Cutie Fruities and the Fruit of the Spirit

posted in: Books | 8


I remember being in middle school and loving scratch and sniff things.  From books to stickers to all things school supplies, scratch and sniff everything made any task more fun.

And as a parent I want to have fun ways to teach my kids about how to live for God’s glory!

This book does just that.  It incorporates scratch and sniff fruit to help little ones learn about the fruit of the Spirit. This is an adorable board book, perfect for little girls in your life.  My boys have enjoyed it to (especially sticking their nose in the book to smell the fruit), but the Cutie Fruities are girls!

What a fun way to teach them about the fruit of the Spirit.  If you would like a copy of this book for your own library, just leave me a message here about what fruit of the Spirit you are working on – especially in your own life.  Mine is love (not being irritable especially with my kids who have been sick lately).

Thanks Tommy Nelson Mommies for my book and the giveaway book.  All thoughts are my own!

I Prayed For You

posted in: Books, parenting | 2

(This book review is sponsored by Tommy Nelson Mommies.  I was given this book and all opinions are my own.  Thanks Tommy Nelson!)

Praying for our children… it is one of the biggest privileges of a parent’s life…and the one I do the least.  There are days I’m so overwhelmed by the task of parenting my two boys, wondering how they will come to know the Savior, wondering how they will learn not to strive with their brother.

I can vividly remember mornings or nights, standing at my bathroom sink, tired…and thinking how I need to pray more because I can’t do this parenting thing on my own.

Then I let the cares of every day life – in the moment life – distract me from praying as fervently for them as I would like.

This cute bedtime story book  goes through many of the milestones in the years.  Giving us as moms ways to pray for our kids.  You can tie these into prayers from Scripture (and not just from a book) for your kids.  You can keep a journal of these prayers.

One way this book fell short was it ended with a parent’s prayer.  Where you could take it: Jesus is our Great High Priest.  He interceded for you even when I fail to pray for you as I should.  He is the one who prays for you every night and every day.  That is His job!

I have a I Prayed For You book to giveaway!  Would you like it? If so, just leave me a comment and tell me one prayer you like praying for your little one.

Looking back at 2017

posted in: Uncategorized | 1

I’ve not always enjoyed having a birthday that was so close to Christmas.  Hint: most of the time we were out of school for my birthday which usually would be great, but that’s how I saw people and got anything for my birthday (other than from family), so if you were out of school most people forgot about it.

But, now I thoroughly enjoy it because it prolongs that year just a bit for me.  Most of my new year’s resolutions don’t start until after my birthday because you know, you want to eat cake! 🙂

So, 2017 wasn’t really a great year for lots of people, and it wasn’t a stellar year for me though it had highlights.

Let me first tell you about the highlights:

  1.  We bought a home.  We moved to the Augusta, GA area and were able to buy a home.  We had owned a home before but not since living in ATL, and now we can get settled.  I like being settled (as long as I get to travel).
  2. I was asked to do many cool lettering projects including a styled shoot which was published twice (here and here) and to letter t-shirts for a concert tour/album release.
  3. I surpassed my reading goal.

Ok, but really, 40 was not my favorite year.

I had to start again, again.  Building community at 40 is hard.  And ATL was hard enough as it was.  When you are 10-20 years older than most of the people in your same creative field, its difficult to feel like you fit in.  Social media doesn’t always help, but it also has been good to build community.

Fear was the word that permeated 40/2017.  Insecurity in my health (colitis flare ups, autoimmune diagnosis, weight gain).  Insecurity in my relationship with Christ.  Fear of failure as a wife and a mom.  Fear of how my boys will turn out.  Fear of not being liked.  Not in a 13 sorta of way, but in a 40 sort of way.  Fear of never being good enough to measure up to anything.  Fear of always being mediocre at everything I do.  Never excelling at anything.  Fear of loss: both my grandfather and my mom have been in the hospital and just sick in the last few months.

So, when people ask me what I want for 2018 and 41: just please be better than last year.

For 2018: Peace is my word of the year.  I want peace in my relationship with Christ.  I want peace in not-striving.  I want peace in our home.  I want peace in my body.

My verse for this year you will find above:

Since God created the world and everything in it is upheld by his words and his power – there should be no chaos in it – only peace.

Isaiah 45:18

When Does Momma Get a Sabbath?

posted in: Books, mothering, parenting | 1

Mom Sabbath

Not a day goes by hardly where I don’t see a mom on facebook who is crying out for time away, a little time to herself, or is enjoying a much needed break.

This is how I understand the Word “Sabbath”: resting from work.  God instituted the first Sabbath by resting from the creative process of the world.  He rested, examining all He had made.  Resting in its goodness.  Resting from work.  People in the work force usually get a day off during the week (at least one) and that helps invigorate them, giving them rest from their working.

Mommas don’t get a Sabbath.  24-7 we are thinking about our kids, washing clothes, changing diapers, driving, being a doctor-on-call, disciplining, loving, reading books, cooking, making juice cups.  No matter how old your child is, mommas never rest from being a mom.  So, the question needs to be asked, when does a Mom get a Sabbath?

Our older son is now coming in to Sunday night church with us.  My husband and I have worked out a schedule for who gets to hang out with him during the service: reading books, playing, drawing, sticking dinosaur stickers everywhere, etc.  When my mister is off on a Sunday, I hang out with Elijah in the pew.  If he works that afternoon, then he gets to focus on our son during the service.  I know one day will come when he can sit and completely focus on the service for 75 minutes, but he’s not there yet.  So, we want each other to get some time to focus on the service.  Its a good system.

One way my mister blesses me is giving me a regular Sabbath (a few hours) each week. On his day off, he will usually say something like “Go, have some quiet time.”  He plays with the boys or takes them to a park. I can go just sit in the Word, do errands, be creative, meet with a friend, etc.  That is my Sabbath.  I try not to use that whole time to run errands, but if I’m not doing it with two preschoolers, those errands don’t feel like work.  And usually once or twice a year, he will give me the whole day to go away, either with friends or by myself, to recharge, rest from being with the boys, feed my soul on the Word, read books, be in nature, etc.  I can tell you that every time this happens, I come back more readily able to care for my boys well.

Some people would say that mommas don’t need time away.  I would heavily disagree.  If men worked 24/7 without any break people would think he is crazy because he would have burnout, or wouldn’t be obedient in taking care of his body, etc.  But, if mommas ask for a break, most people say they are being selfish or aren’t being a good momma.  Need is maybe too strong of a Word, but God showed us how to take a Sabbath, it is one of the things He commands, and that is a weekly rest.  So, yes, I think it is a need.  You just have to figure out how to do it.

Letitia Suk encourages women to take a break too – to be with God, to be silent, to walk, etc.  She talks about how to retreat in Getaway with God.  This book was different then I thought.  She showed a lot of grace and variety.  It wasn’t a “this is how you do it” book.  It was here are some ideas, you are going to come against obstacles, here are ways to see if these retreats can work for you, etc.  If you are planning a spiritual retreat, especially, I would encourage you to pick this book up to read during your planning stages.

I know some of you might be wondering: I can never get my husband to play with the kids and give me time alone.  Or I am a single parent and can’t get time away.  Or, my husband’s schedule won’t allow it and we don’t have money for childcare.  Here are some thoughts:

Talk to your husband.  Talk to him about your need for a Sabbath.  Start small. Maybe request 2 hours, or 3.  Work your way up to a whole day.

If your kids are small, see if you can swap with a friend so both of you can have a few hours of Sabbath to yourself.

If your kids are in school, use that school time to retreat and rest.

If you don’t have money for childcare – I think this is where your community (or church) comes in.  We should be able to ask for help – and people should ask us how they can help, be willing to serve and be served.  I know its hard.

Whatever you do, don’t go without rest from being a Momma. Its seriously rewarding and seriously hard!  God gives us the much grace that we deserve!

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

Eating in the Middle : a review

posted in: Books, Uncategorized | 0

Cookbooks are usually what I pick up when I just need something beautiful to look at that will also inspire creativity.

And this one by Andie Mitchell also inspires health.

I’m thankful for blogging for books who gave me this new collection of recipes.  All opinions are my own but seriously what’s not to like?  Health recipes, a healthy thought life about engaging w food, thoughtful and engaging writing, and pretty pictures. That’s what every cookbook needs.

Hunting Hope: a Review (and giveaway)

posted in: Books | 0

To say that life has been a little complex over the last few months would be an understatement.  And I don’t think we are quite out of a season full of hurt and disappointment.

So, when I heard about Hunting Hope, I jumped at the chance to read it. (And you can enter a giveaway for it)

I’m not going to spoil it for you, but it lined up perfectly with my quiet times.  I love the break down of the book – so focused on God and who He is – then challenging the reader to apply what they have read to their lives – in whatever season they are in.

So often when we are dealing with hurt, pain, or disappointment; when we are hopeless and not hope-filled, we tend to look at ourselves and sink deeper into despair.  Nika Maples graciously offered us hope by pointing us away from ourselves and to our masterful God. Our compassionate God, our God who is there.

So, if there is something you feel hopeless about – turn first to the Word, but then if you need a companion to help you see some of God’s wonderful attributes and how they can be felt in your need, pick up Hunting Hope.

Thanks to Litfuse for the opportunity to read and share this book.  All opinions are my own.

Praying and Journaling For Future Generations

posted in: Bible, Books, Shepherding Children | 0

Crossway ESV Writer's Edition

Thank you to Crossway for sending me this Bible to review.  All opinions are my own.

I am in the thick of parenting.  I have a preschooler and a toddler.  I always have thoughts, prayers, questions, emotions – all about being a mommy. Being a mommy is by far the toughest job I’ve ever had.  So, I’m always curious about what the Bible – my source for ALL TRUTH when it comes to any thing I need to know about parenting.

If I have a question about my heart when it comes to parenting, or disciplining, or raising two young boys to be men of God – I go to the Bible.  When I have a question about my kids and what their heart should be, how they should pursue God, what I should be praying for their future – I go to the Bible.

Journaling and Praying for Future Generations

And, the new Writer’s Edition Journaling Bible is perfect for writers.  I can keep all my parenting thoughts in one place.  I write devotions for other mommas and want to keep my thought altogether.  So, how I’m using it is by color-coordinating my thoughts.  If I am writing something about being a mom – I will use a certain color ink.  Then I will use a color ink for each of my boys.  That way, over the years, I can fill it with thoughts and prayers for myself, but also for each of them.

Crossway puts out quality Bibles, and this one is no different.  There are two inches of lined space at the bottom of each page making it perfect to write in paragraph form to journal one’s thoughts.  There is a ribbon especially helpful if you are praying through a book of the Bible.  The pages are cream and thicker which is great to help lessen bleed through with certain pens.  I personally use Micron pens 01 for writing in my Bible mostly.

If you need other ideas about journaling, you can check out Donald Whitney who has written a great book on praying the Bible – which would be a great asset to you as you pray for yourself as a momma and for your children.

You, Your Kids, and the Bible


ESV Kids Bible

We have so many kids’ books in our home.  We have them in our cars, in our living room, in the toy box, upstairs in both of their rooms, in our master bedroom on our nightstands, and in the hallway outside their rooms just in case they need to find one on their way to the stairs. And we get more every month.  Yes, I give some away, some to other moms, some to our church nursery rooms, and some to goodwill.  If the books are very well worn, then they just go in the recycle bin.

However, out of all the books we have, the only one that has authority, power to change their little hearts, and shape their souls and hearts and actions is the Bible.  It is the belief of “sola scriptura”.  One of the five solas of the Reformation.  Basically, (taken from wikipedia) it is :  the Christian doctrine that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of doctrine and practice. Sola scriptura does not deny that other authorities govern Christian life and devotion, but sees them all as subordinate to and corrected by the written word of God.

And that is one of the reasons I love Crossway and the ESV Bible.  They publish books that are so full of Scripture and are such a good help to their readers.  They also design great Bibles, for adults, and children.  I personally have used their Journaling Bibles for almost 10 years now and LOVE them.  And one of their new ones is a hardcover ESV Children’s Bible.  Think back to the 70s and those picture Bibles:  Now, erase that memory from your mind’s eye and picture realistic pictures, larger print, maps to help your children get a heart for the world that God so loves, and a concordance to help studying the word easier for little minds.

Here’s a simple way you can ease in to family worship if you don’t already do anything.  Using this Bible:

  1.  Start in the Gospel of Mark, one of Paul’s letters to the churches, the Psalms, or even Proverbs (especially if you have older children).
  2. Read a short passage.  Have them read it if they can read.
  3. Talk to them about who God is, who Jesus is, what the passage says about man, and what it says about the gospel.
  4. Pick one verse the passage to help your children memorize.  You may stick to that one verse all week, or depending on how old your children are, you may do a few a week.  Kids can memorize the Word of God!
  5. Pray with them.  Pray the Scriptures you just read.  It will help them understand them.  Pray the Spirit would give them a new heart that loves the Word of God and loves the Jesus who died for them.

Family Worship doesn’t have to be long and hard and have a lesson plan written out.  It can, or you can just read the Bible with your kids, talk about it, and pray.  And believe me, the Spirit will be molding your heart as well.  His Word is good like that.

Thank you Crossway for this Bible.  All opinions are my own.

Hope Unfolding : a review

posted in: Books, mothering, parenting | 0

A new book for mommas is coming out. So funny that there is never a shortage for new books for tired mom’s who never find the time to read all the books.

I had high hopes for this one, Hope Unfolding, by Becky Thompson, and I love the cover and get real talk.

But, I want a book more centered on the gospel, less centered on story and example. When I listen to a sermon I want gospel truth mixed w a little personal story or joke. In this book, while saying good stuff and offering tired mommas hope only found in Jesus, it is more personal story mixed with a little gospel.

Just out of properbalance,in my opinion, and that’s what Blogging for Books gave me the book to do…write an honest review.

Book Review & Giveaway: God Made All of Me

posted in: Books, Kids r Readers 2 | 10

God Made All of Me

Unfortunately, this world hands us things that we must learn how to interact with, pray about, deal with, handle with truth and the gospel, and prepare our kids to face as they get older.  This is the sad reality in which we live.

Fortunately, Justin Holcomb and his wife, Lindsey, have written an incredible resource for children (toddlers through 8 years old) to instruct, inform, and prepare them for how they live in their bodies.  And how they respond to physical touch.

Child abuse, both physical and sexual and mental, is so rampant these days.  We must know how to prepare our children for what they (prayerfully won’t) might encounter.  The more our children are prepared the more we as parents can hopefully prevent harm to our children.

What I love about God Made All of Me is that is tells children that their bodies are good because God made them and it teaches them the importance of communication with trusted adults.  Inappropriate sexual touch can be totally embarrassing to children – they may not know how to tell their parents.  But, if you keep the communication lines open with your child, and teach them that God did make them in His image and it is wrong for others to touch them in a wrong way – you will be equipping your child!

This book comes out this week – and you (and your church library) need this book.  My Mom has been gracious enough to provide one for you to win.

So, all you have to do is tell me what truth you preach to yourself to keep you from worrying about all the evil that might affect your children as they grow.  Truth to guard against evil!  So important as we train our children up to love Jesus.

Litfuse provided me this book through New Growth Press to review.  All opinions are my own.