Friday, January 20, 2017

Weekly Review, Encouragement, Snapshots, and a pic tip!

Happy Friday!! Yesterday, I picked up a couple pillows to bring a little beauty into the living room. Today especially, I have a feeling the world is going to be extra loud, and it is for good reason, it is the Presidential Inauguration. However, there are people that love him and people that do not, and you know what you are allowed to have an opinion. Let's please remember, either way we need to show kindness, love, and support. Being unkind, hateful, only causes division and what we need is to come together, whether you support the President or not. In the end, all that matters is Jesus is, was, and will always be the King of all Kings!
May we remember no matter what to live, laugh, love!
You know my word for the year, is REST, I honestly haven't done well in that area this week, so after this post, it is time for a mini sabbath! This world can get loud at times, and I need some time for soul care! That is what sabbath is for me, resting in HIS presence, and that also includes taking care of me. We must rest in order for HIM to rise within us. I heard a couple great tips this week on a podcast I listened to, that I am finding helpful. Make a no list (things you don't need to be doing, things that in your season need to be no's) and do the good work (for me, what brings glory to God, what needs to be done, what brings truth, beauty, and goodness)! That helps my focus in this world that can seem loud at times! I need to remember to stop distracting myself and nurture my soul!

So this week was an exciting week, we all got our hair done, well all but one, the hubs doesn't have hair on his head! We were a bit over-due and we all did a little something different this time, so thankful for our talented hair stylist! I drive an hour to see her, so I try to spread them out, but she is worth it!! Our missing cat~Peter, came home! Our girls, aka chickens, started laying again! I got rid of two bags of stuff from my kitchen, working slowly on decluttering, oh how good it is for the soul!

We finished up some great read alouds this week, Johnny Appleseed, Peter The Great, and Strawberry Girl. I have two books I am almost finished with, so maybe I will share about those next week. Yes, I am one of those who reads more than one book at a time! Usually one is a review book, the other is personal book, and if I am reading a third book also, that is just a lite book (something that won't cause me to think too deeply), I read those when I am waiting for kids at their activities or when I am a bit tired but want to read something. However, I am a part of two new book launches so reading may slow down a bit, which I am so excited and blessed to be a part of. They are both Bible studies, the first one is for Word Writers-James (and I am currently doing the Philippians one now)!! The second one is for Sacred Holidays~The Final Days of Jesus, this is a Lent study! I have heard great things about Sacred Holidays Advent study, so I can't wait to start on it! AND 10% off the sales goes toward prison ministry! Here is a little about it: The Final Days of Jesus for women, men, and families. From His Triumphant Entry to the Resurrection, we will follow Jesus step-by-step. We will go slowly along side our Savior. As we study His Word, we will take breaks every other day to practice what He modeled-- we will pray, fast, sabbath, and seek justice. Fun covers for women (design your own covers) and families (color your own covers). We will be hosting daily winners for design!

So you are here for the tip? Or maybe more, but if you are looking for a time-saver and to stay up to date on your photo albums, go to the bottom of the post where I share about Chatbooks!!

Encouraging Reads:
We live in an age of fast transportation, fast computers, fast Internet access, fast food, fast videos, and fast social-media scrolling — and they’re all only getting faster. This is shaping our assumptions. We expect to be able to do everything at faster speeds and greater volume.
living intentionally—minimally, simply, slowly—can increase white space in your life. This white space provides opportunity for delight to bloom
Without rest, our lives can never function at their optimum level.  Even computers and machines need to shut down for maintenance.  Why do we think we don’t?
Everything can change in an instant.
“When we take the ‘shoulds’ off the table we find out why we’re really waking up in the morning and our true purpose.”
When you need an acronym for STOP How do we find purpose in those seasons when life seems capsized by circumstance?

Snapshots of the week:

We have been praying for this cat, he has been missing for a week and look who returned! Happy girl, celebrating! Thank you Lord! I wrote about my God lesson here:

Took a nice slow quiet walk to the mailbox on a rainy day. It was lovely, listening to the rainfall and taking in the fresh cool air. A great way to take in quiet and rest. Remember to take the time to connect, to get quiet, it is so good for the soul.

This cat breaks all the rules (no cats in the house)!

A beautiful sunrise before the rains come in. Thank you Lord for your great reminders and grace! These wise words from Martin Luther King "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

It's a joy to teach this boy and hear him reading!

I am so thankful for Sonlight's awesome IG's to help us in guiding our learning, plus all the awesome books!

Little man went for the faux-mohawk!

This sweet girl went for a long-bob.

It's a great day, when you get your hair done and the hard-copy of the book you have been reading for review arrives!!!

Yay, my girls have started laying again!! It's the little simple things!! Fresh eggs! Molting is no joke!

We enjoy read aloud time! Sis is reading from the Beginner's Bible.

We finished these great books today during our read aloud time! This is also where we like to sit and read together. Sometimes we get out the blankets 😊

Here is my tip, CHATBOOKS!!! A time-saver, my photos are organized!
So a year ago, I asked how do people keep their photos, do they anymore, are there any time savers? Well I did some research and came across Chatbooks!! These are my photos from 2016. If you click on pic you can see the months the pictures are from on the spines of the albums. The last photo shows the covers, inside the album each page has a photo with a description below each pic. The pics are pulled from my Instagram account automatically to the Chatbooks app. You care able to delete a photo(s), change descriptions, and/or you can add your photos manually if you like. I basically check my Chatbook account twice month to see check the progress of the albums (literally takes 1-2 minutes). Each album has 60 photos in it. Once you reach 60 it goes to print in a couple days, a notice will come to you prior to print, so you have time to review and make any changes you want.
I use to be behind in photo albums all the time, last time it was almost two years, now I get an album almost monthly, with only a few minutes of time needed. (That time will vary depending on how many pictures you take.) Each book is only $9.99, they are great quality, very durable, the kids enjoy flipping through them again and again. If this is something you are interested in go check them out, I do have a coupon for your first one free if you decide you are interested, feel free to use it

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How God used a cat to remind me...

It's Wednesday, mid week! Linking up with Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up 💕
Do you know how much God cares for you? How much God loves you? How much God provides for you? Then why do we wonder, worry, and forget how awesome HE is? God sure has a way of reminding me, even through a cat, named Peter!

Peter, is our cat, well I should say, he is my daughter's cat, she seems to be the cat whisper. Anyhow, recently he disappeared for a week, so not like him. He is known to take some daily adventures, but not a week!

Thank you Lord, happy girl, celebrating!
We all worried and wondered, even my husband, but shhh don't tell him I said that, because he hates cats, haha, right! I even started thinking the worse, but each day I would say a little prayer, please God bring him home safely. Then it became where ever he is, I hope he safe. Then the night before he came home, my daughter prayed and I prayed, Lord if it is your will will you please direct Peter back home to us tomorrow, we sure miss him, he is a good cat.

Well, the next morning, there he was at our front door! Where he has been or what he has been doing for the last week, we don't know. However, he looked totally fine! But you know there were moments I thought the worst; that a coyote got him, an eagle swooped down and picked him up. Why do we do that, please tell me I am not the only one that thinks the worst situation sometimes? Why do I do that? Is it because I am doubting or not trusting in God? I know some are thinking it is only a cat, but he is part of our family. I even at times will do this when my husband is out working and I know he is due home and then it gets later and later, the mind starts to race, thoughts start to swirl. Then I have to tell my brain to stop it and tell satan to flee. I am thankful it is not constant, I use to worry constantly and have had anxiety attacks in the past, but I know it is because my faith, my faith is stronger then it was 10 years ago, heck even stronger then last year. Thankfully, God never gives up on us, HE still keeps loving us, HE still keeps guard over us. I just need to remember to trust at all times. I am not sure I will ever get there this side of heaven, but I know I will keep seeking.

So if you are struggling: go to God, get quiet, and rest in HIM. The Lord alone is our savior, strength, protector, provider, counselor, and peace. When the going gets really tough, seek out godly people in your life, find a mentor, a prayer warrior. If you don't have one, start praying for God to provide you with one. God didn't put us on this earth to do life alone, it is why we have the church, why we have been given family, and friends.

Rest in Him  
Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Find peace in Him
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you;my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Seek and ask Him
Philippians 4:6-7  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Give your fear to Him
Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Give Him your burdens
Psalm 55:22  Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved

Be still in Him
Psalm 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations,  I will be exalted in the earth!”

Trust in Him
Proverbs 3:5-6   Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Find your strength in Him
Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

2 Timothy 4:18  The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 
Jesus is savior
Acts 4:12  "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

Lord, help me to keep your Word in my heart, to trust and go to you first in all things. Thank you for the people in my life that have come along side of me. Lord help me to never stop seeking, praying or resting in you alone. AMEN!

P.S. feel free to drop a prayer request so I can pray with you. If you feel alone, I pray you will reach out. If you are struggling, know that you are not alone. Keep fighting the good fight of faith! 💗♱

Friday, January 13, 2017

Mid~January weekly review, encouragement and snapshots!

Wow, what a month so far! It has been tough getting us all back in the swing since Christmas break and probably didn't help we had a little get-away at the beginning of the week. But this is one reason we homeschool, to enjoy the hubs time off when he gets it, to explore and take in our surroundings. We headed to Nashville for a little get-away, my hubs had some hotel points to use and the Monster Jam was in town. They have been wanting to go see them, especially the little boy, though I think my hubs was just as excited too! I went as a child when I was little girl and it was fun, and hey I got to see Graver Digger again! Us girls did have a great time too, it was awesome seeing women now participating in this competition and how much it has changed!

This week we finished week 20 of homeschooling, whoohoo! It was no small feat this week, we were all tired this week! I am gearing up and getting ready for co-op to start back next month. This semester I am going to facilitate a Literature Club Class! This is perfect class for me to do, since I am a book geek! I have 9 little's in my class and we are going to have fun reading through books themed for each class with a craft to go with the books! Abigail will be in my class and she is also taking Fun With Geography II for spring semester. Aidan is taking My Body and Music Appreciation!

In Raising Arrows this week (name of our homeschool for those new), we started two new read alouds, Twenty and Ten and Strawberry Girl. We are enjoying Twenty and Ten, however Strawberry Girl is a struggle. The story is great but reading it aloud, oh my, I need to find this in an audio version. The southern dialect from that time era, is hard to read aloud, for this ex northern girl.
In science this week, little man started to learn about digestion of the body, oh that subject is so much more interesting teaching a boy vs. a girl. The things he asks and points out!! Probably why I have hesitated talking to him about how/where babies come from, but I know that will be next!! I may need the Principal to tackle that subject! So pray for me y'all!! Thankfully our memory verse this week (which is also my life verse) Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord...thank you God for reminding me of that, while I do my best to teach and train up these little warriors!

Encouraging reads:
“If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!” ~Shel Silverstein 

My sweet Jesus was crucified to set me free from my sin.
It is impossible to say what will happen to us, or what will be required of us this year — but "Look up!"
Yes to this…Parenting is holy work
I love making lists and I sure do like hers…I’m a list-maker and a box checker and with a clock I can’t stop, here are the things I want my kids to know and do before they leave our nest:

OK this is a video, how I needed this message years ago! Beth Moore, Passion 2017~Don't miss it

This week I finished, Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines, this is a great book on grace, spiritual discipline habits; it was meaty, full of scripture, but great for a newer Christian and also those more advanced in their Christian walk. Everyone will get something out of this book. There are three sections, God's Voice, God's Ear, and God's body. It was well organized, with great practical advice! So, if you are looking to grow in your faith, this book is for you!

Snapshots of our week:
Ready for Monster Jam!

Ear protection check! Excited, check!
Grave Digger!

I had dreams of sleeping in till 8am on our little get-away, but not with this cute little boy!
Working hard at reading, so proud of him!
Sometimes we do school in our pj's, that kind of week!
Had to grocery shop this week, wasn't looking forward to it. Thankful the hubs and children came to help, makes for quick shopping! So we celebrated with hot chocolate!
I added a new book to my reading pile, it was on back order. The words liturgy, ordinary and sacredness in the mundane drew me in.
Rainy days, call for Lego imagination fun!
It's FRIDAY! And that means art lesson day! We are using Art & The Bible For Children and How Artists See series this school year.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Happiness encouragement...

It's Wednesday, mid week! Linking up with Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up 💕
Happiness! Jesus!

Today I am focusing on joy, that is rooted in Jesus, not in my circumstances, not in the things of this world, not in the bad attitudes, not in my to do list, not from my past, not in the news, but from the Lord. He is always near, no need to worry about anything. So Lord, I ask you to open my eyes, so that I may contemplate the wonderful things from Your instruction (Psalm 119:18).

For a couple years now, I have been counting blessings and still do, it is a blessing to look back and to see God. Last year, I started to look for beauty in the everyday ordinary, just where I am, and that too has been a blessing. It opens my eyes to see goodness all around, even in this world, which can appear dark at times. It takes my focus off me and instead puts it on things from above, heaven-focused! However, now this book, The Happiness Dare, has me thinking about things that make me happy and where the happiness comes from. Some people think it is not good to be happy, that it's selfish to be happy. Well it can be, if the focus is wrong! He rejoices over us (Zephaniah 3:17)! However, God would not want us to be miserable, no He created us and said it was very good (Genesis 1)! We can learn a lot from what brings us happiness! So what are some things that make you happy? Here are mine right now:
  • My Bible time
  • family time with the hubby, oh and his beard
  • sistas in Christ, friendships
  • sunsets/sunrises
  • coffee
  • good books
  • pizza
  • chips and salsa
  • organizing makes me happy
  • planners and planning makes me happy
  • movie nights
  • homeschooling and learning together
  • pictures, photography
  • arts, homemade gifts
  • love
  • road-trips
  • music
  • strangers smile
  • fuzzy blankets
  • back-roads, country, open-spaces

Here are some quotes from the book, that spoke to me:
 "Happiness is an outward expression of an inward joy that is found in Jesus...a gift from a happy God." 
"You'll find in Jesus the happiness you've always longed for."
"Pay attention. Savor the life God has given to you. Thank God for the good when life is beautiful. And fight hard to find the happy when life is brutal." Isn't that so true, fight when life is brutal, when life is hard, when I am having a bad day...but when I start to focus on something else that fills my soul, doing something to help someone, showing kindness to a family member, a friend, or even a stranger, it starts to change my mood! In turn, that helps that person, and it starts a ripple effect! That is what God desires for us! We can't be a light of Jesus and be miserable, that is not going to work! So find your happiness, and share it! Will it be easy, no, not all the time!

This from John Piper in her book "Happiness is part of holiness...if you tried to describe what it means to be a holy person and left out happiness in God, you can't do it. There is no such thing as holiness minus happiness in God. Happiness in God is the essence of holiness."  

Jennifer Lee, the author, talks about how happiness is a choice, and I so believe that! So we need to stop comparing, complaining, and worrying. Look at who God created you to be and why, a unique masterpiece, to love and serve, to share the good news, now that sounds like happiness to me! But it's a choice!! God created the heavens and the earth, He created you and me, He created the entire universe! Then God said after everything, it was good! When God created man/woman, it was really good! God was happy obviously! So if you are having a bad moment, day or just need some encouragement, start with the Bible (get to know God), and then count your blessings, look at what brings you happiness, and fill your beautiful soul! Spending time with Jesus, makes life so much more beautiful, it will change your life!
Yesterday, wasn't looking forward to grocery shopping, but we went together as family, divided and conquered and then celebrated with hot chocolate. Celebrating is happiness, the big and little things!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A new weekly review, encouragement, and snapshots! 2017 is bringing change here...

Changing things up a little on my blog. Planning on a weekly review still, which will focus on Raising Arrows~our homeschool, weekly snapshots, and weekly reads. In addition, I am going to try, may not be every week but share what God is speaking to my heart or some encouragement on a separate post with link up with Holley Gerth's~Coffee For Your Heart. This is something I have realized I have missed doing. (This is my post this week You see, my soul longs for beautiful encouragement and wisdom and I enjoy encouraging others, bringing truth and happiness. Yes, there will still be books review posts throughout with some give-aways as those become available! So I guess you could say I am organizing my blog a little bit. I enjoy organizing and planning, reading and writing, and I need to be using those to bring glory to God. I realize I sound like some geek, but I am OK with that! I hope you will follow along still and be a part of my journey of faith! Disclaimer: I am not perfect, I get it wrong sometimes, but this is a journey of growing together and learning, about God! This is long overdue, no more worries about what people will think, no worries if not a single person reads it. What has helped me see this is a time pondering, journaling, and praying and this book The Happiness Dare. Jennifer has this assessment, what your happiness style is (how I am wired, how God made me). From this you learn how to best use your style (what I call personality) to live here on earth, while being a light of Jesus. To be honest, at first I thought, OK this sounds hokey, right? Well I took that assessment and my, oh my, spot on. For those who have done this and know what I am talking about, I ended up with two styles, I could not just be a one person style. There are 5 styles all together, but two of the styles scored only 1 point difference. My first style is Thinker and then a Doer (just call me Martha). Then I read what it meant, the good and the bad, well she labels it as what makes me tick and what my red flags are. I thought she was inside my head, reading my mind! For me it was an ah-ha moment! Anyhow, I will definitely be sharing more about this, but I first need to finish reading the book and doing the study. For now, let's get back to the weekly wrap up:

This was our first week back after Christmas break! Monday took a little longer then usual, but I am sure it had to do with us all being tired. We all so enjoyed the last two weeks of slowness, but we are now back in our routine and getting things done! I am learning breaks are good, rest is needed! I am not good at rest, but I am learning to be! It ends up it is sooooo good for the mind, body, and soul! We started our second semester and finished week 19 of school. We looked at the read-alouds we read during our first semester, we discussed and shared our favorites.  From Aidan's group of books, he said his three favorites were the Boxcar Children, A Grain of Rice, and My Father's Dragon. Mine from his group were Mary on Horseback and A Grain of Rice. From Abigail's groups of books, she said her three favorites were Sir Lancelot the Great, Good Queen Bess, and Captain Nobody. Mine from her group were Good Queen Bess and The Door In the Wall. May I just say, books are awesome, we need more people reading books! Books are one of the best things for the mind and soul! So much learning, discussion, wondering, and questions arise during these times!

With the kids back in normal routine, this mama is too. I started a new devotion and Bible reading plan in my morning time, so needed! Being rooted in Word, truth and encouragement first thing in the morning helps fuel my day. Of course coffee and good nights sleep do to, but I be lying if I told you I get enough sleep. I don't, one of the many reasons why I need Jesus. Here is what I am doing, and I would recommend these:

Weekly Encouragement:
I love this from Sally "Winter is a season for reflecting" and excited for her new book! She is one of my favorite bloggers and authors:
Yes this for me too..oh and I am so excited for her new book coming out soon and I am blessed to be a part of the launch too!! This year, I’m less about the letter of the law and more about a gentle easing, less about forcing a stringent rubric on myself, and more about embracing the softer rhythm and pace I know is best for me.
In our drunken places, Jesus draws near and asks, “Do you like cookies? May I get you one? Will you sit with me? How about rehab…may I accompany you there? May I pay the fee? May I come alongside you toward sobriety, then a new life, then a seat at my Table, then a job in my Kingdom? I went to the battlefield, I loved from the battlefield, to launch this love trajectory for your life. Protection from the Klingons. Sweeter than Jolly Ranchers. All you need is nothing. All you need is need.
There is much “noise” out there.
Being called to homeschool is a big deal. Just as God spoke to missionaries; just as God called missionaries, He has also called us, too. We each have a story. Take a moment and remember your story, remember your calling.
I just added a dozen books to my wish-list because of this list right here…
Weekly Snapshots:
That's my sexy husband cooking up some filet mignon to go with our lobster tails for our anniversary date dinner at home. He is all mine, he may have gone a little redneck style, we do live in the south after all. I am blessed he is all mine. We celebrated 12 years of marriage on New Year's Eve! Can not imagine my life without him, so thankful God place us together!
New Year's Eve was a rainy night, perfect for homemade pizza and movies. Nothing I rather be doing on the last night of 2016, except I rather the hubs be with us, but worked called. Hope you all had a Happy New Year!
All cozy in her blanket she made!
Little man sharing a seat with me, movie night!
Monday was a gloomy day (actually we have been having several of those days here), but I did not let that dampen my day. My joy comes from the Lord, He will direct my path and keep it straight. I only need to trust and be obedient. Simple? It is, if I make the time and listen. The Lord has been teaching me about being still. To do that I need to make a plan, let go of some things, trust HIM and be rooted in faith.
Trying a new art technique, DohVinci!
I told kids to pack some books for the car ride for a little quiet time on our drive. Well little man had a different idea about quiet time, ha! Bless him, he tired!
A reminder of God's creation, beauty, peace, light! The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands~Psalm 19:1 In awe, sunsets bring peace, rest!
Watching the snowfall from the warmth of my home. Peaceful Friday! A day like this calls for extra warm coffee and possibly pj's all day. Hope your Friday was restful! If not take time today!
The kids received Barnes and Noble gift cards for the Christmas poster's they made from my hubby's work, CN Railroad!

Brrr, my face hurts! The south is too cold! Little man and I braved the weather and walked to our mailbox. The walk turned into a run, this mama can run if need be, but oh my!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rest is found...

Psalm 62: 5-7 But I stand silently before the Lord, waiting for him to rescue me. For salvation comes from Him alone. Yes, He alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense, and fortress—why then should I be tense with fear when troubles come? My protection and success come from God alone. He is my refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me. 

Rest is found in only trusting the ONE! I need rest, God says it is OK, He planned rest when He created the earth! Jesus even said Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and LEARN from Me. I certainly can't learn from Him if I am not resting myself in His truth, Word, and promises.

I need time to be silent, so I can hear from Him. I don't have to worry, because He has already came and did the work of salvation. I just need to trust and believe! No harm can ever come to me, no one can take my salvation, I have the promise of eternal life with the One Great King in heaven!

So this year, I will rest! So He can fill me, so I can hear from Him. My desire to is be rooted in Him, not get rooted in the things of this world. Not let things from this world drown out His truth and promises. Psalm 111:7~All His precepts are trustworthy. Psalm 46:10~Be still, and know that I am God. John 14:27~My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth. Matthew 6:33~...don't worry about missing out...

I finished up reading Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller, so good people...this was my favorite message from the book that I am taking away and applying this year..."God loves me even when I am not doing, He wants a relationship first, how else can we be obedient if we don't know Him."
You know I am good at reading my Bible, it was the best habit I made in 2016, getting into the Word everyday, but then I would let distraction come at me from all forms. So this year, I am letting some things go, setting boundaries, not going to worry about what people will think of me. So I have shut-down my notifications from my phone and social apps (except a couple groups I am involved in). You see I wasted a lot of time there, most of the time it is not soul-filling, it can leave me feeling overburden at times. You know what, life is beginning to get more peaceful, I can hear God better, I am more in-tune with the needs around me. I am a person that needs quiet and that is hard to get in my life, being a stay at home wife-homeschooling mom. I need to be wise and cautious what I am in-taking into my mind and heart. I have the choice what fuels me, I have the choice to let go of things that do not.

A question from The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee (a book I am currently reading and involved in as an online book club) is what makes you happy? So I ask you to ponder what makes you happy too? What brings beauty into your life? How do you find rest and do you rest? It is one of the commandments God gave us and it is good to rest (and I am not talking about being lazy, but resting in HIM), just one of the things that makes me happy. To be honest rest can be hard for me, I have felt like I needed to be doing something, which sometimes then just turns into busy work, not kingdom work. So this year, my word is REST! Going from hope to rest, makes sense. Last year I needed hope to help me through some things and this year He is telling me He has it, I can rest easy. I don't have to strive, be perfect, impress, prove to anyone or seek approval from anyone. God has already approved me!

P.S. one thing that brings me happiness are beautiful sunsets/sunrises. They are to me, a reminder of God's creation, beauty, peace, light! As Psalm 19:1 says..The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of HIS hands. I am in awe, what a reminder it is because of God's glory and I can rest in that truth!

Linking up with Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up 💕

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Books of 2016

A few of you have asked what did I read in 2016, well I finally got my list together, though most of it is in picture form. It would be all in a picture, except the list of books is from my kindle. I have a love hate relationship with my kindle. Why is that? I love it for convenience, easy to travel with, buy books cheap or FREE, highlight and print the highlights. I hate that I have so many books on it that I haven't read, that I want to. When I read, I prefer the physical real book feel. Something about writing notes, easier to read from. So this year, for 2017, I am logging the books I read and I made a list a of books that are on my kindle in the order I plan to read them, so that, I won't forget the great books on it and I like to check something off when I complete it!
Something else to know, if I pick up a book, start reading it and don't like it, I will not continue to read it. However, that being said a couple years later I may pick up that book again and decide I do like it. It's all about where I am at in my season of life. So my list of books is not something you need to read from, but it may help you to see what is out there and I am happy to share my thoughts on any of the books to those that ask. If you read my blog you know I do book reviews so you can go look at those. For those books I am reading that are not part of book reviews, I do many times share about them, especially if the book spoke to me in a deep way that I feel may be beneficial to do some of my readers. A few of these books I have read a couple times, because they are so beneficial and will keep in my rotating pile. A note: I rarely looked at my reading stats, because I don't write for stats, I write because it is something that fills my soul and brings beauty into my life. There are many out there I do not know that read my blog, which I found interesting. So with that, if you are a book reader like me, I love to see your book lists, what you read. Many times if a book catches my interest, I will look it up and then add it to my wish-list, which keeps growing!
So with that being said, here is my list of the books I read on my kindle in 2016 in no particular order:
  • Blue Bike by Tsh Oxfender
  • If We Could Have Coffee and You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth
  • Fixing My Eyes On Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Confident Homeschooler by Pam Barnhill
  • Parenting The Wholehearted Child by Jeannie Cunnion
  • Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber
  • They're Your Kids by Sam Sorbo
  • Habits The Mother's Secret To Success  by Charlotte Mason
  • Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford
  • Fringe Hours by Jessica N Turner
  • Kneeling in Bethlehem by Ann Weems
  • Hope For The Heart Of The Homeschool Mom by Jamerrill Stewart
Here is a picture of the books I read in 2016, hopefully you can zoom in for the title's or click on it to enlarge the photo.

Currently reading:
  • Katharina and Martin Luther by Michelle DeRusha (part of a book launch)
  • All Is Grace by Brennan Manning (kindle read)
  • The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee (and I was hesitant about this book first because of the title, but so far it is so good. If you read Love Idol, you will enjoy this book too. Perfect for the overcoming perfectionist and desire to live in joy.) 
Now with that those are just my personal books I read, we read many read-louds in our homeschool time together, that I could recommend too, but that I will share about at the end of our school year. Plus there are the children's books! OK so you see I have a slight problem, book addict. I may need an intervention or support group! Now you may be asking, where do I find the time? Well my hubs works crazy hours away from home, and I do a lot of late night reading! I don't watch a lot of tv, we will watch series together and I will watch some chic flicks from time to time. So with that, please do share with me what you are reading, have read, or your favorite reads!!! Happy reading!!! 😊