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.** 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Dear Beautiful.



Dear Beautiful... 

Yes, you. The one hiding in the corner, trying to fade into the shadows, slip out of the spotlight. The girl turning her head, hiding her face, averting her eyes.

Because, why would anyone be looking at you? You're nothing special. You think you're plain and ordinary and nowhere near beautiful.

But it's not true, dear. Don't believe the lies. Attune your ears to the truth.

Plain and ordinary are nonexistent.

We were created in the image of our Creator, each of us uniquely and wonderfully made. He fashioned you with His hands and He was well-pleased with His masterpiece. He is perfect, my friend, incapable of creating messed-up and ugly people.

Have I convinced you yet? Let's take a look at His words...


For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 
// Psalm 139:13-14 kjv 

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. 
// Isaiah 43:7 kjv

He hath made every thing beautiful in His time.
// Ecclesiastes 3:11a kjv


Thoughts? What other 'Dear' posts would you like to see? 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Stress vs. Sleep in the Storm

Good morning, friends. :)



I forgot to schedule this post last night, and I woke up thinking about it. Now, having only been up about twenty minutes, I'm sitting on my bed to write.

And I'm thinking back over the past week. I don't always do this on weekends, but I like to. Reflection can be nice—to see what I've gotten accomplished and remember how God has worked in the past six or seven days.

This morning, I'm recalling that this week was kind of crazy. Several days found me stressing over all the things I needed to get done. The to-do list with reminders of homework, editing, blogging, writing. (And reading? I haven't read a book for the pure enjoyment of it in two weeks... O.o) Things going on in our family and church family. The science midterm that I'm still not sure how well I did on was the cause of much of this stress.

But even in the busy seasons of life, when we just can't seem to keep up, has God forgotten us? Left us to fend for ourselves?

No, of course not. He's right here with us—we only have to remember that. To reach out to Him. To call on His Name.

On Monday morning, I knew I had a lot to get done, so I didn't take the time to read my Bible first thing. And you know what? Monday was a terrible day.

On Wednesday morning, I overslept. But I still took the time to read my Bible before grabbing breakfast and dashing out the door to ceramics class. When I returned, I had lunch, took the chemistry test, and got ready for church.

Wednesday nights at the Potts house means prayer meeting/Bible study/youth group. (Last week, it also meant Chick-Fil-A and nearly being involved in a wreck, but that's a story for another time.) Our youth group was rehearsing for an Easter skit we're doing in a few weeks. And you know what? I don't know when I last laughed so hard. Although I'm several years older than most of them, that group of kids and teens are pretty awesome. And an hour spent with them was exactly what I needed halfway through a stressful week.

There is blessings in the chaos, y'all. Run to the One who offers sleep and rest in the storm. <3




In the midst of all this, I came across this song. I love Unspoken's music, but I had never heard this one before. It's a beautiful reminder and exactly what I needed this week. Give it a try and be blessed. <3

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pray With You. {Song Lyrics}

This song has really touched me lately, as I've prayed for a few different friends concerning different situations. When we say we'll pray for someone, how seriously as we really? Are our words as true and dear and loving as these lyrics? 

Check back next week for some more thoughts on prayer, but for now, enjoy this beautiful song. <3 



I know that You got the weight of the world, there on your shoulders
I know that you’re feeling your whole life is starting to crumble
Wish I had words, that didn't sound cheap
Wish I had answers, in times like these


But I will stay right here, through the tears you cry
And I'll hold you close while you ask "God, why?"
It might be the tallest mountain
But there is One who can make it move
Until the night becomes the day
Until He shows the way
I will pray with you


I know that it's hard to see but still, He's standing here with you
And you're not alone, no matter how deep a valley you walk through
Sometimes our pain can hide His face
But when you're down in that dark place


But I will stay right here, through the tears you cry
And I'll hold you close while you ask "God, why?"
It might be the tallest mountain
But there is One who can make it move
Until the night becomes the day
Until He shows the way
I will pray with you


When the burden gets too heavy
When the journey gets too hard
When the hardest thing to carry
Is your breaking heart
I will pound the door of heaven
When you don't have the strength
And I will beg the King of Mercy
For a miracle today
Wish I had words, that didn't sound cheap
Wish I had answers, in times like these


I will stay right here, through the tears you cry
And I'll hold you close while you ask "God, why?"
It might be the tallest mountain
But there is One who can make it move
Until the night becomes the day
Until He shows the way
I will pray with you


Yeah, I will pray with you




How can I pray for y'all? 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

I Don't Know Why, But I Know Who.

I've had some good, lengthy, deep talks with some dear friends in the last few months. Some thoughts from then, some things discussed, and some lessons God has been teaching me lately led me to write this. My prayer is that is touches someone's heart. <3 



I don't know why... 

I don't see the purpose in pain and trouble.

I don't know why good people have to experience pain and confusion.

I don't know why some people pray for years for a child of their own, while hundreds of thousands of innocent babies are aborted every year.

I don't understand why some people desire love and marriage so much, and others toss feelings aside like they're nothing.

I don't understand why it seems like some people have it so easy, and some have it so hard.

I don't know why some can see their futures so clearly, while others struggle years to find some direction.

I don't understand why some are called to wait, when they want to move, and some are called to move, when they want to wait.

I don't know why life has to be hard.

I don't know why I wrote this down at all, but I did, so here it is.



But I know who... 

I know Who is with us, in the pain and chaos.

I know Who comforts us in the midst of trouble and grief.

I know Who holds those parents with empty arms and those unwanted babes.

I know Who writes the love and life stories, of every person across the globe.

I know Who is strengthening each of us, in the seasons of trusting and waiting.

I know Who has a purpose for each person that He breathed life into.

I know Who is with us in the good times and the bad times and every moment in between.




And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 
//  Romans 8:28 kjv


Thoughts? What's He been teaching you recently? <33 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Meet My Boyfriend by Willowy Whisper {Book Review}



~ Description 

One accident. One man. One dance.

She'd never noticed Levi Grant. Not really. Everyone knew about him, though. Everyone remembered the accident, the tragedy. It was hard to forget. Especially since he had no arm.

She only said yes because of her soft-heart-syndrome. He'd never asked anyone to the dance. Never even had a girlfriend. How could she say no?

But at she's thrust into a whirlwind of misunderstandings and danger . . . the whole world seems to change. Will her heart change with it?


~ My Rating
5 stars 


~My Review 

This book left my heart in ruins, y'all. I stayed up too late, and then went to bed with stars in my eyes and an aching in my chest. I couldn't even consider reading anything else for days. It's that good. <3

I literally have no words to describe how darling this novella is. But, because most people prefer for reviews to have words instead of video footage of me flapping my hands and squealing over Levi... I'll attempt to be coherent.

Over the last few weeks, I've been trying to find some good, clean books with amputee characters. (It's research. I promise. Don't freak out.) I've found a couple good ones, and I have a list of books that I want to try out. But this one...this little, recently published novella that popped up in my Goodreads feed amidst my search...this is what I was looking for. This is the kind of stories I want. 

About the characters, let's start with Levi. He is such a dear! He's charming and adorable and missing an arm. He says "Hello, there," and calls her "girl," and has an ornery grin that I can literally imagine. He's a keeper. <3 

Levi and Claire make the perfect couple. She's sweet and relatable, soft-hearted and true. Payton got on my nerves sometimes, but she really did care about Claire—just didn't always choose the best ways to go about showing it. Reid utterly broke my heart, and that scene in the shelter, y'all.... *wipes tears* 

This book is pickup trucks and McDonalds drivethroughs. It's small-town universities and lunchrooms. It's smiles and winks and butterfly flutters. It's wide-open fields and fried chicken. It's homeless shelters and little old ladies. It's overbearing friends that love you to bits. 

I absolutely love this book, and I can't wait to get a paperback copy to pet and adore. *wink*

“I know I only have one arm, but I’d be proud to have you on it.”

**I received a free ebook from the author in exchange for my honest review.**

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Highway Thoughts + My First Post on the Group Blog


A few days ago, I was going to a town about two hours away. While on the highway, my thoughts led me to contemplate how interstates compare to life.

I know that sounds a little odd, (you should have seen the look my mom gave me when I told her this. xD) but hang with me.

Think about the purpose of interstates. Chances are, if you're on one, you're not going to stay on it until it ends. You're going to travel it for a little while and then exit off. You're not there for the destination, you're there for the journey.

Now let's think about life. To a lot of people, it's about the outcome. Making all the money. Having the best job, biggest house, and nicest car. 'Climbing to the top'. In a sense, the destination.

But friends, joy isn't found it having it all. Joy is found in the journey. In the little, seemingly meaningless everyday occurrences that bring a smile to your face.

On the highway of life, we're not here for the destination. We're here for the journey.

What do you think about when you're cruising down the highway? 


~*~ 



On a different note, my first post on the group blog that I recently became part of went live this week!  Click on the graphic above to check it out. :) 

Hope y'all have a blessed week. <3
~Faith

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Liebster Award 2018.

Happy Saturday, readers! :) I realized this morning that I had no idea what I was going to post here today, and I mildly freaked out. Thankfully, Ivie tagged me and rescued me from...peril? xD


// The Rules

~ Thank the person who nominated you.  Thanks, Ivie! :D
~ Answer the eleven questions they gave you.
~ Name eleven facts about yourself.
~ Nominate eleven bloggers for this and let them know.
~ Give them eleven questions.


// The Questions

1. Favorite candy?

*taps chin* Jolly Ranchers, LifeSavers, Sour Patch, Twix, Milk Duds... 


2. Favorite book? 

...really, Ivie?! Really?! Okay, fine. A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin is *A* favorite. 


3. Favorite author?

Sarah Sundin, Jesseca Wheaton, Willowy Whisper, Beverly Lewis...among others.... ;)


4. Would you rather have to publish your first draft or publish your third draft?

Third. Very few people who I legit trust with my life (read: my critique partner and sometimes Mom) are the only human beings who see the full first draft. *nods*


5. Favorite movie?

Beautiful Dreamer and anything Signed, Sealed, Delivered. *nods*


6. Favorite Gif?

...okay, confession. I do not like GIFs. I just don't. But because it's such a thing with others and I did post this one to my other blog this week, I'll go ahead and add it. 



7. How long have you been blogging?

Three years this spring. :D


8. Do you like candles?

Yes. Especially Christmas-y candles. 


9. Rainy day or sunshine?

Typically, I'd say rainy. Because I like rainy days. But lately? It seems like it's rained nonstop for ten years, and I NEED SUNSHINE. xD 


10. How long have you been writing seriously?

A little over a year, since like December of 2016. 


11. Reading or writing? (Yes, this is an evil question.)

Very evil! *sigh* I don't even know. Right now, writing sounds best though, so I'll go with that. 


// The Facts

1. I wear glasses most of the time. 
2. Coffee is epic. 
3. I'm eating guac as I write this. 
4. My screensaver is a picture of my dog. 
5. I have over 500 books. 
6. Saturdays are gold. 
7. I love Unspoken's music. 
8. I have a hard time thinking of facts about myself when put on the spot. 
9. I have better things to do than sit here and think of facts. 
10. Just this week, I have discovered that I LOVE outlining/brainstorming. (Yes, I've written three first drafts without really doing it. Sshh.)
11. Roses are aesthetic. 


// The Tagged 

Because I'm doing this kind of spur-of-the-moment, I'm going to cheat and not tag anyone... *ducks* But if you would like to do this, consider yourself tagged! ;) 


// The New Questions 

(We're gonna pass Ivie's questions on to y'all...sshhh....) 

1. Favorite candy?
2. Favorite book? 
3. Favorite author?
4. Would you rather have to publish your first draft or publish your third draft?
5. Favorite movie?
6. Favorite Gif?
7. How long have you been blogging?
8. Do you like candles?
9. Rainy day or sunshine?
10. How long have you been writing seriously?
11. Reading or writing? 


Thanks for reading, friends! :) 
~Faith 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sleeping Handsome // Blog Tour + Book Review

Hello friends! :) We're here today to celebrate the release of indie-author Rebekah Eddy's latest work, Sleeping Handsome.



Summary

    Minnie's goal was to have a fun, worry free vacation with her best friend Amy. A few weeks spent in their favorite far away place before they both went back to their respective colleges. A visit to the many famous sights across the British Isles has been on both their bucket lists for a very long time, after all.
    However, when a mysterious taxi driver mentions a legend that somehow concerns her ancestral heritage, she decides to dig deeper. After being accused of stealing the famous statue and tourist attraction known as Sleeping Handsome, Minnie and Amy are plunged into a world they would never have imagined existed.
    Prince Gregory, after being awakened from being frozen in stone for hundreds of years, finds himself searching for his true love in order to reverse the stone spell on his kingdom and awaken the rest of his people. With his faithful horse Brutis by his side, he sets out to destroy his greatest enemy, release his kingdom from the stone spell, and win the heart of his princess.

>> Goodreads // Amazon // Lulu <<


Review

    Minnie and Amy's European vacation is greatly interrupted when they're accused of stealing a statue...that they may or may not have accidentally awoken from a hundreds of years old curse.

    The twist on the tale of Sleeping Beauty was SO cool!! I never would have thought of this take on the traditional tale. It was very well done indeed. ;)

    I'm not really one for magic in stories. I'm not saying it's wrong to read/write magic, it's just not something I especially enjoy. Talking and flying horses, fire-breathing dragons, invisibility powers, and countries frozen in time for hundreds of years are all fine and dandy, just not my cup of tea. ;) However, I still found this story to be a cute and enjoyable read.

   All the way around, Sleeping Handsome was a comical and intriguing tale of old legends, true friendships, and finding one's true love. I greatly enjoyed taking the journey along with Minnie, Amy,  and Prince Gregory. And let's not forget Brutis. ;)

    I think readers of all age would find something to enjoy inside the pages of Sleeping Handsome. :D Four stars!

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



Author Bio

    Rebekah grew up surrounded by family members who appreciated and read good literature. First, she fell in love with the stories her parents read aloud to her from the Bible and books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Great Expectations, The Hobbit, and Anne of Green Gables. After learning to read on her own, she discovered other fantastic books which helped to build her ever growing imagination.
    She completed her first written work at the tender age of eight and now uses it to humble herself whenever the need arises. The story did serve to show her that God had given her a desire to write, however, and from that moment on Rebekah has never looked back or regretted picking up her pencil and becoming an author.
    This nineteen-year-old homeschool graduate lives in rainy Western Washington and is currently working on receiving her BA in English in order to further her passion for creating worlds on paper.

>> Blog // Goodreads // Pinterest // Instagram << 


Quotes





Thoughts on the quotes? Think you'll nab a copy? And, seriously, aren't the graphics pretty? :D

~Faith

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sometimes...



Sometimes I dance to a song on the radio.

Sometimes I stare off into midair for 7.56 minutes before noticing that I'm doing it.

Sometimes I ramble off numbers that I just made up, numbers like 7.56.

Sometimes I daydream in the shower.

Sometimes I eat ice cream out of the carton.

Sometimes I write stories so deep, dark, and dear to my heart that they will be forever hidden in a locked document, never to see the light of day.

Sometimes I am very dramatic.

Sometimes I fantasize about things that will probably never happen.

Sometimes I dream that those things will actually be in my future. 

Sometimes I watch sappy movies and read books that a lot of people would probably hate.

Sometimes I reseal those little papers that band-aids are in so that someone will think there's still something inside of them.

Sometimes it works and someone opens 9.2 of them before realizing they've been pranked. 

Sometimes I write stories that leave me hurt and raw, and then I wonder why.

Sometimes I realize why.

Sometimes I begin so many sentences with the same two words that the whole page starts to look weird.

Sometimes I realize I've already broken the pattern. 

Sometimes I write down a bunch of weird things and post it to my blog against my better judgment.

Sometimes I do not understand this Faith-person.

But I guess I'll keep her.



~*~



*coughs* Um, yeah, I don't know what happened there. What do you do sometimes? ;)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Sisters in Christ ~ Ashley Nicole ~ February 2018

Hello, dear readers! Today I bring to you a chat with Ashley Nicole, a lovely young lady who blogs at Colorful, Creative Cards and More Precious Than Gold. I totally suggest you check out both of her blogs. Her posts are always so inspirational and encouraging! :)




Welcome to the blog, girl! Please introduce yourself. :D
Hello everyone! My name is Ashley and I'm a 20 year blogger from Colorado. I'm the oldest of 8, and currently am working on getting certified as a labor doula.




I love your blogs so much! What inspired you to start a blog? 
Well, my first blog, Colorful Creative Cards, I started to get my handmaid cards out on the web per say. After I realized how much I liked blogging, I started a group blog that has now become my personal blog to share things I've been learning.


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? ;) 
Hm, a couple of my friends had blogs that I read, but it was only 2 or 3 so I was more thrust into it :P


How did you find my blogs? 
I don't remember exactly how I found your blogs, but I'm pretty sure it was through someone else's blog... (can't remember whose though).


I'm not sure either. :P So, what's your favorite Bible verse, chapter, and book? Why?
Favorite Bible verse: Isaiah 61:1-3
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."
My "life verse" I guess, because I love the the part about how God makes beauty out of ashes.




That is a beautiful passage! <3 

Favorite chapter: Ecclesiastes 3
I love this chapter because it talks about there being a time and a season for everything.




Favorite book: 1 Corinthians
I love the theme that is especially prevalent in the beginning of this book about how God uses weak and foolish people.


What Bible verse(s) have really helped you through some rough times?
1 Corinthians 1:27
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty."




What is one event in your life that really strengthened your Christian walk?
I've been teaching a Sunday School class at my church for around 9 months and that has really made me make the Christian faith mine.


Any Bible reading tips?
Read it all! The Old Testament is something I've been enjoying especially, and I think it's easy to think that since we're in the New Testament now, that we don't have to read the Old Testament. But there's some really cool history in there!


I definitely agree! The Old Testament gets overlooked far too often. ;)

Moving on to the writing/reading side of things... On a scale of 1-10, how much of a reader would you consider yourself? What about a writer?
Reader: Probably a 6. I don't have nearly as much time to read as I used to, but I do love to get my hands on a good book.
Writer: Probably only a 3 or 4. I pretty much only write for my blogs and in my journals. :)


Where's your favorite place to read or write?
My room! And more specifically, on my bed, either laying down or leaning against a bunch of pillows!




Who're your favorite authors? Favorite books by them?
Favorite Fiction Author: Nadine Brandes (A Time to Die, A Time to Speak, and A Time to Rise)
Favorite Non-fiction Author: Jaquelle Crowe (This Changes Everything)


What are some books that really impacted your young life?
In regards to fiction, I would definitely say the Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes really impacted me.
When it comes to non-fiction, there's obviously This Changes Everything (listed above) but also, Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Humble Orthodoxy, and Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris, and I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek.


I have not finished it yet, but Do Hard Things is great so far. :D And Out of Time—I've heard that series is amazing! 

Okiedoke, a couple random questions. If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
Loyal. I'm extremely loyal to my family and friends.




Any pet peeves?
Unnecessary noise! I live in a house with quite a few little ones, so you'd think this wouldn't bother me, but I like my quiet time!


Favorite songs?
I went and saw The Greastest Showman a couple weeks ago, and I can't get the songs out of my head! I love that soundtrack so much!



I haven't saw it myself, but I've heard that it's epic. ;) 

Anything else to add? Goals for this year?
One of my monthly goals for 2018 has been to read one devotional type book and one biography a month. So, if any of you have any suggestions, please leave a comment!!

Thanks so much for having me on here, Faith!

Glad to have you, Ashley! :)


~*~


Thanks for reading, guys! Leave Ashley a comment and don't forget to check out her amazing blogs. :D

~Faith

*Images not our own. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Forest Zooks by Gray Marie Cox {Book Review}



~ Description 

It's hard being a twelve year old girl. 
It's even harder when you're forced to move to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere by your non-sympathetic parents. Not to mention when you start seeing strange creatures in the trees surrounding the town and no one believes you. 

Age range: 8 and up. Juvenile fiction, Novella


~ My Rating 
2.5 stars 


~ My Review 

I wanted to like this little book—I really did. Fantasy isn't usually my thing, but I agreed to review this one because it looked like a fun story. 

As far as the storyline goes, it wasn't bad. I didn't like it as much as some would, just because little monsters climbing through windows and magical necklaces aren't really my thing, but it was still an okay story. I'm sure fantasy lovers, especially preteens, would enjoy it. 

However... parts of it creeped me out. The small town with people who somehow know everything, the haunted forest, the Zooks that are not explained until the ending... I spent the majority of the book confused. 

The ending was a bit rushed, and I'm still not exactly sure who was in the right. I did, however, like the very ending. *spoilers* The idea of Kimberly and her family getting a fresh start was nice. :) *end of spoilers*

There was many grammatical and punctuation errors, but the thing that bothered me most was how the main character treated her parents. She was very disrespectful—pitching fits, kicking things, telling them that she hated them... I think she was kinda supposed to come off that way, and I know she was having a hard time, but...I just didn't appreciate it. The parents weren't the best either and did nothing to make her obey. I think Brad would have to be my favorite character—and he even blatantly lied! :P

Although the story was not for me, the book had potential to be a nice fantasy, and I hope to read more of the author's work. 

**I received an ebook from the author in exchange for my honest review.** 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Flowers by Kellyn Roth {Book Review}


~ Description 
When her husband leaves to fight in the war, Adele feels even more lost and confused. In a new, less-than-ideal place in a frightening, less-than-ideal time, she flees to the garden with her daughters, determined to make their new house a home, even if it is from the outside in.
Battered by her own inner turmoil and scoffed at by those close to her, Adele seeks to make something beautiful amidst chaos. But can even the most beautiful flowers cover the years of scars?


~ My Rating 
4 stars 


~ My Review 
After reading an early version of this story on the author's blog last spring, I jumped at the chance to review the published version. And I was not disappointed. :) 

Flowers is a very sweet story, and I dearly enjoyed it. I read The Lady of the Vineyard back around the time of its release and, while I liked it, Adele was not a favorite of mine. I liked Judy. I loved Troy. But I just couldn't really relate to Adele.

This short-story did a great job of making Adele more easy to connect to for me. I still love Troy (#always), Judy is adorable, Adele is learning and growing, and the jokes are the best. <3

I loved the metaphor of the flowers to Adele's journey. Nicely done, and so sweet too. :)


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

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Sisters in Christ ~ Janelle M. ~ January 2018

Welcome to the January 2018 edition of Sisters in Christ!



Today's special guest is Janelle from The Ramblings of a Book Worm. Please introduce yourself, Janelle! :)

I'm a rambler. Extrovert. Spending time with people is legit. God is best. I love the smell of books. Summer is a state of mind.



Summer is pretty epic. ;D Since I've got to know you a bit through your blog... What inspired you to start one?
Well I remember a while ago looking for a blog that gave a bunch of book reviews (since *cough* I always seem to need more books) anyways I couldn't find quite what I was look for so, I came up with my own blog :D


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? ;)
I followed this blog called Andi Carter's blog ;) I'm sure your probably familer with it :D


How did you find my blog(s)?
I discovered your blog from the ... On the CC Adventures blog


Okiedoke, let's talk about faith-stuff. What's your favorite Bible verse, chapter, and book? Why?
Romans. Definitely Romans. I love the power and depth that Paul talks about. I think the 8th Chapter is probably my favorite mostly because beacuse it's talking about Grace. Peace. Love.
And MY favorite verse would be Romans 8:38-39 ;)



That verse is beautiful! What Bible verse(s) have really helped you through some rough times?
I remember this one time a few years ago when I was feeling very fearful about something and God gave me this verse In Isaiah. I don't remember exactly what verse it is but it was what I needed at that precise moment. And yeah that was pretty cool.


What is one event in your life that really strengthened your Christian walk?
There have been so many small moments that God has brought me through. And one thing that I find helps has been praying constantly throughout the day. I find that there is peace and grace that surrounds my day.


Agreed. <3 Any Bible reading tips?
Read it every day. That's all I have to say 😊


Let's talk a bit about bookish things! On a scale of 1-10, how much of a reader would you consider yourself? What about a writer?
*cough*  most definitely a 10. My bookshelf is so filled with books I'm not sure that I could fit another one on it. But that doesn't stop me from buying more... not sure if that's a problem or not..hmm

As far as writing goes, I have quite a few notebooks that are filled with unfinished stories that I never finished. So yeah that's about how all of my writing goes.
Although I do journal, and somehow actually write in it fairly often. ;)



Haha, totally not a problem. xD Where's your favorite place to read and/or write?
MY ideal place to read would be curled up in a hammock, listing to the birds chirping and the warm sun glowing down on me. And of course a LARGE cup of iced coffee in my hand;)



What's your favorite author(s)? Favorite books by them?
Where to begin.... let's see I would probably have to say that Francine Rivers, C.S.Lewis, Tricia Goyer, and Lynn Austin are some of the best writers I've come across But if I must chose my favorite author ever it would have to be L.M.Montgumery. Her books are so incredible!!


Favorite books?! *shakes head*  how am I supposed to chose which books I like best?? That would be like asking someone which of their children do they love the most.
*sighs* I do have a few that I think are really amazing.
The Narnia series by C.S.Lewis. Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. The Fire by night series by Lynn Austin :D of course Anne of Green Gables gahhh so Good! And any WW11 book by Tricia Goyer..
So yeah :) I can talk about BOOKS for quite a while.


Same here! What are some books that really impacted your young life?
I remember a few years ago reading the book The Screwtape Letters by C.S.Lewis. Wow. That book was filled with so much truth and wisdom. It also gave me another perspective of how the Spiritual World is.


As a child my favorite books were that Circle C Adventure series. I read those books cover to cover!


Lastly, I have some random questions for you before we sign off. If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
Exuberant.


Any pet peeves?
Gahh pet peeves lets see...
I probably have a bunch I just can't thibk of any right now. Hahaha


Favorite songs?
I love For King and Country so probably anyone of their songs ❤ although if i must chose my favorite song would probably be Priceless :D



Anything else to add? Goals for this year?
Goals?? Hmm. Well my hope is that God will continue to use and strengthen me. Even if it's not a pleasant experience, when you looks back a year later or whenever, often you can see how through the tough times God used them to draw you closer to Him.


~*~

Thanks for chatting with me today, Janelle! Be sure to leave her a comment and check out her blog!

Two quick updates before I head off. First, I've joining the new group blog Living for Jesus Christ and will hopefully be posting there a couple times a month. Secondly, I'm going on a blogging break for the month of January.

See y'all in February! :D
~Faith