Browsing Category: Reviews


“The Christmas Book Flood”… This tradition began during World War II once Iceland had gained its independence from Denmark in 1944. Paper was one of the few commodities not rationed during the war, so Icelanders shared their love of books even more as other types of gifts were short supply. This increase in giving books as presents reinforced Iceland’s culture as a nation of bookaholics (from

I’m a bibliophile, and I love this tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve and spending the day reading them, it’s quite hygge. I have never manage to spend my Christmas Eve in such a manner, it’s usually spent rushing between all the grandparents’, church, and finishing wrapping presents. I do make it a priority to read as many Christmas books as I can during advent.

BUT…St Nikolaus Day is always a day of books in our house. While I did a roundup a couple of years ago of some of my favorite Christmas books, it might be time to amend those original lists.

We have just a few Christmas picture books. For quite sometime on St Nikolaus Day (December 6th) the kids each received a Christmas book, until I was overwhelmed with the sheer number of books we had.

To me, WWII Christmas stories are some of the best stories, and I love any WWII book written by Tricia Goyer. I had received this as a review book, but it was such a good read!

If you’ve never read any of Jennifer Chiaverini’s Elm Creek Quilts Novels, you’re missing out: They’re just tender, sweet reads. The Christmas and New Year’s ones can be read as stand-alones, but they’re certainly more touching if you’re familiar with the characters.

And what would Christmas be without my dear friends, Louisa, Lucy, and Laura. These three books are a collection of the stories told in each of their series about Christmas. The wonderful thing about each of these is that the stories are short enough to get through in an evening.

Over the past few years I have splurged on these Penguin Christmas Classics. I had seen them on Instagram and desperately wanted them. L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is one of MY FAVORITE Christmas stories. I grew up watching the stop motion animation movie, and when I found out it was based on a book…perfection!

There are two more books in the box set, but neither of them were ones that I have been dying to have yet, other than for their covers.

What are some of your favorite Christmas picture books or stories?

There are certainly a never ending supply of wonderful books for Christmas and Advent. While I have never experienced Jólabókaflóðið I guess St. Nikolaus Day has become my German equivalent, which makes me all the more excited for it for next year!

*This post contains affiliate links which means that any purchases you make through those links, gives JMW a small percentage of the sale, at no additional cost to you! Thank you!! You can find my full disclosure policy here.

Trust Redefined {a review}


Do you ever struggle to trust that God has your best interests in mind? Are you waiting on things in life that don’t ever seem to fall into place? 

Unfolding her life journey and sorrows, Rachel Williams reveals how God is with us in the darkest hours. Rachel is daring – leaving the clichés and trite answers at home, she humbly admits that her faith has at times faltered. Rachel shares personal, deep, and dark moments in her life to help readers see how God has reached her in those places. In this book readers will be challenged to:

  • Recognize the difference between wants and needs in relationship with God.
  • Seek freedom from shame over mistakes made.
  • Move in the direction of trusting God’s wisdom entirely.
  • Become equipped to find hope through the midst of uncertainty.
  • Learn to walk in freedom from burdens not meant to be carried.
  • Pause to answer deep questions to engage with stories and truth

While opening up her heart in order to help others journey through difficult seasons, Rachel shows the reader there is amazing hope and freedom to be found in humility and surrender. Grab a pen and be ready for God to do a beautiful work in you
as you dive into Trust Redefined.

Trust Redefined: Learning to Surrender Through the Journey of Unknowns by Rachel Williams

I have known Rachel Williams, author of Trust Redefined, for more than a decade. I have witnessed her struggles, her personal and family growth through all of the hardships she writes about in her book. I can tell you this…She is authentic. Her heart for God is immense.

In this book Rachel shares her darkest times, trusting in herself and what she believed God to be, rather than trusting in His goodness and timing. How when she let herself be led, albeit kick and screaming with a crappy attitude, it was there that God met her and showed her time and again how His was is the path to incredible goodness.

He is waiting for us to ask for His help, He is eager to free us from fears, He alone will be the One to deliver us from them. You and I are NOT meant to make our home among fear.

Rachel Williams, Trust Redefined (page 157)

Rachel shares in a way that is not sanctimonious or in anyway self-glorifying, but very much shows every fault and flaw of her own. It was ONLY through those around her that God worked his plans for her and her family.

Having watched from the sidelines I have wanted a faith like Rachel’s, and that of her family’s. It comes at a price though, a price very few are willing to pay. It requires that we redefine for ourselves what it means to trust God.

There is such a strong disconnect between doing what we believe to be the right thing, and doing what God is asking. It is so hard to know what is the right thing because in all honesty the generations that lived a life in that way have long past and we have no one to model for us what life looks like.

Life rarely goes according to plan. We often go through thinking if we do this right thing, then this will happen. We congratulate ourselves on a life well-lived, that WE have done well good and faithful servant. When in all truth if we are living in that, we are not living in God.

The answer is not in a book written by men or women, but in God. We have to take that first step of blind faith, allowing God to speak to us. For so many that seems impossible, because we have no idea how to even begin.

Rachel’s book and questions are quite possibly the first step we can take on figuring out what that life of trusting God should look like.

Read it. It might not have all the answers you are looking for, but I can assure you it will begin the process in you of questioning whether you are trusting yourself or God.

Trust Redefined is on sale for preorder with FREE shipping (in the U.S.) until 10/31/2019 at (Coupon code: FREESHIP), as well as through