Sep 8, 2021

Time for more books!

 



Look at me, blogging twice in 6 months! And, it's more book reviews coming at cha! 


These two books were pretty great. First up, Holy Noticing: The Bible, Your Brain, and the Mindful Space Between Moments  by Charles Stone.  This book actually took me a while to get through. Not that it was so terrible, but there is so much to unpack that I wanted to go slow through it. The bible instructs us to be mindful and meditate on God's word. This book dives into that, and into the science of it. Neuroscience is so fascinating, and to see what they are just now discovering, and comparing that to what's written in the bible, thousands of years ago, it's simply amazing. I'd recommend this book to anyone who is interested in in seeing science prove what the bible says about hacking our brains. 




I love a good marriage book. If we're not actively working on our marriage and relationship, then it's stagnant. So I knew I had to read this one. Who doesn't need more joy in their life & marriage?   Marcus and Chris also get into neuroscience of keeping joy regular and problems small. It's another brain/relationship hack! They also throw in some short exercises, which is fabulous. You get to immediately try out what you just learned. It's a short book, a quick read for the reluctant spouse, but meaty enough to actually improve your "Joy Gap" if you put a little effort into it. I'd recommend this book to all married couples, even engaged couples! 






Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255







Aug 24, 2021

Holy Moly

 



    Wow, my last post was February of 2020. TWENTY TWENTY. The year that wrecked the world. I didn't intend to step away from my website for this long. Then again, has anything gone according to plan in the last year? I am more active on Instagram, if you'd like to follow along there- @TheArtsyCajun


     So, to catch you up on us, let's start from Feb. of 2020. We'd decided that we would move to Florida. We took a quick trip to Panama City Beach/Seaside area to scope it out and determined that we could live there and it would be similar to our Hawaii life... except not so far away from family and friends.  We came back, covid hit everywhere, and we'd already put our house up for sale. 


     This caused multiple problems, as you can imagine. I am immunocompromised, so it was terrifying to allow people in our home. We had assurances from realtors that they'd wear masks and were not allowed to touch anything. Of course, I doused the house in sanitizer after everyone left. At the same time, we were searching for a home to buy in Florida. That's difficult. We did have walk throughs- which in covid era meant our Florida realtor went through the homes on video chat & we "saw" everything. 


    We had huge interest in our home, and had put offers into a Florida home. That home turned out to be hurricane/water damaged that they lied about, and so we were able to back out of the contract once the inspection report stated the damages. 


Around the same time, we had a member of my husband's family get diagnosed with cancer. Our family was rocked. But, they proved to be super human and beat it! (I told you it's been too long since I've blogged) 


    We stayed home, no visitors, no outings. We had groceries delivered, and that's how we lived for the last year and then some. To say that both of us come out of a year of quarantine , just us, and everyone is alive is a testament to our emotional intelligence progress from the last few years of therapy. I cant imagine how this year would've ended if it happened pre-therapy. 


    For now, we've moved to North Illinois, near family. It's been torture to be so close but we can't just pop in for visits as often as we'd like. Things are now opening up more, we've ventured out a bit, and are both fully vaccinated. Even though hearing that we may need boosters doesn't exactly knock my anxiety down as much as I thought the vaxxs would. So, we've relied heavily, as most have, on technology to communicate with our loved ones and friends. That also opens the door to us STAYING our our devices and not being present here. It's a double edged sword, isn't it?

    Which leads me to my next subject, this book. This amazing book right here. 




    Built to Belong: Discovering the Power of Community over Competition. 

    This book should be a must read for anyone using social media, Christian or not. My teenage and preteen years did not include social media. Even so, as a __ year old, I catch myself being caught in the comparison game of it all. Not intending to, I compare other's highlight reels to my boring bits of life. I'm setting myself up for disaster, yet I do it over & over. A tragic loop. This book dives into the heart of that. 


    I love that Natalie gets into how to build a community around yourself, how to stop competition in it's tracks and live out the hashtag #communityovercompetition. We moved to a new town, too far for randomly visiting old friends, but during a pandemic. As if it wasn't hard enough to find good friends on a regular day? To have this book as I start venturing out more into this covid world, gives me the best foundation to build a new community, one that isn't in the game of comparison, from the ground up. As she says in the book, we weren't meant to live live alone. 


    I'd suggest this book for all ages and stages in life. 

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Feb 19, 2020

Still



Still: 7 Ways to Find Calm in the Chaos by [Donnelly, Jenny L.]
I had the pleasure of reading this book, Still by Jenny L. Donnelly for review. This book, y'all, it was a perfect God send for me and where my life is at the moment-- smack dab in the middle of chaos! In the book, Jenny talks about how to get still with God, how to REST in the middle of chaos. I thought that was impossible! But, the book goes into how to connect with the true source of peace- Jesus. And how to apply that practically, which is something we all forget to do! I know I was in the trap of needing to have everything set up just so for the perfect "Quiet Time." If something wasn't just so- I had such a feeling of defeat and not getting what I needed from that time with Jesus. 
     I love how Jenny went a little into her own testimony and makes her teaching you how to do this with her own story. It made it feel more practical rather than just a teaching/self-help book. She really wants to teach you how to get to the root of anxiety, fear, worry and dig that out rather than smoothing it over until the next time anxiety or worry or fear grips you. I would recommend this book for anyone who struggles with this. Buy a few and give them out to others!


*I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. *
Jul 12, 2019

Hiya!


It's been a while, hasn't it? Life is still running at a million miles per hour, but I thought I'd give a little update on things and tell you what I'm enjoying this Summer! 

Update: I'm now an official 200hour Registered YogaFaith Teacher! It is thrilling to be able to say that! My LLC came in, I have the insurance squared away, all I have to do now is build enough courage to teach some classes! I know the first class will be the hardest, but yikes! I still need to finish up my Trauma Sensitive YogaFaith modules online, and then I'll have that certification under my belt as well. A detailed recap of my whole road to get to this point is coming soon, but for now that's where I am. You can follow along on my Facebook page- Shine Christian Yoga, LLC and on My Instagram- ShineChristianYoga , where I am more active about updating and posting. 
  God has stretched me in this, and I know this is only the beginning. I'm terrified and also equally excited to see where he leads me in this! 


Some of the things I'm loving this Summer are- 

Books, of course there will be books on this list! You know me! 


Image result for images and idols

From Moody Publishers- 
Images and Idols- We have a creative God. And it's no doubt in my mind that we are made in His image. So, of course we have some creativity, too! As children, we have no problem being creative in all sorts of ways. School even encourage it by giving us arts & craft time. Then, as we grow, maybe we were harshly judged by others or even ourselves, our crafts became not that great, or whatever was said to make us quit being vulnerable through our creativity. This book goes in detail to explain to us how God can use creativity for His glory. Being vulnerable while having God use you as a vessel somehow isn't so scary anymore. Great book when you need that little nudge. 


Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World

Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, And Mission in a Changing World by
Curt HamnerJohn TrentJohn TrentRebekah J. ByrdEric L. JohnsonErik Thoennes

This book is beautiful, inside and out. It's one that I would include in a wedding gift. Marriage is hard! Especially in a day where the world is trying to pull you in all different directions at break neck speed. The idea of marriage changes from generation to generation, but I feel like this generation has it mostly wrong. It could be a result of many things. I believe, however, that it's not a surprise we've pulled away from God's true reason for marriage the same way most of the world has pulled away from the bible as their life's instruction book. And this book is from many theologians, so you get many points of view on the subject. Love it and will recommend/gift this book to many. 

Other things like- 



Image result for Tell us if something is incorrect Big Block Silicone Ice Cube Tray Large 2"X2" Red Party Bar Cocktails Drink Mold
Large Ice cube tray similar to this. I don't know why it's taken me this long to realize that larger ice cubes = longer cold but I'm LOVING these things! 


Rongrong DeVoe Other - Rongrong DeVoe “Friyayy” Mug

FriYayy mug by Rongrong DeVoe. I mean- how sassy is she? And how much do you want to be THIS put together on a Friday? This is my official Friday coffee mug, if you must know. 




This plant. I can't remember the name of it, but it is going nuts in this little corner of the living room! My black thumb is widely known, but this plant doesn't seem to notice! It's doubled in size since we got it, um, maybe a year ago? If that. LOVE plants that live! 



Of course these doggies because, well, because they're down right adorable and I can't get enough! We all try to sleep on a king sized bed... try being the key word! They hog the bed sooooo bad! We did try to make them sleep in their beds on the floor for a few nights. Then, Ginny (smaller dog) snuck up in the bed one night. In my sleepy brain, i remember the feeling of pure joy thinking, "This is such a treat!" and scooching her away from Husband so he wouldn't notice she was in the bed and kick her out! Did you hear me? I was harboring a fugitive in the bed for cuddles and ELATED about it! That's when I knew I could kid myself no longer and let them in the bed at night. 



And my Yoga Faith Community. I said it during my 7 day training, my life is now Before YogaFaith and After YogaFaith. The closeness I feel with God is incredible. The whole process of being a YogaFaith Teacher is indescribable. I will blog about it later, but it's just... really indescribable. If you just want to experience a class, look for one in your area. Even if you have to drive a ways to get to it, do it! 
 But the love, support, and friendships I've made with my YogaFaith sisters are bonds that will never break because they were formed and are rooted in God's love! I just can't express how I feel about it enough. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not worshiping YogaFaith, I'm just so thankful that it helped me clear the clutter in the way of developing a deeper relationship to God. If that makes sense. It's amazing, and you should definitely try a class

That's all I have for you right now, but be sure to keep checking in as I'll be able to post more when my schedule clears up soon! 

What are you loving this Summer? Comment below; I'd love to hear it! 

*I received these books complimentary in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Mar 13, 2019

What I'm reading this month






From HarperCollinsChristianPublishing- Dangerous Prayers, 50 Powerful Prayers That Changed the World.
  This book was incredible! Such a nice coffee table book.  It features a brief spinet of history for each person, and a documented prayer they've said. Some of the people who have changed the world, and you get a glimpse into their life and their prayer life. Wow! Even the illustrations are gorgeous. It's a great book to read when you need inspiration, or to gift to someone for any occasion! And who doesn't need a refresher in their prayer life every once in a while?

I have a couple of other books I'm finishing up, so be on the look out for those. I also plan on blogging more after briefly contemplating doing video updates on my life. But, after hearing that video editing takes such a long time, I thought blogging would be the quickest way to connect with y'all and not take all of my time! What would you like to hear about? Leave a comment below!



*I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. *


Feb 19, 2019

Lately

YogaFaith
Did I tell you my HUGE news?  No? Probably not, things have been super busy since November of last year.

Well, after debating, praying, and talking myself in & out of it for years... I've finally leaped and am going through my YogaFaith teacher training! YES! Yes, you read that right! Hopefully by this Summer I will be a yoga teacher!


It's crazy to even think about it because for the last 4 years I've been trying to adjust to what my life is now with chronic illnesses & chronic pain. It's been a roller coaster. I decided that I wouldn't let Fibromyalgia dictate my life, I just knew I needed to do this. Not only to help others physically, and help them get closer to Jesus in the process, but mostly I needed to do this for me. To show that through Jesus, anything was possible.

After last year, and getting the migraines under control through meds & botox (a blog post on botox for migraines is coming soon), I didn't have any other excuse stopping me from going after this goal!

And of course things try to pop up and stop me, or at least slow me down, like having a cold/flu for all but 2 weeks since January 1st - yeah not fun- but I can't let them stop me!

Anyway, so if you find this website a bit quiet, that's the reason- my brain is doing some heavy lifting learning all the yoga poses, how to get in & out of them, muscles, what's connected to what, and how that all ties in to worshiping our Savior.



I'm so excited about this journey! If you just have to keep up with what I'm doing, I'm more active on Instagram- The Artsy Cajun.   I've also created an instagram for my yoga journey- RenewedYogaFaith so you can follow me there as well. Leave a comment saying hi! Your encouragement and prayers are always so meaningful to me. See you soon !
Jan 22, 2019

My 2019 Book goals






One of my goals for 2019 is to read more books.  I feel such joy when I read. Not only am I learning new things, or diving into a new story that unfolds in front of my eyes, I'm de-stressing. And this year, it's allllllll about de-stressing, simplifying, just getting rid of clutter in every area of my life. Reading takes me out of my own head, where thoughts and worries fly around like a swarm of bees. Reading puts me in a different world, or different mindset. And it's always a faithful, trusty friend. 

For 2019, my goal is 40 books. That's 3-4 books a month. OK, maybe that's too lofty of a goal, but we'll shoot for it anyway!  What that means for you is, more book reviews, or maybe just a list of books that I think you should give a try! If you're not a book type of person... well, I guess you could just skip right on over these posts. :) 

OK, today I have a couple of books that I read over the holidays. 

Image result for Redeeming How We Talk

Redeeming How We Talk: Discover how communication fuels our growth, shapes out relationships, and changes our lives. by Ken Wytsma and A. J. Swoboda

 This book grabbed me from the first glance of the title.  Over the years, I'm slowly learning the weight of words, even your own internal dialogue.  Words are impactful.  They can lift someone up or bring them to their knees. And this book helps deal with that. Not to mention how it seems that everyone communicates electronically now. No one knows how to have a good conversation anymore! I love how the authors of this book dig out scripture to back up what they're saying: Words have power, and we need to re-learn how to use them to glorify God.  This is a book that I'll keep re-reading throughout the years. 



He is Enough, Living in the Fullness of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu

  Y'all, this book really hit home for me right now. There's always that little voice saying, "If this were this way, then I could do this..."  and it's simply not true! But how do we get out of that mindset? By focusing on Jesus. He is so much more than just "Enough."  This is a 6 week study on Colossians, and it focuses on Jesus, how sovereign He is. It's easy to forget that in the day to day garbage we all wade through. This study would be fantastic for anyone in any stage in life. I love how she has 2 paths, a snack on the go for when you have just a little bit of time, or a meaty option for when you can dig deep. The 6 weeks is another thing I like. Long enough to get you to re-train your brain, but short enough that it doesn't seem to require a huge chuck out of you. Love it! 



Praying God's Will for Your Life: A Prayerful Walk to Spiritual Well Being
By Stormie Omartian

Stormie Omartain is one of the few authors that I seek out regularly.  Her popular books- "The Power of a Praying..." can apply to anyone in any stage in life. This book is no different. More times than not, we all get to a point where we question our life path. And this book will teach you how to pray for God's will for your life, how to change your heart attitude, how to have an intimate relationship with God, solid foundation in God’s truth, and commitment to obedience.  If you're seeking answers, or feeling stuck in your walk with Christ, this book would be excellent for you! 

That's all for today! I'll have more books I've read lately in next week's post. What are you reading lately? Comment below! 

And I use Goodreads to keep up with my reviews, what I've read, what I want to read. You can find the link to my Goodreads profile at the top of the page- "Bookshelf". 

**I received these books complimentary from publishers, in exchange for my HONEST review. All opinions are my own.**
Dec 5, 2018

Praying the Promises

Image result for Praying the Promises: Anchor Your Life to Unshakable Hope

Book Description

Find security and hope in a broken world through the unshakable promises of God. Join bestselling author and beloved pastor Max Lucado as he leads you through 30 life-changing promises from God in Praying the Promises. You’ll experience a more intimate and effective prayer life and a deeper faith in the God who keeps every promise.
God makes His character clear throughout the Bible: He is a God who saves us, who is faithful, who sends His Comforter, and who has a good and holy purpose for our lives.
In short, He keeps His promises.
But what does that look like in a broken world? Surrounded by confusion, darkness, violence, and pain, where do we see the promises of God at work in our everyday lives?
Max Lucado invites you into a deeper understanding of the peace and security God offers His people in Praying the Promises, a beautiful book that tells stories of God’s faithfulness and offers tangible ways to implement faith into your own prayer life. Through 30 key Scripture verses, a look into the lives of biblical people of faith, reflections, and prayers, you will see a clearer picture of the promises of God and how He is the rock you can build your life upon.
Whether you are a lifelong believer or if faith is a brand-new adventure, Praying the Promises offers you access to the God who has kept His promises since the beginning of time and will continue to do so for eternity.
A great gift for all ages.

My Review
  Y'all, this book.... it is amazing! This is one of those books that I will keep year after year. I love how Max Lucado lays out the prayer topics in the table of contents. While he writes out the prayers word for word, he also gives you scripture to back it up and I love that! It gives you a glimpse of how he reads certain scripture and puts it into his prayer language. 

I would recommend this to everyone, but especially to new believers. 

*I received this book complimentary from Booklookbloggers.com in exchange for my HONEST opinion.