Friday, July 15, 2016

Fervent



Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer, by Priscilla Shirer
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Publication date: July 5, 2015
Category: Christian, nonfiction
Source: I received this galley from NetGalley for consideration of review.

I found Fervent in June, almost a year after its July 2015 publication date. It came up as a recommendation on my Amazon and I found it was still up for review on NetGalley, so of course I jumped at the chance to read it. Not even two weeks later, a group of ladies at much church decided to read it together. I don't believe in coincidence, so I jumped right in.

Fervent covers 10 places in life in which the enemy will attack, throwing you off course, making you unable to focus and pray your way through hardships in life, as well as pulling you from drawing closer to God. So what's at stake? What does the enemy use against you? Your passion, focus, identity, family, past, fears, purity, pressure, hurts, and relationships. That's pretty much everything...

Throughout the book, Shirer speaks to each area, giving her own examples of attack in her life and how she came through them. Using scripture, Shirer helps readers see beyond what we think is happening, to what is really happening: that it is an attack on all God has for us, if we can only see it and respond productively. She encourages readers to write their own prayers based on scripture.

I have enjoyed Fervent...and really enjoyed reading it with my group of ladies. Everyone had such great insights based on their own life experiences. There's nothing like learning from others because they care enough to be transparent. I would say Fervent is one of the better books on prayer that I've read.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Four Years...and Who Knows What Next?

Source: organizationsandmarkets.com
So this is how busy my life has been lately...my four year blogging anniversary was yesterday (July 12th) and I only remembered cause I read someone else's four year anniversary post from last week and realized mine was passing as I read. So technically I'm writing this post at 12:15 AM on July 13th and doing so quickly because there's a ten-month-old down the hall who will likely be up in less than five hours after I post it.

Yep, a baby. Nope, not mine. I'm babysitting for my friends who traveled back to their home state to perform a wedding and fulfill some speaking engagements. They also have a 4 1/2 and 2-year-old, so I've basically moved in for the week with my 15-year-old daughter who is a huge help and great company. And that explains the crazy of this week. It's all coming back to me, my own three were all within five years so I remember it's just constant going of kids and house...I remembered right.

Speaking of houses, that's where the last few weeks have gone. We are coming to an end of our new house renovations, but it's looking like the last few big things will happen all at once and bam, we'll be in. But, the two weeks we painted I was at the house almost daily for 10-12 hours. By the last few days we were working so hard, the only meal I ate was dinner and my voice lost from sheer exhaustion. I've never worked so hard physically. But it's done and alongside laying our own flooring (let's not go there right now), saved us enough money to buy a better kitchen than our loan allowed, so it's all good!

And so, the poor blog finally gets a mention on its own anniversary post. My Life in Books has been a great source for me. I've had the pleasure of meeting so many people with similar interests and loves and I've learned to embrace my love of literature constructively and without shame. As for this year, I foresee a shift. Starting my doctorate, I plan on tracking my studies through blog posts. That will include reviews because I'll obviously be reading a ton for school, but hopefully some other interesting related topics too.

So thank you to everyone who supports me and this blog in any way. It's always a pleasure to talk books and life.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Begin the Week with Words

Two quotes from two of my biggest sources of advice, wisdom, and encouragement: author Lysa TerKeurst and Wisdom Hunters, a daily devotional I receive by email. It's where I'm at now in many ways - exhausted, but knowing that's where hope is found because I don't have to operate in my own strength.

"There's no kind of empty quite like this empty: where your hands are full but inside you're nothing but an exhausted shell." Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst 


"My weakness is God’s chance to show up and show off. When I am down to nothing, He is up to something." Boyd Bailey, Wisdom Hunters

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Begin the Week with Words

In his book The Four Loves, CS Lewis writes: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”


Sometimes I honestly debate which is worse.

Monday, June 27, 2016

I'm Still Here


I know it's been quiet as can be on the blog. My weekend was so busy, I didn't even remember once to post my usual Sunday Sentence. Literally, just came to mind as I typed the first sentence of this post. What can I say? I've been reading, but not necessarily writing reviews. Reading is a relaxation and escape venue for me, so it's a must. However, busyness doesn't always get set aside for writing right now.

Renovations on our home are ongoing. We are in the painting, laying flooring, hanging kitchen phases. So we've done painting prep work all last week: priming new drywall, staining new trim, painting ceilings and redoing spots on those ceilings, and bleaching and odor prepping one bedroom floor base we're hoping will not need replaced. So the rest of life didn't happen last week.

We've been blessed with a couple friends helping last week and a couple more offering and set up to help out this week. Also, my parents are back from vacation and ready to jump in. Can't even say how much it means for people to seriously offer, let alone come. It's a huge project to take on, but we already know it'll be worth it with the cost savings and such.

So, if you think of us, send up a little prayer. Laying everything out in my head week by week, August is already looming. And for my that means going back to school as both the teacher and a student. I need to have everything settled by first week of August, so I'm feeling the stress of getting done so we can move in. My husband works all day, scarfs some dinner, and heads over to the house. My younger kids are kinda trapped at the apartment cause there's not much they can do at the house and I feel horrible, what a way to spend your summer, but there's nothing we can really do about it. My kids are also babysitting the little kids of those coming to help paint as needed. And then life just keeps going - would help if I could freeze all other things life demands while we do this, but we all wish that at different points for different reasons. Just won't happen.

So keep on reading and don't forget me in the meantime. I'm still here and definitely have some reviews scheduled.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Begin the Week with Words

I finished reading Lysa TerKeurst's book Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. Ummm, this book? I am so mad I have to wait until its publication in August to buy copies to hand out and meet with others to read and discuss. It is THAT relevant. So, for now, here are more quotes to hold us over.