Here Now

To read this book coming out of the Lent season, where I gave up certain apps on my phone for a short time period, was a great encouragement to leave more space in my life by continuing my Lent commitment. Here Now by Kate Merrick was a quick read, full of funny and moving stories of how she came to a point in her life where she realized she wanted to move away from connectedness technology provides to be connected with those right in front of her. This book tells the story of Kate’s daughter battle with cancer and their journey to discover how to be present with her family and community, how to observe Sabbath, and find joy in life’s simplest things!

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This is a book I look forward to sharing with friends! I’ve always admired the Merrick family’s realness, and this book was full of that! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers program, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle

Memory Making Mom

Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smart is such a wonderful compilation of ideas to create special memories together as a family. As a mom of a 3 and 6 year old, some of these are ideas I’m already familiar with, but there was also a handful of new ideas that I’m excited to incorporate into our family annual routines. Jessica’s book falls in the same category with Sacred Holidays by Becky Kiser as well as The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson — all of these books read in conjunction could make a momma feel really overwhelmed, but full of wonderful encouragement to start and continue making family traditions!

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I love the examples that Jessica uses from her own family to explain the benefits of having family traditions, and I also really appreciate that her book covers so many topics from celebrating holidays to working together to Sabbath-ing to eating together to serving together and so much more! I look forward to pulling this out in the future as a reference when we are in search of new traditions! I enjoy having a few books handy for these topics, so I’m not tempted to pull up Pinterest and get lost in the search!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers program, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle

Friendship Promises

What an endearing gift this book would make! Friendship Promises by (in)courage is a sweet book, with a beautiful cover and pages! Each page is so creatively and simply designed, with a straightforward message! It can be used as a devotional, with scattered journaling prompts throughout the book, but also could just be a perfect addition to your night stand/coffee table to pick up and read snippets out of for friendship encouragement! There are inspirational quotes, Bible, verses on the importance and beauty of friendship, prayers, and journaling prompts and empty lines for filling in thoughts throughout!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H Books, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle

What Am I Feeling?

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What Am I Feeling? by Dr. Josh and Christi Straub is such a wonderful resource for kids of all ages! My 6 and 2 year old boys both enjoyed listening to this book and were so excited to see the pull-out chart at the end of the book! I love the simplicity of the illustrations and the bright and cohesive color scheme of the book! I appreciate the range of emotions discussed in the book, and that there are extras we can discuss as a family in the included chart. The repeated lines, “a feeling is just a feeling. It’s not in charge of you. If you feel afraid, take a deep breath, name your feeling, and ask God to help you with it,” will be some I hope to use with my boys to remind them that they don’t need to feel controlled by their emotions - that’s helpful to remember even as an adult!

I’m sure this is a book we will keep reading for years to come! My 6 year old stated, “I think this is going to be my new favorite book,” after we’d read it a few times! The costumes that the characters are wearing and the familiar classroom setting both contributed to him enjoying this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H Kids Publishing, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle

A Standard of Grace: A Guided Journal

This beautiful Standard of Grace journal definitely matches the exquisite design of Emily Ley’s other books! The style of the journal is bright, clean and organized - the pages are almost feel too beautiful to mark up with my own handwriting! While I appreciate that the journal is designed to be one prompt/section per week of the year (52 total) - they could also easily be done in 52 days. The prompts are thought-provoking and offer a lot of variance! I love the intro pages to each week - with a verse to consider and a short intro to the focus of the week. The only thing I wish was different, was the sheer amount of photos of Emily and her family (as adorable as I think the whole Ley crew is) - for me personally it’s just a distraction as I work through the prompts!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle

Easter is Coming

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The perfect book to read leading up to Easter! Both my 6 and 2 year old were a captive audience while I read it, and even chimed in with “Easter is coming!” at the end of the pages! I enjoyed the bright and engaging illustrations, and the complete telling of the gospel story! The beautiful, padded cover is quality that will keep this book looking fresh even after lots of reads! Excited to continue sharing this book with my kiddos the next few weeks and beyond!

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle

Made For This: 40 Days to Living Your Purpose

I took this book really slow - Made For This: 40 Days to Living Your Purpose really required me to intentionally pursue prayer and seeking the Lord’s heart and plan for my life! I haven’t read her other books (but I’ve had them on my list for quite some time), so I was pleasantly surprised when she mentioned in the intro that this is a compilation of ideas in those books, morphed into a study!

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The portions on dreaming and considering what’s held us back from dreaming and being given permission to dream were profound for me. But also having room to process my story, the gifts the Lord has given me, and what my passions may be were huge deals.

I hope to be able to go continue going through this book time and again, as life stages progress, and I find myself questioning what’s next! I hope to use the tools I’ve learned in this book to consider what the Lord’s purpose and plan is for me! Thank you Jennie for writing this study and sharing it with us! I received a complimentary copy of this book from W Publishing Group, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle

Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday

This book hit me on so many levels! Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday is full of relevant truths for every mom! I’ve followed Valerie Woerner for quite some time and so appreciate her heart for moms. This book is a beautiful compilation of encouragement to make some difficult changes in the way I mother to glorify the Lord and to the benefit of my whole family. The goal:

“Although you still can’t predict what your kids will do, your heart is no longer set to the temperature of your circumstances. It’s set to God’s truth: that he is with you always, that he loves you, that his plan is better than anything you could come up with on your own. These truths trump anything the world will throw your way today, and as a result, you’re calm and at peace.”

Yes - exactly! This gets to the heart of what I want me days with my kids to look like! I want my heart to be attuned to the Lord and for that to set the tone for how I care for my family. I love how each chapter is full of stories (that are so relatable), wisdom, and encouragement - and the end of each chapter includes actionable steps, a verse, and a prayer! I noted some bullet points from each chapter into my VMP prayer journal from the prayer sections, as reminders of how I want to be continually praying for heart change.

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This book covers so many topics: marriage, parenting, friendship, comfort, control, self-care, finding joy in the mundane, mom guilt, quiet times (or not so quiet times), embracing the changing seasons of motherhood, and so so much more. Valeries addresses how my heart and mind so frequently tend to operate and then reminds me how the Lord has much bigger plans and joy in store for me than I’m allowing!

I’m so excited for this book to be released and to share it with fellow mamas!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle


Praying God's Will for Your Life

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This book is such a sweet encouragement, full of advice on how to draw near to the Lord in prayer and how to distinguish His will for my life. I really appreciated the prayer prompts and “Tools of Truth” portions at the end of the chapter, which highlight ways to bring the chapter full circle. I also loved the beautiful yet simplistic journal pages at the end of the book - there is plenty of room to journal through all the chapters of the book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from W Publishing Group, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle

Suffering Is Never For Nothing

This short, sweet and profound book was the perfect weekend read! Suffering Is Never For Nothing by Elisabeth Elliot could not have arrived at a more ideal time, as our family faces a situation that will surely seem like suffering. Elliot so beautifully put words to the future joy I have to look forward to and the practical ways I can pull myself (and my family) through suffering and trials we may face as Christians.

“The greatest gifs of my life have also entailed the greatest suffering,” is what Elliot says in the very first chapter of the book, and as we are foster parents facing the move of our sweet gift of a baby - I feel like this statement just resounds so deeply with me. I hope to carry many of the author’s encouragements and future kingdom mindsets with me as I face the next few weeks and even the remainder of life.

I am so grateful for this book and the words of Elisabeth Elliot! I look forward to sharing this book with friends and hope they will find the same encouragement.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle

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Illuminated Bible

The beautiful Illuminated Bible happened to be on my husband’s Christmas list, and I’m so glad it was, because now I get to reap the benefit of getting to read and use it for my studies! The cover and each page is so artfully created - I love the illustrations and journaling pieces already in the Bible, and all the space left for us to add our own notes and journaling! The gold on each page is metallic and actually stands out on the page, plus there is a little of the gold print even on the pages without journaling illustrations, because the references at the top of the page, as well as the chapter numbers, and page numbers are in the same gold. Dana Tanamachi did a gorgeous job with all the illustrations, but I particularly love the full-page ones! My only concern is that I’m not sure the pages are thick enough for me to actually journal in without bleeding through, although since the Bible is already quite large I imagine thicker pages just couldn’t be a reality for this edition.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I’m reading!

Danielle

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Remember God

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What a pleasant surprise this book was! It was such an easy read, and so perfect for my last few days, as I’ve been stuck at home with sick kiddos and reading during little pockets of time! Remember God by Annie Downs reads like you’re sitting down just chatting with Annie - it’s extremely relate-able and filled with meaningful nuggets of truth. I really appreciate how real Annie is in telling her journey of being reminded of the Lord’s goodness and trustworthyness! I also loved a few ideas I gleaned from this book, that I hope the try out for myself, like her Lent journaling and her jar of special memories!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H Publishers, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I'm reading about!

Danielle

The Better Mom Devotional

The Better Mom Devotional by Ruth Schwenk is a beautiful and inspiring devotional for all moms! The topics range so much, from children to husbands to friendship to the Lord and how we can draw closer to him through motherhood, it would see to me most moms could find comfort and encouragement in the pages of this devotional. I love that each day starts with a verse and includes a little devotion that could be read within just a matter of minutes, and each day concludes with a prayer and some questions that help apply the day’s reading to the reader’s life!

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This is a book that would make a beautiful Christmas gift for the moms in your life this season!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan Publishers, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I'm reading about!

Danielle

You Are

You Are by Emily Assell is just precious, and I’m so excited to include it in my foster daughter’s Christmas stocking this year! It’s the perfect gift book for a baby or toddler, and a book my 5 year old would be so excited to read to himself, because a majority of the words are sight/simple words, with a few bigger words mixed in! The illustrations are so simple, beautiful, and full of neutral colors with some pops of color - totally my style!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I'm reading about!

Danielle

Sacred Holidays

I’d never heard of Becky Kiser before reading her newest book, Sacred Holidays, but now I am going to follow her and the Sacred Holidays Tribe to glean all their tips and tricks! This book was full of ideas that I hope to incorporate into our own family’s holiday routines! I love that it starts with Becky encouraging the readers to add time in his/her calendar ahead of time to plan for these holidays, and then the second part of the book moves into the specifics on each holiday.

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I loved all her suggestions in the holidays portion of the book - a few of her ideas are ones we already do in our family (or something really similar) and the ones I loved the most, I was able to jot down and note for when the planning time pops up on my calendar for that specific holiday. I really also appreciated her portion on Santa, we already don’t do gifts from Santa or discuss with our kids the idea that they get extra gifts and should be constantly consumed with their wishlist, but we didn’t have specific verbiage for why, and I feel like she really elaborated and gave me good reasoning behind why our choice is a good one!

I really enjoyed this book, look forward to pulling it back off the shelf as I plan for each holiday, and hope I can do the Sacred Holidays Advent Bible study! And I’m also hoping to share the book with friends from home group, so we can share ideas and work together to make the holidays more “sacred - holy and set apart”!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H Publishers, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I'm reading about!

Danielle


The Winter War

The Winter War by Priscilla Shirer is such a great book for young boys and girls! My son is younger than Shirer’s target audience for this book, but he loved listening as my husband and I took turns reading this book to him. And from a parent’s perspective, it’s a smooth and easy read, with strong spiritual tones. It reminds me a bit of Pilgrim’s Progress - there are so many themes and ways you could read into the text that I’m certain my 5 year old didn’t catch on to, but I’m thrilled are there and hope that, as he reads the book again when he’s older, he’ll gravitate more towards.

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I loved this video I found of Shirer explaining a specific theme she wrote into the book, of making mistakes and how the enemy uses our mistakes to discourage us! After watching this video and the others on her blog, I valued this book so much more as my eyes were opened to all of the themes she wrote for the characters. Each theme she’s written into the story line open up so much potential conversations you can have with your son/daughter!

I appreciate that this book is a beautiful hard cover without a dust cover (which tend to get ripped/wrinkled by my boys). After reading this book, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the first 3 books, so we can get caught up on the whole story - I felt like we were missing out a bit jumping in on the 4th book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H Publishers, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I'm reading about!

Danielle

My Christmas ABCs

What a happy mail day today, this delightful book got me so excited for the upcoming Christmas season by highlighting some of my favorite holiday things! I love me some glitter, and My Christmas ABCs has plenty of it! The illustrations (by Jordan Wray) are adorable: simple, bright, realistic, and adorned with a little glitter! I love that the glitter adds a little texture and dimension to the book and gives babies a texture to explore as they’re reading! There is one short sentence for each letter, including one (occasionally two) words representing each.

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Reading through this book definitely had the attention of my 5 and 2 year old! It’s so full of the joys of Christmas, and I can’t wait to pull it back out for the holidays soon!

The description on the back of the book states that it has “rhyming text”, and while it does have 2-3 rhyming words in it, there aren’t many, and the words don’t flow in the same way that rhyming books tend to.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tommy Nelson Publishers, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I'm reading about!

Danielle

The Year of Living Happy

Alli Worthington’s book, The Year of Living Happy, is full of sweet and encouraging reminders, as well as great journaling prompts and activities that help make the happiness journey personal!

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I appreciate the short, sweet, and to-the-point entries - they are easy to take in during my short, mom breaks! This book makes me happy, just looking at the simple and bright cover! This book would be a great gift for a friend, no matter where she is in her faith journey! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I'm reading about!

Danielle

Gay Girl, Good God

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This beautiful book by Jackie Hill Perry left me with so many things to consider! Gay Girl, Good God reads like like poetry - some parts so thought provoking and fresh, that I had to read the portion over several times. I especially loved her poetic retelling of Adam and Eve’s story. Perry’s work read so easily, and I poured over the book in only a few days! Her story of God’s redeeming work in her life is encouraging, and you can find hope in her message no matter the type of sin you struggle with.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H Publishing but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I'm reading about!

Danielle

Prayers for the Battlefield

As soon as I laid eyes on this book, Prayers for the Battlefield: Staying Momstrong in the Fight For Your Family and Faith, by Heidi St. John, I was drawn to it! I love all the details of he cover, from the gold foiling to the hardcover to the smaller size! This book would make a great gift for new or experienced mommas alike - there are prayers inside to apply to all stages of mom life! I love how each chapter starts with a passage, is followed by a little devotional/personal story, and then wrapped up with an in-depth prayer! I also love how at the end of the chapter, there is a few Scripture references, should you desire to delve further into studying what the Word has to stay on the topic.

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In addition to using this book to pray over my own family, kids, and parenting journey, I hope to use this book as a reference when praying for friends! I feel like this will be a great guide to use to direct my prayers, especially if a friend is asking for prayer on a situation that I’m not familiar with! I also hope to use the verses in the book could to text friends as a means of encouragement after I’ve prayed for them, as well!


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale but I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Thanks for reading about what I'm reading about!

Danielle