Raising Girls

Everyone always said raising girls was different from boys…. I agree 😉  I have 4 boys and 2 girls and they have their own unique quirks, challenges and of course, personalities. When my first daughter was born after having 2 boys, I was so excited to have a girl, and all things pink and frilly, when Little A came along as #5 I was happy for not just another girl but a sister for our Big A. But with these girls, comes the responsibility of teaching them and showing them those “all things girls”; teaching them about their bodies and how they are created and how things function and raise them to appreciate and be comfortable in their bodies.

{Oh goodness, so little & cute!}

{Side note- yes, we need to do this with our boys too, and I do- and dads can be involved too- perhaps more with the boys than the girls, but yes, this is important to encourage and support and teach well to all our children and to have good affirmation and love from both parents….. but for this post, I’m just focusing on me and my girls 😉 }

As my girls grow and mature, I am realizing how inadequate I feel to teach them well. It can be uncomfortable to talk about some of these subjects and how the body works and matures. And sometimes its hard to figure out how to approach various topics, what information do they need to hear, what ages to start being more intentional about sharing with them the “girl things” of life…. these things are running through my brain as my oldest girl is quickly approaching her 9th birthday. So, I was thrilled when, over a year ago, Beth at Fit2B started talking about creating a girls course. A course designed just for girls, to teach them these things we older ladies and moms all wish we had learned about sooner than we did. This course has finally come to fruition and I was privileged to part of the pilot group going through the content before its formal release to the public.

“Fit2B Girls is a radically different body education course for young girls ages 9-14. If you’re raising a girl, you will love how this course empowers her to respect her body and keep it healthy. It’s not about sex or boys. It’s just all about girls.”

I am so excited that this course is now available and you can go buy it right now! But before you do, let me tell you a few things I really loved about it.

First, it’s broken down into small chunks, a short video accompanying each topic along with a written portion as well. Each topic has a note from Beth expressing some of her thoughts and notes on the topic and then each section closes with a short and simple quiz. to review what was covered. The videos are short enough to hold attention and not get into too much detail but yet, enough to cover the subject and teach the girls.

Next, because it’s all wonderfully broken up and the topics don’t blend too much, we as the moms, can determine what content our girls are ready for without going into content that needs to wait for later. For example, some of the topics are great for the girls at any age and other topics may be better to wait and share with them after they have started cycling and still other topics may be better once they are much older and approaching adult life.

Plus, this course is still growing and when you purchase it now, not only will you have access to it forever, but as new content gets added, you will have that automatically as well.  {And, if you already have a premium membership….go look at your account, you already have access to this course as well as all the other courses Fit2B offers!}

And, the topics are not all taught by Beth! While she has some notes to share on each topic, most of the topics are covered by others, experts in their fields, moms (and dads!)  with hearts to share this knowledge and a vision to see this next generation of women grow up strong and knowledgeable in all aspects of their life. It is all presented in a simple, straight-forward -using proper terms, but not explicit in their content- way, with the ability for moms to take the subject and content and expand on it personally and as needed with their girl. While the course is fairly broad and covers much of what a girl may need to know, it also leaves many avenues open for further discussion and learning as the girls grow and learn more. It is a great way to springboard conversations and provide a way to start talking with your girls and allow them the freedom to learn and then ask more questions and learn some more!

 

“It can be done all at once in a special weekend. It can be done as part of a science study over a semester. It can be done in pieces as your girl needs each lesson. A few lessons can be done now, and a few more next year, and a few more the year after that.”

Overall, I cannot praise enough the value of this course. I am excited to go through it with my girls. My oldest has already listened to several topics with me as I previewed it. I am already culling through several of the topics and figuring out how to share them with my boys as they are ready; because they need to understand the differences between male and female and they need to learn to appreciate and value those differences and grow in their respect of girls and ladies, knowing that someday they may be married to one! I know she will appreciate their being aware and have a basic understanding of them as well.

This course is all about empowering girls to understand and respect their bodies and to learn how it works and how to keep it healthy. What mom wouldn’t want this kind of content in her arsenal of raising her daughter well?

You can read more about the course on this blog post HERE – or watch the short intro video about it HERE – and you can go buy it RIGHT HERE!

This course has just released this week – and it is currently being offered at a discounted rate. It will be on sale NOW through Cyber Monday Sales but there is a special coupon offer for a free Luna pad to the first 100 purchases of the course, so don’t wait too long!

Gospel Centered Mom {Book Review}

I was recently given the opportunity to read through, study and review this book before it’s release date. The title intrigued me when I first saw it. As a Christian mom, I desire to point my children to the gospel regularly and in every aspect of their lives but I don’t always know exactly what that might look like or practical ways to incorporate it into our daily lives.

As I was reading through the book several thoughts stood out to me as key to the whole thought of a gospel centered mom…. the first was the idea that there is “more than just now”- that concept that as we keep eternity in view, the rest of life starts to fall into place.

This was especially meaningful to me as while I was reading the book some events happened that really caused me again to look at life in light of eternity, trust in God’s plan even when it is not what “I” wanted and was reminded once again of the reality of the hope of heaven and the sweetness that day will bring.

The next concept is really what I feel most of the book was about…. and that is, it’s not our kids, our home, our life….

It’s US….. it’s us turning to Jesus at every point, every turn, every hour, to immerse ourselves in the Word and as we grow and live out our faith, our kids are watching us and learning from our example.

Our kids see the change or the impact Jesus and the Bible have in our lives and they are able to mimic us. As we become more like Christ and focus our thoughts on truths in the Word; our actions, our words and our lives reflect better the Gospel message to our kids and other around us.

There are definitely many other wonderful truths in this book, Brooke has done a wonderful job writing out her thoughts and then backing them up with Scripture references as well. A mom in any season of life will benefit from this book and it would make a wonderful small group study as well with discussion questions in the back. I am glad I was able to read this book, it was especially poignant in this season of my life, and I would highly recommend it to all of you moms!

The book releases today, August 1, 2017….. Read more about the book and purchase it HERE!


{affiliate link, thanks for your support!}

Love this quote and need a reminder on your fridge? Check out our shop here……

Simple Christmas Shopping…… {5 days only sale!}

posted in: Reviews, Sales & giveaways, thoughts | 0

 

Psst… can I share a little Christmas shopping secret with you?

If you’re not a fan of malls (nope, me neither) and you’ve already got that sense of impending doom as your gift list grows and your bank account balance shrinks, I’ve got really good news for you!

One of my favorite online companies loves to put together what they call “bundles” which is their way of saying “a crazy amount of value in one really affordable package”.

Well, they’ve created a special one just in time for the holidays! It’s called A Very Merry Gift Certificate Bundle and here’s how it works…

For just $15 you get $180 in store credits from 12 online businesses that align with a simple, natural lifestyle.

You know those coupon books that schools and sports teams sell as fundraisers? It’s sort of like that, except that these aren’t coupons (they’re better!).

You literally get $15 gift certificates to put towards whatever you like from a dozen participating stores. All you’ll pay are standard shipping rates (which varies by store).

With your bundle, you’ll be able to purchase well-made, meaningful and clutter-free gifts like:

  • ethically-sourced coffees from around the world
  • photo products including wall decor, canvas wraps, prints and albums
  • classy custom-made bags, totes and camera straps
  • eco-friendly reusable glass drinking straws
  • healing tallow skin balms and lip love
  • inspirational hand-lettered art prints
  • Kombucha bottles, supplies, and brewing kits

As long as you use one gift certificate, you’ll come out even. Use two and you’ve already gotten a great deal, worth twice what you paid!

The more you use, the more you save, all the way up to $165 free shopping dollars, so you can spend less while gifting well this Christmas.

The only catch? It’s available for just 7 short days, so you need to grab yours quick (and then, get shopping)! Last day to get yours is Monday, December 5th.

 

 
This year’s Very Merry Gift Certificate Bundle comes with $180 worth of gift certificates including:

 

{Affiliate post….. it doesn’t cost you any more but I get a small bonus for each bundle sold…thanks for your support!}

The Alexapure Filter {A long-over due review & incredible sale}

alexapureOH MY! I just saw this sale come across my email and I almost wished I hadn’t bought my Alexapure a few months back!
 
I absolutely love my Alexapure filter, after months (maybe years!) of running to the grocery store to refill water jugs or replacing old jugs with new water jugs, we received one for our anniversary – best.gift.ever 😉 I truly do not miss visiting frequently with the ladies at the grocery store (who kindly asked ‘no water today’ for weeks after!) – I end up grocery shopping often enough just to keep food in the house 😉
Anyhow – our tap water is technically ok to drink, it’s on a city water system. However, it tastes awful. So, getting a filter has been on my wish list for years.
The Alexapure sits on our counter, the kids water cups nearby and I fill it up around twice a day. Usually, after cleaning up the kitchen in the evening, I make sure I empty out the reservoir filling the coffee pot, water pitcher or water bottles and then fill up the upper reservoir to filter. Typically, it take a 2-3 hours for the upper to completely filter down into the lower reservoir. Then sometime during the day, depending on our water usage, I will top off the upper reservoir and let it filter through. The upper and lower reservoirs hold approximately 2.5 gallons of water each which works out fine, even for our large family. I have filled several gallon jugs I leave in the pantry for the occasional time when I need a lot of water at one time (filling a soup pot, replacing my kombucha water or making a large pot of rice or pasta…..) Then that evening or next morning, I will refill my jug and put back away without draining the entire drinking water supply just before dinner 😉
 
The water filtered out of the Alexapure tastes wonderful, clean and pure. Even my rather particular and taste sensitive husband agrees it is wonderful. And after several months of using it, I cannot hardly stand the taste of our tap water anymore. Plus, knowing that our main beverage around here is water, I know I am supporting my kids bodies well using good water and not water that may have been compromised in some sort.
 
Another added benefit to this filter is its portability. Since it doesn’t permanently install, we can easily take it with us for overnight camping trips, long road trips or when we move. If we were ever faced with a natural disaster such as a wildfire or weather concern and we needed to leave, I could easily put the filter in the car and fill it up with water from anywhere and have fresh and safe water for my family to drink.
 
So seriously, if you have been contemplating a water filter for your family….. THIS IS THE WEEK TO DO IT!!!!!
Now thru November 18 APRIL 4th!!!! (New sale this week!)- any Alexapure filter will come with an additional filter – an $97 value FOR FREE! The filter system already comes with one, so this will give you two…. having 2 in the reservoir will speed up the filter time as well as extend the life of both filters (typical lifespan of a filter is 5000 gallons)
 
Click this link below and head to the Alexapure sale page – Sale is NOW thru April 4th, 2017!!!

You can also click the below link to find the Alexapure information page for additional information on the product!

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A Fit2B Sale

posted in: Fit2B, homeschool, Reviews, Sales & giveaways | 0
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You all know how much I love Fit2B and their workouts and Beth’s heart for encouraging and strengthening women by providing awareness, education and healing helps for diastasis.

{Oh, you don’t know how much I appreciate Fit2B, check out this post from last year 😉 }

{No idea what a diastasis is? Check out THIS LINK – seriously, I so wish I had known this much sooner than I did!}

 

Anyway, Fit2B offers a great wholesome online family workout site, with a huge list of workouts, everything ranging from easy to hard, from aerobic to relaxing and everything in between. There is truly something for every level of need and desire. While their workout access membership plans and their variety in e-courses is incredibly affordable and economically priced to begin with, each year there are a couple sales that pop up….. TODAY IS ONE OF THOSE DAYS!
{Today being Monday, October 3rd, 2016….}

FOR TODAY ONLY – To celebrate the 6th anniversary of Fit2B –

Get 1 year of Fit2B for $89
No Startup Fee for monthly memberships
NEW Premium Package for $109 (reg $159) – Find out more about the this new package here – it’s incredible!

No discount codes needed.

You can CLICK HERE to access the membership and products page to see all the details!

 

PLUS – For the rest of October, take 20% off all ecourses and tangible products!

 
{Oh, if you have never tried the tummy crème or other “on your skin” line….. they are fabulous!}
 

 

 

Fit2B Anniversary leader board

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2016!

posted in: Fit2B, homeschool, Reviews, Sales & giveaways | 0

 

 


Do you ever feel overwhelmed by healthy living?

It’s not that you don’t understand or agree with why it matters. You’re sold on the merits of eating whole foods, raising healthier kids, avoiding toxins and chemicals, getting fit, and using alternative remedies.

But sometimes it’s a whole lot easier to say than to actually do, right? Believe me, I’ve had the same struggles and questions as you. What on earth do you eat (and especially, what do you feed your kids)? How do you afford to buy healthier products? And where do you find the time to make and do all this stuff?

I know what it’s like to feel that healthy living shouldn’t be this hard, and it shouldn’t have to cost so much, either! Don’t you ever wish someone would just tell you exactly what you need to know and how to make these changes for less?

Because when you have the right info and tools at your fingertips, it all comes together so much more easily.

You know what to cook for your family. You’re more confident in choosing natural alternatives. You find ways to save money without comprising on what’s important to you.

You learn to replace store-bought products with DIY options that actually work and are easy to make. You feel better (and even look better, too). Healthy living becomes less stressful and more enjoyable.

That’s why Stephanie and her team have put together the popular Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle for the fifth year in a row (hurray!). They’re amazed at how many families are saying “yes!” to their health (over 64,000 and counting!) and taking them up on this super short opportunity to get a complete library of natural living resources for one teeny tiny price.

You sort of need to see it to believe it, but the package includes 83 digital products and it’s worth over $2,400!

{uh yeah, seriously….. I was very impressed by the line-up of books in this bundle…. there are many gluten free and paleo resources as well as a brand new e-course from one of my favorite-ist people on earth, Beth from Fit2B!}

  • For the cost of a small bag of groceries, you’ll get a complete healthy living library to help you:
  • prepare whole & delicious real food
  • get the toxins out of your house for good
  • understand and use natural remedies
  • breathe new life into your exercise habits
  • learn about important women’s health issues
  • raise exceptionally healthy kids in an unhealthy world
  • plus learn about gardening & homesteading, meal planning, weight loss and so much more!

Plus, it comes with over $250 worth of bonus offers including:

1. Bloom Naturals – $15 gift certificate toward any product ($15 value)
2. Perfect Supplements – $15 gift certificate toward any Perfect Brand product ($15 value)
3. TriLight Health – $15 off select TriLight products ($15 value)
4. MadeOn Skin Care – FREE BeeCool Muscle Balm Stick and Natural Lip Balm Combo (value $15.25)
5. The Maca Team – FREE Organic Gelatinized Yellow Maca Powder, 8 oz. ($15.44 value)
6. Primal Life Organics – FREE 1-ounce jar of Dirty Mouth Toothpowder ($15.97 value)
7. Get Kombucha – FREE 2-week supply (15 ml) of Kombucha Pro: Liquid Probiotics (value $29.99) AND/OR a FREE 1-ounce bag of 8. Get Kombucha’s Custom Organic Kombucha Tea Blend (value $15.99)
9. Orglamix – FREE Mineral Eye Shadow Trio ($18 value)
10. Experience Life – 4 FREE digital guides (value $29.99)
11. Grove Co. – FREE Mrs. Meyer’s 64 Load Laundry Detergent, Mrs. Meyer’s Fabric Softener, 60 Day VIP Trial, and FREE shipping with a $20 minimum purchase for new customers ($32.66 value); FREE 1-year VIP Membership ($39.95 value) for existing customers
12. Meal Garden – 6 months of Meal Garden FREE (value $35.70)

Besides being so incredibly helpful and inspiring, one of the things I like best about the bundle is the price. By offering the bundle for a short time only, they’re able to give you access to over $2,400 worth of high-quality eBooks, eCourses and printables for a whopping 98% off!

Here’s how it works:
Visit their website, take a quick look at all the goodness that comes in this package, then click the green “Buy now!” button to go through their simple and secure 3-step checkout process.

You’ll receive an email with a login to their online access portal, where you’ll begin downloading your eBooks, signing up for your eCourses, and redeeming your free bonus offers.

Use their Getting Started Guide to pick the topic you want to tackle first and start making healthy changes!

{even if you just download a couple of the items, you will have paid for the bundle….. plus the freebies make great gifts and you may gift any e-books or courses you are not going to use, just send them as a gift and then delete off your computer!}

The most important detail, though, is that this bundle is available for just six days! After Monday night, September 26th, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

It’s even backed by a full money-back happiness guarantee, so you can make sure it’s right for you.

No one should have to put off a healthier lifestyle because it costs too much or they can’t get the help they need.

Our family has felt so much better by making changes to the way we eat, the products we use, and how we take care of ourselves. It’s made all the difference in the world and I want the same for you.

Get what you need for your healthy lifestyle. Learn more or get your bundle HERE.

(Psst… the bundle goes away at 11:59pm Eastern on Monday, September 26th, so don’t wait!)

Use this ^^^ to get more details and specifics!

 

{So, yes…this is a pre-scripted blog post…. but it has all the info in it you need to learn about the bundle, so it made sense to use it 😉 Links included in this post are affiliate links, I get a little kickback when you make a purchase…. but I am really loving all that is included in this bundle, so I happy to be able to offer it to you as well! Use the link just above to go to the sale page and get more details!}

 

Lifestyle Learning

_Think Outside the Classroom_

It’s a little book with a pretty aqua and cream cover. A short read, only 56 pages long. But, as you read it, prepare to be encouraged, strengthened and renewed in your homeschooling vision and direction. Think cover 1

I don’t know that I read anything new to my brain personally, {however, if you follow a strict “school classroom at home” format, you may be greatly challenged by some new concepts!} but I was so encouraged as I read through the book one evening because as Kelly shared her family’s approach to their home-school, I found myself agreeing. Those truths I knew in my brain and heart Kelly was able to articulate in writing. Those dreams and goals I have for my children, those ‘end results’ I desire to have in our own home-school, Kelly and her family were using and achieving. 

Kelly Crawford is a lady I greatly admire and consider one who is worthy of offering advice, truth and encouragement into my life. Though I have never met her in person, her blog posts and the life she lives has shown me that she is a mama ahead of me on a similar journey, a mama of many children, a mama who has “graduated” several of them and so I know the words she speaks come from not only Godly wisdom but practical life experiences too.  Her other book “When Motherhood Feels Too Hard” is one I keep near and have read through often over the last few years.

A Lifestyle of Learning(1)

I would encourage any homeschooling mama to pick up a copy of this book and read it through. The concept of “Lifestyle of Learning” is so key, I believe, to a quality education. That concept that we are teaching our children to not just recite facts and figures back to us but rather teaching them how to learn, how to find answers to their questions, how to think and how to articulate clearly their own thoughts. Kelly includes in this book not only a concept and style of learning, but practical ways to implement this in your own home.

 

“With life-learning, there is no start of finish, no taking off, no being behind….. just a constant readiness to learn something else.” ~ Kelly Crawford

 

This short phrase sums up so well this book “Think Outside the Classroom”, a desire to teach our children to learn, to view each day and each moment as an opportunity to learn and grow. A lifestyle, that once mastered in the childhood years will carry on throughout their lives, well preparing them for their lives ahead.

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For this print and other encouraging quotes and verse on learning, visit our shop page!

 

 

{I did receive a copy of this book to read and review, however all thoughts and the review above are my own!}

{Affiliate links used, thanks for your support!}

 

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Dear Mama, your crockpot is a game-changer…. #triggersbook

posted in: gracewords, homeschool, Reviews | 0

Dear Mama,

Do you ever get to the end of the day, you know, like around 3:30 p.m., and just want to be done with your day? I know I have sure been there. My morning may have started great, a quiet few moments before the kids woke up, a nice breakfast, even squeezed in a shower and got dressed. The kids accomplished something profitable in the school and chores, the laundry actually got into the dryer. All in all, it was a good day…. and then there’s that late afternoon slump. And you realize everyone, including your husband, are going to want dinner. Preferably something hot and yummy. By now the kids are hitting that marvelous period of time just before dinner, the boys are running track around the kitchen island, the girls have gotten out every.single.doll and doll clothing item they can find, the toddler is whining at your leg and the baby needs fed. It’s all set for the ‘perfect mommy storm’ – that last straw that breaks the camel’s back – the end of the rope – and mama explodes in frustration. I know for me, it’s not usually one thing. I can handle one thing. One little trigger of back talk, one little trigger of a child disobeying and pushing limits, one trigger of needing a nap. For me, it’s multiple triggers all hitting me at the same time. And then, I loose it.

As I have been reading through the new book, Triggers, this last week, I have realized that yes, I can be that angry mom. That frustrated mom. The mom that looses her patience {again, and again} with those precious little children that she loves dearly and yet, can drive her to the point of crazy. I love how Amber and Wendy take those ‘little triggers’ and pinpoint them and separate them and help you think through- what am I really getting upset at? What are the triggers in my life that will make that “boom of mad” go off? As they walk through the multitude of triggers we have in our lives, they walk through ways to handle them better. Ways to stop and realize what is actually going on and help you think through -in advance- the better way, the more Godly way to respond to those situations that come that will be triggers for you to loose it.

So, where does the crock-pot become a game changer? As I was thinking through my days and various triggers and things that cause stress, I realized how thankful I was for my crock-pot. You see, I use my crock-pot A LOT. There is something so calming and reassuring when that late afternoon slump hits and the kids hit crazy, I know dinner is taken care of. I can go ahead and sit down and just read books for a little with the little ones, I can challenge my boys to a game of chess, we can all head to the playroom and play ‘clean up’ together- ’cause you know cleaning is much more fun when mama helps out and I get the added bonus of a cleaned up room and I have found that when the kids start cleaning and have space to play, they almost always find something to play- nicely and quietly and together- at which point I can slip out and work on something else. The joy of having dinner under control is an incredible sanity saver for me and if you struggle with that late afternoon madness and are ready to not be ‘angry mom’ any more, you might find utilizing your crock-pot a little more often will help alleviate some of those trigger points in your life.

I know for me, I don’t want to be an angry mom. I want to enjoy these moments and days with my kids. I want to be able to use my self control and teach my kids to do the same. To have a calm response. To replace that scowl of frustration with a smile of joy. I am working on my second trip through this wonderful book, Triggers, and it is truly blessing me and changing me. I love the many, many Scripture references through the book, reminding me of the truth of what is being said. I love the practical aspect of steps you can take and positive changes you can make.

I love this thought from the book:

“Let yourself imagine a home where your words set a tone of loving-kindness. A home where your first reaction is compassion instead of annoyance. Where you replace the fiery cycle of anger and guilt with conviction and spiritual growth. A place where you draw the hearts of your children toward grace and where every one of you thrives.” ~ Amber Lia

This is my hope and desire for our home.

And I would love for you to be blessed by these ladies and their words as well…. you can purchase the book Triggers HERE and if you would like to work on using your crock-pot more, here’s a couple recipes for you to try out. If you have a favorite crock-pot meal, leave it in the comments below! I am always wanting new recipes too ;- )

Shredded Chicken

  • 2-4 chicken breast (frozen or thawed, just adjust cook time accordingly!)
  • 1-2 cups salsa OR 8 oz diced green chilies, 1 onion chopped and 2-4 TB minced garlic

Pour salsa or green chilies over top the chicken and cook on low 4-6 hours.

With a large fork, shred chicken and stir in water/salsa/chilies in crock-pot.

This makes great chicken for burritos, tacos, salads- pretty much anything 😉 Leftovers often even end up in a chicken chili or stew of some sort.

 

And to go with your shredded chicken, here’s my favorite recipe for re-fried beans in the crock-pot. This is super easy- and can easily cook overnight, freeing up your crock-pot for something else during the day. I know bean and cheese burritos is one of my kids favorite lunch options, and it’s really is very simple to do 😉

Refried Beans

  • 3 cups dried pinto beans, washed and rinsed (if you like, you can soak these beforehand, but they work just fine not soaking as well!)
  • 7 cups water
  • 2-3 TB chili powder
  • 1-2 TB cumin
  • Salt to taste (I always add at end of cooking and blending so I can add to taste, but will probably need at least 1 TB!)
  • Optional: 14 oz can of tomatoes, 4-8 oz can of chilies, a chopped onion or couple cloves of garlic

Put the beans, water and spices in the crock-pot and cook on low 8-10 hours.

When beans are cooked, using a hand blender, blend/mash the beans to desired consistency. (Your water ratio above should be good to cook the beans well but not leave you with runny beans!)

Salt to taste, can also add additional chilies or other seasonings at this point.

Serve and enjoy! These last great in fridge a couple weeks. And should freeze fine as well, though I rarely do since we go through them so quick!

Need some more idea? Check out these blogs……

Crockpot365- A year of slow cooking is a great site for new recipes and ideas.

Mrs Criddle’s Kitchen – a wonderful source for THM crockpot ideas

Counting All Joy – a good source for those on GF, DF or other restricted diets

What is your favorite way to use your crock-pot?

 

Behold the Beauty: a book review

Psalm 274-2

A few weeks back I received an email from a friend of mine; a lady I don’t know super well but one that I am always glad to hear from ’cause she is a wonderful woman of God and someone I admire. We met many years ago – now that I am thinking about it, I cannot believe it’s been that long! – but her boys were all still so young at the time, her youngest not even born yet. But I always loved her ready smile and encouraging words even as a young woman myself, not yet married or having kids.  As life does however, our lives somewhat drifted apart as I got married and moved around but we continued to stay in touch through our respective blogs and the occasional emails. So, when she emailed me about a book she had just written and published asking if I would like to review a copy….I said yes; I definitely wanted to see and hear her words of wisdom and thoughts on life!

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The title of the book, Behold the Beauty, is based on the verse in Psalms 27:4: “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that shall I seek; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.”

As I read that verse, I stopped and just contemplated that thought…. ONE THING, this one thing I have asked…THIS is the one thing I seek…. to dwell in God’s presence and see His beauty…… what a wonderful thought to contemplate.

This book is an easy read, with short chapters and inviting stories and thoughts, as Monica delves into the concept of being in the Word, allowing the Bible and God’s Word to impact every area of our lives and to seek hard, to seek faithfully, and apply the truths given in God’s Word. As I was reading it, I realized this would make a wonderful read for my oldest as well. As he is beginning His own walk with the Lord, this book offers good direction on the “how- to” of Bible reading and study. It gives some great ideas on various ways to read a passage, different views to take to glean from the words given there. But at the same time, I was challenged as well, as a more ‘seasoned’ Christian, to look at my reading perhaps in a new way. It challenged me to think more about the time spent in the Word and to make that time more meaningful.

I think this quote from one of the chapters sums up well the heart of the book…..

“…..to feed my excitement over God’s love for me, and to be more and more convinced of His greatness, I look carefully into the details of His Word. To see each story, to immerse myself in the detailed events of the Bible, and to hear every word of each conversation in the Scriptures is to grow my understanding of who God is….”

Written from a first person standpoint, like you are sitting and conversing together over a cup of tea, each chapter is summed up with questions and ideas for applying the truths, making this book very practical and a wonderful addition to your daily reading.

I do highly recommend this book, not just from the truth of the content and it’s validity and well-written truths, but also from a knowledge of the person who penned the words, whose life is seen living out the words she shares, a life worth looking at and emulating.

As we close out this year of 2015 and are moving into the new year, may I encourage to renew yourself in the coming days by ‘pushing pause’ and assessing where you are spiritually? What changes would you like to see in the coming year? What is a small step you can take this week to help you achieve that goal? If spending more time in the Word, or increasing the quality of your reading time is on your list, this book, Behold the Beauty would be a wonderful read. I would also highly recommend Feeding Your Soul: A Quiet Time Handbook. This has been another book that has impacted my reading time as well as Jean’s latest book, Pursue the Intentional Life.

You can find the book in print or Kindle here on Amazon {aff link} – and you can enjoy more of Monica’s writing in her blog or Facebook & Twitter.



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