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Showing posts from July, 2014

Color Me Beautiful

My granddaughter loves flowers. She brings them to my nose and says, "Smell, Nanny. Isn't it pretty?". As I have now inhaled the dust from the flowers (lol) I look at her with a smile and say, "I have an idea". Which she is immediately excited about! 

I had purchased a pack of food coloring. Blue, red, green, and yellow. We set out with scissors and a pitcher in hand to capture all the Queen Anne's Lace we could find. Peyton gathered all the flowers we needed. Giggling with joy we went inside and prepared to create some color. 
As you know Queen Anne's Lace is white. They are delicate and spectacular all the same. I filled some mason jars with water and Peyton pinched the bottles of coloring into each. As I trimmed the flowers she placed them in the jars. She may have enjoyed just a bit more of green coloring than needed. (lol sorry momma). And now the waiting came. Peyton says, "Nanny, they aren't turning yet". So, I share with her again …

Strange Glory 'A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer' written by Charles Marsh

It's always an honor to get to know someone even if it is through another's penned words. We all have a story. A story worth sharing. Bonhoeffer is one of those men I could never read enough about. This is a beautiful selection. Charles Marsh brings Bonhoeffer to life through these pages. 
I usually don't choose biographies, but this one stood out to me. Sadly, I must admit, until I began reading novels based during WWII I had never heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Terribly sad, right? Once I began reading about him I was fascinated. His life speaks volumes of what honor and character are. He encompasses surrender. He fought the good fight. He set out to change the world and in doing so he empowered others to follow in his footsteps and become leaders in their own right. 
I feel Marsh did a spectacular presentation of allowing me to know Bonhoeffer better than before. His words flow. He gives just enough and then allows room for the imagination to embrace what it would have …

Dandelion Beautiful

How often do be pass by beautiful? Beautiful is all around us. We focus on so much in life that takes away from beautiful. Why do we allow ourselves to miss out on all the beautiful? 
Yesterday I was blessed to spend the day with my grandson. While playing outside he noticed the dandelions. He spotted them right off. He says, "Nana, let's make some beautiful together!". I can tell you that this Nana's heart melted. With tears I said, "Jack, yes, let's make some beautiful today!". We picked dandelions and blew little flutters of pixie dust across the yard. Jack would say, "Look, Nana, isn't it just beautiful!". 
When do we lose our vision of beautiful? To Jack everything is precious. He's excited about everything great and small. He's ready to experience laughter and fun. 
My grandchildren teach me so much about letting go and simply experiencing life in the fullest way possible. That can't happen when I allow the junk of this w…

Defying Autism by Karen Mayer Cunningham

I received Karen's book for review. This is the first book I've read on autism. Let me begin by sharing that this is Karen's story. This is her journey. Each journey is unique. 

Karen begins her story with the early years of her life before she was ever married. She shares her dreams and her fears. She truly shares her heart.  It takes a brave woman to bare her soul.
What I admire about Karen is her transparency. She shares the ups and downs. The everyday life. She opens up about her struggles. She too bares her soul about her marriage and all the struggles there. Her husband seems very passive. Having the attitude that everything is going to be okay. They know that something is different, but in the beginning years are almost in denial. 
I too love how Karen never gives up on her son. She shares how difficult it was to have others to truly reach out and help them in this area. Finally, through years of determination she finds answers. She finds the help her family needs. She…

Help Find Missing Friend Lynn Messer

Friends, I am asking you to please join me in praying for friend, Lynn Messer. Lynn has been missing since July 8.  She is from Festus, Missouri which is in Ste. Genevieve County. 
Days continue to pass and there is no new information on Lynn. It is heartbreaking. Please pray her home. Pray for her safety. Someone has to know something. This precious woman did not just disappear. If you have any information about Lynn at all you can contact the police in Ste. Genevieve County.

You may not know Lynn. You may not live in or even near our area, but what you can do is pray. You can help in getting the word out. You can share her photo and information. The more who know about her story the more can pray and possibly come together in helping to bring Lynn home. You can saturate the floors of heaven with your prayers. You can visit the FB page that has been created for Lynn. You can share with your friends and church family. {Like} her FB page and continue to receive updates on Lynn. Prayer …

The Book of Revelation Made Clear by Tim LaHaye and Timothy E. Parker

I was excited to receive, "The Book of Revelation Made Clear". I am a huge fan of Tim LaHaye. Now, when I seen the cover I was immediately intrigued. The Book of Revelation is one of those books many skip. They think it's too difficult to read. That is one reason I chose this selection. I wanted to share with my readers a great find in studying the Book of Revelation. I had no idea that Timothy E. Parker created the Sudoko puzzles. 

First the good news. I really enjoyed this book! I made my way through it pretty quickly. It was easy to understand. I do love how the book flows. It takes each scripture verse from Revelation and breaks it down. First we are given a pre-quiz. Usually three questions to just see how much we do know. Then we are given the scripture. Next is the explanation of the verse. It ends with the answers to the quiz. Sounds easy, right? It is. This is a great tool for those studying the Book of Revelation. The book is illuminated. It doesn't give too…

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

Friends, I'm so excited to share this beautiful novel with you. What caught my eye was the cover. Exquisite! Absolutely elegant and breathtaking.
This is by far the most beautiful novel I have read this year. Most of the time I hurry my way through a great novel. I let things go and absorb myself in another time and place. This is the first novel that I have simply taken my time. I didn't want it to end. Each day I looked forward to just sitting down for a few minutes and traveling to years past. 
My heart loved these characters. This is an unforgettable read! Adele and Vladimir danced in my soul. I walked through Auschwitz with them. I trembled in fear for them. Most of all I admired them. I ached to read more of them. Their story is one of beauty. We truly see God's glory in a place of death. From ashes to beauty. 
Sera and William were characters that I longed to read more about. I wanted them to find love. To move past yesterday and embrace today. To let go and trust …

Exploring New Ground

To explore we gotta move. I found myself feeling comfy cozy in my little pew off to the side at church. We had raised our five children in the second pew on the right side of church. After our children grew and we out grew our pew we switched spots. It's amazing how things can look different just by moving. But there was a problem. My bottom was getting awfully cozy in my pew. It was as though my name was carved in the wood. 
Then I began to hear the Lord speak to my heart, "Let's go exploring". See, God doesn't want us to get too comfortable. We can get lazy. Church can just become routine. Same old same old stuff. When I noticed I was leaving church unchanged I knew things had to change. I was suffering from root rot. 
I was surrounding myself in a circle of easy. Oh, I was busy. Super busy. I was teaching and involved in many different activities. Are you ready? Yep, it's hard to admit, but I was busy in the busy. I'm not so sure it was about God anymo…

Life Interrupted (Navigating the Unexpected) by Priscilla Shirer

Wow!! I have been reading book after book by Priscilla Shirer and let me tell you that this God chick is on fire! Every single book I pick up and close the last page and have gained a library of wisdom to carry in my heart. 
She's honest. She's transparent and I absolutely love that about her. Priscilla writes like she is that girl next door you could share coffee with and feel completely comfortable with. The girl who can relate and so wants you to soar high with a Jesus life. 
In this selection she brings us to travel along with Jonah. She not only shares the Book of Jonah, but she makes it personal. I love the way she pens from her heart. Her words flow. It makes sense. She writes it in a way that I have yet to see in another writer. 
"Every interruption is a divine intervention." 
"When we follow God through our interruptions, when we back away from the immediate shock to realize there's more to this issue than meets the eye, we become people who can say,…

Veil of Secrets by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel

I read the description of this novel and was intrigued. I thought the cover told the story. A husband and wife together, but so far apart. I started reading and I wanted to love this novel. I wanted to escape into their world, their way of life. I wanted to connect with the characters and fall in love with them. But, it didn't happen for me. 
It's campaign season. Seems like everything goes. Priorities are all mixed up. I can totally understand why this couple had so many issues. I found the characters to be selfish. Each wanting what they want and not really concerned about the needs of others. 
This couple has a teenage daughter who is now helping dad out with the campaign. Mom isn't thrilled. She was young once and doesn't want her daughter to follow in her footsteps. Some might call her a helicopter mom. Others would say she is just trying to protect her daughter from the evils of the world they live in. 
There are many characters in this novel. I found that the s…

The Revealing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

No one does Amish fiction like Suzanne Woods Fisher. She ROCKS! She reveals the heart of the character. She takes us to places unknown and brings out a fresh new perspective about love, life, and faith. 
Her writing is easy to get absorbed in. Yes, it's that type of novel that you let everything else go and grab every bit of extra reading time you can. 
I loved returning to Eagle Hill. I missed out on the first book in the series, "The Lesson", but was able to catch up in book two, "The Calling", (check out my review). I encourage you to read these novels in order as a series. You are able to capture so much more about the characters and as Suzanne brings this wonderful series to a conclusion we are able to have a greater understanding about the choices they have made and where they are today. 
I've been blessed to read many novels penned by Suzanne. I can tell you that you will never be disappointed by choosing a Suzanne Woods Fisher novel. The title truly…

Love Comes Home by Ann Gabhart

I love being able to share with you my favorite writers. Friends, Ann Gabhart is at the top of that list. I fell in love with Ann's writing when I read, "Angel Sister", (check out my review). Ann took us back to Rosey Corner in, "Small Town Girl", (check out my review), and once again my heart was moved by these characters. Now we are blessed with the conclusion of this beautiful series with, "Love Comes Home". 
I love visiting Rosey Corner. It has become like home. A sweet vacationing spot. These characters seem like family. Yes, that's what you can expect when you choose a novel penned by Ann. When you pick up a book by Ann, you know without a doubt your heart is going to be moved. Emotions you've had tucked away are going to surface. 
World War II is ending. Everything is uncertain for this family. They seem to face one trial after another. This is real life for many of us. The Merritt sisters have become old friends. Kate, Evangeline, and …

Atlas Girl by Emily T. Wierenga

What a perfect title and cover for this poetically written memoir. Emily T. Wierenga is transparently beautiful. I love when a girl bares her soul for the world to see. Not so the world can see her, but so that the world can see her Jesus. Emily opens up in a way that makes you feel like sisters. 
Emily shares her life. Her struggles. Her passions. Her ministry today. We journey with her as she travels back remembering the days that have brought her to the here and now. Days that have torn her, to those that have encouraged her. She shares the ugly that lies deep in the haunting night and the light of day that she has learned to trust and follow. 
I found her words to be inspiring. As my own mother grows in age and struggles, Emily gives me encouragement to carry on and make memories of each moment. She inspires us to live life. She has faced anorexia. I could relate with her on so many levels. My heart ached for her, yet it soared in seeing her spread her wings to healthy living. 

Shadowed By Grace by Cara C. Putman

The cover of the novel is what caught my attention. Simply beautiful. I am fascinated with novels that take me back in time to World War II. This is exactly what Cara does for the reader. I was immediately drawn to the characters and their personal stories. We see the heart of the character. Each with their own reason for being in Italy. One wanting to save the masterpieces that would bring history together and the other wanting to capture the story with film. 
Who doesn't love a story about the Monuments Men? These men were ready to give all of themselves to restore history. To make safe what was created by the hands of man. 
We get to witness a wonderful romance blossom between these characters. The story flows so easily and with each passing chapter the reader is stirred to keep turning pages. 
I admired the character, Rachel. A woman who seems to be out of place in a country at war, but to her, she is right where she needs to be. Her assignment is to capture the images of war and…

Shaping My Heart

If you have been following me for a while now you know that I have had a bit of waiting to do. Back in March I had surgery on my thumb. That next month I found a lump in my neck. (Check out my blog post, "Fears Come in All Kinds of Shapes and Sizes Especially a Lump"). I have felt a bit like my heart has been in my throat. You know that feeling. You're wondering. You're scared. Your mind is already wandering in every direction even before you know the direction you're about to go.

"O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways." Psalm 139:1-3
The week after finding the lump I found myself at the doctor. Next month I found myself sitting in the surgeon's office. He ordered an ultrasound. More waiting. Waiting to see the results. Waiting to know the next steps we would be taking. My heart was in a sti…