Friday, September 30, 2011

Enemies of the Heart By: Andy Stanley



Do you ever feel angry, guilty, jealous, or greedy? I know I have felt all of these emotions at one time or other in my life. These are the four emotions that control us. When I chose Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley to review I was a little excited. I just love reading books by Andy Stanley and I was not disappointed when I read this one.

"Break free from the destructive power of guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy." -Quote from the back of the book.

Andy Stanley is a pastor, author, and founder of North Point Ministries. He is also the son of well-known pastor and author Dr. Charles Stanley.

Included with the book is a six-week discussion guide that you could use for small groups. I found this to be a very helpful guide in getting me to really think deeply about the concepts of this book. I felt as if Mr. Stanley wrote it specifically for me. He describes guilt as "I owe you", anger as "You own me", greed as "I own me", and jealousy as "God owes me". He goes through each of these emotions individually and describes each one on a level we can relate to. He then goes into way we can make positive changes in our behaviors and emotions. He gives suggestions on how to live a more satisfying and happy life. There is a chapter about forgiveness that I found very important in order to reach those goals. Here is a quote from that chapter:
  • "In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another." (pg. 129).
That is probably my favorite quote in the book because when we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts it leads to anger, bitterness, and resentment. That is not God's desire for our lives. Enemies of the Heart gives us options and a scriptural basis on how to deal with these negative, destructive behaviors.

Another important element to this book is the chapter called For Your Children's Best. In this section of the book Andy Stanley helps us to see how our behaviors become our children's behaviors. If we act angry or guilty all the time then our children tend to become angry and guilty. Here is a quote from that chapter:
  • "We cannot control everything our children experience, but we can influence how they process what life sends their way. We can teach them how to guard their hearts against the inevitable firestorms of life. No one impacts the health of a child's heart like Mom and Dad. Intentionally or unintentionally, on purpose or by accident, we build into our children or take away. This may be our greatest responsibility as parents." (pg. 188).
I learned a lot about my own character through reading this incredible book. I learned that I need to forgive completely and move forward. I also learned that the way I treat life is the way my children will treat life. I want to leave a Godly legacy for my children to look back on. I want to lead a God-centered life. If you are experiencing anger, greed, jealousy, or guilt in any form then this is the book for you.


God Bless,


Kristy

*I was given this book by Waterbrook Multnomah for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.*

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Night Night Blessings By: Amy Parker


I love reading to my little ones, especially at bedtime. They are so snuggly and cute. I am always looking for good Christian children's books that show God's love for us. I want books that explain God's love in a way that my two toddler's can understand. Amy Parker has done a great job in her new book Night Night Blessings. The illustrations are very well done by Marijan Ramljak. They were cute and captivating. Bear recognized the moon and stars and all of the pictures had something for him to point out.



Amy Parker is also the author of several other books such as A Night Night Prayer, A Christmas Prayer, Thank You, God, for Mommy, and Thank You, God, for Daddy. I cannot wait to read her other books to my kids.

This wonderful book starts off by thanking God for all of the blessings of the day. From pancakes for breakfast, to toys and games, and finally the moon and stars. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the book:
  • "Thank You for our family time. When we're all at home once more. We'll laugh and talk about our days~That's what family is for!"
  • "Thank You for a bright, shiny moon, a sky full of twinkly stars~I see how little I am and remember how big You are."
This is definitely a great addition to our nighttime routine. I have enjoyed reading it to my children and they have loved listening to all of the wonderful blessings God gives us each day.


God Bless,


Kristy

*This book was given to me by Booksneeze to review. All of the opinions expressed on this blog are my own.*

Monday, September 26, 2011

Love Your Friends

{Homemaking Monday}

Scripture of the day: "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." -1 John 4:7

Devotion of the week:
I love having friends. I don't have many close friends, but the ones I do have are very good ones. As I have gotten older I have had more discernment with choosing friends. In high school you want everyone to like you. You want to be popular and fit in. In college, you tend to just hang out with the people you have classes with. Sometimes you have things in common. Sometimes those friendships last a lifetime. When you get married you have a whole different set of friends (some that you haven't spoken to since high school or college). For me, I met my true friends after I got married. My friend "Mrs. A." was a person I could not picture myself being friends with when I first met her at my job (8 years ago). All it took was to invite her to church a few times and she and I have been close ever since. I love her so much and we can talk about anything. We have cried together and laughed (way more than cry). I also have a lifetime friend from when we lived in NC. Her name is "Mrs. K." I met her and her husband at church and we became close because we did things as couples. We went out to eat and had movie nights. It is so nice to have special friends like them. I would consider myself a "true blue friend". No matter what, I will be there for you. When one of my friends is hurting, I tend to take on that hurt like it is my own. I don't want to be someone's friend only in the good times. You know who your real friends are when you go through trials. Whoever is there for you is a real friend. The people who flee from you when times get tough are not true friends. I have had this happen to me more than I would like to admit. Everyone likes you and want to hang out when things are going great. But the moment trouble stirs in your life there is no one to be found. It is almost as if they think what is going on in your life is catching. "I don't want it to happen to me so I will just stay out of it."

It's kinda like our relationship with God. We only want Him around when times are good. He is our Friend when things are going great. But the moment we have problems or something doesn't go our way we blame Him. We question God and curse Him. He is our Savior, our Love, our Friend. Just like God never leaves our side and never stops loving us, we should treat our friends the same way. Be there for them in the good and bad times. Celebrate with them, cry with them, laugh with them, comfort them.

This week's menu:
*The week's theme is Italian*
  • Monday- eat out with some friends
  • Tuesday- Italian chicken and potatoes in the crockpot with biscuits
  • Wednesday- lasagna with salad and french bread
  • Thursday- sun-dried tomato Alfredo with fettuccine and chicken
  • Friday- leftovers
  • Saturday- rotini with cream sauce and ground beef with salad
  • Sunday- leftovers
Recipe of the week:
  • Italian chicken and potatoes in the crockpot
What you will need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or mix basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder to equal same)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
4 to 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

Instructions:
Place chicken in bottom of Crock Pot. Sprinkle with half of the Italian dressing, spices, and the grated cheese. Put the potatoes on top or around the chicken. Sprinkle with the rest of the dressing, spices, and cheese.
Cook on low for about 6-8 hours, or until the chicken is done and potatoes are tender.

Picture of the week:

My new dress...$6 @ the Good Will store!!


Activities for the week:
  • Monday- go out to eat with friends
  • Tuesday- stay home with kids and clean
  • Wednesday- go see "Nanny and Poppy" and family
  • Thursday- stay home with the kids and clean
  • Friday- go to a concert with my friend "Mrs. A." It is an early birthday gift to me :) Thank You!
  • Saturday- Crab Carnival in a local small town with the kids and Hubby
  • Sunday- church and relaxation
Blog of the week:
This is another blog by Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom. She is an awesome cook. Please check it out!

God Bless,

Kristy

*P.S. Look for 2 book reviews coming this week! They are really good :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

{Happy Homemaking}

Scripture of the day: Read Proverbs 31 by clicking on THIS link.


Devotion of the week:

Happy Homemaking! That's my new Monday motto. Being a stay-at-home-mom is a great responsibility. One that I don't take lightly. God has called me to stay home and take care of my family. It is a high calling. Hubby and I prayed very hard before we even had children as to what we would do in this aspect of raising our children. God made it very clear that my job was to take care of my family and home. Not everyone feels called to stay at home and some women financially cannot. That is unfortunate for them. I definitely don't take my job for granted. I try to make my home welcome and inviting, warm and loving. But my first priority is my marriage and children. I am my husband's helpmeet and a role model and caregiver to my children. I love what I do because God has called me to do it. I hope I will not fail Him in my tasks.

This week's menu:
I am trying to do themed meals each week from now on. This week is Mexican food.
  • Monday- Homemade Taco Soup with salad and cornbread
  • Tuesday- leftovers (yum)
  • Wednesday- Mexican pizza
  • Thursday- Nachos (with all the fixings) and Mexican rice
  • Friday- "Mommy-no-cook" night (something quick)
  • Saturday- Mexican lasagna with salad
  • Sunday- leftovers
Recipe of the week:
  • Crock pot Taco Soup
What you will need:
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1/2 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing

Instructions:
In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.               
Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning mix, and ranch dressing in a slow cooker. Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours.      

Picture of the week:

My boys enjoying their day at the living museum! It was such fun!


Activities for the week:
  • Monday- Schoolwork everyday this week (planning some activities today)
  • Tuesday-Wednesday- stay home with kids, school for Bear, tidy and clean house, laundry
  • Thursday- MOPS meeting in the a.m., school for Bear and naps in the p.m.
  • Friday- depending on the weather and my back maybe go to the park with the kids
  • Saturday- Hubby works and I haven't been feeling too good (back issues) so I will probably stay home and take it easy today
  • Sunday- church and then home to relax
Blog of the week:
This is a wonderful blog and website. A Christian woman named Jasmine is the creator. I just adore her stories and devotions. Please check her blog out very soon!

God Bless,


Kristy

Sunday, September 18, 2011

God's Will

Scripture of the day: "For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men." -1 Peter 2:15


Happy Sunday everyone! Today my family and I attended out church's annual community festival. There will be games, prizes, fellowship, and of course food! I love this time of year. This is kinda like the kick-off for fall to start.

For today's Sacred Sunday I am including a link to a sermon by Pastor Grant Ethridge. It is called "How to Know and Do God's Will". Pastor Grant is definitely a man of God and you can tell he loves the Lord. Please take time to listen to the sermon. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing it and have started applying it's principles to my life. I hope you have a fun Sunday!

Click HERE to listen to Pastor Grant's sermon.

God Bless,


Kristy

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Call Away By: Brenda Warner and Jennifer Schuchmann


One Call Away is a memoir of Brenda Warner's life. She has such an incredible testimony of faith and hope. She is the wife of retired NFL quarterback Kurt Warner. Together, they have seven children including one with special needs. Brenda is a registered nurse and former marine. Her life has been filled with sorrow and loss. But it has also been filled with joy and triumphs. Her faith never wavered through the good times or bad.

I enjoyed reading this book so much. I could not put it down. As a matter of fact, I am going to lend this book to all of my family and friends. Her story definitely changed the way I think of my own problems. You really have to put things into perspective and never give up.

The book is called One Call Away because her life was changed one phone call at a time. From her son's tragic accident when he was an infant to her ex-husband's betrayal and divorce. She had a choice to make with each phone call: to give in to the tragedy and let it take over her life or move forward and survive. She chose to survive. She held on to her faith in God and her hope for a better future.

Here is a quote from the back of the book: "Her story provides hope and encouragement for anyone facing life's challenges and shows us that our circumstances don't tell us who we are, not are they a measure of God's love. God has a plan for us, even when our plans fail. Brenda's life is proof that sometimes the best dreams are not the ones we dream, but the ones that that come true when we least expect them."

I just loves this book. I felt like I was part of her family as she included me, the reader, in her personal journey. There are even pictures of her and her family in the center of the book. Brenda and Kurt have a beautiful family and their marriage is an example to other couples. No, they are not perfect, but they rely on God to get them through all of life's challenges and treasures. This is a must-read and I will be reading it over and over again.


God Bless,


Kristy

*This book was given to me by BookSneeze to review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Monday, September 12, 2011

1 John 2:9

Scripture of the day: "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness." -1 John 2:9


Devotion for the week: (new this week)
At Church this past Sunday our Pastor talked about 1 John 2:9. He said we should love one another the way Christ loves us. We should hate no one. This verse, to me, says that even if you have a quarrel with someone you should make it right. As Christians, we need to let only good, uplifting, and encouraging words come out of our mouths. We can use our tongues to hurt and hate or heal and love. I, personally, have been working on being more positive with my words. I have started thinking about things before I say them. I ask myself if what I am going to say will hurt the situation/person or help them and show them Christ's love.

I also do not want to be in a quarrel with someone who feel hatred toward anyone. I have started praying for people in a different way. Instead of asking God why this or that happened to me and praying it would get better, I pray that God would bless the person whom hurt me. I also ask God to help me to love them the way He does and see them the way He does. It has changed my thinking and my heart towards others who have hurt me.

God loves everyone, so should I. No matter what someone has said or done to me, they deserve my forgiveness (even if they don't want it) because Jesus died on the cross to forgive me. I don't want that to be in vain. I want to get to Heaven one day and be able to say I did everything in my power to do what God asked me to do...love everyone as He does. I don't want to be found lacking in something that God has put on my heart to make better in my life.

This week's menu:
  • Monday- chicken Alfredo with salad (we never had this last week)
  • Tuesday- leftovers
  • Wednesday- pizza (probably order out)
  • Thursday- beef tips with gravy and egg noodles
  • Friday- leftovers
  • Saturday- burgers and hot dogs on the grill with veggies
  • Sunday- there is a festival at church all afternoon, we will eat there
Recipe of the week:
  • White Pizza with chicken
What you will need:
1 can refrigerated pizza crust
1/2 cup roasted garlic Alfredo sauce
2 cups shredded Italian 5-cheese blend 
1 (6-ounce) package grilled chicken breast strips
4 roasted garlic cloves 
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. Carefully unroll dough and place on prepared baking sheet. Press out dough with fingers to form 13 by 9-inch rectangle. Bake in preheated oven for 7 minutes, or until crust just begins to brown. Remove crust from oven. Spread Alfredo sauce over pizza leaving a 1-inch border. Next, top with remaining ingredients in order listed.  Return to oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and begins to bubble.


Picture of the week:

My two boys enjoying a wagon ride together.


Activities of the week:
  • Monday- laundry and house cleaning, work in the afternoon
  • Tuesday- MOPS meeting in the morning, work in the afternoon
  • Wednesday- no work, do something fun with the kids
  • Thursday- Happy 21st anniversary to Hubby's grandparents, work in the afternoon, tidy up house
  • Friday- not sure at this point, may do something fun, may just stay home
  • Saturday- go to the living museum with the kids and have a picnic afterwards
  • Sunday- church and festival afterwards (can't wait)
Blog of the week:
This is such an excellent blog. Katie and Steven Day are trying to adopt and this is all about their journey through that process. It reveals their hearts and well as the inside scoop on their adoption process. They express the sorrow and heartache as well as the joys and triumphs. Please stop by their blog and read some of their wonderful stories of faith and trust in God.

God Bless,


Kristy
 


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9-11-01

Scripture of the day: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.'  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:35-39





Ten years ago today our country was changed forever. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing and who I was with. I can't remember any of that from a week ago. But 9-11-01 will be etched into my heart until the day I die. People's lives were changed forever because of a horrible terrorist attack. Everyone flocked to God in prayer and churches and their Bibles. I pray that we remember the Lord in times of joy as well as times of sorrow and suffering.


I also pray that our country will honor those who lost their lives, either willingly or unwillingly, that fateful day and the families they left behind. We truly live in a wonderful country whose people are the bravest ones I know.



Thank you to all who serve currently and who have served in the past. Thank you to their families for sacrificing everyday for our safety and freedom.

This cross was found a few days after 9-11-01 at Ground Zero.
God is still with us!


God Bless,


Kristy

Thursday, September 8, 2011

As Far As The East Is From The West



I am so glad that God cast my sin so far away that we cannot even begin to fathom it. The distance is so far that it is literally incalculable.

Some days I think "Wow, I have messed up so bad. How can God ever forgive me?" I wonder how God could still love me after all I've done. I wonder why He would send His only Son to die for me on the cross. Because God loves us unconditionally. No matter what we do or how far we go, He will always love us.

That is when I am so thankful that I am not God. I am thankful that no human being is God. We tend to love conditionally. We have our own problems and our own solutions. God forgives us of every sin we have ever committed. That's all we have to do is ask. The Holy Spirit can reveal sin in your life so that you may confess it to God and repent.

God removes our sins so far that He doesn't even remember them. When we try to regress and think about our past sins, it is not of God and we should immediately change our thoughts. We must repent of them and never look back.

Aren't you glad that God is a God of redemption, grace, forgiveness, and love?

Sometimes, though, I do feel myself trying to take back part of my old self. I don't want to go back. I don't want to be that person ever again. Thankfully, no one, not even Satan, can take away my salvation!



Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you so much for forgiving me of every sin. Thank you for casting them as far as the East is from the West. Thank you for sending your Son to die for me on the cross. I pray that I will never look back at my old life and want that for myself. I pray that You will always remind me that I am saved and no one can take that away. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

God Bless,


Kristy

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dry As Rain By: Gina Holmes




I just finished reading Gina Holmes' second published book Dry As Rain. I will be honest and say I would not have chosen this book for myself but it was in the Christian fiction section of the review titles to choose from. So I decided to give it a try and see how it was. Gina Holmes is from Southern Virginia where she lives with her husband and children. She has written many articles and short stories in the past few years. You can find out more about her by visiting www.ginaholmes.com or www.noveljourney.blogspot.com (her personal blog).

Gina Holmes has a different style of writing than I am used to reading. The book was written in the first person. That person being a man named Eric Yoshida. I found it hard to relate to him or any of the other characters in the novel. I really had high hopes for reading this book because her first book, Crossing Oceans, got such great reviews. The book was not what I expected to say the least.

So here is a little bit of background to the book. It's about a man in his forties (Eric Yoshida) who is unhappy with his marriage to Kyra so he decides to have an affair with a younger woman from his office. This is after 20 years of marriage and they have a 19 year old son. Their son is unhappy with his life as well because he gets kicked out of the navy. The beginning of the book was very hard to read due to the nature of the affair Eric was having and the circumstances surrounding his wife's accident. I kept reading the novel with the hopes of a good ending because it was in the faith-based novel section.

There is very little mention of God (at least the loving Savior that I know personally). The relationships represented in the book really have nothing much to do with God and prayer and leaning on Him in times of trouble. I really looked for the redemption part of the book only to find it in the very last chapter of the book. There was a lot of talk about affairs and divorce. If you like soap operas and dramas then this is the book for you. I do believe that Gina Holmes really wanted to portray a real-life couple going through troubled times in their marriage. I mean who hasn't had troubled times? This was definitely different from anything I have ever read.

It wasn't all negativity because Eric does become closer to his wife and son in the end of the book. You just have to get past all of the arguing and fighting between the married couple. The middle of the book was interesting as well but I don't want to give too much of the book away. This is an emotionally dramatic book about forgiveness and redemption for one married couple on the brink of divorce. It is a very deep book that goes beyond the normal circumstances of married couples and digs deep into the heart of Eric Yoshida. It was easy to read as I read it in a week during my free time.


God Bless,


Kristy

*This book was given to me to review by Tyndale House Publishing and the opinions expressed here are solely my own*

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Scripture of the day: "It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:22-23


Happy Labor Day! Sorry about not having my menu up last week. We had a crazy week around here after Hurricane Irene blew through. We had no power for a day (no I am not complaining, just making a statement) so I figured I would take the week off from doing Monday Fun Day. When we got our power back on we were the first ones on either side of our families. We had lots of family come over just about everyday to take showers and wash clothes and dishes. We had a good time visiting and seeing everyone. When we didn't have company over we were cleaning up the tree debris in the yard and taking it to the curb for pick-up later in the week. Needless to say, I am tired but ready to get back to my daily routine.

Bear starts preschool on Tuesday. He loves his new teacher (ME!) and can't wait to learn new things. Our week is going to be another busy one but I don't mind.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful Mom (it was yesterday). I love you! We had her over for a spaghetti dinner with homemade garlic bread, salad, and butter cake with vanilla frosting. It was so yummy! I love birthdays!

This week's menu:
  • Monday- leftovers from my mom's birthday dinner
  • Tuesday- chicken and rice bake with salad
  • Wednesday- pizza
  • Thursday- meatloaf with mashed potatoes and corn; homemade pear sauce on the side
  • Friday- chicken Alfredo with veggies
  • Saturday- leftovers
  • Sunday- chili with cornbread (for opening day of football season)
Recipe of the week:
What you will need:
1 pound Ground Coffee (good, Rich Roast)
8 quarts Cold Water
Half-and-half (healthy Splash Per Serving)
Sweetened Condensed Milk (2-3 Tablespoons Per Serving)
Note: Can Use Skim Milk, 2% Milk, Whole Milk, Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners, Syrups...adapt To Your Liking!

Instructions:
In a large container, mix ground coffee with water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight.
Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Discard grounds.
Place coffee liquid in the fridge and allow to cool. Use as needed.
To make iced coffee, pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill glass 2/3 full with coffee liquid. Add healthy splash of half-and-half. Add 2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (can use plain sugar instead) and stir to combine. Taste and adjust half-and-half and/or sweetened condensed milk as needed.

Picture of the week:

Ducky is a mess eating spaghetti!


Activities of the week:
  • Monday- Happy Labor Day! I have to work in the afternoon so we will be staying home most of the day.
  • Tuesday- 1st day of preschool for Bear, take school pictures, I work in the afternoon
  • Wednesday- no work, clean house, laundry, etc.
  • Thursday- tidy up the house, work in afternoon
  • Friday- no work on Friday's for me anymore :) Do something fun with the kiddos!
  • Saturday- family picnic at a local park and hang out at home
  • Sunday- church, Remember 9/11, Happy 6th Birthday to my nephew "Cowboy", 1st day of official football season
Blog of the week:
I have been reading Sandra's blog for about 6 months now and I absolutely love it. She is a homeschool mom of 2 and a military wife. She loves doing crafty things and reading. She also really loves to cook. Her recipes rock! Please check out her blog for some awesome craft ideas and recipes.

Please remember to thank all of out service men and women including police, firefighters, emergency workers, and military personnel.
They are the true heroes of 9/11!

God Bless,


Kristy




Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Harvest Of Grace By: Cindy Woodsmall


Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best selling author. She has written many books. Her books are Amish-based and give us a closer look at the Plain life. She writes about Plain women and their daily struggles. The Harvest of Grace was given to me recently to review and I really enjoyed it. I have never read any books by Cindy Woodsmall and was absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to do so.

This book is part of a series call Ada's House Amish Romance Series. The first two books, The Hope of Refuge and The Bridge of Peace.  The same characters are in all three books except for the last one (Harvest) which introduces two new characters. This is where I started off the series.

Sylvia Fisher and Aaron Blank are both Amish dairy farmers who are unmarried. Their paths cross when Sylvia comes to work on the Blank farm after leaving her own family's farm due to a painful situation. They find each other comforting and friendly in a world where they have few friends. This story is about finding forgiveness and humility to accept it. Here is a quote from the back of the book: "Reeling from an unexpected betrayal, Sylvia makes a painful mistake that forces her to seek work far from her family. Can she find relief from the echoes of her past...or will they shape her future forever?"

I really enjoyed reading this book. There are many references to God and His love and forgiveness. I look forward to reading the first two books in the series. Sylvia represents a lot of women, whether Amish or not. Aaron deals with addiction and struggles with his past as well. What a wonderful book. I will be reading more books by Cindy Woodsmall.

God Bless,


Kristy

*This book was given to me by WaterBrook Multnomah and the opinions expressed are strictly mine alone*

*Please go HERE to rank my review*

All is Well!

Scripture of the day: "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." -Psalm 34:17



We were definitely delivered out of harm. Irene ripped through my neck of the woods all day on Saturday the 27th of August. I was so afraid that a tree would fall on our house. But, God kept us safe and He protected us from any damage. We were so blessed to get power back within 18 hours of losing it. I have family still without power and no end in sight. I am praying it comes back on soon for them.

Here are some pictures of the storm and the aftermath:








God is so good to us! His mercy endures forever!

God Bless,


Kristy