Thursday, October 20, 2016


So I was thinking sometime I am going to do this nice little post of random things in my life complete with pictures and snappy little captions and everything. Well it turns out I really don't like taking pictures off my camera nor am I big fan of uploading pictures to my blog. It takes time and patience and the pictures don't always cooperate on here like I like them to, so that post will continue its meanderings through the endless maze of brainwaves until either it dies a sad, forgotten death or it comes to life beneath my fingertips.

Which will it be? It's unknown at this point. Beings I really do need to upload my pictures to my computer, having small child and taking lots of pictures and things, there's a chance it may happen. But until then.... I am signing of for today. My brain space is at an all time low. It's been taken over by thoughts on mothering and friends and why we need mom friends and other things from the book study this morning.

The Beginner's Bible - KJV

I'm not sure what size I was expecting, but this is a pretty good size heavy Bible. While I realized my daughter was too young for it yet, I was imagining a Bible that she could maybe start taking to church in the next year or so. This Bible is too big for that. I would say she will need to be closer to 4 or 5 before she will be ready to take this to church. The back of the Bible does say for kids 6-10 and I would find that age to be very appropriate.

This is nice hardcover Bible, but it is pretty thick and of pretty good size. Like I said in the title, this is the King James Version. That is what our church uses for the majority of Scripture reading in church so that is why I chose this version. The pictures are nice, though as you can tell from the front cover, not very realistic at all.

The font is of a decent size, but I will be honest. When I opened it up, it struck me immediately as being hard to read. It's not actually hard to read, but I think it's the font and the spacing. They made the font a nice size, but then the spacing between lines is very narrow so it gives the impression of a really full page. The words of Christ in red seemed much easier and more visually appealing to read. So I think the starkness of the black along with the narrow spacing must be some of the problem. Now nobody else may even think this is an issue and may not even notice this, I'm just sharing what my initial impression was.

I do think this is a nice first Bible for children. I am impressed that it has a concordance and even a little introduction to each of the Books of the Bible.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Your Marriage Masterpiece by Al Janssen

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Transform Your Relationship Through God's Amazing Design.

This book is really not like any others I have ever read on marriage and I enjoy reading books on marriage. It was good. It was not a list of dos and dont's and how to love your wife and respect your husband, etc.

Al approached it in a completely different way than I have ever thought about marriage and God, etc. He viewed that story in Genesis where God made the covenant with Abraham where He walked through the animals as God marriage to us. And then approached the book as looking at how God loved Israel and how He did relationships with them to how we should do marriage. It was an interesting approach. About every other chapter was a vignette either from an angel's perspective or a Biblical marriage or a modern take on a Biblical story to emphasize the point he wanted to bring out.

I think the biggest takeaway for me from this book is marriage is not about my happiness. It's about my husband and I doing life together with God. It's a three-fold-cord so to speak. God sacrificed His Son for us, I am called to sacrifice my wants and wishes for my husband. I am called to submit to him all because of Christ's example.

Marriage is a covenant relationship, not something you back out of if the going gets rough. You have to view it as being for life. There is no other option and I think then we are more likely to give it our best as well. It is too easy today to just find another spouse rather than making it work. I really appreciated the emphasis Al put on marriages being a covenant and there is no room for divorce in a covenant marriage.

We are showcasing Christ to the world in the way that we do marriage, let's make it a positive show.

I enjoyed this book. It was given me by the publisher. By receiving the book, I am consenting to write a review that honestly reflects my opinions and thoughts.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

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Rachel is a relatively new-to-me author that I have discovered. The first two books I read by her were The Wedding Chapel and The Wedding Shop and they were hands down some really good books. That's saying a lot because they were written in a style that normally doesn't appeal to me.

So I was excited when I saw she had another book coming out. This was the fourth in a series, so I got the first two from the library and am still waiting on the third one. I think I'm 9th on the waiting list the last time I checked, so it will be awhile.

Anyway, this is the final book in a series of American girl meeting Brighton (think like England) royalty and falling in love. I enjoy the whole prince, king, fairy tale aspect of the stories and think Rachel did a good job at writing them. To me, they aren't as good as the other books I have read from her, but they were still an interesting read. I will say that having four books in this series that are basically the same premise is a little redundant and yet I did enjoy them.

I think one paragraph from the epilogue of the book sums up a lot of what life is about. "'My greatest treasures are my wife and children. I'm aware that when I stand before the Lord of all the ages and He judges my life, He will ask first and foremost if I learned to love my wife and children more than myself. I hope when I say yes, He replies, "Well done"'".

Loving my husband and children more than myself, that requires sacrifice and humility and great dependence on God, but yes, I do believe it is a very important part of my calling as a child of God, my calling as a wife and my calling as a mother and even a friend to love God first and then others next and myself last. But I cannot do it without God.

This book was given me by the publisher. A review on this website was not required and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

This Introverted Thing

So I'm sitting here on a quiet Sunday afternoon putting my thoughts out on screen. Later I will likely reread and then post, but for now it's a dumping session that may or may not be edited. This is the second such post today and both posts feel like they have potential to make me vulnerable and be somewhat personal. I'm not sure if I'm okay with that or not.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I went to the lake for a few hours with some friends from church. This going to the lake is a regular occurrence in the summer time around here and I've been meaning to go since we moved up, so finally at the end of the third summer of living here, I made it to a lake day. It was a nice day, a bit chilly and breezy, but in the sun it was nice. There was a nice playground for the kids and of course, the lake.

Just before I left, the conversation shifted to everyone sharing if they were introverted or extroverted. I thought this was a good time to leave and prepared to depart. They made me share before I left. Now before I go further, let me describe for you what I think of as an introvert or an extrovert.

An extrovert is someone who is energized by being with people. This doesn't mean she has to talk a lot or be the main front runner in the conversation. This, to me, means that she loves being with people, listening to what they have to say, hearing what's going on, contributing if she's a talkative person or just taking it all in if she's more quiet.

An introvert is someone who is energized by being at home, by reading, by DIY projects, or by cups of coffee shared with one or two best friends. They may go to social events at times because they really want to or at times because they realize it is the proper thing to do. To me, being an introvert does not mean you are quiet and shy and withdrawn. You may even be very outgoing in conversation when you are with a group of people, but it's more how you feel when you leave and go home. Are you exhausted and feel almost lonely and empty or are you energized and ready to go be with more people?

Now I did not look up any definitions of these words, this is just my own personal definition based on my understanding of these two words.

So which am I? Well, I consider myself hands-down an introvert. I said this at the lake and the comment was made, "but you weren't always like that were you?" Hmm, that poses a whole other topic. Does your personality change as you grow older? Or have I made myself change? I don't really know the answer to this, I can only share it from my perspective.

I was discussing this with another friend, a friend who would have been more outgoing in her younger days as well. What's changed? She thought responsibility made a difference for her. Now, I know I could be treading on extroverts' toes here and that is not my intention at all, but I agree with her. I loved doing youth things, then I got married and I was working a full-time job and I was not with my youth group anymore and I just didn't feel like I had the time to plug in with social activities or the energy to plug in either.

So why not after I moved back to my home area? By then, life had changed me. That first summer back here was a tough one for me. I was grieving and I was sick and I didn't like to be around little children. Yes, I probably had a wrong perspective of life then too, but that's how it was.

Am I saying that extroverts don't take their responsibility seriously? Absolutely not. I don't think that for a minute. I do recognize that I don't have enough stuff to do at home to keep me busy without the 101 projects clambering around in my brain begging to be let out.

Does being an introvert give me a valid reason to shut people out? No, it doesn't. I am still required to care about people and to love them and even to be social with them. But does it mean I might not put the emphasis on big social gatherings like others might? Yes, it probably does, but I will try to support some of them, but not all of them.

I would much rather sit down with a cup of coffee and discuss life with one or two people than share about the weather with a dozen while sipping lemonade. Now, really the choice of drink is totally not the point here, but I needed it to help make my comparison!!

But the world does need extroverts. Someone has to plan the events and show up so that they continue to happen. I have coffee at my house once a month. If everyone was like me, I would be having coffee by myself and eating myself round and roly-poly on biscotti and scones, but thanks to the extroverts I know some people will be showing up and I am grateful for that.

Now comes a somewhat sticky subject that I want to address yet. Do we as introverts enjoy big gatherings? I alluded to the fact in my definition that sometimes we can walk away feeling lonely and empty. This is not anyone's fault by our own. As introverts, and I basically am speaking for myself and one or two other people that I've talked with this about (Please I would love to have discussion on this from both sides.) we thrive a lot more on connection. Yes, I have driven home from social gatherings and wondered why I went and yet I did enjoy myself. But I wasn't planning who I was going to call on my way home and see if they wanted to get together yet that day or go see what other social event was going on that I could go to because I was so completely pumped. No, on the way home, I am unwinding, hoping the little miss will take a nice long nap and that I will be able to have some quiet time. I might regret some of the things I said without thinking and I might wonder why I bothered to go at all because now that things are quiet I wonder what good it did me.

It did me good. I know these things are good for me. I am reading a book about doing mothering together and she was talking about the different kinds of friends you need, the might-be-friends, the trying-to-be-friends, the good girlfriends, and the best friends forever. We need all of these friends in life and so I will continue to come to social gatherings though maybe not with the extroverts regularity, but I will come. We all need each other, but I think we all need to give each other grace. It would be very easy for me to condemn the extrovert for their seemingly carefree lifestyle,like how can they be going all the time like that, but we are all wired differently and I am grateful for those who show up at social events and also if I want them to give me grace for my way of doing life, then I need to extend them grace as well.

And now I am going to go see if the library has a book that was recommended to me: Quiet, the Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking.

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Love Transformed by Tracie Peterson

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I don't think I really need to give a synopsis of this book. It's your typical torn away from the one you love, reunited, but one has made some mistakes and decides he needs to pull away for awhile, but then it all works out. Of course, there's generally someone who makes a little trouble, etc. etc. I think the story fits right in with your typical inspirational romance.

I do like Tracie as an author though and do read quite a few of her books. There were some very good points she made in this book, especially in the beginning that I want to bring out. When the male main character, Curtis, is working through some of his past mistakes and regrets, the lady of the house where he was living  had some keen insights.

Let me see if I can pull this together succinctly to where it makes sense.

Curtis was angry at God and felt like God had let all the bad stuff happen to him, his parents died, the woman he loved, Clara, was taken away from him, and then he let himself turn to drinking, women, and robbery and ended up in jail for five years. Aunt Madeline said this to him, "God didn't steal those things away from you, Curtis. That much I know."

"If not God, then who? You and Paul keep telling me God is all-powerful and all-knowing. If that's true, then He knew my parents would get sick, and He had the power to make them well. But He didn't. He knew what those losses would do to me. He knew it would send me to drinking and abominable action, and yet He let it all happen."

"Goodness, Curtis, it seems you can't take responsibility for anything."

"I mean that you were the one who got yourself into that mess with drinking and gambling. You were the one who chose those means of comfort. I'm not about to sit here and let you off the hook for that. Nor am I going to sit here and let you feel sorry for yourself. We all make bad decisions in life, Curtis. We all make mistakes. We are sinful and human."

She goes on to say that God could have kept some of the stuff from happening, like his parents dying, but these are the things that cause our faith to grow as well.

The thing of needing to forgive yourself and let the past be the past was also brought up in this book. I just thought these were some really good points. Sometimes it is easy for us to blame God for bad choices we willingly made. It's not God's fault if I rob a bank or tell a lie or even gossip and it comes back to bite me. That was a choice I made and then I need to deal with the consequences. It's also true, that if I have asked God to forgive me, then I need to forgive myself and allow His blood to wash me clean and focus on moving forward into a deeper relationship with Him.

I thought this and the emphasis on prayer and dependence on God was really good. I enjoyed the book.

This book was given me by Bethany House of the purpose of reading and writing a review. All opinions expressed were my own.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

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Oh my, can you say beautiful? I am so excited about this Bible. It's an NIV Bible with lots of journaling lines and verses to color. The Bible passages are written on two-thirds of the page toward the binding and the rest is either lines for journaling or a verse to color. The pages are a little thicker than to accommodate the coloring, but I would still stick to colored pencils rather than markers just in case. I haven't tried it out, but I plan to use it as my Study Bible for next year.

One thing I don't like, is it's rather smallish as far as size maybe 6 by 8, that's just a rough guess, but then it's pretty thick. I would rather it was a little bigger like your typical study Bibles and then it wouldn't be as thick, but then there wouldn't be as many verses to color either.

A few verses take up a whole page, like the fruit of the Spirit they have all spread out on a page or John 3:16 .

A lot of the verses are meaningful ones that you could reflect on while you are coloring. "Call to me and I will answer you...." "Do not let your heart be troubled...." etc. Then there was this one: "She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." I really don't know what to make of that verse, but I suppose it can be a good reminder for me to think about the needs around me.

I am just so happy with this Bible and so excited about using it. Hopefully I can actually get myself to really use it.  When I got it, I was exclaiming over it and the little miss touched it with her "bugely" hands and I wanted to be annoyed and then I had to remind myself, that while, yes, it is the Word of God and needs to be treated with respect, in other ways it is just a book and I need to be okay with a few marks on it. Now I can always be reminded of my daughter when I use it, except the marks are so small I can barely notice them now.

This book was given me by Book Look Blogger in exchange for my honest review.