Thursday, February 23, 2017

{Review} Control Girl by Shannon Popkin


This is an issue I've struggled with most of my life. I'm not going to get all "psychology" as to why, but I'm sure my hubby can attest to the fact that this is probably my number one issue - control. When I saw that Kregel Publications was offering Control Girl by Shannon Popkin up for a blog tour, I didn't even think twice, but immediately responded with my interest. 

Shannon Popkin is a blogger turn author. Control Girl is her first book. She shares honestly about her own issues regarding control and how it has impacted her relationships with her family as well as others. I enjoyed her honesty and it helped me to take a hard look at my own life. 

Popkin then goes on to share the stories of seven well-known women from the Bible such as Eve, Sarah, and even Hagar, and how we can learn from their mistakes regarding control. 

Each chapter is short. It includes anywhere from three to five lessons in each. Each lesson begins with a scripture reference to read and reflect on. Then it has a short devotional that helps to understand the truth being shared and how it can be applied to your own life. It then ends with some thoughtful questions to help you apply and think about the lesson learned. Each lesson also has a meditation listed which lists a scripture reference to reflect on as well as a thought related to that scripture. 

The book could be used alone or in a group setting. It's not long - 207 pages minus the bibliography. There are nine chapters with 38 total lessons. 

Overall I loved this book. It's helped to give me some much needed insight into my actions and, more importantly, how to relinquish the control I feel I need to have and totally surrender to God. It's not always easy but it is always worth it.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Random Writing Thoughts

*Not  my actual home.

Winter in Maine is not for the faint of heart. This winter we have already seen a couple of large snowfalls and today, just to make things even more fun, we are having a nor'easter full of hail and ice. Joy. 

The benefit of a day like today is that everything is cancelled. I'm enjoying a day at home with no obligations to even get dressed (although I am). We still have power (woo-hoo!). I'm sitting at my dining room table with only the hum of my laptop and a candle burning (for ambiance - remember I have power). Why is it so quiet? Because my children are busily working on school. I love days like this.

One of my goals for this year is to start writing more. I have this platform and plan to expand and use it. Why am I telling you this? Because I need the accountability! I know many who read my blog (especially when I share it on Facebook) will now ask me what's next, what am I going to write about, on my blog. ASK! Please!

I also am looking for ideas. I don't feel the need to find a 'niche' for my writing. My only goal is to write and share. That is going to be eclectic - just like me. Some days I may write about homeschooling, after all, it is a large part of my life still. I may also want to share about my fitness journey - again - another large part of my life. I may want to share some wisdom I have gleaned from a marriage of over 20 years (24 years in July!) or having older children (my oldest is now 20!!!) or any myriad of things that cross my mind. 

So, you, dear reader, what are some things you'd like to hear about? Let me know either in the comments on the blog or in the Facebook comments. Share with me ideas. 

And I pray you are all warm and safe today - no matter where you are reading this.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

{Review} Getaway with God: The Everywoman's Guide to Personal Retreat by Letitia Suk


Over the last few months I have been feeling the urge, the need, to take some recharge time. Lately life has been coming fast and furious and I know I need to regroup and look at what I've been doing to make sure it lines up with what God would have me do in my life. And I know this is necessary as God continues to bring confirmation to me either through things I read online or books I read (or are recommended to me) or in a myriad of other ways.

This is one reason I jumped at the chance to read Getaway with God by Letitia Suk. The title grabbed my attention and the subtitle clinched it. I haven't been disappointed in that choice.

Sadly, I'm late in posting this review because of the said busy-ness in my life which once more confirms that I need some time with God. Some purposeful time where I can chat with my Abba Father and figure out how to live my life best to honor him.

I love the tone of the book from the first page. Letitia writes in a conversational manner. One that makes it easy to picture you sitting with her at a little coffee shop sipping hot beverages and sharing what's on your heart. Sometimes books like these can have a "holier than thou" attitude that comes across in the writing. This is not that book! It is easy to read, easy to understand, and yet Letitia makes her points well.

The breakdown of the chapters is as follows:

  • Part 1: You Can Do This!
    • How it Began: An Introduction
    • The Basics: Answering Your Questions
    • One Style Fits All: Not!
    • The Details: Answering More of Your Questions
    • The Schedule: Designing Your Retreat
    • "But Wait....!" Addressing Common Concerns
    • Sabbath: Getting Away Without Getting Away
  • Part 2: Slow Down, Girl!
    • Five Days Away: The Life-Giving Retreat
    • Before You Go: Getting Ready to Get Away
    • Day One: "Now What?"
    • Day Two: Looking Back
    • Day Three: Looking Around
    • Day Four: Looking Ahead
    • Day Five: Reentering the "Real" World
Letitia also includes a number of appendix in the back of the book that also are geared towards helping one plan a retreat.

I'm very excited to try this all out for myself. My hubby and I are going away for a week later this winter. He is attending a conference and I'm just tagging along for the ride. I'm planning to try out some of these retreat ideas while I'm gone. I won't be alone for the whole time but I'm determined to make the time I will have work for me. 

I'm happy I was chosen to review this book. It has already been helpful and I haven't even tried any of the premises put forth in it yet!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Friday, November 18, 2016

{Review} End of the Roadie by Elizabeth Flynn


Detective Inspector Angela Costello is once more on the case in the End of the Roadie: A Mystery for D.I. Costello. Her daughter is out on a date with one of D.I. Costello's constables. D.C. Gary Houseman and Madeleine have tickets to see rock-star Brendan Phelan in concert. Brendan is known for his use of prop guns and whips along with traditional instruments in his music. The crowds are loving his brand of entertainment. However, after the concert D.C. Houseman hears real gunshots outside the theater and finds one of the stage hands, Oliver Joplin, dead and Brendan standing in shock nearby.

D.I. Costello works with her team to untangle the lies and deceit hanging over Joplin. Considering he was an inadequate roadie, why was he always on Brendan's team for every tour? Did Brendan, an expert marksman, pull the trigger or was there another shooter?

This is the third D.I. Costello book. Each book stands alone. I've enjoyed all of them so far. Elizabeth Flynn is a British author and does use British slang and colloquialisms which I happen to like. I do find that I sometimes need to look things up as I don't understand the context of what is being said or a term that was used, but overall the books are enjoyable and the mysteries are excellent. This particular one had me guessing "who-done-it" right up to the very end.





Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

20th Year


It's hard to believe that I have a twenty year old son...but I do. It seems just mere days ago he looked like this...


Okay - maybe more like this...


But now the boy is no longer a boy but a man and looks like this...


I love that he loves books as much as I do. He actually packed up all of his books and brought them to college with him. Only to realize that he didn't have room for them and we hauled them all home two weeks later. 

Yes, my oldest is now in college and I couldn't be more proud of him and what he is accomplishing. This quirky boy of mine is finding his "people" and doing well in an environment that pushes his limits daily I expect. 

He started two weeks early as part of a student intensive program. He passed the English portion (yeah!) which meant he could attend a regular English class rather than the workshop class. I actually had every confidence he would do this. The added benefit is that he was on campus two weeks before all the other students and was able to get comfortable with his dorm room and getting around campus. It also meant we all missed the craziness of move-in day! At least this year. Next year we'll have to deal with that. 

He is currently attending a local community college. Well, local in that it's less than an hour's drive away. He is living on campus and seems to be thriving and doing well. His goal is to get an associate's degree in General Studies and get all of those pesky required classes out of the way at a smaller campus. And we are happy as well because it is a less expensive campus! Then he will transfer to the more local (20 minutes away) state university and study creative writing. 

His goal is to one day write the story lines for video games. I have challenged him to write a story next month during National Novel Writing Month. I'm writing as well so we'll hopefully hold each other accountable.

I love seeing him grow and thrive. I love seeing him gain confidence in his abilities and in himself. I love seeing him stretch himself and push limits and boundaries. I simply love this man my boy has become.