Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stranger than Fiction?

On a lighter side today...
My daughter took a book out from our church library last night. It is book one in a series that I have never read but I absolutely love the author. I told her it should be quite funny.

The book is called So not Happening by Jenny B Jones.

While my daughter watched an episode of her favorite show on the computer before bed I picked up the book to check it out. I fell in love with it by the first sentence and was laughing out loud in our busy living room by page two. If you've never experienced Jenny's humour you need to check it out. It is so witty and ... well, awesome!

But by page three I came up to the best laugh out loud I could (then I was banished to my room after that). I wish I could just paste it all here for you to read for yourself. Since I can't I will give a recap:

  • Bella Kirkwood is sixteen years old and standing as maid of honor at her mother's wedding.
  • She is a little overwhelmed by the six month romance, the move from high society New York to a farm in rural Oklahoma and the sudden adoption of two brothers.
  • She panics when the Preacher asks if anyone has any objections and at the last possible second she yells out.
  • Her mother quietly questions her as to why and all Bella can come up with is the lame excuse that the groom's middle name was Ralph and that was probably a bad sign.
  • The mother returns to her post, the wedding proceeds and the deed is signed on Bella"s drastically changing life.
As she walks back down the aisle with her new brother (same age as her but hates her completely) she mutters to herself she should have fainted. 'The next time I need to stop my mother's wedding I will faint.'

After I settled down from my giggles I took a deep sigh. If only I could talk to Bella at this moment I would tell her ... fainting doesn't work either.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Book Review - Shattered by Dani Pettrey

I read the first book in this series (Submerged) and thoroughly enjoyed it,  making my anticipation for book two intense. Dani Pettrey offers the second book in her Alaskan Courage Series with Shattered.

Shattered by Author Dani PettreyPiper McKenna couldn’t be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed. Despite the evidence, Reef swears he’s innocent. And Piper believes him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he’s also sworn to find the truth, and he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With the sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, pursuing the truth in this case could mean the end of Landon’s career.
As Piper wages her own search, the two head deep into Canada’s rugged back country–and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but the search for answers is becoming deadlier with each step.

I was very happy to see the book followed up on the hinted love story from book one between Landon and Piper. Pettrey's characters are lively and realistic. I love Piper's tenacity countered by Landon's sturdiness. They make an intriguing couple, only deepened by the long history they have as friends.
I found the action and suspense inviting and fast moving. The plot moved along covering many different locations and even more pitfalls. Pettrey writes a great romantic suspense!
Overall, the plot and characters are a hit. A good read.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book review - You're Made for a God-Sized Dream by Holley Gerth

Life changing.


A gift direct from the Hand of God.

Holley Gerth is a God-gifted Encourager. If you need some boosts in spirit, take it by the page-fulls in her new book You're Made for a God-sized Dream.

Cover ArtHello, you . . . The one looking for more purpose and listening for God’s plan. Here’s what that restlessness is really all about: there’s a God-sized dream knocking on the door of your heart. Before you think that sounds too big, let me assure you, God-sized dreams aren’t really about size at all. They’re about the desires God places within you that perfectly fit your heart. God-sized dreams are an essential part of who you’re created to be and what you’re called to do. They lead to more meaning, joy, and connection with the One who gave them to you. In the busyness of life, it’s easy to ignore them or let fear shut them out. But this is your moment. Now is your time. The “more” your heart is longing for has been there all along. Let’s open the door to all God has for you together.
With this life-changing message, Holley Gerth invites you to discover the dreams God has given you-and then dare to pursue them. She takes you by the heart and says, “Yes! You can do this!” and guides you forward with a loving hand. Along the way, she provides insightful questions and offers action plans that will help you take the next steps toward making the deepest desires of your heart a reality.

I loved this book from page 1 to page 213. It was exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it.

There are oodles of helpful ideas and hints for

Saturday, March 16, 2013

How big is your dream?

Mine is God-Sized!

I have been reading a book for review titled You're Made for a God-Sized Dream by Holley Gerth. Stay tuned for the actual review in a few days!

It has been a great read and an exhausting read ... I cry every time I pick it up.

Do you have a dream?  Maybe a little idea that has been nagging your thoughts for sometime now? Or maybe you HAD a dream but it got lost in doubts, fears and failures?

Be encouraged today. Have faith.

God-sized dreams don't have to be BIG in size and scope, but they are BIG because of the purpose they have in our lives.

I have known for a few years now that my dream is God's design. I have ridden many waves up and down of on board/off board with what He is doing in me, but it was November of this past year when I completely  jumped off the ride. I wanted to be done with it ALL!

Slowly, softly God never quit as He drew me nearer to Him and held my heart (and dream) in His Hands. Jodi, He'd say, I have more planned. I have more in store. Don't lose hope and most importantly don't lose sight of ME.

I wrote a message on a forum board for authors/writers that I am a part of, sharing my confusion and frustration. One wonderful woman, Beth shared life-giving words with me of what's she learned on her journey. It helped me to see the bigger picture - the God-sized dream. I want to share them with you.
In God's economy, from his perspective, the writing life isn't about my being published (or not). It's not about sales or awards.
In God's economy, the writing life is about conforming me to his image -- scraping off whatever doesn't look like him in my life so that I can better reflect him to the world.
And he can do that -- he can change me to look more like him -- wherever I am along the writing road.
Why am I saying all this?
To encourage you to allow God to use wherever you are along the writing road to press you closer to him. To let him use whatever is happening -- the successes and the disappointments -- to change you into the woman he wants you to become so that when people look at you they see him.
Yes, he's called you to write.
But, above all else, he's called you to transformation -- and writing is a means to that end.
I didn't quit. Thankfully I followed the still small voice of God and good friends, and kept writing. Some exciting things have happened for me over the beginning months of 2013 that wouldn't have been tasted if I had given up. But - and this is the most important part -

Thursday, March 14, 2013

His Banner Over Me is Love

"Let there be no doubt about it ... God still works miracles today."

I was researching on the Internet the other day about discovering the Banner that God places on your life. I had heard a speaker a few years ago, Brad Jersak, talk about it and I wanted to dig a little deeper as I prepare to give my testimony at an upcoming Ladies Retreat.

It is a powerful concept of visualizing what God says about you and your life. I don't know enough at this time to explain it in any detail but I wanted to share with you a video I found as I researched. Grab a tissue ... it is powerful.

Disclaimer: I do not know the individual speaking or the ministry he represents. I am not offering a recommendation of any kinds. However the video is about the Power of our Living Savior and to that I can completely attest!

Also, if any of you know of some great resources regarding the Banner concept of prayer please feel free to send me a link or a name to research. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gifts don't always come wrapped in bows

Wow... did I ever stumble onto something awe-inspiring today. It is so cool I had to change my day plans so I could share it with you.  However, it is also multifaceted that you may want to make yourself a coffee or tea and settle in for a few minutes.

First, let me try to whet your appetite. It is about raising boys, watching movies, making a difference and of course ... spreading the Good News of Jesus!

Where to begin?

Recently I reviewed a book titled Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  I enjoyed the authors with their authenticity and their grace-filled words for the 'Mom who needs to breathe" so much that I followed each of them on the web. That brings me to today.

Sally Clarkson. (Blog: I Take Joy)

Sometimes I feel desperate. I know I shouldn't but I do. Desperate for my kids - for them to "turn out okay". What if I'm doing it right, but not enough? Or too much? Or worse ... what if I'm doing it all wrong?

To be completely honest I stress more about my son than I do my daughters. Sometimes I fear so much about what will become of him. Not that he is a bad kid or making bad choices or doing things that will harm himself, but he does things in a way I don't understand. I DON'T GET HIM.

I asked a friend one day at a coffee visit, whose kids are grown and out of the house, "do you still see in their adult lives the little things you worried about when they were teens?"

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mine or His?

You know a dream is like a river - ever changing as it flows.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you become that?

I didn't. I wanted to be a lawyer. (That was until my first pre-law class in University. I couldn't run far enough, fast enough.) But I actually remember the day when I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. Now giggle if you must but I bet your story isn't too far off.

I was watching a soap opera with my sister after school one day when one of the characters who happened to be a lawyer was asked by someone on the show to take a pro-bono case for a boy in distress.The lawyer laughed and made some comment to shrug it off. Only later in a different scene he mentioned the absurdity to his "wife". While he continued to laugh she looked him in the face and asked, "who wouldn't want to do that for so-and-so."

I didn't even know what pro-bono was until I pulled our dusty dictionary off the shelf. Right there, at that moment I decided to become a lawyer so I could do pro-bono cases.

Looking back, I don't think my dream was to spend my life working for free. I think I was drawn to the concept behind the term.

Helping someone who can't help themselves with the specific set of skills I have.

That sounds like a servant's attitude to me. So even though I never became a lawyer