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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mellow, Yellow, Smellow!

I know, I know..."smellow" isn't a word.

Last night Cecily (our oldest - 15, who for some unknown reason has the Department of Motor Vehicles on the brain) participated in the Poetry Recitation Competition at her high school.  This competition is a part of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest. 
 (Cecily is fourth from the right, back row.)
Each participant is chosen by their teacher after classroom recitations.  There were 16 students who took part in the school level competition last night in hope of moving to the State level competition in Tallahassee in March.  After the first round, Cecily's recitation of "Epitaph on the Tombstone of a Child, the Last of Seven that Died Before" by Aphra Behn landed her a spot in the second round.  This was quite an honor, because only five students were chosen to participate in this second round.
In the second round, Cecily presented William Wordsworth's "The Tables Turned".  She placed third among the top four presenters!  There was one place in the poem where she used the word "mellow" instead of "yellow".  Or was it "yellow" instead of "mellow"?  Or...I don't know...but what I do know is that I am so very proud of her!  I may be even more proud of her teacher, Mr. Duffy.  He pushed her to be involved in this particular event, because he has taken the time to notice the potential that she has.  I think the sign of a great teacher is one who takes note of their students' particular strengths and talents and makes special effort to help them shine.  Thank you Mr. Duffy for doing this for Cecily!
(Cecily with two of her friends, who also were involved in the competition - Cassidee and Bri.)
One Proud Mama,

The Heart of Religion

In the Bible, the prophet Isaiah recounts these words from the Lord in chapter 58:6-9
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I."
In The Heart of Religion:  Spiritual Empowerment, Benevolence, and The Experience of God's Love, two social scientists and a theologian have come together to share an extensive study of 1,200 men and women from across the United States that sheds light on how Americans wake up to the reality of divine love and how that transformative experience expresses itself in concrete acts of benevolence.

The Authors:

Matthew T. Lee is a Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Akron. He is Vice President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love and served as Vice President of the Center for Restorative Justice of North Central Ohio. He was the project director and co-principal investigator on the "Flame of Love" Project, which focuses on the "Great Commandment"-loving and knowing God's love and then reaching out to love others.

Margaret Poloma, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology, University of Akron. She has written extensively about religious experience in contemporary American society including pioneering studies on prayer, Pentecostalism, contemporary revivals, and divine healing.  She is the author of "Main Street Mystics", among other books.

Stephen Post, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics in the School of Medicine, Stony Brook University (SUNY). He is also the President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love and the author of "The Hidden Gifts of Helping".  He is President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, founded in 2001 with a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation and devoted to high-level scientific research on unselfish love.

While much of The Heart of Religion reads like a dry textbook, there are some nuggets of clear truth like the quote below if the reader has the patience to get to them:
"Living in a dynamic relationship with an all-loving and all-powerful God has the potential to permeate all aspects of a believer's life.  It redefines common assumptions of costs and benefits from 'What's in this for me?' to 'How does this fit into a bigger plan?'  It also has the power to transform negative self-concepts into positive ones as it imprints daily life with deeper purpose that is tied to a divine calling."
The main problem I had with the material presented in The Heart of Religion is this:  God is spoken of as if He is some ethereal being "out there somewhere" whose love is supposed to motivate us to serve others in some way and only after we have had some "mountain moving" experience with Him.  The book's authors do not present (or barely mention for that matter) a clear picture of Jesus as God's Son Who has made the way for our relationship with God in the first place.  Since their conclusions were a result of interviews with men and women from across the United States, this saddens me even more.  Somewhere along the way, I'm afraid many people have missed a clear picture of the gospel.

You can check out the book on by going HERE.

Thank you B&B Media Group, Inc. for sending me a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Runner

Today Glass Road Publications is hosting a blog tour featuring A. Wayne Gill's The Runner. This is the first book in the Michael Knight Series.

When he isn’t crafting legal dramas, Wayne Gill serves as CEO and Managing Partner of Gill Law Firm, a law firm with offices in Florida and Georgia that serves some of the top companies in the world, including AT&T, Hilton Hotels Corporation, SunTrust Bank, and JM Family Enterprises. A husband and father, Wayne is the recipient of numerous civil, professional and humanitarian awards, including Northwood University’s Arthur E. Turner Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Betterment of Mankind. He is also the co-founder of the Oasis Compassion Agency, a ministry to the disadvantaged in the community.
(Bio excerpt from - the website created by Glass Road.)
 You can connect with Wayne via his Facebook page HERE.

The Runner is a novel of suspense, intrigue and spiritual awakening.  There is much to appreciate and like about the story.  There were a few problems I had with the book.  I felt like there were large chunks of "missing" story.  While reading the book, there were times I felt like I was just reading the outline to a really great story.  So many parts were a little too neat and tidy.
Mr. Gill's writing was unique in the fact that you hear from the different characters' points of view and not just from one voice in the story line.  While this wasn't my favorite book (3 1/2 out of 5 stars), Gill did cause me to want to know how things turn out for Michael down the road.

You can purchase The Runner at by going HERE.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

As Silver Refined

According to Google, the definition of refinement is
  1. The process of removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance.
  2. The improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes.
Pertaining specifically to refining silver, had this information:
"When refining sterling silver, a standard process involves putting the sterling alloyed metals into a chemical bath. The chemicals cause a reaction whereby the silver nickel, copper, or other alloyed metals are separated from the silver. The silver then forms into crystals that are attracted to a metallic plate that is charged with ions. The other metals get left in the residue...Other types of silver refining involve dissolving sterling silver in nitric acid. The nitric acid produces toxic fumes. Once the sterling is dissolved in the nitric acid, the white silver powder that remains can then be heated with a torch or in a special kiln, or furnace. The heating of the white silver powder then refines the silver to purity, or fine silver."
So...removing impurities or unwanted elements, clarification, chemical bath, nitric acid, toxic fumes, heated with a torch; nothing about any of that sounds very pleasant.

Even the Bible also has something to say about refining silver in Malachi 3:3
"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness."
What does that look like in my life and in your life spiritually speaking?

As Silver Refined:  Answers to Life's Disappointments written by Kay Arthur provides us with an invaluable resource that will help us answer that question.

At the age of 29, a divorced mother of two working as a nurse, Kay called in sick to the hospital where she was working because she was sick at heart, sick over the life of sin she had been living. She had a religion but did not possess a relationship with God. On the morning of July 16, 1963, she fell on her knees as a sinner and rose as pure and whole in the Lord’s sight. “For ‘Whoever will call upon the name of the LORD will be saved’” Romans 10:13, (NASB). “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB). She hungered and thirsted for the Word of truth and began studying the Bible. Her relationship with the Lord and scriptural findings turned her sorrows into joy and her mourning into laughter.
God’s love poured down upon her in 1965 when she married a missionary with the Pocket Testament League named Jack Arthur.  Kay’s and Jack’s deepest desire was to establish people in God’s Word. The ministry they founded in 1970 became Precept Ministries International where they served together as CO-CEOs until February 2012 when they stepped down and their son David assumed the role of CEO. Both Kay and Jack are still actively working at the Ministry.
As one of the principal Bible teachers at Precept Ministries, Kay speaks extensively domestically and internationally teaching the Word of God and the Inductive Bible Study Method.
Kay Arthur’s exciting, practical approach to the Scriptures has influenced thousands to use the Inductive Bible Study Method in their personal studies. Her distinguished Christian character, Bible teaching, championing of the Inductive Bible Study Method, and national radio and television programs motivate others to discover truth for themselves. Kay’s passion is for people to be established in God’s Word.
(Above information was taken from  You can find more information there about Kay, the inductive Bible study method, and Kay's other books and Bible studies. You can also connect with Kay via her Facebook page.)

I have completed several of Kay's Bible studies, read some of her books and have found her ministry to be a great blessing.  As Silver Refined may be one of her clearest and most helpful offerings.

I would dare to say that everyone on planet earth has wondered at some point about the purpose behind suffering, pain and disappointment.  Either they are blaming God and chalking Him up to be some distant "being" off somewhere who doesn't really care or they are on their knees crying out to Him and simply asking why?

So...what can we do when life doesn't turn out like we planned?

In As Silver Refined:  Answers to Life's Disappointments, Kay lovingly and boldly from God's Word helps us to gain an understanding of what God is after in our lives when He allows painful things to come our way.  In the book, Kay unpacks the following subjects:
  • When you feel you're a failure:  Resisting the spiral of defeat.
  • God's training in disguise:  Understanding disappointment.
  • Present failures, Past regrets:  Two dangerous disappointments.
  • Facing the stress:  God's provision in our pressure.
  • Transformed under His control:  The gift of meekness.
  • Strength in the face of stresses:  Meekness in action.
  • Facing the pain:  The safety of His Sovereignty
  • Peace amid the pain:  Profiles of trust in God's Sovereignty
  • A Truth to buy:  Deeper discoveries in God's Sovereignty
  • Strong and courageous:  Learning victory over discouragement
  • A Call to courage:  Learning endurance - in good company.
  • Where courage shows most:  Secrets of everyday endurance.
  • Turn to the joy of the Lord:  Learning victory over dejection.
  • A Message of Hope:  Learning victory over despair.
  • Always in triumph:  Out of the lowest pit.
Refinement is a process; it doesn't happen over night nor is it necessarily pleasant.  But oh beloved (Kay's term of endearment to those she's teaching) the joy of knowing our Savior more intimately, finding our satisfaction in Him alone, and being watched over by the greatest Refiner who never takes His eyes off of His vessel is worth well...more than all the silver in the world!

If you are looking for your next small group resource or Bible study, As Silver Refined would be perfect!  The book includes a 13-week companion study guide that will help you explore more fully from God's Word what it means to embrace life's difficulties as God's appointments to mold you into His image reflector.  The study guide is excellent providing a guide through the Scriptures, questions for study, memory work and prayer/journaling prompts; all designed to help you come forth
as silver refined.

*Thank you Waterbrook Multnomah for providing me a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review as part of the Blogging for Books program.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Unglued Devotional by Lysa Terkeurst

Do you ever feel as if you are coming "unglued"?  I certainly can say I do!

Have you ever felt like you have made progress in managing your out of control emotions only to have some circumstance sneak up on you the next day that throws you for a loop and seem to be right back where you started? too!

Unglued Devotional:  60 Days Of Imperfect Progress by Lysa Terkeurst may be just the resource for you!

Lysa is a New York Times bestselling author and national speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith.  She is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the author of 15 books.  She writes a daily online devotional that is read by over 600,000.  Her remarkable life story captured audiences across America when she appeared on Oprah and Good Morning America after she and her husband adopted two teenage boys from a war-torn orphanage in Liberia, Africa.  She lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and three dogs.

Unglued Devotional:  60 Days Of Imperfect Progress is a companion resource to Lysa's book Unglued:  Making Wise Choices In The Midst Of Raw EmotionsThe book contains 60 devotional readings that include a focal verse, a concise "thought for the day", devotional thoughts from Lysa and ends with a prayer prompter that helps guide the reader to internalize and apply the idea presented.  Included in the devotional as an appendix is a section where Lysa guides you to determine your "reaction type":
  • Exploder that blames others.
  • Exploder that shames herself.
  • Stuffer that builds barriers.
  • Stuffer that creates retaliation rocks.
The five main areas that Lysa seeks to guide the reader, both in the book and the devotional, are:
  • Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your important relationships.
  • Find peace in your most difficult relationships as you learn to be honest but kind when offended.
  • Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly improve your communication.
  • Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff, explode, or react somewhere in between.
  • Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control.
I remember having a conversation with a friend on Facebook just the other day regarding Lysa and Proverbs 31 Ministries.  My friend said this:  "I have stayed away from Lysa Terkeurst because of the whole 'Proverbs 31' thing.  I know her writing will be just be another reminder of how far away I am from being able to measure up to that woman."  My friend was referring to the Proverbs 31 Woman when she said "that" woman.

I immediately encouraged her NOT to avoid Lysa Terkeurst and her writing!  I have found Lysa to be a breath of fresh air in the area of women's ministry.  After reading her devotionals for a few years and some of her other books, I have found her to be deeply biblical and just as deeply practical.  Lysa's writing is genuine and real.  She encourages women to be responders rather than reactors.

Imperfect progress...yep that's what it feels like most days.  We as women are blessed to have Lysa Terkeurst to encourage us to keep keep walking in faithfulness and obedience to God and His word.

*Thank you Thomas Nelson for sending the book for the purpose of providing my readers with this review.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hurt by Travis Thrasher

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2013)
Travis Thrasher

After college, he targeted working in the publishing industry and was fortunate to find a job early after graduation. He worked as Author Relations Manager for Tyndale House Publishers, the publisher of his first two novels.
The thirteen years he spent working in author relations taught him the business of publishing as well as the psyche of writers.
Early on, he made a deliberate choice of not wanting to be boxed in by a brand or a genre. Instead, Travis has chosen time and time again to write the stories that mean something to him at that moment. He views his first ten years of being published as training and practice. Those novels in many ways were written for himself.
The four years of writing full time have taught him the discipline and determination necessary to make it as a novelist. They’ve also served to close the chapter on what is hopefully just one era in his writing journey.
The stories continue to fill his head like they did when he was in third grade. The only difference is that Travis now knows what to do with those stories. His goal continues to be to tell stories that move him as well as his readers. He wants to continue to experiment and take risks, but more than anything he wants to provide readers a satisfying experience.
The dream remains the same. To try and write something magnificent. To make up wild worlds full of wonderfully rich characters. To make sense of the world through the stories he tells. And to try and inspire hope with the words he writes.
Travis can be reached through the Contact link on his Website.

His Rebellion Will Soon Turn to Hope
When Chris Buckley first encountered the mysteries of creepy Solitary, North Carolina, he had little idea how far he would fall into the town’s shadows. After losing the love of his life, Chris tried to do things his way. He hunted answers. Then he gave up trying to find them.
But now Chris comes back to Solitary knowing there’s a purpose for his being there. As he watches his place in a twisted and evil bloodline become clear, Chris waits for the last battle—and wonders who will be left when he finally makes his stand. 
If you would like to read the first chapter of Hurt, go HERE.
My Thoughts:
Thanks to the generosity of David C. Cook, I had the privilege of reading the entire series of The Solitary Tales.  Hurt was the fourth in a series of four books following after Solitary, Gravestone, and Temptation.  I don't typically care to read books in the "young adult" genre, but I was intrigued by the synopsis for Hurt.  Thrash pleasantly surprised me!  The Solitary Tales have been quite a ride!  I would not recommend reading Hurt as a stand alone novel.  You could, but you will miss so much vital to the story of this young man who finds himself in a very real spiritual battle with the ugliest darkness.  The story is told completely from the view point of the main character...a seventeen year old boy.  At times, I thought I didn't like the books, but then a twist or turn would take place and well...I just had to keep reading.  While the books are a little lengthy, I'm glad I read them.
Happy Reading,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bethany House: Fiction/Non-Fiction Book Reviews

*Do not forget the Robin Lee Hatcher Giveaway!  You can go HERE to check it out and enter for the first two books in her Where The Heart Lives series.  I will be drawing for the winner THIS Friday evening!!!

I am privileged to be able to do book reviews for Bethany House PublishersBethany House, a division of Baker Publishing, publishes both fiction and non-fiction works that are for the most part biblically sound. will not find prettier or more well done book cover designs than at Bethany House!

Today I have both a fiction and a non-fiction title to review.

Christa Parrish is an award-winning author of three novels. Her debut, Home Another Way (Bethany House, 2008) was a finalist for the ECPA Fiction Book of the Year. Her second novel, Watch Over Me, won the ECPA Fiction Book of the Year and the ForeWord Reviews bronze medal for religious fiction. Her long-awaited third novel, The Air We Breathe (Bethany House, 2012) has already been named a finalist for the 2013 Christianity Today Book Award.
When not writing, Christa is creative director of the modern contemporary worship service at her church and co-director of the youth group. She also produces a weekly radio show, helps facilitate DivorceCare and DC4K, chauffeurs her Grand Champion blue belt to and from Taekwondo clases, and chases a toddler. She and her husband, author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, have three children in their blended family: Gray (18), Jacob (11), and Claire (2).
You can connect with Christa via her website found at or on her Facebook page.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Fisk does not go outside. She’s ruled by anxiety and only feels safe in the tiny tourist-town museum she and her mother run and call home. Then the chance arrival of a woman Molly knew six years ago changes everything. Six years ago, newly single Claire Rodriguez was an empty shell. Only in the unique friendship she strikes up with a young girl–a silent girl who’ll only talk to Claire–does she see the possibility of healing. But one day the girl and her mother vanish, their house abandoned. What happened that drove them away? And how can Claire now offer Molly the same chance at finding a life anew?

My Thoughts:
The Air We Breathe is the first Christa Parrish novel I have read.  It is always nice to discover a new author.  Parrish writes this contemporary novel using "flashbacks" to fill in the gaps in the main storyline.  Usually I do not like reading stories that rely heavily on the flashbacks for content as it can get confusing.  However, Parrish employs this technique well and her story is enhanced because of the flashbacks.
The theological theme of God's providence and sovereignty is so very clearly displayed in the life of Molly Fisk.  If you need a good reminder that God is in control and watching over every aspect of our lives...The Air We Breathe would be a good and refreshing book for you to read.
You can order the book from by going HERE.

Dr. Billy Wilson currently serves as Executive Director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal. The Center’s mission is to help restore spiritual integrity, promote scriptural unity, and encourage social responsibility in the body of Christ. Currently, the Center is facilitating the Awakening America Alliance, Empowered21, and Voice of Salvation Ministries.
Through Voice of Salvation Ministries’ World Impact with Billy Wilson, the Gospel is heard in all 50 states and 200 nations with a potential viewing audience of 650 million people each week. Each program is translated into five languages. Every day, someplace on Earth, Billy Wilson is “Sharing Jesus with the World.”
 Dr. Wilson was recently elected to the Oral Roberts University Board of Trustees where he serves as vice-chair. He also serves on numerous other boards and committees including the Mission America Coalition (Lausanne USA) facilitation committee and the Pentecostal World Fellowship advisory board.

"We are living in a fatherless generation and it has become an epidemic."

Synopsis from the back book cover:
Millions of young people are being raised without father or mother.  From this place of woundedness, generations are crying out in anguish and in longing.  This global cry - pervasive, persistent and passionate - has the potential to bring about a spiritual revolution in the earth.
Sharing his very personal story, along with biblical examples and keen insight, Billy Wilson reveals how older and younger generations can come together, reclaim what was lost and turn the pain of parental wounding or abandonment into a place of supernatural intimacy and ministry to others.  Whether you are crying out for a spiritual father or mother, or yearning to respond to the call, the Father's arms are open wide to receive you.

My Thoughts:
Mr. Wilson has written a small (only 156 pages) book with a hefty message.  His theme of "generational unity" is a much needed reminder for us all.  While much of the book states things we already know to be true, weaving his own testimony throughout the book adds a personal touch that brings home Mr. Wilson's message with depth and sincerity.  Wilson says near the end of the book:  "After all is said and done, after all our great efforts, programs and ministry intentions are fulfilled, life really boils down to just this.  Men and women, boys and girls simply need someone to be their spiritual father or mother and say, 'I Love You', in a way that they can know is true."  
Father Cry was a reminder to me of the importance of living out Christ's example of sacrificially loving others and giving of myself to them.
You can find the book at by going HERE. 

Thank you Bethany House/Chosen Books for sending me the complimentary copies of these books in exchange for my review.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Desperate Mom Giveaways

I posted HERE about Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae's book Desperate:  Hope for the Mom who needs to Breathe.  Well...this week is launch week for the book and the No More Desperate Mom movement.  I'm really excited about this and don't want you to miss out!

There are two huge giveaways I want to let you know about today.  Actually there will be giveaways all this week, but these two would be huge in the life of any tired and worn out mama!

ONE YEAR OF FREE HOUSECLEANING!!!  Did anybody shout hallelujah when you read that????  Go HERE and enter your sweet self!

SPA/MENTORING WEEKEND with Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae in COLORADO!!!!  For you and a friend...go HERE to enter for a little much needed pampering.

I know that we all love our children to infinity and beyond, but if we are honest...sometimes a break would be nice.  We live in SW Florida and that's over 1,000 miles away from our extended families.  My husband is Associate Pastor and our church is wonderful, but we don't always feel comfortable asking someone to watch our kiddos for us, because we know everyone's lives are as busy as ours.  And while I love being a stay-at-home mom and consider it a blessing to do can be a lonely existence.

Please go visit these giveaway posts and the blogs of Sally and Sarah.  You have many blessings and great encouragement awaiting you there.

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."  Isaiah 40:11

Friday, January 4, 2013

Robin Lee Hatcher Giveaway

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She discovered her vocation after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. 
Although Robin didn't always want to be a writer (Her first love was acting.), she discovered in high school that writing could transport her to any place at any time.
From her biography found on her website:
 "I read voraciously. I daydreamed. In my mind, I reworked the endings of both movies and books any time they didn't suit me. I performed with a Christian theater troupe. Then I got an idea for a story, a Gone With The Wind type saga. I talked about it with others for about six months. Finally, I sat down and began to write. I wrote long hand on yellow legal pads and typed the pages on the office Selectric typewriter during lunch hours and coffee breaks. Nine months later, I had a book, and a little over two years after that, it was published."
When others find out she writes "Christian Fiction", Robin says she often gets a blank stare.  What makes her writing different from regular fiction?  Here's part of the reason, again from her website:
"Because the essence of Christianity is a relationship with God, a Christian novelists’ well-conceived story will in some way, whether directly or indirectly, add insight to the reader’s understanding of life, of faith, of the Creator’s yearning over His creation."

And that is what Robin strives for in her stories...and she does it very well.

Betrayal is the second book in Hatcher's Where the Heart Lives series.  Belonging is the first installment and Beloved will complete the series some time later this year.  

Book Synopsis:
It’s the turn of the twentieth century and drifter Hugh Brennan is a man well acquainted with betrayal. Hugh finds himself drawn to the attractive widow, Julia, yet when he looks into her eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him.
Julia Grace has little reason to trust men, but she’s going to have to trust someone if she’s to keep her ranch from the clutches of her dead husband’s half-brother. Is it possible God had a hand in bringing Hugh to her door?
The latest historical romance from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher and the second book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of two seekers learning to trust God’s love no matter the circumstances.

Zondervan sent me a copy of both Belonging and Betrayal for the purpose of review.  While I haven't read anything from Hatcher before these books, I can now say I am a fan!  Her stories in this series are a simple weaving of the lives of three siblings trying to find their way after being raised apart from each other.  God's story of redemption, second chances, forgiveness, and all things working together for the good are clear in Hatcher's writing.  I'll be looking to read more from her in the new year.

Thanks to Zondervan's generosity, I have a copy of these first two books in Hatcher's Where the Heart Lives series to give to one of my readers!

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me who your favorite author and genre of fiction is and I'll send one of you a copy of both Belonging and Betrayal!
Happy Reading,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013!!

Welcome 2013!  I'm praying you and your family have had a blessed holiday season.  As we enter a new year, there are a few things I am super excited about and I want to share them with you today.
Now I usually do not accept friend request on Facebook from people I do not know.  I just find that a little weird.  However...when I received a friend request from Kelly Thorne Gore and took a look at her page, I accepted her request!  I just sensed a refreshing spirit about her and the things she was posting...and plus, I became very curious about something that kept being mentioned on her page...iBloom.

iBloom is a ministry devoted to equipping women to love the life they live and is comprised of a group of amazing life and business coaches.  I am so grateful that in God's providence I "stumbled" upon iBloom and have connected with so many amazing women who are seeking to honor and glorify God in their lives, homes and businesses. 

Two aspects of iBloom in which I will be participating this year is serving as an iBloom ambassador and going through the book iChoose2 Love My Life:  A One-Year Journey Toward Living A Life You LoveiChoose2 Love My Life really isn't just a is a 52 week journey toward a life of contentment, challenge and growth in honoring and glorifying God with your life in very practical ways.  Some of the areas touched on in the book are i Choose 2...
Live Intentionally
Manage my Time
Be Grateful
Operate in My Strengths
Be Still and Listen
Create a Routine
Make a New Friend
Make My Home a Haven
Get Organized
Make a Difference
And that's just 11 of the places this year long journey will take you.  The book gives you places to take notes, make observations, and journal through your journey.  So often we speak in theory about our life and the things that would be good to do...iChoose2 Love My Life helps you not only develop a God honoring theory for your life, but offers practical guidance to moving your theology to doxology and actually living a life you love.
Beginning this Wednesday (tomorrow!), I will be blogging through my iChoose journey.  I hope you will join me each Wednesday as I share with you how I'm choosing to love my life in 2013.  Go HERE and grab your copy!

Don't miss the party on January 8th!  I'd love to have you join me as my guest!  Just leave me a comment and let me know you'll be there!  You will be blessed and encouraged!

Secondly...I'm excited about being a part of the No More Desperate Mom Movement prompted by the book Desperate:  Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  The book is published by Thomas Nelson and will be available anywhere books are sold on January 8th.

The definition of desperate according to Google is...
 feeling, showing or involving a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with or tried in despair or when everything else has failed; having little hope of success.
Have you ever felt that way in your mothering?

Have you ever thought "I can't be a mother today?"  I have.  Actually, if I'm being honest...I'm in a season of desperation in my parenting right now.  I'm 41 and am a mother to a 15,7 and soon to be 4 year old.  This book and this movement could not be coming at a better time.  God is so good in that He is meeting the deepest cry of my heart through both connecting with iBloom and Desperate.

Sarah Mae blogs at Sarah Mae:  Fitting Perfect into Fallen and can be found on Facebook


I have been familiar with Sally's ministry to mothers for several years now.  When my firstborn was elementary age, I read her book The Ministry of Motherhood and have followed her ministry since.  She blogs at I Take Joy and can also be found on Facebook.

These two ladies have come together in Desperate to offer a beautiful picture of support, encouragement and exhortation in this calling of motherhood.  Sarah's portions of the book are genuine and transparent...they are real.  Sally offers wisdom from a seasoned mother that exhort and encourage.  I'm not sure you will find a more refreshing sense of hope in your calling as a mother than you will find in this book.  They provide an amazing picture of mentoring that should be taking place between older women and younger women.  Desperate is for moms and women of all ages in all different stages.  We need to be doing life together and Sarah and Sally show us how to do that in God honoring ways.

You can order your book from by going HERE.

Connect with the launch of the book and ministry on Facebook by going HERE.

Ruth over at The Better Mom will be hosting a Bible/Book study of Desperate on Tuesday and Thursdays beginning January 29th.
You won't want to miss it!  I will also be blogging through the book study on Tuesdays beginning January 29th.

Thank you Thomas Nelson for sending me the book as part of the Booksneeze program.

Lastly but certainly not the least of these...I'll be joining in with Beth Moore in memorizing 24 passages of Scripture in 2013 as part of Living Proof Ministries Siesta 2013 Scripture Memory Team.  You can visit Beth's blog post HERE to get all the details on how to be involved.

My first verse and my chosen verse to focus on during 2013 is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Rejoice always, pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

I know this is all a lot if information, but I wanted to get this info before you on this first day of the new year.  I'm anticipating not a good year or a bad year, but a God year in 2013!  If you have any questions about anything in this post, please leave me a comment!  I'd love to hear about some of the things you are looking for in 2013 and hope you will join me here at Mother of Three!