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Showing posts from March, 2014

Downtime Healing

Bandages cover up what the eye isn't ready to see. 
They come off. The bruises are dull and ugly. 
The pain is real and deep. 
Healing begins. At first each movement is agony. I'm almost afraid to move. But I gently wiggle my thumb to make make sure of what I'm not sure. Maybe just that I can feel it. Oh, but I don't want to feel the pain. It's intense. I'm wishing for the day when the pain has disappeared. 
There is numbness. But underneath that numb is life beating. 
I must face my limitations. That's not easy. It's almost unheard of. I'm not one to sit and wait. Patience is a lesson I'm still learning. This is a lesson that doesn't come easy, but it's one that I'm facing head on. After surgery I'm not able to do much of anything. As I peck away at the keys with my left hand, my right there screaming at me. "I wanna be used!" 
Just as beauty flows from the deep inside, healing to begins within. Tiny mom…

Guest Post written by friend Debbie Dillon

"She Bloomed Today!" by Debbie Dillon

She bloomed today!
After weeks of watching, waiting, watering, and yes…even a little praying…the long-anticipated event has come!
I stood there admiring her beauty over the rim of my coffee cup, me with my oh-so-alluring morning hair and sleepy smile.
She’d sat so long in the bud stage until finally this morning she announced her presence in a big, bright way. She caught my eye through the kitchen window all dressed in her vibrant coral red and I hurried out to greet her.
Seems the whole garden is just in that bud stage right now; holding life and color tightly beneath folded petals until just that right moment when it gets the official OK to throw back the covers of winter and bring glory to the new season.
Seems like such a tragedy to spend so much time in the bud stage…      doesn’t it?
All that time lost; weeks, months, years spent with arms folded and eyes downcast refusing to look at the world around us and fearful of sharing our many color…

We Will Catch Up Soon!!

This morning I was in search of comforting words. I pulled out a favorite Bible and opened to an old marker that brought a smile to my face. I looked across the page at the highlighted words that stood out. 
"For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory."  Psalm 32:7
That's pretty comforting isn't it? When the heart is anxious the mind cannot focus. All we see in sight is the fear of what we are facing. But if we can take our eyes off that shouting anxiety and focus on Jesus, wow, does He always bring us through. He never fails us. He never leaves us to face things alone. He is there before we ever see the fear. He knows what we are about to face and He too knows just what we need to bring us through to victory. 
I continued to follow through my Bible and stop at all the markers I have placed. Don't you just love how God gives us the Word we need exactly when we need it?
"Don't worry about anything; instea…

Summer of Joy by Ann Gabhart

Oh, how I love visiting Hollyhill again. It's one of those places you love to return to. One of those towns where the people genuinely care for one another. Where everything seems possible, even in a small rural town, where life can be quiet. But life doesn't stay quiet for very long in Hollyhill. I'm so happy to once again read more about lively Jocie. She stole my heart in book one of the series, "Scent of Lilacs", (check out my review). 
I'm sad to say I missed book two of the series, Orchard of Hope. It is one I'm going to have to go back and read. But all three surround the main character, Jocie Brooks. She is growing up quite fast, but once again it is pure joy to take part in her journey. 
We are in the summer of 1964 when change seems adamant. So much is taking place with the characters of Hollyhill. New comers join the story. Some are joyful, but others are unwanted. There is a sweet marriage taking place, a teacher that is out of control, a sta…

Distorton by Terri Blackstock

"Distortion", is fast paced and intriguing. You can never go wrong with Terri Blackstock. She is one of my favorites for a suspenseful read. A few of my favorite series from Blackstock are, The Cape Refuge Series, The Restoration Series, and Newpointe 911. She writes fascinating. She has the gift to pull the reader in within the first few sentences. I often wonder while writing does she sit in a dark room with creepy music playing. Her stories take the reader on a journey of unexpected twists and turns. I've never been disappointed by Terri Blackstock. 
With her newest addition to the Moonlighters Series, "Distortion", keeps you turning pages. She writes with such depth and you don't know what is unfolding in the next pages. That's why her reads are unputdownables. Once you begin reading you're addicted. I started reading this last night and literally devoured it with a few hours. 
The first in the series is, "Truth Stained Lies", which I …

Just 18 Summers by Rene Gutteridge & Michelle Cox

What a sweet read! If you are a parent this book is going to make you think. I think with raising five children with my husband and now being a grandparent, this book was all the more poignant for me. I could relate to most of the characters in one way or another. 
This story opens with a graduation and a party. Lets face it. Not every day is a party. Some stand out more than others. Some we wish we had a do over. Being a parent is a roller coaster ride. We see that through the characters in this story. Each family seems to be facing a different situation at the time. 
There is Butch and his daughter, Ava. Their home is now absent of the love of Butch's life and the mother that would guide Ava is so many ways. Butch doesn't exactly know how to be involved in Ava's life. He worked and counted on Jenny to be with his daughter. Now he is looking back and realizing just how much time he has wasted. We see how both are struggling in different ways with the death of Jenny. 

A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Moseley

Meg Moseley is a master storyteller. She has once again penned a work of art. First we are drawn in with a spectacular cover. Those three blackberries and red stained hands add wondrously to what is found within these pages. The title is ingenious. We don't learn until later into the story what the cover and title give clue to. This is just the beginning. No pages have yet been opened and I'm intrigued.

The characters are deep and real. They are characters we can relate to. They are childhood friends who made a pack long ago to always be there for one another. Each character carrying their own secrets. Their own issues in life. But what I love about these characters is they don't place blame. They don't look back on their childhood and see tragedy. Sure, they see hardship. They see life as it truly was for them. But they are over-comers. They took the life given and didn't give in to what was, but created something much more.

The dialog they share is what makes th…

inScribed Collection by Donna Gaines (Leaving Ordinary), Wendy Blight (Living "So That"), Heather Zempel (Amazed and Confused), Jenifer Jernigan (Dive Deeper)

Since this is a collection of Bible studies I am going to do it a bit different. First I'm going to share with you the description that Thomas Nelson gives for these extraordinary studies and then I will share my thoughts. 
"Leaving Ordinary" by Donna Gaines The deepest longing of the human heart is to know and be known by God. God longs for an intimate relationship with us as well. But how do we develop that kind of relationship with a holy God? It is one thing to long for such a relationship, but quite another to experience intimacy with Him. In Leaving Ordinary, Donna Gaines shares from her personal experience how prayer can become the channel that links the believer’s heart to the heart of God. God gave the pattern of the tabernacle to the Israelites. It was a temporary and portable dwelling for His glory. Through it God taught them how to approach and worship Him before He led them to their reward—the promised land. Using the tabernacle and its articles as a guide, Don…

The Little Pine Tree by Mark E. Labriola Sr. GIVE-A-WAY

This just may be the sweetest children's book I have read in many years. I must say I cannot wait for my grandchildren to be able to take part in this story beautifully penned by author, Mark E. Labriola. 
Who doesn't love a Give-A-Way? Mark was kind enough to send an extra copy for one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment under this review along with your email so I can contact you to let you know you are the winner! I will announce the winner March 8.
Now, let me share with you a little about this precious book. Mark sweetly shares with us a story of a lonely pine tree. This little tree just wants to be used greatly. He wants to have a purpose. But he seems to be waiting and waiting for that purpose. Still yet, in that waiting God was preparing this little pine tree for a mighty purpose. 
In the beginning of the story a little boy comes to visit the tree. Many years pass and we come to a page in the story where the Roman soldiers are cutting down this little pine tree.…

RESTLESS A DVD Based Study by Jennie Allen

I reviewed Jennie Allen's book, "Restless" (check out my review), and LOVED IT! Not long after I finished the book I was sent the DVD Study. I was blown away that I had received this beautifully boxed gift. Just a few days earlier some friends and I were chatting about doing a weekly study and decided to pray about it as the Lord led us to seek out great studies. When this gem arrived I just smiled. I knew just what God had in store. 
The study comes with the DVD, study book, leader guide, and cards. I think it would be super possible to also add in her book along with the study. This is a powerful study about understanding that we were made for more. We have purpose. God has a plan for each day of our lives. That alone should motivate us to seeking Him and His will for our lives. 
So, this is an eight week study. This is one of those studies that you could literally do on any time frame. Jennie is one of those girls next door. As you watch the DVD you see the love of G…

Ask Me Anything, Lord (Opening Our Lives to God's Questions) by Heather C. King

Heather C. King brings us a wonderful soul searching book. Her book, "Ask Me Anything, Lord" came out in November 2013. I received this book for review and found it to be right on time. Don't you love when God does that? 
"Do you want to delve deeper in our relationship with God? Do you want to become a vessel fit for His use and designed to bring Him glory? Do you want to stop hiding from Him in shame? Do you want to clean out the closets of your heart? Do you want to received the fullness of the blessing He's intended for you? Then journey with me through the questions that God asked in Scripture. He asked them of people just like you and me. People who were not perfect and sometimes had secret sins they were trying to hide. People He was calling into revolutionary, powerful ministry, but who first needed to know that He could and would equip them for their calling. And now He asks them of us, Christ followers on a journey to Christlikeness."
Heather gets …

The Dating Game 101 Stories about Looking for Love and Finding Fairytale Romance! by Chicken Soup for the Soul

If you love short stories you can't go wrong with a Chicken Soup book. If you are encouraged and inspired by people sharing true stories this book is for you! I received this selection around Valentines Day and although I'm a little late at sharing, this would make for a great bedside book for the book lover in your life. 
Emotional, funny, meant to be, stories about love. There are stories that will have the tears flowing and stories get tickle your funny bone. But most of all, there are stories that touch the heart. 
Bad dates, blind dates,  and happily ever after stories that will leave you feeling blessed. Who doesn't want to read stories of love? They leave us feeling warm and fuzzy. They give us hope and most of all they open our eyes to all the possibilities of love. Of all the Chicken Soup books I have been blessed to review this just may be at the top of my favorites. 
If you love the Chicken Soup books this is another I recommend. There is just something beautif…