Monday, April 24, 2017

Unsinkable Faith book review and blog tour!

Who wants a faith that is unsinkable, um meeeeee!!! You know Jesus has set us free, for those that choose to follow and believe Jesus, right? I hope you do, and if you don't please, don't delay seek HIM out, Jesus is waiting for you. However, I still stumble, fail and struggle, but thanks to God's Word and promises it makes overcoming my struggles easier and living in this world easier. I enjoyed the book Tracie Miles wrote about having Unsinkable Faith. Tracie shares her personal struggle and other stories in this book, and what she and others did to get out of the pit of despair, sadness, failure, negativity, or whatever it is that causes you to sink. She shares Biblical truths, encouragement, and wisdom so you can be the person God has made you to be and so that you will be able to stand strong in the midst of troubles. We were never promised an easy life, but God did promise He would be there for you.

The author talks about strongholds and how negative thoughts and feelings can be considered a stronghold in our life. "A stronghold is anything that holds us back from living life the way God intended and hinders our ability to live with optimism and full of peace, love, joy, and hope. When it comes to the term stronghold, people typically think of the obvious issues, such as sins, lying, stealing, worry, addictions, and so on. Yet all too often, it is our negative attitude that becomes a stronghold and keeps us from living a joy-filled life, not necessarily the external factors that influenced our attitude." I am a fairly positive person, however many times I have struggled with worry and negative thoughts, but I have learned through God's promises and HIS Word, God can transform those. We can not let feelings be the boss of us! We need to be intentional with those thoughts and take them to God and HIS Word. We need to anchor our hearts in God, so we don't sink! As believers we can be thankful we can fight this battle, I love this verse she shared... "We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4
The author shares "Graciously, though, God will reveal to us the misconceptions we've believed, so that we can learn to overcome them and find life-giving freedom." We need to keep our faith in Jesus a priority and focus on God's love for us and allow HIM to transform us.
When we do this the author discovered "That my value, my identity, and my worth as a person was in HIM and HIM alone. I learned that my value isn't tied to a person, position, salary, accomplishment, or a met goal. It isn't tied to being the perfect wife, mom, friend or sister. It isn't tied to what I do for God, or what I don't do for God. My value is only tied to the cross, where Jesus thought I was valuable enough to die for. He died for you as well, because you too are valuable to HIM." Wow, that is powerful and full of truth, are we living it, are we believing it! We need to stop the misconceptions in our minds, because it can lie to us. We need to focus on Jesus!! Satan wants though for us to suffer, to doubt, and distort our thinking, but God! "God is faithful to surface the misconception and lies that have anchored us in negativity, doubt, and despair." If you are struggling, get this book to help you see God's truth, love, and how to let HIM transform your mind.

At the end of each chapter are Chapter Challenges, questions for you to answer and act on. Also, each chapter has Mind-Renewing Memory Verses, truths from God's Word for you to memorize, write, place on note-cards and carry with you.  Be sure to go check out the author's web-page for some freebies and more details about this book, Unsinkable Faith

About the author:
Tracie Miles is a national speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries and a bestselling author who's spent the last twelve years inspiring women to become who God called them to be. She's the author of "Your Life Still Counts" and "Stressed-Less Living," and a contributor to Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotions.
Find out more about Tracie at
Join Tracie and other readers on April 25th for a fun Facebook Live event and the Anchored in Faith Prize Pack Giveaway (details here  )!  
#UnsinkableFaith #thinkpositive @traciewmiles">Miles pin 2
  (“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Life Use Group.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. My thoughts and review are my own.

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From Messes to Messages  

Friday, April 21, 2017

Weekly encouragement, good reads, and snapshots of our week!

Happy Friday!! I have been keeping the shipping and delivery guys busy this week, curriculum and books have been arriving. This is the time of year I stock up on books for us to read, research and order curriculum for us to use. Part of doing this entails looking for good deals. This mama likes good deals! I have been finding some great used books for sale in Homeschool Facebook groups and at our local library. Also Rainbow Resource Center is another great place. Next month there is a homeschool curriculum sale I will go to and then should have all we need for the year! As of today, we only have three more weeks to go to finish our 2016-2017 school year, whoohoo!!

This week I shared a post on book recommendations from my own personal pile, you may check that out here:

Here are some encouraging posts and quotes from this week:
Beth Moore shared this, great message! Much needed
BEHO'LD -to fix the eyes upon; to see with attention; to observe with care
to fix the attention upon an object; to attend; to direct or fix the mind

So in the seasons when joy is not coming, and weeping is tarrying in our seasons of night, may you look outside today. Go ahead and look out a window. Take a peek at the sunshine and maybe step out into the warmth. It is amazing how God brings hope to our hearts when we look up and remember He is faithful. The dark and doubting moments will overwhelm, but His love remains the same.
No matter how good a teacher I think I am, there are going to be days when no matter what I do, my children are not going to receive what I’m offering. For one reason or another, they are hearing my words but not taking in wisdom and knowledge. Maybe it’s time I explore the reasons why.
It is the glue that holds homeschool together.
Here are ten easy things to try when homeschooling is hard:

(1)    that we are all busted up, strung out sinners who have no hope apart from the mercies of God, and (2) that God has met that need richly through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus

Tozer knew how to bring a message!

My heart for all those struggling, remember you are beautiful and loved by a mighty God!

Snapshots of our week:
We had a late Easter dinner this year, we didn't have our meal till my husband was home from work on Tuesday. However, over the weekend, we decorated eggs, finished our Ressurection eggs and countdown, and painted crosses to celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ for dying on the cross and saving us! 

Beautiful evening for a walk with my little peeps!
Perfect rainy day game, Spot It! My brain hurt afterward, fierce competition!
Enjoying a little stroll! One of my favorite parts of the day!
Beautiful creatures, excited for a little snack of apples!
This girl loves horses, thankful we live next to neighbors who have horses!
An exciting learning adventure arrived this week!!
I am so glad I got this book before they sold out! Homeschoolers if you have not heard of Wild and Free, check them out!
Books and more books, these are some great used priced books I found for us. My daughter is an avid reader, like me, so we like hunting for good cheap reads! The poetry books will be used in my co-op class I am teaching next year!
Another box of curriculum arrived, this is through Rainbow Resource Center!
➽📓Linking up with Hip HOMESCHOOL Moms  Weekly Wrap-Up   and Fresh Market Friday

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Books worth checking out

It has been a little over a month, I have finished and started some new books on my book list! If you want to go back and see what I shared so far this year (these don't include the book reviews I take part in), I shared it here:

Here are some new recommended reads:
  • Falling Free by Shannon Martin, this is one I had just started last time, but have recently finished. Do yourself a favor and put this on your reading list. It is so good, it opened my eyes to seeing how to do ministry differently and how to trust God completely, that includes your finances and future. This couple gave up their wants and desires to do for others, reached out to those that made them uncomfortable, but yet in return, they have received so much more! I believe it is what we are called to do, but we hold back! This message of this book wrecked me in a good way! "God has not made us not merely to consume but to cultivate, steward, and bless." "If I follow Jesus, I should care about the things HE cares about, especially if it costs me something." "We can trust God with our future, hurts, finances, and kids~but do we?" "Falling into the will of God takes guts and grit we don't have...and that is precisely the point." "See the beauty of the fall." "We get to collaborate with greatness."
  • 40 Days of Decrease~A Different Kind of Hunger, A Different Kind of Fast by Alicia Britt Chloe, this book is recommended for reading during lent, but I would say you could read it anytime and gain from it. This book takes you through Jesus's journey on earth and offers up some challenging fasts, that draw you closer to God, not the type that ask you to give up something. "Revelations are often followed by trials" "We people are afraid or think it is to difficult, we want comfort, not inconvenience." 
  • Liturgy of the Ordinary~Sacred practices in everyday life, by Tish Harrison Warren. She offers lots of great wisdom for us moms from a biblical point. "To seek peace, we begin where we are." "We cannot seek peace out of your own strength." "Do not miss the greater, when work is always at hand." "Time revolves around God-not me-what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do." "Waiting is a gift." "When we enjoy God's creation we reflect God himself." "Goodness and beauty are connected to the divine." "My habits reveal and shape what I love and what I value, whether I care to admit it or not." "Those who were winning at life saw no need for this life-disrupting Savior. The people of God are the loser, misfits, and broken." "Retrain them mind not to bolt at the first sight of boredom or buck against stillness." "Often we want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith, but it's in the dailiness of the Christian faith-the making the bed, the doing the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quite, the small-that God's transformation takes root and grows."
  • The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, I recently got the ebook version as it was on sale. I am a 1/3 way done, but it is perfect coming out of lent season. I will share more after I finish, but here is one reason to add it to your list "Remember the heart of God, the cross, communion, crucifixion, broken and given." Because of Jesus..."You have only one decision every day, how will you use your time?"  Give It Forward Today...So I am glad I did get it!!
  • In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, this is one my pastor mentioned one Bible study night. I just started it, basically this is where the What Would Jesus Do challenge came from. 1 Peter 2:21 ...Jesus left us an example, we should follow in His steps. Can't wait to read more...
  • Every Day With Jesus Daily Bible, so this one I started last year, it is a Bible, set up to read through a year, well I stopped last August 3, I have several reasons, though none really matter. I am excited to dig back into the this and the first Words spoken to me in the reading I picked up... Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God's. Did what was right in the Lord's sight. Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.  ~What a reminder to not be discouraged, all is the Lord's battle, God is working it out, Jesus has already won!!! And that was proven on Easter day!!


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From Messes to Messages  

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday, weekly encouragement, and snapshots!

Happy Friday and Easter weekend!! Oh what a week and it isn't done yet! We finished week 32 of homeschooling for the school year!! It has been a busy week of running here and there, I feel like I have been on the road driving more than I prefer to and fro. However, it was all good things! This week we started to memorize Psalm 100 and it reminded me how much more I need to praise the Lord and how HE loves to hear our joyful noises, even from those of us that can not sing! Oh how HE loves us, that HE pursues us and made a way to make us righteous, even though we make bad choices and sin.

Today I want to pause and be still to take in what this Friday means, Good Friday! The day over 2000 years ago our Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed His life on the cross for us! He showed us what love is = it is being humble, suffering and giving mercy, not only for ourselves but especially to those close to us and those that are hard to love.  JESUS love's us even though we sin (Romans 5:8) and are not perfect. GOD love's us to make a way to be with Him (John 3:16). All we have to do is believe and confess our sins to HIM. Jesus died on the cross, HIS blood pouring out for us, to cleanse us and redeem us (1 John 1:9). Oh what great love the FATHER has lavished on us (1 John 3:1)
Isaiah 53:7-9  
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?

And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Song by Selah~How Deep the Father's Love For Us

Encouraging reads of the week:
This Easter and every day, as I look at the cross where God's wrath for my sin was poured out in full on Jesus, I want to keep these two truths in the forefront of my mind. Jesus is Supreme and he alone satisfies.
But your job isn’t, nor was it ever meant to be the meaning of your life—it’s meant to feed your family and to be a conduit pipe for Jesus’ blessing to the broken, lost, and hurting in this world so that they can see Christ living today through the hands and feet of His followers. 
Let’s win their hearts by declaring and demonstrating His affection first. 
What can you do in one week?

Palm Sunday, I wrote a post about waiting and worrying, may it provide encouragement if you are  struggling in this

Snapshots from our week:
Art and Bible for Children lesson last week was learning about The First Passover.
Thankful for the perfect weather we had Saturday, we worked and played outside most the day. Taking it in, just like this yellow beauty!
Sunday church crew!
Socks wants to create with sidewalk chalk too!
Took a stroll in the neighborhood with my daughter. I love capturing beauty! Such a beautiful day for all God's creatures. Reminder of HIS presence is everywhere!
Looks like a good place to read!!
Little man wasn't so sure about wanting to take piano lessons, but he loves practicing and is excited every week to go see his piano teacher. Sometimes we have to try something, before we can see the goodness from it. What a great lesson to learn. I think about my journey of faith, it has not always been easy, but there is so much goodness from it. God is always faithful to us ! Oh how HE loves us!
It was a rainy day Tuesday, but look at the pink sky at the end of the day! As the old saying goes a sailor's delight! God makes beautiful things!
Not sure where he gets his fashion sense, but he is still my crazy cute soccer cowboy!
This girl rocking out the keyboard!!
Our first hummingbird arrived this week!!
I have the best mother-in-law, unexpected happy mail!
Last week we finished some great read-alouds!
Box 1 of curriculum has arrived for 2017-2018 homeschool year!
Excited about using these books as part of our Bible curriculum for Raising Arrows! Because theology matters!

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and Weekly Wrap-Up   and Fresh Market Friday