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Saturday, June 24, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Stepping on Cheerios: Finding God in the Chaos and Clutter of Life by: Betsy Singleton Snyder



I am at a weird stage of my life. For the first time, I am a stay at home mom. I have worked throughout my life. First 2-3 jobs as a single mom, going to school to better myself, and then just full time. Now, with two little guys who are very active - my occupation is "home maker" I was excited to read this book to look for some things that God wanted to tell me about being a parent. 


About the Book:

Stepping on Cheerios


Stepping on Cheerios: Finding God in the Chaos and Clutter of Life (Abingdon Press, April 2017)
Family life is beautiful and motherhood is a privilege, but it ain’t no picnic!
Being a mother isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to experience a personal connection with God and community when you are caught up in the chaos of just “doing family”.
Independent and self-sufficient, author Betsy Singleton Snyder lived a full and busy life as a pastor, missionary, and wife to a husband who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. She had her first child at age 44, then at 47, she found out she was carrying triplets. Suddenly finding herself overwhelmed is an understatement.
Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.

About the Author:

About the author:

Betsy Singleton Snyder, author of Stepping on Cheerios, is a pastor, a former missionary to the arts community, writer, and blogger. She and her husband, Dr. Vic Snyder who formerly served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, live in Arkansas with their four sons, Penn (10), and triplets Wyatt, Sullivan, and Aubrey (8). Visit her online at WomenadeStand.com.

Connect:

MY REVIEW: 

First and foremost - as I stated above, this is a new stage of life for me. I have 4 kids. (19, 16, 6 and 4) The younger two are home with me. The 16 year old is in Ohio visiting her dad for the summer. So, life has been hectic when it's 2 vs. 1. 
This book felt like it was written just for me. Ms. Snyder took all the stuff that I had been feeling - and tells her story on how she had to learn to put God at the center of it all. This book is definitely geared towards moms and has lots of great stories and tidbits on her life as a mom ad how she found her Strength through HIM. 
I love reading about other mom stories and knowing that I am not the first to go through this, and I won't be the last. 
I loved being encouraged. 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity Group - all opinions are my own. 


Being a mother can be a crazy life, but it’s a gift filled with grace. Read Betsy Singleton Snyder’s comical story in Stepping on Cheerios. Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.
Join Betsy in celebrating a crazy life of motherhood and her new book by entering to win a $75 Visa cash card!

One winner will receive:
  • A copy of Stepping on Cheerios
  • A $75 Visa cash card
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 27. The winner will be announced June 28 on Betsy’s blog.

ENTER: HERE

Friday, June 16, 2017

My week with very limited Facebook

Facebook can be a great way to connect with friends and family. However lately it has turned into breeding grounds for hate, bullying, spewing venom and so much more. I live out of state. I live 834 miles from my home town, so facebook is how we keep our families updated.

People that know me in real life know that I can be opinionated at times. ( I can see the look of shock on my parents face now....) I am very passionate about things. I am a very Conservative Christian. I support our President, I believe that we should not remove the Confederate monuments. I am not racist. I am a  historian. I am well educated. I read my Bible. I try not to watch too much news because it breaks my heart.

Recently, it seems that while I am opinionated I have broken my own rules. Usually, if I see something that offends me, I scroll past it. People are entitled to their own opinions - and not everybody will always agree. I have friends that are SOOOO opposite of what I believe, but we don't bring up the hot subjects.

Then, I broke my own rules.

A former good friend and I had been on shaky ground. We kept going back and forth on certain things. Normally, I don't get offended. But when I saw a post that appeared to be bashing my church my blood started boiling. I did something that I do not normally do.

I commented.

Then it turned into a heated discussion,

I could feel the Holy Spirit telling me to stop. I could feel HIM trying to pull me out of the battle. But being human, I did not listen. I kept defending my church. She insisted that it was not about the church that I had been going to, and that she attended sometimes. She had been trying to say that our church was not Biblically Sound. I kept battling back. Finally something snapped in me.

I did not like how I had responded.

I finally took a step back and did not like who I had just been.

I prayed. I dropped to my knees and prayed. God revealed some things to me that I knew that I had to step back from the friendship. I knew that while I loved my friend, for both of our sanity I had to step back.

So, I told her that.

Fast Forward a few days later.

I had posted an article in support for Opp, AL.

The article was about how the school system was facing a possible law suit because of a Christian tradition that has been going on for generations. Naturally, it was an atheist based group that was trying to prey on this small town, knowing they probably did not have the funding for a heavy legal action.

See the article HERE

When I posted the article, I had been highly upset and used the term "snowflake". While I use the term quite often I have never had anyone fire back at it. I got a comment from a good friends daughter saying that I should not be making fun of a group of people.

That was NOT my intention. To me the term "snowflake" are the liberals that challenge anything that disagrees with their own agenda.

So, I re-worded the post.


This brought more hurt and heaviness to me.

I broke down in tears. I talked to my good friends who helped prop me back up, and fill me up with life giving words. It was clear to me that the enemy was trying to bring me and my family down, and he was working through those that were close to me.

SO, I prayed some more

God then told me I should come off Facebook for a bit. It was becoming toxic. I was constantly stressed out over what I was seeing. Even though I had recently added a bunch of new Christian friends that were in groups that I was in.

I needed a break.

The last week, I have had VERY limited Facebook.

I have got on to check messages and things in groups that I am in - (I do a lot of book reviews, and coupon) but that was it.

It's been a huge blessing.

I filled myself with other things.

I filled myself with Jesus.

I filled myself with my children's laughter

I filled myself with different home projects.

I found some new podcasts to listen to.

I kept busy.


Colton started going to Cub Scouts. It was very exciting to see him start this chapter of his life. Our old neighbors in Ohio were leaders, and Colton used to love to hear about what adventures they did.

I went to the movies with some of my girlfriends from church. (we saw Megan Leavy -- it was VERY good. There is a lot of strong language, but it was a great movie)

I went to a new connect group. We are getting ready to start a bible study based on the movie "Mom's night out" If you have not seen this -- you need to, it's hysterical.

Colton and I started reading the Bible together. He has a Bible storybook and an Adventure Bible that he can read a lot out of - Because of the church we go to, he asks a lot of thought provoking questions - and we are working toward salvation. That is a huge reason I know that my church is Biblically sound.

I read more. I am currently reading "Deep Waters" By Jessica Patch. It's part of the Love Inspired Suspense series. (Purchase/Preorder: here)

I started a new devotion. "3 minute devotions with Charles Spurgeon" It's a book that I got approved to review.  It's a great remembrance on how we need to keep praying. We live in a fallen world. We are surrounded by horrors of evil, hurt, pain and so much more daily. But one thing that we know is that our Master is praying for us.

Some of the verses that have stuck with me is:

John 17:13-18New Living Translation (NLT)


13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.



What does this all mean?

As we see above, the world does not like Christian teachings because it goes against everything in the world. The Prince of the world has a lot of strongholds on believers. He tries to convince us that we will be trapped in our sin forever.

Do Christians still sin? Yes. This is why we need GRACE every single day. But, by standing for Christ, sets us apart in the world. We are called to be the salt and light to unbelievers. Let your light for Jesus shine. We are not taken out of the world. Jesus is praying for us while we go on our journey. Praying made me realize I needed to step back in my friendship, and to limit my access to Facebook.

To me I have learned that limiting my Facebook interaction is something that will have to happen.

So friends, I challenge you. Take a hiatus. Limit your time. It's been very refreshing.

I am not sure where my friendship will go with my friend, I am allowing some distance between us - and praying. God will let me know what to do. My friends daughter and I have talked it out, and are fine.






Monday, June 12, 2017

SPRINGS OF LOVE – Review & GIVEAWAY!!

springs of love FB banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

SpringsofLoveCover-hires
Book title: Springs of Love
Author: Laura V. Hilton, Rachel J. Good, Thomas Nye
Release date: June 15, 2017
Genre: Amish
The Kissing Bridge
Escaping the past isn’t as easy as it should be…
Anna thought her bad decisions would fade into nothing after she vanished for a few months. Her motives would be clear, her mistakes erased, and she’d be able to rewrite her future the way she wanted. It didn’t work out the way she’d planned. Instead, she discovered her actions have consequences and they had to be paid.
euben loved Anna for as long as he could remember, but before he could get serious about courting her, his brother, Mark, won her away. But now she’s back and she beginning to pay the steep price for her mistakes. Reuben tries to help her as much as he can, and the decisions he makes will cost them both everything.
Sold on Love
When Lavina Fisher takes over the household while Mamm’s away, things go from bad to worse. And her younger brother, Stephen, is mostly to blame. Then an accident forces Lavina to face her fears—and her ex-boyfriend. Can she swallow her pride and accept Aaron’s help with the latest disaster?
Cowboys and Amish Girls
Rodeo cowboy, Truman Gunderson, had never met an Amish girl. Amish sisters, Faith, Hope, and Charity had yet to lay eyes on a real, live cowboy. That is until Truman’s galloping horse crosses paths with Charity’s runaway buggy. Truman is not the type to shy away from any challenge, but after he learns something about Faith, Hope, and especially Charity, he realizes that he has met his match.

About the Author

Laura picture


Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.
Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.
When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.
rachel good

Rachel J. Good is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming—Sisters & FriendsLove & Promises, and two books in theHearts of Amish Country series—as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Visit Rachel at her website: www.racheljgood.com.
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Thomas Nye writes novels about horses and Amish life, with a touch of romance, and a foundation of faith in Christ. He and his wife, Shari, live on her family farm where they raised five children. Their six grandchildren love to visit Karma and Karla, a team of draft horses which Thomas purchased from an Amish friend.

Guest post from Laura Hilton

The story behind The Kissing Bridge
The Snow Globe was released in November 2014 and almost immediately readers fell in love with Reuben and Anna, the grandparents in the story. They were secondary characters, but readers asked me to write their story – I put it on the back-burner, told God if He opens the doors I would, and didn’t really think of it again until I was asked to write a novella for this collection. I talked to the publisher of my Amish novels, they gave me permission, and a very close friend and I went back and reread The Snow Globe to remember all the important details about Reuben and Anna in that book. Then, with much prayer for God’s leading, I dived in. The Kissing Bridge is the result, and it was so much fun to write! If you are new to my writing, and want to know what happened to the main characters of The Kissing Bridge years down the road, then read The Snow Globe. If you have read The Snow Globe and were one of the many who asked for Reuben and Anna’s story, then read The Kissing Bridge.
The setting is actually a real covered bridge that I visited long years ago with my parents when we went on a camping trip and visited all the covered bridges and mills in driving distance of our camp-spot. That was before I cared that my family had come from the Amish and I wondered at all these people dressed as they were and driving horses and buggies!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the story!

My Review 

I love books that have collaboration from different authors. I have read books by Laura Hilton and Rachel Good before. Thomas was a new author to me. I loved how the entire book was an Amish Genre Book. These were easy to read, and so enjoyable. 

The Kissing Bridge, Laura V. Hilton
Short and very sweet. This was a great story about some of the challenges with Amish Faith. I love how the characters seem real and are very well written

Sold on Love, Rachel J. Good
Great story on the importance of being able to communicate. I love how there are some recipes sprinkled through it. Well written, and great characters. 

Cowboy and Amish Girls, Thomas Nye
Again, Thomas is a new author to me. But I was drawn in after a few pages and enjoyed this engaging story. Well written. 


DisclaimerI received a complimentary copy of this book.  A favorable review was not required, no compensation was received, and all views expressed are my own.

Giveaway

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b9c9

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Book Review!!! Amish Brides by: Jennifer Beckstrand, Molly Jebber, and Amy Lillard On tour with Celebrate Lit

Amish Brides Banner
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Amish BridesClick to purchase
Book: Amish Brides
Author: Jennifer Beckstrand, Molly Jebber, Amy Lillard
Genre: Amish
Release Date: May 30, 2017
JOSHUA’S BRIDE
Molly Jebber
Madeline Lehman fears her fiancĂ©’s family will never accept her because of her rebellious sister. She’s postponed her wedding to Joshua Stutzman until they see the truth. But when Maddie adopts her sister’s abandoned baby, can she and Joshua find a way to unite their families through forgiveness as well as love?

About the Author

6-10-2016-close-head-shotMolly Jebber’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times has given them a near excellent rating. She’s on RWA’s Honor Roll. She’s a speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she offers presentations on writing, publishing, Amish lifestyle and traditions. She has received widespread media coverage, including live interviews, across the United States for her books and speaking engagements.
She’s just signed a new contract for four more Amish books! She loves interacting with her readers. She loves God, her husband, family and friends. She has a hard time saying no to cupcakes, swimming, nine holes of golf, and walks on the beach. Coconut, oatmeal, and onions, on the other hand, are not hard to say no to!

Guest Post from Molly Jebber

Do you remember picking out your bride’s dress? The cake? Food? Location? The invitations? Weddings are fun, no matter how simple or extravagant. The marked event fills your heart with joy sharing in the special day with the bride and groom. I remember the day I married Ed, my best friend and soulmate. We planned the details together, and we still talk about what a heartwarming memory it is for us. I’m sure if you and I met for a girl’s chat, we’d enjoy hearing each other’s account of when we exchanged vows with our sweethearts.
Amish brides may not have the flowers, rings, and fancy food and cake, but they have their traditions and share in the excitement like we do. I enjoyed writing “Joshua’s Bride”. I hope you enjoy it to.


MY REVIEW: 
First and foremost, I love ALL of these authors. When I got the opportunity to read a book that included a story from each of them I was thrilled. They are some of the most popular Amish Fiction writers out there. All three stories are light hearted - sweet stories. I enjoyed reading them. The characters are well written. I love that some of the characters from previous books reappeared in Jennifer's story. I love those match making grandparents :) All three of these stories made me laugh and smile. If you love Amish Fiction, this is the book for you
I received a copy of the book through Celebrate Lit, all opinions are my own. 

Blog Stops

June 1: Quiet Quilter
June 2: cherylbbookblog
June 7: A Greater Yes
June 9: Splashes of Joy
June 12: Karen Sue Hadley
June 13: Bigreadersite

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3a7


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Return to Huckleberry Hill By Jennifer Beckstrand Book Review! On tour with Celebrate Lit

huckleberry Hill-banner
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Return To Huckleberry HillClick here to purchase
Book: Return to Huckleberry Hill
Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017
When it comes to matchmaking, Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s unstoppable octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never seem to run out of opportunities—or grandchildren…
Reuben Helmuth is plenty bitter. John King, his best friend—or so he thought—is engaged to the girl Reuben loved. Humiliated, Reuben flees from Ohio to his grandparents’ home on Huckleberry Hill, where he knows he’ll find comfort. He’s enjoying wallowing in his misery—until John’s sister, Fern, shows up. She won’t stop pestering Reuben about forgiveness—or trying to help him find love again. Yet Fern’s efforts only reawaken Reuben’s long-buried feelings—for her…
With her brother too ashamed to face Reuben, it’s fallen to Fern to help mend fences. But as she and the Helmuths do all they can—even organizing a knitting club event filled with eligible girls—it may take one more challenge to inspire Reuben to forget his heartache, recognize his own blunders, and embrace the true love that’s right in front of him…

About the Author

jennifer Beckstrand 1Jennifer Beckstrand is the award winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth and the Honeybee sisters’ aendi Bitsy. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a passion for Jane Austen and Shakespeare. She and her husband have been married for thirty-two years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and soon-to-be six adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest post from Jennifer Beckstrand

Anna Helmuth is starting a knitting club, but that’s not all she’s got up her sleeve.
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My family. I have five sisters and no brothers. I think my mom made every dress in this photo, including her own.
In Return to Huckleberry Hill, Anna Helmuth and Fern King decide to start a knitting club in order to introduce Anna’s grandson Reuben to some girls from Bonduel, Wisconsin. Anna is a very good knitter, with years of practice making baby blankets, scarves, mittens, and potholders. One of Anna’s scarves actually saved someone’s life, and her potholders have helped her make many a match.
When I was a young teenager, I learned how to knit and crochet. My mom taught me how to sew and quilt, and I made several of my own dresses in high school. I never learned to love sewing, but it was an invaluable skill that I am so grateful to have. Now that I’m a little older, I love putting together simple quilts for baby gifts and making quilts for the local children’s hospital. There is nothing like a homemade gift to say, “I care about you.”
I have a friend who is a wonderful cook. Making a delicious, beautiful meal is how she tells her family she loves them. I don’t consider myself a great cook, but I still take pride in putting something nutritious and satisfying on the table for my family.
It seems to me that some of the “home arts” that our mothers and grandmothers practiced are dying out. Who knows how to tat anymore? Or embroider? Some of these arts have died because of expediency. Who doesn’t think today’s stocking choices are more comfortable and practical than knitted wool ones? Others have died out because so few people want to learn.
What about you? Do you still practice any of the home arts that your grandmother did? What do you want to pass on to the next generation?


MY REVIEW
I really enjoy reading all types of Amish Fiction. I love how with this book the author was very detailed with her descriptions of everything. With all the attention to details I felt like I was in the middle of the story. I loved the characters. Reuben, oh how my heart broke for him when he found out the girl he was going to propose to was going to marry his best friend. His grandparents are such cute and likable characters. They are just the cutest older Amish Couple. Reading about all the cooking made me hungry :). This book is part of a series, but can also be read as a stand a lone. This book made me laugh, smile, and want to read so much more. 
I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program for review purposes. All opinions expressed on this book are my own. 

Blog Stops

May 23: cherylbbookblog
May 24: A Greater Yes
May 25: Just Commonly
May 30: Quiet Quilter
May 31: Bigreadersite
June 2: Pause for Tales

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card to three lucky winners!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3b2