No matter how hard you try, sometimes you slip further from God. Life gets hectic, you miss your quiet time that day & promise yourself that you'll catch up tomorrow... sometimes you actually catch up, sometimes you slip further. This is when the enemy slips in & tells you.. look- you missed your time with God and nothing happened! You're fine to miss another, go ahead, you're too busy.

   Folks, when this happens to me, when I miss a day of quiet time, I'm crankier; my fuse gets shorter; my words become sharper.

  At first, I may not realize what's happening; but when I do I dive head first into prayers, begging forgiveness for my weaknesses. I know that I haven't been plugged into God and my spiritual batteries are weak, near powering down. Then, I get a bible in front of me- sometimes it's my humongous study bible, sometimes I'm out and about, so I pull up my bible app, just any form of His word needs to fill my eyes ASAP and fill me up!  I'm my best self when I pour everything out to God in the morning, and pray He fills me with the Holy Spirit, sticking closer to me than a mosquito in the South.

  Sometimes you are so spiritually weak that you need a kick start... like devotionals. And lately I've really enjoyed reading works by A.W. Tozer. His words cut through the fluff & hit your heart like a sledge hammer. When I had a chance to review a morning and evening devotional by Mr. Tozer, I jumped!

  These devotionals are pure gold. Mr. Tozer's words connect some dots that I would have NEVER connected before. Clear and precise messages for every day, backed by a verse from the bible, and sticks with you throughout the day? Yes, please!  I feel as if I've found the devotionals that I could read for years on end and never get tired of. I would recommend both morning and evening devotionals by A.W. Tozer for teen to adult.


And sometimes you need to write down verses on sticky notes, on chalkboards, on anything in eyesight to help you when you're spiritually weak. These are my particular favorites to combat Grouchy Jessy, the pretty flowers help my mood also!






** I received these devotionals complimentary in exchange for my HONEST opinion. **

When you're spiritually weak

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 Monogrammable Dictionary Infinity Scarf with Mint Green Stripe, Only store to offer these!

I only have 2 dictionary scarves with the mint green stripe left, a few with a pink stripe and a couple without a stripe left! Did I mention they're MONOGRAM-ABLE? Yep! 

 If you know a bookworm, these scarves are the perfect gift!  I won't be making any more this year, so hurry before they're all gone! 

And please remember- all proceeds go to our Adoption Fund, so thank you! 

Dictionary Infinity Scarf with Pink Stripe! Only store to offer these!

Monogrammable Dictionary Infinity Scarf, Only store to offer these!




Get it while the gettin' is good!

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 You know what time it is.... Bookworm time!

  Lately, I've been focusing on slowing down and enjoying each day. I don't know if you know, but among the many things that come with chronic pain, one is the inability to sit still. I find myself always craving distractions, and just keep piling on new tasks, or new craft ideas, new books, new projects at home... it never ends! I grab at anything to distract myself off of the fact that the pain is constant, never relenting. Tasks really help my sanity. The downside of this overload method is, your to-do list becomes miles long and then you get stress from not finishing things when you have so many other tasks waiting on you... it's a vicious circle!

  So, I've been putting everything on my plate, all my miles of to-do lists on a silver platter, and praying to God that He takes them all from me, that He guides me to what HE wants me to focus on. I pray that He is now my pain manager and that He makes me slow down from the distractions, so I can really savor this time in our lives. Which explains why lately, all I've been publishing on this blog is book reviews! I've always enjoyed books, but lately, I'm insatiable! I'm sure y'all are getting tired of it, but I am working on more posts now... better posts, posts that are carefully put together and more me than just posting just to have something, anything published.

 From now on, I may only post once a week, or twice.  Hopefully, y'all will understand and continue to visit this little blog of mine! I haven't forgotten about this space, I'm just trying to savor my life, one day at a time. I'm focusing on my daily walk with Christ and trying to be where my feet are.

  Now, onto the book reviews! These are some of the favorites I've been reading-


From Sullivan Entertainment-
The Piano Man's Daughter by Timothy Findley
  This book was devoured as soon as I had it in my hands.  The story, as the title suggests, is about the piano man's daughter, Lily, narrated by Charlie, Lily's son. It's an epic story, weaving in and out of three generations of a family with all sorts of scandal and skeletons in their closets. Timothy Findley wrote an amazing piece of work, and I am obsessed with it. He brings the character's personalities out so well that you feel like you're actually acquainted with them! This is a book that I will recommend to anyone who is looking for an enthralling tale. Sullivan Entertainment also provided me with the movie. Stockard Channing was captivating in the role of Lily, the actual piano man's daughter. Generally, I like to pass on books to friends and family, but this book and movie isn't going anywhere!


From Tyndale Publishers-

All Is Bright: A Devotional Journey to Color Your Way to Christmas by Nancy Guthrie and Lizzie Preston

  Y'all, This is the nicest adult coloring book I've ever seen! Adding an advent devotional & it knocks it out of the park. This is so nice, I'd consider it to be an amazing gift for someone at any time of the year, not just around Christmas time. The daily devotional is very well thought out, inviting you to really meditate on God's word. You can also do this as a family!


  That Faith Sticks, (stickers)
They are the best idea!  You get to color while meditating on God's word, and then decorate your journal or your bible! The only complaint I have is that you can't really use color pencils with them, the lines are too close together. I happened to have Micron pens, and they worked well with the stickers.



Closer Than Close: Awakening to the Freedom of Your Union with Christ by David Hickman


  Lately, I've been feeling the need to get as close to God as one can get. His pull has been so strong, that I can't ignore it any longer. Unfortunately, being raised Catholic made me feel as if I needed a ceremony to approach Him and have a close relationship with God. So when I had the opportunity to read this book, it was at the PERFECT time. David Hickman shares his personal stories on his journey to having that relationship with God that I wanted. In essence, I felt like he was giving me a road map, a very precious one. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to just shuck all the extras and get cozy with God.


Shaken by Tim Tebow

Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms by Tim Tebow
  In this book, Tim Tebow takes the reader through an unstable period in his professional life, which results in him sinking into his identity in Christ. Encouraging and supportive, this book shows you one man's journey through an uneasy time, and really shows you that even though he's in the public eye, he relies on God's comfort just like the rest of us. I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially for young gentlemen.


9780718039509

From Booklookbloggers-
 Jesus Always, Embracing Joy in His Presence by Sarah Young
  I didn't have the privilege of reading Jesus Calling before reading Sarah Young's second book- Jesus Always. But boy, did she do an amazing job on this devotional! I really felt as if her daily devotionals were short enough that you can read it before jumping out of bed in the morning, but in depth enough that the message strikes a cord and sticks with you all day long. These sweet devotionals are absolutely perfect for gifts for any occasion and they will be well received. It really puts Jesus on a personal level for you. Everyone I've talked to about this book says that it changed their walk with Jesus, and I can honestly say that, too! Don't miss this book.




From Moody Publishers:
From Heaven: A 28-Day Advent Devotional by A.W. Tozer
  Until this book, I'd only heard of A.W. Tozer, never read anything by him before. I've missed out on savoring his words all these years! This is an Advent Devotional, and while I've read through it, I can not wait to start it all over again when Advent officially begins. This devotional uses A.W. Tozer's best reflections on Christ's incarnation and to His return. This is perfect for your personal quiet time with God or for a family devotional. It's also a great book to gift to someone.

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
  Again, A.W. Tozer was someone I had not read, but I knew within the first chapter, I needed to devour everything he wrote, ASAP. This book shows the reader A.W. Tozer's deep, personal relationship with God. It's downright inspiring! It's one of those books where you might as well highlight every word because it's that good. He talks about how complicated we've made the Christian faith & his solution for it. I believe this book will always remain in my library and I will recommend and gift this book to as many people as possible.



Hearts of Fire: Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith by The Voice of the Martyrs and Gracia Burnham
  I personally support the Voice of the Martyrs organization so this book came as a gift. It's one that everyone in the faith should read. Often, I think about folks in other countries that can't openly express their faith. Each time I put on my silver cross necklace, my heart hurts for those who want to show/talk about/guide others to their faith. It's heartbreaking! Then, this book comes in and drags you into their world. These women are my heroes! The faith that they have, to do the things they do, all in the name of faith is astonishing. This is more of an adult read, but one that I'd recommend to everyone. It reminds me that no matter what I think is going on in my life that is impossible, there is always others who have it much worse than I do. This perspective is magnified for me after reading this book. Bless them.



From Bloggingforbooks-
Natural Color Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe by Sasha Duerr
  I'm in love with this book! Hardback, very durable for years of use. I sew lots of things, for personal and to put up for sale. I always have a hard time finding the exact shade of fabric that I picture in my head. Combine that with my journey away from all chemicals, and heading to a natural home, this book solves those issues for me! I love how she broke it down to seasonal, making it easy for you to find the plants to dye items with any time of the year. I'd recommend this book for anyone who has ever liked the idea of dye fabrics for any occasion!




From Bethany Publishers-
Discipline That Connects with Your Child's Heart by Jim & Lynne Jackson
  Y'all, as a pending foster parent, this book connects to me in so many ways! I've often wondered how to raise a child up in Christ, but not so much that they are disillusioned once they go off into the world. How to be calm in the face of a child, who has big people emotions or trauma, but don't know how to express them, has forced me to try & read everything I can on the subject. I want to be well informed with a couple of go-to reactions and words when things go haywire, and this book gave me a new way to look at things so I can form those go-to responses. I'd recommend this book for anyone ever coming into contact with any child! Knowledge is power.



Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of the Sabbath in a Busy World by Shelly Miller
  As I said previously in this post, I've given my to-do list to God & asked that He guide me in slowing down and really savoring this time in my life. So when this book was up for review, I felt called to it. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Shelly Miller shows us how to get into a rhythm of slow living instead of a fast paced life that many of us feel compelled to run! She shows you it's all about being intentional with your time, and that even though the world is turning at a break-neck speed, you can have a life God wanted you to, at least honor Him by doing what He asks- resting in the Sabbath.



And lastly,
Angels: Who They Are, What They Do, and Why It Matters by Jack Graham
  This book is one I checked out from the library because honestly, I wasn't expecting to like it. The subject of angels is one that's always fascinated me. However, I didn't want to learn too much about them because I didn't want to be the weirdo talking about angels! You know those types! :)
 But, this book has put me in my place! All of Jack Graham's findings are fully backed up with biblical references. This is THE book to read if you've always wondered about angels.


And if you've read this whole post, I'm so proud of you because that was a major book haul! I hope that at least one of these reviews helped you find your next book!

**Some of these books were received complimentary in exchange for my HONEST opinion.**



Bookworm Heaven!

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 Happy first days of Summer almost Fall! (You can tell how long this draft has been sitting & not published? SPRING! Oopsies!)

  I never really appreciated Summer like I should've. Growing up in the South, (lived between Georgia & Louisiana all throughout childhood) the official first day of Summer didn't mean much because it was already scorching hot from March 1st! Especially Louisiana, the days when it felt like your face was melting off your head, yeah that happened faster than you wanted!

  Now, living in the North, I wait for Spring & Summer all throughout the brutal Winter! Now that it is almost over, I thought I'd share some of my favs! I love reading about other people's favorite things, so I thought I'd share some of my own, but more like a recap of the previous season. Sound good? Here is what I loved during Spring & Summer...


Website:  lifehack.org-  I could stay on this site forever! SO many interesting articles to read, so little time.


Book of Joshua Cover Begins September 5th

Bible Study: Women Living Well.org has a read through the bible program where you aren't pressured to participate in groups or Instagram sharing if you don't want to. I've been involved in this study for about a year now, and it's fantastic! Courtney really makes it easy to slow down when you're reading your bible by color coding the scripture. It works! And the inspiration from Instagram hash tags is fantastic! You should join us!

                       Prime-Ark® Freedom Blackberry       Giant Blueberry

Home Life:  So the previous owners of our home were pretty great at landscaping. And that's something that we don't have experience in! Thankfully we just have to upkeep what they had, but I wanted to plant some things, you know, to make it feel like it's really ours.
  I stumbled upon Michigan Bulb Company website and promptly fell in love! Y'all, this site has everything you need! It's so easy. You type in your zip code,  it tells you what zone you're in, then directs you to plants & flowers that are for your area! Amazing! I ordered some bulbs & plants for the Fall. Michigan Bulb Co. even waits until it's time to plant them to ship them to you! I ordered blueberry and blackberry bushes, too! Oh yes, I envision many fruit crisps & yummy things to come from those bushes!

AND- we just completed an amazing transformation of our living room! I'll sneak a photo in here now, but come back in a week or so for a tutorial so you can have your very own wall o' shelves!






Hydrating Body Wash-Purely Coconut
Beauty Product: Everyday Coconut Fair Trade Body Wash. This stuff is soooooo awesome! You guys know that since I'm on so much medicine, the doctors have said to cut out all toxic/chemical things to help give my liver a chance since I will be on these medications for the rest of my life. Enter-  EWG skin deep site & researching everything phase! Which lead me to throw out all of our bad products. That's pretty harsh for someone who LOVES bath products!
  After searching for a while, I found this one. It is great for your skin AND it smells like real coconuts, not the perfumy type of smell most "Coconut" products have. Not to mention, I bought it off of Thrive.com. If you haven't checked out Thrive, do it NOW! They have really great, hard to find products at dollars below any other store or website that I've found! Plus, you get 20% off your first order, so stock up!


  Phew, published this post in the nick of time since Summer is almost over! Time just gets away from you when you're trying to settle in a new home. I'm working hard to get a mini-home tour post up so you guys can see our first home! Ekk! I'm so excited to show it to you!  Be on the look out for that!

Question- What is your favorite Spring (or Summer) item this year? Comment below!
Spring Favorites... yeah, I'm extremely late!

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  Y'all, I've been on a reading bender! I promise to post different content as soon as I can get the posts altogether. It seems since moving, there is always a project to do in this house. When I get downtime, all I feel like doing is reading instead of blogging! Hey, life happens. Sometimes we push other things to the back burner, and I'm not especially sorry about that. I never want my social media/internet presence to come in between me and real life. Can I get an amen on that? 

And now, a feast for your bookworm eyes....

From Moody Publishers-


Seated with Christ: Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison

Seated with Christ by Heather Holleman

  Heather Holleman gets to the root of the self-absorbed culture these days and shows you a way out using scripture. This book came at a great time for me. While blogging, or even while being on different social media accounts, comparison is a thief that is ever present, robbing you of joy. I'm so happy to stumble across this book. I'm constantly searching for chances to unplug from everything, and this book guides you to do that amongst it all. Highly recommend for everyone.



 

10 Commandments of Marriage by Ed Young

Dr. Ed Young tackles the hard subjects that he's heard for years of counseling folks. That alone makes me want to read the book! But then he adds every "Commandment" with a bit of humor and I love books that preach, teach, and make you giggle every now and then. I highlighted this book all over, knowing that this could change my marriage and make it even more solid than ever! And when you're about to dive into Foster care/adoption, who doesn't want to solidify their marriage more? I would recommend this book to newlyweds, engaged couples, well... to everyone really!



Punderdome game from Blogging for Books

  This game sounded so fun that I just had to try it! It's a simple setup and instructions. At first, it may take your brain a few rounds to get into that pun mindset, but after that, it's fun! Great for a multitude of people, and lots of fun!



December Caravan by Rebecca Vandemark

  Rebecca Vandemark takes you inside her life, one that has more struggle in a short amount of time than most will ever have in their lifetime. She writes beautifully, and truly paints you a picture of her hardships and faith. One of the things I admire so much from this author is her faith. She always leans on faith and that in itself is a beautiful thing to behold. I can't wait to see what else Rebecca writes, knowing it will be just as beautiful as this book.




One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot's Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview by Jason B. Ladd

  This book touched my heart! I can only imagine what a Christian soldier goes through when vowing to protect our nation, but may have to be or do something his or her faith condemns. Jason B. Ladd gives you insight to this. He tells you what helps him during a spiritual attack, and I plan on taking these tactics with me in everyday life! A solid book for anyone, but I would highly recommend for anyone in the service or about to go in the service, as well as a parent of a soldier. 


From BookLookBloggers-



For Better or For Kids by Patrick and Ruth Schwenk 

  While waiting for a child for adoption, I want to solidify our marriage, and jumped at the chance to read this book! I've always heard the expression, "Children will come and then move away, but your spouse is there through it all," which made me realize that I didn't want my marriage to revolve around a child, but my spouse. This book addresses just that! It helps you stay committed to your partner or spouse even when mother or fatherhood wears you out. I love that she includes conversation starters for you and your spouse. It will help tons when you're worn out from the children! I would recommend this book to every couple who have or will have children. 




Unashamed by Christine Caine

  This was my first time reading Christine Caine, and I love her! I love it when an author is completely honest with the reader. Christine Caine lets us in to help us go from shame filled to shame-free. She doesn't just do it on her own word, but she guides you to the Bible, to God's words. Her writing is superb and I can't wait to seek out more of her work and speaking engagements! I would recommend this to every single person I know.


That's all, folks! I hope you've found a new book to read during this post!

What are y'all currently reading? Comment below! I'm always itching for my next book!
Yep, you guessed it...

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  These are the books I'm reading to "Try" to prep me for motherhood via foster to adoption. Since I don't know boy or girl, or even age, I can't know exactly what to prepare for! It's open season here, folks!
  So, I just thought I'd read everything I could get my book worm hands on. This may be a couple of installments, but here are the first ones for now...


Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
  This book is amazing! It's so interesting to see what the American culture is becoming. In my opinion, it isn't looking pretty! When going through the Foster Care classes, you have to come up with a loose parenting plan... how you will discipline, punish, etc. Since we won't know age/sex of the placement we will get, we decided to come up with a VERY broad plan. We knew we didn't want to raise an entitled child. Granted, I think each generation is spoiled a little more than the previous, but lately, it seems to have jumped about 10 generations with the spoiledness of kids I see in the stores!
   The book paints a picture of how American kids compared to other kids around the world and it's mind blowing! I'm determined to raise a well-rounded kid, even if the first precious years were hard for them... I think I can, I think I can!

                                                          book cover

Next up is Keeping Your Kids on God's Side by J. Warner Wallace
  Great book! I'm highlight up a storm in it. I know that the children we may have, (even if only for a short time) may not have heard about Jesus or God or even been inside of a church previously. Maybe, we will be starting from scratch in their faith. I know we will have to answer the basic questions about God, which I'm prepared for. What I'm not prepared for, however, is the really hard questions, such as, "If God is good, why do bad things happen?" Yeah, those gut-punching questions where you have absolutely no idea where to start explaining! This book will give you the answers that they will understand. I'm pretty sure I'll be pulling this book out and having it ready for each of the God discussions!

                                                               Beat Sugar Addiction Now! for Kids: The Cutting-Edge Program That Gets Kids Off Sugar Safely, Easily, and Without Fights and Drama

Beat Sugar Addiction Now for Kids by Jacob Teitelbaum & Deborah Kennedy
  Again, we won't know where these children are in terms of age, but I'm pretty sure no one was concerned with their sugar intake. Along with the majority of America, folks just give kids the "Kiddie" types of cereals and snacks.
   After watching a documentary  on Netflix called Fed Up, I've cut out 95% of my sugar intake. Please, go watch it, it will blow your mind!  Besides special occasions, I try to steer clear of sugar by not buying it.
   Now, picture in your mind, we get a child where nutrition wasn't top priority, and their daily sugar intake is probably through the roof. And now picture how many big people emotions they will be going through in the upcoming weeks. Finally, add me trying to get them off a sugar addiction.... yeah, it's not looking pretty!
  I pray that this book will help us transition them off sugar easily.

                                                           

20 Teachable Virtues by Barbara C. Unell and Jerry L. Wyckoff
  Practical Ways to Pass on Lessons of Virtue and Character to Your Children book? Yes, please! The virtues they present in this book are so valuable. Every child should have an opportunity to learn these and apply them in their lives. Unfortunately, sometimes a child may not have had that opportunity to learn anything in a rough home life. You bet I will try my hardest to teach them everything I can for the time I have them.

All of these books I have purchased with my own money, (they're not a review for a publisher) and I plan on keeping & referring to them often throughout the years!

Do you have any other parenting books that made a difference in your child's life? Comment below! I need all the advise I can get!







My Book List While Waiting for Adoption

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Hi! More book reviews here for you! I normally wait until I have quite a few reviews to publish, but these books were far too awesome to wait!


From Booklookbloggers.com- The Longing in Me by Sheila Walsh
   I can't say enough about this book! Shelia Walsh dug deep to write her innermost thoughts, feelings, and tragedies. My admiration for her being a megaphone for God's grace just magnified a hundred times! Read this book, recommend it to all of your friends, and then re-read it each year... it's what I plan on doing!


From Bloggingforbooks.com- Mother Can You Not by Kate Siegel 
   The relationship between mother & daughter is special, but these two wonderful ladies are truly hilarious! I've followed their Instagram feed for months now, but I have to say, this book is so much better! A funny, easy read, perfect for Summertime or a great gift for someone who needs a little lighthearted laughter in their life.


From NetGalley.com- Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
   LOVED this book! I love Shauna's writing style on any subject, but her explaining why it's better to be present than to glorify busy was the push I needed to really believe that. If you find yourself frazzled far too often, please read this book, and then pass it along to all of your friends; it's that good!



Please go out & read at least one of these books this Summer!

*I received these books complimentary in exchange for my HONEST opinion!*
Summertime Reads

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Lord, I come to you now to pray for my nation...and my world. Help us, Father, to drive out hate with love. Comfort those mourning. Be with those who have evil thoughts in their heads, help them be strong in their faith, and help them to fight the enemy. Comfort us all, Abba.  In Jesus' powerful name, we pray, AMEN! 



 "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 
 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."  
Colossians 3:13-14
Every Life Matters

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