Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 30- Ways you believe you have grown over the past thirty days.

During the last 30 days, once again my "deep water" faith has been challenged.     It is something that we have talked about in our middle school ministry Sunday School class.    I have had the Casting crowns song ‘Somewhere in the middle’ running through my mind a lot.   In that song there is a line, “Deep water faith in the shallow end”.    

Do you remember learning to swim?    You start out on the side of the pool in the shallow end.    Maybe even with those blow up floaties.     Pretty soon you have a little more confidence and take off those floaties.    Soon you may even trust yourself to swim to an adult in the middle.       But eventually you know that you want to venture out to the deep end.

Faith is kind of like that.    We all start out in the shallow end of the pool.    But our skills grow as we test our faith.     However, sometimes it is easy to get stuck in the shallow in of the pool.   You are just far enough end to be wet and somewhat swimming, but not quite out of your safety zone.     Your feet are still tiptoeing to touch the bottom, but you aren't quite willing to take that step over the edge and go to the place where you have to completely trust.

This year has been a year of deep water faith to me.     I don't really think that I have had a lot of chance to slowly tiptoe my way into the deep end as much as it has been the "sink or swim" approach.    I feel like I have been thrown into the deep end with all the circumstances in our family.

This past month we have been dealing with some health struggles for Big Guy.     He has been sick since June and we have been working with doctors at Blair Batson Children's Hospital for the past month running a ton of tests trying to find answers for him.      You are moms.   You know.    You would much rather be sick than see your child sick.      When you are going through tests and doctor appointments and day after day of watching your child in pain, it requires a lot of faith, prayer and pure trust.

I am learning that being thrown into the deep end means one of two things... panic and drown in our circumstances OR swim using the faith skills we have.   My "swimming" might not be pretty, but I know that I am being watched by the best Lifeguard ever.    

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Mayan Apocalypse

On the heels of Mark Hitchcock’s prophecy bestseller 2012, the Bible, and the End of the World comes a suspenseful novel (coauthored with bestselling novelist Alton Gansky) about the supposed expiration date of planet earth—December 21, 2012.

Andrew Morgan is a wealthy oil executive in search of the meaning of life. In his quest for answers he encounters the ancient Mayan predictions that the world will end in 2012. That the claims seem supported by math and astronomy drives him to check on them. Then he meets Lisa Campbell, an attractive Christian journalist also researching the Mayan calendar. When he learns that she is a Christian, he quickly dismisses what she has to say.

As the time draws closer to December 21, 2012, a meteorite impact in Arizona, a volcanic eruption, and the threat of an asteroid on a collision-course with earth escalate fears. Are these indicators of a global apocalypse? Will anyone survive? Does Lisa’s Christian faith have the answers after all? Or has fate destined everyone to a holocaust from which there is no escape?

Watch the book trailer:

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Mayan Apocalypse, go HERE.

Judgment Day

Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.

The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions.

Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find her deceased boyfriend, Dr. Guy Mandeville’s nurse, Cecelia Forbes unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Cecelia is dead, Suzanne has her blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancĂ©–the man she betrayed in college.

Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.

Watch the book trailer:

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Judgment Day, go HERE.

Book Review

Judgment Day
is another book on my "must read" list for the year.    I put Wanda Dyson on my great author list after reading Shepherd's Fall and this book only reconfirmed her place on that list.   Even my 13 year old son couldn't wait for me to finish this book so he could read it.  

Dyson delves into the world of television reporters.    If you have ever thought that  reporter would do anything to get a story then you are right.    Some reporters will definitely go to any lengths to get "the" story.   Suzanne Kidwell proves that if the story isn't there she will cut corners and bend the rules to make sure that she keeps the ratings high for her television show.

Her ambition gets her in a lot of trouble.     Remember the Bible verse, "pride goeth before a fall"?   Suzanne falls big time.    The great part about this book is that Wanda shows that God's redeeming love is available for all.

Add it to your list.  A must read!

The Secret of the Shroud

A frightened apostle in AD 33, a tragic child in the 1950s, and a slick, twenty-first century church leader are all linked by the secret of the Shroud of Turin, the purported burial cloth of Jesus-and by something more.

Wesley Bright, a corrupt, media-savvy clergyman, is out to destroy the Christian church of the God who abandoned him in his boyhood. Likable and entertaining, Bright keeps his motives well hidden. But as he seeks revenge, leading the church toward unknowing destruction, the mysterious Shroud of Turin stands in his way.

Strange characters and clues emerge like shadows limned in mist as the most recent discoveries on the Shroud connect the pieces of a fascinating puzzle. When Wesley learns the ancient secret, he’s forced to confront a terrible choice: keep the secret—and the power, wealth, and fame he’s won over the years—or expose it...and lose everything.

At stake is one thing: absolute truth.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Secret of The Shroud, go HERE.

Day 29- What you live for.

This is my desire to honor you
Lord with all my heart I worship you.
All I have within me I give you praise.
And all that I adore is in You.
Lord I give you my heart.  I give you my soul.
I live for you alone.
Every breath that I take.
Every moment I am awake.
Lord have your way in me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 28- A moment you remember being completely happy in and a description of why you believe you were. What is your definition of happiness?

I can immediately think of three...

The day I married my sweet hubs. I seriously could not quit smiling. Right before they opened the doors for my Daddy and I to walk down the aisle I told him, "Walk slow. I want to remember this forever." But, when I saw my handsome hubs standing at the end of the aisle I couldn't wait to get down there to him. My Daddy teased I nearly dragged him down the aisle. Hubs' Uncle Phil officiated our wedding and told my Daddy he had never seen a happier bride. I can't imagine anyone being happier than I was on my wedding day.

The day I gave birth to Big Guy. We had waited seven years for our first precious baby to be born. We were so excited. I will never forget that moment when they put Big Guy in my arms. He looked up at me and I looked at him. We stared into each other's eyes for what seemed like forever. Anytime I would lay him on my shoulder he would lift his little head to look directly in my eyes. We have always shared such a bond.

The birth of our Little Guy was a true miracle from God.   God added Little Guy as a "punctuation mark" to our family.     The day he arrived was so amazing.    The memory of seeing his sweet little face turn and look at hubs at us when we said, "Hello" still brings tears to my eyes.    My doctor said, "He definitely knows his parents voice!"     No matter where they took Little Guy in that room he always turned his head towards our voices so we just kept talking to him.     When they put him in my arms he didn't want me to quit talking because he just seemed to drink in the sound of our voices.   

Looking back I realize that those first moments were a huge cue to my boys' learning personalities, but I was too deliriously happy to do anything but absorb the smells and faces of our precious boys.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 27- Your definition of the meaning of life.

The meaning of life is found within the cross.     Jesus' death on the cross and our acceptance of His amazing and beautiful gift is what gives my life meaning.   

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

It is such a simple answer, but with such amazingly complex ramifications.    When I look around at those in my life who try to live each day without Jesus I wonder.    Why?    How?   
God's arms are what hold me tight when the unknown threatens to grip me with fear.    His shoulders are what I cry on when I am scared or afraid.    His ears are what I whisper, laugh, cry, and talk into about everything.     His hand is the one I reach for first thing in the morning.     His footsteps are the ones that I am searching for as I walk along each day.      His voice is the one I am listening for in the midst of the noises of day to day life.

It is knowing that He loved me enough to send His only Son to die for my sins that gives my life meaning.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 26- Your definition of love.

Love is more than those butterfly feelings you get in your stomach or the way your heart leaps when you hear the keys in the door or your kids feet running across the floor.
Love is solidity of knowing that "til death do you part" means that the word divorce was erased from your vocabulary the day you said, "I do".
Love is sobbing in each other's arms when better turns to worse and you feel like an earthquake has shattered your entire world.
Love is the freedom to express anger and frustration, but knowing you won't go to bed with that anger unresolved.
Love is receiving a loving kiss after days of sickness and you are feeling or looking unlovely.
Love is sacrificing personal comfort to ensure the success of their goals and dreams.
Love is watching a piece of your heart walk across the floor each morning to go to work and school.
Love is finally understanding a glimpse of how much God loves me.
Love isn't a feeling.   It is definitely a choice.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 25- Something you would do if no one stopped you or if you knew you wouldn’t fail.

Go back to college.     There are so many reasons why I didn't finish college to begin with, but in the end it doesn't matter.     I didn't and I would love to go and finish and get my degree.  

I love working with kids.    I have found that my heart truly beats for students in the 5th-8th grade range.    It is such a critical stage in life.     

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friendship for Grown-Ups

Former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel shares her experiences of growing up without true friends and how she learned to find and develop them as an adult through God's grace.

Not many people can say they lived their most crucial developmental years on the sound stage of a wildly popular TV show. But that's exactly what happened in Lisa Whelchel's life. As a child, she learned to guard her heart so tightly to avoid true hurt that she found herself unable to form lasting friendships as an adult.

Friendship for Grown-Ups details her experiences of learning to come out of her shell, to trust, risk, and become vulnerable by God's grace and find meaningful friendships. Readers encounter her captivating story and refreshing perspective on life's most precious gift—and they find practical tips for their own friendships along the way.

Book Review

Having read a few of Lisa Whelchel's books, I was already familiar with her easy and enjoyable writing style.     However, in this book Lisa truly opens up and allows readers to become more than that and see into her heart.     Coming to a point in her life where she could share more openly has not only been a long road, it has been a struggle.    

Being a child star may seem fun and glamorous to those viewing it from the other side of the television screen, but for Lisa it caused her to build up walls which would protect her heart and what little self-esteem she had.    

For a lot of people there is nothing like facing those years with good friends by your side.    That is what Lisa discovered that she was missing.     She had become so walled up that she hadn't allowed herself to have good or even best friends.     She had plenty of acquaintance friends, but none close enough to truly know her.     

It took one friend who was willing to painstakingly chip away at the wall and be patient until Lisa was willing to show some vulnerability.      Lisa shares what she learned on this path to finding true friendships.  

She realizes that this is a journey that we must each take for ourselves, but she hopes to make it just a little less bumpy by giving us some advice.   

Such an easy friend from someone we have all considered a friend since watching "Facts of Life"!

Thomas Nelson gave me five copies to give away to readers.      Typically I would give these away as part of a giveaway, but this time I did things a little differently.    

The winners of these copies are...

Sheri - because you are my best friend
Emily - because you inspire me with all you manage to do for others
Shelby - because you are in a new chapter of your life and I pray that friendships will help guide you through the grief you are experiencing
Vicki - because every girl needs a friend as a hairdresser
Shera - because we both loved "Facts of Life"

Day 24- Something you did as a child that other people remember you for.

Isn't this an unfair question?     This has definitely been one of the hardest posts for me because I don't know what other people remember me for as a child.

As I was trying to think only two things stuck out to me as being talked about:

My Mom told me that was I was really little my Pappaw was in the hospital and she took me to visit him.    She used to put me my hair up in two little ponytails.    She said that my Pappaw loved my hair like that and said that I reminded him of Buffy from the television show.     Not the vampire slayer, but the OLD television show with the little girl.    I know you are all too young to remember so here is a picture of Buffy with her ponytails...

The other thing that popped into my mind was a night when our family was out to supper.     We were eating at The Top of the River (much like Cock of the Walk here in our area).     It was a catfish restaurant in Vicksburg where we loved to eat.     The waiter brought our drinks and within about 30 seconds of delivering them I spilled mine... straight into my Mom's lap.     It was a complete accident.     We cleaned it up and the waiter brought me another one.     Two minutes later, again I spilled my drink and somehow it rain straight onto Mom.    As you can imagine my Mom was not happy about two drinks landing in her lap.    Once again we cleaned it up and they brought me another one.    What happened?   Yes.   You guessed it.   It spilled.    I am naturally clumsy but this was out of even my range.     Unbelievably, I got a fourth drink but every time I moved everyone said, "Don't spill."    

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 23- Most awkward first impression you feel you’ve ever given.

Oh this is so easy.     And very awkward.     Before I met my amazing husband, I dated a guy who was in seminary studying to be a pastor.     After we had been dating for quite a while he asked how I would feel about going on a double date with another couple that were friends of his.     

What he didn't tell me was that this couple was his professor and wife.     What he also didn't tell me was that he had told them (who had NEVER met me) that he intended to ask me to marry him that night while on this double date.    

When they picked us up, they told us we were driving to Vicksburg.      That hour drive was filled with 100 questions.    About my life.   My values.  My beliefs.   My goals for the future.    How I felt about everything in general.        I thought I was going to have a panic attack.

After having supper we drove around Vicksburg for a little while.     My boyfriend thought it would be romantic to propose to me in my hometown.    I guess he somehow didn't consider the fact that inviting another interrogating couple along kind of brought down the romance factor a LOT!    

At one point during the night he pulled me aside and proposed.     I was very stunned and said yes.    We crawled back into the car and he told the couple who said, "Ready to go home?"

It was the most awkward night of my life.       

To prove the awkwardness, it didn't take for me and that guy to figure out that a life together was not in our future.      We broke off our engagement and God led me to my happily everafter.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Love's First Bloom

She must conceal her past, her identity. What hope can there be for love?

Life changes drastically for Ruth Livingstone the day her father puts a young child in her arms and sends her under an assumed name to a small village in New Jersey. There she dutifully awaits his acquittal, certain that her father, Reverend Livingstone, soon will be cleared of the outrageous accusations against him.

When tragic events transpire, Ruth finds solace tending a garden along the banks of the Toms River—a place where she can find a measure of peace amid her growing heartache. It is also here that she meets Jake Spencer, a man who both frustrates and intrigues her. Fearful of the newspapermen intent on tracking her down and unsure of whom to trust, Ruth knows she must carefully maintain her identity as Widow Malloy. But as love begins to slowly bloom, can the tenuous affection growing between Ruth and Jake withstand the secrets that separate them?

Book Review

Day 22- Someone you would give your life up for without question.

My boys.    No question.

Wow.   That was an easy post.

TOS Review: Salem Ridge Press

Salem Ridge Press is a company which specializes in publishing wholesome books which you can purchase without any reservations or fear about the content.     Most of their books originally were printed in the 1800's and 1900s.      When Salem Ridge Press reprints their books they add great details such as timelines, maps and historical details to help add in the educational value of each book.

Salem Ridge Press sent me Out of the Mouth of the Lion along with two ebooks (Yussef the Guide and The Martyrs Victory) to review.    When I pulled this book out of the package my boys rolled their eyes and said, "Please tell us we don't have to read that."     That didn't get us off to a good start did it?   

I turned the book over and read the summary:

When Flaminius, a high Roman official, takes his wife, Flavia, to the Colosseum to see Christians thrown to the lions, he has no idea the effect it will have. Flavia cannot forget the faith of the martyrs, and finally, to protect her from complete disgrace or even danger, Flaminius requests a transfer to a more remote government post. As he and his family travel to the seven cities of Asia Minor mentioned in Revelation, he sees the various responses of the churches to persecution. His attitude toward the despised Christians begins to change, but does he dare forsake the gods of Rome and embrace the Lord Jesus Christ?    (You can read the entire first chapter of the book here.)

We are not studying the time period of 163-166 A.D. right now so it was hard to convince the boys to read this as part of school.   

I sat down and read this book during the evenings after the boys went to bed.      It had quite a few "flipper" pages.    A "flipper" is where I lose interest and flip to the next page.       The writing style was a little stiff or perhaps formal is the more appropriate word.      The story line was very excellent however and very worth the read. 

In all of the books (ebooks and hard copy), words with definitions for words that might be unfamiliar to the reader were included at the bottom of every page.    By far, I thought this was one of the best ideas I have ever seen.     What a natural way to expand a child's vocabulary!

To get my son's view on these books, we read the ebook, Yussuf the Guide, together.   It is the story of young Lawrence, an invalid, who convinces his guardians, Preston the Professor and Burne the Lawyer, to take him along on an archaeological expedition to Turkey. Yussuf their guide proves his worth time and time again as they face dangers from a murderous ship captain, poisonous snakes, sheer precipices, bands of robbers and more.     

I must admit we never finished.    The boys just did not enjoy this book and since it wasn't required reading for school I wasn't going to force them.     I thought about listing their complaints, but thought it would be better for you to form your own opinions.      You can read the first chapter of Yussuf here.    

I really admire Salem Ridge Press for their commitment to publishing good quality books the promote good morals and character, but at this point they just aren't a good fit for my boys.  

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive these books for free from Salem Ridge Press.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 21- Your favorite medium of art.

I love to paint!   Am I good at it?   I am so-so.   But what really matters is the fact that it is so relaxing and it is something like my boys like to do with me.        

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 20- A band that you immediately liked and the song that made you like them.

Maybe this band should have fallen under the guilty pleasure category.      I love Huey Lewis and the News.    I loved them in high school.     They made me want to *gasp* dance.     Which was strictly forbidden in the church I grew up in!   

But how can you listen to Huey Lewis and not want to dance?      I loved them so much I even went to New Orleans to see them in concert.    I admit it.   I really did.     And I loved every minute of it.

Hey!   This isn't called the "month of insight" for nothing, girlfriends!!!  Ha!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In Every Heartbeat

As three friends who grew up in the same orphanage head off to college together, they each harbor a cherished dream.

Libby Conley hopes to become a famous journalist. Pete Leidig believes God has called him to study to become a minister. And Bennett Martin plans to pledge a fraternity, find a place to belong, and have as much fun as possible.

But as tensions rise around the world on the brink of World War I, the friends' differing aspirations and opinions begin to divide them, as well. And when Libby makes a shocking discovery about Pete's family, will it drive a final wedge between the friends or bond them in ways they never anticipated?

If you would like to read the first chapter of In Every Heartbeat, go HERE.

Book Review

Three friends who grew up in an orphanage.    They adopted each other as family.    However, despite the fact that they only had each other, their lives were still shaped by the circumstances which forced them to land in the orphanage to start.

Libby has developed a fierce sense of independence to compensate for her beginnings.    She believes that a woman can do anything a man can do.   Pete has developed a huge faith in God and has a desire to go into the ministry.      Bennett just wants to fit in as a normal kid.   He wants to be accepted as "one of the guys".  

Libby, Pete and Bennett have their chance to explore their world and spread their wings when they go to college.    They see each other in brand new ways.   They are also challenged in how they seem themselves.

Their friendship is stretched and challenged.     It is a turning point in their lives.     You will have to read the book to see where it turns them to and towards.

This book was provided to me for free by Bethany Publishing in exchange for an honest review. 

Day 19- A passage from a book that has touched you

Reading is such a passion that I thought picking a single passage would be really tough.     However, every time I sat to write this post my mind kept popping back to one particular passage.    I learned it in high school in literature class.    Mr. Odom was my literature teacher and had to be one of the best teachers I had in my educational experience.      I enjoyed reading before I went into his class, but I truly loved reading and knew how to experience books after I left his class.

I fell in love with Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Less Traveled" while in his class.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

...Robert Frost

Reading this poem resonated with me because it reminded me of the Scriptures from Matthew 7, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

I was at a pivotal point in my spiritual life during that year of high school.     I had received my driver's license only to have it snatched away from me for two years after having a life threatening grand mal seizure.      I was being constantly teased by one of my teachers for being a Christian.    The "thing" to do was to keep a book with a record of the things you had done for guys on Friday nights.    I didn't have a book.

I loved Robert Frost's poem, because it so beautifully expressed the choices I had made.     To take the road less traveled.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 18- A picture that makes you feel.

How about pictureS that make me feel?

This photo reminds me just how much our God loves us from the MOMENT we are created.  We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made.

This photo reminds me of my sweet friends who are separate from their wives/mom and husbands/dads right now.    Makes my heart hurt for them.

Seeing a picture representing those moments that Jesus died on the cross for MY sins does more than make me feel.     It makes me hurt.   It makes me ache.

To know that in the midst of the beauty of creation, God already knew that He was going to send His Son to die for our sins makes me love and trust Him more.    How can you doubt a love like that?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Autumn's Promise

Some promises are meant to be broken...

Until Robert Miller met Lilly Allen, his world had been dark. A widower after only two years of marriage, he'd been living in a haze, feeling that, at twenty-four, his life was already over.

But thanks to his friendship with Lilly, he now has new reasons to wake up each day. He knows his connection to her doesn't make sense. She's only nineteen, with a past the whole town talks about. Even more, she's not Amish, like Robert. A marriage between the two of them could never happen.

Lilly's heart is drawn to Robert, not to his faith. No matter how much she admires his quiet strength and dependability, she doesn't think she could ever give up her independence and reliance on the modern world. Is their love doomed before it even begins?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Autumn's Promise, go HERE.

Day 17- What you want to be remembered for.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel."
-- Maya Angelou

I hope I make my husband, my boys, my family and friends feel the love that I have in my heart for them.    I also hope that they feel the love that I have for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.     I hope they always know they have a safe place here at our home.    That I would do anything for them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Generals - Patton

General George Patton was known for carrying pistols with ivory handles and for his intemperate manner, but it’s his outspoken advocacy for tanks that carved his place in history, not only as a military pioneer, but as one of the most colorful and controversial American generals of the twentieth century.

Patton was impulsive, impatient, and would often disregard higher command when he felt his methods or tactics would achieve the desired result. He is remembered for his fierce determination and ability to lead soldiers. Unlike most generals, he wasn’t content to stay behind enemy lines and watch the battle from afar. He developed a system that allowed him to be on the frontlines and maintain communication with his rear command post by means of pigeons and a group of runners.

His uncompromising will and character were the basis of his successful crusade across Western Europe during World War II, forever defining him as one of the most successful field commanders of any war.

Book Review

It is very embarrassing to admit that the majority of what I knew about General Patton came from the movie about his life.     However, not nearly as embarrassing as reading in this biography that the source that they used for that movie was a man who did not like General Patton.    

What I am not embarrassed about is what I have shared with my boys following reading this amazing biography.    General Patton is a man that had qualities which my boys could learn from and carry with them throughout their own lives.    

First, General Patton believed in the Bible.    He also believed in it so much that he carried it with him at all times.     Secondly, General Patton believed that there was always new ways to improve yourself and things to learn.      

The General came from a long line of men who had a strong commitment to Country and military.   This committed history is why Patton naturally gravitated towards the military.    It seemed like the natural thing to do after the example that had been set forth to him.      Leading by example had been how he was taught and it was exactly how he believed in leading as well.

Although General Patton had failures and mistakes in his life, I guess you could say an unofficial motto for him was "Failure is an option.   Failing to start again is not."      General Patton did not let failure or mistakes stop him from going forward.     

After reading this book I think it is such a shame that the movie did not portray the true life of General Patton.    What a much better movie it would have been.   

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Generals - Lee

A powerful, compact biography of Robert E. Lee, focusing on how his intrinsic goodness shaped everything from his battle tactics to his treatment of his troops.

It’s no surprise that Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class from West Point. His four years there were marked by exemplary conduct and nary a demerit. He went on to become one of the most successful generals of the Confederate army during the American Civil War, inspiring his troops with his unselfish character and devotion to duty. Lee’s string of victories earned him praise on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. He was admired for his tactical success in battle, and even after surrendering to Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomatox court house, his example of conduct for thousands of ex-Confederates made him a legend. After the war, he assumed the presidency of Washington College and devoted the remainder of his life to setting an example of conduct. He remains one of the most distinguished military heroes of all time.

Book Review

I wish this book had been available last year when my boys had been studying the Civil War.     History books are so one dimensional in their presentation of General Lee.     John Perry presents General Lee from a broad panoramic view that allows you to see him as more than a General, but as a man who very much loved God and his country.      He loved the state which he was raised in and therefore ultimately went to war because of his love of that state instead of commitment to the south.

Your appreciation for this man will grow as you read about his years of growing up, going to West Point, getting married, serving his country and ultimately assuming the presidency of Washington College.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Day 16- Something that you want to do within the next five years.

The fact that Big Guy just turned 13 and is in 8th grade has brought home the reality of how little time we have left as a complete family under one roof.     I really want to do some traveling together as a family during the next couple of years.

I would love to go some places like here...

Or here..

Hubs wants to go here...

Little Guy really wants to go here...


Big Guy has always talked about visiting...


Now if I could just find the money to make all this traveling happen!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More Than Words

Journey to the charming villages of the Amana Colonies, 1885

Gretchen Kohler is an Amana storekeeper's daughter with a secret passion for writing. But artistic pursuits are frowned upon in her conservative Amana village, so she confines her poems and stories to her journals, letting only close friends read them.

When a young reporter comes into her store, she believes she's found a kindred spirit. She shares a few of her stories with him--only to have her trust betrayed in the worst of ways, resulting in trouble for her entire community.

The scandal is made even worse by the fact that gypsies have camped nearby and seem to be preying upon the Amanans' compassionate, pacifist nature. Will Gretchen lose her job, her reputation, and the love of her childhood beau all because of one bad decision?

Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her novels, two of which have placed in the CBA top ten lists. In addition to her writing, Judy is a certified legal assistant. Judy makes her home in Topeka, Kansas.

If you would like to read the first chapter of More than Words, go HERE.

Book Review

When in school we studied Eutopian societies.     After reading the first book I received about the Amana colonies, it reminded me greatly of the Eutopian societies which we studied in school.        The concept of the Amanda colonies was that everyone lived together.   Everyone had homes, food, health care and community.   Everyone has a job within the community allowing them to contribute, but everyone's worth is equal.      All meals are taken within the community kitchen contributing to the community spirit.    

Gretchen's role within the community is working within the colony store which her father runs.    However, she has taken on another responsibility which she is taking great pains to hide from everyone.    Her grandmother is showing increasing signs of dementia and Gretchen is working to hide those signs.    Her fear is that if it is discovered she will be sent off.    

Making her life more difficult is her grandmother's infatuation with the gypsies who have moved just outside the boundaries of the colony.   The Amana people are very leery of the gypsies and their way of life which is so different from them.

With all this clash, hiding and outsiders, you have the basis for a book which would take "More Than Words" to describe!

Day 15 - A moment, phrase, or song that has changed your life the most

When I first wrote this post I actually typed out the words that changed my life.   However, when I started thinking about it I realized how ugly those words looked written down.    Hearing that words said out loud were so difficult to get over that I decided that I didn't want them posted on my blog.    Suffice it to say they were tough to get over.      Hearing those words from someone I love was not only tough, but crushing.      To say it was life changing is an understatement.     Just typing those words made my stomach twist in knots and my chest hurt which is why I ultimately deleted them.    

A long time after those words were spoken, I was sitting on my bed one day when God gave me this Scripture....

You intended to harm me, 
but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, 
the saving of many lives.
Genesis 50:20

On that day I promised Him that I would hand over all the hurt I was carrying if He would use me to accomplish something for Him.

On that day?    I was contacted by our youth pastor at church and asked to work in the middle school ministries.      If "the saving of many lives" is happening it has nothing to do with me.    I am just playing a small part in the middle school ministries, but I am so happy to be used for Him.       And the hurt that I was carrying for FAR too long?     It is gone!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 14- Best mashup you’ve ever heard.

Have you ever heard of the Apologetix?     They are our FAVORITES when it comes to mashups.    They do Christian versions of some of your favorite tunes.       We love them.

This is a group of guys who when they were new Christians started writing songs that would help them remember the Scripture they were studying.    What developed was epic music.

Here is two of the boy's favorites...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 13- A memory that never fails to make you laugh.

We lived in a tiny little house on Cooper Road in South Jackson.   You could hear anything in that house.    So as a new Mom with a 22 month old son when the house got very quiet I knew it couldn't be good.   

I was in the kitchen loading the dishwasher and Big Guy had been in his living room playing with his cars.    All the doors in the house were closed so there weren't many options of places for him to go.    

When his car sounds ceased from the living room, I called out to him, "Hey, Big Guy!    What are you doing?"

His answer?   "Ummmm.... well, I'm not coloring on the walls."

I had to stand in the kitchen and giggle for a good two minutes before I could put on my "Mom" face and go make him clean off part of that crayon and put him in his bed for time out.        

Still makes me giggle to think about that little voice. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 12- Your favorite musical artist’s life story.

I love Jeremy Camp.    He has such a heart for worship and for God and it shows in his music.     I believe that the reason he writes such heart felt music is because that he has had to walk the depths of his music.     He doesn't just write about a relationship with God.    Jeremy has developed a relationship with God through hardships that few people have to endure.

Jeremy was leading worship at a Bible study when he met Melissa.     He was so in awe of her relationship with God.    They talked and started spending time together.   After four months of dating, Melissa said they needed to break up saying she felt like God was preparing her for something else in her life.    Jeremy was devastated, but respected Melissa's decision.   

Jeremy went on the road performing his music and nursing his broken heart.      His ministry was thriving as God was blessing him in many ways.

In the midst of this he received a phone call that changed his life.      Melissa asked him to come to the hospital.     She had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

“I walked into the hospital and she was just beaming,” Jeremy recalls. “You could tell she wasn’t bummed out. She was just trusting the Lord. It was amazing.”

Jeremy was also overwhelmed that Melissa's perspective on the disease was that if she wound up leading one person to Christ then dying was worth it.

Driving home from the hospital, Jeremy did a lot of talking to God.    He told God he wanted to marry Melissa, but he needed to hear from Melissa that she loved him.      The next day, Melissa said she loved him.  Jeremy left the hospital to fast and pray.      When he went back to the hospital he told Melissa he wanted to marry her.

Five months later with Melissa feeling a little better, the couple married.    During their honeymoon Melissa began having problems.    When they returned to the hospital they were given the news that she only had months to live.     On February 5, 2001 she went to be with the Lord.     During her final moments, Jeremy stood with her family and sang the same worship songs that he had sung to her during her hospital stays.

Jeremy said, “Watching Melissa go to Heaven made me realize what’s important. Music is not my life. Christ is my life. The only thing that really matters is what we do for Jesus on this Earth, and as a result of what I’ve been through, I express even more the goodness of God and how faithful He is.”

The first song Jeremy wrote after Melissa's death was "I Still Believe".     (It is definitely one of my favorites.)

Now God has brought healing to Jeremy's life through a new wife, two beautiful little girls and nine back to back #1 singles.    

He is a man who has been to the bottom, but allowed God to bring him to the top.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Bridge of Peace

Love alone isn’t enough to overcome some obstacles.

Lena Kauffman is a young Old Order Amish schoolteacher who has dealt all her life with attention raised by a noticeable birthmark on her cheek. Having learned to move past the stares and whispers, Lena channels her zest for living into her love of teaching. But tensions mount as she is challenged to work with a rebellious young man and deal with several crises at the schoolhouse that threaten her other students. Her lack of submission and use of ideas that don’t line up with the Old Ways strengthen the school board’s case as they begin to believe that Lena is behind all the trouble.

One member of the school board, Grey Graber, feels trapped by his own stifling circumstances. His wife, Elsie, has shut him out of her life, and he doesn’t know how long he can continue to live as if nothing is wrong. As the two finally come to a place of working toward a better marriage, tragedy befalls their family.

Lena and Grey have been life-long friends, but their relationship begins to crumble amidst unsettling deceptions, propelling each of them to finally face their own secrets. Can they both find a way past their losses and discover the strength to build a new bridge?

Win a "Trip To Amish Country"...contest opens August 31st -December 31st...go HERE to enter!

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Bridge of Peace, go HERE.

Day 11 - Favorite Picture Ever Taken Of Yourself

To say I have a favorite picture would be a stretch, but I love this picture of my husband and I because it was taken by our son.   He took it when we were at the beach.      We had gone to supper and had been playing cards on the deck of our condo.      We were all laughing and just having such a great time.      I wanted to take the boys down to the beach for some pictures and he asked if he could take a picture of us.   

Hubs and I both agree that the reason turned out so well is because we love the photographer so much!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 10- A dream you had this past week described in detail.

Do you dream a lot?    I do.   All the time and it is awful.    I have always had a lot of dreams even since I was a little girl.     I have two particular dreams from my childhood that were so vivid that I can remember them in great detail right now.    I have told my boys about them and they make no sense when I say it out loud.

However, today's question asks about a dream I had this past week.     That is easy, but yet embarrassing all at the same time.   

I keep dreaming that I get out of my car/out of an elevator/leave my house (various scenarious -- you get the idea), but I am not completely dressed.     Sometimes I will not have my shirt on.    Sometimes I won't have any clothes on at all.      I will see clothes and grab them, but no matter what I do I can't manage to put them on.

See?   Totally embarrassing.

I don't know what dreams mean if anything, but I wish I could quit having THAT dream!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Big Ammo

Last night I was sitting on the couch reading a book when I heard one of the boys in the kitchen. I turned around and realized it was Little Guy who was up way past his bedtime.

"Little Guy, what are you doing?"

"Sorry, Mom, I am just getting one of Daddy's shoes."

"Umm... why do you need one of Daddy's shoes?"

"There is a bug in my room and I need big ammo."

I don't know how big the bug was, but after Little Guy squashed it with hubs' size 13s I don't think it was a problem anymore.

The Thorn

Lancaster County, with its rolling meadows and secret byways, may seem idyllic, but it is not without its thorns. THE ROSE TRILOGY is the stirring saga of two Amish sisters on the fringes of the church, and the unforeseen discoveries that change their lives.

Rose Kauffman, a spirited young woman, has a close friendship with the bishop's foster son. Nick dresses Plain and works hard but stirs up plenty of trouble too. Rose's sister cautions her against becoming too involved, but Rose is being courted by a good, Amish fellow, so dismisses the warnings.

Meanwhile, Rose keeps house for an English widower but is startled when he forbids her to ever go upstairs. What is the man hiding? Rose's older sister, Hen, knows more than she should about falling for the wrong man. Unable to abandon her Amish ways, Hen is soon separated from her very modern husband.

Mattie, their young daughter, must visit her father regularly, but Hen demands she wear Amish attire--and speak Pennsylvania Dutch, despite her husband's wishes. Will Hen be able to reestablish her place among the People she abandoned? And will she be able to convince Rose to steer clear of rogue neighbor Nick?

Watch the book trailer:

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Thorn, go HERE.

Book Description

Beverly Lewis is considered to be one of the leading authors when it comes to giving readers a insider's view to Amish life.       If this book is a reflection of that insider's view then I am very disenchanted and disappointed.

This book centers around two sisters:  Ruth and Hen.    

Hen left home to marry an outsider.     She now has a young child and has become dissatisfied with the world.    She longs to go back to her Plain life.      My problem with this story line?     She is supposed to be the Christian in this situation.    However, she goes against every Biblical principal.    She doesn't try to work with her husband on the situation.     She leaves her home and goes back home to live.     She wants him to conform to her Plain way of life.        Her family does encourage her to reconcile with her husband, but the church only gives her advice to help her entice her husband towards the Plain life.

Ruth is the "good" daughter.    She joined the church early to avoid worldly temptations.    She has done everything by the book with one exception.    She has befriended the bishop's foster son.     She is the only one who can get Nick to come out of his shell.      At one point the bishop suggests that Ruth be allowed to court Nick so that they can tempt Nick to join the church and save his eternity.     Wow.

This is the first book in the "Rose Trilogy" which means that the story lines begun in this book will be continued in the next book; however, the ending of this book was so incomplete.    There is a huge difference between a cliffhanger "to be continued" and a frustrating "what happened?".    

With all due respect to Mrs. Lewis, this is not her best work.

Day 9 - Five Things You Want to See Change

1.   To be totally honest, when I first saw this statement I thought:  my floors.     Isn't that awful?     When we bought this house one of the first things we kind of wanted to do was replace the floors, but we decided to put it off.     About the time we were thinking about replacing them we found out we were pregnant with our sweet Little Guy.    We then decided it was probably best to wait until he was out of the baby stage.     Two weeks after Little Guy was born?   September 11, 2001.     We all know happened after that.     So what is the next thing I would love to see change?.....  

2.    I would love to see a true change in the economy.   Of course this is going to be difficult with the continued bailouts, mismanagement of our money by our federal government and shipping jobs to other countries instead of investing in America.     If you have never adopted the motto, adopt it now:  BUY AMERICAN!!

3.   I want to see hearts changed for God.     Not just some, but many hearts.    God is a loving God and I know He wants it even more than I do.    I am going to keep praying over my list of people that I have committed to Him.

4.   My marriage.    Not that there is anything wrong with my marriage, but I think that your marriage has to change and grow.     If it stops changing and growing then it can get stale.   I want more for my husband and I than that.    I want our marriage to keep growing and changing as our lives change!

5.   My boys.    They are changing every day and I want to witness and appreciate everyone of those changes.       I will confess that some of my health problems over the past year have made me deal with some fears.     I worry I won't be around to witness my boys growing up and becoming the incredible young men that I know they will be.     So I guess I want that fear to change as well!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 8- Someone you think would make a good president.

When Little Guy was in second grade the presidential election was happening.     All the student were given the assignment to make campaign posters promoting themselves as "president".      They had to put reasons why people should vote for them on their posters.    All of the posters were hung in the hallways at school.       Little Guy wanted his to look like a real campaign poster so he used digital scrapbooking art and we printed it out at SAMS.        One of his teachers (who goes to church with us) started calling him the future president after that project and still calls him that today.

Would I want my Little Guy to be the president one day?     Only if that is what God wanted him to be.     I wouldn't wish that job on any person.      Being the president is really the ultimate peer pressure situation.    Everybody wants you to do things their way.    

I think someone who would make a good president is someone who will do things God's way.

TOS Review: Math Tutor

The hardest part of starting back to school always seems to be math.      Maybe that is because math is not my best subject and my Big Guy is not so crazy about it either.      Luckily, my Little Guy loves math just like his Dad and his Aunt S.     Whew!   

Math Tutor sent me two tutor videos to review right as the school year was to begin and one of them was their pre-algebra tutor.    Big Guy and I decided that this would be a great way to start the first week of school.    We could brush up on our algebra skills before jumping back into our Algebra 1 curriculum.      Because the run time on the DVD is 5 hours, we split this up into one hour sessions each day over the first week.

The subjects covered on the Pre-Algebra Tutor DVD are...

Disk 1
Sect 1 - Real Numbers
Sect 2 - The Number Line
Sect 3 - Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To
Sect 4 - Absolute Value and Adding Integers
Sect 5 - Subtracting Integers

Disk 2
Sect 6 - Multiplying Integers
Sect 7 - Dividing Integers
Sect 8 - Powers and Exponents
Sect 9 - Order of Operations

The instructor on the DVD immediately encourages you NOT to have any pencils or paper, but to just listen to all the instructions and absorb the materials that he is teaching.       Oh my.     This is really great if you have a visual/auditory learning like my Little Guy.     However, if you have a tactile/auditory learner like my Big Guy then a lot of this is going to be lost.      

Because the video is geared towards watching and listening it was tough to try to encourage my Big Guy to work along with the instructor.     I encouraged that after I noticed that he was getting easily distracted.    

I would have loved if this video would have come with a feature which gave students problems to work, then asked them to pause and work the problems and then press to check their work.    

The second video we were sent was "Unlock the Power of your TI-83/TI-84 Calculator Tutor".     We were both fascinated with this video since we pretty much felt if  our calculator has "power" it is definitely locked inside.       We only watched a few random samples from this video because we are going to use the entire video as part of our second semester math.     I thought this DVD was an extra value because it has 8 hours of instruction time.

Disk 1
Section 1: Overview of the Calculator
Section 2: The Mode Menu
Section 3: Basic Arithmetic and Exponents
Section 4: Logarithms and Square Roots
Section 5: Sin, Cos, Tan
Section 6: Scientific Notation and Storing Variables
Section 7: The Math Menu and Catalog Menu
Section 8: Convert between Fractions and Decimals
Section 9: Finding the Min and Max of a Function
Section 10: Calculating Derivatives and Integrals
Section 11: Absolute Value, Rounding, and Integers
Section 12: Converting between Degrees and Radians
Section 13: Working with Complex Numbers

Disk 2
Section 14: Using the Equation Solver
Section 15: Graphing and Tracing Functions
Section 16: Using Tables and Split Screen Modes
Section 17: Find the Exact Value of a Function Using Graphing
Section 18: Finding the Zeros of a Function using Graphing
Section 19: Finding the Max and Min of a Function using Graphing
Section 20: Finding Intersections of Functions using Graphing
Section 21: Finding the Derivative of a Function by Graphing
Section 22: Calculating the Definite Integral by Graphing
Section 23: Drawing on a Graph
Section 24: Graphing and Tracing Sequences

Disk 3
Section 25: Graphing and Tracing Parametric Equations
Section 26: Converting between Rectangular and Polar Coordinates
Section 27: Graphing and Tracing Polar Equations
Section 28: Permutations, Combinations, and Factorial
Section 29: Working with Histograms and Box Plots
Section 30: Graphing Statistical Scatter Plots
Section 31: Calculating Mean, Median, Standard Deviation, and more
Section 32: Performing Statistical Regression
Section 33: Calculating with Matrices
Section 34: Solving Systems of Equations with Matrices
Section 35: Calculating Interest Rates
Section 36: Calculating Mortgages and Loans
Section 37: Calculating Savings and Investments

Seriously?   Where was this when I was in high school?   College?    Last week?      I am excited about going through this entire DVD.   The parts that we watched were good.    We paused a lot and did a lot of "trying".      I am hoping that this will give my boys a knowledge and advantage that I never had.

These DVDs can be purchased from and they are all about $26.99.     There are math DVDs for all subjects ranging from basic math, algebra, geometry, physics, trig, calculus, to probabilities.      I love the section with free sample DVDs.        Any DVD you purchase comes with a guarantee to raise your grade or you get your money back.    That is quite a deal!

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive these DVDs for free from MathTutor DVD.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 7- Favorite cover of your favorite song.

By far one of my favorite songs, "I Stand Amazed".    I have loved it since I was a little girl and we would sing it so often in church.     I had a routine of songs that I sang to my boys every night after I read their books to them and this was the first song I would sing to them.        Bart Millard included this song on his album "Hymned Again" and every time I hear it I have to play it at least twice.

If you have never read the words to "I Stand Amazed" I thought I would include them.  I couldn't write a better testimony if I tried.

I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how he could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior's love for me!

For me it was in the garden he prayed: "Not my will, but thine."
He had no tears for his own griefs, but sweat-drops of blood for mine.

In pity angels beheld him, and came from the world of light
to comfort him in the sorrows he bore for my soul that night.

He took my sins and my sorrows, he made them his very own;
he bore the burden to Calvary, and suffered and died alone.

When with the ransomed in glory his face I at last shall see,
'twill be my joy through the ages to sing of his love for me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 6 - Earliest Thing You Can Remember

I have quite a few memories from my very early childhood, but trying to decide which is the earliest is the problem.

The first house we lived in was on Lee Street in Vicksburg.    There was a sweet lady who lived next door that we would go and visit.    She would always have snickerdoodle/sugar cookies.    I have memories of her living room and sitting at her coffee table eating cookies while she and my Mom would visit.    

However, more vivid than that memory is the day that my Dad's white Simca car drove up the big curve leading up to my Aunt Charlotte's house.      I can remember standing at her big front window waiting and waiting and waiting.     When they pulled up I ran outside because I knew that they had my new baby sister inside.      My Dad opened the front passenger door and inside was my mom holding my baby sister.    (Yes, that was back before car seats.)      Mom leaned over to let me see her and I remember being worried that she would fall out on the ground.     She was so tiny.     As excited as I was to see them drive up, I was just as sad and disappointed to see them drive away without me.    They wanted me to stay with my Aunt Charlotte for a few days while my Mom and baby sister went home to rest for a few days.     I remember crying and my big cousins playing Barbies with me to try to distract me.    

I am not sure which of those memories is the earliest, but I know that my sister was born when I was three years old.     

Isn't it crazy what you can remember from your childhood?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Love Me Tender

As "Love Me Tender" plays in the background, Debbie Carmichael determines to salvage her family's restaurant, Sweet Sal's Soda Shoppe, when her father's health fails. Teen heartthrob Bobby Conrad agrees to perform at a fundraiser concert. But just two weeks before the highly publicized event, Bobby backs out of the benefit. Enter Johnny Hartman, a young, unknown singer to take Conrad's place. Debbie soon realizes the twists and turns leading up to the concert are divinely orchestrated. And it isn't dreamy Bobby Conrad who has stolen her heart - but the tender love of Johnny Hartman.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Me Tender, go HERE.

Day 5- A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.

How can I possibly ever thank you for all you have done for me?
Your patience with me knows no ends.
I will never forget our first conversation.
I talked and talked and talked. You just listened.
Eventually I realized that you probably had something to say too.
When I realized how much you had to say I realized how little I should have been saying to begin with.
We have laughed together, cried together, and sometimes you have just sat beside me in silence.
There have been moments of total frustration and anger. You even let me express that too.
With you I am free to be myself and be accepted completely.
It took me a long time to realize just how much you cared about me.
How could I have doubted that?
I guess it was because I was so stubborn in finally sitting down and reading that beautiful letter you wrote me.
If I read it a thousand times I don't think I will ever begin to comprehend all the love that is expressed in that one letter.
But if I didn't have that letter, I could never doubt your love for me because you were willing to send your precious Son to die on a cross for my sins.     Until my own precious sons were born I couldn't comprehend just how heart-wrenching a sacrifice that was.
But now, I know how precious sons are.    You blessed me with two of my own.   We talk about them constantly.
I love you, my precious Savior!
You have changed my life forever.
Thank you could never be enough.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 4 - What You Imagine Paradise To Be Like

When you say the word paradise my mind says heaven.      

Imagine heaven.   

Living with God.  


When I look around at the beauty of this earth sometimes it is overwhelming.     God took seven days to create the incredible beauty of this earth.

When I think about the fact that when Jesus left this earth he said, "I go to prepare a place for you." and the time that has passed between that statement and now.      How could I possibly imagine the incredible beauty and paradise that will be heaven?

I feel MercyMe said it best in their song "I Can Only Imagine"...

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in honour of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 3- The five songs you would have with you on a deserted island and why

Seriously?     I am on a deserted island and I am worried about music?     When I think about being on a deserted island separated from my boys it makes me a little crazy.     Wondering if bugs, snakes and rats are going to craw over me while I sleep makes my skin crawl.      However, now I am thinking that being on a deserted island may be the only way I can lose all this weight I need to lose.   

Top that off with having to listen to the same five songs over and over again..... AAAAAUUUUUGGGHHHHH!!!

Can you tell I could never think of five songs?     I hate questions like this.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 2 - Something That Inspires You

My boys... they inspire me.   
To be a better mom.
To be a better person.
To be a better Christian.
To be a better wife.
To be a better reflection of what Christ wants them to see on  a daily basis.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pearl In The Sand

Tessa Afshar was born in a nominally Muslim family in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She survived English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her mid-twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDIV from Yale University where she served as co-Chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the

Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full and part-time Christian work and currently serves as the leader of Women’s and Prayer ministries at a church in Connecticut.


Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. At the age of fifteen Rahab is forced into prostitution by her beloved father. In her years as a courtesan, she learns to mistrust men and hate herself. Into the emotional turmoil of her world walks Salmone, a respected leader of Judah. Through the tribulations of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true

source of one another’s worth in God and find healing from fear and rejection.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Pearl In The Sand, go HERE

Watch the book video:

Book Review

We have had some problems recently with the publishers and shipping so I just received this book in the mail yesterday.    I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it is NEXT on my list.   

After making this initial post so I could make the deadline with CFBA I sat down to read this book.     Historical fiction is one of my favorite books to read, but historical Biblical fiction?   My all time favorite.     Although I was supposed to be finishing another book I just couldn't resist sitting down to sneak in a few pages of this book based on the story of Rahab.     However, once I had read a few pages I just couldn't quit.

I have always thought one way about Rahab, but reading this book with the explanations of their culture brought in made me think differently. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Salmon asks for her hand in marriage. I won't tell you what he says, but it took my breath away.    I am probably showing my ignorance, but it was so beautiful to me because we are all Rahab.

"Pearls in the Sand" ranks right up there with "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers and "The Chronicles of the Kings" by Lynn Austin.     

It goes on my "must read" list for 2010!