Month: February 2016

Review: “You’re Already Amazing – Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be – LifeGrowth Guide and DVD Set” by Holley Gerth

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It’s been quite some time since I have enjoyed a Bible study book as much as I enjoyed this one. Mrs. Gerth was very personable and had a relaxed, encouraging tone on the DVDs. I felt like it was really like sitting down with a friend for coffee to discuss these issues. The study guide has six sessions and has tons of free online content on the author’s website. The guide is filled with lots of open-ended questions that cause the reader to explore and examine many parts of their life that they might not typically sit down and ponder. I found all of the exercises to be insightful and interesting. I especially enjoyed the section at the end of each session where you are given a creative prompt related to that session. As someone who enjoys exploring my creative side, it was fun to get to combine creativity with Bible study.

I found it to be such an encouragement to explore Bible verses regarding trying to live my life the way God intended me to live it. Mrs. Gerth is very careful to explain the title You’re Already Amazing by distinguishing between humanistic pride and simply recognizing yourself as being the amazing person God created you to be. I’ll admit that it is hard for me to accept that I’m amazing. I usually have a hard time with positive thoughts of myself and generally am very critical of myself and my efforts. However, this passage struck me as early as page 18 of the guide:

“What I’ve discovered through connecting with thousands of women is that we’re great at encouraging everyone else, but we’re hesitant to do the same for ourselves. But God loves us all the same, and it hurts him just as much when you talk negatively to yourself as it would if you were saying those unkind words about someone else.” – Holley Gerth

As I read that, I thought of how I feel when my child is struggling with negative thoughts about themselves. It deeply saddens me to know that they think such thoughts, and I desperately want them to see just how wonderful they really are. For the first time, I thought about how that talking negatively about myself is doing the same thing to God when I’m overly critical of myself. The book is full of Bible verses, encouraging ideas, and word art that were so inspiring. My copy is full of notes and highlights which is an indication of a book that I love. I recommend this guide and accompanying DVD set to anyone who would like to “embrace who you are and become all God created you to be.”

I was given a copy of this guide for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: “Better Together: Because You’re Not Meant to Mom Alone” by Jill Savage and Anne McClane

I can’t express just how much I enjoyed this book. On almost every chapter, I found myself nodding along and being able to relate to so many of the concepts and personal stories shared by the authors. I have several handwritten pages of quotes from this book. It’s that good. As a mom who has benefited from “momming” together now and in the past, I can attest to the concept that sharing difficulties and struggles can be so helpful to not only to myself, but to the other moms too. The book encourages moms to be more real with each other and more understanding of our backgrounds, experiences, and differences. There are then seven chapters that detail how we can “mom” together: learning, helping, caring, sharing, praying, forgiving, and encouraging. The book also features the following helpful appendices: conversation starters, mothering personality inventory, mom co-ops, and 33 Bible verses to share with a friend going through a hard time. I found the mothering personality inventory to quite interesting and helpful to understanding why I act in the ways that I do. I also gathered at least two ideas for starting a mom co-op. Finally, the book has a small leader guide in the back that has discussion questions about each chapter. This was an inspiring book and one I can’t wait to share with my friends. I’d recommend you also read it no matter what stage of mommyhood you’re in. After all, Mrs. Savage said it best when she said “You’re not alone.” Surround yourself with other moms who can help and encourage you.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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If you pre-order, you’ll also receive:
1 Printable: 33 Bible Verses to Share with a Friend Going Through a Hard Time
3 Wallpapers/Backgounds for Phone and Computer
7 Audio Workshops (downloads)
• Keep It Shut–Karen Ehman
• Embrace Your Mothering Personality–Jill Savage
• Living and Laughing Together–Ken Davis
• Could Someone Please Remind Me Who I Am–Juli Slattery
• Bad Moments Don’t Make Bad Mamas–Lysa Terkeurst
• Created to Be–Dr. Kathy Koch
• Confessions of an Imperfect Mom–Julie Barnhill
Bonus Video: No More Perfect Kids–Jill Savage

Book Review: “Cold Shot” by Dani Pettrey

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Griffin McCray is a SWAT team sniper turned park ranger at Gettysburg National Park. Finley Scott is a forensic anthropologist. This book tells the story of their romance budding in spite of what brings them together: a body found at Gettysburg. Griffin’s life is further complicated by the reunion of two old friends from college that the case precipitates. This reunion brings with it past pain that must be dealt with and resolved. All the while, danger is lurking around every corner it seems. Will Griffin, Finley, and his friends solve the crime before they fall victim to a crime themselves?

This was my first time reading a novel by Pettrey, and I enjoyed it. She weaves a somewhat large cast of characters into a story with lots of mystery, romance, and suspense. The book is clean and Christian-based. I can’t wait to see what happens in the life of the main characters in the next installment of this series. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense.

I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage” by Greg and Erin Smalley

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I decided to read this book since I was familiar with the authors through Focus on the Family. I found it to be a good marriage book that was appropriate for both young and old marriages. The book details 12 romance secrets through relatable personal stories of the authors and various examples from popular culture. I appreciate the authors’ willingness to be honest about their marriage struggles and their admission of not always getting it right in their marriage. In fact, it was funny to see that some sources of marital conflict seem to be universal, such as in the case of communication and division of household tasks. Little bits of wisdom are sprinkled throughout the book and visually easy to pick out. The book also has a website associated with it that has a free marriage assessment. I think this would be a wonderful book for any married couple, but I think it would make an excellent wedding gift.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.