Posted in Uncategorized

Stepping On Cheerios & Giveaway 

Family life is beautiful and motherhood is a privilege, but it ain’t no picnic!

Being a mother isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to experience a personal connection with God and community when you are caught up in the chaos of just “doing family”.

Independent and self-sufficient, author Betsy Singleton Snyder lived a full and busy life as a pastor, missionary, and wife to a husband who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. She had her first child at age 44, then at 47, she found out she was carrying triplets. Suddenly finding herself overwhelmed is an understatement.

Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.
MY THOUGHTS- 

This book is a must have for crazy busy moms. The author shares her personal experiences, which helps readers realize that they are not the only one reeling from the many ups and downs of parenthood. This book will inspire and encourage you to take a break from the insanity and spend time with the One Who can fill you up when you’ve been running on empty. Crazy busy mom, put down the laundry basket and run to your nearest bookstore for your copy of Stepping On Cheerios today!

Get your copy here.


Betsy Singleton Snyder, author of “Stepping on Cheerios,” is a pastor, a former missionary to the arts community, writer, and blogger. She and her husband, Dr. Vic Snyder who formerly served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, live in Arkansas with their four sons, Penn (10), and triplets Wyatt, Sullivan, and Aubrey (8).

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Posted in Fiction

Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray


A suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she’ll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he’s misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.


MEET THE AUTHOR

Shelley Shepard Gray is the “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author of the Seasons of Sugarcreek series, the Sisters of the Heart series, and the Families of Honor series. She lives with her family in southern Ohio, where she writes full time. Before her work in the inspirational market, Gray wrote several novels as Shelley Galloway. During this time her books appeared on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, and she won “RT Book Reviews'” prestigious Reviewers’ Choice Award.
MY THOUGHTS

I absolutely LOVE Shelley’s books!! If she writes it, I will likely love it as I have yet to read anything of hers that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. She has a special way of totally immersing readers into the world of the Amish, endearing characters to the reader and just making readers feel as if they are a part of this world and these characters. Whether it’s a sweet romance with hints of drama or a suspense full of intrigue, Shelley is sure to please!

In her newest novel, Her Secret, Hannah is struggling with some major trust issues. And who can blame her? After getting some disturbing photos in the mail, Hannah is sure she knows who is behind it all. What exactly does this stalker know? What secrets are Hannah hiding? And can her longtime friend and potential love interest Isaac accept her as she is?

Pick up your copy of “Her Secret” to find out!!!

GET YOUR COPY HERE

Posted in lets talk

Fundraiser for Baby Rose

Our Story:

In September, my husband and I discovered that we were expecting our second baby. Though the news was a surprise, we were very excited. At our first ultrasound appointment, the doctor was concerned that she saw fluid on the baby’s brain and referred us to a specialist in Grapevine. Our first appointment with the specialist was not good. He said that he believed the baby had a condition called “anencephaly”, a neural tube defect that basically means the baby’s brain and or skull did not fully develop. Babies with this condition do not live. The specialist said that because the baby was very small (I was only about 11 weeks pregnant at this point) he wanted us to come back for a follow-up appointment, just to be sure. He said that I needed to think realistically about the situation and make some decisions about whether I not I would continue the pregnancy. My husband and I went home, discouraged and heartbroken.
We had two other appointments with this specialist, each time praying for a miracle, but the prognosis was the same every time: your baby is not going to live. My husband and I made the decision for me to carry the baby as long as the Lord would allow. We continued to pray for a miracle.
Soon, the time came for us to be able to learn the gender of the baby, our doctor said that she would have to have a more legitimate reason for doing an ultrasound than just wanting to know the gender. I was so frustrated. I thought that with all of the bad news, I just wanted to know if this precious baby was a boy or a girl…something my family could celebrate. I decided to call another doctors office to get a second opinion about our baby’s condition and was secretly hoping they may be able to tell us the gender.
I went for an appointment at LSU in Shreveport and met with a specialist there. This doctor looked at all of our information and the ultrasound and said that she believed the baby not have “anencephaly” but something similar, called “encephalcele”. This condition was still very dangerous, but there was a ray of hope that the baby may be able to live, depending on the extent of the condition. She recommended that my family meet with specialists at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, so they could evaluate the situation. Plus, we found out that we were having a little girl! We decided to name her Jessica Rose. We were thanking the Lord for this ray of hope.
My family travelled to Houston on Thursday, February 16 to meet with doctors. They had scheduled several appointments, including an MRI and ultrasound. The following day, we were supposed to meet with the pediatric surgeon as well. Thursday afternoon, we were scheduled to sit down with the doctors to discuss a plan for Baby Rose. As we waited in the small family room, minutes seemed like hours until finally the doctors came in to talk. The news was not good. They said that our baby did not have a skull and was “incompatible with life”. Our appointments for the next day were canceled, as there was nothing more the doctors could do.
We don’t know what the future holds, the prognosis is very grim, but my husband and I are praying every day for a miracle for our baby. All of the specialists have no hope, but we believe that our baby is in God’s hands and He will have the final say. In the meantime, we are enjoying our time with her as best we can.

A friend of mine has put together a fundraiser for our family to help cover medical expenses or a possible funeral for Baby Rose. She is selling T-shirts for $20 (2X or larger is $22) and all proceeds will go to our family. Please do not feel obligated to purchase a shirt, your prayers and support mean more to us that you could ever know, but if you would like to participate and purchase a shirt, please let me know. I will need payment upon ordering. We will be taking orders for the next 2-3 weeks. Shirts are available in PINK or GREY.

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Posted in Non-fiction

Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For?


Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For is a new release from Thomas Nelson that addresses the topics most relevant to today’s girls, such as social media, identity, friendship and faith. It’s available everywhere books are sold, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christianbook.com, and helps parents navigate the unprecedented challenges of raising kids in the digital age.

For many girls it starts early. The desire to be perfect. The need for approval. The longing for acceptance and being liked by a lot of people.

Thanks to social media, these desires now get channeled online. Girls can curate an image, build a following, and test-drive identities until they find one that draws attention and applause. But in this quest to be liked and noticed, girls often fail to feel loved and known. The result is a generation of girls who hunger for real and authentic relationships – yet are unclear on how to create them. 

From popular blogger and bestselling author Kari Kampakis comes a powerful book for girls in the digital age. Designed to empower teens and tweens through the Christian faith, it’s packed with godly wisdom and practical advice related to identity, friendships, social media, and a relationship with God.  

 Topics covered in Liked include:
✔️ Living for God’s approval, not human approval
✔️ Using social media wisely

✔️ Spreading kindness, love, and compassion

✔️ Distinguishing online friends from real friends

✔️ Handling rejection, criticism, and volatile emotions

✔️ Making an eternal difference, not a temporary splash.

For anyone exhausted by the quest to impress – and ready to rest in God’s unconditional love – Liked is the answer. Written succinctly with thought-provoking questions, it’s an ideal resource for a small group or youth group study, and a conversation-starter that will quickly unite mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends by speaking to the female heart.


Kari Kampakis is a mom of four daughters who writes about everyday events and significant moments that reveal God’s movement in our lives. She loves girls and believes many world problems can be solved by slumber parties, late-night chats with your best friends, music, and dancing.

Kari’s work has been featured on The Huffington Post, The TODAY Show, EWTN, Yahoo! News, The Eric Metaxas Show, Ann Voskamp’s blog, Hands Free Mama, and other national outlets. Her first book, 10 ULTIMATE TRUTHS GIRLS SHOULD KNOW, has been used widely across the U.S. for small group and church youth group studies. Learn more by visiting http://www.karikampakis.com or finding Kari on Facebook and Instagram.

💻💻💻 Learn more at Kari’s Website 💻💻💻

My Thoughts:

I think this is a necessary book for moms and daughters. Our girls are growing up in a completely different world than we did and we must prepare ourselves to better understand and help our girls deal with th various pressures they will experience. 

I currently teach a PreTeen/Teen Girls Bible Study at my church and am always on the lookout for great resources to grow as a leader and to help reach my girls with. Liked is one of those books that should be required reading for anyone working with girls in ministry. It really helps to have this guide to help me better understand the realm of social media and the impact it is having on our girls. 

 I am also currently expecting my first girl and it is reassuring to know that there are resources like Liked out there to encourage and help parents navigate through the world of PreTeen/Teen girls. Don’t miss this one!!!

Posted in Non-fiction

Waiting for Wonder


What if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?

It’s easy to believe God when a promise is new. It’s hard when the years pass and nothing changes. It’s even harder when desperation strikes, your plans backfire, and still God does not fill the emptiness. But what if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?

Join author Marlo Schalesky on a unique, contemplative journey to reveal the wonder that is often missed when we find ourselves struggling to wait well. Walking through the life of the biblical character Sarah, one who knows what it means to wait, you will discover a glimpse of God’s character that will give you strength to keep hoping and praying for the desires of your heart.

Waiting for Wonder is a journey into the heart of God where you will wrestle with personal questions, think deeply about God’s true character, and learn to appreciate His divine work as you discover your own path to the promised land. Recapture your hope, restore your soul, and renew your vision of a wondrous Savior when you learn to live on God’s time.

Leader guide also available.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

MY THOUGHTS:

Waiting is rarely easy. Waiting for God can be a whole different experience altogether. I’ve been there…I’m there now. My husband and I are waiting to see if God will heal our unborn baby or if He will call this precious gift home with Him. Waiting is tough. It tests you, like…..deep down. 

Marlo’s book “Waiting for Wonder” is a great comfort and informative tool for the waiting process. Whatever it is you are waiting for, whatever you’re longing for…God knows, He hears and believe it or not…He is working out His plan. If you are in the process of waiting, I would highly highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book. 




Marlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of ten books, including “Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey Through the Life of Mary.” A regular speaker and columnist, she has also published nearly 1,000 articles in various Christian magazines, including “Focus on the Family,” “Today’s Christian Woman,” “In Touch,” and “Marriage Partnership.” Marlo lives with her husband, six young children, nine horses, two dogs, five cats, two parakeets, ten rabbits, two chinchillas, three hamsters, and a bunch of fish in a log home in Salinas, California.

Posted in Fiction, FUN STUFF, GIVEAWAYS

Of Stillness and Storm


“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.

At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.

Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.
MY THOUGHTS:

The synopsis first intrigued me when I decided to request a copy of this book for my blog. The more I read, the more I couldn’t stop reading. There’s just something about the unraveling of lives in fiction that captures our attention and holds it. As I learned more about the characters and began to see the story unfold, it saddened me. It reminded me of people I know and stories I’ve heard. There was a realness and a rawness to this story. It was easy to see the red flags and mistakes Lauren was making as she stumbled off the right path and it reminded me of how hard it is to see those flags in my own life. This book would make a great book club selection. It will have you thinking about the characters long after the story has ended. 

GET YOUR COPY HERE 


Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing.

Posted in FUN STUFF, GIVEAWAYS, Non-fiction

Pray A to Z Giveaway!


A to Z: Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community (Worthy, November 2016)

Change the world one prayer at a time.

How would our community change if instead of absently saying, “I’ll pray for you,” we actually did pray–deeply, intensely, and purposefully?

Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Praying for Your Community will help you topically organize your prayer requests and lay the burdens of your community at the feet of our Heavenly Father.

With compassion and encouragement, Amelia Rhodes offers Bible verses and prayer prompts, organized topically for every letter of the alphabet. There are five topics per letter–three prayers of petition asking God to work in a certain area of need, and two more prayers of praise to reflect gratitude for God’s presence in the daily issues and relationships of life. Through petition and praise, your specific, focused communion with God will lighten your heart as you place the heaviness of those prayer requests where they belong–on His strong shoulders.

Whether you are praying for a friend’s adoption journey, a neighbor’s bankruptcy, or a family member’s cancer, this book will give you Bible verses, prayer prompts, and prayer starts to guide you through praying for even the most difficult issues that affect the people you know and love. Perfect for either individual or group prayer, Pray A to Z will help you experience the peace that comes from communicating with God.

MY THOUGHTS:

This book is a great resource for prayer. I love that Amelia covers so many various topics in this books in ways that are unique and creative. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to pray or what to say…this simple guide will help you take your prayers and make them more specific, plus allow you the resource you need to truly transform your prayer time. If you are looking for a fun, creative source for making over your prayer life…look no further. Get your copy now!
GET YOUR COPY HERE 😀 GET YOUR COPY HERE 😄 GET YOUR COPY HERE

grand prize winner will receive:

✔️ A copy of Pray A to Z

✔️ A set of Pray A to Z prayer cards

✔️ A custom wood sign made by Amelia’s friend

✔️ A prayer journal

Enter today by clicking the icon above, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 20. The winner will be announced December 21 on Amelia’s blog.

Amelia Rhodes is a speaker and author of “Isn’t It Time for a Coffee Break: Doing Life Together in an All-About-Me Kind of World.” Amelia’s writing has also been featured in four “Chicken Soup for the Soul” titles, devotionals for the OneHope blog Undeterred and the international devotional “Upper Room.” Amelia has a growing speaking ministry and speaks regularly to women’s groups on topics of spiritual growth, friendship, and community, offering practical tools for living our faith in the everyday. She lives in Lowell, Michigan.