Gospel-Centered Mom

posted in: Books | 0

(I received this book from Blogging For Books.  All thoughts are my own.).

Books for moms can be such helpful reads.  Believe me, go look at any bookstore and there are plenty to choose from.  For me, books on motherhood can be a source of mentoring or it can just be fluff that I don’t glean much from.

I would put Gospel-Centered Mom right in the middle.  I was hoping that it would be more, that I would find it to be one of the best mom books out there, but it fell short of that.

I did think that Brooke, who is a mother of boys like I am, gave plenty of real life and she didn’t sugar coat motherhood for anyone.

She gave good ideas to help when times get “hard to handle”.

I think for me it was more personal story, almost like a memoir.  I want more Gospel truth, less personal story.  Or some kind of balance there.  And for me it wasn’t balanced enough.  Though, what she said in the way of Gospel was spot on.  She wasn’t saying that we should always seek a break in parenting and she wasn’t saying that we can do it all.  She was saying that we need Jesus.  And so do our kids!


100 Favorite Bible Verses for Children

posted in: Books | 2

Our boys are 5 and 4.  And if there are a few things we’ve learned over the years it is that our boys are different…and our boys are always changing.

What works one day may not work the next and yeah, most of you will understand.

Some nights our evening family worship time (right before bed) works great. Other nights it is a complete disaster.  That doesn’t mean we give up.

It might mean we change things up a bit.

And this book right here has helped us change things up a bit.

In the morning, my mister gets up with the boys, get the older one off to school on the bus, then eats breakfast with the younger.  And this book has been a great addition to the breakfast table.  It shares a verse and a short devotion, perfect for his preschool attention span.

And you can use it in whatever way suits your family:

  1.  If you are homeschooling, you can trace the verse, have your kids journal this verse, memorize the verses, etc.
  2. You can write it on a home chalkboard for your kids to see throughout the day.
  3. You can read it together over a meal or at night.
  4. You can pray it over your children as they go to bed.
  5. You can journal these verses as their mama and give it to them when they are older for them to see how you prayed for them and how God answered.

However you choose to use it, know that it is the Word of God, and it is powerful to bring about change in your kids’ lives (and yours).

And you can win won from Tommy Nelson Mommies.  Just share with me which one of the above ways you would use if you had this book. I’d love to hear!

Thanks Tommy Nelson for this book and for the giveaway book.  All opinions are my own.

Seeds of Hope

posted in: Books | 0

I’ve read a lot of fiction this year.  And mostly, I’m a non-fiction/biography person.  But this year has taken up a lot of mind space and heart space, so when the heart work is heavy, I want to get lost in a good story.  And if you choose the right fiction, you can still do heart work while reading an engaging story.

One of the genres I’ve been enjoying is Christian Amish Fiction.  And the latest one was Seeds of Hope.  I really enjoyed this.  Going back and forth from English world to Amish world, Barbara Cameron weaves a good story with yes, a predictable end, but there are twists and turns along the way that you wouldn’t expect.

One of the things I love about Amish fiction is entering into a world that I don’t know much about it – but is still real.  Dystopian books are very popular, but it is hard for me to get into those because they are so far from what is real now.  Amish living actually is right now, just not where I live.  So, it is interesting.  Not ideal where everything always works out, but just a bit of change from my norm, city-life.

Thanks to Litfuse for this title.  All opinions are my own.

The King’s Locket

posted in: Books | 0

I’m always eager to get good books in my boys’ hands.  And for boys, I can’t anticipate that they will love Anne of Green Gables and Little Women.  Though they might.  And I will read those books to them (or have them watch the movie.)

But, as they get older, they probably would like stories that contained adventure, battles, journeys, animals, and heroic tales.

The King’s Locket I think would be really good for young boys, a short chapter book that is an analogy of the themes in the Gospel story.

The story of a family dwelling in perfection.

The Fall of someone who wanted everything for himself.

The adoption of those outside the family.

The betrayal and hurt of going outside the realm of good.

The rescue that the Prince had to engage in to defeat the sinful presence.

The welcoming home celebration.

And even the groaning of all creation under the weight of the sin that crept into everything.

I loved the conclusion of this book: adoption, wholeness, celebration, glory, beauty, friendship.  Just what the Heavenly Father anticipates for His adopted children.  These things we may not experience here, especially in their fullness, but we can anticipate.  And wait with eagerness.  And teach our kids how to anticipate well.

Thanks to Jacob for passing this book to me.  Your kids will like it – especially as a read aloud. It gives you opportunity to talk to your kids about biblical themes from a short chapter book filled with lovely illustrations.  It would be good for a family read aloud and would capture even young readers.

World View

posted in: Books, World Events | 0

Are you ever confused by everything you see on the news?  On your Facebook feed?  In the your Twitter feed?

Do you ever wonder how you are supposed to respond to all the happenings that take over everyone’s conversation?

New Growth Publishers and Marvin Olasky have put together a book of short writings that will help you know how to think with a Gospel-centered world view.  And there is nothing new under the sun.  So, while these essays will eventually not be headliners – the problems they talk about will just happen in a new way.  With new people.  In a new country or city.

Sin affects everything in our world.  And the entire world is groaning for the return of its Maker.  And Olasky helps us think rightly about the events happening in our world.  This is definitely one to read and discuss – or at least keep a journal on.  It is not a quick read – even though the articles are quite readable in length.  But, if you care about the world and how sin and the gospel impact our world, then you will want to read and digest the articles in here.

Thanks to Litfuse for this book.  All opinions are my own.

Unwrapping the Names of Jesus (Giveaway)

posted in: Books, Christmas | 2

We still have apple pie leftover from Thanksgiving yesterday, but already we are getting in the mood for Advent over here.  My mister is busy with other preparing for the Christmas cantata at our church and planning for the Christmas Eve services.

We’ve done our Black Friday shopping and stood in line with others – thankfully everyone was in a good mood as we stood in line buying our Christmas goodies!

But, even though I didn’t grow up with Advent (I’m Baptist by the way), I have come to appreciate it the last ten years.  It helps me slow down, focus on Jesus, think about the waiting period that happened in the world (both in the silence waiting for Jesus and the time we spend now waiting for his return), and plant meaningful traditions around my home and in my children even through the busy Christmas season.

My friend Asheriah Ciuciu has written a new book called Unwrapping the Names of Jesus.  This is a book that is short – not overwhelming – and focuses on 20 names of Jesus that you can study either by yourself or with your family.

Each day has Scripture, a prayer, application, prose, and Scriptures for further study.  The book also includes some information about why Advent – why celebrate it and what it is for or the intent of the church.  I’m glad that it is simple and asks questions.  We sometimes get so wrapped up in everything that we add our Advent study to the list of things we have to do instead of resting in just being with Jesus.

So, to help you start Advent, I’ve been given the opportunity to give a copy of Asheritah’s book away and with it comes this download that I did featuring all the names studied in the book.  PS: you can just click above and go buy your download, its only $5.

Thank you to SideDoor Comm and Moody Publishers for this book to giveaway!

To enter giveaway: share a Christmas or Advent tradition!  That’s all.

Indescribable (Giveaway)

posted in: Books, Kids r Readers 2 | 2


I’ve been influenced by Louie Giglio’s ministry since college.  That’s the time that Passion started, went to One Day 2000, all the Passion music throughout seminary, then just a few years ago we moved to Atlanta and I got to attend some events at Passion City Church.

If you’ve heard much of Louie’s preaching – you know he loves God and Jesus and the Cross.  You also will quickly learn that he loves space, science, stars, galaxies, etc.

And I want my boys to be influenced by writers and teachers who love creation and the God who created it.  That’s why Indescribable is such a good book.  Of course its a bit over their heads (I think this book would be good for grade school kids), but it is still a wonderful resource to have.

If you want to use it for family worship time, it would be a good “topical study” book.  There are 100 devotions for kids (of all ages!).  He includes good illustrations that kids will be able to understand.  There is a Scripture and prayer.  This would even be a good tool for homeschooling parents.

Thanks to Tommy Nelson Mommies for the book.  All opinions are my own.  And if you’d like a chance to win, just a leave a comment about your favorite part of science.  I love weather!

Total Christmas Makeover

posted in: Books | 0

I love makeover shows.  What Not To Wear, Fixer Upper, Biggest Loser, Flipping Virgins, etc.

HGTV and TLC are some good shows.

I love how you take the norm and make it into the fabulous new norm.

And what about Christmas?  I love having Christmas in my own home with my own little family: my mister and two boys.  I love the quietness of the day.  I love the phone not ringing and you can sit around all day in your pjs.  It is always hectic up until the day: church activities, retail hours, shopping, work.  But, that day is the quietest of the whole year and I love it that way.

Melissa Spoestra in Total Christmas Makeover, gives her readers some ways to make over your Christmas this year.  Christmas is more than buying gifts and giving gifts, singing in cantatas, and eating too much, and doing all the school crafts!

Christmas is more about thinking of the One who gave up everything for us – all for his glory.  These short devotionals in Melissa’s book have Scripture, gospel, prayers, applicable writing geared where you are, and activities to help you work out the truths that you’ve been reading about.  And they are short to read – you can think about it all day as you go about your day. Because we all know that the Christmas season is probably the busiest time of the year for most people.

Thanks to Litfuse for the book.  All opinions are my own.

New Bible Study Helps

posted in: Bible, Books | 0

If you are anything like me, sometimes you get in a rut with your time in the Word.  Maybe not, but I know I do.  If I always study the Word in the same way, I get stale (not the Word).

So, I thought I would highlight some new(er) Bible study helps. Maybe these will be new to you, maybe you will have tried them and love them.

KJV Know the Word Study Bible.  This is a new Bible from Thomas Nelson.  I grew u with KJV at my Christian school.  The verses that I have memorized over the years are a hybrid of KJV, ESV, NIV, NASB.  One thing I love about technology these days is to read the Bible in so many different translations – and the KJV is a good one.  This new Bible has topical study notes on subjects: the Trinity, Love, Covenant, Purpose, Church, etc.  These are helpful if you are doing a topical study in your Bible study.  There are helpful footnotes on the bottom margin so you can access it easily as you are reading.  This Bible has book introductions which are helpful if you are doing a read through the Bible, you are getting a brief synopsis and knowledge about the book before you read it. So, if you want a very neutral (not personality-driven study Bible) this new one is a good, basic one.

The Daily Grace Co.  Kristin produces Bible studies that I think are ideal for the beginner.

She Reads Truth – this is an easy app that you can have on your phone right when you wake up, get in the Word right away, or you can purchase their Bible studies.  Solid material.

What are some Bible study tools that you use?

Thanks Litfuse and Thomas Nelson for the KJV Bible.  All thoughts are my own.

Big and Little Coloring Devotional

posted in: Books | 0

When we set up our new home in late this summer, I knew I wanted to have a creative area for my boys.  A place where they could have coloring books, playdough, markers, colored pencils, etc – just waiting to sit and get all their creative juices out!

Well, we set up a little Goodwill table that I found before we moved, and put some bins of creative tools around it – and they sit their every day.  I love it.  I love having pieces of paper all around the house with scribbles and drawings on them.

Another great tool I’ve found for my boys is the Big and Little Coloring Devotional.  I found out about this devo coloring book from my friend Sarah on her podcast with the author Rachel Swanson.  Then I got to be a part of the launch team.  So much fun!

It is a top flip coloring book, made for two people to be coloring at once.  So, I’ve been sitting across from my older, him coloring, me coloring.  And the neat thing about this particular coloring book is that it is based on Scripture.  So, one side will have a (younger age) coloring page with God’s truth on it, the other page will have a more detailed coloring page with a short devotional on it.  These devotionals are perfect for you to read, be encouraged, and it may be a jumping off point for you to share these truths with your child – AS. YOU. COLOR!

Such a great activity for you and your child to do together.  And Christmas is coming – its a perfect gift for any mom of littles you know – I would say even up to 10yo or so – girl or boy.  So, grab some colored pencils, crayons, or markers, and get coloring – and shepherding your soul – and your child’s!