Friday, October 13, 2017

Adored - Book Review


My teen daughter has recently expressed an interest in the discipline of Quiet Time, those intentional moments we spend with God. We've discussed bible reading plans and online communities, yet she hasn't found exactly what she had in mind. She thought a devotional might be the answer. 

Disclosure:  I was given the opportunity to review "Adored," receiving a copy from Handlebar Publishing. I have not been monetarily compensated, nor am I required to write a positive review. Views expressed are my own.

When she opened the package, my daughter squealed with delight. She 'oohed & aahed' over the cover design. The blue and gold hand-lettered look is on trend with today's teens. I like the size (about 5.25"w x 7.5"l x 1.25" thick), as I think she will be able to tuck it into her backpack or Kavu without it taking up too much space. 

The pages are smooth with a pretty blue border on the outer pages that matches the cover. Though the print is small to my older eyes, my teenager can see the words clearly. There are 365 days of devotions, an entire year of reflection. My daughter especially liked the headings are numbered Day 1, Day 2, etc. instead of by Month & Day. When I asked why, she replied, "Because if I miss a day, I won't feel guilty. I can just pick up where I left off."

There is a bible verse at the top of the page (NIV translation is used) with a couple of paragraphs below, which are points to ponder. The wording is straight-forward, and will take under 3 minutes to read. Most of the pages seem to focus on why and how God not only loves us, but understanding He adores us. It is easy to 'hear' the author's voice, as if she is chatting with a friend. 

The bottom of the page contains a few ruled lines to write a prayer, journal a thought, or make a note. I think this book will allow my daughter to better enjoy her quiet time with Him. She'll have something to dwell upon, a piece of scripture to reference it, and most of all, connect with her Lord. 

The price point (Under $15 on most sites, though I've seen it as low as $10.99 on sale) makes this a wonderful idea for the teenager/young 20-something in your life. I would be comfortable giving it as a gift for a newly-baptized believer, stocking stuffer for a niece or neighbor, or even a 'just because' to a special church friend. 

I think this will become a well-loved page turner for my daughter. I look forward to discussing her thoughts on each day's devotions, and watching her grow in Him.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hoping to Gain by Defining Beauty



I began a new bible study this week; and in an effort to help me process what I read, I want to write down my thoughts after each chapter. If you're interested in learning more about the study, click this link
or watch some videos at this link.




I was excited to start this study, hoping to gain some biblical insight and understand what His Word says about the body...then I read the first chapter's discussion questions. My mind swirled and my heart sank. I was going to have to dig deep, truly soul search, if I wanted to gain and glean. The hardest part of growing is the pruning; the clipping back of our beliefs & experiences, so we flourish in Truth and into the beautiful creation He intended.

The most difficult questions for me are the last two of chapter one:

How would you define beauty?
What do you hope to gain through this study?

Define Beauty 
Hmm...do I give the Christianese answer, or the world's viewpoint answer? I turned to my daughter and her friend, and asked them. They are fourteen, and regularly inundated with the obsession of chasing beauty. Their responses were a little surprising, and encouraging:  

Confident
Truthful
Helpful

I have so much to learn! They are looking beyond the surface, and deep into the hearts of the people they admire. 

Hoping to Gain
Not until I prayed about this question, did I realize I still had body image issues. I honestly thought for the most part I had dealt with the history of living life in this flesh He fashioned specifically for me. As I shared with my group what I hoped to gain from this study, tears from deep down bubbled up to the surface...and I'm not a crier by nature. 

My hope is to once-and-for-all truly believe in the depths of my soul that I am who the I AM says I am. I want to KNOW - without any doubt - that all those verses I quote to my children and sisters and friends are intended for me, too. 

Psalm 139:14
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Job 10:10-12
You guided my conception
    and formed me in the womb.
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and you knit my bones and sinews together.
12 You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love.
    My life was preserved by your care.

Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” 
So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

So today, I begin earnest prayer. As I seek the Truth of beauty, I seek His transformation of my perceptions on this subject and a willing heart prepared to accept what He shows me in this journey. May my desires for the perfect body, instead match His desires for me to glorify Him with the body I've been given. It's time to move and grow. 

How do you define beauty?

Does the way you view your body
inhibit your walk with God?

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Journey to Steady

Click image to link up to FMF "Steady"







To participate in Five Minute Friday,
 all you have to do is write for five minutes on the word of the week, post your words on your own blog, and link up the post here.  
This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

Today's prompt:  STEADY

People often ask me how I manage the life I've been given. There is so much I don't share on this blog. You, reader, only get to see the glimmer I allow you to view. Today, I'll share just a little bit more personal than I usually do. I know I won't be able to go in depth because of time allowances, but here is a glimpse...

BEGIN...

Almost a decade ago, my dearest declined in health which forced a retirement from his career twenty-five years before he planned. It shifted the axis of our world, throwing our entire family off-kilter while we figured out our new life. 

We were a self-reliant couple. One of the qualities that first drew me to him was his quiet, inner strength. He worked hard, played hard, and I just knew he was the one God intended for me to spend with my days on this earth. 

I'm just as independent as my best friend, my love, my husband. We typically didn't turn to others when something went awry. We figured it out and went about fixing or doing what needed done. 

When life as we knew it came to a halt, we were thrown into a stunning new scenario. Life's dreams were ceased. Career pursuits halted, and honestly, we had no idea where we were going or what we were to be doing. 

And that has become the biggest blessing in our lives. 

Because these self-reliant, independent creatures we were suddenly had nowhere to turn ...except to our God. We learned to truly rely on Him. He is where we could draw strength. He is our might. He is the Source.

When the storms of life toss us, instead of flailing our arms helplessly about, we choose to lift them up, knowing He will be there to grab hold. He is our STEADY.

...STOP

We are forever grateful for the journey He's given us. 
We praise Him for showing us how to rely on Him.