About Me

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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

When There is No Miracle by Robert L. Wise- Finding Hope in Pain and Suffering


My Thoughts:

Christmas time is often a time of joy and family, gifts and memory making, but it can also be a time of sadness and loneliness. So many are dealing with grief, illness and (seemingly) unanswered prayers. I found great comfort in this thoughtful and godly book by Robert L. Wise. It does indeed help one "find hope in pain and suffering". First and foremost, rest in the fact that God is ALWAYS in control. 

"Sooner or later every one of us will find the fabric of our lives torn and violently ripped. As the frayed edges stand exposed, our whole being may feel naked and annihilated. Nevertheless we can rest with a newfound confidence. The Master Weaver will not only mend the tear but reweave the fabric into an even more meaningful design. What He does not will, He still uses." (When There is No Miracle p. 78)

"While our hardest moments are not necessarily sent by God, He still picks them up and uses them in new and constructive patterns." Cancer, birth defects, human suffering and even death  are not wasted. The evil one does exist and is "constantly attempting to win the spiritual warfare raging in the world." But we never need to fear. The final battle at Calvary was fought and won by God!

The author uses examples from his life- dark times where he had to lean heavily on the Lord. Robert L. Wise understands suffering. Cancer, depression, divorce, brokenness, loss of faith, tragedy and more are all spoken here. Stories of people he has counseled and prayed for. And there are also accounts of healing, miracles and divine intervention. This is a beautiful book of hope and comfort, one that would provide peace to those in times of darkness.

When There Is No Miracle (Revised and Expanded) 

Finding Hope in Pain and Suffering 

Times of profound darkness don't always require miracles to find the light.

Sooner or later, dark days obscure everyone's lives. Heartbreak is impartial. Tragedies, global or personal, strike every day, and people discover they have been swept out to sea by waves of destruction, anxiety, and catastrophe. How can Christians who believe in divine intervention understand the times when the lights go out and no miracle of deliverance appears? 

Robert Wise has more than a passing relationship with tragedy. He has not only lost loved ones; he has been on the front lines of the mayhem that seems to increase every year. Wise was the first clergyman on the scene following the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City. He ministered to frightened people after 9/11. He has encountered countless people experiencing tragedy, all of them asking the same question: Why do the innocent suffer? 

When There Is No Miracle imparts the lessons Wise has learned in the midst of his own questioning. Each chapter encourages those who struggle, and demonstrates unexpected positive benefits of pain and suffering. Wise shares the experiences of those he has met in his ministry who faced times that seemed to be devoid of God's involvement. Yet, as Wise shows here, God is always behind the scenes, working for the ultimate good, even when we can't understand how. In this succinct volume, Christians can find new hope, learn to reconcile their faith with times of emptiness, and discover a new depth of meaning in the crucifixion of Christ. 

*I was given a copy of this encouraging and enlightening book by Kregel. This is my honest opinion.*

Friday, December 2, 2016

Amy Grant "Tennessee Christmas" CD review and Giveaway!



My Thoughts:

My younger sister was the first to discover the sweetly mellow voice of Amy Grant and I'm extremely glad that she did. Many years later I have a wonderful collection of Amy's music- Christian, secular and, of course, Christmas. She always makes me feel joyful, cozy and contented- like coming home. If you're already an Amy Grant fan or have yet to experience her music, you're in luck! "Tennessee Christmas" has just been released and it offers a delightful montage of Christmas tunes, both old and new. It's perfect for playing while you host family and friends, snuggle by the fire or even while you're busily baking cookies. Her voice just makes you feel... good. I've been listening to "Tennessee Christmas" as I do my Christmas shopping and I do believe it's keeping me in good spirits! Favorites on the CD are "To Be Together" (the audio is above), "Tennessee Christmas" and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful". It's Amy Grant's first holiday album released in 20 years so be sure and grab a copy. You'll be glad you did.

*FlyBy is generously offering a copy of "Tennessee Christmas" to one of my readers! Comment on this post to be entered! Winner selected on Sunday, the 4th, so hurry and enter!*

*I was given a copy of "Tennessee Christmas" from FlyBy promotions in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bible Journaling Kit by Ellie Claire (Worthy Publishing)- Review and Giveaway!



My Thoughts:

Years ago I never would have dreamed of writing or (gasp!) drawing in my Bible. Goodness, no. But, thankfully, times have changed and I now know that time spent reading and delighting in the Lord's word is precious and can be done in many ways. My daughter has been dreaming of receiving a journaling Bible, so I was thrilled to receive the opportunity to review this Bible Journaling kit by Ellie Claire! It has everything needed to begin Bible journaling (minus a Bible)- a pen, colored pencils, alphabet and word stickers, a page protector mat with tracing lines, tab stickers and a pouch with adjustable straps to fit your Bible. The box could be improved upon as far as aesthetics go, but it's what on the inside that counts, right? This would definitely be a great gift to put under the tree, for both adults and teens.

**Interested in winning your own BIBLE JOURNALING KIT? Leave a comment on this post and I'll randomly choose a winner next Friday, December 2nd!** 


*And the randomly selected winner is #3..... Christy White! Congratulations, Christy! Message me your new address and I'll get your Bible Journaling Kit in the mail to you!*

About the Product

Create a work of art on the pages of your favorite Bible. Draw, color, or journal your thoughts, dreams, and prayers. Highlight your favorite verses or the encouragements that speak to your heart with pencils, stickers, and tabs. Kit includes:
·         4 sheets of word stickers
·         4 sheets of alphabet stickers
·         24 tab stickers
·         8 colored pencil twists
·         1 journaling pen
·         1 pouch with adjustable strap to fit Bibles of all sizes
·         1 ruled page protector mat with tracing lines

*Worth Publishing is also hosting their own giveaway! Enter here: http://bit.ly/BibleJournalingKitGiveaway *


            Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BNBibleJournaling
Christian Book Distributors: http://bit.ly/CBDBibleJournaling

*I received this Bible Journaling Kit from FlyBy Publishing.*

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Cautious Maiden- Christian period romance filled with intrigue & passion!


My Thoughts:
"Jesus paid it all, all to whom I owe..." is still on my mind and in my heart after swooning through this wonderful period romance. The Cautious Maiden, by Dawn Crandall, is the 4th book in the Everstone Chronicles series. It's involves dashingly handsome and wealthy Vance Everstone (I guarantee he'll make your heart pound!) and beautifully innocent Violet Hawthorne. The book begins with an attack on Violet where Vance comes to her aid. With his questionable past and rumors that seem to endlessly follow in his wake, Violet questions Vance's motivations and finds herself feeling quite alone. Her parents have passed away and her brother has turned their home into a brothel! Going from bad to worse, Violet awakens one morning to find that she and Vance are in bed together! Through no fault of her own, she is compelled to remedy her reputation through an arranged marriage soon after. What is to become of our heroine?

I absolutely loved this book. The relationship between Violet and Vance is sizzling and mysterious (clean romance with plenty of passion) as there are many unanswered questions that come to light throughout the story. The setting is enchantingly romantic, the dialogue is perfection (I had to force myself to slow down and savor), the storyline is delightfully composed of bible verses, hymns and themes of redemption, true love and forgiveness. But don't be lulled into thinking this is all sweetness and light- there is also intrigue and danger! Violet's brother, Ezra, is a gambler, among other unsavory things, and shares his company with scoundrels. In fact, he "gambled" his own sister- and lost her to the retched Rowen Steele! Now Violet is at the mercy of Vance- but can she trust him? It's the first book I've read by Dawn Crandall and I truly look forward to reading more.


More about the Book:

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents' New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks—but when Violet's own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintanceAnd—Vance Everstone. As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU. With danger stalking her and a new fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trustAnd—and who to leave behind.


Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles, which consists of four books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, The Captive Imposter and The Cautious Maiden which released October 4th, 2016.
Apart from writing, Dawn is also a mom of two little ones and serves with her husband in a premarital mentorship program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do.
Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and an associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher, and this is my honest review.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood by Sarah Humphrey- Devotional Coloring Book


My Thoughts:
40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood is a lovely combination of a devotional and coloring book. Each of the 40 days includes a bible verse, short devotion, a prayer as well as a coloring page. I brought mine on a plane trip to Maine along with a pack of crayons! It's light enough to pack in your purse for times you're waiting in the doctors office, for your kids to get out of class, etc. I really enjoyed Sarah Humphrey's encouraging words to moms. They are real and refreshing and get right to the point- can be read in about 10 minutes. Mothers don't have a lot of free time! Topics covered include self-acceptance, self-care, reconciling with grief, hope, and expectations, generosity, presence and forgiveness. I also loved the fact that I could break out the crayons! The time I spent enjoying this book was all mine.😀 The words and bible verse blessed my heart and the coloring page was a sweet stress reliever. It would make a great gift for the mom who has everything!

{MORE ABOUT 40 DAYS TO A JOYFUL MOTHERHOOD}

40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood: Devotions and Coloring Book to Nourish Mom (Abingdon Press, August 2016)
Nourishment for a mother’s soul through 40 days of devotion and . . . doodling! 
Wouldn’t it be marvelous if mothering came with a concrete set of instructions—an easy recipe we could follow? Instead, motherhood challenges women to find their faith, their true selves, and their family through daily doses of trial and error. It is a brilliant and healing time of life that is full of joy, pain, and beauty with a small side of crisis (and humor). What mothers do not know, they learn. And through this lifelong process of learning, they nurture and care for the most precious gifts on earth: children. In a modern society where moms often have a full and busy plate, these 10 minute daily devotions focus on six key topics of motherhood:
—Self-acceptance
—Self-care
—Reconciling with grief, hope and expectations
—Generosity
—Presence
—Forgiveness
In addition to the devotions, these beautiful pages are adorned with handmade illustrations to help you refresh from long days or even occasional sleepless nights. So, grab your colors and a little quiet time for yourself while doodling at the kitchen table. You will be grateful you did!
Sarah Humphrey

{MORE ABOUT SARAH HUMPHREY}

Often considered a dreamer and silly heart, Sarah Humphrey uses inspiration from her most beloved career, motherhood, to fuel her passion for writing, creative movement and teaching. She has and is authoring several books and children’s books. Sarah currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three beautiful, bouncy kids.
Find out more about Sarah at http://sarahhumphrey.com.

*I received this wonderful book from Litfuse.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Unstuffed by Ruth Soukup- The Perfect Read for Lightening your Home, Mind & Soul!


My Thoughts:

Unstuffed, written by Ruth Soukup, made an appearance into my life at just the right time. We're in the middle of moving and, not only that, there are many transitions occurring in my family- only one of which involves material items. I warmed to the author immediately as she speaks to her readers like a good friend- encouraging and very real. She provides helpful advice on how to declutter your home but that's just the beginning! (Her weekend intense purging schedule is awesome!) "Unstuffing" entails getting rid of excess that causes stress- too many "things", too busy of a schedule, toxic people, etc. and not enough quality friends, family, and alone time. Ruth Soukup bares her soul and shares her life's trials with us. She's been through very difficult times involving depression and several attempts at suicide and the bottom line is that we all need Christ and to rid ourselves of things that separate us from Him. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to others. It absolutely put me on the right track to unstuff my life.

Book Description

STUFF. It's everywhere. Lurking in corners and closets, spilling onto counters and coffee tables, creating havoc everywhere we look. And it's not just the physical clutter that weighs us down. Oh no, it is the stress of overbooked schedules, and the weight of life that sometimes feels oppressive and totally out of whack.
New York Times bestselling author Ruth Soukup feels your pain--she has been there too. Through personal stories, Biblical truth, and practical action plans, she will inspire and empower each of us to finally declutter not just our home, but our mind and soul as well. Unstuffed is real, honest, and gets right down to the question we are all facing--how can we take back our lives from the stuff that is weighing us down?
In this book, together we will:
• Create a comprehensive vision for our homes, and make instant changes to improve its overall function.
• Discover that more closet space is not the solution, and instead learn how to set strict limits for the stuff we bring in
• Overcome the frustration of dealing with our kids' influx of stuff and implement practical solutions for keeping the chaos at bay.
• Recognize the pitfalls of an overstuffed schedule BEFORE it gets out of hand, and instead learn to combat the culture of busy that keeps us running from one thing to the next.
• Finally conquer that mountain of paperwork that threatens to tumble down around us at any moment.
• Let go of the guilt that gets attached to gifts and instead learn to separate our loved ones from their stuff.
• Begin to cultivate our real friendships while eliminating the toxic relationships that weigh us down.
*I was given an electronic copy of this book from Booklook Bloggers and happily provided an honest review.*

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim


My Thoughts:

The Alliance, written by Jolina Petersheim, is a thought provoking story of what could happen in an earth shattering, unseen future. The beginning of the book immediately grabs hold of readers when Moses Hughes' plane dramatically crashes into an Old Order Mennonite community after the instruments are destroyed, His accident was mysteriously caused by an electromagnetic pulse which wiped out technology- cars stop running, electricity fails, and telephones ceasing to work are only the beginning. Leora Ebersole, a young independent Mennonite, volunteers to care for Moses' wounds, although she's already responsible for her younger siblings and grandmother. When Moses reveals his concerns to the Mennonite community members it includes plans of guns and protection from the outside world. Chaos will be coming soon, he tells them, and they need to be prepared. What follows is something no one could have ever foreseen.

I enjoyed this unique glimpse into the future with Mennonite and "Englisch" people working together for survival. There is tension, drama and emotion and the feeling of peril is pervasive. The story does tend to drag a bit in portions of the book but overall a good read. The sequel, The Divide, will be released in spring 2017.

About the Book:

When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it’s a foreshadowing of things to come. When the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won’t start.

Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.

In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they’re willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.

***Read a sample of The Alliance here!***

*I was given this book by Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*