{Semi} Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Before Amen {Book Review}

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Before Amen
The Power of a Simple Prayer
by Max Lucado

About the book:
We all pray . . . some. 
We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray. 
But wouldn't we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency? 
Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. The calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. And what about our checkered history with prayer? Uncertain words. Unmet expectations. Unanswered requests. 
We aren't the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested. 
And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn't we use the same? 
In Before Amen best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin.
Who in the world has a problem praying? Certainly not anyone I've met...Our Pastor doesn't, my Mama never did, no one ever did on the Waltons and even my littles don't...so why did I? A question I'd asked myself a million times inside my head. For some reason I've always felt guilty asking for things for myself during prayer. I would gladly pray for everyone else but when it came to me, I just couldn't do it.

Have you ever had a praying problem like I did? Do you wish you had a deeper prayer life? Are you new to prayer or wish you felt you were better at it? Do you want a deeper connection to God through your prayers? I know y'all, me too! Then this is the book for you! This is a great book to help you build a deeper prayer life. If prayer is something you struggle with (and this is an area I think we all can grow in), this is a great book to work through.

I love that this book is easy to understand, but complex in meaning. I'm not a fan of needing a dictionary beside me to read a book. This book is understandable, straight away. Max admits to being a prayer wimp, which I totally understand. I think there’s a little wimp in all of us, but thankfully we can learn to pray with greater confidence and boldness…this book will show you how!

Special THANK YOU to LitFuse for providing me with a review copy. My review is my own personal opinion.

Be sure to enter the Before Amen iPad Mini giveaway. AND if you pre-order a copy of Before Amen by 9/29, you'll receive a FREE ebook copy of Max’s best-selling Second Chances: More Stories of Grace.


One grand prize winner will receive:
An iPad Mini
Before Amen by Max Lucado

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 29th. Winner will be announced September 30th on the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 30th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to their blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

Meal Planning Monday

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday - No peek beef tips, mashed potatoes, corn and homemade bread

Tuesday - Tater tot casserole

Wednesday - Tacos, quick and easy...plus its the littles fav meal

Thursday - Buffalo chicken lasagna and 7up biscuits

Friday - Truck pulls! So that means amazing fair food.

Saturday - Class Reunion

Sunday - Breakfast for dinner...pancakes and sausage

Where Were You?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's funny how thinking back to that day you know EXACTLY where you were, what you were doing, what song was playing on the radio and what the weather was like. I was at work sitting at my desk when a woman came in and said "a plane just hit the world trade center". At first we all thought it was just a stray plane that wrecked into it. It didn't take us long to learn differently. Soon after we heard of a second plane going into the other building. We all rushed to the only office in the building with a TV. I stood in that office, crammed full of people shoulder to shoulder, and watched as the towers fell. The room was completely silent as people tried to wrap their minds around what was really happening. We then heard of the third plane and we were told they were closing the building. I worked for a state agency so they erred on the side of caution and closed the building.

My first thought, once I realized we were under attack, was I wanted my babies in my arms. I wanted them with me so I could protect them. I wanted to hug and kiss them and keep them safe. I wanted to be surrounded by my family and have my husband’s safe arms around me. I left work and went straight to pick my kids up from daycare. I took them home and spent the rest of the day snuggling and cuddling.

My son remembers this day differently, as one of my "not so stellar" mama moments. I was in a hurry that morning and was running late for work. I had a toddler and a baby, mornings weren't my friend most days. I was rushing and shushed them in the sitters door and left, forgetting to kiss them goodbye. I know, the thought of that now makes my eyes well with tears. The sitter had the news on, as everyone in the nation did, and my son didn't really understand what was going on. He just knew it was something bad. He spent the morning crying because his Mama didn't kiss him. Isn’t it horrible that he still, to this day, remembers that clear as a bell? Sigh. What that did do was make me slow down and take that extra 10 seconds to kiss my littles goodbye, even if it meant being late for work. Actually, I still to this day kiss my kids before bed every night and before they go to school in the morning.

I was never more proud to be an American than I was that day. That evening we got out our American flag and hung it on our front porch. Basically every home or business you drove past had either a flag hanging or a sign showing their support for America.

That day we bonded as a nation. That day we knew, as a nation, that we needed God, we needed prayer and we needed hope. But oh, how quick we are to forget. Today, remember that day. Remember how quick we were to fall to our knees and cry out to God. And thank Him, for everything.

Ps...And kiss your littles. Always.

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 things...

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Ten totally random things making me happy today...

1. i have the best husband in the world
2. coconut coffee
3. God doing amazing things
4. how blessed my life totally is
5. ladies bible study
6. autumn
7. an afternoon with my mama and boy
8. comfy clothes
9. the most AMAZING friends ever
10. snuggles with my sweet pup

Meal Planning Monday

Monday, September 08, 2014

Monday - Buffalo chicken lasagna and 7up biscuits

Tuesday - Tacos, quick and easy...plus its the littles fav meal

Wednesday - Tater tot casserole

Thursday - Chicken and waffles, complete comfort food

Friday - Pizza and movie night

Saturday - Last wedding of the year {aka...i don't have to cook}

Sunday - Breakfast for dinner...pancakes and sausage

It's That Day...

Saturday, September 06, 2014

The day you wake up and instantly want to crawl back in bed.
The day you walk down the stairs and the first thing you see is the dog pooped in the house.
The day you realize your newly swept floor has clumps of grass tracked all over it.
The day you nearly tramp in a pile of cat vomit complete with fur ball.
The day your kitchen, that was clean yesterday, isn't clean any more.
The day you get on pinterest, and every cute outfit is on a skinny girl.
The day you make a cup of coffee and 5 minutes later a fly dives into it.
The day everywhere you look, failure is written in big, bold letters.

What do you do with days like this?

Do you spend hours on end believing all the lies the world tells you? Do you allow satan to ruin your day by whispering untruths in your ear? Do you throw your hands in the air, give up and just walk away?

Or do you fight.

Do you allow God to replace those lies with His truth? Do you tell satan "oh no, not today buddy" and tell him to kick rocks? Do you run to God when all you want to do is walk away?

I realized this morning...the choice is mine.

Throughout our lives, we've all faced struggles. We've all had seasons of storms when it seems you can't even see the shore. Whether your season comes in the form of dog poop or feeling like a failure, we all know what struggling feels like. Every single one of us. It's not a good feeling. And normally, it's not pretty. What makes the struggles a little easier to bear? Knowing we have someone to lean on. It's so comforting to know that during those times, we are never ever truly alone.

We can take our problems, fears, failures, concerns and the worlds lies to Him through prayer and have Him grace us with strength, wisdom, patience and compassion. We need to allow our struggles to remind us to lean on Him when we are weak, tired, sad, broken and need to be nurtured. He will meet you right where you are. And He will gently lead you through it with His grace.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10

Move On {Book Review}

Friday, September 05, 2014

Move On
When Mercy Meets Your Mess
by Vicki Courtney

About the book:
Life is often messy. God makes provision to help us move beyond our messes but often our first instinct is to hide, deny, ignore, or run from them. Yet it is in the middle of our mess where mercy shows up and offers a safe place to process our struggles, imperfections, doubts, and fears. Then with mercy by our side, we are able to move on and experience the grace and freedom God intended. 
In Move On best-selling author Vicki Courtney helps readers come clean with their muddy messes, revealing the deeper issues they must face, including: 
Christian snobbery
struggles and broken dreams
the past
the need for approval
fickle faith 
Once we face our messes, God, with his sweet mercy, can help us to get real, deal, and truly move on.
This book is jam packed, from cover to cover, with just plain ole' awesomeness. There are personal stories, excerpts from books and relevant Bible verses to showcase the message of mercy in every day life. Vicki is honest and straight forward, which I love. She shares her own stories honestly, even when they're messy. Often, as Christians, we judge though we should not. Myself included y'all. Whether that judgement is in silence or aloud, we are guilty of doing so from time to time. How many times we don't extend grace to those who need it the most. But yet, we expect grace to be given back to us. Vicki goes on to show that mercy is so freely given and to find the light in every darkness.

This was a great read and I would highly recommend this book to anyone, no matter your age or stage in life. But especially to those of us who feel as though we have some sort of shortcoming. This book will challenge you and, if you let it, this book will change you.

This book was provided to me free of charge by Book Look in return for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Girlfriends Guidebook {Book Review}

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Girlfriends Guidebook
Navigating Female Friendships
by Marian Jordan

About the book:
While there are ample books for women on dating, career, marriage, and motherhood, less prevalent are thoughtful writings about the everyday handling of female friendships. Inspired by the highs and lows of a backpacking trip across Europe with four gal pals, Marian Jordan's The Girlfriends Guidebook charts a winning pathway through "jealousy, competition, control, anger, manipulation, and resentment-just to name a few less than cuddly aspects of our personalities."

Informed by her faith, Marian encourages deeper friendships built on Christlike honesty and love, emphasizing the development of such qualities as loyalty, trustworthiness, compassion, and forgiveness. Jordan also makes it clear that The Girlfriends Guidebook should be read first with one's self in mind... recognizing that when we are freed from our own emotional baggage we will really be able to enjoy the journey!
Well hello book written just for me. I mean, have you saw my struggle with friendships over the past few years? Yeah, this girl couldn't wait to get her hands on this book!

As I started reading this book, I found myself saying "aahh, me too...me too" over and over again.  In this book are three key points super important to friendships.  First, as women, we need to make sure we allow God to fill our emotional needs. We can’t seek our boyfriend or spouse or other friends to fill that emotional need. Secondly, we need to realize our own sin nature has an adverse affect on promoting godly relationships. Our pride, envy and jealousy can get in the way and create such baggage that when left to grow will only destroy our friendships. Finally we need to understand and practice the characteristics of godly friendships.  

One certain bit of advice stuck with me...to have a friend, be a friend.  I will be the first to admit, once my feelings are hurt I immediately build a wall.  And I make you work mighty hard to get that wall broken down.  I know that's wrong...I know I know I know...yet it still happens.  I know if I hurt a friends feelings, I would want them to extend grace to me.  So who am I not to extend that same grace back?

The book tells us to let go of emotional baggage to be a good friend. It is a great check up for the health of your current friendships. I highly recommend this book to any mom wanting to improve her friendships and to teach her daughters about godly friendships. I recommend this to any ministry leader wanting to teach a series on godly friendships or to do a weekend or week long retreat. This book will be an invaluable resource for this generation of women!
B and H Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review.

Meal Planning Monday

Monday, September 01, 2014

Monday - Chicken stuffed shells with a side of home canned green beans, another family fav!

Tuesday - Haluski and homemade rolls

Wednesday - Trip to Cleveland sooooo date day and eating out :)

Thursday - Kielbasa, hot dogs, pork roast in sauerkraut with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes at the request of young mister.

Friday - Homemade chicken noodle soup and smoked cheddar and ham panini...can.not.WAIT. to try these recipes!!

Saturday - Out to dinner with the fam

Sunday - Buffalo chicken lasagna and 7up biscuits

hello. goodbye.

Monday, September 01, 2014

today i'm linking up with Allison for link up called...hello, goodbye!

hello september, goodbye august
hello days spent alone, goodbye summer days spent with my littles
hello fall, goodbye summer

hello jeans + boots, goodbye capri's + flipflops
hello clean house, goodbye messy house
hello pumpkins, goodbye flowers

hello ladies Bible study
hello cool + crisp days, goodbye heat + humidity
hello truck pulls, goodbye swimming

hello crazy running littles every day, goodbye lazy days with nowhere to go
hello new personal goals, goodbye not having self control
hello canning season, goodbye grilling season

hello class reunion, goodbye feeling young
circa 1985
what are YOU saying hello and goodbye to?

Nestful of LOve

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