Saturday, August 25, 2018

When Beauty Blooms by Victoria Lynn {Book Review + Blog Tour}


Happy Saturday, readers! Today I'm a stop on Victoria Lynn's blog tour for her new historical novelette, Where Beauty Blooms. It's a darling story with a super cute cover! <3


Synopsis

Revolutionary War Era England

Marjorie Kirk is a woman with no fortune, no prospects, no family, and no skills. Or so she thinks. She is awkward, shy, and the farthest thing from any semblance of a society lady. 

The new minister keeps turning up in the most awkward of places and she can’t help but feel that her life is doomed to one of embarrassment. But will her flaws actually be the thing that others find the most attractive? 

A story of a young woman with social anxiety and how she learned to bloom.



Review

When Beauty Blooms was such a darling little story! Short and simple, but filled with whimsy and heart. This book holds a valuable lesson for every gal who's ever felt awkward or 'less than', especially in social settings. 

I felt for Marjorie as she—quite unknowingly—embarked upon her own journey toward discovering that she's beautiful and loved just as she is, how God created her to be. It was nicely done and quite relatable. 

On another note, her dear friends and their humorous attempts to 'help' Marjorie were amusing. I laughed and smiled through those parts of the book. 

The ending was about what I expected as soon as I met a certain character, but it was a sweet and satisfying conclusion to the story.

4 stars!

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


Author Bio

Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she's not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, modesty, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.

Giveaway


One winner will receive a signed copy of the book and a $10 Amazon gift card! 



Have you read any of Victoria Lynn's books? Are you interested in this one? Favorite Revolutionary War era book? 

~Faith

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Looking into the Future.



As every high senior or recent graduate can probably relate, I've got the "so what's happening next?" question about 92,745.3 times. (Not that I'm counting.) And, because I don't have a very good answer, I've given half a dozen different responses.

But in recent weeks, the answer to those questions (both the ones asked of me by others, and the ones asked by me of God) have became more clear. Not definite, but possible. And I currently have a slight idea of what my life will look like for the next few years, which is very encouraging to me.

Today, I'm going to give y'all an insider glimpse into my plans for the future...

Writing 

Even before those last, bittersweet months of high school, I knew that writing wasn't something I would be giving up with the receiving of a diploma. Although 'author' or 'writer' was never (read: N.E.V.E.R.) on my list of possible careers, it's became a dream of mine.

And it seems to be the only thing I have total peace pursuing at this time. For now, that means writing the story God lays on my heart, indie authoring, and looking into pursuing traditional publishing.

Will I still be cranking out books 10 years from now? I don't know, but that's okay. I'll have the answers when I need them, not when I want them. 

College 

When I tell people that I'm not going to college this month, a second question usually follows. Namely, whether I'm going at all. And I honestly don't know the answer to that right now. I think so. I want to, next year. But I'm not sure yet.

I want to pursue American Sign Language interpreting and become a licensed interpreter. Theoretically, I could be licensed by the time I'm 21, if I start next fall. But as I said, I'm not 100% sure that this is what God wants yet. 

So I'm taking a third year of ASL this fall, looking into interpreting license requirements, and waiting for a definite yes or no from the Man upstairs.

Will I ever go to college and get a degree? I don't know, but I have an idea of where I'm headed. And for now, that is enough. 



Bible

Over the past year and a half some radical changes have taken place in my walk with God. I crave time spent in the Word. I pray more, deeper, and better. And mostly, I'm content. I'm not freaking out of what the future may or may not hold. I know He holds the pen to my life story in His loving hands. He loves me unconditionally and has a beautiful plan. Who am I to doubt that? 

Will I ever have an answer to some of the questions I ask? I don't know, but He is enough. He is my answer. <3


Love

Recently, God has been teaching me a lot about love. (No, not just guy-girl love. Contrary to popular belief, I'm not ready for marriage. xD) About what love is, and about what it isn't. About how I should love Him and others. 1 Corinthians 13 type love.

It's my heart's desire to shine a light, to touch people, to show them His goodness and point the way to the one who loves them no matter what they've done.

I want to love deeply and boldly. I want to love the unlovable and show them grace. I want to love like He loves.

Will I make a difference in the world? Influence lives? I don't know, but I'll follow Him and leave the outcome in His hands. 




Let's talk. <3 When you look into your own future—for this year or next year or 2056—what do you see? 

On another note, I realized I never did a post about the missions trip back in June. Anyone interested in that? xD

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Mere Hope by Jason Duesing {Book Review}


~ Description

How are Christians to live in such difficult times?

Unique of all people, Christians are called to embrace a hopeful outlook on life. Mere Hope offers the core, Christ-centered perspective that all Christians share, and that Christians alone have to offer a world filled with frustration, pain, and disappointment. For those in darkness, despair, and discouragement, for those in the midst of trials, suffering, and injustice, mere hope lives.

The spirit of the age is cynicism. When our leaders, our families, and our friends let us down at every turn, this isn't surprising. But we need another perspective; we need hope. Rather than reflecting resigned despair or distracted indifference, author Jason Duesing argues, our lives ought to be shaped by the gospel of Jesus—a gospel of hope.


~ My Rating

5 stars


~ My Review

An insightful look into the hope we have in Christ, Mere Hope was an encouragement to me that came exactly when I needed it.

When this book showed up on my dashboard for review, I almost skipped it. I had several other nonfiction books that I wanted to read soon, so I didn't see any sense in requesting another that I may end up dreading having to trudge through. But when I saw the title, I knew I needed this one—Hope has became 'my word' in recent months. (Plus, the cover is lovely, so #win <3)

Through this little book, author Jason Duesing challenged me to dig deep into the truths of God's word, to intricately study the beauty of a 'mere' hope, divided into sections of hope's foundation, flourishing, and focus.

Not following the definition of the word that suggests mere hope is a mere, hardly existent topic, but rather to mean it is real, true, and the core to which modern Christianity should be clinging.

A powerful and applicable book. Definitely recommended. <3

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Missing Piece by Libby May {Book Review}


~ Description 

K.C. was the girl of the summer in her youth group. She had a lake for her backyard, friends who loved to hang out, and a boyfriend who honestly loved her.
But she wasn't happy. Deep inside she longed for something more. Her relationship with her Savior seemed empty and she did everything in her power to gain His favor, but to no avail. There never was any sort of confirmation.
Will K.C. ever find the piece that's missing in her heart? Or will she drain herself of meaning and forever wallow in this lake we call despair?


~ My Rating 

4 stars


~ My Review 

What a darling little story!

In The Missing Piece, our main character K.C. has everything she could ever want—plenty enough to complete her life—yet she feels that something is lacking. She doesn't know true happiness. 

I loved reading about her journey toward finding the missing piece of her life. I also appreciated the subtle message near the end of the short story—that just because God didn't give you an immediate 'yes', that doesn't mean the answer is 'no.' Sometimes it's 'not yet', 

A well-rounded story about finding our completion in Christ alone. <3 

Favorite Quote ~ "God doesn't need you to mass achieve for Him. He just wants your heart." 


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

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Outpourings of a Beloved Heart by Joan Embola {Book Review + Release Day}

Happy Wednesday, dear readers! 

I feel like I wasn't around here at all last month...which is basically true, aside from a few blog tours. But today I'm here with the new book release of an Instagram friend, and I'm hoping to have a 'quality' post up every week this month. Thanks for sticking with me! <3

Let's dive into Joanny's book now, shall we? ;)



Synopsis 

The name "beloved" refers to one who is dearly loved and deeply treasured. God called Jesus His Beloved Son in whom He is well pleased and because of Jesus, we have been accepted into God’s family and given the right to be called His children. So we are deeply loved by our Heavenly Father and He loves us as much as He loves Jesus. But do you believe that with all your heart? What about when you are surrounded by the worries and cares of life? Are you still sensitive to His love then? Do you feel you are too imperfect to be loved by a perfect God? Do you feel you carry so much garbage that His love can't possible take away? Well here's a chance to know more about the Father's love for you through poetry and reflections. It is a chance to find peace, comfort and joy in His presence. A chance to be reassured that His love for you never fails even in the storm. These are the outpourings of a heart that has found true solace in the arms of a loving God.



Review

Outpourings of a Beloved Heart: A 30 Day Poetry Devotional about God's Love is a well-written, inspiring, and encouraging devotional centered around and focusing on the love of God. 

I really loved how the interior of the devotional is set up. Each day is arranged with a title, a scripture passage or inspiring quote that relates to the day's theme, an original poem written by the author, a suggested Bible reading, and text that correlates the entire reading and connects the Bible passage to the theme—often including other scripture references. 

While reading this book, I thumbed back and forth all over the Old and New Testaments to read the suggested passages, and look up and compare other references. It dives deep into the character of God, the sacrifice of Christ, and God's all-compassing love for us, His children. The segments on hope and waiting were especially lovely and spoke to me. 

If you're looking for a wonderful, month-long devotional that speaks to the soul, this one is for you! 

5 stars! 

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


Author Bio

Author Joan N. Embola is a Cameroonian/Nigerian girl born and raised in Cameroon. She currently lives in the UK and is studying in London. When not revising or preparing for exams, she loves to write, blog, journal and make videos for her YouTube channel where she encourages others in their Christian journey. She is the founder of “Love Qualified” - a ministry dedicated to encouraging others to experience the sovereign love of the one true God who has qualified us to be His beloved ones. She hopes that God uses her work to richly bless and encourage you. You can connect with her on the various platforms below.