Friday, October 5, 2012


I was listening to a podcast sermon this morning with my Bible study (thank you David Landrith and Long Hollow Baptist Church for broadcasting your weekly services), on the book of Luke Chapter 1.  Reviewing the differences and similarities between Zechariah and Mary in regards to their obedience to God.  

If you haven't read it, please do.  If you have and know the stories then follow along while I share my thoughts.  In talking about Zechariah and his obedience to God's will he doubted what the angel of the Lord had spoke to him.  He flat out ask how in the world can he be sure this will happen.  A doubting thomas you might say.  His response and disbelief rendered him speechless as the angel of the Lord silenced him until the child he was promised was born.  Wow....that would make you stop and think twice about questioning the Lord huh?  

Then there's Mary....being told in a sense, the same scenario as Zechariah (you will have a child), and her total belief and faith exhibited in her response.  Granted the children were definitely going to be different as Mary was to give birth to the Messiah.  But how open and willing she is to be God's servant just because an angel said so.  Zechariah on his years I'm sure being a wise man, it's our nature to question things that seem impossible.  Or perhaps things that seem like something we're not worthy of (in our eyes) or that may seem beyond our reach.  Why do we just give up or fail to accept what is right in front of us as Christians?  The greatest and most awesome power in the universe is waiting for our obedience, just to bless us beyond measure.  Don't get me wrong.....I'm not talking about traveling the Olsteen Road to Oz here....  I'm talking about being in line with God's will for our lives, putting Him first and foremost, and the desires of our heart will become what HE desires most for us.  We start seeking HIS will, His favor, HIS blessings in whatever form they may come.  Not cars, riches, homes, better jobs, etc.  I'm not saying there isn't a time to pray for provisions (not abundance), but don't get me sidetracked.....that's a note for a whole 'nuther day.  ;)  lol

Mary was young, possibly 13-14 years old when an angel tells her she will become the mother and give birth to the Son of God!  WOW.  She will face giving up the man she loves and wants to marry (Joseph), along with enduring ridicule, being shunned, and letting go of any possible promise of a future with any husband or family due to the circumstances and fall out she'll experience by having this baby.  After all, not everyone in Mary's day believed in the Messiah.  What about the naysayers that would gossip or spread the news of a young Mary that has stepped out on her Joseph before every getting married.  She's had sex out of wedlock, she's been with another man.....she is having a baby.  That went against all the rules.  Yet her only response was "How can this happen?  I'm a virgin?"  She never questioned that it would she simply just didn't understand the way it was going to play out.  Pretty bold for a young woman huh?  God doesn't mind our questions we ask of him but it's our disbelief that is separates us and causes Him sadness.  

I think God not only doesn't mind our questions, but he welcomes them.  It is our opportunity to learn more.  To seek His guidance when we ask how.  But when we flat out question His authority and His word to us is when we find ourselves in trouble.  When Mary was told "Nothing is impossible with God" her only response was "I am the Lord's servant, May it be done to me according to your word."

Are you a servant of the Lord?  Do you seek His will when you question something?  Do you search for what pleases HIM when times are tough or things don't seem to be going your way?  Or do you pray for things to get easier and seek the desires of your own heart?  Because heaven knows what we desire is often more times than we care to admit, not what He desires for us.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.  So do you have faith that He will answer you when you pray?  Do you have faith that if you are obedient that He will see you through the struggles and triumphs you face?  Time and time again I can see where God has worked miracles in my life over the last several years.  I can look back and recall times in my life when I thought I was seeking His will and still fell flat on my face.  But when I truly look under the magnifying glass, recognizing my own faults and distance and DISobedience is when I can see that I turned away from Him.  

I share at every opportunity that is appropriate of a specific time when I know surrendering myself to His will made the hugest and most life-changing impact on my life.  Those who know me, know that my marriage (other than the last 4-5 years) has not been one that fairy tales are made of.  Of course every marriage has ups and downs, good times, and really ugly times (if most will admit it).  Granted some of you are lucky if you start off on the right foot including Christ in your marriage and it makes it much easier to handle the lows when (and if--assuredly) they come.  My husband and I had separated, for what I knew was the final time in 2008. About the time the Fireproof movie came out (coincidence?  I think not...), and it couldn't have portrayed a truer picture of our lives.  Neither of us focusing on each other but on our own desires and wants in life.  (My husband always like it when I point out his were not the same as the movie...computers and online porn were NOT his distraction of choice.) lol ;)  We both had hurt one another beyond repair (or so I thought).  But Eric had finally surrendered his life and had truly started living out the Fireproof movie in showing me love and patience.  To which I blatantly refused to accept.  I could only see a change I thought was to get what he wanted.  To get his way....yet again.  I wasn't about to be deceived or allow myself to be hurt any longer.  Not to mention hurting him (at least now I can see that....).  So the kids and I left.  I had grown to hate with a passion the one person God had designed specifically for me to love.  My heart had hardened more than I ever could have imagined toward one person who at one time I put so much faith and trust in.  There was no turning back.  

After several weeks of 'surviving' on our own the kids seemed to be adjusting (or so I thought), hopefully much better than I was.  I was still miserable.  Probably more so than before if the truth be known.  Living in the same house with someone you despise, at least you can get away and choose to communicate when it's convenient.  Sharing errands, responsibilities.... but when you live in separate homes there is only a greater frustration of not being able to contact someone when it's their turn to pick up the kids, or when a bill needs to be paid/settled until you can figure out how to totally separate things.  Frustrated and disgusted were understatements.  I admit too, I'm not one to thrive in loner situations.  I need companionship.  I was designed with another person in mind.  I was never able to sleep peacefully.  If I managed to make it to my bed, I would lay awake for hours replaying events in my mind to the point of greater frustration or worse yet....despair and depression.  Crying myself to sleep became the norm.  Until one night.....when I thought I couldn't stand it any longer, you know those moments we all have but are afraid to admit to.....when you think you must seriously be on the brink of losing your mind over fear, depression, responsibility.....I did it.  I surrended everything in me to my Lord.  I started out on my knees at the edge of my bed, begging for mercy.  Begging for peace to come.  Begging for relief from the brokenness inside me.  I stayed there praying until my knees started to hurt and my feet went numb.  I crawled into bed still praying.  Still crying.  I know I prayed and prayed until I passed out.  But the last thing I remember praying for, was God's will.  Not silently in my head, but verbally, as loudly as I possibly thought I could speak without waking my children (or the neighbors).  Please God, if I've ever needed a sign that you are listening to's NOW.  I admitted I was no longer able to decide what was best for me.  I was no longer making wise decisions for my life.  After all, looked how screwed up I (we) had made everything.  I was hurting myself, Eric, and more importantly my children.  I surrended to God my life again and promised then and there that no matter what He would have me do....for the rest of my I understood it or not, I would do.  (Remind you of Mary?  "I am the Lord's servant, May it be done to me according to your word.")  I needed just this once, to be shown in a way that I would no doubt know it was Your will not mine God.  Some call it a sign, I don't care what you call it.  Just a moment that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt it was God telling me to do it.  Not my decision.

I had repeatedly told myself that God wouldn't want me to be unhappy.  God wouldn't want me to be in a relationship that wasn't healthy for me or my children.  But I also knew God wouldn't be happy with me giving up and letting go of a family and a marriage that I thought He had designed from the start.  In reality....God doesn't want me to be unhappy.  But my happiness comes on His terms, not mine.  God wouldn't want me in a relationship that isn't healthy for me or my children, that's when we should seek Him for help and a way to make it work.  And God wasn't happy that I was giving up on my family/marriage.  I know because the next morning when I woke up I had the most incredible feeling of peace and assurance.  I woke up with an instant feeling of wanting to be at home, with my husband.  I missed him.  Terribly.  Like I missed him when I was 16 and he left for two weeks on a band trip.  Like I missed him when I was 18 and he went away to college while I stayed behind in school.  I missed him more than anything I can ever remember wanting for.  And at the same time, for a split second, I started to say, "Really God?".  But I stopped myself.  "I am the Lord's servant, May it be done to me according to your word."  I had ask God to help me, to show me.  He did just that.  

I told the kids to eat breakfast without me, I had to go home to talk to their dad.  I'd be back shortly.  I was a bit confused at how this person I had grown to hate and despise so much was now someone I wanted to see, couldn't wait to be in his presence to share what I was feeling.  To confess that I wanted to come home, to fix whatever we had broken.  Together.  I prayed all the way to the house that Eric would hear me.  Not just the sound of my voice, but my heart.  When I got home, he seemed a bit shocked (not to mention how he had learned to distance himself from me after rejecting his 'love dares') but as I shared with him what I knew to be true.  His only words were, "I love you.  God answered both of our prayers."

To make a long story short (this was supposed to be a 'note' not a novel), the kids and I soon moved home (within about two weeks), and we began our road to recovery.  I won't say it was easy at first, but it felt right.  It felt secure.  Our lives have never been the same.  The last 4-5 years of our marriage have been worth the prior 20 of struggles and trials.  Putting God's desires first for us both and for our family has made a tremendous impact that I never dreamed possible.  God does still work miracles.  NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD.  And I have learned what obedience looks like.  I have learned how a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church, and how wives submit (don't come unglued girls until you understand this in the right context) to their husbands.  Our lives are running smoothly, our marriage was restored, our children came to life again like never before.  To God be the glory.  

So I ask you......if faith in God is demonstrated by our obedience.  What is your life saying to others about your faith?  What does obedience look like in your life?  I serve a risen Savior and it's my wish that everyone could experience the same joy and comfort this brings to my life in their own.  Nothing can compare.  Maybe someday I'll make this note into a novel.  


Wednesday, September 19, 2012


You have got to check this out!!!  Nick Vujicic has a new book coming out called Unstoppable!  If you don't already know who this incredible man is, take a peek at this video and then check out the first chapter of his new book!  I was first introduced to Nick through a video from our church and then got ahold of his first book.  This man is truly an inspiration to ALL!!!
Click HERE to watch this short video clip!
Then jump on over HERE to read the first chapter of his book!  You won't be sorry!  Hope you have had a blessed day!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Everyday Matters Bible for Women (NLT)

The CWA Review Crew hooked me up with this AMAZING study bible, the "Everyday Matters Bible For Women--Practical Encouragement to Make Every Day Matter" in the NLT.  I gotta tell you, this is by far one of the best (and my most loved) study bibles.  And trust me, I've had plenty!  lol  I have a bible fetish and love all the different colors, covers, study topics and comparing different translations.  When I received this one I had never read the New Living Translation before and I gotta say it's one I will continue to use as an everyday tool.  I love the simplicity and the translation that makes understanding and applying the bible to my everyday life so easy.

This bible has sections and study notes throughout based on 24 different spiritual disciplines.  Everything from Acceptance through Worship.  Ways to apply the word to your life through scripture reading/devotion type notes and real stories of everyday living.  We all know there are 1000's of women who endure the same hardships we do, who celebrate the same joys, who encounter the same obstacles but we never open ourselves up to share our personal experiences in a way that allows us to grow and heal from them.  The applications in this bible and the stories will help you to do just that.

Each book of the bible is outlined with a little bit of background information, the message of the book and the time frame it happened, along with a brief outline.  It's never been easier to study the word!  And I gotta tell you, the first day I picked it up to use it for my daily study (which I do along with podcasts I listen to) took me to something that was so relevant for what I was dealing with.  Taking time to read everyday, to get into the word.  It quickly became a daily reminder (as I took a pic with my phone!) as to WHY I can't make excuses not to study daily.
I know you will enjoy this Bible as much as I do and use it for many years to come.  Let it be your daily companion.  Only drawbacks I see to this book is the hardback cover (I prefer soft cover bibles...maybe I'm an oddball, but I spend so much time I like flexibility and bending spines when I'm dragging it everywhere from the kitchen table to my lap in the carpool lane at school), and I wish there was a compact version to pack in my purse!!  Seriously.....  getcha one!

 I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Reviewing, Reviewing, Reviewing!

I hear the theme song to Rawhide playing in my head.....'Rollin' rollin' rollin.........'  LOL  :)  I'm reviewing, reviewing, reviewing!!!  Yes, I go in spurts, winter is coming and with this cooler weather we've been experiencing I've had my nose in a book most days!   I love reading (which is probably where my kids get it) and getting my sites updated with new books all the time makes it exciting!  It's like taking a big trip to Barnes & Noble without paying $4.00 a gallon for gas to get there.  ha!  Too bad that's not actually funny.....I refuse to get into political posts so we'll get back to reading.

The next book I'm getting ready to read is 
I'm all about self-help and inspiration books, even teaching types.  But once in a while you just need a good story (especially the TRUE ones) of an underdog and real life.  Many know that a piece of my heart is lost in Africa....don't know why exactly, but God has it there and I'm excited to read this story about Lopez Lomong.  I'm not a track fan by any means, but this looks so intriguing.  Stay tuned!

This is the description of the book:

Running for My Life is not a story about Africa or track and field athletics. It is about outrunning the devil and achieving the impossible faith, diligence, and the desire to give back. It is the American dream come true and a stark reminder that saving one can help to save thousands more.
Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong's incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable, even from circumstances that might appear hopeless.
PLUS! Yesterday I attended the Beth Moore simulcast at the First Baptist Church in our town.  It was AMAZING.  ♥  I've always wanted to go see Beth live, and this was the next best thing.  My first ever simulcast and I gotta tell ya, as long as the church will keep bringing them back I'm THERE!  I can't begin to share how much I enjoyed yesterday.  Doors opened at 8 a.m. and we concluded the day around 4 I think it was.  Had a break for lunch and potty breaks mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  Spent the day with sister's in Christ learning from His word in 2 Kings and putting our FAITH back in our FAITHFULNESS!!  I feel so renewed and overflowing with joy from the Holy Spirit.  Sharing the day with my friend Joy was awesome and just being in the house of the Lord the entire day.  I told my hubby this morning on the way to church (as I was still rambling on about it I'm sure is what he that it's such a shame that there aren't more women in my life who would have loved to have spent the ENTIRE day worshiping and studying the word.  But I can't think of any other way I would have rather spent the day.  Most folks grumble about getting up on Sundays and going to church (if they even do), and as I mentally went through my list of acquaintances and friends I wondered who if any of them would have been excited or looked forward to spending the entire day in church.  I gotta tell ya, I can't think of a better way to spend a day and I'm so glad I was blessed to take part in yesterday's event.  
As Beth said, when someone asks how are you?  I'm ready to respond with "I'm blessed in His presence!"  Wishing you all a terrific week ahead!  We've got three birthdays coming up in our family, lots of exciting events for my job this week and more football in store!  It's gonna be a great week.  

What a Difference - Book Review

This book is a testimony to the true power of the human spirit. I recommend this book to anyone that needs a little inspiration or who wonders if they really make a difference.  Short read, I think it would have been better if I had read the first book in this two part series, Same Kind of Different as Me.  Nonetheless, a great read!  :)  

Thomas Nelson provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.


Christ Our Mediator

Christ our Mediator is a very short book, but gets right to the point. The author brings you a new perspective at looking upon the crucifiction of our Lord. I always got it, I always understood it, but looking at it from the Lord's point of view has given me a different outlook on my own walk of faith and my own attention to His gift of grace. Too many people see the act of Christ being crucified as just a physical event to a man rather than seeing the bigger picture. A great read for any Christian, an enlightening book for those wondering about Jesus and Christianity.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Free Books! Seriously!

So who doesn't love FREE stuff, right?!  I've had several people ask me lately where I get my free books to review.  So I shared the 3-4 companies that I get them from and then decided to go on a hunt.  Yes, a google hunt.  :)  So this post is all about linking you up with FREE BOOKS!!  Because I found lots of resources available to do just that.  Some of the links/info I'm going to share are from other blogs with extensive info on how to obtain all the reading material your little heart desires.  Some are targeted to one genre or another, some have multiple options to choose from.  So weather you are looking for Christian reading material, religious, children's books, fiction, can find it ALL.....for free if you just know where to look.  Happy reading y'all!

Since today is Thursday, I'm considering this my Thankful Thursday post too.  I'm so thankful that I have eyes to read, a mind that allows me to imagine, dream and discern what I choose to read and that God has blessed me with a love of reading His word first and foremost.  Every morning spending time with Him is what makes everyday blessed.  I actually read a little excerpt from my study bible yesterday about making time for reading the bible daily.  We all know we should, but we make excuses because we overslept, or we're so busy today with a full schedule of things that must get done.....when in reality, it all boils down to how much do you love Jesus?  He loved you enough to die for you.  Do you not love Him enough to take just 15 minutes of your busy day (that HE gave you after all!) and devote it to focusing solely on Him and reading His word.   I pray that I will always hunger for HIS word.  ♥  Happy Thursday!

First up on the list of FREE reading/reviewing is:  Blogging for Books 
This is probably my favorite by far.

Next check out BookSneeze
 Both of these first two resources are for Christian/Religious books.
They range from studies, fiction, practical living, young adult, business....the list goes on and on.
I will give BookSneeze a little credit here, they do provide more book options than Blogging for Books.  Especially if you prefer to use an e-reader such as a kindle or nook (I use my iPad for these apps).  Even though I love the convenience and simplicity of an e-reader, there's still just something about a books with crisp new pages, the smell of the paper and the feel of the cover that nothing can compare to! ;)

Next up is Net Galley
They provide a broader range of books and you can search based on publishers, authors, genres and even dates.  However they have a more detailed/strict system to adhere to and publishers will choose you to review their books.  So it's like a luck of the draw type situation.  You may find something but if your profile bio doesn't fit the standard that a publisher or author is looking for then you most likely won't be chosen to review a book.  Yeah, cause we wouldn't want to receive a 'bad' review and if we hand-pick our readers we're more likely to get the response and publicity we're looking for to promote our work.  ;) lol

This is a link to a blog that shows you resources and ways to receive free books.
Browse books by subject....and trust me there are TONS!!!
This is an e-reader only site.  But who cares if they are all FREE!?! 

Book worms unite!  Join the club and enjoy reading to your little heart's content.
Interesting site and lots of goodies to browse through.

Another great blog post about where to find the things you are looking for in free books!

Just found this one last night so can't tell you all the details but it looks fun!

If you are a B&N junkie with your nook this is a blog link to show you how to join the First Look Book Club and get free reading!

There are so, soooo many resources available for free books if you just know where to look.  Hopefully these links will get you off to a great start!  If you're still bored and don't have enough to read do a google search (yes, go hunting! Said in my best Elmer Fudd cartoon voice) and see what you can find!  Use various search terms and remember " quotations can narrow your search!  I think to find some of these resources I just searched for how to find free books to review!  These should at least get you through the weekend.  ;) Enjoy.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

PW Giveaway!

HURRY!  Run, don't walk (is that even possible in cyberspace?) to the Pioneer Woman's blog!  Ree is doing a giveaway today!  Three dutch oven's in the most gorgeous color of blue!
I'd tell you good luck and I hope you win, but seriously......I want to win!  So it's every blogger for herself!  lol  But at least I'm giving you a heads up.  

I'm still reading away!  Got my review of Greater finished and received my next free book to review, which is "Christ Our Mediator".  Pretty good too actually.  Very quick read, it's a short book.  Less than 100 pages I believe.  But we've been busy the last few days so I need to kick it in gear and finish it today.  I also received a new study bible for review.  The "Everyday Matters Bible for Women".  Love the outlines and study sections in it.  Definitely putting practical everyday living into perspective and providing encouragement through the stories and studies.  So if you are interested, head on over to Amazon and getcha one!  You'll love it!  I promise.  

One last note of daughter who is the ultimate book worm, has started her own blog!  Nothing but books, what she thinks of them, how they relate to her life, what she recommends and invites to share your thoughts, opinions and suggestions for great reads.  "My One Thousand Lives"  Those of you who are literary snobs will know the significance of her title.  Consider it a 'Book Club' you can attend online.  I've always seen in movies (yes I'm sheltered, we live in the middle of the sticks remember) where people would gather at one another's homes and share their thoughts on a particular book.  Can't imagine what that would be like.  I'm rather introverted when it comes to my books and don't want any other opinions that might not agree with my own!  LOL  So, Taylor's blog can be found HERE.  Enjoy!  She's just getting started so drop her a line, leave some blog love in her comments and make some suggestions!  SHE LOVES IT!!  :)

I'm off to make pink deliveries this morning, maybe make a stop at the local library (yes, they still have those! not everything is electronic), football practice for my little this afternoon and AWANAS at church this evening where we are starting an adult study while the kiddos are worshiping.  "Have a New Kid by Friday"!  Wish me luck, it's going to be a busy day!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


GREATER!!!  Yes, indeed!!!  This book quickly became a favorite!!!  I've had Sun Stand Still by the same author, Steven Furtick, for some time now and just hadn't felt the urge to crack it open.  A friend talked about his second book GREATER and that she couldn't wait to grab it!  Well....  lucky me to be a reviewer!  I believe all things happen for a reason and God knew I was going to pick this book up and get engrossed!

Steven Furtick takes Biblical knowledge and opens your eyes on how to use it to your full potential!  To be GREATER than you already are (yes, already are....I believe God don't make no junk honey!).  It allowed me to see that I can be greater for God right where I'm at.  I don't have to be a missionary in a third world country to be able to do greater things to bring glory to God.

Some of the things in the book I already knew, but it was nice to have it reinforced in a way that left me not doubting myself or my motives for things I do in life.  Being able to strive for greater things in my family, my children, my relationships, my job.  All for His glory!

My favorite part about reading books like this, is that it opens my eyes to new scripture, new stories from God's word and the amazing impact they can have on your life when you discover the little details you may have otherwise overlooked.  DEFINITELY 5 stars in my opinion!  One I'll be keeping around for future reference.  I think I wore the highlight button out on my kindle!  Thank you Mr. Furtick!  I feel empowered and blessed to do Greater things!

WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.

Back to School & Reading

So.....everyone should now officially be back to school!  I have several friends in different areas of the country and we all seem to start school at different times.  Even home school moms.  Each have their own schedule but I love looking at all their kids pics of their first day of school.  I found some random pics of my kids over the years for their first days and it's bittersweet to see them grow so quickly.  It seems like yesterday my 'baby girl' was born, and now she's almost a college graduate!  Having her move out this year was tough on mom!  Tougher on dad.  lol  But we are all surviving quite nicely.  It makes her visits home on random weekends/holidays even more fun.  I can't believe my middle child is a Junior in high school this year.  He's growing into a man right before my eyes and I can't stop it.  Although he has his moments that make me realize why animals eat their young....somewhere in that giant body is the little boy who used to tell me "I love you bigger mommy".  We now have that love/hate relationship so my parenting skills must be top notch! ;)  ha.

The wee one is in third grade this year.  He was just excited about getting to share recess with the 'big kids' (i.e. 7th graders).  He can now play kick ball, football and random stuff with kids twice his size and he thinks that is way cooler than 1st graders he shared with last year.  He started tackle football at the YMCA this year too so momma is getting her sports fix.  Hard to believe I actually enjoy watching him tackle other kids! lol  ;)  In yo face!  Yes, I'm that mother...... pray for me.

AWANAS for 3rd grade this year is Truth & Training!  We're moving up!
We started AWANAS last night too which we have been looking forward to.  Love that my little man looks forward to spending time at church and learning scripture and reading his Bible.  No greater joy for a momma.  He accepted Christ this summer and we'll be posting pics of his baptism soon!  :)  We're waiting for the 'perfect pond' he requested to dunk him in!  lol  With the droubt this summer, ponds are scarce that don't have sludge or poo knee deep.  The recent rains are clearing things up so hopefully soon we'll be dunkin'!

I'm also excited that the church is having adult bible study groups while the kids are in AWANAS.  So looking forward to the studies ahead, one of which is Dave Ramsey's financial university!  Definitely needed, and hoping it can help us get back on track in this household.  We aren't a family that is swimming in debt (no credit cards or over-extending ourselves with unnecessary luxuries), but the recession has hit more than we expected and sometimes 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' seems eminent.  Don't get me wrong....we are standing on His promises and know that God doesn't live in a recession.  He has ALWAYS provided for our needs and it's amazing to see Him at work when you least expect it.  But it would be nice to do a little more once in a while.  I remember one day when I met my husband at the football field for practice after work.  Being in another town it takes 30 minutes to drive there from our house, and 45 minutes from hubby's work (which is the opposite direction) so we meet in the middle.  I had gotten an unexpected payment from someone that very day when I prayed I would find the gas money to make the trip.  Sharing with my husband the good news of answered prayer he told me how he had prayed all day for the same provision for himself.  You see, he had literally pulled into the park on E.  Probably running on fumes.  Knowing that somehow God was providing his way home.  Not knowing how, but that He would.  I handed him the extra money I had made that day.  Which filled his gas tank too.  So.....we know he ALWAYS provides.  But I have to admit the human side of me would like to feel a little less stressed wondering how He's going to do it! ;) lol

My goal today is to finish my book GREATER and post that review (it's incredible!), make homemade spaghetti and bread sticks (as promised to my 8 year old), and do a little cleaning.  (yeah, I said little.....I despise housework) Maybe I'll take some extra time today to play with our new puppy Peach.  More on her tomorrow.....  she's so stinkin' cute.

So for's a link to one of my favorite blogs of a friend.  She makes her kids lunches EVERYDAY, is the Bento queen, an awesome cook, and an even more incredible photographer!  Be inspired!  Even if you homeschool, these lunches will blow your kids' mind (and just might even get them to eat all those nasty veggies you try to force down them).  Be blessed today!  Check Jamie out at


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So my next review is being done on Steven Furticks latest book GREATER.  Best book I've read in quite a while next to the Good Book ;) 

I can't tell you how much it has lifted me in the past few days and given me a different outlook on not only serving God but how I can be greater than I am allowing myself to be. 

Maybe this doesn't make sense...stay tuned for the review!  I'm almost done!  All I can say is if you have this book why havent you read it yet?! If you don't have it, get it!  If you can't get it yet, reserve it! Seriously!  Gonna be a long busy day so I must go.... I'm off to be GREATER!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Power of Knowing God

So here it is!  My book review of this awesome study I received!!!  I'm loving Blogging for Books!  If you haven't tried it yet, check it out!!! 

This was my first ever Kay Arthur study even though I have several studies with multiple authors including Kay this was a first for her alone.  I love the format of the book and being able to do a 'weeks worth of study' in one session. The 40 minute outline was pretty true for me but I think this could depend on how grounded and educated you are in your faith and the study of the Word also.  It was simple to understand and I love the breakdown she does of the scripture in individual sentences and verse.

It actually had me looking at scripture in a whole new light. Same meaning of course but it provoked me to put more thought into situations and events. I'm all about note taking and marking my bible for reference, but if you aren't comfortable with doing this the book has a sidebar with the specific scripture for the study so you use it like a workbook and can mark it rather than your bible.

I would recommend this book to friends and family. Men or women.

WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

50 Shades of Magic

First off, let me start this post by saying some of you may be slightly (okay, a lot) offended by this.  Remember this is just my .02 and if you don't agree I'm good with that.  I just hope you're good with it.  You don't have to like it, but at least respect my opinion and thoughts and be an adult.  (i.e. keep your negativity to yourself.....if you want to discuss and debate rationally I'm all for it!)  I respect your opinion, and right to have one.  Please and thanks.....
NOW.... I have been mulling this one over in my mind for a few weeks now.  To say it's bothered me is an understatement.  You see, we haven't had television in our house (other than Netflix and Hulu plus) for about 3 months now.  We are surviving, quite nicely I might add.  No more programs that we have to monitor and block, no more beer commercials with too much boobage, and no more risque movie trailers.  Which I hadn't actually realized had gotten so out of hand until this Magic Mike craze hit and I had no idea what everyone was talking about so I decided to google it.  Oiy.  I quickly remembered why I was enjoying this 'no tv' chapter in our lives.  Then all the 50 Shades of nasty hit facebook profiles and I went back to google only to discover I'm glad I purchase my books on Amazon because if there was a Barnes and Noble close by I wouldn't want to be slapped in the face with piles of 'gray matter' upon entering my Oz.  (yes, I am that fond of's like fairytale land).

I have been frustrated, disgusted, disappointed and downright outraged to the point I wanted to blog about this subject but didn't quite know where to start.  Until today.  My hubby has been preaching on the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount for several weeks now and today we were up to Matthew 5:27-30.  Coincidence.....I think not.  :)  God's timing is amazing as always.  His message brought my thoughts full circle and the words came I wanted to share in order to voice my opinion without just sounding like a raving lunatic full of frustration.

To save you all the trouble of looking it up in case you don't already know Matthew 5:27-30 is about adultery.  God's command for us to steer clear of things that will cause us to sin.  That if you look upon someone with lust, you have committed adultery in your heart.  Wow, that's powerful stuff.  You see, God doesn't just 'wish' we wouldn't do this, it doesn't say He 'prefers us not to'.  He commands it.  Period.  You don't tell your children I wish you wouldn't lie to me, I prefer you wouldn't talk back to me and deliberately disobey me.  We command respect and obedience from our children.  It's our job to teach them.  Our heavenly father commands us as He teaches us through His word and expects our obedience as well.  Now, I'm not saying we don't all fall short, mess us, and definitely need correction at times.  But as we learn to follow Him those times should become fewer and far between.

God clearly has no tolerance or 'gray' area of understanding when it comes to this subject.  It's one of the ten commandments and it's repeated in scripture.  Think it's important?  Yeah.  Me too.  And if you believe in the same God that I do, the same one who sent His son to die on the cross for my sins then you know all too well that He is with us, always.  If in fact He is with you would He be proud and embrace your actions, your habits, your hobbies?  The movies you watch, the programs you favor on TV, the people and places you spend your time on?  There's clearly a difference between witnessing to others and being in places and situations that are less than favorable versus being there by choice and desire.

Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
1 Corinthians 15:33

We are told to set our minds on whatever is good.......

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philipians 4:8

Our words and actions are an outward display of our inner heart.  What is your heart speaking to others?  As Christians (and yes, even if you're not.....) we will be held accountable for every careless word we speak and our actions.  Matthew 5:28 tells us that whoever looks and lusts has committed sin in your heart.  Are you lusting for Magic Mike and his buddies?

Sound 'overboard' and a little 'out there' you say.  I choose to guard my heart.  I choose to save those looks and desires in my heart for the one man God created for me.  I choose to read words of encouragement and guidance rather than things that persuade my mind and take it to places that God knows are within me.  How many Shades of Gray does it take before you turn any shade of red due to desire or even embarrassment or shame?  Or does it even make you feel shame?

Lusting for someone doesn't come from a quick glance or look of admiration.  It doesn't come from checking out a book jacket or reading a review to know if something is suitable for you to spend your time (not to mention hard earned money) on.  It comes from an extended glance and a desire that grows in your heart and mind.  Watching 110 minutes certainly seems like an extended period of time to stare at men stripping.  The sole purpose of which is to entice a woman!  To breed lustful thoughts in her heart and mind.  Seriously. Explain any other purpose to me and I'll take it under advisement!  Would a woman want her husband or boyfriend to lust after other women?  Would you want him to be tempted by watching her strip and showing her body?  Would you want your children to watch it?  Would you want them to grow up to become a stripper?  It's definitely something that I think no one would want.  No one has a child and says, 'I dream of them one day becoming a stripper.'  If you tried to tell me you wouldn't mind, I'd have to say I doubt you're being honest with me (or yourself).  What would you do if your husband made a trip to the city strip club, raved about what a great time he had on his facebook wall with his buddies and talked about how hot the girls were for WEEKS on end!?!  Be honest.....

It really gets my goat (in case you couldn't tell), and breaks my heart.  I guess what it may boil down to is do you consider and call yourself a Christian......or do you know in your heart without a doubt that you are HIS.  Because as a child of the most high God our lives should look different.

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.  By this we know that we are in Him.
1 John 2:3-5  

We have to take back our hearts.  Guard our minds.  Filter our lifestyle from things that the world has to 'offer'.  Just because Hollywood and society say it's good for us, it's hip, it's what everyone is doing doesn't make it right.  I want to lead my children by example.  I don't want my daughter to fall into the trap of a girl's night out watching strippers.  Her desire is to find a man who looks to the Lord in order to seek favor with her.  Why would a man like that want a woman who drools over any Tom, Dick or Harry that flaunts his business for the world to see?  I want my sons to grow up to respect women, to honor them and love them as Christ loves the church.  Not play Russian roulette hoping they find a woman who has remained pure.  Where are the women and men who will teach their sons and daughters how important this is?  It's up to us to change our lifestyles, the hobbies and hangouts, even perhaps the friends we choose.  I know we've had to make those adjustments in our life for just such reasons.  We now guard our hearts.....VERY closely!  We've built a hedge around our family that will keep such temptations at bay.  By God's grace we are able to stand strong, and stand together.  

Ladies, stop fawning over Magic Mike.  Your husband/boyfriend is tired of hearing about him by now I'm sure. (and so am I)  You know you would be totally done with pics of the latest pin up model as his screen saver, or plastered on your bathroom mirror or hanging from your bedroom wall.  So why taunt and joke about such things yourself?  Look to your husband again as you once did.  When you first became attracted to him.  His features that made your stomach fill with butterflies and your heart skip a beat.  He's your real magic man.  Don't mistake that.  Don't take it for granted.  Don't spoil your heart, risk it dreaming of someone other than your husband.  There's a price to pay.  It may seem harmless and all in good fun.  But I bet the man upstairs isn't laughing.  
Photobucket year (plus) later, I'm back!

I have been thinking about blogging again for the last few weeks and have so many things going through my mind but today just sparked the last bit of fire I needed to get in gear and get back to blog land.  So a quick review will catch everyone up before I jump in on what has inspired me to reappear in the blog world.

I started a new 'job'.  In April of last year I began a home-based business with Mary Kay.  Made a trip to Dallas last summer to attend my first seminar, Fall Retreat in October at Tan Tara (Lake of the Ozarks for those that don't know), a trip to Atlanta, Georgia for Leadership conference in January, back to Kansas City for Career Conference in March and one year later I debuted as a Sales Director!  Whew....whirlwind, yes. Exciting and worth EVERY second.  I am blessed beyond measure, have found a love for all things pink and sparkly and have discovered my inner shoe fiend.  Life is good.

My oldest daughter Taylor graduated from our local community college, has paid off her first car (milestones!), and we recently moved her almost two hours away to her first real apartment where she became a Bearcat.  :)  She will finish two more years of school and graduate college. did that all happen?  Having my first born leave home....bittersweet.  So much I could write there, but I'm sure any mom can imagine the ups and downs so I'll spare you the details.  She's amazing, we had a great time on her moving day and we're uber proud of the young woman she has become and how she is keeping her feet grounded and her heart and mind still focused on the Lord.  Love her heart and desire to remain in His presence.  Her daddy may not survive the transition though.... pray for him.  ;)  lol

Our oldest son Tyler has grown into quite the handsome young man in the last year.  He got his driver's license.  OIY.  Anyone who lives in our immediate area just let me apologize now and consider it a standing apology....  just sayin.  Boys and cars, and momma's don't mix.  lol  He can be a good driver, but it sure pushes me to my limits some days.  I so wish he had his very own vehicle.  He's getting better with his responsibilities but it's not been an easy year.  He's definitely become the strong willed teenager some parents dread but all-in-all he is a young man we are proud of.  He tries our patience most days but his heart is in the right place.  Head strong is an understatement, and he's had his fair share of groundings.  But he's a boy with two jobs, lots of friends and a Christian attitude.  That's good enough for me.  He attended his first ever prom this year and the realization that my little boy is growing up into a young man hit me.  He was so handsome in his tux.  But he's WAY taller than me now and it's kinda nice to feel 'protected' by another man in the family no matter where we go.  ♥

Our youngest son Tanner is now a 'big kid' as he puts it.  He will be in 3rd grade and we all know that's where it's at, right?!  Quite the ladies man he has had several 'girlfriends' in 2nd grade.  He might have been the teacher's pet, definitely the evangelist of his classroom as he's lined everyone out on the true meaning of Christmas and Easter at school parties.  lol  :)  Gotta love him.  He played soccer this year rather than opt for baseball and at first I had reservations about being a 'soccer mom' but he is so athletic and the game came so easy for him.  He was a soccer star!!!  I fell in love with a new sport and even though we had to sit and watch some of his games in 100+ degree heat it was awesome to cheer him on.  He's a rockstar!  Yes, I'm his mom, this is my blog, and I say so.  He also won his first ever pinewood derby!!!  Talk about over the top excited.  You'd have thought he'd won the lottery.  Love how simple little things bring him so much joy.  

Number 5 in the middle is my hero.  ;)

The biggest news of all for the last year.........  drum roll please..........  something I never in a million years saw coming at us.  My husband became a pastor!  Yes, we have been busy and life has been out of control to say the least.  Over the past year my husband had the calling to become a pastor (so did my cousin!), and he found himself filling in where needed when other pastors were on vacation or had to take some time off due to health reasons.  Then one Sunday, the church he had been filling in for ask him to preach full time.  And he said yes.  :)  He became an ordained pastor and now serves Modena Christian Church.  We are blessed.  Yes, it was scarey and totally not something we saw in our future but I gotta tell you, I wouldn't have it any other way.  It's a very small church but it's home.  I can't tell you the emotional roller coaster this sent me on but I'm finally starting to get over the motion sickness so to speak and am proud to be the preacher's wife.  Eric's heart for serving the Lord amazes me and I am overjoyed to be his wife.  

So, since the oldest daughter flew the coop, the oldest son moved into the bigger room.  The younger son in turn moved into the big brother's old room (bigger) and papa bear gets baby bears room for his new study.  We are making him a 'private office' so he can prepare his sermons and have a place to go for some quiet time.  I haven't given up on the idea of adoption so the extra room will always be there if we need it.  :)  I still surf the 'waiting children' listings and always have one (or a sibling group!) that tugs at my heart strings.  I show them to Eric and ask him to pray with me for them.  The last sibling set of 2 girls I had on my heart finally found a forever family after 3 years.  ♥  And now.... we pray for a set of twin boys.  :)  Shadrack and Meshac.  Yes, you read that right....  it's funny because they are just a year or two younger than Tanner and his favorite Veggie Tales movie is 'Rack, Shack and Benny'.  ;)  If you're a Veggie Tale lover you know the slang and I'd love to have two more boys in my house.  The soccer league wouldn't know what hit 'em!  lol  :)

Gus the wiener dog is still my baby, but he's soon going to have a little girlfriend.  Just a few more weeks and she will be coming to live with us.  Can't wait to buy her a little pink dress that sparkles.  lol ;)  Go figure.  Tanner got a new kitten from his VBS teacher last month and Roxy is fitting in marvelously on the farm.  Our herd of dexter cattle is growing (Eric loves his hobby farm), and our chickens are putting out eggs faster than we can sell them!

Life is good, we are blessed and I have a feeling it's going to be great being back in blog land.  :)  Stay tuned for what inspired me to come back!