Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Suggesting Another Great Blog

I highly suggest for my readers to check out Generation Cedar blog. You can go to it by clicking on the button on the right side of the page. She always has great posts and I have linked to her a number of times before. She had multiple posts that I wanted to link to when I checked it out today, so I thought it would be much better to just add her button and encourage you to follow her site yourself.

Please feel free to comment here what you think about her site. I have found it very informational and uplifting.

"'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'" --Jeremiah 33:3

How many times have you actually called out to God and asked Him to show you something? I know I have asked Him to show me things, but I don't recall ever calling to Him. Would that make the difference?

To me, calling to God shows much more passion and fervency. Is the reason why I didn't see what He had to show me because I wasn't searching hard enough? Was it because I lacked the faith that He would actually show me?

This verse has really made me think about not only my faith, but also about my devotion to see what God has for me to see.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

And the Winners Are. . .

I first need to apologize for not posting sooner. My computer crashed on Friday and I have very limited internet access.

Herbgeek is the winner of Dancing with My Father
SalB is the winner of Mother-Daughter Duet (I will mail both this book and the other either this Friday or sooner if I am able to go pick up my fixed computer)

Thanks for reading my blog and happy reading of your new books!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Book Reviews & Giveaways

I recently joined a program called, "Blogging for Books". In this program, the company will send me an invitation to be a part of a blog tour on a certain book(s) and I get to choose whether or not to accept the book or not. If I choose to accept, I receive a book to read and review and also one to giveaway (if I request it). Today will be my first reviews and giveaways for this program!

Dancing with my Father by Sally Clarkson (This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.)

I truly enjoyed this book. It spoke directly to my heart and is what I needed to hear at this point in my life.

The book is about "How God Leads Us into a Life of Grace and Joy" and I needed to learn how to experience the joy that only comes from a relationship with God. Starting on page 2, I saw myself in this book.

How can you be a Christian this long and still lose your temper or struggle with pettiness, entertain critical attitudes, fluctuate in your emotions and in your walk with the Lord? Guilt over disappointing God or others sometimes lurks in the recesses of my mind and hovers silently like a cloud over my subconscious soul. After all, I have been a Christian for many years . . . shouldn't I be able to conquer these obstacles with confidence and strength? Shouldn't joy be as natural to me as breathing?

I knew from the moment I read that, this was the book for me! I underlined, wrote in the margins and even said "Amen" out loud while continuing to read this book. I longed to sit down and read more and couldn't wait until the kids were in bed so I could continue to read.

It was great having questions at the end of every chapter to help "Finding Your Rhythm in God's Joy". It made me truly examine my own life and pour my heart out to God. Before even reading this book, I longed to find my Joy in Him. I felt like I was the one writing when Sally wrote:

. . .mundane duty had propelled me forward through many corridors of my life. Yes, I'd enjoyed occasional waves of excitement and a heart choosing to love him. It is the commitment of my heart. But more often I'd been just putting one foot in front of the other. I wished for the reality of God to be true, but sometimes I had difficulty believing it or grasping him. I was living in obedience and cultivating faithful character, but often I would feel no emotion. I would drag through some of the days and give the party lines that people had come to expect from me, but I definitely was not dancing and celebrating.
I like how she includes not only biblical examples of how we should live, but also shares her personal experiences that has brought her to where she is today. She shares her failures as well as her successes. She shares that she is a "real" person just like me and isn't some high and mighty woman of God. If she has learned how to dance with my Lord, so can I!

She inspired me to not only change how I viewed life, but to change the lives of those around me by truly showing God's love to others. We are called to "love our neighbors as ourselves". We are called to go BE a neighbor and love everyone. As Sally said:

Humans are created to be God's hands of comfort, God's words of affection and appreciation, God's face of love, and God's works of service and help. We are created to be one of the venues in which the Spirit of God demonstrates the reality of his own unconditional love.

One final thought about this life-changing book is that it is not up to the things of this world to make us happy and bring us joy. We will never find joy if we continue to look to things (or people) of this world to bring it to us. We will only find joy when we seek God--spend time with Him, read His Word, talk with Him. As Sally said:

I have seen that it is not the work load or busyness of people that causes them to be joyful or not; it is the way they live within the limitations and responsibilities that are on their plate.

We can find joy where we are right now! It isn't the circumstances that determine our joy, it is how we relate to those circumstances. If you know Christ and spend time with Him, then you will find you can find joy even in the things this world sees as disastrous.

I highly recommend this book to every woman! You can purchase it at Random House if you do not win the free copy I am giving away here. Continue reading to find out how to earn entries to win Dancing with My Father by Sally Clarkson!

The second book I had the pleasure of reading is Mother-Daughter Duet by Cheri Fuller & Ali Plum ( This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.). Although it is a book about having a relationship with your adult daughter, I thought it would help me better understand my relationship not only with my own mother, but also learn some things on how to treat my daughters so that we can have good relationships when they are adults.

I truly believe this would be a great book for mothers with adult daughters. Although a lot of it was filled with things that I can't relate to, I was able to pull some things out that spoke to me about my relationship with my mother and made me think about how I am treating my girls and giving me a head start on thinking about how I should treat them when it comes time for them to leave the home, get married, have their own children, etc.

I did find some things in this book that I disagreed with because I think it comes from a feminist world view instead of a biblical world view. Both authors have relationships with Christ, but it just goes to show how much the world has become part of the church instead of the church becoming part of the world.

An important part of the book is about "letting go" and allowing your daughter to become her own person. I found Cheri's analogy about letting go to be very poignant:

Lastly, you'll need a large dose of faith to believe that although you love your daughter immensely, God loves her even more. You can trust him to love and care for her even when you aren't around. It reminds me of an old description of faith: "Genuine faith puts its letter in the mailbox and lets go. Distrust, however, holds on to a corner of the envelope and then wonders why the answer never arrives."

We need to have faith that if we train them properly and entrust them to God, He will take care of them. They might have to go through some hard times (just as we had to), but that doesn't mean that He's not taking care of them.

One point that really touched me in relation to my own daughters (even though they are far from being adults!) is the idea of how much what we do when they are young, will affect how they view the world when they are adults.

We mom's don't realize that our daughters feel a certain oneness with us, so if we compare ourselves to others, have hang-ups about our appearance and talk negatively about ourselves, we unknowingly teach our daughters to do the same. They pick up low self-esteem, self-deprecating attitudes, or feelings of being too fat . . .All of this is compounded when we're not careful with our "helpful" critiques of how they look.

I never thought about it until I read this book that much of what I grew up watching my mom do and say affected me. I knew off a few things that had shaped my way of thinking/acting, but I didn't think about the extent of the influence until this caused me to think about how my thoughts on many issues came to be in the first place.

I also was reminded that sometimes I work too much and play too little with my girls. They won't be little forever (which I was reminded of reading this) and sometimes I just need to put aside my "jobs" to relax with them and just have fun. I have been trying to do this more often for the last year, but I think I need to do it more often. I don't want my girls to grow up like me and think they have to be as stressed as I am about getting things done. There is more to life than "looking good" on the outside!

Another great point in this book is how women view respect. Cheri wrote:

Women seek respect because it's wrapped up with their self-esteem and feeling of worth and value. As one daughter said, "We talk about it a lot, we yearn for it, we expect it, and we notice when we haven't been given it by others." In relationships, respect goes right along with love and commitment.

Reading about respect and self-worth really opened my eyes to how I've been feeling lately. It made me examine my life and look for where I wasn't feeling respected and how that affected my actions.

Another change I am going to make with my girls because of this book is to comment more on what they are doing right and what I appreciate and love about them. I need to increase my positives and decrease my negatives. Women truly love to be uplifted and I need to make sure my girls are uplifted. As Cheri said:

Remember that she is a gift, no matter how she's acting right now. And what is the best response to a gift? Gratitude. By seeing her as the gift she is now and not as someone who needs to be changed, then you can release and enjoy your daughter in deeper ways. Gratitude will soften your heart toward her, and your words and actions will follow, ultimately leading to a stronger connection between you and your daughter.

Although I was able to glean some things from this book, I think the most profound insight came in the last chapter. It wasn't even a piece of advice, encouragement or idea, but a true statement that every mother needs to hear.

. . .remember that if there is something you apologize to your daughter about, it doesn't mean you are a failure as a mother.

As I stated earlier, I think this book would be highly beneficial to mothers of adult children, but even if you don't have adult children or aren't even married yourself, it is full of insights to your relationship with your mother and your young daughters. You can purchase this book at Random House as well if you do not win the free copy.

To earn entries to win one of these books, you can do the following by midnight on March 11th:

1. Leave a comment on this post. Make sure you let me know which book would be your first choice to win if your name is drawn. The second name drawn will just receive whichever book is left after the first winner chooses. Also make sure you leave an email address where I can contact you if your name isn't linked to a blog. You may leave a broken email address if you wish (example: tinamoe @ google . com)
2. Become a follower and mention that in your comment (or mention you are already a follower).
3. Post a link from your own blog to here (make sure you let me know that in your comment).
4. Post a link on FB to these reviews and giveaways (again, make sure you note that in your comment).
5. If a friend becomes a follower and mentions you recommended my blog, you will both earn an entry!

Monday, March 1, 2010

And the Winner is . . .

Sal B!

I will mail out your book the next time I go to town. Unfortunately, I am without a vehicle until the part we need comes in and my husband can fix my van. I can't say when I will get it mailed, but it will get mailed!

Thank you to Sal and Lauren for entering the giveaway. I will be posting more giveaways this week so keep an eye out!


This is an email that was sent by a "Beautiful Christian Sister"! Thanks, Sally!

'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'

When I say that 'I am a Christian', I am not shouting that

'I am clean living. I'm whispering 'I was lost,

but now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.

I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.

I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.

I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

cid:image005.jpg@01CA3224.5CA6D7D0When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect.

My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain.

I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!

Am I Enough?

I discovered Proverbs 31 Ministries on Facebook today and that led me to their blog, which lead me to this blog post.

It was very fitting for how I have been feeling lately so I thought I would share it.