Saturday, December 27, 2014

Colliding With Destiny (Review)

"Our brokenness is most beautiful when we're in His presence." 
Day 1: Life Doesn't Always Go as Planned

I was intrigued after reading the blurb for Colliding With Destinyand I was happy to be able to review it.  Sarah Jakes has been through a lot. She's made many mistakes, but has obviously learned much from them. The very fact that she has changed so drastically and has written this book is testimony to God's grace. (I'm very interested to read the book she's written sharing her story, Lost and Found.)

In Colliding With Destiny Sarah Jakes shares excerpts from the story of Ruth and ties Ruth's story into the circumstances of so many of us today, showing how God is working and molding us and our futures even when we can't see it; how we collide with our destinies, much like Ruth. I appreciated Sarah's insight and I found the running theme of redemption and grace throughout the book to be uplifting and encouraging. 

The cover is absolutely beautiful and the quality of the book as a whole was impressive. The layout of the chapters was a bit of a surprise, but a pleasant one; they are short and written like a devotional, with a journal prompt, questions to ponder, and a prayer at the end of each chapter. It's a very easy read, and there are many tidbits that the reader will want to write down and ponder.

There were some areas of concern to me. There seemed to be overtones of prosperity gospel, self love, and relying too much upon self confidence and our own worthiness. (We aren't worthy--no one is. That's the beauty of the gospel.) Since I don't know Sarah, I'm aware that I may have misunderstood her meaning. But, since I don't have the luxury of conversing with her to get a clearer understanding of what she was saying, I can only go by what I read in the book. 

All in all, I give Colliding With Destiny three out of five stars, and I recommend it with caution. 

Read more about Colliding With Destiny here.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Daily Painting (Book Review)

There were two reasons I wanted to review Daily Painting

1. It's beautiful, and the dominant colors are turquoise and red. I decorate with books, and I love that color combination, so.... ;) 
2. My daughter loves art, she's very talented, and she's teaching herself new techniques. I knew she would enjoy it.

I wasn't disappointed at all in the appearance of this book. It's beautiful! I was also impressed at the manner in which the tips and instructions are simply and practically presented. This book is seriously packed with helpful information. I'm not a painter, I'm a (very amateur wannabe) photographer, but I found the suggestions helpful. 

This is an enjoyable read, and I feel confident that my daughter can learn much from Daily Painting. I love the concept of painting small and often, (or in my case, photographing small and often) and I look forward to seeing what my daughter learns from this book.  

More about Daily Painting:

A unique system for jump-starting artistic creativity, encouraging experimentation and growth, and increasing sales for artists of all levels, from novices to professionals.
  Do you want to bring the joy back into your art?
Have you landed in a frustrating rut? Are you having trouble selling paintings in galleries, getting bogged down by projects you can’t seem to finish or abandon, or finding excuses to avoid working in the studio? Author Carol Marine knows exactly how you feel—she herself suffered from painter’s block, until she discovered “daily painting.” The idea is simple: do art (usually small) often (how often is up to you), and if you’d like, post and sell it online. Soon you’ll find that your block dissolves and you’re painting work you love—and more of it than you ever thought possible! 
With her encouraging tone and useful exercises, Marine teaches you to:-Master composition and value-Become confident in any medium-Choose subjects wisely -Stay fresh and loose -Photograph, post, and sell your art online-Become connected to the growing movement of daily painters around the world

Read more about the author, Carol Marine, here.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Small Talk (Review & Giveaway)

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

I expected this book to be sort of light and fluffy. You know, cute stuff from children mixed in with the sometimes startling, often thought-provoking things that children say. Small Talk is so much more than that! It is surprisingly deep, touching, and emotional. Amy Julia Becker has a warm, easy style. Reading her book feels as if you've been invited to sit at her table, drink a cup of tea, and share about motherhood, faith, hardship, loss, blessings, and grace. Her brutal honesty about her struggles with motherhood and faith (especially her run-ins with her rambunctious son) reminded me that I'm not alone.  
Small Talk is a must read and would make a perfect gift for any mother, especially mothers of children with special needs. I think it would even be appropriate for use as a devotional.  I enjoyed this book and I learned a great deal from it. 

More about the book:
Every day, one of Amy Julie Becker’s children says something that prompts her to think about life in a new way. “Mom, does Santa love me?” William asks, after his mother explains the meaning of Christmas…In a chat with her dad about the children who died in the Sandy Hook shootings, Penny asks, “Did they go to heaven?” …”You was a jerk, Mommy?” asks Marilee one morning in the car.
These conversations deepen Amy Julia’s relationships with her children, but they also refine her understanding of what she believes and what God is doing in her own life.
In Small Talk, Amy Julia draws from the wisdom and curiosity of those young voices to reflect on beauty and kindness, tragedy and disability, prayer and miracles. As she moves through the basic questions her kids posed when they were very young to the more intellectual questions of later childhood, she invites us to learn from our own day-to-day conversations with the children in our lives.
This eloquent parenting memoir is about the big questions little hearts ask, the thoughts their words provoke, and the laughter and soul-searching their honesty brings—to adult and child alike.

About the author:

Amy Julia Becker writes about faith, family, and disability for, the New York Times Motherlode blog,, The Huffington Post parents page, Christianity Today, The Christian century, and numerous other publications. Her first book, A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Amy Julia lives in western Connecticut with her husband and three children.

Amy’s Website:

      Follow her on Twitter here!

      Check out her Facebook page here!

One of my readers will win a copy of this wonderful book! Enter here: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Case For Faith Student Edition (Review)

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

"Most people think doubt is the opposite of faith, but it isn't. The opposite of faith is unbelief, which is a willful refusal to believe or a deliberate decision to disobey God." Page 79

I was reared in a Christian home, attended a Christian school, and went to church every time the doors were open. You'd think I would know all the basics--that I'd have no doubts--no lingering questions. But that's not true. I've been plagued with questions and doubts for years. I believed with all my heart, but my head didn't understand a lot of things and kicked up a fuss, hungry for answers. My doubts and questions hindered me greatly, and I felt (feel) like such a failure at the whole faith thing. I'm learning that my doubts and questions don't mean that I have no faith. Actually, believing in spite of doubts IS faith. The Case for Faith, Student Edition helped me to see that even more clearly. 
Seriously there is so much good stuff packed into this little book. I highly recommend it. I look forward to reading the full version. 

Dancing on the Head of a Pen

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Words fascinate me, I hoard books, and I'm a little bit in awe of authors. Dancing on the Head of a Pen
 was just what I needed to fan those flames. Though a tad dry, it's an enjoyable read. There is not formula or step by step instructions for how to write a book, but the tidbits of wisdom from a seasoned author were helpful, and I loved the firsthand look into the art of writing as well as glimpses of the author's life and methods. I recommend this book. 

I received this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Win a Family Physician Starter Kit!

I am so excited to be a part of this giveaway!

I have limited experience with essential oils, but I'm beginning to learn more and I'm already in love! So far, I've used oils to help with headaches and nausea, anxiety, insomnia, muscle aches, immune boosting, and more. Yep...I'm hooked. I would recommend them to anyone! The Family Physician Kit would be an awesome way to get started with oils.

Win a Family Physician Kit ($166 value)

The Family Physician Kit is one of the most popular doTERRA essential oil kits available. It's a wonderful place to start if you are new to the idea of essential oils. It includes 5 mL bottles of:
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Melaleuca
  • Oregano
  • Frankincense
  • Deep Blue® (soothing blend)
  • Breathe (respiratory support blend)
  • DigestZen (digestive support blend)
  • On Guard® (protective blend)

Enter for Your Chance to Win!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends December 19th, 2014 at midnight. Winner will be announced here within 72 hours.
(I know there are a lot of entry options--but keep in mind that you do NOT have to complete all of them--just the ones you want!)

Thanks to Kim at Frontier Blessings for the opportunity to be a part of this giveaway! 
Frontier Blessings