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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Courage for the Unknown Season

Isn't it funny how God works, and gives us His messages at the exact perfect time? I had been remarking to a friend that with my youngest turning 5 years old soon and my oldest a teen that I was embarking upon a new season of life and it just felt "strange". That very night I picked a book from the top of my "to read" pile and it was Courage for the Unknown Season by Jan Silvious. It was perfect reading material at the perfect time.

We all have seasons of life and sometimes it can be a little scary navigating the unknown, but this book shows us how to do it with confidence and hope. From just the unknowns to big life changes that we didn't ask for, Silvious shows us that God shines brightest during those times of turmoil.

I gleaned a lot of wisdom from this book and will be keeping it on my shelves (which you know is a high honor in this house - only the best stay!).

This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

A Memory a Day for Moms

As someone who enjoys looking on Facebook "On This Day" to see funny things my kids said in the past, or see adventurous things we did, I love the idea of this journal. Answering the same question on the same day five years in a row lets us see how things change and what happened on particular days. Some examples of questions are "What is your child's favorite tv character" and "What has been a big encouragement to you lately?" I've had a lot of fun answering these questions and think this will be a treasure and keepsake as my children grow up!
This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, March 9, 2018

All Things Bright and Strange

In the wake of World War I in the small, Southern town of Bellhaven, South Carolina, the town folk believe they’ve found a little slice of heaven in a mysterious chapel in the woods. But they soon realize that evil can come in the most beautiful of forms. All Things Bright and Strange by James Market

I love books that showcase the spiritual worlds of good vs. evil. This book started out strong but then introduced so many characters and story lines (that went no where) that it became hard to follow along. I saw so many opportunities where one of those stories could have branched out to become an interesting conclusion but the ending just felt rushed and fell flat. Actually, I still don't understand what the end was about and felt as though I had wasted my time reading the last half of the book.

This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Air I Breathe

"We're created to worship. That's why you and I are going to spend our lives declaring the worth of something. As a result we've got to make sure the thing we declare to be of greatest value is really worthy in the long run." The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio (page 21)

This book is a short quick read but makes you think about how you show your love for God. Or even if you are showing it. Every day our love for our creator should be apparent in how we live. It's not a new concept but it's a reminder we all need from time to time.

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.
 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Be The Gift

Be the Gift by Ann Voskamp teaches us how to let our brokenness be turned into abundance. 
    This is such a beautiful hardcover book with bookmark ribbon, stunning photography, journaling space and kindness prompts. But most of all the short devotionals speak to me greatly.
   As Voskamp says in the introduction; "This world is beautiful - but this world is broken. And the suffering is all around us...in us."
   This is so, so true. Aren't we all broken in some way or another? Hasn't life dealt each of us some type (or several types) of blow that affects us greatly? 
   Voskamp writes "Even in the depths of our own brokenness - actually, because of the depths of our own brokenness - God can use each of us to be a gift to another broken heart. 
   To be the broken and brave who know that when the stakes are highest, kindness matters most. 
   Even the smallest seeds of kindness can begin to break the worst kind of brokenness.
   What if we could be compassionate with each other, co-suffer with each other - so that we could be part of the healing of each other?"

  Voskamp also points out that time is fleeting and that our chance at change is now. Pages 70-71 ask us "What if instead of waiting for good enough things to happen to us we could be the good things to happen to someone else who's waiting?
   The world is brokenhearted and full of suffering, and if you listen to what life needs instead of what you need from it, you could fill the brokenness with your own brokenhearted love - and this in turn will fill you."

This goes against the grain of the world's thinking. TO DIE TO SELF. And yet that's what Jesus asks of us. "I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." -John 12:24

  I could go on and on but suffice to say that there is great wisdom in this book. I always have a difficult time reviewing Voskamp as I do find her writing to be too poetic, as though she is trying just a bit too hard and it takes something away from the writing. But in this format, short little devotions, time can be taken to read and re-read the message in order to absorb and truly meditate on her words. I found this format to be much easier on the brain.

This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.
 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Calm

I love Max Lucado's wisdom and insight and especially crave inspiration for being calm. Trade Your Cares For Calm is a devotional that my husband and I are reading together. Bible Verses, real life situations, check lists, and more in this book is helping us to see where we can hand our worries over to God and just follow Him. 
    Each chapter is just a few paragraphs long so it's easy to read quickly and then dwell on that passage all day. Included throughout the book are gorgeous photographs of God's handiwork (nature scenes) and with a nice dust jacket and attached ribbon bookmark I feel this would make a great gift. Once finished with this I plan to set it on my shelves to pull out time and time again for the reminder that God is in control. Let Go and let God.

This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.
 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The House on Foster Hill

The House on Foster Hill by Jamie Jo Wright kept me entertained on a freezing cold New Year's weekend. 
" Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide."  
The story goes back and forth between 1906 and the present day, which I'm never a huge fan of, but it was easy to follow along so that's not a con for this book.
   It's difficult to review this as it's a "typical Christian book", which sounds negative but just means that it had a few Bible verses and mentions of God in odd places so that it would fit into the Christian genre, whereas I didn't get inspired by the message and often feel like it would have been a better book had it not had random preaching in it (and this is coming from a Christian herself). 
   I think my biggest problem was that there wasn't enough "meat" to the characters and they all blended in to fuzzy sketches of people that I never got to know enough to care about.
   With that said, the story was interesting enough to keep me entertained and it was a good fluffy read so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it if someone wants an easy read.

This book was given to me by Baker Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
 

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