Category Archives: Literature/Books

The Scrambled States of America

If you want to teach your gang geography, encourage them to value travel and well…possess the general knowledge that a reference to “Washington” does not necessarily denote a conversation about our first president…then you’ll appreciate The Scrambled States of America, by Laurie … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Book Review, Education, Family, Kids, Literature/Books, Things I Love!, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Great Minds and Lost Souls

Last month our family swam through years of history together, dodging slave traders and rabid dogs courtesy of the pages of a Harriet Tubman biography. We spent evenings imagining how cold and frightening it would have been to slink through southern … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Deep Thoughts, Discoveries, Faith, Family Activities, God, Heartbreak, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

OWL MOON Winner!

My, My! What astute readers have I! Last week Friday I shared a fun family idea and opened a contest to those of you who could correctly identify the name of the audio book our family listened to. All entrants … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Book Review, Contest, Discoveries, Education, Family, Family Activities, Family Friday, FREE BOOK, Giveaway!, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Literature/Books, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Things I Love!, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Friday: Book Nights

Pop some popcorn and get in your jammies for Book Night! My husband and I first considered taking story time beyond Officer Buckle and Gloria when one of his friends from work shared this simple idea: instead of “movie night” … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Book Review, Education, Faith, Family, Family Friday, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Things I Love!, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Your Baby Doesn’t Come With Instructions

Do you find it rather unbelievable that we are asked to fill out nearly every detail of our existence to rent a movie from Blockbuster, that we are legally bound to take hunting and boating safety classes if we wish … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Book Review, CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Faith, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Thin Places goes to…

DENA!  Congratulations!  You’re the new owner of my gently-used copy of Mary DeMuth’s Thin Places.  I’ll be contacting you for further details soon!

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Take Care of Your ‘Neighbs With Some Simple Compassion

Today, one of our local news reporters delivered his thoughts on this record-breaking weather while stationed up to his thighs in snow on a fake deck. Nice touch, I thought. One leg was in a “normal” section of the snow … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Book Review, Compassion, Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Friends, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, gratitude, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Things I Love!, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Book Giveaway Week!

This past week while huffing through a morning deathmatch with our eliptical machine, my gaze fell on the nearby spines of several books have been given to me over the years to review. Having gotten them with the intention of … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Things I Love!, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What Women Tell Me: Finding Freedom From The Secrets We Keep, by Anita Lustrea

“As a girl and young woman, I memorized hundreds of Scripture verses in vacation Bible school and in Sunday school.  I grew up memorizing the hymn book. I didn’t, however, grow up understanding much about God’s grace and freedom.” [pg. … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discipline Issues, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, Friends, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Social Justice, Summer, Travel, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Little Star, by Anthony DeStefano

“Little Star knew that Jesus could have chosen to be born in a palace, surrounded by riches, but instead, he had humbled himself to be born in a stable…Of all the stars in the heavens, Little Star was the only … Continue reading

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Bittersweet, by Shauna Niequist

What a delight to have been offered the opportunity to review Shauna Niequist’s latest book, Bittersweet, released last month by Zondervan.  Stitched together with threads of the poetic and honest writing we devoured in Cold Tangerines, Shauna’s voice again rings … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Play, Seasons of Life, Things I Love! | 7 Comments

Birds in Cleveland

Sitting alone in the terminal, windows revealed thin, glinting silver tubes slicing through July’s muggy atmosphere. I hovered over carry-on bags while the revolt in my stomach was slowly being quelled by the lunch spread across paper on my lap.  … Continue reading

Posted in Family, God, gratitude, Literature/Books, Seasons of Life, Travel, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Life In Defiance, by Mary E. DeMuth

The doors slam in the unshaken universe that is my dear Lake Pisgah. Metal against metal is dissonant against birds chirping their songs to welcome springtime around the bend. It’s a pleasant day with the sun warming our heads as … Continue reading

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A Lovely and Thankful Wreck

I’ve been a wreck lately. My emotions on have been arching between profound gratitude to God and utter disbelief and, on the far spectrum, sadness that our kids are growing up so fast.  It seems I’ve been waiting for years … Continue reading

Posted in Decor/Organizing, Faith, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Found Art, by Leeana Tankersley

“Because such art is essentially redemptive, found art is also deeply spiritual, predating even urinal-man in its origins.  In God’s hands, spit and mud become sight.  Dust and rib become humanity.  Darkness and void become world.  Fishermen become followers.  Virgin … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Practicing Silence

“Sometimes we need silence.  Not always, but definitely sometimes.  If we will comply, if we will receive the moments of quiet contemplation and rest, we might be surprised by what emerges.  As much as I didn’t want to engage in … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Faith, Following Jesus, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Hallmark Sends Its Very Best

I’ve already told you bits and pieces of my now-exposed [obsessive] affair with Hallmark Gold Crown Stores. It’s thorny territory for me to write about something so intimate and special, but at last I’m able to admit that sneaking away … Continue reading

Posted in crafts, Discoveries, Family, Gifts, Holidays, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

This Little Prayer of Mine, by Anthony DeStefano

“Impress [these commands] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Deut. 6:7 This verse has a way of lacing up … Continue reading

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Remembering My Own Thin Place

When I survey the landscape of my life, it’s shocking that fingernails still cling to these hands at all for all the scraping and clawing college required. It wasn’t the academics that pulled me apart; books and essays and ink … Continue reading

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Thin Places: a memoir, by Mary DeMuth

“The Celts define a thin place as a place where heaven and the physical world collide, one of those serendipitous territories where eternity and the mundane meet.  Thin describes the membrane between the two worlds, like a piece of vellum, … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

More Free Books!

If you’re the lucky owner of a portable reader such as a Kindle or a Nook, you’ll be dancing in your pajamas to know that a few great books are being offered as free downloads through next week–just in time … Continue reading

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WIN THIS BOOK!

Zondervan was gracious enough to provide me with a second copy of this book to pass along to my masses of spellbound and excited readers [cough]; to that end I am happy to launch a spiderweb contest to determine the … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, gratitude, Home, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Pure Pleasure, by Gary Thomas

Check back tomorrow to see how you can win a copy of this book, courtesy of Zondervan Publishers! Little did I know when I tore into the envelope that I was the lucky recipient of something I never knew I … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Discoveries, Faith, Fitness, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Living with Prepositions

It seems this blog has become my own private confessional.  Be warned: you are all priests and I expect absolution at the end of this post. I regret to inform you, as I’ve regretted admitting to myself, that I’m living … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Decor/Organizing, Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Fitness, Following Jesus, Friends, God, Growing Pains, Home, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Rants, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

An Apple At Dawn

It is before 5 am as I sit here with my apple. People who know me will realize that something is strangely amiss that I would be pulled from the warmth of the bed I love to descend to a … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Faith, Fitness, Following Jesus, Food, Gifts, God, gratitude, Home, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Seasons of Life, Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

From “Pure Pleasure”

This coming February I will be taking part in a blog tour for Gary Thomas’ latest book, the phenomenal Pure Pleasure.  When I was invited to do the review, the title intrigued me [subtitled: Why  Do Christians Feel So Bad About … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Following Jesus, Food, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Home, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Win A Free Book!

Thank you to Keri Wyatt Kent for the comments she left [below] on the review I posted on her latest book, Simple Compassion: Devotions to make a Difference in Your Neighborhood and Your World.  She is inviting interested readers to … Continue reading

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Simple Compassion

Yesterday my oldest child came through the door flushed and rambling about the latest bit of excitement in his 7 year-old life.  As he slowed down and afforded me the chance to listen, I surmised that his school was sponsoring … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Friends, God, Home, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Christmas Meditation

One of my husband’s favorite Christmas songs was written a few decades ago by singer-songwriters Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene.  Mary, Did You Know? is a thought-provoking song that wonders aloud whether Mary fully knew the entirety of who her … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Gifts, God, gratitude, Holidays, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

[We Are] Overlooked: final thoughts

Matthew 25:37-40 (The Message) “When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?? Then the King will say, … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Finances, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Illness, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soul Care & Simplicity

Today [November 18]  I listened to another perfectly-timed radio broadcast on Midday Connection [Moody Radio].  The guest speaker was Mindy Caliguire, an author and speaker from Chicago who was discussing soul care & simplicity. This got my attention.  As a … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Friends, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Last Thoughts: The Year of Living Like Jesus

Tonight, over sour cream-laden chimichangas and icy Cokes, my husband and I had our annual gift-giving budget conversation.  At our house, November and December are packed with several family birthdays and, of course, the simultaneously beloved and commercially vexing: Christmas. … Continue reading

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More Thoughts From “The Year of Living Like Jesus”

Top Chef is one of my favorite TV shows.  On it, a group of amazing chefs compete in ridiculously hard challenges under pressures of time and budget, all to win the title of “Top Chef.”  One thing that these cooks … Continue reading

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The Year of Living Like Jesus, by Ed Dobson

Preface: These last several nights I’ve had a hard time sleeping.  I lie in bed thinking and invariably I find myself staring into the darkness, praying the prayer that Ed prayed countless times in his book:  “Lord Jesus Christ, son … Continue reading

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Scouting the Divine

I hit the jackpot today with my addictive talk-radio habit: Midday Connection had Margaret Feinberg on discussing her new book, Scouting the Divine:  My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey. I was so touched–I cried, my chin … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discoveries, Faith, Food, God, Growing Pains, Literature/Books, Nature/Outdoors | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Free “Mentoring” from Mary

Last spring I was blessed to meet author and speaker, Mary DeMuth at a Christian Writers Conference in Wheaton, IL and have since reviewed two of her books here:  Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn. […can’t WAIT for #3 in … Continue reading

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A Slow Burn

Last week I told you about Daisy Chain, a rare and wonderfully gripping piece of Christian fiction from author Mary DeMuth.   The first in her Defiance Texas Trilogy, Daisy Chain weaves a tale of suspense and fear, grace and deliverance, … Continue reading

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Daisy Chain

Last spring I was privileged to hear Mary DeMuth speak at a Christian Writer’s Conference.   In a room full of other brothers and sisters, alike in our love for the Lord yet quite possibly different in our perceptions of faith, … Continue reading

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