Book Review (and Giveaway) Praying Women by Sheila Walsh

Praying
Praying
Praying

A Personal Struggle

When I saw the book trailer for this book I was excited because for the first time…..in forever (I know roll your eyes to the F®owen reference) I felt as though I was going to get some help for the frustration I experience during prayer. I know I know I have heard it a million times before BUT Mary You are a pastor’s wife you are supposed to have all this figured out. Well I am here to tell you I don’t and if I thought I did…God would be pretty much done with me. I Need to have a spirit of teachability- a willingness to grow beyond where I am currently at. Some days I get frustrated because it feels as though there are not enough hours in a day to pray for all the things. then there are days or weeks (ahem- like this last week) where all I can pray is HELP ME JESUS. And then there are those days that I just cannot focus to save my life. So can you see why I was so excited about this book!

It’s Been a while

It’s been a hot minute since I have done a book review and that is because of circumstances outside of my control (more on that in another Blog post). However this past fall an opportunity fell into my lap where I could yet again join a launch team for an author I Love. .Now unlike other authors I have had the opportunity to help launch their book babies I have never had the opportunity to meet or talk one on one with Sheila Walsh, however I have had the opportunity to hear her speak in person and on various other formats and this is NOT my first review of her books. You can check out my book reviews of her books Peace For Today and Loved Back to Life. I found both of those books to be of great encouragement so when I saw the chance to help launch Praying Women It was a no brainer.

The Book : Praying Women

have you ever sat down with friends over a cup of coffee (or tea) and hashed out some of life’s difficult moments.Well imagine that’s what this book is. Let’s be honest prayer is a tough subject.A lot of us have questions that we are too afraid to ask for any number of reasons. In this book zShiela so graciously deals with these struggles and helps us find the biblical answers and encourages us to have a thriving prayer life.

sShe herself is open to the personal struggles she has had and guides us through biblical responses to those struggles. Praying Women is laid out according to our struggles like Praying through God’s silence. I don’t know about you but this is very hard for me .

Here is just one encouraging thought from the book on this topic!

If you have been waiting for a long time and God has been silent, let me ask you this: Do you still believe He loves you? When answers don’t come, do you still believe He is for you? Jesus asked if He will find faith among us when He returns. Will He? Do you believe God is in control? Do you believe He has a perfect plan for your life? Do you believe His timing is perfect? Until we settle how we will wait in the silence, we will be unsettled in our lives. When we determine to trust God in the silence, our faith in who He is grows stronger. Our witness becomes more powerful. Like Angus we can say to those who wonder why we’re still holding on, “He’s never failed me yet!” When we choose to place our hope in God, we have been promised that this hope will not disappoint (Rom. 5:3–5).

nNot only does Sheila Walsh share her own personal journey and struggles but she also waves in the accounts of others journeys and struggles. Two such stories are that of Joni ricks Tada and Michele Cushatt. these women’s powerful testimonies and personal struggles help us to understand we aren’t alone even when our stories are so different.

My Review: Praying Women

I am a huge fan of this book and not just because I was chosen to be on the launch team. This book meets a desperate need in the hearts of women and answers questions people on a whole have been asking for aery long time.

Yes it is a serious book on Prayer but Shiela writes in such a skillful way that has you giggling one minute and in tears the next. I love that she speaks truth and hasn’t glossed over the reality of her struggles. She write from an honest place of struggle with depression.

if we all lived with this kind of honesty and transparency both with each other and with God our walks with Him would be uninhibited.

I give this book 5 stars!

My two biggest Takeaways

By the end of the book I realized that there are two things I need to do. The first of which is I need to make sure I am putting my whole Armor on- I want to write out my armor in my prayer notebook so it’s easily found I also would like to post an abbreviate version by my desk as a daily reminder.

The second thing Sheila said that really stood out to me was the need for a battle verse. One that when we struggle with doubts and fears and the enemy’s sneak attack jumps out of no where we can pull it out and remind ourselves who we belong to and whois fighting for us!

IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!

Who is ready for a giveaway? Let’s deal with the technical stuff first, this is for U.S. shipping only. AND you only get one entry. Since I was so graciously given a free copy for review I thought that I would pass the blessing onto you. All you have to do is comment below and tell me what your biggest struggle is in prayer. For me it is getting distracted. So leave your comments below. Comments will close Sunday evening at 8 pm EST at which time I will randomly pick a number by using random.org and if I pick your number you are the winner of the book! I will contact you and we will work out shipping details.

Great big THANK YOU!

Thank You so much to Baker Book house for providing me with a free digital and hard copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions given in this review are my own and I am in no way compensated for a positive review. Thank you Shiela Walsh for writing this book. I cannot imagine writing it was easy but it was very much a huge blessing.

You Can purchase Praying Women HERE. (not an affiliate link)

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Book Review: Happy Happy Happy Stories for Kids By Korie Robertson and Chrys Howard

Happy

The Content-Happy Stories

Every morning my youngest two sons and I have this routine. We have been making happy memories together reading before the bus comes. I give them a snack so they can take their vitamins, they take their vitamins and then we head out to our entryway to wait for the bus. It started last school year with our third youngest. He always wanted to play on my phone while he waited and I wasn’t satisfied with that so we began our reading journey together. They both have struggles especially in the waiting for the bus area of life so we began reading and when the opportunity arose to read this book together we snatched up the chance.

Korie and Chrys tell family stories with truth from God’s word weaved throughout each account. They are told in simple and sweet ways and often times with a humorous twist that even left me wanting to know the rest of the story long after the boys got on the bus!  Each chapter starts with a verse, then the story and is followed by some very thought-provoking questions and then a short Bible lesson.  Nothing too in-depth Just right for our 11 and almost 9-year-old.   The other major plus was this was NOT a gender specific book!  It was clearly meant for kids BUT as an adult I too thoroughly enjoyed it.

Another aspect included in most chapters but not all (or not as obvious as some others) were ACTION STEPS as the end of the Duck Commander in Action section (AKA Bible study).  This section challenges readers to take what they learned from the Robertsons stories and God’s word and put it into action in their lives.

A Happy Review!

Our family has been a long time lover of Duck Dynasty and the Robertsons!   We appreciate their family values and their humor, and their stand for faith and godly values and it was just an absolutely refreshing change from what the world had been handing us for some time now.  Our boys were excited to get to hear stories about the Robertsons.

Now getting our boys to focus is difficult as one has Autism and the other struggles with Central Auditory Processing Disorder and It is a great challenge for him to listen, especially with other background noise.  In a sense, I have one kid who Makes noise all the time and one who is highly distracted by the slightest noise.

Well, Korie and Chrys wrote this book in such a gripping way that in ALL the books we have read together, this was the book they were the most focused on to date!

The stories deal with issues and teach children great lessons in life.   Some of the stories that the boys are still talking about are trying new things-even to the tune of trying a new food for one sons birthday dinner.  Another lesson deals with Mayhaws- a small berry that Jep learns turns into something great all while learning from his father that being small doesn’t mean you don’t have a great purpose.

AND my favorite lesson out of all of the stories is about young Willie and his TUBA!  I was in stitches.  But Willie had to learn a hard lesson most kids struggle with today, Sometimes no matter how hard you try, sometimes you need to have the wisdom to know that it is time to say “I’m not good at this and it’s ok at least I tried!”  I have a drummer and a piano player but I have yet had to send someone to the woods to practice BUT at least I now have that as a last resort!

The Boys Thoughts

I asked the boys if they wanted to help me review the book and I got a”DO we have to?”  It’s not a knock against the book I think they just look at it as more school work and as we are drawing near the end of another school year I think they have had enough!   So I asked each one of them what they thought of the book they both said emphatically that they LOVED it!  But what’s more, as a mom I can see them take what they are learning and apply it to their lives! THAT IS THE MARK OF AN AMAZING BOOK!

Our Rating

So all of us give it 5 stars!!

OH and one more thing we loved the artwork!  The pictures all look like textured scrapbook paper and gives almost a 3-D look without being 3-D!  The boys absolutely loved seeing all the artwork!

And a GREAT BIG THANKS to BookLook Bloggers for providing a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes! All of the opinions in this review are completely my own and I am in no way compensated for a positive review.

Book Review:Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins

Christmas

All about Traditions of  Christmas

What Christmas Traditions are your favorite?  Have you ever wondered where on earth we get the traditions we use when we celebrate Christmas?  You know, things like Christmas Cards. Advent, and Christmas trees just to name a few.  Well, Ace takes us back in time to the times and places that these traditions became an indelible mark on our holiday celebrations.  26 chapters you will learn about the history and heart behind each of these traditions!.  Ace definitely did a lot of in-depth research that left us with some very interesting facts.  The chapters are short and could easily be read each night leading up to Christmas.

Some of the interesting facts learned in reading this book :

  • Many of our Christmas traditions were started or carried on through the Vikings.   Especially since the Vikings had the reputation of being a brutal people group. But after the Vikings became Christians it became very important that they made remembrances of their faith.
  • Christmas Seals.  They have been talked about and I never knew what they were-Stamp like stickers used on Christmas envelopes and I most certainly had no idea what they were used for.  Well, they were used for raising money in helping people beat the disease Tuberculosis.
  • Boxing Day and Epiphany- As Americans we don’t usually celebrate these but it was fascinating to earn about these traditions and I must confess I have mentioned to my husband that celebrating and teaching on Epiphany would be neat for our family!

My Thoughts-

Well, I enjoyed this book immensely.  Though I didn’t get it finished in my timeline I will say that it really doesn’t matter when you read this book.  I do think it would be cool to read a chapter a night with our family in the days leading up to Christmas.

It’s so amazing just how much of our Christmas traditions are tied back to the Birth of Baby Jesus too.  It’s a great teaching tool for kids, and it’s easy to understand.  And it would also be very simple to turn into a teaching tool for even younger kids!  ANYONE can enjoy this book.  It is a delight to read for sure.

I also appreciated the few times throughout this book when the author admitted that he just didn’t have the answers to when exactly a tradition started.  Sometimes details like a specific person, place or time are not available and I thought it was neat that he admitted to not knowing.

I honestly cannot wait till next Christmas season when we will delve into this book as a family!

I give this book 5 Christmas lights! Check out this book on Amazon. 

And a super Big THANK YOU to BookLook Bloggers for giving me a free copy of this book to review!  I always give my honest review and am expected to do so!

 

Book Review: Less Than Perfect by Ann Spangler

Perfect

Ann Spangler writes some of the most interesting narratives of  people of the Bible .  In her Book Less Than Perfect  Ann shows how God takes those who are  “less than perfect” and uses them and their stories for His Glory. It s a truth that our churches and our world so desperately need to hear and embrace today.  The people of the Bible were  not perfect, they are sinful humans like you and I  and we all need to realize that no matter how messy our stories are God is completely capable of taking this messes and transforming them into pictures of his grace and his mercy!

This isn’t the normal devotional either . So many times devotionals take creative license and go too far but this devotional is different..  Ann finds the fine balance of creative license and  truth.   Each chapter (or days depending on how you choose to use the devotional,) is broken into three sections:

  • The Account-  This is what actually happened in Scripture. And yes she takes creative license to fill the gaps.
  • The times- This section is unique because it is basically the historical background and explains why certain things for The Account Section has significance.It is so important to understand these details and it helps us to understand why the account is important to our lives.
  • The Takeaway- YIKES. sometimes the questions in devotionals are  lacking in substance.    In this devotional however you will quickly find yourself digging deep as you interact with the account from scripture.

I really enjoyed the book.  When I first got the book I thumbed through the pages and I got giddy because the chapters were “short” HA Just because a chapter is short does not necessarily mean it’s an easy read or fast read!   I found that  scattered through the chapters were these bullets/ sidebar pieces.  Now these were horrid for me to read!   So I asked a friend to give her thoughts on it.  She said it was way difficult for her to read as well.  So I found that if I  took a picture with my phone and made it bigger I could read it BUT THAT TAKES A LONG TIME!

That is the only real downfall I found with the book.  I enjoyed it thoroughly!  I have not finished all the questions either mainly because they are SOOOOO in depth and took a fair amount of pondering!  BUT I really enjoy that about devotionals I want to dig deep and grow closer to Go!

I give this book four out of five Starts

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for my free copy of this book for reviewing purposes.   All of my options given in the book are mine.  I am in no way compensated fora positive review!

Book Review:The Hundred Story Home by Kathy Izard

book review

Have you ever completely goofed yeah thats what happened for me I thought I was getting this book from one place and then another and then another.  I have been confused.  The long story made very short is you should never judge a book by it’s cover, publisher or otherwise.  Just read the book and decided if it is a good book based on its content and the writing ability of the author!  That was a huge takeaway from this book and that was way before I ever opened it! and I’m not even kidding!

I must confess due to misconceptions I avoided the book for a few weeks! Then we left on vacation and in the moments I had to read I could not put this book down.  I have fallen asleep countless nights holding this book and woke only when it fell and smacked me in the face.  Inevitably after the third or fourth attempt I give up but HONESTLY this book is powerful!

Kathy Izard Life was different than most.  she opens talking about her mother’s struggle with mental illness. this was powerful for me because over the last decade this has become Avery big struggle for many people in my life.   I love these friends dearly but this opened my eyes to how the children really struggle.  This also really affected her faith walk as well and as you walk through the book with Kathy you watch as God pursues her and she is transformed. and how God uses all of these pieces from her life in the formation of  Moore Place. a Place to help the homeless of Charlotte North Carolina.

As I said above I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  Kathy Izard is a skilled writer and I was very much gripped by her ability to be so transparent and honest about her life.   You could tell she was not trying to make her life seem like something it wasn’t’t .  I loved her honestly about how she was feeling in pretty much every area of life..  I really have nothing negative to say and I would read more by her if she ever writes more!

If you want an encouraging and uplifting story this is for you!

I give it five stars!

Thanks BookLook Bloggers for giving me a free Copy of this book for review purposes!