04 January 2016

Could your home use more gratitude?


In case you haven't heard yet about this amazing new book that is about to launch...

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch (of We are THAT Family) is a must-read for parents who are looking for encouragement, inspiration, and creative ideas on how to bring more gratitude into their homes.  I know I am one of those parents and I was so excited to be chosen for the launch team for this book.  

This book is being such a blessing to me, my husband, and, ultimately, our children!  Each chapter is filled with godly principles and Scripture and ends with practical application ideas for you to begin putting in place with your family immediately.  

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World 'hits the shelves' on January 26th ...but if you pre-order by January 25th you get an amazing Global Family Kit with your book--plus free (domestic) shipping!  Head over here to read more about it.

sporting my gratitude bracelet from Mercy House

01 January 2016

Happy New Year 2016!


I'm excited about this new year!  I'm so ready to put last year behind me.

2015 was just a tough year with lots of challenges.  Not that I don't expect challenges in this new year but I am just planning to face them with more grace, more patience, more of reliance on God.  Basically just more of God.  Without Him I can do nothing!

My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in weakness.
II Corinthians 12:9

Some ways I am taking on the new year's challenges are:

  • daily Bible reading ...I'm going back to one of my fave reading plans: the chronological one with the YouVersion Bible app
  • reading a new-to-be but old devotional for the first time: My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers
  • beginning my mornings with prayer and coffee--the best way!
How are you beginning  your new year?


21 December 2015

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas



Merry Christmas from our house to yours!


mini trees

the kiddos' trees

I just realized this morning that I haven't posted here all month!  It's been so busy:(  
This week I am slowing it down and focusing on baking Christmas goodies with my kiddos.
I hope that your Christmas season is lovely and that you are finding time to slow down and enjoy it as well. 
Here are a few pictures of our home~it's all decked out for the holidays!  I was happy to get it all done early on in the season since I was hosting a couple of parties at our home and have been able to not stress about that but just enjoy.


our Dickens' village

the learning room

Christmas around the house

our master bedroom

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

30 November 2015

What's For Dinner {Nov 30th}


The trick to not going crazy and eating out too much during the holidays?  Stay focused with your meal plans!  

At least that's what I'm telling myself ;)

So here's what's on our plan for this week:

Monday:  dinner at our church (it's a work night ...I'm guessing ...pizza!)


Wednesday:  Breakfast-for-Dinner ...eggs, drop biscuits, and sausage gravy

Thursday:  'Potato Bugs' with veggies

Friday:  our church's youth Christmas party at our house ...taco bar!

Saturday:  sandwiches & snacks

Sunday:  (slow cooker) roast with carrots, mashed potatoes, gravy, and rolls

What's on your plan this week?




26 November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!


Here's wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day 
with your family!

25 November 2015

From My Bookshelf...

So ... I know that I've  really fallen off the blogging world lately.  I hate that because I miss being here.  But life has been happening at break-neck speed lately and I've just been hanging on!  It happens like that sometimes, ya know.  

But I'm popping in to say "hi" today and share about some books I've read recently.     

Some of you may remember that I posted my personal summer reading list.  You know ...way back in the summer.  I did pretty good with that.  Summer is my favorite reading time.  I got in 8 out of 13 on my list.  Still knocking a few out.  Some I've just decided to postpone until ...maybe next summer;)

There are a couple of books I'd like to share with you today. You may have already heard of them.  You might have actually read them.  If not though, you just might want to check these out.  

***


The first one that I wanted to tell you guys about, that was like a nice, cool drink of water on a hot day, was Soul Friends by Dr. Leslie Parrott.  

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  The chapters were short, so insightful, and very inspiring, leaving me with new thoughts to ponder.  

Leslie divides her book into four sections: quest, calling, crisis, and communion.  Each quadrant progresses into the next--sort of stages in our lives, if you will.  In each section's chapters Leslie shares snapshots of her and her family's lives and snapshots of people who have directly--or indirectly--impacted her life.  

I absolutely loved these!  Each one brought insight, challenges, questions, and, sometimes, soul-searching.  Which is exactly what they are designed to do.  And at the end of each one there are 'soul souvenirs' where Leslie asks her readers a couple of questions.  Questions that are well-thought out and created to help you meditate on the biblical principles and nuggets tucked into each passage.  

Like I said: a cool drink of water on a hot day.  Very good stuff.  This is not a deep, theological Bible study, even though there are a lot of deep, theological thoughts tucked in here.  It is a great book to read a chapter in each day during your personal quiet time, however.  That is what I did through this past summer and it was perfect.  

***


More recently I've had the opportunity to read For the Love by Jen Hatmaker.  Whew.  What breath of fresh air!  

I had an international trip scheduled the last week of October so I had saved this book for reading on my flights.  I'm pretty sure I nearly made a scene a few times I was laughing so hard.  I was travelling with my sister and she just kept looking at me all like "what in the world is wrong with you?!".  

Jen is just so funny.  I mean she is seriously gifted with humor.  

Don't get me wrong.  This book deals with some serious and even heavy topics.  But she just seasons it with such grace and humor that it helps the big pill of hard truth go down a tad easier.  

Plus she has several sections that spin-off of Jimmy Fallon's 'Thank You' notes.  Enough said on that ...I'm already laughing again.  

Jen also has four parts to her book:
  • Your Very Own Self 
  • All These People Who Live in Your House
  • Friends, Neighbors, Strangers, and Enemies
  • Church, Church People, Not-Church People, and God
I think all of those speak clearly as to what they are about.  

This was my first time to read one of Jen's books.  I've some of her blog posts and about her before but I really enjoyed finally sitting down with one of her books and getting a glimpse of her heart.  She really, truly loves Jesus and it shows.  

***

So there you have it: a couple of great book recommendations for you to add to your own reading list!  You won't regret it!


Disclaimer: Both of these books were provided to me free of charge from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.  No other compensation was given and all thoughts expressed here are my own.  







11 November 2015

The CEB Student Bible {a review}


I have to say, I was excited when I was recently given the chance to review a copy of The CEB Student Bible.  My husband and I had been discussing getting a new Bible for our daughter.  She is twelve now and in 7th grade.  Her current Bible was given to her when she first was learning to read in kindergarten and she was really ready for a Bible with more study helps geared toward her age.  Because we had liked the CEB Deep Blue Bible that we got for our son we felt that this one was definitely worth exploring.  

This student Bible is written in the Common English translation, which is great for younger readers as it makes the text easier to understand.  It's target audience is ages 13 and up.  It includes prayers and notes written by students, for students.  Various ministers and Bible scholars have also contributed more than 400 articles, discussion questions, and activities designed to engage students with the Scriptures.  All good concepts.



However, after reading through some of the notes and commentary throughout this Bible I don't believe it's the version for our family.  We are a conservative Christian family.  And while we are not a "King James Version Only" kind of family--there are some other great translations out there with easier-to-understand and even sometimes better-translated English--we do not believe it is right to add to the Scriptures in any way, or to take away from them and I feel that this translation does take some liberties in that area that I am not comfortable with.  

Many of the notes throughout this Bible are very good and encourage good lines of thought for students.  However, some do not.  They promote a more liberal theology that is currently very popular in our culture--one that my husband and feel do not feel is Biblical nor correct.  So this is not a Bible we will continue to use in our home.  

Of course, I am not telling you if you should or should not purchase this version, but I would caution you to explore it carefully before making such an important purchase--as you should do with any version of the Bible you choose to buy.  



Disclosure: I was given a copy of The CEB Student Bible by Sidedoor Communications for the purpose of reviewing it.  I did not receive any other compensation and the thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.