Browsing Category: Books

Books I’ve Read 2016

I found the best way to keep track of the books I’m reading; each new pick gets it’s picture snapped and shared on Instagram. You can find the current list by clicking here.

Books 2016

Finished reads for 2016:

*Homeschooling for the Rest of Us by Sonya Haskins
*One More Step by Rachel Wojo
*The Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles E Hummel
*Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman
*All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer
*Having a Mary Home the Martha Way by Sarah Mae
*The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy
*1984 by George Orwell
*Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
*Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott
*The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
*The Light Between Oceans by M.J. Stedman
*Virgins by Diana Gabaldon
*Girl Meets Change by Kristin Strong
*The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
*The Longing in Me by Sheila Walsh
*Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Shop by Robin Sloan
*A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock
*Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier
*Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
*The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
*The Trail of Fire by Diana Gabaldon
*Finding Fraser by KC Dyer
*Teaching from Rest by Sarah MacKenzie
*King Solomon’s Mines by Henry Rider Haggard
*The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
*Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
*Persuasion by Jane Austen
*Dear Mr. You by Mary Louise Parker
*The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado
*Little House Christmas Treasury by Laura Ingalls Wilder
*The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
*The Christmas Letters by Bret Nicholas
*The Awakening by Kate Chopin
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The Unveiled Wife {a Review}

While doing my research for my 31 Days of Pursuing Your Husband I came across a most excellent blog, UnveiledWife. There was so many wonderful words about marriage and our relationship with our husband and God; you can bet I was excited to see that Jennifer Smith had just released a book with these topics at its very heart! I was even more excited to see that she was asking for people to review it. *

About the book, from Amazon.com:
As a young bride, Jennifer Smith couldn’t wait to build her life with the man she adored. She dreamed of closeness, of being fully known and loved by her husband. But the first years of marriage were nothing like she’d imagined. Instead, they were marked by disappointment and pain. Trapped by fear and insecurity, and feeling totally alone, Jennifer cried out to God: What am I doing wrong? Why is this happening to us? It was as if a veil had descended between her and her husband, and between her and God―one that kept her from experiencing the fullness of love. How did Jennifer and her husband survive the painful times? What did they do when they were tempted to call it quits? How did God miraculously step in during the darkest hour to rescue and redeem them, tearing down the veil once and for all? The Unveiled Wife is a real-life love story; one couple’s refreshingly raw, transparent journey touching the deep places in a marriage that only God can reach. If you are feeling disappointment or even despair about your marriage, the heart-cry of this book is: You are not alone. Discover through Jennifer’s story how God can bring you through it all to a place of transformation.

Can you see why I was so excited about this?!Unveiled Wife

I read the book  pretty quickly, it was interesting reading about Jennifer and her husband’s marriage…it was kind of like a train-wreck, too awful to look away from…your heart breaking for them. The main issue, and cause of most other issues in their marriage, was a result of Jennifer’s body not being amenable to sex, for unknown reasons it was extremely painful.

Throughout the book the topic was discussed to the point that, honestly, I was tired of hearing about it, particularly given that no one was willing to pursue professional help. This issue was almost single-handedly destroying their marriage, because it was a source of stress and not something they were comfortable discussing, even with each other. {I do realize this is a very tough subject; for a multitude of reasons men and women are extremely uncomfortable seeking help for something they feel so alone in, particularly regarding sex and infertility}.

HOWEVER, this did not prevent me from gleaning numerous gems from The Unveiled Wife!

As women, we all have an innate ability to manipulate and hurt the people in our lives. It’s like we are somehow hard-wired to know exactly the things to say and do to hurt those we love most. We all have this perception {thank you Hollywood!} of what love and romance should look like and we feel robbed and cheated when we don’t get it. It is then that one of a few things will happen: We mentally check out of our reality and into fantasy {this is the reason for the popularity of 50 Shades of Gray}, we have an affair, or we habitually seek out a new relationship thinking it will be THE ONE!

Jennifer Smith addresses all of this! And more important than addressing it, she takes back the veil of deception we cover our selves with, she points unapologetically to the fact that this is SIN. It is our own selfishness, it is unkindness and it’s wrong. Our own expectations of what marriage should be {or life in general} can destroy us and our marriages when we allow them to consume us. Jennifer does a fantastic job of showing how this very thing was not only wreaking havoc on her marriage, but on her physically and mentally.

The Unveiled Wife is raw, it is written from the heart, expressing Jennifer’s pain and struggles with her relationship with her husband and with God. She faithfully points to God, how He protected her and loved her well, even when her husband couldn’t or it hurt. Even in that, she is honest about her relationship with God, her anger at him, her feelings that He did not love her, did not appreciate all she was doing in her life for Him. She very openly discusses how twisted her own relationship with God was and how He redeemed it.

Jennifer Smith does a wonderful job of explaining her story, her experience and the necessity of being unveiled before God and our husbands. As a wife these are the two MOST important relationships in our life and it is entirely essential for us to be unveiled and completely open in both, so that we may be truly intimate.

You can find more information about Jennifer Smith’s book  The Unveiled Wife here.

unveiledwife.com Wife After God

*I received a copy of The Unveiled Wife for review purpose free in exchange for my honest opinions. You can read my disclosure policy here.

Christmas! {a Review}

When I heard, last year, that my friend Natasha was writing a Christmas book for kids I was beyond excited. {I have loved every single book that Natasha has come out with!} It released YESTERDAY! Just in time to get it before you forget, and close enough to Christmas to not forget where you put it. You’re welcome!

Christmas! An Advent Storybook for the Whole Family {Even the Littles} by Natasha Metzler

About the Book
Do your children know that Christmas was a rescue mission so that people could be friends with God? Through this Advent storybook, you can introduce your little ones to the loving God, the Savior of mankind, and the meaning of His birth. 25 engaging 1-minute stories, spanning the entire Bible, will make sharing the true meaning of Christmas with your little ones a simple and fun task, for even the most fidgety of kids.

With 5 kids 6 and under, I’m all about quick and engaging, but often the message is lost in brevity. Natasha and Brianna do a fantastic job of keeping the truths simple and the pictures colorful, with so much to look at and hear, my kids were fascinated with each page and wanted to read the whole book in one sitting {we may have done just that quite a few times}. There’s even a fun little bug for kids to search for on each page!

Christmas! An Advent Storybook for the Whole Family {Even the Littles} by Natasha Metzler

If you’re looking for a beautifully illustrated book, that speaks of God’s love and truth to little ones, that won’t devolve into a session of telling kids to “sit still” and “pay attention”…this is the book for you! You can purchase your copy at Amazon.comIf you love it, as I’m sure you will, leave a review on Amazon.com or GoodReads.com!

Christmas Click Here to Purchase

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Natasha shares the story behind Christmas! on her site, filled with God’s redemption and love in her own life. I’m always a sucker for a behind the scenes story and this one doesn’t disappoint!

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion and review. My opinion has in no way been swayed, and is solely my own. The links to purchase this book are affiliate links. To read my disclosure policy please click here.

For the Love {a Review}

For the LoveOh my people! I haven’t read a funny book in a while…and this book was funny! I’ve never read anything of Jen Hatmaker’s before, but this was an enjoyable first read! “For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards” is described as:

“She reveals with humor and style how Jesus’ embracing grace is the key to dealing with life’s biggest challenge: people. The majority of our joys, struggles, thrills, and heartbreaks relate to people, beginning with ourselves and then the people we came from, married, birthed, live by, go to church with, don’t like, don’t understand, fear, compare ourselves to, and judge. Jen knows how the squeeze of this life can make us competitive and judgmental, how we can lose love for others and then for ourselves.” –From Amazon.com

I had no less than 15 pages in this book dog-eared and marked up with ABSOLUTE favorites! People! There are only 200 pages in this book! The chapters are short and sweet {I paced myself and read 3 a night so that I could get it done faster}. There were even several recipes in here that I may just have to try!

While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I’m still kind of at a loss for how the book had much to do with the title…and maybe that’ts just me reading, exhausted at the end of the day. There were definitely points, stories and examples that absolutely had to do with showing grace to ourselves and those around us…and maybe that was the trick. That Jen did such a fantastic job of teaching on grace that I didn’t ever feel like I was being preached at! Which I certainly appreciate.

I’ve already passed this book on to my mom for her to read and definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a light hearted faith-read!

*I received this book for free from BookLookBloggers in exchange for my honest review. You can find my disclosure policy here.

Books I’ve Read in 2015

Books I've Read in 2015

My List of Accomplished Reads for 2015
*No Longer a Slum-dog: Bringing Hope to Children in Crisis by KP Yohannan
*Little Princes by Conor Grennan
*The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
*My Life in France by Julia Child
*Who Are These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Mom? by Faith Bogdan
*The Serpent’s Tale by Ariana Franklin
*Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
*Life of Pi by Yann Martel
*Divergent by Veronica Roth
*The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner
*Submerged by Dani Pettrey
*Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg
*The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg
*Soul Friends by Leslie Parrott
*Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
*The Second Mrs Darcy by Elizabeth Aston
*Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson
*Longing for Paris by Sarah Mae Hoover
*For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
*Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
*The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon
*The Unveiled Wife by Jennifer Smith
*Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine
*His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F Harley, Jr.
*Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini