Listen, Love, Repeat

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I know it has been awhile since I have written, but a lot has changed over the past year. Not only am I working, but I have gone back to school to get my teaching license. All the craziness aside, I have a wonder book that I simply had to take the time to tell you about, Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman.

I have had the privilege to not only read her other books but also meet her a few years ago at She Speaks when I was working with Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study. I am drawn to her books because the reader can relate to her and this one is no exception. Karen is real and engaging. It is like sitting down to coffee with a friend.

Listen, Love, Repeat is about taking the time to get outside of ourselves and listen to others and then love on them. I like the way Karen puts it – “a heart drop”. This is when you get to peek into another person’s heart. However, you can’t stop at just looking, you must be sure to listen. One of my favorite quotes sums up this point, “Living our lives prayerfully, preparedly, purposely, and perceptively will help us to tune our ears to the heart drops of others, so we can respond to their deepest needs in a meaningful, Spirit-centered way” (p. 30).

Each chapter is the book has practical tips and ideas of ways to apply the principles to your life. There is also a prayer at the end of the chapters. In addition, Karen has included bonus material at the end of the book – memory verses, quotes, recipes, and gift tags.

This is not just an incredible book, but there is also a DVD Bible Study. You will be able to gather your friends together as Karen guides you through the book week-by-week. For more information and to preorder the book visit Karen’s website,  http://www.listenloverepeatbook.com/.  I highly recommend you purchase the book as well as DVD study. In fact, it is so good that I am giving away a copy of Listen, Love, Repeat on my blog. To enter, simply share a way you can value others this holiday season in the comment section. I will announce the winner next week.

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Healthier You – Book Review

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With the start of school right around the corner, it is the perfect time to start fresh – spiritually, mentally and physically. If you are like me and struggle with being healthy in any of those areas, then Katie Farrell’s book, Devotions for a Healthier You, is just what the doctor ordered.

It contains 71 days of devotions. Each day there is a key verse, short devotional and prayer. These are great for anyone whose schedule is maxed out. It doesn’t take any time at all, but you enter you day filled with scripture and inspiration. Peppered throughout the 71 days, there are also dashes of inspiration and some yummy recipes, complete with mouth-watering pictures.

Katie also includes four additional things to get you off on the right foot.

  • 10 Steps to a Healthier You: concise and practical
  • Prayers for Health: short prayers focused around a particular scripture
  • Identity Scriptures: directed at our true identity in Christ, these are essential for changing from the inside out
  • One Week Meal Plan: complete with grocery list and recipes

Healthier You is filled with wonderful tips and suggestions without being overwhelming. Beautiful photographs round out this book, which is certain to be a reference on my bookshelf. I encourage you to pick a copy for yourself or a friend.

Raising Little Kids with BIG Love – Review

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Have full blown tantrums and high-pitched whiny voices made their way into your home? Do you feel a little frustrated? Do you wonder what happened to your precious baby bundle and your patience? You must be the parent of a toddler to nine-year-old. When parenting little ones, big love is needed. Raising Little Kids with Big Love reveals fifteen qualities of love. These are demonstrated through anecdotes and the authors’ conversational style, bringing the characteristics of 1 Corinthians 13 love to life in your parenting and in your youngster. Discover how to: • increase your child’s self-worth by demonstrating patience. • act in kindness to build family unity. • foster sibling relationship rather than sibling rivalry. • control your anger and effectively deal with tantrums. • be your child’s advocate in the school setting. • support your gifted or special needs child. • build a relationship with your kids that will last a lifetime. The 1 Corinthians 13 Parent series is based on the famous Love Chapter. What does love look like when parenting little kids? Find out by delving into 1 Corinthians 13.

As a mother of five, I was immediately drawn to this book. By a show of hands, who out there wants to raise a child in love? That’s what I thought, you can put your hands down. Since that is the desire of your heart, I would invite you to check out Raising Little Kids with BIG Love by Lori Wildenberg and Becky Danielson. These two ladies break down over the course of this book how to be a 1 Corinthians 13 parent.

I must be honest, I never thought of applying this chapter of the Bible to parenting my children. This is not to say I am not loving with my kids, I just had never put the two together. I love how they break down this chapter of the Bible into manageable pieces and then go into detail of how to practically apply it to your children. Not only that, there are questions and tips at the end of each chapter. These are great to use as you work through the book, but also a wonderful resource later. They conclude each chapter with a prayer. Let’s face it, without prayer we can not navigate the treacherous waters of this world. We need God as our guide and source of strength.

I would definitely recommend you pick up this book for yourself or as a gift for a parent you know. It will be a fabulous resource for them and their kids will thank you for it.

Praise Challenge – Review and Contest

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If you stopped by because you read my devotion today over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!​​ If you haven’t had an opportunity to read my article on Encouragement Café today, I encourage you to take a few moments and do so.

Finished? Okay, so glad to have you back.

I have a few things to share with you today. First of all, with a writing deadline and the craziness of summer, I have been away from my blog. I am hoping everything is calming down and I will be able to get back into the regular swing of things. To kick this off, what do you say to some FREE books? Yes, I thought you would enjoy that. So, for the next few days every time you leave a comment on my blog, follow me on twitter, or like my author page on facebook; you will be entered into the drawing. I will announce the winners on Monday, July 6th.

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The next item I would like to share with you is regarding a 30 challenge that I took part in this month. It is based off of Becky Harling’s book, The 30 Day Praise Challenge for Parents.

I know in my own life there are many days and circumstances that arise and the last thing I want to do is praise. However, Becky’s book helped me to see things from a different perspective.

Over the course of the last month, I have learned to look at the positive in each of my children instead of the faults or difficulties. God made each child a certain way for His purpose and His plan. Not only that, but He entrusted them to us as parents. It was not by accident. I learned a lot about not only my children, but also myself.

Each day, Becky provides a scripture and a brief message, followed by the praise songs for the day. (Side note – these are all listed on her website). The day ends with a guided prayer, meant to be a jumping off point for you, and a journal exercise. These precious minutes devoted to this challenge will not only change how you react to your children, but also your outlook on the world in general.

Whether you have children or not, I would highly recommend you pick up one of Becky Harling’s books and start your own 30 day praise challenge.

Your Turn: In the comments, I would like to know one thing you are praising God for today.

Empire’s End – Book Review

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 shows exceptional skills as a writer as she weaves the reader into the lives of this family. Mining clues sprinkled throughout Paul’s writings, Jerry B. Jenkins weaves a thoroughly believable take filled with high drama at every turn. This inventive, page-turning novel is steeped in bravado and bloodshed, conflict and deep devotion, romance and political maneuvering. The result is a can’t-put-it-down thrilled crafted to satisfy any curious observer’s longings to meet a flesh-and-blood man whose mission and message ultimately triggered the end of the great Roman Empire.She creates such a welcome environment that you can jump into the series at any point, although you will quickly want to start from 

Jerry Jenkins is such a masterful storyteller that I jumped at the chance to read and review his latest work. He shows exceptional skills as a writer as he weaves the reader into the life of Paul. This is a fictionalized story of Paul, but it is based on scripture. I love how he expounds upon the gaps in the story of Paul in plausible ways. The reader is allowed to get an up-close look at this dynamic character as Paul leaps off the pages of the Bible and into this book.

I would recommend Empire’s End. Open the book and let the adventure begin.


For those of you that missed out on my guest post yesterday. I encourage you to hop over to Emilie’s blog and enter to win a copy of my book, Get REAL.

A Love Like Ours – Book Review

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Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

     When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.

     Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

A Love Like Ours is the third book in the Porter Family novels. Becky Wade shows exceptional skills as a writer as she weaves the reader into the lives of this family. She creates such a welcome environment that you can jump into the series at any point, although you will quickly want to start from square one and not miss a minute of this endearing family.

I also love how Becky incorporates faith throughout the story with her dynamic characters. I would highly recommend A Love Like Ours, as well as, the rest of the Porter Family novels. Invite this family into your library and they will quickly find a place in your heart.

Praying Upside Down – Book Review

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I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer. I also know that most of us do not tap into the power that is available to us. For that reason, I am drawn to books about prayer. I have read several different books on the subject, but none quite like Praying Upside Down by Kelly O’Dell Stanley.

The title intrigued me, so what I had the opportunity to review it for The Blog Spot Network, I couldn’t wait to dive in. You maybe asking yourself what praying upside down means. Well, I have great news, it has nothing to do with standing on your head or swinging from the monkey bars. No, it’s simply being bold enough to ask God to let you truly see. Your perspective will never be the same.

Kelly walks the reader through her own story of how this idea changed not only her life, but also her relationship with God. I love how she takes it a step farther by placing Prayer Palette at the end of each chapter. This offers practical ways to implement each idea. By applying these simple, practical ideas you will begin to see life from a different perspective and see God working in and through your life in a mighty way.

There is not a person that cannot gain insight from this book. It will literally transform the time you spend with God. Accept the challenge, order the book and begin implementing this into your prayer life. You will never be the same.

The Art of Losing Yourself – Book Review

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Being a fan of Katie Ganshert’s first three books, it was no surprise that I was thrilled to be selected to receive an advance copy of her latest book, The Art of Losing Yourself.

I devoured the book in just a few short days. I was drawn into this elaborate story world Katie created within the confines of the first and last pages for her characters. Carmen is dealing with her own issues when her 17 year old sister, Gracie, comes to lives with her and her husband, Ben. Over the course of the novel, the reader has a backstage pass to the ups and downs of their lives Continue reading