Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Christmas Rush

Christmas is by far the greatest time of the year! The celebrating, decorating, giving/receiving, and the eating, really make for a wonderful time! But, it is in that time that we can really get into trouble as Christians.

We can get so wrapped up in the spending and the decorating that we tend to lose sight of why we even have Christmas in the first place!


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

Two wonderful blogs that I follow, Women Living Well and Welcome to Our Wonderland, are hosting Christmas challenges that I think are just perfect to get our spirit where it needs to be this holiday season.


PhotobucketCourtney at Women Living Well is hosting the Peace on Earth December Challenge. Each week from now until December 27th, Courtney is going to give us one pratical tip and one spiritual tip that will help bring us peace during this hectic holiday season. You can visit her blog for more info and to sign up.


90_20_9_prevWelcome to Our Wonderland is hosting the Rediscovering Christmas Bible Challenge. The instructions for this challenge are as follows: read a chapter a day for the 24 days (Gospel of Luke has 24 chapters)leading up to Christmas. Reading the Gospel of Luke will have us focusing on the birth, life, and promise of Christ.
You can visit her blog as well to learn more info and to sign up!

I hope you will consider joining me in getting our Spirits back to where they need to be this Christmas season and enjoy all that God has to offer to us! He sent His Son and gave us the greatest present we could ever ask for!

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the LORD, the King. ~ Psalm 98:4-6


Monday, November 29, 2010

Reading the GREATEST Book Ever Written!

I hope each and everyone of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I know we did! The food was outstanding {and I am not just saying that because I cooked!}. The laughter was heartwarming. The memories made will last a lifetime!


I love the holiday season so much! It always brings me to reflect on the past year and really think about all that I have to be thankful for! Friends, family, love, and laughter. Those are things we tend to take for granted. But, I enjoyed every last one of them this past weekend!


I have some exciting things that will be taking place shortly here on my little blog! Since starting my blog in May of this year, I have learned a lot and have met a lot of amazing people. I have truly been enjoying this experience and cannot wait to take it one step farther.


I have a few giveaways lined up as well as some exciting news about the next Bible in 90 Days reading challenge starting January 3, 2011, that I am joining in on again! I will be mentoring this session as well as trying to read it all over again. It was such an amazing experience for me the first time, that I am looking forward to all that God has to show me this second time around. If you have never read through your entire Bible, {like I hadn't when I joined up in the summer}, I encourage you to pray about it. See if God is leading you to commit to something like this. It is a huge commitment and from experience I can honestly tell you that it will not be easy at times, but it is so very worth it in the end!


If you would like more information about the Bible in 90 Days challenge, please stop by Moms Toolbox as well as the official Bible in 90 Days Website. You can find all the information you may need and the answers to any questions you may have!


Once you have decided to join in, please visit Amy at Moms Toolbox and sign up letting her know you want to be a part of this awesome experience!


And, lastly, if you would like to read about my experience this past summer, you can click on any of the links below and read what I posted along the way!


Motivation from God's Word
Blogging Through the Bible in 90 Days: Day 1
One Step Closer to the Goal
Keeping Up With the Challenge(s)
For His Glory
B90Days Challenge
Psalms of Praise
Perseverance
Honesty
I DID It!

I pray that each and everyone of you will at least consider joining in on this challenge. Pray about it! Seek out God's will! You will not regeret it...I Promise!!

MomsToolbox



Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving

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photo courtesy of istock photo

This week is one of my favorite times of the year. The official start of the holiday season!

I just love the decorating, the cooking, the baking, the eating! Laughing and fellowshipping with the ones we hold dear to our hearts! It is a great time of year!

This year, I am hosting Thanksgiving and am so excited about it! I get to experiment with a few, new, Thanksgiving recipes and am really looking forward to it! {but, i know i have my work cut out for me!}

With that being said, I am taking a 'bloggy' holiday break and will return Monday, November 29th. My halls will be decked, my belly will be fed, and my heart will be full of love and good cheer!

Praying you all enjoy a wonderful, blessed, Thanksgiving with your family and friends! Have a wonderful week and remember to give "thanks" to the one who gave you everything!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. ~ 1 Chronicles 29:13

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On My Wishlist {#3}

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On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. If you want to know more click here.



This weeks post for my wishlist contains two books that I just discovered on a lovely blog I follow, Reading to Know.

Being a Jane Austen fan, these titles sounded like something I would thoroughly enjoy.


{description from goodreads}English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should -- a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good, as her favorite author Jane Austen might say, until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman. Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are.

Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal and left penniless by the ensuing divorce, Emma packs up what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. Locating the elusive letters, however, isn't as straightforward as Emma hoped. The owner of the letters proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the truth, but the sudden reappearance of Emma's first love makes everything more complicated.
In the end, Emma learns that doing the right thing has very little to do with other people's expectations and everything to do with her own beliefs. Laced with fictional excerpts from the missing letters, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is the story of a woman betrayed who uncovers the deeper meaning of loyalty.

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart: A NovelMr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

{description from goodreads} Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn't looking for Mr. Anyone. She's been dating Neil -- a nice if a bit negligent -- sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy -- leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author's own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her own romantic lead. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that love isn't logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.

I had the pleasure of meeting this next author at a Women's Conference I attended last weekend. Liz Curtits Higgs is an amazing Christian speaker. The way she intertwines humor and grace into the stories of amazing women in the Bible is just amazing as well as extremely enjoyable. I knew after hearing her speak I had to add her novels to my wishlist.

Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from ThemBad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs

{description from goodreads} Jezebel and Delilah have plenty to teach contemporary Christian women, according to Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them. In this self-help book, Liz Curtis Higgs tells fictionalized, contemporary stories based on the lives of biblical characters including Eve, Potiphar's Wife, and the Woman at the Well. In verse-by-verse commentary, Higgs summarizes each life's lessons and provides a list of questions for personal consideration or group discussion. The overall message of each chapter is the same: "Good Girls and Bad Girls both need a Savior. The goodness of your present life can't open the doors of heaven for you. The badness of your past life can't keep you out either." In its effort to turn readers' minds heavenward, Bad Girls draws a distinction between fun and joy. Associated with "fleshly pleasures," fun "is temporary at best; it's risky, even dangerous, at worst." Joy, on the other hand, is found in God's "gift of grace." Perhaps the book's greatest weakness is its inability to see that "fun," in many lives, is a holy and necessary means of attaining "joy." --Michael Joseph Gross


{description from goodreads} Good Women Behaving Badly. A spiteful boss, a defiant employee, a manipulative mother, a desperate housewife, an envious sister…honey, we know these women. We’ve lived with them, worked with them, or caught a glimpse of them in our mirrors.
Now let’s take a look at their ancient counterparts in Scripture: Sarah mistreated her maidservant, Hagar despised her mistress, Rebekah manipulated her son, Leah claimed her sister’s husband, and Rachel envied her fertile sister.
They were far from evil, but hardly perfect. Mostly good, yet slightly bad. In other words, these matriarchal mamas look a lot like us.
“A Slightly Bad Girl is simply this: a woman unwilling to fully submit to God. We love him, serve him, and worship him, yet we find it difficult to trust him completely, to accept his plan for our lives, to rest in his sovereignty.” —from Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible

Really Bad Girls of the Bible: More Lessons from Less-Than-Perfect WomenReally Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs

{description from goodreads} In her best-selling book Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs breathed new life into ancient stories depicting eight of the most infamous women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Delilah. Biblically sound and cutting-edge fresh, Bad Girls already has helped thousands of women experience God's grace anew by learning more about our nefarious sisters.

And there are more where they came from! With Really Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz reveals the power of God's sovereignty in the lives of other shady ladies we know by reputation but have rarely studied in depth: Bathsheba, the bathing beauty. Jael, the tent-peg-toting warrior princess. Herodias, the horrible beheader. Tamar, the widow and not-so-timid temptress. Athaliah, the deadly daughter of Jezebel. And three ancient women whose names we do not know but who have much to teach us: the ashamed Adulteress, the bewitching Medium of En Dor, and the desperate Bleeding Woman.
The eye-opening stories of these eight "Really Bad" women demonstrate one really life-changing concept: the sovereign power of God to rule our hearts and our lives with grace, compassion, and hope.

That's what's on My Wishlist. What's on yours?

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. ~ Proverbs 29:11

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Beauty Is

Beauty is all around us. 

I see it in all the colors of the world - the light, blue of the sky; the bright, yellow of the sun; the green, green, grass in summer, and the copper hues of fall.

It can be found in a friendly handshake or a wave hello.

In the sloppy, wet, kiss of a pup who is happy to see you come home.

It's written all over her face,

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It's in a friendly smile and a warm embrace.

It is found in the good news you have been waiting to hear.

It is especially found in the pages and promises written here,

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It is found in laughter and in tears.

On the faces of children and the moms who love them so.

It is found in the sweetness and innocence of this face,

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It is found in a phone call from a long-ago friend. The memories and smiles that will never end.

It can be found in a home-cooked meal, that you didn't cook.

It can also be found in the pages of a well-written, well-loved, book.

It's in his love for me and the softness of his kiss,

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The life we made together is the most beautiful picture.

It's in the rain and the snow. In the byes and hellos.

It surrounds us. We just do not take enough time to sit and appreciate it.

All of this is beautiful, there is no doubt in my mind, but the greatest picture of beauty was painted here, at the cross!

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Christ's love for us is the most beautiful picture, story, love, ever told or shown. His undying love allows for us to enjoy all the beauty that surrounds us. He made it all possible! Isn't He amazing?! His love for me  leaves me speechless. Me , a sinner {flawed},  loved by an almighty, sinless {flawless}, God!

Appreciate the beauty in your world. It is all around you, I promise!





But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. ~ Ephesians 2:4-5

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday! {1 Corinthians 11:1}

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"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." ~ 1 Corinthians 11:1


What type of an example are you leading  for your children?

I remember when my eldest was little, people would tell me all.the.time to watch what I say or do because kids are like a sponge; they soak everything up! I have never heard a more truer statement!

I am amazed at the things that she will say and do that I say and do! But it also reminds me to guard my tongue and watch what I say! I want to bring up children who are respectful and kind. Unfortunately, my words are not always kind. I complain and get stressed and angry. Sometimes I let the words slip out of my mouth and into the ears of my children. {not necessarily profanity, but just unkind, negative words! I don't want you all thinking too nasty of me! :) } And then, sometimes, I hear those  words or see those actions coming from my daughter! {oh, the horror!}

I want her to mimic the good about me. I want my postive actions to reflect off of her. I want to be more like Jesus, so my children see and learn to be more like Him as well!

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of being a mother. Thank you for placing your angels into my hands to nurture and teach and take care of. Help me to be a better example, of You, so they can learn to be like you as well. Loving, patient, kind, and caring! In Jesus' Name, Amen!

May we all strive to be more like Jesus!!

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Linked up at:
iFellowship

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. ~ Ezekial 36:26

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fall Into Reading 2010 {Q: #8}



This reading challenge has been great for me! Making a list of books to read in a certain amount of time has really helped me to get into gear and make some time to do what I love: read! Thinking I need to do this more often! {making a list and sticking to it!}


I did great last month. I read three books; one on my list, two were not. This month, well, I have not done as well, but I still have two weeks left in the month. Hoping to get lots of reading done. Especailly since I have no excuses, being that I am all done with my Christmas shopping! {woo-hoo!} {not trying to rub it in or anything! :) }


I recently finished The Help by Kathyrnn Stockett and loved it! I am currently working on Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent. Really hoping to finish with it this week and am planning on starting either Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

This week, Katrina at Callapidder Days is asking us the question(s):

"Where do you get the books you read? Are you a faithful library patron? Or maybe a bookstore junkie? Do you exchange books with friends or family members?"

As much as I would love to say I get them all from the library, well, that is just not true. We frequent the library, but usually just sign out children's books when we go. I tend to get my books from several places.

One of my favorite places is Half Price Books. You can't always find what you are looking for, but when you do, it is like you struck gold! The "hunt" is all part of the fun!

I recently discovered "book swap" on goodreads and actually just acquired three books from there. Loving it so far. Library booksales are also a favorite, when there is one being held in my area.

Half.com and alibris.com are also two great online sources to get books at a great price. I use both quite often!

And, when I just cannot wait, have to have it right now, I go to either Barnes and Nobles or Borders!

Where are you in your reading? Reading anything good at the moment? Would love to know; especially if it is a "can't put it down" type of book! {love those!}


God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. ~ Hebrews 6:10

Monday, November 15, 2010

YA Books of the 80's and 90's {reading challenge}

Another Challenge! {i love it!} And this one looks like a lot of fun!!

The Book Vixen is hosting a YA Books of the 80's and 90's reading challenge. It starts January 1st, 2011 and runs until December 31st, 2011. The books read must be originally published in either the 80's or 90's. Since I was born in 1982, I knew this challenge would be something I could really get into! Although my love for reading didn't officially start until the 90's, I am still ready to take part in this challenge. {and I found some interesting stuff for me to read!}

YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge

When I was younger, one of my favorite series was The Thoroughbed series by Joanna Campbell. I never read the entire series, {72 books in series}, so I would love to re-visit it and hope to actually make it all the way through! I also decided to try and read as many books as I can from these series as well; The Babysitters Club {131 books in sereis} and Sweet Valley High {144 books in series}.
I decided to throw a few extra titles in as well. Hoping to read at least the first 5-6 books in each series. Here is my complete list: {hoping I am able to find all of these to read!}

1. The Giver by Lois Lowry
2. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
3. Just as Long as We're Together by Judy Blume
4. A Horse Called Wonder by Joanna Campbell
5. Wonder's Promise by Joanna Campbell
6. Wonder's First Race by Joanna Campbell
7. Wonder's Victory by Joanna Campbell
8. Ashleigh's Dream by Joanna Campbell
9. Wonder's Yearling by Joanna Campbell
10. Kristy's Great Idea by Ann M. Martin
11. Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls by Ann M. Martin
12. The Truth about Stacey by Ann M. Martin
13. Mary Ann Saves the Day by Ann. M. Martin
14. Dawn and the Impossible Three by Ann M. Martin
15. Double Love by Francine Pascal
16. Secrets by Francine Pascal
17. Playing with Fire by Francine Pascal
18. Power Play by Francine Pascal
19. All Night Long by Francine Pascal
20. Dangerous Love by Francine Pascal

I am looking forward to starting this challenge in the New Year! Getting the chance to reminisce about my childhood by reading some of the books I enjoyed during those years is going to be a blast! {and I cannot wait to start!}

This challenge doesn't start until January, so you have some time to gather your books and join in.

So, will you join us?


"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." ~ 1 Timothy 4:12

God is Good! {gratitude community #16-25}

This past weekend I was blessed to attend the Penn Del Women of Purpose Conference in Hershey, PA. God was certainly there with us. I felt His presence all around me while worshipping with Kim Walker-Smith. {she is an amazing and talented worship leader! You couln't help but get into His presence when she started to sing. God has truly blessed her!}  His laughter came through the voice of Liz Curtis Higgs. What an amazing speaker! I was deeply moved by her words. So moved in fact that a certain thing she said has stuck with me. And I know it was meant for me!

She stated in one of her sessions while telling us the story of Abraham and Sarah {in a way only she can tell it!} that "God blesses us because He is good, not because we are good!"

I complain over and over again to my husband, "Why can't we have ________? So-and-so has been blessed and they don't even go to church! When will we get our break? We are good people. We tithe; attend church regulary. When will He bless us?"

When I heard her speak those words, well, lets just say, I was embarrassed! I knew God was talking directly to me!! Shame on me to think that I deserve so much because I think I am a good person! Noone is good. Only God is good! We are all sinners! {Romans 5:8}

I need to start praising Him more for the things He has blessed me with because He is good. Not because I was deserving of them!

So, today, I pick up where I left off a few weeks ago in stating my Gratitiude for the things He has done/given to me!

#16. Women of Purpose
#17. How God moves through friendships
#18. Honesty
#19. Laughter
#20. Raising my hands high in praise to my Father in Heaven
#21. Coming home to missed hugs and kisses
#22. A family to come home to!
#23. The loving arms of my husband.
#24. Pumpkin Cheesecake Icecream!!
#25. Being Humbled by God

Will you spend a moment today giving your Heavenly Father praise?



holy experience



"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." ~ Romans 5:8

Friday, November 12, 2010

Women of Purpose Weekend

Today I leave my family behind for the weekend and spend it with some girlfriends at the PennDel Women of Purpose Conference.

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I attended this conference two years ago and was completely moved and blessed. I heard powerful speakers such as Kay Arthur and Dannah Gresh. This years speakers are Liz Curtis Higgs, Kathy Wampler, and Kim Walker.

I am looking forward to being encouraged and blessed by their words. I know I had my socks knocked off at the last conference and my eyes wide open! Looking forward to what God has in store for me this time!

I will do my best to tweet some key points this weekend, but plan on dedicating a blog post to all that I learned once I return.

Will you please pray for us as we travel across the state? Praying for safety as well as an open heart and mind to receive all God has for us once we get there.

Have a blessed weekend my friends!


"I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from?" ~ Psalm 121:1

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful for Freedom

Today is such an important holiday. It is a day to pause and say "Thank you" to those who currently defend and those who defended in the past, our freedom.

It is a day to give ultimate praise and thanks to the deliverer of the most precious gift of freedom through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ!

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My husband is a proud United States Marine Corps Veteran. He is proud to say so and hold his head high on this day. {and he has every right to be proud!}

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My Husband served proudly in the USMC.
I however, did not. I am only dressed in his uniform for fun!

Thank you to all those who served and currently serve. And thank you to the families of the soldiers whose lives were lost defending our freedom! You deserve this day of Thanks and so much more for your sacrifice!

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the sacrifice of your son, Jesus Christ, for my sins! I am so undeserving, but so thankful and accepting of this gift of freedom through Jesus Christ! May I do your good work each and everyday!
Thank you for the soldiers and their families who sacrifice so much each and everyday! I pray for their safety and for a continued faith and strength that comes only from you. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Happy Veteran's Day!

"For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday {Philippians 1:27-28a}

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Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. ~ Philippians 1:27-28a

When we surround ourselves with His Word and with godly people, such as the church, we are not fighting this worldy battle alone. He calls us to unite as one and He will be in our midsts. {Matthew 18:20}

I want to fight the good fight and win. I want to have as many Christians as I possibly can fighting with me! I want to help the unsaved find salvation. I want to take as many with me when I ride into heaven!

May we bind together, as brothers and sisters in Christ, and fight the good fight!

Thank you Jesus for your Word and the power of your Word. May I make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path! Thank you for the precious gift of salvation! May I bring others to know how wonderful,  glorious, and forgiving your love really is! In Jesus' name, Amen!

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Linked up at:
iFellowship


Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays {#1}


teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

Catching Moondrops" Malachi's poor momma was standing behind him, held in Noah's tight grip, crying like she had a crystal ball that foretold all kinds of pain in their future, all over this one encounter. The pain in my stomach didn't leave me much hope it would be otherwise."
~ pg. 134 Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent 





That's my Teaser Tuesday. What's yours?

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. ~ Genesis 1:16

Stop and Give Him Praise!

Can I ask you a few questions?

Do you live in a nice house?

Is your refrigerator stocked?

Do you drive a pretty reliable car?

Do you have heat to warm your home in the winter and air conditioning to cool it in the summer?

Do you shower with warm, clean, running water?

If you answered "yes" to all those questions, then you have a lot to be thankful for!

But, when was the last time you stopped to say "thanks"? To simply give God praise?

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I have been struggling with this myself. I seem to never be ashamed or "too busy" to complain to God for not getting what I want. I look past the fact that my husband's income {since I am a SAHM} supplies us with a house, cars, heat, electricty, water, and food, plus money left over when all that is paid for and yet I still complain that I want more!! What is wrong with me? Instead of giving Him praise for supplying all of my needs with still plenty of money left over, I am complaing to Him; whining to Him that I need more, when in reality I have everything I have ever needed, and then some!

This past Sunday in church, our Pastor(s) gave a powerful message on Thankfulness. I was meant to be sitting in that pew that day! Talk about God giving it to ya! That message was definately for me! And it opened my eyes!

One part of the message that has stuck with me and will remain with me is this:
"you are one praise away from your healing; your blessing!"

Talk about an eye opener! I know now that I need to praise Him after the bills are all paid that we still have some money left over. I need to just simply stop and praise Him when I walk in and out my front door that He has provided me with a safe, warm, cozy place to live. I need to give Him praise when I drink down a glass of cold, clean, water from the faucet in my kitchen. I need to praise Him when I put my socks and shoes on that He gave me socks and shoes, feet that work, and a place to go! I need to praise Him when I am grumbling under my breath about the fact that my husband still throws his clothes on the floor in front of the hamper instead of inside it, that He gave me a loving, supportive, husband in the first place. I need to praise Him when I am picking up after my kids, or yelling at them for not sharing with one another, that He gave me two, beautiful, healthy, kids, to yell at and pick up after. I could go on and on....But the point I am trying to make for myself and for you is this: stop and simply give Him praise! Praise Him in the good and the bad times. It is hard, trust me I know, but I also know and believe that every praise we send to heaven is returned to us in the form of a blessing!

Will you join me today {and everyday} and take a moment to give your Heavenly Father praise? I am pretty sure He deserves that and a whole lot more!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~ Psalm 139:14

 "Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name." ~ Psalm 103:1

"Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals." ~ Psalm 150:5

"May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you." ~ Psalm 67:5


"Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!" ~ Psalm 98:4

Saturday, November 6, 2010

On My Wishlist {#2}

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On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with me too!


For my wishlist this week, since it is getting close to Christmas, I have a few Christmas titles, as well as some oldies, but goodies! :) Oh and I threw a knitting novel in there as well, just to spice things up a bit!!

Mr. Ives' ChristmasMr. Ives' Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos {this book was recommended to me by a fellow blogger} 

{description from goodreads} The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love now writes a haunting story of a man reflecting upon his life through the le ns of Christmases past. When his son, who is studying for the priesthood, is killed violently at Christmas, a man who had believed he was on his way to pursuing a typical American dream, begins to question the very foundations of his life.

 
The Story of the Other Wise Man by  Henry Van Dyke {also recommended to me by another blogger}

Story of the Other Wise Man{description from amazon}One of the most meaningful stories ever written...

"You know the story of the Three Wise Men of the East, and how they traveled from far away to offer their gifts at the manger-cradle in Bethlehem. But have you ever heard the story of the Other Wise Man?" So begins Henry van Dyke's Christmas classic, told in the manner of the great fairy tales--and like a great fairy tale, it couldn't be more true! This beautiful edition is designed so that you can read The Other Wise Man as it is intended to be read--slowly. His name was Artaban, and he told his doubting friends why he wanted to travel far away to see the promised king: "It has been shown to me and to my three companions among the Magi--Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. We have searched the ancient tablets of Chaldea and computed the time. We have studied the sky. We saw a new star there, which shone for one night and then vanished. Now again the two great planets are meeting. This night is their conjunction." Try as he might, Artaban was unable to join the three Magi on that historic night. But as it turns out, he had even more important things to do--and he learned what it really means to know God.

I loved Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery as a young girl and still love it today! I have the whole series, plus the three Emily of New Moon books as well. But, I have to get and read these wonderful L. M. Montgomery titles as well!

Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M.Montgomery 

Jane of Lantern Hill{description from goodreads} For as long as she could remember, Jane Stuart and her mother lived with her grandmother in a dreary mansion in Toronto. Jane always believed her father was dead--until she accidentally learned he was alive and well and living on Prince Edward Island. When Jane spends the summer at his cottage on Lantern Hill, doing all the wonderful things Grandmother deems unladylike, she dares to dream that there could be such a house back in Toronto...a house where she, Mother, and Father could live together without Grandmother directing their lives--a house that could be called home.


Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M.Montgomery

Chronicles of Avonlea{description from amazon} On Prince Edward Island, where Anne Shirley grew up in the sea-sprayed town of Avonlea, there was no shortage of wonderful stories. There was the case of Ludovic Speed, who wouldn't propose to the woman he had courted for fifteen years until Anne devised a plan to "speed" him up . . . if it didn't backfire and break his heart. But no one could blame mischievous Anne for the hilarious battle of the sexes that erupted when a man-hating woman and her cat got quarantined in the same house with a woman-hating bachelor and his dog. From sprawling Penhallow Grange, where a family waits nearly forever for two quarreling lovers to break their stubborn silence, to the tumbledown farm of Old Man Shaw, who awaits the return of his beloved daughter, L. M. Montgomery has written twelve tales of secret hopes and hidden dreams, filled with enchantment and humor.


Further Chronicles of Avonlea{description from amazon}In this second volume of heartwarming tales by L. M. Montgomery, a Persian cat plays an astonishing part in a marriage proposal; a ghostly appearance in a garden leads a woman to the fulfillment of her youthful dreams; a young girl risks losing her mother to find the father she never knew; and a foolish lie threatens to make an unattached woman a laughingstock when an imaginary lover actually comes to town. Filled with warmth, humor, and mystery, these unforgettable stories re-create the enchanting world of Avonlea.
Nestled between the ocean and the hills of Prince Edward Island is a road that leads to the house where a girl named Anne grew up, Green Gables, and to the wonderful place called Avonlea. In this second volume of heartwarming tales a Persian cat plays an astonishing part in a marriage proposal . . . a ghostly appearance in a garden leads a woman to the fulfillment of her youthful dreams . . . a young girl risks losing her mother to find the father she never knew . . . and a foolish lie threatens to make an unattached woman the town's laughingstock when an imaginary lover comes to town for real! Filled with warmth, humor, and mystery, these unforgettable stories re-create the enchanting world of Avonlea.

How to Knit a Love Song by Rachael Herron 


How to Knit a Love Song (Cypress Hollow Yarn, #1){description from goodreads} Abigail is more than ready for a change when she inherits a cottage from her beloved mentor, knitting guru Eliza Carpenter. Leaving the oppressive city for the greener pastures of a small California beach town, she intends to turn her cozy little windfall into a knitting shop and spend her days spinning, designing, and purling. But she's not going to be welcomed with open arms by her new neighbor. Eliza's disgruntled nephew, the gorgeous Cade, now owns everything surrounding Abigail's ramshackle new home, and he views this sexy city girl as an unwanted interloper.  

But chemistry working overtime is drawing two very different people closer than they ever thought possible. And when the past that Abigail thought she'd left behind comes calling, she'll have to somehow learn to trust her handsome adversary with much more than just her heart.


I could list about 10 more titles I would love to have in my hands, but I will save those for future weeks!

What's on your wishlist?
What are you currently reading?
Leave your answer in a comment. I love getting new ideas on what to add to my wishlist next!

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the LORD, not for men." ~ Colossians 3:23
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Christmas Rush

Christmas is by far the greatest time of the year! The celebrating, decorating, giving/receiving, and the eating, really make for a wonderful time! But, it is in that time that we can really get into trouble as Christians.

We can get so wrapped up in the spending and the decorating that we tend to lose sight of why we even have Christmas in the first place!


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

Two wonderful blogs that I follow, Women Living Well and Welcome to Our Wonderland, are hosting Christmas challenges that I think are just perfect to get our spirit where it needs to be this holiday season.


PhotobucketCourtney at Women Living Well is hosting the Peace on Earth December Challenge. Each week from now until December 27th, Courtney is going to give us one pratical tip and one spiritual tip that will help bring us peace during this hectic holiday season. You can visit her blog for more info and to sign up.


90_20_9_prevWelcome to Our Wonderland is hosting the Rediscovering Christmas Bible Challenge. The instructions for this challenge are as follows: read a chapter a day for the 24 days (Gospel of Luke has 24 chapters)leading up to Christmas. Reading the Gospel of Luke will have us focusing on the birth, life, and promise of Christ.
You can visit her blog as well to learn more info and to sign up!

I hope you will consider joining me in getting our Spirits back to where they need to be this Christmas season and enjoy all that God has to offer to us! He sent His Son and gave us the greatest present we could ever ask for!

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the LORD, the King. ~ Psalm 98:4-6


Monday, November 29, 2010

Reading the GREATEST Book Ever Written!

I hope each and everyone of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I know we did! The food was outstanding {and I am not just saying that because I cooked!}. The laughter was heartwarming. The memories made will last a lifetime!


I love the holiday season so much! It always brings me to reflect on the past year and really think about all that I have to be thankful for! Friends, family, love, and laughter. Those are things we tend to take for granted. But, I enjoyed every last one of them this past weekend!


I have some exciting things that will be taking place shortly here on my little blog! Since starting my blog in May of this year, I have learned a lot and have met a lot of amazing people. I have truly been enjoying this experience and cannot wait to take it one step farther.


I have a few giveaways lined up as well as some exciting news about the next Bible in 90 Days reading challenge starting January 3, 2011, that I am joining in on again! I will be mentoring this session as well as trying to read it all over again. It was such an amazing experience for me the first time, that I am looking forward to all that God has to show me this second time around. If you have never read through your entire Bible, {like I hadn't when I joined up in the summer}, I encourage you to pray about it. See if God is leading you to commit to something like this. It is a huge commitment and from experience I can honestly tell you that it will not be easy at times, but it is so very worth it in the end!


If you would like more information about the Bible in 90 Days challenge, please stop by Moms Toolbox as well as the official Bible in 90 Days Website. You can find all the information you may need and the answers to any questions you may have!


Once you have decided to join in, please visit Amy at Moms Toolbox and sign up letting her know you want to be a part of this awesome experience!


And, lastly, if you would like to read about my experience this past summer, you can click on any of the links below and read what I posted along the way!


Motivation from God's Word
Blogging Through the Bible in 90 Days: Day 1
One Step Closer to the Goal
Keeping Up With the Challenge(s)
For His Glory
B90Days Challenge
Psalms of Praise
Perseverance
Honesty
I DID It!

I pray that each and everyone of you will at least consider joining in on this challenge. Pray about it! Seek out God's will! You will not regeret it...I Promise!!

MomsToolbox



Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving

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photo courtesy of istock photo

This week is one of my favorite times of the year. The official start of the holiday season!

I just love the decorating, the cooking, the baking, the eating! Laughing and fellowshipping with the ones we hold dear to our hearts! It is a great time of year!

This year, I am hosting Thanksgiving and am so excited about it! I get to experiment with a few, new, Thanksgiving recipes and am really looking forward to it! {but, i know i have my work cut out for me!}

With that being said, I am taking a 'bloggy' holiday break and will return Monday, November 29th. My halls will be decked, my belly will be fed, and my heart will be full of love and good cheer!

Praying you all enjoy a wonderful, blessed, Thanksgiving with your family and friends! Have a wonderful week and remember to give "thanks" to the one who gave you everything!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. ~ 1 Chronicles 29:13

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On My Wishlist {#3}

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On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. If you want to know more click here.



This weeks post for my wishlist contains two books that I just discovered on a lovely blog I follow, Reading to Know.

Being a Jane Austen fan, these titles sounded like something I would thoroughly enjoy.


{description from goodreads}English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should -- a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good, as her favorite author Jane Austen might say, until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman. Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are.

Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal and left penniless by the ensuing divorce, Emma packs up what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. Locating the elusive letters, however, isn't as straightforward as Emma hoped. The owner of the letters proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the truth, but the sudden reappearance of Emma's first love makes everything more complicated.
In the end, Emma learns that doing the right thing has very little to do with other people's expectations and everything to do with her own beliefs. Laced with fictional excerpts from the missing letters, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is the story of a woman betrayed who uncovers the deeper meaning of loyalty.

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart: A NovelMr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

{description from goodreads} Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn't looking for Mr. Anyone. She's been dating Neil -- a nice if a bit negligent -- sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy -- leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author's own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her own romantic lead. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that love isn't logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.

I had the pleasure of meeting this next author at a Women's Conference I attended last weekend. Liz Curtits Higgs is an amazing Christian speaker. The way she intertwines humor and grace into the stories of amazing women in the Bible is just amazing as well as extremely enjoyable. I knew after hearing her speak I had to add her novels to my wishlist.

Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from ThemBad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs

{description from goodreads} Jezebel and Delilah have plenty to teach contemporary Christian women, according to Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them. In this self-help book, Liz Curtis Higgs tells fictionalized, contemporary stories based on the lives of biblical characters including Eve, Potiphar's Wife, and the Woman at the Well. In verse-by-verse commentary, Higgs summarizes each life's lessons and provides a list of questions for personal consideration or group discussion. The overall message of each chapter is the same: "Good Girls and Bad Girls both need a Savior. The goodness of your present life can't open the doors of heaven for you. The badness of your past life can't keep you out either." In its effort to turn readers' minds heavenward, Bad Girls draws a distinction between fun and joy. Associated with "fleshly pleasures," fun "is temporary at best; it's risky, even dangerous, at worst." Joy, on the other hand, is found in God's "gift of grace." Perhaps the book's greatest weakness is its inability to see that "fun," in many lives, is a holy and necessary means of attaining "joy." --Michael Joseph Gross


{description from goodreads} Good Women Behaving Badly. A spiteful boss, a defiant employee, a manipulative mother, a desperate housewife, an envious sister…honey, we know these women. We’ve lived with them, worked with them, or caught a glimpse of them in our mirrors.
Now let’s take a look at their ancient counterparts in Scripture: Sarah mistreated her maidservant, Hagar despised her mistress, Rebekah manipulated her son, Leah claimed her sister’s husband, and Rachel envied her fertile sister.
They were far from evil, but hardly perfect. Mostly good, yet slightly bad. In other words, these matriarchal mamas look a lot like us.
“A Slightly Bad Girl is simply this: a woman unwilling to fully submit to God. We love him, serve him, and worship him, yet we find it difficult to trust him completely, to accept his plan for our lives, to rest in his sovereignty.” —from Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible

Really Bad Girls of the Bible: More Lessons from Less-Than-Perfect WomenReally Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs

{description from goodreads} In her best-selling book Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs breathed new life into ancient stories depicting eight of the most infamous women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Delilah. Biblically sound and cutting-edge fresh, Bad Girls already has helped thousands of women experience God's grace anew by learning more about our nefarious sisters.

And there are more where they came from! With Really Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz reveals the power of God's sovereignty in the lives of other shady ladies we know by reputation but have rarely studied in depth: Bathsheba, the bathing beauty. Jael, the tent-peg-toting warrior princess. Herodias, the horrible beheader. Tamar, the widow and not-so-timid temptress. Athaliah, the deadly daughter of Jezebel. And three ancient women whose names we do not know but who have much to teach us: the ashamed Adulteress, the bewitching Medium of En Dor, and the desperate Bleeding Woman.
The eye-opening stories of these eight "Really Bad" women demonstrate one really life-changing concept: the sovereign power of God to rule our hearts and our lives with grace, compassion, and hope.

That's what's on My Wishlist. What's on yours?

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. ~ Proverbs 29:11

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Beauty Is

Beauty is all around us. 

I see it in all the colors of the world - the light, blue of the sky; the bright, yellow of the sun; the green, green, grass in summer, and the copper hues of fall.

It can be found in a friendly handshake or a wave hello.

In the sloppy, wet, kiss of a pup who is happy to see you come home.

It's written all over her face,

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It's in a friendly smile and a warm embrace.

It is found in the good news you have been waiting to hear.

It is especially found in the pages and promises written here,

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It is found in laughter and in tears.

On the faces of children and the moms who love them so.

It is found in the sweetness and innocence of this face,

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It is found in a phone call from a long-ago friend. The memories and smiles that will never end.

It can be found in a home-cooked meal, that you didn't cook.

It can also be found in the pages of a well-written, well-loved, book.

It's in his love for me and the softness of his kiss,

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The life we made together is the most beautiful picture.

It's in the rain and the snow. In the byes and hellos.

It surrounds us. We just do not take enough time to sit and appreciate it.

All of this is beautiful, there is no doubt in my mind, but the greatest picture of beauty was painted here, at the cross!

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Christ's love for us is the most beautiful picture, story, love, ever told or shown. His undying love allows for us to enjoy all the beauty that surrounds us. He made it all possible! Isn't He amazing?! His love for me  leaves me speechless. Me , a sinner {flawed},  loved by an almighty, sinless {flawless}, God!

Appreciate the beauty in your world. It is all around you, I promise!





But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. ~ Ephesians 2:4-5

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday! {1 Corinthians 11:1}

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"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." ~ 1 Corinthians 11:1


What type of an example are you leading  for your children?

I remember when my eldest was little, people would tell me all.the.time to watch what I say or do because kids are like a sponge; they soak everything up! I have never heard a more truer statement!

I am amazed at the things that she will say and do that I say and do! But it also reminds me to guard my tongue and watch what I say! I want to bring up children who are respectful and kind. Unfortunately, my words are not always kind. I complain and get stressed and angry. Sometimes I let the words slip out of my mouth and into the ears of my children. {not necessarily profanity, but just unkind, negative words! I don't want you all thinking too nasty of me! :) } And then, sometimes, I hear those  words or see those actions coming from my daughter! {oh, the horror!}

I want her to mimic the good about me. I want my postive actions to reflect off of her. I want to be more like Jesus, so my children see and learn to be more like Him as well!

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of being a mother. Thank you for placing your angels into my hands to nurture and teach and take care of. Help me to be a better example, of You, so they can learn to be like you as well. Loving, patient, kind, and caring! In Jesus' Name, Amen!

May we all strive to be more like Jesus!!

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Linked up at:
iFellowship

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. ~ Ezekial 36:26

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fall Into Reading 2010 {Q: #8}



This reading challenge has been great for me! Making a list of books to read in a certain amount of time has really helped me to get into gear and make some time to do what I love: read! Thinking I need to do this more often! {making a list and sticking to it!}


I did great last month. I read three books; one on my list, two were not. This month, well, I have not done as well, but I still have two weeks left in the month. Hoping to get lots of reading done. Especailly since I have no excuses, being that I am all done with my Christmas shopping! {woo-hoo!} {not trying to rub it in or anything! :) }


I recently finished The Help by Kathyrnn Stockett and loved it! I am currently working on Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent. Really hoping to finish with it this week and am planning on starting either Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

This week, Katrina at Callapidder Days is asking us the question(s):

"Where do you get the books you read? Are you a faithful library patron? Or maybe a bookstore junkie? Do you exchange books with friends or family members?"

As much as I would love to say I get them all from the library, well, that is just not true. We frequent the library, but usually just sign out children's books when we go. I tend to get my books from several places.

One of my favorite places is Half Price Books. You can't always find what you are looking for, but when you do, it is like you struck gold! The "hunt" is all part of the fun!

I recently discovered "book swap" on goodreads and actually just acquired three books from there. Loving it so far. Library booksales are also a favorite, when there is one being held in my area.

Half.com and alibris.com are also two great online sources to get books at a great price. I use both quite often!

And, when I just cannot wait, have to have it right now, I go to either Barnes and Nobles or Borders!

Where are you in your reading? Reading anything good at the moment? Would love to know; especially if it is a "can't put it down" type of book! {love those!}


God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. ~ Hebrews 6:10

Monday, November 15, 2010

YA Books of the 80's and 90's {reading challenge}

Another Challenge! {i love it!} And this one looks like a lot of fun!!

The Book Vixen is hosting a YA Books of the 80's and 90's reading challenge. It starts January 1st, 2011 and runs until December 31st, 2011. The books read must be originally published in either the 80's or 90's. Since I was born in 1982, I knew this challenge would be something I could really get into! Although my love for reading didn't officially start until the 90's, I am still ready to take part in this challenge. {and I found some interesting stuff for me to read!}

YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge

When I was younger, one of my favorite series was The Thoroughbed series by Joanna Campbell. I never read the entire series, {72 books in series}, so I would love to re-visit it and hope to actually make it all the way through! I also decided to try and read as many books as I can from these series as well; The Babysitters Club {131 books in sereis} and Sweet Valley High {144 books in series}.
I decided to throw a few extra titles in as well. Hoping to read at least the first 5-6 books in each series. Here is my complete list: {hoping I am able to find all of these to read!}

1. The Giver by Lois Lowry
2. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
3. Just as Long as We're Together by Judy Blume
4. A Horse Called Wonder by Joanna Campbell
5. Wonder's Promise by Joanna Campbell
6. Wonder's First Race by Joanna Campbell
7. Wonder's Victory by Joanna Campbell
8. Ashleigh's Dream by Joanna Campbell
9. Wonder's Yearling by Joanna Campbell
10. Kristy's Great Idea by Ann M. Martin
11. Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls by Ann M. Martin
12. The Truth about Stacey by Ann M. Martin
13. Mary Ann Saves the Day by Ann. M. Martin
14. Dawn and the Impossible Three by Ann M. Martin
15. Double Love by Francine Pascal
16. Secrets by Francine Pascal
17. Playing with Fire by Francine Pascal
18. Power Play by Francine Pascal
19. All Night Long by Francine Pascal
20. Dangerous Love by Francine Pascal

I am looking forward to starting this challenge in the New Year! Getting the chance to reminisce about my childhood by reading some of the books I enjoyed during those years is going to be a blast! {and I cannot wait to start!}

This challenge doesn't start until January, so you have some time to gather your books and join in.

So, will you join us?


"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." ~ 1 Timothy 4:12

God is Good! {gratitude community #16-25}

This past weekend I was blessed to attend the Penn Del Women of Purpose Conference in Hershey, PA. God was certainly there with us. I felt His presence all around me while worshipping with Kim Walker-Smith. {she is an amazing and talented worship leader! You couln't help but get into His presence when she started to sing. God has truly blessed her!}  His laughter came through the voice of Liz Curtis Higgs. What an amazing speaker! I was deeply moved by her words. So moved in fact that a certain thing she said has stuck with me. And I know it was meant for me!

She stated in one of her sessions while telling us the story of Abraham and Sarah {in a way only she can tell it!} that "God blesses us because He is good, not because we are good!"

I complain over and over again to my husband, "Why can't we have ________? So-and-so has been blessed and they don't even go to church! When will we get our break? We are good people. We tithe; attend church regulary. When will He bless us?"

When I heard her speak those words, well, lets just say, I was embarrassed! I knew God was talking directly to me!! Shame on me to think that I deserve so much because I think I am a good person! Noone is good. Only God is good! We are all sinners! {Romans 5:8}

I need to start praising Him more for the things He has blessed me with because He is good. Not because I was deserving of them!

So, today, I pick up where I left off a few weeks ago in stating my Gratitiude for the things He has done/given to me!

#16. Women of Purpose
#17. How God moves through friendships
#18. Honesty
#19. Laughter
#20. Raising my hands high in praise to my Father in Heaven
#21. Coming home to missed hugs and kisses
#22. A family to come home to!
#23. The loving arms of my husband.
#24. Pumpkin Cheesecake Icecream!!
#25. Being Humbled by God

Will you spend a moment today giving your Heavenly Father praise?



holy experience



"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." ~ Romans 5:8

Friday, November 12, 2010

Women of Purpose Weekend

Today I leave my family behind for the weekend and spend it with some girlfriends at the PennDel Women of Purpose Conference.

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I attended this conference two years ago and was completely moved and blessed. I heard powerful speakers such as Kay Arthur and Dannah Gresh. This years speakers are Liz Curtis Higgs, Kathy Wampler, and Kim Walker.

I am looking forward to being encouraged and blessed by their words. I know I had my socks knocked off at the last conference and my eyes wide open! Looking forward to what God has in store for me this time!

I will do my best to tweet some key points this weekend, but plan on dedicating a blog post to all that I learned once I return.

Will you please pray for us as we travel across the state? Praying for safety as well as an open heart and mind to receive all God has for us once we get there.

Have a blessed weekend my friends!


"I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from?" ~ Psalm 121:1

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful for Freedom

Today is such an important holiday. It is a day to pause and say "Thank you" to those who currently defend and those who defended in the past, our freedom.

It is a day to give ultimate praise and thanks to the deliverer of the most precious gift of freedom through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ!

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My husband is a proud United States Marine Corps Veteran. He is proud to say so and hold his head high on this day. {and he has every right to be proud!}

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My Husband served proudly in the USMC.
I however, did not. I am only dressed in his uniform for fun!

Thank you to all those who served and currently serve. And thank you to the families of the soldiers whose lives were lost defending our freedom! You deserve this day of Thanks and so much more for your sacrifice!

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the sacrifice of your son, Jesus Christ, for my sins! I am so undeserving, but so thankful and accepting of this gift of freedom through Jesus Christ! May I do your good work each and everyday!
Thank you for the soldiers and their families who sacrifice so much each and everyday! I pray for their safety and for a continued faith and strength that comes only from you. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Happy Veteran's Day!

"For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday {Philippians 1:27-28a}

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Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. ~ Philippians 1:27-28a

When we surround ourselves with His Word and with godly people, such as the church, we are not fighting this worldy battle alone. He calls us to unite as one and He will be in our midsts. {Matthew 18:20}

I want to fight the good fight and win. I want to have as many Christians as I possibly can fighting with me! I want to help the unsaved find salvation. I want to take as many with me when I ride into heaven!

May we bind together, as brothers and sisters in Christ, and fight the good fight!

Thank you Jesus for your Word and the power of your Word. May I make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path! Thank you for the precious gift of salvation! May I bring others to know how wonderful,  glorious, and forgiving your love really is! In Jesus' name, Amen!

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Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays {#1}


teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

Catching Moondrops" Malachi's poor momma was standing behind him, held in Noah's tight grip, crying like she had a crystal ball that foretold all kinds of pain in their future, all over this one encounter. The pain in my stomach didn't leave me much hope it would be otherwise."
~ pg. 134 Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent 





That's my Teaser Tuesday. What's yours?

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. ~ Genesis 1:16

Stop and Give Him Praise!

Can I ask you a few questions?

Do you live in a nice house?

Is your refrigerator stocked?

Do you drive a pretty reliable car?

Do you have heat to warm your home in the winter and air conditioning to cool it in the summer?

Do you shower with warm, clean, running water?

If you answered "yes" to all those questions, then you have a lot to be thankful for!

But, when was the last time you stopped to say "thanks"? To simply give God praise?

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I have been struggling with this myself. I seem to never be ashamed or "too busy" to complain to God for not getting what I want. I look past the fact that my husband's income {since I am a SAHM} supplies us with a house, cars, heat, electricty, water, and food, plus money left over when all that is paid for and yet I still complain that I want more!! What is wrong with me? Instead of giving Him praise for supplying all of my needs with still plenty of money left over, I am complaing to Him; whining to Him that I need more, when in reality I have everything I have ever needed, and then some!

This past Sunday in church, our Pastor(s) gave a powerful message on Thankfulness. I was meant to be sitting in that pew that day! Talk about God giving it to ya! That message was definately for me! And it opened my eyes!

One part of the message that has stuck with me and will remain with me is this:
"you are one praise away from your healing; your blessing!"

Talk about an eye opener! I know now that I need to praise Him after the bills are all paid that we still have some money left over. I need to just simply stop and praise Him when I walk in and out my front door that He has provided me with a safe, warm, cozy place to live. I need to give Him praise when I drink down a glass of cold, clean, water from the faucet in my kitchen. I need to praise Him when I put my socks and shoes on that He gave me socks and shoes, feet that work, and a place to go! I need to praise Him when I am grumbling under my breath about the fact that my husband still throws his clothes on the floor in front of the hamper instead of inside it, that He gave me a loving, supportive, husband in the first place. I need to praise Him when I am picking up after my kids, or yelling at them for not sharing with one another, that He gave me two, beautiful, healthy, kids, to yell at and pick up after. I could go on and on....But the point I am trying to make for myself and for you is this: stop and simply give Him praise! Praise Him in the good and the bad times. It is hard, trust me I know, but I also know and believe that every praise we send to heaven is returned to us in the form of a blessing!

Will you join me today {and everyday} and take a moment to give your Heavenly Father praise? I am pretty sure He deserves that and a whole lot more!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~ Psalm 139:14

 "Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name." ~ Psalm 103:1

"Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals." ~ Psalm 150:5

"May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you." ~ Psalm 67:5


"Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!" ~ Psalm 98:4

Saturday, November 6, 2010

On My Wishlist {#2}

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On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with me too!


For my wishlist this week, since it is getting close to Christmas, I have a few Christmas titles, as well as some oldies, but goodies! :) Oh and I threw a knitting novel in there as well, just to spice things up a bit!!

Mr. Ives' ChristmasMr. Ives' Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos {this book was recommended to me by a fellow blogger} 

{description from goodreads} The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love now writes a haunting story of a man reflecting upon his life through the le ns of Christmases past. When his son, who is studying for the priesthood, is killed violently at Christmas, a man who had believed he was on his way to pursuing a typical American dream, begins to question the very foundations of his life.

 
The Story of the Other Wise Man by  Henry Van Dyke {also recommended to me by another blogger}

Story of the Other Wise Man{description from amazon}One of the most meaningful stories ever written...

"You know the story of the Three Wise Men of the East, and how they traveled from far away to offer their gifts at the manger-cradle in Bethlehem. But have you ever heard the story of the Other Wise Man?" So begins Henry van Dyke's Christmas classic, told in the manner of the great fairy tales--and like a great fairy tale, it couldn't be more true! This beautiful edition is designed so that you can read The Other Wise Man as it is intended to be read--slowly. His name was Artaban, and he told his doubting friends why he wanted to travel far away to see the promised king: "It has been shown to me and to my three companions among the Magi--Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. We have searched the ancient tablets of Chaldea and computed the time. We have studied the sky. We saw a new star there, which shone for one night and then vanished. Now again the two great planets are meeting. This night is their conjunction." Try as he might, Artaban was unable to join the three Magi on that historic night. But as it turns out, he had even more important things to do--and he learned what it really means to know God.

I loved Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery as a young girl and still love it today! I have the whole series, plus the three Emily of New Moon books as well. But, I have to get and read these wonderful L. M. Montgomery titles as well!

Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M.Montgomery 

Jane of Lantern Hill{description from goodreads} For as long as she could remember, Jane Stuart and her mother lived with her grandmother in a dreary mansion in Toronto. Jane always believed her father was dead--until she accidentally learned he was alive and well and living on Prince Edward Island. When Jane spends the summer at his cottage on Lantern Hill, doing all the wonderful things Grandmother deems unladylike, she dares to dream that there could be such a house back in Toronto...a house where she, Mother, and Father could live together without Grandmother directing their lives--a house that could be called home.


Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M.Montgomery

Chronicles of Avonlea{description from amazon} On Prince Edward Island, where Anne Shirley grew up in the sea-sprayed town of Avonlea, there was no shortage of wonderful stories. There was the case of Ludovic Speed, who wouldn't propose to the woman he had courted for fifteen years until Anne devised a plan to "speed" him up . . . if it didn't backfire and break his heart. But no one could blame mischievous Anne for the hilarious battle of the sexes that erupted when a man-hating woman and her cat got quarantined in the same house with a woman-hating bachelor and his dog. From sprawling Penhallow Grange, where a family waits nearly forever for two quarreling lovers to break their stubborn silence, to the tumbledown farm of Old Man Shaw, who awaits the return of his beloved daughter, L. M. Montgomery has written twelve tales of secret hopes and hidden dreams, filled with enchantment and humor.


Further Chronicles of Avonlea{description from amazon}In this second volume of heartwarming tales by L. M. Montgomery, a Persian cat plays an astonishing part in a marriage proposal; a ghostly appearance in a garden leads a woman to the fulfillment of her youthful dreams; a young girl risks losing her mother to find the father she never knew; and a foolish lie threatens to make an unattached woman a laughingstock when an imaginary lover actually comes to town. Filled with warmth, humor, and mystery, these unforgettable stories re-create the enchanting world of Avonlea.
Nestled between the ocean and the hills of Prince Edward Island is a road that leads to the house where a girl named Anne grew up, Green Gables, and to the wonderful place called Avonlea. In this second volume of heartwarming tales a Persian cat plays an astonishing part in a marriage proposal . . . a ghostly appearance in a garden leads a woman to the fulfillment of her youthful dreams . . . a young girl risks losing her mother to find the father she never knew . . . and a foolish lie threatens to make an unattached woman the town's laughingstock when an imaginary lover comes to town for real! Filled with warmth, humor, and mystery, these unforgettable stories re-create the enchanting world of Avonlea.

How to Knit a Love Song by Rachael Herron 


How to Knit a Love Song (Cypress Hollow Yarn, #1){description from goodreads} Abigail is more than ready for a change when she inherits a cottage from her beloved mentor, knitting guru Eliza Carpenter. Leaving the oppressive city for the greener pastures of a small California beach town, she intends to turn her cozy little windfall into a knitting shop and spend her days spinning, designing, and purling. But she's not going to be welcomed with open arms by her new neighbor. Eliza's disgruntled nephew, the gorgeous Cade, now owns everything surrounding Abigail's ramshackle new home, and he views this sexy city girl as an unwanted interloper.  

But chemistry working overtime is drawing two very different people closer than they ever thought possible. And when the past that Abigail thought she'd left behind comes calling, she'll have to somehow learn to trust her handsome adversary with much more than just her heart.


I could list about 10 more titles I would love to have in my hands, but I will save those for future weeks!

What's on your wishlist?
What are you currently reading?
Leave your answer in a comment. I love getting new ideas on what to add to my wishlist next!

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the LORD, not for men." ~ Colossians 3:23
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