Friday, May 20, 2011

Blogging for Book Book Review: Secrets of the Vine for Women

Secrets of the Vine for Women: Breaking Through to Abundance by Darlene Marie Wilkinson is about abiding in Christ, and in the Father. It was centered on the secrets of the vine, and the lesson in the vineyard that Christ gave the disciples. Jesus teaches that we need to depend on Him and abide in the Father in order to bear fruit.

Darlene breaks down myths about what abiding is and isn’t and about why women today struggle with abiding in the Father. While the book was a quick read, it is thought provoking and very insightful in the lives of Christian women today.

I really enjoyed the read and doing the reading guide that came with the book. It made me consider God as a father (my Heavenly Father), rather than someone up there, detached from everything. I liked the illustration of the girl going home to her father’s vineyard and how watching him tend to his vines reminded her of how he tended to her while he was raising her.

I would certainly give this book to a woman who wants to find out how to grow closer to God and to bear much fruit for Him.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not paid for my review, nor was I required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Marriage Challenge Week 13

This week, try to spend some time working on a project with your sweetie. Last night, Mike and I installed a toilet together. While Mike did most of the work, I helped, and it felt good to accomplish something and come out of it knowing we worked fairly well together.

So, pick a project, and do it together (and it doesn't have to be anything nearly as big as installing a toilet, or it could be an even bigger one!)

Grab my button and follow along. And let me know what you've done for your marriage challenge. I'm always excited to know!
Homemade Comforts

Friday, May 13, 2011

BookSneeze Book Review: Max on Life

I recently read Max Lucado’s Max on Life: Answers and Insights to Your Most Important Questions. I must admit that I enjoyed the book. It’s the first book of his I have read.

The book is broken into 7 sections (they all start with H!) called Hope: God, Grace, and “Why am I here?”; Hurt: Conflicts, Calamities, and “Why me?”; Help: Prayer, Scripture, and “Why church?”; Him/Her: Sex, Romance, and “Any chance of a second chance?”; Home: Diapers, Disagreements, and “Any hope for prodigals?”; Haves/Have-Nots; Work, Money, and “Where’s the lifeline?”; and Hereafter: Cemeteries, Heaven, Hell and “Who goes where?”

Each question was on its own page and got a very personal answer from Max, including scripture and, usually, an analogy. Some very interesting questions were asked and some very neat answers were given. Some of the questions I enjoyed reading were “If God doesn’t tempt us, why does He tell us to pray, ‘Lead us not into temptation’? and “What of the people who never heard of God? How can God judge them for what they do not know?” Each section of the book is also started with a hand-written note from Max in response to a letter he has received.

I liked the analogies he used in the answers. Some of them were very spot on and helped to clear up some confusion or give new sight to scripture that someone may not quite understand. I did begin to get frustrated that sometimes, he doesn’t quite answer the question with a yes or a no, and that would have been a bit refreshing, but then I came to the realization that he may just not know that answer. Maybe those answers are answers that only God knows. In the end, I came to a new appreciation of the book and the author.

I would recommend this book to someone trying to explain one of these things to a new or non believer but can’t quite put it into words what they want to convey.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com http://BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Frugal Finds: Yard Sale Stuff

I usually have to work during one of my favorite development yard sales. This year held out no differently. So, this time it's near my work (I switched locations in December) and I left early to check it out.

And, I found this guy!

We laid new carpet on our porch and repainted the woodwork. I desperately wanted a table for out there because we didn't have one before.

So, this sticker said $2.00, which was a bargain to begin with. But, I was feeling adventurous, and the gentleman was feeling generous. He took just a dollar for it!

$1.00! Can't beat it!

While we were at Lowe's looking for new house numbers and getting plants on sale ($5.00 for each hanging basket), I found some textured Rustoleum.

So, I gave this guy a good spray on the bottom, then when it dried, I did the top.

Add a nice bunch of pansies my siblings gave me for Mother's Day, and an outdoor candle I got for Mother's Day, and you've got a nice little table perfect for setting a nice glass of water on.

So, here's the breakdown:
Table: $1.00
Paint: $7.00

Total: $8.00

Monday, May 2, 2011

Marriage Challenge Week 12

Ok, so it's been more than 12 weeks, but whatever. I've dealt with a sick husband, a sick baby, and a sick me so far this year...along with a crazy work schedule all last month. I'm not gonna feel bad.

But, for this week, I wanted to touch on a little something personal to me.

I know that last week's challenge was to get physical with your spouse (ie. kissing, holding hands) but this week's kind of is the same.

First, a little background. 8 years ago (on May 5th), my husband was in a very serious car accident. His leg was broken in several places, his ankle was almost completely removed, his heart was bruised and his lung collapsed. He's had several reconstructive surgeries on his leg and face because all of the skin on his chin was gone. He's blessed to be alive today. He's blessed to have all his own body parts. He's blessed to be walking and able to work despite severe arthritis. Sometimes, his knee gives out on him. On rainy days, he's in extreme pain. My heart hurts for him.

That being said, I have taken to rubbing his injured leg for him at night. I don't rub it for too long, and I only rub one area a night. I also never, ever touch his ankle. He gets a tingling sensation in it that hurts him. While the pain he suffers is joint pain and my rubbing his leg for him doesn't help his pain, it's nice for him to feel something good...something other than pain.

So, the challenge this week is to do something for your spouse that may not be a help, but that is a blessing for them. For Mike, it's feeling something other than pain and having the chance for his muscles to relax because they are so knotted up from having to compensate for an injured leg. Maybe it's something different for your spouse, like offering a cup of coffee when he/she gets home from work, or taking care of the kiddos for a half hour so he/she can spend some time in the bathroom. It's not some huge thing that shows off how great you are, but it's a small thing that lets your spouse know that he/she is worth the effort it takes you to bless him/her.

Grab my button and follow along. And let me know what you've done for your marriage challenge. I'm always excited to know!
Homemade Comforts