Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien {Book Review}

Hey guys! Book review time. :) I started this book with Bethany R.'s read-along in April, but didn't get around to finishing it until this month. ;) 

~ Book Description 
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum. 

~ My Rating 
3.5 stars 

~ My Review 

I know this is favorite book among many, so don't throw rocks at me but...this wasn't a favorite. 

First of all, fantasy isn't really my thing. Second, little dwarves with beards and hoods aren't my thing (though they are cute). Third, dragons and goblins aren't my thing. ... See what I mean? 


Bilbo Baggins -- Okay, so...what a name! Bilbo being the only hobbit and the main character of the book, he wasn't my favorite at first. Later, yeah, he was. But in the beginning?? I don't know... But he did grow on me. :P 

Gandalf -- Despite the fact that Gandalf is a wizard and the main source of all the magic in the book (more on that later), I liked him as a character. Bilbo and the dwarves never would've made it through the mountains without him! 

Thorin Oakenshield -- Again, what a name!! It can't be said that Tolkien had no personality or creativity. In the beginning, I really liked Thorin's sarcastic approach to things. But later on...he was just so greedy. =/ 

Gollum -- Hahaha!! Okay, this little guy totally cracked me up. I know he was technically a 'bad guy' of the book, but...I just loved how he talked to himself. ;) "My preciouses!" Hehe! 

Bomber -- They make fun of this little guy sooo much!! I just wanted to grab him and hug him and hide him in a closet and feed him chocolate (because chocolate is good). 

Smaug -- The evil one!! The dangerous dragon that must be conquered! Smaug was hilarious (thought scary) in my opinion, to be the villain of the story. 


Magic... Okay, so I don't agree with magic. Actually I disagree with magic. I know Tolkien isn't saying "hey, magic is real. I'm going to cast a spell on you", but at the same time the magic (which I try to steer clear of in books) is present in this tantalizing tale. 

Greed... Greed is really upheld in this book. I mean, they would do anything for this gold! I've always been taught that greeted is wrong and we should be content with what we have, not coveting our neighbors possessions. 


Chapter 8 -- "'We are quite annoyed enough with you as it is. If you hadn't waked up, we should have left you to your idiotic dreams in the forest; you are no joke to carry even after weeks of short commons.'"    ~ Thorin 

"May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks."  ~ Gandalf

All of that to say, I did enjoy this book once I got into it and I am glad I read it (because now I can be like "oh, yeah, I've read The Hobbit"). But I probably won't be reading anything else like this anytime soon. Just not my thing. ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fathers Day // 2016

Wishing all the fathers a happy and blessed Father's Day!! :) I'm so thankful for the great dad God has blessed me with. Love you, Daddy!! <3 

**All quote pictures from Pinterest.** 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Heaven's Jubilee by Faith Blum {Book Review}

~ Description

Heaven's Jubilee Followers of The Way were being rounded up, but I never expected to be one of them. I wanted to ask God, "Why Me" but would it do any good? Instead, I prayed for strength and endurance, little knowing how much I would need it. 
Zane's Consequences I'd always done things my way. Why would my flight test be any different?  
Hope is All that is Left ~ Our parents had been arrested and Liz and I now hid from unknown enemies. We had nothing left until we remembered one thing: The hope that spring would come again. 
Darren's Choice ~ I never should have signed the contract. Not without knowing what my invention would be used for. Now I had a hard choice to make. Violate my conscience or forfeit my life? 
New Life ~ So much pain. So much suffering. We were sick without cure until the angel came.  
Star Kitty: The Data Files ~ My name is Data and I am a cat. I never expected to go on a spaceship or become a hero. Somehow, though, God had plans for both to happen. This is my story.

~ My Rating 
4 stars 

~ My Review 

I'm usually not one for science fiction, but when I saw that Miss Blum was offering free copies of her new short story collection to reviewers, I was more than happy to jump at the chance. :) 

All written in first person, this was a great round-up of short, Sci-fi stories. Quick and easy to read, it was perfect for me the other day. :) 

Heaven’s Jubilee -- 5 stars 

I LOVED THIS STORY, OKAY. *tries to calm down* Seriously though. The whole theme of redeeming the souls of the 'subjects' (I want to say more there, but...spoilers.), gaahhh. It was so, so powerful and really had me thinking. :) 
My favorite story of the collection!  (And I love that song too, so that's a plus of course. ;)) 

Zane’s Consequences -- 3 stars 

This was my least favorite of them all. How it showed that you should always listen and pay attention was interesting, but there really wasn't any consequences shown. It was just like "oh, I can still do *that* so it's okay." Like I said, there wasn't really any consequences. Gramps succeeded in making me laugh though, so 3 stars. ^_^ 

Hope Is All That’s Left -- 3.5 stars 

Again, rather short, and this one kind of feel flat to me. It seemed like they didn't really 'need' to cling to that hope; everything came pretty easily to them. Also, at times it felt like a chapter of something longer, instead of its own story. But it did have a good message which I enjoyed, it just wasn't a favorite. 

Darren’s Choice -- 4 stars 

This was another super short story, but it didn't come off as too short in my opinion. There was a good message of humble, Christ-like, sacrifice which was amazing. I really liked this one. :D 

New Life -- 4 stars 
Wow. This. Was. Just. So. Great. Such a unique sci-fi-feeling twist on salvation through the Master. <3 

Star Kitty: The Data Files  -- 4.5 stars 

Such a cute and funny kitty-cat-cuddly story!! :) I went in to this one a bit hesitant, only because I'm not a 'cat-person'. (Puppy dogs are more my thing. <3) But I have to say...this story surprised me. Miss Blum did an incredible job of pulling off an adorable story told through the eyes of a cat without it being cliché or confusing. 
This wasn't my favorite story (although the ending was PRECIOUS!!), but I have to give 4.5 stars for the amazing writing. :) 

*I received a free e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.* 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sisters in Christ ~ June 2016 ~ Jesseca Dawn

Welcome, everyone, to the second official installment of this blog series, Sisters in Christ!! (For previous chats, see this page.) 

This month's special guest is Jesseca Dawn! :) You can find Jesseca around the blogging world at Whimsical Writings and A Kansas Wind

~ ~ 

Welcome, Jesseca! Go ahead and introduce yourself to the readers. :) 

I'm a Christian, homeschooled girl who loves writing. Okay, okay, I'll be more specific. ;) I live in Kansas with my family, and I absolutely love my state (it's the best, y'all! ) I enjoying playing piano, reading, and baking. Cooking can be fun, but I don't enjoy it as much. My favorite place to be is outside with a book. It's awesome. 

It is awesome. ;) Since we're doing a blog chat here, let's talk about that. What inspired you to start a blog? 

I had been following a couple bloggers for a while, but when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I asked my mom if I could start my own blog. My parents were going out of state for treatment, and I kinda wanted something new and different to occupy my free time. And I also wanted to get to know some other bloggers better! :) But now I use it mainly as a place to share my writings and connect with other writers. 

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, I did! And they had a big influence on my starting a blog, particularly the one I blog on now, Whimsical Writings 

How did you find my blog(s)? 

I think you commented on one of my blogs. ;) And so I visited your blog, read part of one of your stories, and decided to never leave. The rest is history. 

An interesting history, but still history, eh? :P Alright, let's chat about life as a sister in Christ... 
What's your favorite Bible verse, chapter, and book? Why? 

My favorite verses are Romans 5:1 and Job 23:10, my favorite chapter is Ecclesiastes 3, and my favorites books are Ecclesiastes and Romans. 

The verse in Romans is my favorite because it sums the gospel up. We are justified by our faith in Jesus Christ. We are saved through faith. Not works. And because it is though faith that we are justified, we have peace with God through Christ! 

The verse in Job is a favorite because as we go through trials in this life, it can be so hard to see why. But when we have been tried and purified in the furnace of testing, if we endure, we shall come forth as Gold! God always has a reason for what he's doing. We just need to trust him, because He already has the ending written. 

And ...Ecclesiastes chapter 3.  Changes come, and changes go. Life goes on in seemingly the same circle. Life has no meaning apart from God. He is the one we need to trust in, even when everything around us looks bleak. 
And as to why Romans and Ecclesiastes are my favorite books ... well, one shows the doctrine of the gospel, while the other one shows the fleetingness of life and the importance of trust in God. 

What Bible verse(s) have really helped you through some rough times? 

I'd have to say Job 23:10 again. As well as as Isaiah 40:31

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

When my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It seemed as though life stopped, and I really had a hard time trusting that God had a plan in all of it. But God has shown me time and time again that nothing happens as an accident, and His perfect will is being worked through the trials in our lives! 

Any Bible reading tips? 

Read in the morning, and no matter where in the Bible you are reading, try to find one verse that you can think on throughout the day. This is a huge help to me, and many times I find myself thinking of the verse in many ways I would never have considered had I simply read it once. :) 

Moving on the reading and writing segment... 
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most), how much of a reader would you consider yourself? 
What about a writer? 
A reader? 10. Or .. maybe 8 or 9. My reading has slowed these past few months because of how busy we've gotten, but I LOVE it!!! :D And I'd say probably a 9 for writing. I'm the kind of person where if I stop writing, I seem to have lost my purpose for life. Well, not literally, of course, but it feels that way! ;) 

Where's your favorite place to read and write? 

On my bed. Simply because it's kinda isolated from the rest of our house, which tends to be pretty noisy! And I like having a quite area. :) I also like the outdoors. Sooo much inspiration there!! :) 

Who's your favorite authors? Favorite books by them
Susan K. Marlow, Sarah Sundin, Tricia Goyer, Lois Walfird Johnson, Emily McConnell, Rebekah Eddy, you ... ;) I'll stop now!
I think some of my favorite book by the authors would include ... Heartbreak Trail, Blue Skies Tomorrow, The Swiss Curious, Ivan, War Tears, Alice and Alyssa, and The Viking Quest series. (Can't choose one book from it!) 

You said War Tears!!! *happy grin* 

What are some books that really impacted your young life? 

Definitely all 3 of Lois Walfrid Johnson's series! They're still favorites; they're all so good!

And... A few random questions before we have to say goodbyes. ;) 
If had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be? 

Ummm, I don't like trying to describe myself. ;)  Maybe Dependable. Though I'm not sure it's always a good thing. 

Yes, you're definitely dependable. :) 

Any pet peeves? 

When people chew with their mouth open. It worse than nails on a chalkboard. I can't stand it! 

Favorite songs? 

Oh, too many! You raise me up, Rejoice in the Lord, Wings as Eagles, Just be Held, Be still my soul ...they're all so good! :) 

Ahh, lovely ones! :) 

Anything else to add? Goals for this year? 

Graduate, publish a book, and meet two "internet" friends in person! :) And finishing reading the Old Testament. :) 

Good luck on those goals! :D 

~ ~ 

Thanks again, Jesseca! :) This has been fun. Don't forget to stop by Jesseca's blogs (links at the top of this post)! Next month's chat will be with Bethany R. from A Great God and Good Cocoa


*excluding the first, aall photos found on Pinterest.*

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Contentment in all Seasons of Life.

{ I wrote this over a week ago, but I'm just now getting around to posting it. But here it is and I hope you enjoy. :) } 

I've been doing a lot of thinking about life lately. More specifically, my life. My future. My plans for the future. Plans -- let's talk about that for a moment. 

A month ago I had NO plans for the future. And I was content with that...or so I thought. Whenever someone asked what I was going to go to college for or what I was planning to do with my life, I would shrug, laugh, and say that I had no idea. Which is pretty much the truth. But not entirely... 

Because I do know what I want to do. I want to live my life to glorify God my Father. I want to get married and raise a houseful of children (not Michelle Duggar houseful, or even Olivia Walton houseful, but several). 

But I don't say that when people ask me. Why? I don't really know why, other than that it would be rather awkward to explain to some folks. ;) 

So I say that I don't know and usually end up deep in thought on that subject later. The questions race through my mind like a puppy dog's tug-of-war game. 

What do I want to do? 

Shouldn't I know this by now? 

Why can't I just have everything in my life sorted out like everyone else? 

Is it 'normal' for me to be so...unsure? 

Why don't I know? 

But here's the thing. There is no 'normal', there is no 'everyone else'. I really shouldn't compare myself to others. Why? Because, as I've came to realize, everyone else doesn't have it all worked out either. 

Sure, some people know what they're going to college for when they start high school. But not everyone does, and you know what? That's okay! 

That's okay. That's great for them...but that's not me. If that's not you either, keep reading. (Even if that is you, keep reading. ;D) 

God is teaching me to be content where He has placed me for the right now, doing what He has me doing. And what is that you ask? 

The answer is simple -- writing. Writing my books, writing my stories, and writing these blogs. 

Maybe my stories aren't great. Maybe they'll never take me anywhere (besides my vast and quirky —and dangerous— imagination). But that's what God has placed in my path for me to being doing right now. If anyone is touched by my writing, may the glory go to Him. It's His anyway. 

The other night I was talking to friend about many of the things mentioned in this post -- life, plans for the future, college. And how God knows exactly what He is doing. 

Because there is a reason. You may not see it right now, but you will someday. Be content exactly where God has placed you. Don't waste time longing for what you don't have or trying to figure out where you'll go next. When you get to that step, that season of your life, God will be there ahead of you, directing you towards the path you should follow. And if you're at that step and you feel like you should be moving forward but you're not -- just wait. 

Wait for God's guidance, wait for Him to show you what to do and when to do it. And pray. Pray for God to guide you in the right path, and that you may bring glory to Him while you wait. 

Maybe you're just so unsure of your future and it frightens you. Maybe you don't like things in your life and want change. Maybe you're hurting and just need to know He is there. 

Let me assure you, friends. He is always there. Always loving you, always caring about you and your wants, hurts, and desires. 

And be content. Content with what you have now, where you are right now. :) 

May God bless you, my friends! <3