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What I’m Reading – Tales of the Defended Ones

10 Apr
My Thoughts

Tales of the Defended Ones is the second book in Beth Guckenberger’s Storyweaver series. I loved the first book in the series – Tales of the Not Forgotten and couldn’t wait to read this one. Beth has written this collection of stories for children 8 years old and up with each story pointing to God and how we can see Him in the stories, even the hard ones to read. The children’s stories shared are heartbreaking, yet filled with hope.

I love that Beth includes pictures, facts about the places where the children live, and insight into the culture where their stories begin. She also shares something to remember at the end of each story and a space to write down thoughts as well as snippets from her own journal.

Beth shares these stories of children to let others know that our stories are all interwoven and God is our Storyweaver. She invites us to hear how God is working in people’s lives and to get involved. Not only are both books in the Storyweaver series great reading for individuals, but are fantastic to read together as a family.

You can purchase this book here:


Enter Today - 4/3 - 4/21!
Tales of  the Defended Ones Beth Guckenberger iPad Giveaway


About the Book

Ben and Joseph lose their mothers, but find a family looking just for them. Antonio is rescued from what seems like a hopeless situation. Caitlyn dares to trust that truth will set her free. Jorani is delivered from slavery into the arms of grace.

Follow these real-life stories as they take you on a journey to foreign places and extreme struggles. Travel through their challenges and see the hand of the great Storyweaver – our Defender God shielding and defending the defenseless in the amazing ways only he can. These are the tales of the ones left wounded and weak-ones made whole and strong.

About the Author

Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, are the founders of Back2Back Ministries which communicates a lifestyle of service by sharing the love of Christ and serving God through service to others. Guckenberger travels and speaks regularly at women’s and missions conferences, as well as youth gatherings and church services. In addition to her children’s releases in the Storyweaver series, Guckenberger has written two mission-minded books. She has also partnered with Standard Publishing on the mission content in its 2013 VBS program. The Guckenberger family lives and serves in Monterrey, Mexico.
Find out more about Beth at http://www.bethguckenberger.com/.  


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

What I’m Reading – Bread & Wine

6 Apr
My Thoughts

Many of the most sacred moments in my life, the ones in which I feel God’s presence most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place around the table. Something extraordinary happens when we slow down, open our homes, look into one another’s faces, and listen to one another’s stories around the table.

Bread & Wine is an invitation to join Shauna at the table. To this place where people come to eat, but holds so much more than just a meal. Delightfully written, she combines wonderful storytelling with some of her favorite recipes.

I can’t imagine life without a table between us.

I so loved reading about the group of women she gathers around the table with – The Cooking Club. What began as a group coming together over a meal became a community of families doing life together.

I want my kids to taste and smell and experience the biggest possible world, because every bite of it, every taste and texture and flavor, is delicious.

I also loved reading about her adventures in traveling with her father which she is now experiencing with her own children. How she challenges them to learn and love differences along the way. How she encourages them to grab hold of life in every way possible.

Bread & Wine is a beautiful book that encouraged me to be a little braver in cooking and fed my soul with stories of the sacred space around the table.
I loved it and I know you will too.


You can purchase this book here:

About the Book

Bread & Wine is a collection of stories about life around the table–about family, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. It’s about Bacon-Wrapped Dates and Mango Chicken Curry and Blueberry Crisp. It’s about the ways God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us. It’s about recipes, entertaining ideas, and meals to share with friends and family, made by hand and with love.

About the Author

Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine. Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French Literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She is married to Aaron Niequist, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek Community Church and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Aaron & Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac. Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life–friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God. 
You can find out more about Shauna and read her blog at www.shaunaniequist.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

What I’m Reading – Lead Your Family Like Jesus

30 Mar
My Thoughts

What I love about Lead Your Family Like Jesus is that it isn’t another “how to” book that you can use to check things off of a list to be a better parent. Instead it is a book that invites you to learn more about Jesus and implement those lessons in your home with a servant heart like His. Each author writes from their experience as parents and all they have learned along the way.


I especially loved the chapter in which Tricia Goyer shared about her experience of getting overwhelmed by her every day schedule. She and her husband sat down to look at everything she was doing and came up with a plan. She assigned each activity with a number from 1 to 4. 1 being those things that she had to do. 2 being things that she should do. 3 being things that she enjoyed doing and helped her. 4 being things she was afraid to say no to or things she did to look good to others. She ended up cutting out all the 4s and even some of the 3s. Doing so enabled her to refocus and evaluate her heart in all she was doing.

I also loved that Tricia shared how she prays for her children. 
She prays for their:

Head – that they will always lift their heads to look to the Lord and that they will allow God to life their heads when they are hurt or discouraged,
Shoulders – so they will learn to let God carry their burdens,
Knees – that they will get on their knees before God regularly, and
Toes – that a community of believers will surround them and keep them on their toes.

Love these messages from Tricia Goyer!




Enter Today - 3/25- 4/16!
LEAD YOUR FAMILY LIKE JESUS BY KEN BLANCHARD, PHIL HODGES & TRICIA  GOYER IPAD GIVEAWAY

About the Book

Does your family need a five-star general at the helm? A psychologist? A referee? Ken Blanchard, best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus, points to a better role model: the Son of God. Joined by veteran parents and authors Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer, renowned business mentor Blanchard shows how every family member benefits when parents take the reins as servant-leaders. Moms and dads will see themselves in a whole new light—as life-changers who get their example, strength, and joy from following Jesus at home. This user-friendly book’s practical principles and personal stories mark the path to a truly Christ-centered family, where integrity, love, grace, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness make all the difference.

You can purchase this book here:

About the Author

Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of over thirty books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. 
Learn more about Tricia at her website: http://triciagoyer.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

What I’m Reading – Jesus: Pure & Simple

23 Mar
My Thoughts

It’s time to get back to Jesus.
– Wayne Cordeiro

Ever have a book read you instead of you reading it? That is what Jesus: Pure and Simple did to me. It was a book that I needed to read at exactly the time I needed to read it. There is just so much wisdom within the pages that I wore out my highlighter. Not only in the book itself, but in my Bible as I was constantly marking scripture referred to in the book.

One of my favorite chapters in the book is One Thing. Wayne shares the story of Martha and Mary as a reminder that only one thing is necessary (Luke 10:41-42). 
Later in that same chapter he suggests four important principles 
for growing closer to God through scripture:

Read the Bible daily.
Regularly take time for solitude.
Immerse yourself in gratefulness.
Regularly take time for reflection.

I loved this book and would recommend it highly.

You can purchase this book here:

About the Book

Here’s something refreshing: a pure and simple devotion to Christ. 
Sounds wonderfully inviting, doesn’t it?

And the good news is that it’s not about doing more or doing less. Because God created you in His image, the more you become like Jesus, the more you become the person you were created to be. It is in Him that you actually find fulfillment, not in religious activities (as good as they may be) or in serene settings that give you a needed respite from your harried workplace. He is not the rest from our labors. He is the rest in our labors.

“A promise remains of entering His rest” (Hebrews 4:1). It’s the rest of a child close to his mother. It’s the rest that comes when we are near the one we love. It’s the rest we find when we are walking through unfamiliar surroundings with a guide who knows the way.

The closer you get to Jesus, the more at home you will feel in this journey. 

God designed it that way.

About the Author

Wayne Cordeiro is senior pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii, one of the most beloved churches. Pioneered by Wayne Cordeiro in 1995, it has grown to over 12,000 in weekend attendance with over 80% of the attendees being first-time Christians. New Hope has recently planted 24 satellite churches in Honolulu. Wayne is an author, songwriter, and highly sought after conference speaker. His books include Doing Church as a Team, Attitudes that Attract Success, Dream Releasers, Seven Rules of Success, Rising Above, Leading on Empty, Divine Mentor, Irresistible Church, Sifted, and Jesus-Pure and Simple. His speaking takes him around the world. He is a church planter and leadership trainer at heart and has planted over 134 churches in the Pacific Rim and around the world. Wayne is also the author of the Life Journal used by thousands of churches. He is the chancellor of New Hope Christian College with campuses in Honolulu, Oregon, Tokyo and Myanmar. He and his wife, Anna, have three children and six grandchildren. They live in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

What I’m Reading – Fear, Faith, & a Fistful of Chocolate

2 Mar
My Thoughts

I absolutely LOVED this book!
The author shares about her fears and her faith in a way that makes you feel like you aren’t alone. It felt like sitting across the table from a girlfriend and sharing hearts. She is so transparent in her writing and made me laugh out loud throughout the book. I figure that any book that can make me laugh while talking about something like this is a definite must read. Each chapter begins with scripture and ends with questions to help dig a little deeper in our fears. A fantastic read that I highly recommend.

You can purchase the book here:

About the Book

Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolates is tailored to women worn down by everyday fears—financial, health, relationships, loss, pain, the unknown, the what-ifs—both real and imagined. In a nutshell, the stuff of life. Coty encourages women to join hands and hearts and approach the quest to conquer life’s worries with faith, a girlfriend, and a smile.


About the Author


Debora M. Coty is a popular speaker, columnist, lifelong Bible student, internationally published freelance writer, and award-winning author of numerous books, including Too Blessed to Be Stressed, and More Beauty, Less Beast. She’s also an orthopedic occupational therapist, writing instructor, and tennis addict. Mother of two grown children, Debora lives and loves in central Florida with her husband, Chuck, and desperately wicked pooch, Fenway.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

What I’m Reading – Unglued

23 Feb

My Thoughts

In Unglued, Lysa TerKeurst shares about taking control of our thoughts 
and the words that come out of our mouths. 

She breaks it down into exploders and stuffers. Exploding means pushing our emotions outward and stuffing means pushing our emotions inward.

You can take the Unglued Assessment here to help 
determine which reaction type you may be.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when Lysa shares how to respond to an exploder. At one time or another we have all dealt with this and she shares insightful wisdom on how to respond in a godly way.

“A Jesus girl who rises up and unexpectedly gives grace when she surely could have done otherwise reveals the power and mystery of Christ at work – in her life and in the world.”

One way she explains to do this is with a response template. By responding with honor, grace, and compassion we are doing so in a godly way. 
There is a big difference in a reaction and a reply. I think that this applies to more than just in email. We can respond in person and online in this way.


  • Begin by honoring the one offended.
  • Keep your response short and full of grace.
  • End by extending compassion.

    Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.

    Ephesians 6:19


    One of the things I love about Lysa is how real she writes. 
    She shares her struggles and how she works to overcome them.

    Lysa is offering free devotionals here 
    and you can sign up for The Unglued Challenge here

    You can purchase this book here:


    About the Book

    God gave us emotions to experience life, not destroy it! Lysa TerKeurst admits that she, like most women, has had experiences where others bump into her happy and she comes emotionally unglued. We stuff, we explode, or we react somewhere in between. What do we do with these raw emotions? Is it really possible to make emotions work for us instead of against us? Yes, and in her usual inspiring and practical way, Lysa will show you how.

    Filled with gut-honest personal examples and biblical teaching, Unglued will equip you to: Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your important relationships. Find peace in your most difficult relationships as you learn to be honest but kind when offended. Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly improve your communication. Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff, explode, or react somewhere in between. Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control.

    About the Author

    Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and national speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith. She is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author of 15 books, and encourages nearly 500,000 women worldwide through a daily online devotional. Her remarkable life story has captured audiences across America, including appearances on Oprah and Good Morning America. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five children.
    You can read more from Lysa on her website at  lysaterkeurst.com 
    and follow her on Twitter @LysaTerKeurst.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

    Blog at Home Mom: Balancing Blogging & Motherhood

    9 Feb
    My friend Christin from Joyful Mothering has written an incredible book called Blog At Home Mom in which she shares about balancing motherhood and blogging. She offers great advice on setting priorities and time management and also shares about keeping Christ at the center and glorifying God in every area. 

    This is my favorite quote from the book:


    She wrote the book to speak to the hearts of writing moms, but also to help fund her traveling expenses to Ghana to pick up her adoptive daughters. 
    You can read more about her adoption story here.

    You can purchase Christin’s book here:

    Blessings,