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Monday, October 10, 2016

Girl Talk

What better way to dispel some of the teenage angst than with a daily meditation and devotion? Girl Talk by Lois Walfrid Johnson is a book of weekly devotions, with daily questions and thoughts to ponder. 

What makes this devotional different than other teen devotionals is that each week you will read a story about a girl who may have situations, thoughts, and feelings just like you. You will then learn ways to process those feelings, the best ways to react, and how to follow God's word in these situations. 

We found that these real life situations make this devotional more relative and easier for pre-teens/teens to apply the week's lesson to their own life. I've decided that this will be part of our religious ed lessons.

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

Monday, October 3, 2016


October is Respect Life month. It's a month before elections and a good time to bring up these issues. What I've come to realize is that debating the issue does not help. You are either on one side or the other and someone telling you their opinion doesn't typically change your own.

It was only 2 days into the month when on Facebook I saw someone complaining about a group holding up pro-life signs at the side of the road. The comments below got heated fast: some people agreeing with the pro-life activists and others telling them they should mind their own business...that abortion is a choice. It's ironic that they didn't see that it is also a choice to be against abortion and that these protesters have just as much a right to stand up for their convictions as pro-choicers do for theirs.

It became disheartening on how quickly it became vile - insults being thrown, crude language, horrible judgements - on both sides. 

It's ironic that in a month that is for respecting life, debating the issue showed little respect for others. 

October is also infant and pregnancy awareness loss. It was sorrowful to see people arguing whether a baby was just cells and not human yet and then seeing other posts where women were sharing their pain with the loss of their pregnancies/infants. That was ironic in the most dismal way. Our words have power and we need to think before we speak (type).

So what can we do if we feel strongly about something that we feel is wrong/right? I once heard, "If you can't change something, you need to stay neutral." I think there is very little, if anything, that we can't change in this world.  

 It's important to stand for something, because those that don't fall for anything.  There ARE things that should be fought for, there are things in life that need to be changed. If you are pro-life you should be fighting for what you believe in and if you are pro-choice so should you.

I don't mean fight in the literal sense. It's not okay to verbally attack someone who has a different view than you. All it does is alienate you and your cause. 

THIS is what I've found works the best. If you're against abortion - pray, donate to crisis pregnancy centers, support the mothers who do decide to keep or put their child up for adoption, and go ahead and picket but do it in a non-hostile way. If you're pro-choice donate to organizations that provide birth control, vote, and hold your own picketing in a non-hostile way.

In the end, we aren't going to change everyone's mind but we can do our part to support what we feel is right. In a respectful way.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Why Not Me?

I loved Mindy Kaling in The Office and really enjoyed her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? so was excited to read Why Not Me?

There were several laugh out loud moments as I read this book. I just didn't like it as much as her first. I still found it an enjoyable read because Kaling's humor matches my own so closely.

I think the only flaw I saw in the book is how Kaling mentions how different she is from most female comedians because she doesn't talk about sex. Then she goes ahead and sticks sex into this book - in a way that didn't even flow. I felt like she sold out on that one as the book could have been perfectly fine without her having to stoop to a Chelsea Handler level. Stay original, Kaling.

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

Friday, September 30, 2016

Earth Psalms

Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers is filled with reflections on how God speaks through nature. Accompanied by breath taking photography, ways to apply the week's reflection to your life, and prayers to mediate on. 

As someone who feels the peace, comfort, and awe of God most when I'm out in nature this devotional spoke to me. Romans 1:20 says
"For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

I've often wondered how people can look at the beauty around them and not believe in the God who created it. Wading at the shores of the vast oceans, seeing the sea of color in a wildflower field, watching birds build a nest and care for their young. It is all so awe inspiring. There have been moments when nature has taken my breath away and I have thanked God right then for such beauty. This devotional draws us into these moments and makes us look at God's creation with new eyes. 

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

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Starry-Eyed by Mandy Arito is a book of essays on seeing grace in the unfolding constellation of life and motherhood. 

I have a difficult time reviewing this book as the essays are good and do touch on everything a mother encounters. But being written by the MOPS CEO and published by a Christian publisher I was surprised to find this more of a new age zen-like book than a Christian one. While that in itself wouldn't be so much of a bad thing, it is not what the description of the book states, "the brightest and darkest moments of motherhood alike can become a sacred—and sanity-saving— opportunity to encounter God. There is a way to flourish in the midst of it all, and it starts with embracing the light and darkness in life with expectation and awe."

 This book does mention God but also touts astrology, spiritual healers, and many other faith traditions different from Christianity. If it was touted as just a mothering book I would have had no issues, but I expected it to be completely different based off the description so was left confused on how this was classified as a Christian book.

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

365 Pocket Morning Prayers

There is a saying of "garbage in, garbage out", meaning what we put into our brains will surely come out in our language, actions, and thoughts. Which is why I feel devotionals are so important in everyone's life. Starting the day, or ending the day, with a little prayer and some insights from the Bible really help one center their thoughts in WHO and WHAT are important.

365 Pocket Morning Prayers by David R. Veerman is such a pretty little devotional with a nice leather-like cover. The size makes it easy to slip into your purse or set by your bedside and the devotionals are just one page long, so even if you are in a hurry in the morning you can start your day with some uplifting food for thought.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book

Friday, September 16, 2016

Dear Mr. M

Sometimes a book will  grab hold of you within the first chapter and not let you go. This is one of those books.

It's the details within the descriptions that made this book a winner for me. I lapped the words up like a hungry dog, the paragraphs making you truly stop and think and nod your head along because you know people like that, you've thought that before, this sentence made you think! Koch is a true artist with his words.

The first 1/3 was thrilling. I begin to get a bit bogged down in the middle. The narration changed to third person and things got a bit difficult to follow, it seemed to drag on slightly too long, I think it could have been wrapped up sooner before the reader lost some interest in the characters. There were times I wasn't sure who was narrating and that became irritating.

I plowed on through the middle section and got the ending which again was thrilling, in a "Gone Girl" type of way. The ending leaves you with a few unanswered questions but wraps things up nicely. It's one of those books (which are few and far between) where you don't see the ending coming. 

Because of the suspense, spot on depiction, colorful characters, and ending I think this would be a great book club book as the discussion would be wild. I know I want to talk to someone about this book, so think I will suggest this for one of our book club picks.

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


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