Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Great Resource to Study BIble Prophecy

Thomas Nelson Pulisher sent me a copy of John Hagee's NKJV Prophecy Study Bible, asking me to share an unbiased review.  If you are interested in studying prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, this edition of the Bible will impress you.  Here are samples of some of the study helps in this BIble:

  • An introduction to Prophets and Prophecy
  • An outline and reading about the end times
  • Top 20 Questions about Bible Prophecy  from "How can I know Bible propecy is accurate" to "What role does Israel play in th eend times" to "What are the 5 different views on the rapture".  Hagee answers each question with scripture and the explanation of scripture.
  • Diamonds for Daily Living - 40 one-page devotions scattered throughout the book of Psalms.  He covers topics such as rest, faith, fear, protection, and spiritual fitness.
  • God's Great Promises - articles that explain the covenants God has made with Christians throughout the ages.  this explained some covenants that I had looked over or didn't understand.  The promises range from Adam to Abraham to Moses to Israel to the Church.
  • God's Great Salvation.  This explains the story of our salvation from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Evidences.  These one page articles explain some of the tenants of the Christian faith through modern day stories, scriptures, and teaching. Ex: the trinity, demons, the alpha & omega, perfection, sins, eternal life..
  • Spokesmen for God.articles on 19 prophets in the Bible - who they are and what message they shared.
  • Bible Insights - reference articles about the Bible, cultural understanding, and general prophecy.
  • Bible Prophecy Charts - 16 charts outlining different prophetic messages in the Bible.
  • Master index to Bible Prophecies and fulfillment (very cool 16 pages of small print!)
  • Intro to each book of the Bible includes notes about the book, the author, the time period, how Christ fits into the book's story, key passages/themes, and a survey of the book.
  • a 64 page concordance
You can see that this Bible is packed with great study material.  You can tell that Hagee put a whole lifetime of studying into this Bible.  It's like reading someone's journal about the BIble, seeing all of their Bible notes, and listening to them explain the BIble prophecies.  It's a heavy hard-cover Bible with small print on thin pages.

I recommend this book for anyone who wants to study the Bible with a focus on God's promises, the prophecies and the big picture of how Christ is present throughout the Bible.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A step back in time with Elizabeth Camden's newest novel

Another great book from Elizabeth Camden - Until the Dawn.  Unique story, intriguing characters, and another jump into times past.  

From the publisher: 
A volunteer for the newly established Weather Bureau, Sophie van Riijn needs access to the highest spot in her village to report the most accurate readings. Fascinated by Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion high atop a windswept cliff in the Hudson River Valley, Sophie knows no better option despite a lack of permission from the absent owners. The first Vandermark to return to the area in sixty years, Quentin intends to put an end to the shadowy rumors about the property that has brought nothing but trouble upon his family. Ready to tear down the mansion, he is furious to discover a local woman has been trespassing on his land. Instantly at odds, Quentin and Sophie find common ground when she is the only one who can reach his troubled son. There's a light within Sophie that Quentin has never known, and a small spark of the hope that left him years ago begins to grow. But when the secrets of Dierenpark and the Vandermark family history are no longer content to stay in the past, will tragedy triumph or can their tenuous hope prevail?

Camden describes the scenery so well that I felt like I was watching it in a movie.  She has a gift for painting pictures with words! The scenes she paints are beautiful, and I would love to jump into the pages and take a tour of Dierenpark.

Her characters also come to life on the pages.  I feel like I really now Sophie, Quentin and others in the novel.  She brings the character struggles to life also - the reader can almost feel the heartaches, the fear, the pain, the sorrow, the beauty and the hope that the characters experience.  Also the sign of a gifted writer!

I enjoyed every moment of reading the book, and I appreciate the faith-filled messages in the book.  I would recommend this for readers ages 16+, and it would be a good book club read in company with the question in the back of the book.

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

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Keys for Healthy Living

1.     Eat six times a day.  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and three small snacks between meals.  Metabolism is key to weight maintenance or loss.
2.       Serving sizes should be the size of your fist.
3.       Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.
4.       Try to get 8 hours of sleep a night.
5.       Try to get at least 15 to 20 minutes of uninterrupted walking in per day. [the more the better]
6.       Remember to tell someone what you are thankful for and tell those you love that you love them. [powerful words]
7.       Say thank you and please.  [more powerful words]
8.       Read a good book.
9.       Make time for your family and yourself every week.  [if you need to schedule it, then schedule it.
10.   Help someone in need.  [the best gift you can give someone and yourself is the act of giving]

from Rob Brooks

Friday, January 22, 2016

Wanna learn more about Martin Luther?

Check out this new book!  Luther and Katharina

Wow!  I loved this book!  I didn't want to put the book down!  

It's the perfect historical fiction book,  combining elements of history with fiction in a seamless and believable tale. Jody Hedlund did a lot of research on Martin Luther's life in order to write this book and it paid off with a 5 star read. I enjoyed learning more about church decisions, church politics, and traditions from this era. I appreciate the character struggles with faith, guilt, love, fear, and perseverance.

From the publisher:  She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.  In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther. His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself. Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different. But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love. Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.  

I highly recommend this book to readers age 16+ and I think it would be a good read for book clubs.

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

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

I just previewed a new book titled, "Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World" by Kristen Welch.  It's a great parenting resource, and I'm thrilled to share it with you

From the author's website:
No one plans to raise a selfish child or spoiled brat. Every parent dreams of their child being selfless, generous, and appreciative. But it’s challenging to raise a grateful child in a culture that has a hard time saying no. We love our kids and want to give them the world. How do we say no to our child when “every other child” gets “everything they want?”
Kristen Welch, author of We are THAT family and founder of Mercy House, is learning the way to give the world to her children is by giving them perspective. She’s discovered the ultimate yes in bringing up faith-filled kids who love God and others.
It’s never too late to raise grateful kids. With Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, get ready to cultivate a spirit of genuine gratitude in your family and create a home in which your kids don’t just say―but mean!―“thank you.”
While there was a lot of content related to teaching kids the practice of gratitude, there is also a lot of good overall parenting advice. I very much enjoyed reading Welch's stories and her practical advice.  Here are some of the topics she bravely ventures into:
wants vs. needs

  • self-centered culture
  • kids & technology
  • obedience
  • creating and maintaining a Christ-centered home
  • the choice of gratitude
  • navigating rough waters of life

I would recommend this to any parent who wants to raise children in a a Christ centered home, with the goal of raising children that love Jesus. 

Wanna sneak peak into the book?  Read the first chapter here.  Or check out Kristen's blog.  Here is a post that she wrote about 3 questions to increase your gratitude.  As a gift for being a part of this book launch, Kristen gave me this lovely bracelet. It is to be worn as a reminder to answer three gratitude questions from the blog post. A good habit for everyday. 

I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review