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Showing posts from November, 2013

Are You Ready To Learn?

Oh, how I wish I could go back to school. Yes, I am that geeky girl who loves to learn. Gimme a book and my nose is in it. I'd love to sit in a classroom again. But, wait. I am in a classroom. This earth is my university. My Jesus is my Teacher. This life is a lesson. I can pay attention. I can choose to participate. I too can take the option that I know it all and try to do it on my own. Remember that saying, "I wish I knew then what I know now?" Yep, that's me. I wish now I could go back to school and do it all over again. Oh sure, I think I would apply myself and do great, but on the other hand I too could repeat my same old mistakes of thinking I knew it all and didn't need to pay attention. 
I have learned the hard way on many lessons in my life. Stubborn could be my middle name. Now, before high school, I was a straight A student. Even as a freshman I was a great student, but then it was as though my common sense just left me and I chose to do things I kne…

Let Go and Pick Your Feet Up!

What is a favorite memory of your childhood? One of mine is riding my bike. Living in the country was a blessing. When I was a kid I could hop on my bike, ride all day with friends, and be home in time for dinner. I rode my bike everywhere. We lived right near the river. So, I could ride down to the river and watch the barges pass or I could take off and ride through the back roads surrounded by corn and bean fields. 
No cell phones to distract us. No internet to keep us indoors. Just hop on your bike and pedal to your friends house. We lived in a small town. I guess you could say it was quaint. Life seemed easy on my bike. Freedom. Wind in my face. Sunshine splashing down on me. Sometimes I would just take off all on my own and dream as I pedaled. 
I never had training wheels. Dad taught me how to ride a bike on a gravel road. Many times I took spills and dug rocks out of my knees, but I dried my tears and got back up again. Looking back all those years ago makes me long to ride aga…

Is it midnight already?

As little girls we find ourselves dreaming as though we are Cinderella waiting for our prince to come. We dream of that white gown we will fit in perfectly. We see the aisle we are walking down and it seems just a short walk to our prince. We envision our home. Two children, a dog and a sweet home surrounded by a white picket fence. Many times we dream of what our parents shared or sometimes, what they did not.
The carriage picks you up, your dress is white and your prince is standing ready to take your hand, but we never really dream past midnight do we? I know I didn't. We never ponder over the struggle. We never envision a trial coming. If we are not prepared, what do we do? Sometimes we lose sight of the carriage that picked us up. We no longer see a carriage, but a  pumpkin escorting us down a bumpy road into the darkness. We want to scream at the driver and say, "Excuse me, what happened to my carriage? What happened to my perfect night? I think your going the wrong wa…

The Painted Table by Suzanne Field

The Painted Table is a novel that spans from the years of 1858-1975. A Norwegian table that has lasted through four generations. A table created in love with a message of hope, love, and faith. But for all this table doesn't have the same message. For Joann life was not easy as a child. She seemed to be the child unloved. The child seeking and never gaining an inch. She was the child left out and wanting. This life seemed to own her all of her years. Joann would be diagnosed with schizophrenia. This would be years after she left home, married and had children. 
Joann married her sweetheart Nel and had two beautiful daughters, Saffee and April. This home now holds the heirloom table. A table with a legacy that would be a choice of those who owned it. For Joann, this table brought many emotions. Unsettled feelings from her childhood that never healed. Joann was torn from past and present. So wanting normalcy, but never escaping the the past. Joann was haunted. 
Yes, this is the stor…

Sights From My Scope

Sitting in our deer cabin looking out with the scope on my gun. Everything so clear and precise as if the whole world makes sense. I am in awe of all the different trees standing tall around us. Some still holding leaves. Leaves are dancing off others. It's like I see these majestic beauties in a whole new way. They almost look like old men. Knotted and arms open wide. They look so wise. I wish they could speak and tell me stories of long ago when they first started out and how things have changed over the years. The storms in life they have witnessed first hand. Winters cold as ice,  springs that bring new life, and autumns that add color. They have been through the seasons of life. Some need pruned. Some branches are just dead. There are trunks that hold nothing but a shell. Somehow I think this could be the lives of those I know. 
These old gents sway in the brisk wind today. Their deep roots hold them in tight. I notice how each leaf falls differently. None the same. None has…

Every Waking Moment by Chris Fabry

Every Waking Moment is a sweet and tender read. There are many characters, but the one who stands out among all others is Treha Langsam. As the story begins we see Miriam Howard, the director of the assisted living facility speaking with a family about this being home for their mother. The family isn't quite sure. They are unsettled about leaving their mother and the guilt is about to topple them over. In the beginning I thought Miriam was going to be the main character, but as the story evolves we learn more and more about Treha. 
Treha works at the facility. She has a special gift at reaching those who have been unreachable. She connects with them on a level that has others guessing. Treha is different and has qualities that make some question her ability to work in this environment, but because Treha is different  it makes her perfect. I fell in love with her character. So loving, tender and understanding. 
Treha's life unfolds and we this young woman give to others as she …

Be Brave

Be brave. 
It's a new year approaching. Leave your fears behind and stretch forward with courage. 
Be brave. 
A new season has arrived. Lay your doubts down and choose to be confident in Christ. You are beauty. You are unique. Quirks and all. You were created with purpose. 
Be brave. 
Uncover who you are as you discover more of God. Imperfect in sin, but perfect in Christ. 
Be brave. 
Remember who you are. You are a child of the King. You come from royalty. Your heritage is found in Jesus and He holds your inheritance in wait. You were created to soar. To break through the chains. To go beyond the drawn lines. It's time to step out of your comfort zone. 
Be brave. 
Unwrap the gift that is life. Experience life in a new way. Past the boundaries. Live in God's unlimited supply of grace. 
Be brave. 
Know your worth. You are more than sin. You are more than your past. Your circumstances do not define you. You have a future in Christ. He wants you to experience life beyond all expec…

The Prodigal A Ragamuffin Story by Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett

This is one of those books that leaves you pondering long after the last page has been read. The story of the prodigal son is the basis for this novel. A story of redemption, forgiveness and deep love. A father and his son. Reunited. Leaving the past behind. Beginning new with covered grace. 
The prodigal son is a favorite. Mostly because I too am a prodigal. Ran to my Father, with His arms wide open, ready to accept me and love me unconditionally. This is a retelling of that story. Jack Chisholm is a pastor of a mega church. He has it all. In fact, he thinks he has built it all. He is the people's pastor. But Jack is a sinner. An imperfect being, called by the Father. People have placed him on a pedestal. What we forget about pastors is that they too are people. They too are sinners. Preaching is their calling. But when our eyes are taken off the Father things go wrong. Terribly wrong and we find ourselves in the bottom of a pit looking up. It's from there that we finally see…

Raising Connor by Loree Lough

If it were not for Loree Lough I doubt I would have ever picked up a Harlequin book. I had those ideas of what I thought a Harlequin novel contained and it wasn't heartwarming Christian themes. But thanks to Loree I now know how wrong I was. Friends, there are some amazing books published by Harlequin. Don't let the name fool you. You can go to the website and find many novels to choose from that will leave your heart smiling. 
Raising Connor is part of the Heartwarming Selection at Harlequin. Another new release from Loree is, "Devoted To Drew". This is one I can't wait to read!!
Loree is at the top of my favorites list. I have had the pleasure of reading many of her books and I tell you, she just amazes me with the stories she brings. Just as in this one, the characters are real. They are family and friends we can connect to.  We see that every story doesn't end as we had hoped. It's hard to find a perfect ending in an imperfect world. But every once i…

Chicken Soup for the Soul: It's Christmas!

Who doesn't love stories about Christmas? There are, "101 Joyful Stories about the Love, Fun, and Wonder of the Holidays", that will warm your heart and get you ready for this beautiful season of hope. 
This Christmas edition has story after story about family, tradition, hopes, laughter, love, and messes turned into blessings. What a great way to snuggle in for the night. This is a treat for the heart. One gifted way to read this is to use it for the month of December and read a story each night with your family. There are great ideas for new traditions all packed inside this special book. 
Something I love is the added quotes shared on every story. Most of all, what I love is the honesty and pureness that comes with these gems. Each story is written from the heart. You may have a giggle as you remember your own similar story. Maybe tears will fall as you remember a Christmas blessing past. Something you won't leave without is a smile. 
I really enjoyed this sweet e…

Chicken Soup for the Soul Think Positive for Kids

Chicken Soup for the Soul is always busy bringing us new creations that warm our hearts. Each one unique and powerful in it's own way. This new release, "Think Positive for Kids", is another great addition to the collection. 
"Never let people bring you down because of who you are. You are special." Just one sentence that holds such powerful meaning. Yes, that is exactly what this, "101 Stories about Good Decisions, Self-Esteem, and Positive Thinking", brings us. Have challenges? This book holds many stories of over coming. Having self doubt? You can connect with others through chapter four, "Developing Self-Esteem", and find words of courage and inspiration. 
This is an entire book devoted to powerful stories about children. Chapter 5 covers handling bullies. Stories of great achievement and conquering our fears. Lovely stories of being who we were created to be. This is a great book for your children. They can read alone or you could make…

Chicken Soup for the Soul Miraculous Messages from Heaven

You can never go wrong picking up a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. It seems they continue to cover every subject. New books are always being released. This shows us that we all have a story. A story that will bless others. Chicken Soup connects hearts across the world by bringing us stories we can relate to. Stories that bless, that create a soft place to land as we come to understand that we aren't the only one. 
The subtitle says it all. "101 Stories of Eternal Love, Powerful Connections, and Divine Signs from Beyond." Throughout these pages we see stories from mothers who have lost a child. Wives, husbands, parents, grandparents, friends, so many people relating to loss and finding a peace they never expected. Astonishing stories of hope. Miracles that bring us straight to knowing God is always at work. 
These stories were heart touching to me. Each one real, unique, and heartfelt. If you are going through a journey of loss you will find healing within these pages. S…

A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman

After I read, "Grace For The Good Girl", I couldn't wait to hear from Emily again. I was excited to receive my copy of, "A Million Little Ways". I can tell you this is a gem of blessings. Emily has a unique gift of writing. She's honest and pure. 
"Maybe you think it isn't the right time to show up. I'm not ready to write that book, try for a baby, take that job, quit the one I've got. There can be a real frustration for those who long to move but believe it isn't the right time. Showing up where you are with what you have is all you can do. You have your two hands, your sick parents, the items on your to-do list. You have your extra deadlines, your diagnosis, the children at your table. You have been given your life, what you hold in your hands, the ground beneath your feet. You have been asked to show up. How do I know? You were born."
Going through the motions? Has fear trampled your dreams? Don't quite know how to live out …

A Confident Heart Devotional by Renee Swope

If you have read, "A Confident Heart", you know the blessings that flow when Renee Swope opens her heart, becomes transparent and shares her own journey. This added devotional is the same. You get an extra dose of blessings. Being subtitled, "60 Days To Stop Doubting Yourself", you see that this is a 60 day devotional. This book graced my life at the perfect time. I think it's more than a devotional. It's more of a journey. In Renee's opening words she shares this, "Over the past several years, God has been changing me and rearranging me, using His Word and His unconditional love to lead me to what I call God-fidence. It's a deep-down soul-security that has little to do with what we do or don't have but everything to do with all God is and all that He offers us each day." 
You could read this as a devotional. For me, I have enjoyed just sitting down and just soaking in these powerful words for a few hours an afternoon. Just this mornin…