Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have been a great big grump this afternoon. Grumpy because we missed Christmas festivities with family because of snow and my son had the flu. Grumpier because hubby is now sick for New Years. It is repetition for us from last year. We all had a stomach virus at Christmas last year and hubs was really sick with Bronchitis at New Years.

I am tired of sickness.

BUT, this post isn't about my disappointment, nor my cabin fever and my need to be out by myself without kiddos. This post IS about being thankful. Gratitude changes everything. Instead of being grumpy, I want to be happy. I control MY emotions.

I AM thankful that my family is healthy. Yes, we have our rounds of flu, our sniffles and coughs, but no major illnesses. No drawn out hospital stays. No diagnoses that change our lives forever. No struggling to pay hospital bills.

So, while I may be a little inconvenienced at this moment, I thank God that I have the family that I have, and that all I have to worry about is whether or not I have enough kleenex.......

Want to take part in Thankful Thursday? Join My Gratitude Adjustment (and myself). What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Measure of Mercy

A lot of people struggle with knowing God's plan for their life. So many people just wait and wait and never feel like they know their purpose. I think that is why Lauraine Snelling's book, A Measure of Mercy, will hit a chord with readers. Main character, Astrid Bjorklund, is torn between her desire to study medicine and returning to her hometown of Blessing and her newfound interest in Joshua Landsverk. Conflicted and confused, Astrid hears a missionary speak at her church of medical needs in Africa. What is God's will for her life? Can she determine His plan and choose to follow? Will the love between her and Joshua continue to grow?

The book is well written and I truly felt the conflict and anguish of the heroine, Astrid. She is a likable character and I was rooting for her throughout the book. This is book one of the Home to Blessing series, so be warned that the book is a set-up for at least one sequel.

The author writes in a way that I feel like I have missed something about the characters. Maybe a significant event in their lives previously or maybe they are characters from another series, I wasn't sure since this was the first novel I read by Snelling. Or maybe she just leaves some things to the imagination of the reader, and for that I can't fault her for giving her readers opportunities to exercise their imaginations.

Overall, a great read! I will be reading more of Snelling's books.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers.

40 loaves winner

The winner of the devotional 40 loaves by CD Baker is S at Temple Transformation. Congratulations! Another great book next week!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Boy is 7!

Wow! Time does fly! My children are growing up in the blink of an eye!

Seven years ago today I was awaiting my son's entry into this world. I thought I had this parenting thing figured out! I had adorable 4 and 2 year old girls and I thought "How different can parenting a boy really be?" (All you moms of boys can now take a break for hysterical laughter.)

How wrong I was. This little guy had a different attitude from the beginning. (Not wrong, just different than I was used to.) He was loud (and still is). Things that seemed very unfunny to me sent him into hysterical laughter (yes, bodily functions included.) His need for rough-housing and super-hero antics also baffled me.

What a wonderful dimension he added to our family! Yes, he is loud and boisterous at times, but that means he is enthusiastic about life. His laughter and jokes help lighten the mood and bring joy to the house. His mechanical abilities (translated : his ability to take everything apart to see how it works) make for great springboards to discussion. Even his super-hero antics make me proud. Proud that he wants to be the knight in shining armor someday for the girl of his dreams. (okay maybe not the girl part yet, he still thinks they have cooties).

He reminds me of his Dad in so many ways. He is slow to anger, gentle and kind. He likes to tease his sisters and mom, but also fiercely protective if anyone else hurts them! He is a great big brother, too!

We know God has great plans for you and your life!

Happy Birthday buddy! We Love you so much!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

40 loaves review and giveaway

Why do I allow myself to get so upset by what other people think about me?
Why do I hate confrontation?

These are questions that I have asked myself this week.

All hard, soul-searching questions....

You know it's easy sometimes to coast through life just taking the punches as they come, but if we do - there is never any growth. Real and lasting change only comes when we ask the important questions.

Are you looking for a book that can guide you through some of these questions? Questions that will make you examine yourself and scrutinize your motivations?

40 loaves, Breaking Bread with Our Father Each Day
by C.D. Baker has short devotionals, all based on a tough question. Each devotional is followed by a set of questions meant for self-reflection and a prayer.

This book is a good resource and springboard for additional introspection. Scripture verses are used in an appropriate manner to make the points presented by the author.

C. David Baker founded an award-winning business before redirecting his career to write full-time from his small farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is the author of eight books, including six novels, one of which was nominated for a Christy Award. He has contributed articles to the Christian History Institute’s international publication Glimpses, and to Christian Singles magazine. Baker has a Master’s degree in theological studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah publishers.

Interested? Read more here. Leave a comment by Christmas Day and a random winner will be selected to receive a copy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

People pleasing versus God pleasing

I have been dealing with this a LOT lately. So I thought I should share this Joyce Meyer devotional that I've been reading...

Our pastor made a comment this last weekend that also stuck with me. Being in God's will doesn't mean that we won't have difficulty. That isn't the way to determine whether or not we are in His will for our lives.

Sometimes, I believe we face MORE adversity when we are in God's will. We do have an enemy that doesn't want us there. An enemy who will do anything, use anything, to discourage us and keep us from walking in God's will for our life.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I remember as a little girl being very nosy. (I often wonder now if my parents found it as annoying as I do now with my own 9 year old). I tried to listen in on conversations between the adults in the house, but I especially liked to pick through my grandmother's jewelry box and cedar chest. I loved to find the random item that seemed unusual and out of place. Anytime I started to think Grandma had lost it, she told me the story of why she had kept it. Reasons that were completely valid. There was some significance attached to the item in her memories.

Leigh McLeroy's book, Treasured Knowing God by the Things He Keeps, examines the significance of items mentioned in His Word and what they reveal about His nature. Some of the items examined in the book include a dry waterskin, Abraham's knife, a smooth stone and a scarlet thread. McLeroy applies her own personal experiences and feelings to each examination. She is perfectly transparent and lays her most intimate emotions and experiences out for scrutiny. It is very thought provoking.

The transitions from personal experience to the application to God's Word are fairly abrupt. Looking past that, McLeroy provides interesting material that could serve as a conversation starter. The discussion guide provided would work well for a small bible study or personal reflection.

Leigh McLeroy is the author of The Beautiful Ache and The Sacred Ordinary. An avid collector and recorder of everyday moments, words, and wonders, Leigh’s keen eye for God’s presence in ordinary life infuses her writing and living with a deep, insistent joy. A frequent conference and event speaker, the author makes her home in Houston, Texas, and posts often on and

Check Treasured out here.

This book was provided for review by Waterbook Publishers.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

God Gave Us...... (Reviews)

This time of year can be meaningful as a time of remembrance of God's love for us. But, the message and the meaning can also get lost in the commercialism and materialism that surrounds the holiday too. I am constantly looking for resources to reinforce the importance of the true meaning of Christmas.

Lisa Tawn Bergren's book, God Gave Us Christmas is an excellent book designed to reinforce the fact that GOD gave us Christmas because of His love for us.

I was at a mom's group yesterday evening where many moms discussed Santa Claus and how their family handled Santa. I loved the quote in this book where mama bear tells her cub, "Santa Claus reminds us about many good things like generosity and care. But it is God and Jesus that we celebrate most come Christmas. We always want to thank God for giving us Christmas."

The illustrations are captivating and beautiful. This book is a treasure that I hope to keep and read as a holiday tradition for a long time!

I also had an opportunity to review God Gave Us Love by the same author.

While this book doesn't mention Christmas specifically, it does teach that love comes from God and God gives us love to give to others, which is certainly appropriate during the holiday season. It also tenderly explains that love is a choice and not always a feeling. The use of a patient Grandpa bear to explain these concepts to the cub is truly endearing.

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the award-winning author of nearly thirty titles, totaling more than 1.5 million books in print. She writes in a broad range of genres, from adult fiction to devotional. God Gave Us Love follows in Lisa’s classic tradition of the best-selling God Gave Us You. She lives in Colorado, with her husband, Tim, and their children, Olivia, Emma, and Jack.

You can check out more info on these books here and here.

These books were provided by Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishers for review.

White Picket Fences Winner!

I'm a little late getting around to this, but the winner of the White Picket Fences giveaway, as determined by is Laurel! Congratulations! I will email you to get your address! Come back soon for another great giveaway!