Thursday, December 5, 2019

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible For Girls

We are SO excited about this Bible!! Like seriously it is SO pretty!

So my oldest daughter (pictured above, the day the bible arrived) has had TONS of fun devotional time with this Bible. It is in the ever readable and understandable NIV. So from mama's perspective. It is very pretty and eye-catching. And because it falls into the journaling bible category, each page that does not have artwork has lines for notetaking. The bible is a lay-flat so its easy to take notes and color the artwork. The artwork is VERY beautifully done and strategically placed throughout the bible. It's not too much or too few.
 We love it, I think it is definitely worth investing for my other girls once they get old enough to really appreciate it. 

Q&A with Kaylee:

Q: What is your favorite aspect of the Bible?
A: The pictures that I could color. There are so many and they go with the verses.

Q: What did you like about the version?
A: I can actually understand it. 

Q: What do you think about the coloring aspect?
A: They are SO much fun to do. I like that the pages are thick enough to not rip when I color. 

Q: So would you recommend this Bible to your friends?
A: Yes, I can wait to take it to church this week to show my best friends, Katie and Olivia. 

And guess what you can try a few sample pages courtesy of Zondervan. 

AND there's a giveaway going as well! Check it out here!

{"I received a copy of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls from Zondervan (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) for this review. This post is sponsored by Zondervan.”}

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Moon is Always Round

Loss is hard. And just as it is hard on us adults, it is hard on children as well.
Simply written yet poignant in its message.

The Moon is Always Round  -     By: Jonathan Gibson
    Illustrated By: Jo Hox

Little Ben notices the changes in the sky with the weather and times of day but then he sees that the moon always looks to change shape, yet Ben's dad always reminds him that the moon is always round. Ben's mommy becomes pregnant with a little sister and through it all, the moon is always round. As the come to Ben's baby sister being stillborn, dad reminds Ben that while we do not understand what's going on the moon is always round. At the baby's funeral, dad explains that the moon is always round is means that God is always good. No matter what happens in life, when we do not understand why things happen, God is always good and the moon is always round.

After reading this book I nearly wanted to cry. How beautiful of words to illustrate such a timeless truth.  And then to read that the story is true and based on the author's family. Tears. After going through loss this year, I greatly appreciate this book.

Family, have this book in your library. Adopt this saying in your family. The moon is always round.
God is always good. 

{FYI: I received this book from New Growth Press, the publisher, in exchange for my HONEST opinion.}

New Children's Book Review: Why Do We Say Goodnight?

A common ailment to young children is a fear of the dark. Fear of the sounds and shapes of the night tend to plague children. And so here is a new book to address a fear of the dark.

Why Do We Say Good Night?  -     By: Champ Thornton

In this book, a mother and daughter are engaged in conversation about why they say good night especially since the daughter is afraid of the dark. The mother then explains why we say good night or that the night is good. She explains that while we cannot see well in the dark, God can and He is with us even while we sleep. 

Looking at the images, you can see the progression of the story from being fearful to no longer fearing the dark and trusting that God is there even while she sleeps.

This is a good and different book. It's the first book we have in our collection to deal with the fear of the dark, and considering I have had a few children to help cope with this fear I'm glad to come across and review this book.
Mamas of littles, go ahead and add it to your library.

{FYI: I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for my HONEST opinion of the book.}

Habits for Our Holiness

Many are the number of books available on Christian Living. 
Rare is a book that puts different habits into one book (outside of the Bible).

Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out - eBook  -     By: Philip Nation

So Philip Nation undertook the very high standards and responsibility of composing a book on the spiritual disciplines. He starts with actually loving Jesus and surrendering our lives to Him. 
The second chapter focuses on worship and not just in the manner of singing or rather listening to someone on a stage sing. Completely pleased with the way addresses this because people often think worship is just the beginning of Sunday service, the singing portion. But worship goes beyond that into the way we live and what we spend our time, affection, and resources on. 
The third chapter is on bible study. Praise God! And he makes clear the difference between devotions, basic reading and actual study of the bible. Yes, there is a difference. And unfortunately many I know get to devotions and because they may get a couple verses in the devotion, they stop there as if its a full meal and not a snack. 
Then the fourth chapter focuses on prayer. Yet another spiritual discipline that even I have to rein in. Prayer is a conversation with God, there's dialogue and too often we treat prayer like a monologue simply dumping on God then continuing on with our day OR treating Him like a genie (available to grant our wishes). 
The fifth chapter is on the discipline of fasting. Because it is something we are expected to do. Jesus doesn't say IF you fast but WHEN you fast, meaning it is supposed to happen. 
The sixth chapter covers fellowship. Again something else we are expected to do. We are expected to spend time with other believers in corporate fellowship and worship. Even if large crowds are uncomfortable, there are house churches (we need more of these) and bible study or belong groups, you can join. 
The seventh chapter addresses rest. Because there is a such thing as doing too much and even God rested.  
The eighth chapter focuses our attention on simple living. Something capitalist America struggles with. There's always the quest for more, more bigger, for better, for brand names. And there's the idea of being like the early church, live simple and be generous. 
The ninth chapter reminds us to serve. Jesus did not come to be served BUT to serve others. And we must also remember to serve others. 
The tenth chapter exhorts us to submission. Because that word is dirty, especially to women and almost always comes with a negative retort. Submission is to get under the mission, which is literally what we signed up for when we chose Jesus and when we get married. 
The eleventh chapter concerns spiritual leadership. Knowing that there is good and there is bad and we must always seek to serve God and lead people to God. 
And the final chapter like Jesus final instructions exhorts us to disciple-making. The end of the great commission is to make disciples. Our testimony can't end with us. And we have to help steward those we lead toward Jesus. Help then stay on the narrow path. 

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. This is one of those books that once you read you're expected to act on what you know. Once you read and gain a base understanding of these spiritual disciplines, you will be held responsible for what you do or don't do.  And on that note, I do recommend reading. Especially new believers who may want and need a base understanding of these spiritual disciplines.
Remember: It's hard to do what you don't understand just like you can't love what you don't know.

{I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review.}

New Review: Adorned

So a fairly big name in the Christian arena of authors, especially those that write on upholding biblical marriage and womanhood is Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. A release of hers that I'm just getting to read this year is her first book post-marriage: Adorned.
Beautifully written and well thought out.

Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together  -     By: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

And yet it is not about marriage but about living out the gospel, per Titus 2 with the women around us. She gives the perspective of being both the older woman who seeks to exhort and the younger woman who accepts the exhortation.

The book is written in three parts with each chapter corresponding to part of Titus 2:1-5, 10. The end of each chapter has a section of questions for older women and one for younger women. It has the feeling of being read in a group or partner setting OR even used as teaching material for discipleship between women.
The first section focuses on submission to God and how that is fleshed out in a Titus 2 relationship. She starts with understanding that doctrine (regardless of what doctrine you adhere to) guides your beliefs and actions. She addresses teaching in the Titus 2 context, woman to woman, older woman to younger woman. I appreciate how she acknowledges that we are always in BOTH positions. Always in a position to learn and a position to teach. Even when we think we have nothing to teach, there is always some lesson you've learned that can be passed on to someone younger.
The second section focuses on being a woman under control. This is huge because we are in a culture where we have the liberty to do almost anything we want. But we have to understand and practice self-control; knowing that everything that I can do is not beneficial to us and much of it is harmful.
The third section focuses on our home. As we know part of Paul's advice is that older women instruct younger women in being wives and mothers. This is taking into account the older women are living in a manner that brings God glory and honor. And the last chapter focuses on tying it all together to be beautiful in God's eyesight.

So Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's writings, in my experience, have always brought up some discourse or discontent from women, especially those who lean heavily feminist.
Generally, I enjoy the majority of her writing. And this book does not disappoint. It is very engaging and the questions at the end of the chapter beget us to sit still and reflect to see where we can improve. With her being a newly married woman, I will admit I was cautious in reading because there's so much she still has to learn but because she has spent much time in a Titus 2 setting and studying it, it gives her an advantage to be better prepared for marriage in a way that I was not.

I HIGHLY recommend for those who want to promote Titus 2 relationships among godly women, among the church. We need even the young women who are in college and pursuing God to reach back to the highschool aged women around them and help them pursue God as well so the younger generation sees that it is not just "old" women pursuing God.

{FYI: I received this book from Moody Publishers for free in exchange for my HONEST review.}

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Interview with Barb Roose, Author of I’m Waiting, God

Here's another author interview, this time its Barb Roose, author of 4-week Bible study I'm Waiting, God. I hope you enjoy the following interview with the author and make sure to pick up your copy of I'm Waiting, God.

Do you ever feel like God is taking too long to answer your prayers? Have you ever taken matters into your own hands, only to discover that you’ve made the situation worse?

In her new four-week Bible study, I’m Waiting, God, (Abingdon Press) Barb Roose invites us to explore the stories of women in the Bible who had to wait on God. If you’ve felt anxious, angry, discouraged or depressed because God isn’t giving you what you want, their stories will breathe fresh hope and practical next steps in your life. As a reforming control lover, Barb mixes in her personal stories of learning how to wait for God during long seasons of unanswered prayers, family difficulties, and challenging times in ministry. Together readers will discover that there is goodness and blessing to be found in times of waiting, including a closer relationship with God than they’ve ever dared to dream.

Q: Which women from the Bible do you use as examples for women who grappled with unanswered prayers?

·         Hannah wondered if God loved her or had forgotten about her.

·         Ruth’s life took a tragic and unexpected turn.

·         The unnamed bleeding woman suffered for over a decade with an embarrassing medical condition.

·         Martha prayed, but God said “no” to her prayer.

Q: What would you say to encourage someone who feels as if God has forgotten her or doesn’t love her because her prayers have gone unanswered?

First, I would sit down with her and ask to give her a big hug. Living with unanswered prayer is hard—especially when we’re praying for good things, like a baby, a spouse, a clean bill of health or for a struggling child to get back on track.     

Rather than give advice or tell someone to “buck up,” I believe an overwhelmed, discouraged woman needs what Tim Keller calls “the ministry of presence.” When someone feels the pain of unanswered prayer, she doesn’t need advice, but rather listening, love and reassurance.

Some of my favorite go-to encouraging statements when hanging out with a friend who is struggling are: “Tell me how you’re really doing,” “I know that you are doing the best that you can!” and “You are loved and you aren’t alone.”

Q: What are some of the reasons the Bible gives for God not answering prayers?

The Bible reveals numerous reasons God delays in answering our prayers. Some of those include:

1. God might not answer because of our unforgiveness, secret sin, pride, or wrong motives.

2. God wants to protect us from harm or heartache down the road.

3. God is allowing more time to pass so that we’ll have the chance to see His power on display in our lives.

4. God allows a delay to teach us to trust Him in the hard place and develop persistence in prayer.

5. God may delay the answer to your prayer because He’s working in someone else’s life first.

Q: When an unexpected event throws life off course, what do you pray for when you don’t know what to pray?

A few years ago, my dad got sick. In just a few weeks, he’d lost more than 30 pounds off his athletic frame. A biopsy revealed advanced metastasized lung cancer and doctors told us that Dad only had a few days to live. At the time, I’d been on the road speaking and half-way through writing a new book, but the news that I was about to lose my beloved dad upended my entire life.

In devastating moments, I rely on praying God’s promises. In the hardest moments, I don’t know what to say, but God’s promises give me life and hope—even when I’m numb or not even sure if I can believe them in the moment.

In the study, I’ve included one of my favorite rituals, a tool that I call the “God-Morning/God-Night Technique” that’s gotten me through a lot of hard and heartbreaking days. Basically, I repeat five of God’s promises before I open my eyes and begin the day. By starting with a “God-morning,” with his promises, I can beat back the feelings of fear, uncertainty and impatience by reminding myself that God is with me and for me no matter what I’ll face that day.

Q: How can we protect ourselves from bitterness during our wait?

In I’m Waiting, God, I explain bitterness like this: “Bitterness is the story that blames God for the pain in our past. Better is the story that believes God will be faithful in the future.”

Bitterness always begins small, but the more we repeat the stories of how God or others hurt or betrayed us, we begin to believe that is the story of our lives—and the story of our future. I watched my grandmother nearly die of bitterness after my grandfather’s affair when I was a little girl. She spent a lot of time in the hospital before finally confronting her bitterness and changing her story.

For me, gratitude is the antibiotic that kills any little bitter roots in my life. Each day of the I’m Waiting, God study features a gratitude exercise. Just taking a moment to reflect on God’s blessing not only kills little roots of disappointment, rejection or regret that could grow into bitterness but also uplifts our hearts and gives us joy, even as we’re waiting for God to answer our prayers.

Q: Is there ever a time to let a prayer go? How do you know when it’s the right time, after weeks, months, or maybe even years?

This is a hard question because there’s no easy answer to this question. On one hand, we’re instructed to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), but we also know that there is a starting and ending to all things (Ecclesiastes 3). The point of prayer is to authentically connect ourselves to God so that His Spirit can lead and guide us. However, as circumstances change, there are times when it is no longer safe, wise or life-giving for us to pursue certain situations.

For many years, I prayed for God to save my marriage. I’d made a commitment before God over 25 years before, and I believed God could do the impossible. I fasted and prayed for years for God to restore a relationship that addiction had destroyed. Even after I had to move out of my home because of the issues, I still kept believing and praying for restoration and healing.

It’s hard to pray for years when nothing seems to be happening. I received some great encouragement from a wise friend: “You pray until you sense God releasing you from that prayer.”

I continued to pray until I realized that it was no longer safe or wise for me to go back into that situation. I didn’t give up on God, nor did I stop believing in his almighty power. But I did realize that it was time to shift from praying for what I wanted to praying for God to help me let go and trust His plan for my future, even though it wasn’t what I wanted.

To help me let go of the pain, disappointment and anger, I use a tool that I call my annual “funeral.” This is fully explained in the final week of the study, but it’s a tool to help me let go of my anger, disappointments and fears. This funeral process helps me surrender my unanswered prayers to God so that my heart and hands are open for Him to bring new direction, opportunities and blessing into my life.

Q: How is I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays, your new Bible study, set up to be used? What other resources are available?

As a Bible study teacher who loves creating experiences for women in every season of life, I’m excited that I’m Waiting, God is designed with a flexible format to fit everyone’s schedule. This is a four-week study, and each week offers three days of Bible study homework, plus two optional days for more personal reflection to be enjoyed as time or energy permits.

I believe that application is a key component of effective Bible study, so I’ve created weekly personal reflection exercises and practical tools. Additionally, each day’s study includes a daily gratitude exercise and lots of life-transforming scripture to set readers up to experience a-ha moments so they can see and experience God’s blessing, even as they’re waiting on God to answer their prayer.

For those who like video, there is a separate teaching DVD for each of the four weeks. Best of all, anyone can lead a group study because the facilitator’s guide is been included in the study workbook.

One more bonus! If readers would like additional encouragement, they can sign up for “The Patience Path,” a 30-day email devotional that I’ve created to go along with the study. To sign up, go to

Sunday, November 10, 2019

New Review: Play to Their Strength

So our next book is a parenting book. I'm almost always up for reading someone else's take on parenting because as parents we don't know it all. And if someone has advice that can make me a better, more God-honouring parent then I'm all ears.

From the cover, this one promises both.

Play to Their Strengths: A New Approach to Parenting Your Kids as God Made Them  -     By: Analyn Miller, Brandon Miller

So in this book, we meet parents who have got it wrong then strove on how to get it right.  Their goal is to not parent from a place of fear but one of working to uncover what their children's gifts and talents are, then parent their children in such a way that nurtures those gifts and talents. Some practical tools they offer are to find the 5 e's (your child's enthusiasm, ease, excellence, energy, and enjoyment) regarding what your children are involved in; creating a vision board, which works with children the same way it does us, adults; and keeping an eye out for red flags that trigger frustration and keep parents from reacting and disciplining out of anger.

Then the last 80 pages of the book is the Bonus Playbook which helps parents actually used what they've read. There are practical tips to go with every chapter.

This book has been an interesting book to read, especially since we have five (5) children that span in an age range from 1 to 12. For me, Chapters 12 and 13 have been the most useful and implementor. I see this book as an ongoing reference book that would get a reread every so often for recharge. But all in all, I like their approach to parenting, its encouragement and cultivation at its best.
I also like that they encourage really learning our children and not taking the approach that we know them because we birthed them.

I definitely recommend this book to parents. 

{Also, please note that I received this book from the publisher, Harvest House, in exchange for my honest opinion.}

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible For Girls

Eekkk!!! We are SO excited about this Bible!! Like seriously it is SO pretty! So my oldest daughter (pictured above, th...