Monthly Archives: June 2013

Have an Indescribable 4th of July!

I’m combining a few things together for a super post to cover the next week+ that I will be on VACATION!  And this time will not be blogging.  I’ll be reading hopefully (see all the way at the bottom for another book giveaway coming soon!), but will be taking a much needed break from screen time!

As I was thinking about vacation time and about sharing a song before I leave (an early Sunday treat!) – I heard one of my FAVORITE songs and it’s one that I always think of when we head to explore a new place or part of the country.  It’s “Indescribable” by Chris Tomlin .  As we board an airplane and in a short amount of time cover many many miles, the view from the plane is indescribable (as are the mechanics of flying to me!).  It’s a view down at God’s creation as I like to think He is looking down on us always.   The first line of the song is “From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea, Creation’s revealing Your majesty”.  I look forward to taking in the views with my kids and revealing this view of the world to them for the first time (well LL has flown but it was 2 years ago – so this will be new!).  Looking at mountains, plains, farmland, roads, rivers, lakes, houses, buildings…I just love the different perspective on things (all while praying for a smooth flight as I’m not the greatest flyer!)  God truly is amazing at all He has created and I hope to take some time this week to take in all the beauty He allows us to enjoy.

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
Isaiah 40:26

So where are we headed you ask?  XNA – any trivia buffs (or non-pilots out there)?  Northwest Arkansas.  Maybe not your typical vacation spot – but one that provides GREAT friends and I’m sure GREAT times.  You know who you are – thank you in advance for all the FUN we will have! (Look out for a post in a week or two on planning YOUR vacation to AR!)

As we will be travelling over the 4th of July – I also wanted to wish you all a Happy Independence Day!  How awesome is it to live in a country where we are FREE to live and worship how we choose?  And what a week for many who have fought hard to be free to live out their happiness.  I know it’s a controversial topic but regardless, I know I am encouraged that due to the efforts of many passionate people – freedom was acknowledged.

On a much lighter note, do you like my new short summer haircut?

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AND lastly for now, stay tuned in July – my next book review and GIVEAWAY of this nice hardcover book!

Thanks for stopping by.  God Bless, Happy 4th, see you in a week!

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Filed under Calling, Celebrations, Chapters, Children, Uncategorized

Garden Gone Wild!

Each Spring, like many, I plant a garden.  It started when we lived in town in a little 1’x4′ shared garden plot in our townhouse community, blossomed to a 4’x4′ box in 2010-11 (see picture), then last year a whole corner of our yard.  The area is a perfect triangle, measuring about 7’x10’x12′.  This year with the addition of a lovely 2′ fence to keep the critters (our dogs) out.

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Our first garden – 2010

Many of you saw a Facebook post I had posted right after I planted the garden:

“Alright – any gardeners out there? My bad bad dogs dug up my freshly planted garden. (Even jumped a fence to do it). Do I just rake it out and see what happens? Or try and start again? Advice please!”

In fact it was 2 of them that repeatedly showed up in the house with brown noses and red paws.  Still can’t figure out what prompted them to do it.  I was so proud of myself – this year I opted for all seeds.  I made little labels and everything was perfect.  Then the dogs got to it.  I knew the seeds were still there…so after consulting Facebook friends, and the local Home Depot expert, I decided to hedge my bets with 2 starter tomato plants and wait it out on the seeds.

That was a good call.  Look at this mess we have now!  Some of this is from seeds, but like last year, we just have tomato plants popping up everywhere.  At last count there were 15 of them!  No idea what kinds, we may have even created our own hybrid plant by now.

  IMG_3242Current Garden – as of June 26,2013

Other plantings include: Basil, Summer Squash, Cilantro, Green Onions, all types of tomatoes, and maybe some watermelon – I think the squash has squashed those though (pun intended!)

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LL with our first picks of 2013!

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A favorite from 2012 – LL picking tomatoes!

I am far from a master gardener, barely touching upon amateur even, but I’ve gotten good results so far!  As for tips, I don’t have anything earth-shattering, but we mixed in garden soil (just from Sam’s) with the Georgia red clay dirt (is there an official name?) already in the ground, kept it watered, never used anything else., and it gets about half a days worth of sun.  Pretty simple!

Now what to do with our crop?  I have a feeling we’ll have tomatoes coming out of our ears soon, so I may just have to learn to can and/or make our own tomato sauce (I think that was on my clean eating goals!)  The garden fits in great with eating fresh and clean.  See below for Tomato Caprese; this time of year, we always keep fresh mozzarella in the fridge and have this often – even makes a great sandwich!  What are your favorite fresh herb and veggie recipes?

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The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

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I Love You Lord (my Sunday song)

Happy Sunday.  I’ll keep this short today as it’s been a lazy Sunday over here and I have some oatmeal chocolate chip muffins and banana bread in the oven!  Great message this AM at the New Church of Peachtree City from our music director, Mr. John Odom.

It was the story of Simon Peter taken from the gospel of John.  In a nutshell after all that Jesus had done for Peter and after Peter had declared him LORD, when put on the spot (before Jesus was crucified) he denied knowing Jesus, not only once – but three times.  Being the forgiving, loving God that HE is, in John 21:15-19 (below), Jesus asks Peter three times (not a coincidence) if he loves him.  Peter affirmed his love for him and was restored by Jesus in his walk.

How amazing is our LORD and SAVIOR that HE can forgive us after our transgressions, even denying Him?  Pretty amazing, and my prayer is for the strength and conviction to glorify him always, even when it may not be the “popular” thing to do (I can only imagine how Simon Peter felt), and find peace knowing of his amazing grace, patience, and love for me.

“15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of deathby which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
John 21:15-19

There are so many songs about God’s love, but I thought today I would pick a song that tells God OUR love for him.  There are a lot of versions, included one below, but my favorite has to be from our church’s own Jay & Abby Akins, Abby’s voice is just sweet and beautiful and I fell in love with this song the first time I heard her sing it.  It has become a staple lullaby in our house and has put our kids to sleep many times over the last 3 years.  I hope you enjoy and can sing along to declare your love for our amazing, forgiving, understanding, and loving God.  God Bless and have a great week!

“I Love You, Lord”

I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul, rejoice!

Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
In Your ear

I love you, Lord
(I love you, Lord)
And I lift my voice
(And I lift my voice)
To worship You
(To worship You)
Oh, my soul, rejoice!
(Oh, my soul)

Take joy my King
(Take joy my King)
In what You hear
(In what You hear)
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
(Let it be a sweet sound)
In Your ear

I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul, rejoice!

Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
In Your ear

I love you, Lord
(I love you, Lord)
I love you, Lord
(I love you, Lord)
(And I lift my voice)

I love you, Lord
(Take joy my King)
(Take joy my King)

I love you, Lord
(I love you, Lord)
I love you, Lord
(Let it be a sweet, sweet sound)

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Book Review: Sparrow Migrations by Cari Noga

Sparrow Migrations (Click on book for description)
By Cari Noga
Downloaded free on 6/9/13

Finish Time: 4 days.  Very interesting book premise.  Finished quickly as the I was engaged in the story lines and couldn’t wait to find out what happened.

The book begins in January of 2009 when the “Miracle on the Hudson” happened in New York City.  The book follows 3 sets of characters that were either aboard the flight or were on a ferry that witnessed it’s plunge into the Hudson River.  The first is a set of parents Sam and Linda and their 12-year old autistic son, Robby.  Robby becomes fascinated and fixated on the geese that caused/may have caused the plane to descend (as he watched from a ferry in the Hudson) and his story line follows this new interest and the journey it takes him and his family.  The second story line is Brett (female).  Brett was in NYC having a secret affair on her pastor husband, Richard, and daughter Amanda back at home in Scranton.  She was discovered aboard a ferry that picked up the survivors of the plane crash and that becomes her defining moment as she makes some changes in her life.  And last there is Christopher and Deborah, a couple aboard the plane, in their 40’s, dealing with infertility.  Deborah sees the crash as a defining moment and that combined with some shocking news from her sister and not being on the same page as her husband, sets the scene for their story line.

All three stories were jam packed with their own twists and turns, ups and downs, and each in and of itself would have made for a great story, but I enjoyed the bouncing back and forth.  My favorite was probably following Robby.  As I finished the book I noticed that the author has an autistic child, and as Robby is autistic in the book, I’m guessing many of his characteristics and actions may have been pulled either from familiarity with autism or from personal experience.   The author did a great job at describing how the parents felt and how they internalized (and externalized) their emotions, confusion, wanting to understand, and just how they dealt with Robby, not your average, yet extremely gifted 12-year old.  She also did a great job at getting inside his head to explain his thought process and emotions (or lack thereof).  Very well done and very interesting to be a part of his journey and those he had met and inspired along the way.

The other two story lines were also very developed and you feel for Deborah and Brett as they face their own challenges and come out stronger in the end.  It was far from a “happy” story, but it was a great story (well 3) that as the book progressed you could see coming together that led up to a very satisfying ending for all.

Worth my time, worth yours too!

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Book Review: The House of Rose by Nita Welch Owenby

The House of Rose (click book for description)
By Nita Welch Owenby
The book was provided to me free by Book Hub, Inc. in exchange for an honest review

Finish time: 4 days.  It took me awhile to pick up this book.  I know the phrase “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but in this case, I was not a fan of the cover of this book.  I know it was an eBook too – so that’s even sillier.  So my expectations were low but I did finally pick it up on Saturday and began reading.  Wow – let me tell you, where as many books drag out introductions and setting the scene, this book throws you right in, to the deep end.  I felt a little put off with very intense action/drama thrown right at you, but I continued on and I am glad I did.

The main character of the book is Valee Rose, later known as Rose Wilde.  The book begins with her at the ripe young age of 14 and continues on into her mature adulthood.  The author does a great job not only at describing her physically, but conveys her emotional maturity and intelligence perfectly (or so I imagine!).  She is a very likable character.  The book follows Rose through downs and ups in her life, which for being in NC in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s – I could only imagine was a pretty exciting one compared to others. From being on the run and having to conceal her identity to becoming almost a heroine of her town (with a few stops along the way) the story never has you stop for breath and keeps you turning the pages.  She makes lasting impressions on everyone she meets, you wish you had crossed paths with her too!

I really enjoyed this book.  Not only were there so many twists and turns, but I just felt so connected to the characters and could not wait to find out what happened next.  And it never did seize to amaze or satisfy.  So I apologize to this book for initially putting it off, because I can truly say you will not be disappointed.  Great writing style, great characters, great story – this book has it all! (And seriously I will disclose again – it was given to me for a review – but if you look at my previous reviews – it takes a good book for me to rave on!)

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For the Daddies

Collages

Happy Father’s Day!  We’re being a bit rebellious today and skipping church (gasp!).  That doesn’t mean we aren’t worshiping and fellowshipping on our own, we just needed a Sunday to ourselves.  My wonderful husband has been working extra hard for us lately, and travelling a lot, so a quieter day (as quiet as it can be with 2 little ones) was just what we needed.

And I wanted to take a moment (or a blog post) to recognize my husband, other dads in my life, and all the fathers out there.  The sacrifices they make for their family (or maybe even the other way around for their career to be with or do what is best for their family), the courage they have to make tough decisions, the drive to provide and protect their families, and ofcourse their love for all of us.

For my baby daddy, we decided to get more creative for this holiday (I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to top the iPad for his birthday in April), but we hoped to tug at some heartstrings this time around!  The picture at the top was a collage we made, posing each baby, two human, 3 canine, to spell “Daddy”.  I had to get a little creative in Picasa as my usual go-to collage maker didn’t have a template for the 5 pictures across.  (The one I printed out actually had more little pictures of Daddy and the kids – and was printed in 11×14 to go in his office.)  Then I found a “pin” that had the idea of asking our 3-year old a bunch of Daddy’s favorites (see below) – so I printed it out all nice and had LL draw a picture of him around it.  It turned out so sweet.  Some answers were “right” – others will remind us of these early days (Daddy is $40 tall, and likes to eat bananas!).  And this is the book we ordered (didn’t make it in time – so sorry for the spoiler honey!)  to match this book  he received last year – great books for any Star Wars fan (and father!)  So Happy Father’s Day to my love and the best Daddy to LL and LM – we love you always and forever!

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 Berry Picking this AM at Whitely Farms

“The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.”
Proverbs 20:7

Next I wanted to recognize 2 other special men in my life.  First is my stepfather, known mostly these days as “Granddad”.  You motivate me to be my best, go for the gold (or whatever the prize), and always keep learning (was that correct grammar!).  Throughout the last 20+ years you have been there for so much and always pushed me to be the best I can be.  It’s been wonderful watching you fill the role as Grandfather now and I am so thankful for all the time you have with my kids.  Happy Father’s Day.

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And then to my dad in heaven. (Ofcourse there is my Father in heaven too, but right now I’m speaking of my actual, biological father who now resides in heaven.)  I miss you and think of you each day and try and tell LL about her namesake often.  I hope I am making you proud and I hope you smile when you look down upon your Grandchildren.  I love you Dad.

dadAlmost 14 years ago to the day at my high school graduation

Thank you to those 3 special Dads above and to all Dads or those who fill the role as Dads for others.  You are all COURAGEOUS and here is my song for Sunday and dedicated to you all today.  Happy Father’s Day!

Courageous
Casting Crowns

We were made to be courageous
We were made to lead the way
We could be the generation
That finally breaks the chains
We were made to be courageous
We were made to be courageous

We were warriors on the front lines
Standing, unafraid
But now we’re watchers on the sidelines
While our families slip away

Where are you, men of courage?
You were made for so much more
Let the pounding of our hearts cry
We will serve the Lord

We were made to be courageous
And we’re taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we’ll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

This is our resolution
Our answer to the call
We will love our wives and children
We refuse to let them fall

We will reignite the passion
That we buried deep inside
May the watchers become warriors
Let the men of God arise

We were made to be courageous
And we’re taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we’ll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

Seek justice
Love mercy
Walk humbly with your God

In the war of the mind
I will make my stand
In the battle of the heart
And the battle of the hand

In the war of the mind
I will make my stand
In the battle of the heart
And the battle of the hand

We were made to be courageous
And we’re taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we’ll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

We were made to be courageous
Lord, make us courageous

Songwriter(s):John Mark Hall
Copyright:Sony/ATV Tree Publishing

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Summer Fun – Part 1

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Hope everyone’s summer is off to a great start!  We’ve been keeping busy, already went to the beach, LL had a week of Fun Days (camp), lots of outside time, pool time, visiting new babies, and play dates!  Cannot believe we are already 4 weeks in – this will be the first installment of hopefully many for the summer.  Yesterday we had an extra fun day that I wanted to share for some summer fun ideas that you may want to try too!

First we headed to Newnan Utilities’ Carl Miller Park to check out their splash pad/park.  This is a little hidden gem of a park in the middle of what feels like nowhere to me (although it’s really only 10 miles!)  At first it didn’t look like much, maybe 6 fountains coming up from the ground, but after a minute and watching all the kids run through it – it was clear it was a big hit for all!  This park also has pavilions, walking trails, and 2 large playgrounds, one more updated and another big wooden castle.

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After a great lunch at Chick-fil-A and even more playground time, it was time for naps (which went by way too fast).  So kids woke up and needed more entertainment.  I know it is only going to get hotter, so we loaded on the sunscreen and went outside for some afternoon play.  I had seen a “pin” awhile back for Sidewalk Chalk Paint, and figured today was as good as any to try it out.  Looked simple enough.  At first skeptical that it was too thin, we took it outside to try with some brushes.  Not only was it a big hit (painting on the driveway) – the colors looked great and when it quickly dried it looked just like chalk, maybe even better.  The brushes allowed for more detail too.  Kids, and Mommy too, had a blast!  And because it was outside, it was easy clean-up.  And in case you are wondering, after a big storm last night – it did wash off just fine!

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To end our day, we headed over to Line Creek Nature Area to meet up with the young adults from the New Church of Peachtree City for some fellowship time and good food.  This place is very close to us and really a great little nature area in Peachtree City.  Great trails, pretty creek, nice pond and picnic area.  Something so close, yet feels so far!  LL and LM enjoyed getting nice and dirty and looking for creatures.  The baby turtle seemed to be the highlight!  Overall a nice way to close out a fun summer day!

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Hope you are having a great summer so far too!  What are your favorite summer activities?

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Book Review: Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill (plus WIN THIS BOOK!)

The Passionate Mom By Susan Merrill (click on book for description)

BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book (5/29/13)

Finish Time: 5-6 nights (although I was trying to juggle 2 books!).  I have to admit – other than a few pregnancy books with my 1st, this is the first parenting book I have ever read.  Why?  Maybe I think they will make me feel bad, or maybe I already do everything right (ha – just kidding!).  I just have not chosen parenting or self-help books to fill my time.  I very much believe that every family and child is different and what works for one will not work for another.  I definitely do not have everything figured out, and tend to shy away from those who think (or claim) they have.

That is NOT the case of this book, and I feel bad for making that stereotype.  Susan Merrill clearly states she doesn’t have it all figured out, that she has 5 very different kids who all have different needs/styles/triggers/whatever, and that that was her intent in writing this book.  She shares stories that I don’t think I would admit to, but as the reader are very much appreciated as it shows that she is not claiming to have the ONE trick that will make you a great mom (or that she is the perfect mom).  Rather, she uses the Bible, specifically the story of Nehemiah, to outline 10 principles (the 10 P’s) as the bricks to build the wall that parenting is.  A metaphor pulled right from Nehemiah (who actually did build a wall!).  Each chapter outlines that brick and the mortar you need to have that brick in your wall.  She uses examples from her own live, those of her friends, and other parts of the Bible, to thoroughly explain each “brick” that a passionate mom/parent should have in their wall.  Not only will these 10 P’s help in parenting – but really in any part of your life or any big (even small) decision/challenge you are facing.

I didn’t feel bad about myself at any point in the book.  I may have patted myself on the back a few times when I read something and was like “hey –  I do that!”  And made MANY mental notes about things I need to improve on, start doing, or keep in mind for when the kids grow up.  I really felt it catered to moms of kids of all ages.  I guess being a mom to little ones right now, I did get frustrated a few times when she mentioned that little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems.  I’m sure that may be true, that is just not where I am right now and the “little” problems I may have with my kids now, do seem bigger some days.  But maybe that is just God preparing us for the big stuff later, actually it probably is.

Towards the end I started to get a little sad.  Weird reaction – but as she discusses the “gates” that you as a mom (aka gatekeeper) will have to open one day for your kids.  Again being a mom to little ones – I cannot even grasp the thought of my babies dating, driving, using social media, but very important to know that YOU as a mom control the gate to these things and definitely some pointers to file away and something to develop an action plan for with my husband.

Overall a very worthwhile book, I did happen to see an article about it here that outlines the 10 P’s (I didn’t want to reveal too much in my review).  You will see good steps to approach any challenge or situation in life, taken straight from the Bible, but catered to the passionate mom!  Great read, recommend to all Christian moms!

ENTER TO WIN THIS BOOK:  Winner announced and contacted via email 6/17/13
Required: Name, Email, and comment “Giveaway”

CLOSED – Congrats to Tracey M. who won a copy of this book!  Stay tuned for my next giveaway:

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Sometimes it takes a big fish.

This AM at The New Church of Peachtree City, Pastor David was away – so one of the “youth guys” – Mr. Jonathan Goolsbee filled in with a great message taken from the chapter of Jonah (specifically book 4:1-11 – see below).  The story of Jonah is a well-known one – Jonah was told one thing by God, choose not to listen, and ended up in the belly of a big fish.  He then does was he was told, but again half-heartedly.  God tries again to get through to him and use different illustrations to prove His point.  Throughout this book God shows His love, compassion, and mercy for Jonah (us – His people!)

It got me thinking, how lucky are we that our God is so compassionate and patient with us?  (Very!)  I know that after a full day with my beautiful gifts from God (my children) my patience is wearing thin, and well compassion isn’t always at the forefront of my mind.  But our God tolerates us and again and again shows us the way.  Even when we are beat down and angry at the world.  And yes – sometimes it takes being swallowed up by a big fish to get our attention!

The song that came to mind today for me is Mighty to Save, especially the verse – “everyone needs compassion”  There are a few versions – but this is my favorite by Laura Story:

The text for today’s sermon:

“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” 9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?””
Jonah 4:1-11

One last thing that stuck with me about the text today – is the very last line of verse 11 “…and also many animals.”  If you haven’t figured out I am a dog/animal lover.  God has given me the compassion for animals and I truly feel that is what I am called to do. But I love this verse because it shows that God too has compassion for animals and says He has concern for them (after all He did create them all!).  Seems like a no-brainer to me – but I love having verses to go to that solidifies the desires of my heart to help those who cannot speak, but are also God’s creation and near to His heart too.  Not mentioned in the sermon – but little bonus for me this AM!

Blessings for a wonderful week!  Thank you for reading!

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Book Review: The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan

The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan

Borrowed free through Amazon Prime (May) – 5/27/13

Finish Time: 6-7 days.  This book was unlike any I have read in awhile.  I looked back and I guess it is considered historical fiction, could maybe even be historical mystery.  Without doing too much research, I’m going to assume that means just some of the major historical events and geography of the time.  I do know that I am grateful that I was not a woman in Europe in the 1500’s.  Wow – some of the stories of the girls/women in this book are terrible, awful, and I would like to believe they are fiction.

The book jumps back and forth between modern time (the year 2000) following the story of Menina, a 19-year old living in the US.  She was adopted as a child and the orphanage that took her in said she came with a mysterious medal and book that were to be given to her on her 16th birthday.  As she comes of age and starts questioning her past, she plans a trip to try and find the meaning of the medal, book, and more about her past.  The other part of the book takes place in the 1500’s in Spain and Spanish America and is written account (journal/log) of the sisters of a convent (thus the Sisterhood!).  There is a lot of detail about the Inquisition and the Moors and religious freedom (or lack thereof) during the time period (which I’m guessing, again without research, is the true historical part!)

I almost wanted to start making a list or tree to keep track of all the characters that were introduced throughout the historical part of the book.  It was very clear at the beginning of each chapter who the narrator was and where they were, but putting it down and picking it back up night after night, I was a little confused.  Who knows – that may just be me.  That did not take away from the story at all and I kept coming back night after night! Towards the end – it was almost reminiscent of The DaVinci Code as more information was discovered or rather uncovered about an “alternative” or expanded story not included in the Bible.  Fictional – but still gets you thinking – what if (in Christian history)?

Overall though, it was a very good story, as I mentioned before, unlike anything I have ever read before.  I was anxious to pick it up each day and a little sad to see it end.  More challenging that other books of recent and left me thinking, and I would definitely recommend!  (So glad to say that finally with certainty!)

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