30 Days to Understanding the Bible ~ REVIEW

I have been a Bible reader my whole life.  Only in the past few years though have I truly dived deeper into the Bible and tried to apply what it means to me.  Recently I came across  a new expanded edition of a book from Max Anders called 30 Days to Understanding the Bible.  In just 15 minutes a day you can unlock and decipher scriptures.  What could be better for a new Christian or someone who just wants a deeper understanding of the Lord's word.  


Devotionals for the New Year

It's been several days since I have even walked into my office.  I have been loving on my family and taking time to prepare myself for the new year.  I have many goals and adventures planned for 2019.  And honestly I didn't realize how fried my brain was until I sat down to write this post.  I was running on empty when I didn't even think I was half full.  Very eye opening for me and an excellent reminder for next year.
One of the things that 2018 and it's commitments tore me away from was daily time with the Lord.  I notice my take takes longer to hit empty when I section out an hour or so of my day and dedicate it to prayer, journaling and reading my Bible.  This will be a priority next year.  And I have found my shelves are filled with some of my favorite devotionals I've had for years and some brand new ones that I know I will treasure for years to come.  Let me show you three new ones I have recently added to my collection.

Making God Smile from Kim Taylor Henry is one that I know will bring me to my knees in tears and raising my hands in praise.  If you get lost in your long list of to-dos and have the right intentions, but constantly end up straying off from where your heart is leading you this one is for you.  I don't know about you, but I plan to forgive others, be compassionate and to control my temper daily when I rise.  But, then the dishwasher breaks, you run out of diapers, burn the last gluten free bagel, loose a client or heaven forbid get scary test results back.  And then we fall back into creature habits and feel like we failed.  But, you know what?  God knows our hearts, he knows we are trying...we are only human.  What I have in my little hands is an amazing devotional that will take us through each of the fruits of the Spirit.  You know about them, we learned about them from an early age.  But, what do we do with them?  How do we apply them.  Kim Taylor takes us through each of them in 40 day increments in a specific order so that one will build off of the other causing them to be planted firmly in your heart.
I appreciate that the days are numbered, not labeled with months, so you can start it any time.  Each Fruit has an opening prayer and then within the 40 days you will read supporting scripture, inspiring passages filled with encouragement and practical insight with Biblical lessons.  With that it will move you towards a life that patience, self-control, kindness, gentleness, love, peace, faithfulness, goodness and love comes freely and naturally.  I plan to start this one with my Husband, we are really excited to carve out some time together to spend with the Lord.

This next one I plan to do daily in our homeschool.  It's called Let the Earth Rejoice and is a beautiful collection of daily readings written by more than thirty writers.  Each day is once again just numbered, so you can start at any time.  Each day takes you on a discovery of the beauty God has created for us to observe and get lost in.  Like the chameleon, along with a scripture we read about the way God specifically created the chameleon to have a 360-degree arc of vision and a tongue twice the length of his body and can change the color of his body within 20 seconds.  Magnificently created just like us, this devotional is filled day after day with marvels all around us.  From trees, angry bees and dancing birds to deep in the ocean and far out in space.  I can not wait to start this with Kaden and I love how each day closes with a short prayer.  This is a very special devotional, the writing is ever changing because of the many contributors so even the shortest attention span will not tire from reading this little book daily.  I do wish that there was directory of who what wrote, so I could look up other writings from the readings we enjoyed the most.  But, that's ok we will research a few of them throughout the year on our own.

The last devotional is called Fabulous & Focused and is designed especially for working women.  I love this concept so much, because working women have different challenges then women not out in the work place.
Once again they are numbered and each start with scripture and end with a prayer.  Having a Christ centered life doesn't stop when you enter the factory floor, boardroom, sales floor, online office, restaurant or even the kitchen table....where ever you find yourself working. :)  This little book will give you the tools and inspiration needed to navigate the waters of work life.  Like what about when the new boss comes in and wants to make huge changes or what if you drop the ball and make a huge mistake?  How do you deal?  It's all right here along with many other personal stories and writings that will give you strength, courage and encouragement while navigating the ever changing waters of the work place.  This would be a wonderful gift for any woman in your life that is balancing work, family and wanting to focus on the Lord.

All three of these gems are sure to be a hit with anyone looking to build a closer relationship with the Lord.  If you are wanting to carve out daily quiet time to pray and dig deeper into the word any of these would be a great start.  I have to say too that I love that the books are all about the size of my hand and hardback.  So, they can slip into most purses and backpacks or tots easily.  Head over and check them out!!! 
Happy New Year!!!


Ellie Claire 365-Devotional Journal ~ REVIEW


Just the other day I was scrolling down my bookshelves filled with all my different journals from over the years.  Each one represents a period of time in my life that I not only wrote about, but doodled and even painted about.  Just looking at the different art work or color on the spines take me back to when I held it in my hands daily and poured my heart into them.  I have many blank journals that I've filled, but some of my most prized ones are my devotional journals.  Mainly because my spiritual connection to God is very important to me and it inspires me even more creatively when I pair scripture with my art or writing.  Recently I was able to add 3 gorgeous devotional journals to my collection from Ellie Claire.  And I can't wait to tell you about each of them.


Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women ~ REVIEW

I safely can say I'm the Queen of journals and devotionals, my daughter not so much.  We have done mother-daughter devotionals and some as a family.  But, as a young woman of 19 she hasn't found one in this new stage of life that suits her.  She isn't a little girl and even teenage devos just aren't covering the stage where she's at personally.  A lot of older devotionals are focused around motherhood or balancing work and school, so you can understand my excitement when I opened a package recently and discovered the beautiful Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan.  It's geared for ages 12-18, but it works perfectly for Mahala in her season of life.  Not kidish or brightly colored, it has a young woman's heart in mind.  Relationships with friends and family, dreams, struggles and big life decisions.


Ellie Claire Art Journals ~ REVIEW

I have been a journal loving girl since before I knew it was even a thing.  I thought I was just a hoarder of thoughts just like I was with knick-knacks and barbie dolls.  As I grew older it turned into a place I came to often to reflect, vent and day dream about the future.   And as an adult I recorded my gratitude, daily musings, prayer requests and miracles.  I always kept Bible study notes from sermons, but it wasn't until I was introduced to Bible journaling that I saw it in a whole new light.  A light of color, paint, illustrating and creativity galore.  It was a way for me to combine a few of my favorite loves....journaling, creating and Bible study.

Recently I was able to take a look at 3 amazing Ellie Claire Art Journals.  I was wowed from the first moment I opened the box, all three are hardback and have the most gorgeous covers ever.  One of my absolute favorite features of all three of them is that they all lay flat, because of the special spine.  This makes it super easy to doodle, write and complete 2 page spreads.  Let me tell you a little more about each of them and how I have been using my Ellie Claire Art Journals.

Hillsong Kids Can You Believe It? REVIEW

Are you looking for something to motivate your kiddos in the morning while you finish up that last drop of coffee or tidy up the homeschool room for the next science experiment?  Take a look at what I found.  This sweet DVD is what I'm considering a stocking stuffer must have this year.  Hillsong believes that teaching children to love God and others takes place in both the home and in the church.  Which is why they seek to partner with parents and with church pastors and leaders, equipping them with great resources.  This DVD features music videos featuring popular songs by Hillsong Kids along with some fun commentary.  Hillsong Kids presents Jesus Christ and His Church in a relevant way, creating moments and scenarios which kids can relate to and never forget.


 “Can You Believe It!? – Songs of Truth” is both a question and a challenge… a statement of gratitude to a loving God and an invitation to explore the very foundations of faith. Classic songs like “My Best Friend”, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” and “What A Beautiful Name” join brand new declarations of faith such as “As The World Shakes” & “Heaven Is Our Home”. We pray that this collection of fun and vibrant songs, help children around the world to declare biblical truths about God’s love and grace for them.

Get your very own copy from this Link Here!

 Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this product in exchange for this review and post.


Day by Day Through the Gospel of John~ Review

Let me be honest, I literally wanted to get this book just so I could see how someone could truly take a year and devote it totally to the book of John.  This book wowed me with each of it's 365 devotions that progressively worked through the Gospel of John.  

Each day started with verses from John and followed with a portion of a study or sermon from Biblical teachers and writers like Charles Spurgeon and Alexander Maclaren as well as George MacDonald, John Wesley, Charles Finney, Catherine Booth and many many more.
I have tons of different devotionals that a cycle through depending on what season in life I find myself in.  This one was definitely different then others I have read before.  I usually go for a lighter, encouraging, mother's heart, down in the trenches type or one that is more soul searching and thought provoking.  This one I felt gave me the depth in a devotional that I was craving around this time of the year.  I know this will be one I reach for time and time again.  Even though the passages were fairly short it did require a lot of contemplation and investment.  I have highlighted and even researched further from some of my daily reads just to grasp it even deeper.  This is a meaty devotional and a must have for anyone who enjoys an in-depth study of God's word.


Small Spaces by Katherine Arden~ REVIEW

This one was rough for Kaden to get through.  I forget sometimes that just because he can read it doesn't mean developmentally he can handle it.  For a typical child this would have been super cool to read especially this time of the year.  I was the main reader and improvised when the spots seemed to scary.  Through the whole book Kaden was latched on to me and if I came to a stopping place he begged for just one more chapter. :)  Down bellow I have a fun little scarecrow craft with jars.  We decided to make them a little less scary then the ones in the story. :)


Healing Songs of Worship

There is a song from Kari Jobe that I run to when life is too much to handle....Do You have a song that speaks volumes of relief to your heart when it is in need?  I'm so Blessed to know that we are not alone….we can get through any struggle with the Lord.

When I walk through deep waters
I know that you will be with me
When I’m standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow