love Dare for Parents {Book Review & Giveaway!}

This is the first time I've had 3 book giveaways going at the same time!  My hope is you will be enter and win at least one. It just so happened to be the month of summer reading. :)

If you saw my Facebook Posts, you definitely realized how impacting The Love Dare for Parents was in my life. It is a 40-Day Challenge, to journal and grow as a parent- yet I am taking it VERY slow. I am practically doing about one every three days because the spirit of God teaching me invaluable lessons. I read, journal and re-read to my husband. I honestly see it more of an inspiring devotional.

Each day covers a "Love Dare" with a scripture, exhortation/encouragement and journaling section. This book can be used if you have one child or ten. It can be used whether you have a newborn (why not prepare ahead!) or adult children. It is never to late to invest in our children. Honestly I wish I was reading this 10 years ago.

Sean and I will be purchasing The Love Dare (for marriages) very soon. We both realized if the parenting book is this good, we can't go wrong with investing into our marriage too!

Here was one of my facebook posts:

Realizing how selfish I can be as a parent.. God show me how to give, like He has given to me. They are only in my care for a short time. Sacrificial love. "Love does not seek its own" 1 Cor 13. "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves" Phil 2:3

I want to live life FULLY with them. Yes, I need breaks and moments to breathe, but no "Me" time will take away all stresses of my day. Only Jesus can. By the peace HE gives.

Part of Love Dare for parents day 6-
"God strategically uses our children to help us become less self centered, less self absorbed, and more loving like Him..
"We must remember that selfishness and love are in constant opposition to one another. You can't be acting out of real love and selfishness at the same time. Selfishness causes us to put our own hobbies, entertainment and comfort above the needs of our children. It leads many parents to refuse to have more children because they don't want anything to stretch them further beyond themselves.
Choosing to love your children will cause you to say "no" to what you want so you can say "yes" to what they need. It doesn't mean you cannot enjoy personal fulfillment but don't negate their welfare and needs just so you can enjoy your own."

About: The Love Dare for Parents - Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick
From the authors of international best-selling marriage book The Love Dare comes The Love Dare for Parents, a 40-day journey of “dares” challenging one or both parents to understand, practice, and communicate Christ-like love to their children. Easy to read and work into a busy schedule, The Love Dare for Parents is designed to “turn the hearts of parents to their children and turn the hearts of children to their parents” (Malachi 4:6) so that moms and dads can more fully enjoy and delight in their children while maximizing the positive impact they have on their lives long term.
Each day brings a promising key verse from Scripture, a biblical principle about love that applies to parenting, a specific challenge the parent does for the sake of their child, and space to journal thoughts and reflect on what happened that day.

The Love Dare for Parents can also be purchased on Amazon. Softcover, Kindle, Leather Bound or Mp3 audio.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter {Book Review and Giveaway!}

Please note: this is a special review. My twelve year old daughter is an avid reader and was excited to participate in one of our book reviews. All thoughts are hers alone, with a few typing edits on my part. Her short review is below after a few of my thoughts. Hope you are blessed and get to read this wonderful book!

"Kelly Minter writes the way a portrait artist paints." ~ Beth Moore

I knew I wanted to read this book immediately when I watched the video below. Oh, how self centered our Christian faith has become. We blind ourselves with "self" forgetting to see even the needs of our own neighbors. Then more often than not, we completely ignore those who suffer and are dying in all parts of the world.

Kelly takes you on her personal journey as she travels through Brazil and down the Amazon to those in need. God awakens her own heart to share the gospel thus deepening her walk with Him.

It stirred a desire for missions in my daughter Lydia's heart too... here are a few of Lydia's thoughts on Wherever the River Runs:

  • inspiring
  • has a good narrative style, similar to CS Lewis
  • very descriptive
  • referred to scripture a lot
  • it was if she was sitting down with you, telling you a story- in a good way!
  • made me want to experience a missions trip

About the book:
In Wherever the River Runs, Kelly Minter invites us on a journey down a river teeming with piranhas and caimans, as well as machete-wielding mothers, heroic jungle pastors, faith-filled children, and miracles too seldom experienced in our part of the world. Kelly's honest and engaging narrative pulls back the curtain on one of the most captivating places on earth as well as on parts of the gospel we may be able to recite but have never fully believed.

On this beautiful adventure through the jungles of Brazil and the tangles of the soul, Kelly rediscovers Jesus among a forgotten people living well beyond the corners of her previously defined faith--a people who draw her back to their country, their pain, and their hope in Him, again and again.

About the Author:
Kelly lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves the Lord passionately both across the U.S. and internationally in a variety of creative roles. An acclaimed author, musician, Bible study creator and teacher, she is passionate to see women impacted by Jesus and His Word.

Here it the must see video below. Please spread the word! 
This giveaway will only last ONE WEEK. See Rafflecopter below.

Kelly Minters book can also be purchased on Amazon. 

In Him,

Winner has 48 hours to respond before new winner will be chosen.
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 'Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonial in Advertising.'"

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teachable Moments by Marybeth Hicks {Book Review & Giveaway!}

Sean and I feel it is of the utmost importance to make every moment teachable with our children. We are not perfect, thus they are learning life through many of our own mistakes.

Teachable Moments is thoughtfully presented. Marybeth has four children of her own and I love hearing from moms who are one step ahead of me.

Sean and I are very strict (compared to some) when it comes to social media or even entertainment, but this book definitely opened my eyes to what todays parents struggle with and what I can be prepared for with my own children. She does not claim to have all the answers, but does give helpful advice to many different scenarios- no matter how laid back or strict you are regarding media.

MaryBeth gives credit to the Lord and her goal of the book it to help others benefit of her many years in the "parenting trenches". You can read more about MaryBeth Hick here on her Amazon profile.

Love this quote from chapter one...

"It's important to remember that technology itself is morally neutral. Just as it can be used to corrupt their souls, it also can be a tool to teach and promote the lessons our children need to live moral and faithful lives. Media devices can isolate us from one another, but if we use them in a positive way, they can bring us together. The trick is to have mastery over our media consumption,  and not let media have mastery over us."

About the Book-

This book is worth adding to your collection. One of my readers will receive ONE FREE! Please just enter the rafflecopter below. Giveaway will end in two weeks on the 26th of August! It may also be purchased on Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner has 48 hours to respond before new winner will be chosen.
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 'Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonial in Advertising.'"

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Hadassah!

Hadassah is an amazing (now 4 years old) little girl.

Her personality is always shining.

In fact, she just brought me a piece of paper with scribbles, "Mommy. Here ya go. It says 'I Love You!'" Then she runs off literally howling...

She is smart, witty, and will tell you like it is. One honest take charge little girl.

She wanted a chocolate cake with pink frosting. We spent the later part of the evening at Radio Island... her favorite "Tiny Beach".

She has a special place in our heart being our first reversal baby. Now we can't image life without her!
Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Love Well by Jamie George {Book Review & Giveaway!}

About Love Well by Jamie George
Do you feel stuck? There is a way to get moving again. A path to a life of grace, peace, and deeper faith is up ahead. In Love Well, you will discover how to get unstuck. You will be equipped to set boundaries and build long-lasting, meaningful relationships. Ours is not a condemnation story but rather an adventurous love story. Through deeply personal reflections and stories, Jamie George speaks candidly regarding his lack of faith in organized religion and his struggle to survive in a broken marriage. Jamie weaves his own story through ancient tales and sprinkles in enough pop culture anecdotes to keep you coming back for more. You will laugh and you will cry. And if you follow his twelve prompts, you will experience a life filled with a lot less pressure and a lot more fun.

A few thoughts on Love Well "Living Life Unrehearsed and Unstuck":
  • easy read
  • entertainingly written
  • Jamie (a pastor) does not try to have the answer or 'be perfect', but shares how God spoke to him through his own difficulties 
  • many many thought provoking quotes through out the book (honestly-more than I would have chosen. I always prefer more scripture.)
  • has an underlining story of how his marriage was broken and restored (kept me interested.)
  • could be encouragement for either husband, wife, or single person; especially those raised in an American church culture.
  • Jamie uses a 12 prompt system: principles not a formula (it is not over done to where the reader feels like they can't move on if they didn't accomplish each one perfectly.) 
  • I know this sounds odd, but he purposely spaced the text for the reader to absorb truth and read throughly.
Jamie George founded The Journey Church in Franklin, Tennessee in 2006 as a safe haven for the “religiously wounded.” Acclaimed worship band, All Sons & Daughters, was birthed in this faith community. In addition to writing Love Well, George is co-authoring a curriculum with New York Times best-selling novelist Karen Kingsbury. Jamie lives with his wife and four children and serves the community of Franklin, Tennessee.

If Love Well sounds enjoyable to you, it would definitely be worth adding to your reading collection. :) One of my readers will be given a FREE copy to enjoy on its Release Date: August 1st. Please just enter the Rafflecopter below and be sure to spread the word. Giveaway will end in only ONE WEEK!

To purchase and reserve your copy visit Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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