{review} Garden of Eden coloring book

gardenofedenAbout the Book:

God created humans in his image and likeness and put it in a garden. In the Garden of Eden Coloring Book, you will find beautiful biblical scenes for coloring, relaxation, and delight. This book, with eighty-four pages, is an invitation to use all the creative potential that God has given you to create and to escape from the stressful activities of everyday life. Unleash your imagination, relieve your stress, reflect on biblical messages and see how good it feels.

Appeals to all ages looking for a unique coloring experience.

 

We are all in on the coloring book trend. The younger ones in my house love the more detailed pictures. The older ones (and myself!) love the relaxing activity of coloring. Garden of Eden is another beautiful offering from Zondervan. I appreciate that there are Bible verses on many pages, although the font is not my favorite. I love that there is a variety of difficulty in this book. Some of the outlines are so detailed and small, only my artsy daughter will have the steady hand to work with them. But some are much more expansive, with only a few outlines on the page. This leaves plenty of space for littler or unsteady hands to enjoy coloring without feeling like they are messing up. I also love the size of this book – wide, with thick pages and a glossy cover. Garden of Eden is a beautiful addition to this relaxing hobby!
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and a good review is not guaranteed.)

{review} A Bride At Last

About the book:
A Bride at Last
(Bethany House, July 2015)

Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she’d been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she’ll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony-until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy’s father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1M44A97

About the author:

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps and A Bride in Store, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She’s a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly.

Find Melissa online: website, Facebook

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed A Bride At Last. While the story was a bit predictable, it still had enough of a plot that I wanted to keep reading. I really enjoyed that the main characters had to dig a bit into their pasts to figure out what was keeping them apart. And while this is the third book in a series, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by not having read them. Over all I’d give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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{repost} judgements fail

{I have a post brewing in my head about weariness and homeschooling but until I can get it all out, here’s another repost. This was from 2012 and followed my post about diets.}

After the post about diets, I got some feedback. Quite a bit. Then I linked to this blog post on my Facebook wall. Lots more feedback. lots more conversations. Lots more digging through my brain and heart. And I realized something.

This all has nothing to do with food.

These little issues, little stumbling blocks all boil down to judgement. Not only do we judge one another but more than that we are afraid of who might be judging us. It’s a vicious cycle that is preventing the work of God in the women of the church.

I hesitate to invite the thin, organic-food-only, seemingly put together mom over to my house. It’s not just because I’m judging her but even more powerful is the fear that she will judge me. My house will be too messy, my food not right, my kids too wild.

Women, are we bringing division to the church because we are afraid that our lunch won’t be healthy enough? Is fear holding us back from becoming a powerful band of praying wives and mothers, united for Christ?

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear… (1 John 4:18a NKJV)

I need to let the perfect, grace-filled love of Christ rule my days. Not fear. Not assumptions that just because Mom X doesn’t have a stain on her shirt like I do, that she’s too good to be friends with me. Love needs to rule my days. I need to be a lovely representation of a God who did so much more for me that I deserve. Do I feel lovely most days? No. But God doesn’t ask for perfection, He asks for our hearts. Where is my heart? Is it on Christ? Do my kids see Jesus in me? Do they see the Love of Christ casting out fear, judgement, anger?

Oh God, let it be so.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23, 24 NKJV)

It’s hard to feel judged. It’s hard to let go of our own judgements of others. But if we are doing our days with a heart that is serving the Lord, rather than looking for the approval of man, God will see and bless our effort. We may still be judged. We may still judge others. But if we can just take a moment to put our minds back on doing these seemingly mundane mom things for Christ, rather than to measure up to _____, we can see God move. If we can just be responsible for our choices and thoughts, rather than trying to dictate everyone else’s choices, we can see amazing unity.

{review} Love Letter from God

{I received Love Letters from God from Zonderkidz in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and a good review was not guaranteed.}

About the book:

What child does not love to receive mail? What if that child could receive, open and read his or her own personal mail from God? The Love Letters from God will invite them to do just that! Accompanying each story in this unique children’s Bible is a very special and encouraging letter, each tucked away in its own lift-the-flap envelope, just for them. Written for children ages four to eight, the Love Letters from God includenull.jpg_9646s eighteen of the most popular Bible stories—nine from the Old Testament and nine from the New Testament. Following each story the child will find his or her own letter from God. Children will love the excitement of opening the letters and parents will love how each letter elaborates on the Bible story being told. A very special Bible verse, entitled God’s Wonderful Words To You will accompany each story and letter. Much more than a mere memory verse, each carefully chosen promise will be God’s very own personal words of love, encouragement, and hope. This book will culminate in an invitation for the children to write their own RSVP to God.

About the author & illustrator:

Glenys Nellist was born and raised in a little village in northern England.   Her stories and poems have beenphoto 2 published in children’s magazines where her writing reflects a deep passion for bringing the Bible to life for young children. Glenys lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, David.

Sophie Allsopp grew up in a small English village and Hong Kong, where she particularly enjoyed living in a hotel and going to school on a tram. After studying for her illustration degree, Sophie won several awards and has now been illustrating for over 20 years. She lives in England with her husband, son, and a cat called Sadie.

 

 

 

Our thoughts:photo 3

Love Letters from God has quickly become Addie’s favorite book. Each page contains three main elements – a beautiful retelling of a Bible story (18 in all), a love letter to your child and a text box called ‘God’s Wonderful Words For You.’ The stories are well written and clearly convey the Biblical truth that is being shared. Each story also has the reference for where the full account can be found in the Bible. The illustrations might just steal the show, though. They are beautifully detailed and communicate the story so well.

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The Love Letters on each page are sturdy lift-the-flap notes that are so sweet and encouraging. Each letter relates to the story that was told on the adjoining page. Each one has a tiny illustration on it as well as a space to write in your child’s name, if you choose.

 

With each story there is also a text box containing a Bible verse that corresponds to the story and also drills home the important fact that God loves each of our little children. I think this is so vital to a little one’s understanding of God. The first and most important thing in their little minds should be that God – in all His bigness and power – loves and knows them.

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Love Letters from God is a hardcover book, with a dust jacket and thick, glossy pages. I think this book would be a beautiful gift for a young child or even a baby shower gift. I would recommend this be one thing that goes on your Christmas shopping list!