Saturday, May 5, 2018

Sisters in Christ ~ Brooklyne ~ May 2018

Happy Saturday, readers! Today we have another Sisters in Christ chat—with Brooklyne from Showers of Blessings.



Welcome to Chosen Vessels, Brooklyne! 

Hi everyone! My name is Brooklyne. I’m a seventeen year old, homeschooler, animal lover, bookworm, cowgirl, middle sister, DIYer, Seventh-day Adventist, vegetarian, writer at heart, introvert, and most importantly a daughter of The One True King! Some of my hobbies are gardening, riding my horse Rosie, hand lettering, woodworking, exercising, and taking pictures.


I love that! :) Since we met through blogging, let's talk about that. What inspired you to start a blog?

Well, as soon as I started reading about all these bloggers who were around my age, I realized that this was something I could do to make a difference. Honestly, the idea of starting a blog was exciting, crazy, and scary. I had to step out of my comfort zone, and still do with every post. I’m not great with computers, and I have never had Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media site. But I do write. I write devotionals, poems, and stories. I don’t have all the answers, but I feel like God has given me words to write and starting a blog gives me the chance to share these words with people all over the world! I am so blessed to be given the resources to start a blog.



Did you read other blogs before starting your own, or was starting a blog what thrust you into this amazing world we call The Blogosphere? ;)

Yes and no. I really only started reading blogs the beginning of this year. I was really into The Circle C Adventures by Mrs. Marlow when I was around 13 years old. As I got older, I was more into the contests and one day I was reading on her blog about the contest judges and that’s when I found a blog by a homeschooler. I would read over her blog and then find more blogs to read. It was like a ripple effect. Each blog would most likely have a list of other blogs they read. So, I went blog crazy and read so many blogs, I can’t even remember which ones I read.
But, before 2018 I really hadn’t read any blogs, except Andi’s Blog (Circle C Adventures).


How did you find my blogs?
I found your blogs sometime when I was going blog crazy:-). So, I don’t know exactly how I came across them, but I do know that I found Stories by Firefly before finding Chosen Vessels. And, I have to say, I really like both of your blogs!!!


Aww, thank you! 

The blogging community can be a very encouraging place to me—so many people blogging about their faith! What's your favorite Bible verse, chapter, and book? Why?

Oh, this is so hard to choose!!! One of my favorite verses are 2 Corinthians 12:9 because it is a reminder that God’s grace is sufficient in my weaknesses. One of my favorite chapters is Psalm 23. The lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want… there is something so peaceful about this chapter. Oh, and I like Philippians 4 too! I can’t decide on a favorite:-). My favorite book in the Bible is James. I like that it is short enough to read in one setting and I like that it is relatable.



What Bible verses have really helped you through some rough times?

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And Philippians 4: 6,7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests by made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” These two verses are the first to go through my head when I need a reminder that Gods got it.


What is one event in your life that really strengthened your Christian walk?

(1) Our move to our farm was a very big faith builder. Hints the name, Winds of Faith.            (2) My baptism was another event that strengthened my Christian walk. (3) I believe trial’s have strengthened my Christian walk also. One big trial was in 2015 when my Dad had a heart attack. He was forty-one and had to have two stints placed in his widow maker. This was very scary and we really had to trust God with our worries. Since then we have really changed the way we eat to be more plant strong and healthy.


Wow... <3 

Any Bible reading tips?

I’m not one to be giving advice in this area. Sadly, all to often, my time to read the bible gets cut short or pushed back and this is something I want and need to change. I think reading the Bible has to be a huge priority. To purposefully choose to spend time reading the Bible. A lot of times I use the concordance in the back of my bible to look up words for different verses and this helps me get on a roll;-).


Speaking of reading... On a scale of 1-10, how much of a reader would you consider yourself? What about a writer?

For a reader, I would say I’m a 8-9. And for a writer, I’d say a 7-8. This would be for books that were amazing and if I didn’t have writers block…


Where's your favorite place to read and/or write?

Definitely in my room. And sometimes I will read in the car if it is a really good book! ;-)


Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books by them?

I can’t pick a favorite, it’s too hard! I really like Stephen Bly’s writing style. My favorite books written by him are Skinners of Goldfield series and Homestead series. There are lots more authors and books but the list is too long! ;-)


Hehe, isn't that like the worst question? ;) What are some books that really impacted your young life?

I really enjoyed reading Pony Pals, Sisters in Time, Circle C Adventures, and The Serenity Inn series when I was younger. But I would say that the one book that really impacted my life was iChoose His Way by Hannah Rayne. If you haven't heard of it, look it up and read it. I totally recommend it for anyone, but especially us teenagers! It was written by a teen for us teens. This book just really impacted me.


Alrighty. Time for a few random questions, before we have to say farewells. :D If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

Um, maybe creative. I don’t know.



Any pet peeves?
I walk around like everything is fine, but deep down, inside my boot, my sock is sliding off! A bunched up sock is the worst! :-)


Favorite songs?

I like quite a few songs and types of music, so this is kind of hard to choose! I really like country music. Some I like are I Don’t Dance by Lee Brice, Fight Like a Girl by Bomshel, Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood, Road Less Traveled by Lauren Alaina, May We All by Florida Georgia Line, Austin by Blake Shelton, and lots of others!


Anything else to add? Goals for the rest of this year?

Some of my goals for 2018 would be to ride Rosie, a lot more than I have been. And start writing more too! Like starting a book series I have in mind… and to keep writing devotionals and poems. A big time goal would be to publish some of my writings but this will most likely not take place in this year. Also, to blog! I have lots of great ideas for Showers of Blessings and can’t wait to perfect my blog style, add more pages, etc.



And I want to say, thank you so much, Faith, for hosting Sister’s in Christ! This was such a great opportunity for me to get to know other bloggers in this blogosphere and for them to get to know me too. These were great questions and they were very fun to answer! Thanks for letting me participate in this blog series! ;-)

I enjoyed it as well! Thanks for coming over! <3

~*~


Thanks for reading, friends! Be sure to leave Brooklyne a comment and check out her blog. :D 

~Faith


Quick announcement. I'm going on another blogging hiatus for most of the month of May. I may be back toward the end of the month, and I'll be posting a May recap on my other blog, but other than, I'm taking a break. I know I just took a hiatus in January, and I honestly didn't think I'd be doing it this soon, but I need it and this month (while gone on a trip) seems like the perfect time. But meanwhile, I'll be reading y'all's posts, traveling the country, and hopefully getting some new inspiration. ;)


**Images borrowed from Pinterest. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

This Beautiful Life.

Tonight was lovely.



I'm not even sure what was so special about it, other than it was normal, and sometimes that's where the beauty lies. In the ordinary, everyday happenings.

I went to Walmart with my mom and bought clothes and ate at Chick-Fil-A.

We picked up kids and went to church, getting there nearly late but it's okay because we can never get started on time.

Once the service was going, seven teens filed down the side of the sanctuary into a small room on the corner of the church, where lots of laughter takes place.

We learned about Naaman and leprosy, played game, and just laughed.

After church was over, I hung out with a few of the others. We sat with our feet dangling over the edge of the ramp, looking out over the cemetery, and ate popsicles and talked about life and laughed some more.

And I reflected on how this night, this life, is an ordinary but beautiful thing.

We don't have to have it all together. We don't have to know what's going on. We don't have to do things that would be labeled 'amazing' by the world's standards.

We're called to shine His light. To live, and laugh, and love.

And bask in the beauty of being free to live this wild and precious life.




Not at all what I had planned, but we're going to call this a make-up post since I missed Saturday's post. I'll be back this weekend, and then I'm taking most of the month off. Doing lovely, normal, life things. 

What beautiful, normal things have y'all been up to lately? Anyone as hyped about summer as I am? 


Live free, y'all. <3

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Artist.



There is a story, beautiful to hear.

It is the story of an Artist.

Some would tell you that there's nothing special about this Artist. That he's a myth and a fantasy.

But I know different.

Why? Because I've seen His creations.

This Artist takes great delight in his creations. He forms and fashions then with his hands, perfecting every detail.

Perfect.

Every stroke of His paintbrush is performed with a smile.

Every freckle is placed with His hand.

Every hair color, eye color, skin color is chosen with joy.

Perfect.

Oh, did I fail to mention that? Each of His creations are perfectly created.

Not flawed. Not messed up. Not broken or cracked or marred.

Perfect.

If someone went to this much trouble to create you, wouldn't that make you feel special and oh-so loved?


Because, Someone did, dearest... 


Wouldn't it break your heart to have someone nit-pick over supposed flaws in something you'd poured time and love into creating?

It would mine.

Then can you imagine how much it hurts His heart when we complain about our faces, our bodies—about how He created us?


He is perfect, and He cannot create imperfection. 


That dimple in your cheek? That's His fingerprint.

That freckle you wish would just go away? He placed it there with a simple touch of His thumb.

That shame that haunts you? It's clothed in His grace.


Rest in His love. 


Want to see more of His creation? Take a long look around you.

Want to read more about this Artist? I suggest starting at Genesis 1:1...and when you reach Revelation 22:21, you'll be getting an idea of how incomprehensible His love for you is.



Thanks, Dad, for teaching a series on the book of Genesis and prompting this analogy. <3

Saturday, April 14, 2018

He is Near. {1 Samuel 30}

This week, while reading in the book of 1 Samuel, I came across a passage in chapter 30 that really stood out to me. So since I didn't already have a post in mind for today, y'all are going to get some Faith-ramblings. ;)



I'll beginning with a bit of context to get y'all up to date...

While on the run from Saul (who wanted to kill him), David and his men had been living in Ziklag among the Philistines. Chapter 29 tells us that they had gone out with the Philistines to war against Israel.

This concerned many of the Philistines (except for Achish—king of Gath who had welcomed David in in the first place) because they feared that these Hebrews would turn traitor and fight for Israel once they were in battle. To satisfy the others, Achish asked David to take his men and return to Ziklag.


Now that we know the background, let's take a look at what these men found when they returned to their homes and families...


And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;  
And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. 
So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.   
And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 
// 1 Samuel 30:1-3, 5 kjv


Can you imagine what it would be like to return home to such a sight?! The city was burnt to the ground. Destroyed. Desolate. The mens' wives and children had been carried away captive. Other than the fact that there was no bodies littering the ground, they had no evidence that their families were even still alive.

Not only were they living on the run along with David, they had went out to battle with a country not their own, and while away had lost their wives and children to the enemies.


Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 
// 1 Samuel 30:4 kjv


They wept until they had no more power, y'all. They shed tears. They cried. They sobbed. Their hearts were broken, my friends. They had nothing left, and so they wept until they were literally to exhausted to shed another tear, heave another cry.


And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters:
// 1 Samuel 30:6a kjv


Just when it seemed like there was nothing left... Not only had David's wives and children been carried away, but now the others were considering stoning him. As if it was his fault!

But they were grieving. They weren't thinking clearly. They just wanted answer, wanted a reason. Wanted to know why.

Have you ever been there? When the bottom falls out and you're just falling, falling, falling... Helpless, with nothing to cling to... Or so it seems.


...but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.  
// 1 Samuel 30:6b kjv


(Don't you love how God worded that?!) But... David went to the Lord his God. He cried out to God. He lamented. I'm sure he probably asked God why this happened. He was hurt and confused and sick at heart. But he knew where to go for comfort, for answers. 

The heartache, the mourning, the heartbroken cries... That wasn't the end of their story, y'all. And the hard times, the dry season you're facing right now isn't the end of your story either.

Lean on Him, friends. That's what He's there for. Run to His open arms and stay there until the storm passes. Because it will pass, it always does. The sunshine is coming. This is just a season, a time of testing, of strengthening you.

And you'll come out stronger for it.


The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. 
// Psalm 34:18 kjv

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  
// Psalm 46:1 kjv



Thoughts on this passage? Would y'all like to see a sequel to this post, covering David enquiring of God and the recovery of the families? When has our Lord been near to you through a storm or trial? 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Proving by Beverly Lewis {Book Review}

As y'all may have noticed, there was no post this past weekend. I'm trying to catch up on my Camp NaNo goal. See y'all next week! :)



~ Description

Having left the Amish life for the English world, Amanda Dienner is shocked when she learns that her mother has passed and left her Lancaster County's most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. The catch is she has to run it herself for one year, acting as hostess. Amanda accepts the terms, but coming home to people she left behind won't be easy.


~ My Rating

4 stars


~ My Review 

Oh my goodness, what a precious story! I have yet to read a Beverly Lewis book that I did not enjoy, and The Proving was no exception. 

From the first pages, Mandy's story intrigued me. My mind filled with questions as to what had transpired between her and her twin sister, Arie (who was super sweet!), and why. Picking up hints along the way was pretty fun. :)

Catrina entered the story near the beginning of the book, and I was confused for awhile as to her purpose. Her sad backstory made me feel for her and pity her loss...so sad. I enjoyed her character then, but when she got to the B&B her attitude toward Mandy made me want to not like her. Thankfully, she changed though (or rather someone had a good influence on her...), and her story and romance was very precious! 

I loved the setting of the book!! A book set at an Amish Bed&Breakfast in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania—which is being ran by the estranged daughter of the family? Yes, please! The mysterious vibe fit the setting very well too. 

All of the characters were so real. Mandy, Arie, Josiah, Jerome, Betsy, Trina, Karl, Gavin, Yonnie... Karl, Arie, and Yonnie were definitely favorites of mine. ;)

My only complaint would be that the beginning of the book was rather slow. I wanted to find out what had happened and how it would all be resolved, but I wasn't that into it. Thankfully, I stuck with it and pushed on. What a lovely ending to the story! <3


**I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.** 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter. {2018}

Happy Easter, dear readers! 

I originally planned to write a free verse poem for Easter this year, but it just didn't work out. I hope you find this quotes as inspiring and uplifting as I did. :)



"The death of Jesus Christ on the Cross was not something that ‘happened’ to Him –something that could have been prevented. His death was the very reason He came."
– Oswald Chambers

"The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits,’ the pioneer of life,’ He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so."
– C.S. Lewis 

"The Gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope."  
– Author unknown  


Rejoice at the celebration of His resurrection! He is risen and worthy to be praised! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

100 Days with Jesus by Diann Cotton {Book Review}


~ Description 

How do you capture who Jesus really is? What words would you use to describe Him?

Explore the endless possibilities with these 100 names and attributes, pulled directly from Scripture, and presented with uncommon clarity and depth. Full in scope. Rich in devotion. 

Through prayers and insights that widen your view of Jesus’ nature and purpose, you will see Him in ways you’ve perhaps never noticed before—specific to your need, complete in His love for you. You won’t just be informed. You’ll be transformed. One day at a time, 100 days in arow, inspired toward a deeper, more knowing sense of worship . . . for a lifetime.


~ My Rating 

3 stars 


~ My Review

I don't like writing negative/ranting reviews. I really don't. I feel even worse about it when it's a Christian book. But since a review is meant to be an overview of my thoughts and opinions on the book along with an accurate rating, I'll do my best. 

Along about the 40% mark, I was really, really wanting to give up on this book. I'm glad I persevered, as the best passages were in the latter half of the book, but the book still felt kind of flat to me. I read the whole thing, looked up all the references, and still didn't get much out of it. It wasn't a bad book, I just feel like it could have been so, so much better. 

100 Days with Jesus is formatted as a 100 day devotional. Each day has a name for Jesus, a Bible verse where the name is found, and a definition. Following that, there's a paragraph that reads like a prayer...and basically just re-words the verse and definition. At the end of every single page was the same line... "Thank Him, praise Him, and worship Him today as the *insert word of the day*." Yep, that's all well and good. But...that's it? Several times I found myself going "wait, I'm done with that one already?" 

Lastly...the grammar. The whole book needed a good edit. If exclamation points are your thing, that's great. I use them plenty myself. But when five out of six sentences end with "!!!"? It gets old really fast. Especially when there's multiple exclamation points in one spot... 

Like I said, it wasn't a bad book and it's not my intention to bash the book or the author in any way. I just expected more from as large a publisher as B&H. More depth, more encouragement, more evidence to show me that this is someone I should be taking Biblical counsel from. 

I'm sure many readers will enjoy the book—and I'm sure there are those who will get more from it than I did. It just wasn't a good fit with me. 


**I received a copy of this book from B&H/Lifeway in exchange for my honest review.**