Friday, June 26, 2015

"Moment By Moment" Book Review

Journaling is back in style these days.  Have you noticed?  There are journaling Bibles that you can decorate with beautiful pictures and lettering.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, get on Instagram or Pinterest and search "journaling Bible."  You'll see some AMAZING stuff!!!)  Women are also using stickers, washi tape, and decorative lettering to get creative in their day planners.  Coloring is even becoming popular with adults!  All of these pastimes are not only a way to get creative, but they are stress-relievers too!  So when I saw "Moment by Moment: A Devotional Journal for Girls" I was intrigued!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Unoffendable" Book Review

While looking for a new book to review from BookLook Bloggers, I passed "Unoffendable" by several times.  Maybe I found the title offensive?  Haha!  Finally, I decided to give it a try.  And what I found was an honest, thought-provoking, convicting book!  - And a great read!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Parenting with Scripture" Book Review

I'm always looking for ways to help me parent better.  After all, parenting is HARD!  And who wouldn't want to be the best parent they can be?  So I'm always on the lookout for helpful parenting books.  Sometimes, however, parenting books give a lot of "fluff" and no "substance."  They don't give concrete advice for handling situations.  "Parenting with Scripture" is a different kind of parenting book!

"My Sing-Along Bible" Book And CD Review

I love a good Bible story book for my kids!  We have several.  My requirements are:
1.) It must be biblical.
2.) It must be engaging.
3.) It must be visually captivating.
Although the "My Sing-Along Bible" seemed to be poorly named - it isn't a full Bible and it really isn't a full of Bible "stories" - its still a great book and I was very pleased with it!

"HCSB Illustrated Study Bible for Kids" Book Review

One of the best things you can do for your kids is to get them into God's Word early.  Bible story books and other resources are FABULOUS helps in this area!  But once they are old enough to read, a child's study Bible is a great way to get them excited about studying God's Word for themselves!  And the HCSB Illustrated Study Bible is a great option!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Long Story Short" Book Review

I'm always looking for new ways to teach my kids the Bible.  We read Bible story books, devotionals, and of course the Bible itself.  One of the Bible story books that we love is The Gospel Story Bible by Marty Machowski.  Its colorful, fun, and very well written.  So when I heard about Mr. Machowski's devotionals for children, I just had to check them out!

"Fit To Burst" Book Review

A couple of years ago I reviewed a book called "Loving the Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic.  This book really spoke to me because I am in that season of life: the "little years."  I have three kids younger than five years old.  My days are filled with spilled juice, crumbled cookies, puzzle pieces scattered all over the floor, diaper changes, and runny nose.  Its exhausting and amazing all at once and Rachel seems to really "get that."  So I was eager to review another book by her.  Thant's when I found "Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood."

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"Brave Girls Bible Stories" Book Review

As a blogger/book reviewer, I'm blessed to be able to review a lot of children's bible story books.  I love that - and so do my kids!  Its a lot of fun to get to read a story in different words and see different illustrations.  But most Bible story books have the same stories: Adam & Eve, Noah, Moses, Ruth, the Disciples, Paul, etc.  Those stories are fantastic - and need to be told - but there are others that deserve our attention. Enter Brave Girls Bible Stories.  Its the perfect Bible story book for little girls!!!

"Believe Storybook" Review

As a book reviewer, I have a lot of control over what I review.  For that reason, most of my book reviews are fairly positive.  After all, who's gonna pick a book they KNOW they're gonna hate?  Occasionally a book that I'm really excited about with disappoint.  (Sadly, my previous book review was one of those.)  But occasionally I will pick a book that I'm "not quite sure about" and it will be a FABULOUS SURPRISE.  The "Believe Storybook," by Randy Frazee is just such a book!!!

"A Fellowship of Differents" Book Review

I have to say, I was really excited about reviewing this book.  This is something God has been pressing on my heart lately - is my view of church biblical or simply traditional?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with tradition.  But if tradition trumps the Bible, then we're in trouble.  So I was excited to review "A Fellowship of Differents" by Scot McKnight.  However, this book wasn't what I expected.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

This month I've been branching out and trying new recipes.  I'm forcing myself to try some ingredients that I don't normally use.  One of those ingredients is sweet potatoes.  I've never been a big fan.  I think its because, in the South, sweet potatoes usually end up in a souffle or pie, and I'm not a big fan of either of those.  (I know, I'm a bad Southern girl.  LOL!)

But I forced myself to buy some sweet potatoes this week and search for a recipe.  That's when I saw several recipes on Pinterest for Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes and/or Carrots.  I had a huge bag of carrots as well, so I thought I'd give it a try - and mix the two.  After all, my main contention with sweet potatoes was that I didn't think potatoes should be "sweet."  But I figured, maybe on this one I just need to steer into the skid and embrace the sweetness. Well, let me just say, "Sweet Taters, where have you been all my life!?!"  I took the best elements from several recipes and threw these together.  And these babies are DELISH, if I do say so myself.  If you aren't a fan of carrots, you can just use 3 sweet potatoes.  Or, if you aren't a sweet potato gal, try 8-10 carrots.  But seriously, try them both.  You won't be sorry!!!  Come on, how delectable do these look!?!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

"Because He Bends Down To Listen..."

I'm a mom.  I have three precious, precocious little ones under the age of five.  What does that mean?  Well, my days are filled with screaming, crying, whining, and shouts of "MINE!" and "She's touching me!"  Don't get me wrong.  My days are also filled with giggles, songs, chants of "I love you, Mama", and lots of snuggles.  But the screams?  They happen daily. (I have a two year old.)

As my husband and I have grown in parenting knowledge and experience, we've figured out what those screams and cries mean.  We can usually tell the difference between the "I want that!" scream and the "I'm hurt!" scream.  Sometimes we ignore the former.  Why?  Well for two reasons: 1.) We want our kids to learn to work some of those things out for themselves, and 2.) If we got up for every scream we'd never sit down. (Have I mentioned that we have a two year old?)

One thing our kids know is this: if something's really wrong; if they are hurt or scared, Mama and Daddy will come running - right away, without hesitation - to find out what's wrong.  But its hard to get a two year old or a four year old to verbalize what's wrong when they're sobbing - or screaming - so what do we do?  Probably the same thing you do: we bend down and put an arm around them or one of us will sit down and place them in our lap.  Then we softly try to calm their cries and give them a safe place to voice their pain or fear.  Did you know that's just what God does too!?!

Psalm 116:2 (in the KJV) says,
"Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, 
therefore will I call upon him as long as I live."
But there's another translation of this verse that REALLY brings God's fatherly love into full light. The New Living Translation says,
"Because he bends down to listen,    
I will pray as long as I have breath!"
"Because He bends down to listen..."  Did you see that!?!  God isn't disinterested or half-hearted.  He loves you as a father loves their child - because you ARE His child!  So when you're in pain; when you're hurting or scared, He bends down.  He comes down close to you and listens.  He takes time to comfort you and gives you a safe place to voice your pain or fear.  He bends down to listen.  What an AWESOME Heavenly Father we have!  And oh how He loves us!!!
"So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” - Ro. 8:15 (NLT)