September 18, 2014

The top 6 books on my "to read" list

It's no secret that I love to read... and I love coffee! Those are my top two simple pleasures in life. I can get lost in a book so easily that everything else just ceases to be for a while. If I can have a huge cup of coffee while reading that book - even better!



With that being said, I'm joining Mama's losing it's writers workshop this week, and I'm going to tell you about that top 6 books on my to read list!

Here they are:

1. Women Living Well: Find Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home
By: Courtney Joseph

Women desire to live well. However, living well in this modern world is a challenge. The pace of life, along with the new front porch of social media, has changed the landscape of our lives. Women have been told for far too long that being on the go and accumulating more things will make their lives full. As a result, we grasp for the wrong things in life and come up empty. God created us to walk with him; to know him and to be loved by him. He is our living well and when we drink from the water he continually provides, it will change us. Our marriages, our parenting, and our homemaking will be transformed. Mommy-blogger Courtney Joseph is a cheerful realist. She tackles the challenge of holding onto vintage values in a modern world, starting with the keys to protecting our walk with God. No subject is off-limits as she moves on to marriage, parenting, and household management. Rooted in the Bible, her practical approach includes tons of tips that are perfect for busy moms, including: Simple Solutions for Studying God’s Word, How to Handle Marriage, Parenting, and Homemaking in a Digital Age, 10 Steps to Completing Your Husband, Dealing With Disappointed Expectations in Motherhood, Creating Routines that Bring Rest, Pursuing the Discipline and Diligence of the Proverbs 31 Woman.

2. In the Field of Grace
By: Tessa Afshar

Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation. But God has other plans for her life. While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better. Based on the biblical account of Ruth, In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel's destiny and the future of the whole world.

3. Gateway to the Seer Realm: Look Again to See BEYOND the NATURAL
By: Barbie Breathitt

You can step into God’s gateway to receive personal insights from Heaven

4. Keepers of the Covenant (The Restoration Chronicles Book #2)
By: Lynn Austin

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the exiles in Babylon are thrown into despair when a decree from the king's palace calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet but brilliant scholar, soon finds himself called upon to become the leader of his people. Forced to rally an army when all his training has been in the Torah, he struggles to bring hope in a time of utter despair, when dreams of the future--of family and love--seem impossible. In Keepers of the Covenant, acclaimed novelist Lynn Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God's unwavering love for His people.

5. Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy
 By: Pierce Brown

(NOTE: This is not my normal Spiritual/Christian fiction book, there's some language and bloody battle scenes that are pretty descriptive... none the less it drew me in and I can't abandon Darrow now!)

Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

6. Emma
By: Jane Austen
(Because I haven't read it yet, and because Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites of all time!)


Of all Jane Austen's heroines, Emma Woodhouse is the most flawed, the most infuriating, and, in the end, the most endearing. Pride and Prejudice's Lizzie Bennet has more wit and sparkle; Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey more imagination; and Sense and Sensibility's Elinor Dashwood certainly more sense--but Emma is lovable precisely because she is so imperfect. Austen only completed six novels in her lifetime, of which five feature young women whose chances for making a good marriage depend greatly on financial issues, and whose prospects if they fail are rather grim. Emma is the exception: "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." One may be tempted to wonder what Austen could possibly find to say about so fortunate a character. The answer is, quite a lot.

That's it for my to read list! I think I'll share a post soon on my top favorite books of all time!




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September 10, 2014

Let your light shine...

A very good friend of mine received a word from God for me about a month ago. She sent it to me in a text (as mothers sometimes do in a desperate attempt at reaching out to each other with so little time in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done). The text she sent read:

“Twinkle Twinkle little star how I wonder what you are, up above the world so high like a diamond in the sky. When nothing shines upon you, you shine your little light, then travelers in the dark thank you for your tiny spark. They could not see if you did not twinkle so, they which do not know which way to go… twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder what you are.

It blows my mind how gentle our God is to speak a lullaby to us for a revelation of how much we mean to Him, who He is to us and how much we are needed in this dark world. We just have to keep our spark! Shine bright, even when it’s hard. Love ya!”

Since that little word she gave me, I've “coincidentally” ran across a few printables’ with Matthew 5:14  - "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." Such as the one below!



I've also stumbled upon Daysprings new jewelry line, Everlasting light, which I feel I MUST have one of soon. (I mean, it’s a divine connection between the word spoken to me and this jewelry line right?) ;) I can’t deny the fact that the Lord is speaking to me. I've gone through a sort of dry spell spiritually lately, to the point of questioning my calling in the ministry… perhaps this was Gods way of telling me to keep that light shining, to hold on to my Faith and to not give up.                        

Sometimes, the best night of my week are Wednesday nights, when I can walk into my classroom full of young teen girls… so full of promise and eager to learn. I realize that this light is a beacon in the night for those girls. Some of them do not come from Christian homes and are wandering around in the darkness trying to find their way.

I know that I’m nothing special outside of Christ, and I know that if I didn't follow my calling someone else would just take my place… look at how profoundly Esther stepped into her purpose, even to her it was said “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14

For such a time as this. – I haven’t been divinely placed in a royal position that could potentially save my people from annihilation… but the word is for us all. If we don’t rise up and step into our calling, someone else will. All of our gifts are given to us from above… we are nothing special without Christ and the many talents and gifts we are given can easily be given to another who would gladly use them for the Kingdom.  I want to be that person… I want to be able to stand before God on judgment day and feel like I used my talents wisely.  

“Do not neglect the gift you have,” – 1 Timothy 4:14
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,” – 2 Timothy 1:6
“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them” – Romans 12:6-8
“A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.” – Proverbs 18:16

I know my top gifts are teaching and writing and I feel so very blessed to be able to do both. I love the girls in my group and even though the enemy tries to make me doubt myself… I know it’s where I belong. I sometimes just need a little reminder…


 Isolate your gifts, develop them, use them… let that light shine!

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September 9, 2014

Finding the beauty, the calm, the joy in the midst of the craziness

One thing I've learned so far in life is that life is crazy! Finding the beauty, the calm, the joy in the midst of the craziness… that’s what life is all about.

It’s about finding your balance (while standing on one leg, blind folded, while juggling Samurai swords). It’s a journey in finding out that this crazy life is NOT about you. The world doesn't revolve around you. It’s about giving of yourself to others, giving from the gifts that have been given to you from our Gracious Heavenly Father. You might think you have no gifts… but you do, oh you do!


 There seems to be a reoccurring theme in messages I've been hearing this past week… sowing seeds, giving back, and using your gifts. I can’t help but take a look at my life and reevaluate what I am doing with the gifts I have been given. One thing that’s occurred to me is the fact that I do love to write and I so enjoyed blogging. I have won countless essays and poetry contests in my life and I know this is a God given gift, perhaps a gift worthy of sharing?  For whatever reason, I have shied away from the blogging community. Perhaps laying my life out in the raw for all to see was becoming too much for me to handle? Whatever reason I took leave for; I feel it’s been long enough! I believe it’s time to jump back in… if you all will still have me?


I have to say with all honesty, I have missed you! I missed the acceptance, the comfort, the realness of you all. 

There have been many times that I have sat down to pour my heart out in words and I've known, without a doubt, that this… that you… were my beauty, my calm and my joy in the midst of the crazy. 

I believe that's one of the secrets to the calm... when you use your gifts for the betterment of the Kingdom... there's a peace there that transcends understanding.

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March 13, 2013

A Cast Of Stones - Review!



I began reading this book to my children... it was to become a nightly ritual of one chapter before bed time. I have to admit that the plan failed.

After the first night and the first chapter, I couldn't wait to read more!

I stayed up that night and the following night reading page after page, never wanting to put the book down.

I loved watching the main character, Errol, grow and mature from the lowly orphan turned town drunk to (well,you have to read the book) as the story unfolded.

All he wanted to do was earn some coin to buy himself more ale when he accepted the challenge of delivering a message to the towns hermit priest. After being shot at by screaming arrows and poisoned within a day he realizes he may have taken on more than he bargained for. Despite him wanting things to just go back to the way they were before he accepted the task - his life would never be the same.

From the places he visits to the characters he encounters along his way... Errol never has a dull moment during his journey. A journey I'm glad I was able to take along side him.

I finished this book in about two days... I'll have to find another book to try and read slowly with my children now.

This book is the first of a trilogy - and I can not wait to read the next books!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review without prejudice.

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January 25, 2013

Five Minute Friday - AGAIN


Again: GO

Here I am AGAIN… waiting on God to provide.

Here I am AGAIN… Trusting in God.

We’ve been here before, my husband hasn’t worked in almost a year and our savings have dwindled to nothing.

We’ve been here before, waiting on the provision and guidance of our Lord and Savior, completely trusting in Him.

I’ve been here before… feeling complete peace and joy throughout the midst of the storm.

I’ve learned through the years I’ve been on this earth that people may fail you… people will fail you… you may fail yourself… but God will never fail you, He will never forsake or abandon you… He will give you your manna of strength daily so you may overcome whatever situation you find yourself in… Again.

I praise His name… Again.

STOP



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