Thursday, April 19, 2018

Review: Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God Is Holding You Close by:Lysa TerKeurst

 Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God Is Holding You Close
About the Book:
Embraced  is the beautiful new devotional from Lysa TerKeurst, the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the New York Times bestselling author of Uninvited, The Best Yes, Unglued, and Made to CraveEmbraced features 100 devotions that will resonate with women in all stages of life by giving them a godly perspective on the issues they face each day.

A real embrace indicates an intimate level of closeness. It’s not a high five or a casual handshake. The best kind of embrace is when someone we know deeply loves us flings their arms wide open and pulls us in close.

Our hearts were made for this kind of love and security but for many of us, we know more about the pain of heartbreak and fear than the unconditional love for which we were created.In Embraced, Lysa shares her own struggles, doubts, and heartbreaks while pointing to the Ultimate Embrace: God opening His arms wide on Calvary through Jesus so that He could pull us close for all of eternity. Welcoming us into the safety and hope of His grace and His love.

And because we have been fully embraced by Him, we can spend our lives held securely by Him and trust all of His ways.

Through these 100 devotions, daily scriptures, and prayer prompts, readers will be equipped to:

Begin to find freedom from the struggles that have held them hostage by learning new ways to experience God’s love and more authentic ways to trust Him.
Surrender their deepest hurts by processing them in a godly way with Lysa, a friend who understands their pain.
Hear the Lord speak intimately to their heart by learning how to seek His direction.
Release the tension of wondering, If God is near why does He sometimes feel far away? by spending intentional, guided time with Him each day.
With an exquisite cloth cover, highly designed interior, ribbon marker, and stained page edges, Embraced will be a treasured keepsake for you as well as a meaningful gift for those you love.

My Review:
 This author is one of my favorites. she feels like my very best friend. She can come down on your level and cry it through with you. I just love her to pieces! Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God is Holding You Close was for me a long awaited devotion. The author uses things she has learned to take us on a whole other level of intimacy with God.

 Just enough devotions to get you through several days or several weeks depending on how you choose to go about it. Each one better than the previous. So many things hit home with my personal life. Like trusting God with our lives. It is a very hard concept to do. I think our main worry is we wont be happy with what God chooses for us. It is daunting especially if you are trying to stay in Gods will.

 This devo is a real good one and one I will keep at my bedside for awhile.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Review: Hurricane Season by:Lauren K. Denton

 Hurricane Season
About the Book:
Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have decided to put life’s disappointments behind them. At least in theory. Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, while Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget the longing for motherhood set deep in her heart. But when Betsy’s free-spirited younger sister Jenna drops her young daughters off at the farm to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida, Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As those two weeks stretch much farther into the hot Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world and revel in a home that’s suddenly filled with the sound of laughter and life. Meanwhile, record heat promises to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She’d once been free to travel and pursue a career in photography, but all that changed with the appearance of two pink lines on a plastic stick and a boyfriend who hit the road. At Halcyon art retreat, she finally has the time and energy to focus on her photography. As the summer continues, she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home with her two children.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims her steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that could affect both her and her children’s futures, and Betsy and Ty find themselves protecting their beloved farm as well as their own hearts.

My Review:
 A perfect book and story to lighten the hearts of those you love. I myself being from Alabama--I just had to review this beauty. Set in present time Alabama Betsy and Ty try to focus on daily activities around their own very busy household instead of focusing on how empty it is. They both long for children but try to set that ache aside each and every day.

 Betsy's sister was in for a shock times two now she doesn't know what she is going to do. She is more career minded not parent minded. Can these two families find a way to make this situation work for the both of them? A sweet story of a life well lived.

**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Review: Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away by:Gary Chapman

 Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away: Real Help for Desperate Hearts in Difficult Marriages
About the Book:
What to do when you feel like giving up

When you said, “I do,” you entered marriage with high hopes, dreaming it would be supremely happy.

You never intended it to be miserable.

Millions of couples are struggling in desperate marriages. But the story doesn’t have to end there. Dr. Gary Chapman writes, “I believe that in every troubled marriage, one or both partners can take positive steps that have the potential for changing the emotional climate in their marriage.”

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away, the revised and updated edition of the award-winning Desparate Marriages, teaches you how to:

Recognize and reject the myths that hold you captive
Better understand your spouse’s behavior
Take responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, and actions
Make choices that can have a lasting, positive impact on you and your spouse
An experienced marriage and family counselor, Gary Chapman speaks to those whose spouse is any of the following:

A workaholic
Verbally abusive
Physically abusive
Sexually abusive
Addicted to alcohol or drugs
Marriage has the same potential to be miserable as it does to be blissful. Read Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away to learn how you can turn things around.

My Review:
 When you sign on the dotted line and get married, I don't think anyone intends on it going badly. But after you add the stresses of life, a mortgage, children and everything else that comes next--your spouse doesn't seem much like the best friend you married that day. And if you are like most married couples you push all the resentment and negativity deep down or aside and before long it is starting to come out at an alarming rate and things seem to fall apart.

 But lucky for us, God says that doesn't mean its over--not just yet. Gary Chapman is a familiar name he has helped many marriages across the globe and he does it in a way to promote God and what God sees as a successful marriage. He takes different types of marriages whether it is from a workaholic situation or a controlling one--he does this with several different types to help us figure out how we can make it work instead of walking away.

 This is a great book and has many helpful suggestions to use in our marriage right away. I have tested some myself and they do work. We have been married 24 years and over the years things can go from stale to completely unresolvable in no time. This book helps you counterattack the devils snares and can bring a very rocky marriage to strong ground once again.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Review: 12 Ways to Experience More With Your Husband by:Cindi McMenamin

 12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband: More Trust. More Passion. More Communication.
About the Book:
When You're Together...
But Feel Miles Apart

Your marriage isn't broken, but it doesn't seem to be growing, either. Where's the spark and passion you experienced as newlyweds? Butterflies in your stomach, your spouse's undivided attention, the anticipation of spending time can your marriage ever get back to that place?

That spark is still there, waiting to be fanned into a lasting flame! Let noted author and speaker Cindi McMenamin show you the small changes you can make to touch your husband's heart in a big way. Through gentle guidance, you'll be encouraged to

try seven new ways to "switch it up" at home
respond to your spouse in ways that intrigue him
see the bigger picture when misunderstandings arise
Renew and re glue your relationship as you discover how to strengthen your marriage and reignite the passion you and your husband once shared.

My Review:
 When your marriage seems, that it has went a little stale this book seems to be the ticket to help spruce it up or maybe even revitalize it. If you are willing to do a little work on your part this may be the way to your husband's heart and way to turn a dismal day into an uplifting one. The author takes you through struggles of multiple types in different marriages including her own to shed some light on how we as wives could be the turning point in our marriages. We can change our attitudes about things and as a result it could change how our husbands approach the marriage, as well.

Each chapter has a ton of helpful suggestions, stories from others, a praying it through section, and a focus for the week. The author in her book of only 12 chapters has provided a lot of great information as well as several different resources that could helpful to any marriage. We as women sometimes bridge the gap between a great marriage and a troubling one. A great book to get you started on sprucing up your marriage.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Review: The Golden Vial by:Thomas Locke

 The Golden Vial (Legends of the Realm #3)
About the Book:
With the realm under threat and an ailment sweeping the land, the last remaining hope may come from an unlikely source--a young, orphaned servant with untested and untrained abilities.

My Review:
 It doesn't come much as a surprise to the leading characters that their village is under constant threats and attacks by something that can only be equal to and equated with evil. It is something that is threatening the world around them so strongly that it maybe believed to be behind Hyam's recent illness.

 With Queen Shona and Dally on the case to discover what is really going on here and to help Hyam--soon we will all be a part of what is taking place and they will learn just how hard it will be to get rid of any threats against them all, but Hyman's health is in jeopardy and needs immediate attention.

 Thomas Locke can draw you in and keep you suspended in mid air until the book's end. Edge of your seat action and mystery. This is the third book in the Legends of the Realm series, it is not a stand alone book. Reading of the rest of the series may be necessary.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Review: God's Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible by:Rick Warren

 God's Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible: Based on the New York Times Bestseller The Purpose Driven Life
About the Book:
God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible illustrates the 40 foundational principles written in the #1 New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life (What on Earth Am I Here For?) by Pastor Rick Warren. With child-friendly language, engaging illustrations, and a chronological approach, Pastor Warren introduces each Bible story with a theme that aligns with one of his foundational principles. He wraps up the stories with a closing thought targeted to early readers. The colorful illustrations and narrative tone bring these beloved Bible stories to life for readers young and old.  God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible has foil decoration on the cover.

My Review:
God has big plans for you and me. He uses us to draw more towards Him and to glorify Him even more. I love books that teach this to my kids because they need hope, y'all. Kids nowadays need the hope of Jesus. There is so much bad out there, way more than previous generations. books like these give our kids hope.

 Rick Warren is a pastor that has been around awhile. So it was easy for me to trust his writings and words. He is the author of the Purpose Driven Life and many others. He is starting to write more books geared towards our children--which is refreshing.

 The author takes several stories out of the Bible and uses them to speak to the hearts of our children. He goes along with each story and gives background information, scripture, and a short teaching lesson to help the child to further understand. The book has forty complete days worth of encouragement for children ages 4-8.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Review: Martha's Flowers by: Martha Stewart

 Martha's Flowers: Growing and Arranging My Favorite Blooms
About the Book:
A rare glimpse into Martha Stewart's personal gardens, this book features her very favorite blooms and will include everything you need to know, from cultivation to display, with instructions for successfully growing flowers and arranging them, along with practical tips, foolproof techniques, and plenty of inspiration from Martha's own homes.

Gardening has long been a favorite pasttime of Martha Stewart. Having grown up working in the yard with her father, a master gardener, she relished the moment when she would be able to have her very own garden--and has since owned, loved, and developed six additional gardens, one of which is also a farm. In Martha's Flowers, she brings you into her personal gardens, walking you through rows and rows of tulips, daffodils, peonies, poppies, hydrangeas, dahlias, and more, while sharing stories of what these flowers mean to her. 

She also invites Kevin Sharkey, a longtime Martha Stewart Living editor and dear friend, to teach how to beautifully arrange these flowers yourself. In the back of the book, she includes a helpful, hardworking list of tools and vessels that are good to have, information on how to plan a cutting garden, and a tutorial on forcing branches. Martha's Flowers is one of Martha's most intimate books ever, and the authoritative advice included will make this a must-have for every gardener and flower enthusiast.

My Review:
 I absolutely love flowers. They are the best creation since sliced bread to me. I think they are beautiful and if they smell heavenly than that is just icing on the cake. I love having a bouquet of fresh cut flowers to look at, every day. They just make me smile.

 The beloved Martha Stewart has come to our homes for years and brought us numerous things in the way of decorating or providing food for our homes. She is the ultimate entertainer, so I knew that this book would be nothing short of fabulous.

 With fantastic full color pictures, she takes us on a very upscale vision of flowers and gardening. She tells us how to grow some of the most beautiful bouquets known to man. I loved the rich display and the tons of information she provides. This book is rather large so I will definitely use it as a coffee table book. It is perfection!

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.