She Prays by Debbie Lindell

If someone were to ask me about my prayer life, I would say “Oh it’s great!” I mean, I pray every meal, every night with my daughter and husband, and when I think of it throughout the day. Does that mean my prayer life is great? No! I think all of us need some encouragement to help grow in our prayer life, which is why I was really excited to read this book.

Thank you Revell books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: One of the most wonderful things about walking with God is that we can have an intimate and real relationship with him. He wants us to know him so well that we are comfortable talking to him about anything and everything. Yet, there are times when we feel disconnected and insecure. We desire to grow in prayer, but we don’t know where to begin, what to say, or how to listen for his voice. In She Prays, Debbie Lindell invites you on a 31-day journey to experience a confident and conversational relationship with your heavenly Father. She shows you how to replace the pressure to perform in prayer with a faith-filled expectation–trusting that God is delighted with every conversation and every word we whisper to him. Her desire is that your soul will be transformed as your confidence in prayer grows, and that your faith will be strengthened as you see God work through your prayers in ways you never imagined possible. 

I will be honest – I would keep staring at this book and tell myself “I don’t need to read this, my prayer life is fineeeee.” That lasted for quite a few days before I realized I was finding myself thinking about this book all throughout the day. That was when I realized that was God nudging me, telling me I needed to pick this up because it was just what I needed to hear. This is the kind of devotion I like – one where it really encourages you and gives tips about diving into the Word and what it really means. I loved this devotion and I’m so glad I got to read this. I can’t wait to pick it up again and learn from it all over.

5/5 Stars

Strong Brave Loved by Holley Gerth

Do you find yourself wanting someone beside you to cheer you on? Maybe you just need a little word of encouragement or praise? That’s where this book comes in…

Thank you Revell for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Bestselling author Holley Gerth feels like your best friend, your supportive sister, and your biggest cheerleader. She understands that you want to be a woman who looks life in the face and says, “You can’t beat me.” A woman who knows love is a risk and reaches out anyway. A woman who understands kindness takes real courage. Who doesn’t fake it or try to hide her scars. Who fights to believe she is who God says she is and helps others do the same. Strong, Brave, Loved offers 60 short devotions to empower you to be that kind of woman. It’s simple, personal, and practical, with room for you to journal your own responses and reflections. With these concise and compassionate devotions, Holley leads you on a journey of discovery as you learn to live in freedom, hope, and holy courage.

This book is really beautiful inside and out. This is a devotional book that comes to you as that cheerleader; as a shoulder to laugh and cry on. It helps you take a look at who you are as a woman and how to empower your own self. Each devotion is pretty short and sweet, which comes with its pros and cons. Being a full-time working mom, it’s hard to find time to dive into the Word. These short devotions help to do just that. On the other hand, there were a lot of times where I was looking for more from these writings. I felt like I could’ve whipped through the devotions in 5 minutes on some days where I was wanting a more intimate discussion to come out of it. Maybe it’s something that I can come back to on another day and feel differently about? All in all, it’s a lovely book.

3.5/5 Stars

Shift Your Thinking for a Deeper Faith by Dean Del Sesto

After going through a big move and a big job change, I needed some new ways to spend my quiet time with the Lord and stregthen my relationship with Him.

Thank you Revell Books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: In the busyness of life, it’s easy to get distracted and disconnected from the many promises God has made about who he is, the strength we find in him, and the abundance of spiritual tools, abilities, and assets we have at our disposal. These are not necessarily things we have to search out to acquire–they already exist within us. And Dean Del Sesto wants to help you access them every day. With hard-hitting truths, memorable quotes, and powerful perspective shifts, Del Sesto helps you connect (or reconnect) at a deeper level to the power, potential, and purpose you already have so that you can live your life with greater freedom, resilience, and wisdom. Perfect for business professionals on the go, the busy student, the active parent, and anyone who needs a boost of spiritual strength at any time, this book promises to help you live your life from an internal resolve rather than in reaction to your external circumstances.

There is a lot of goodies in this book, 99 to be exact. I loved how short, sweet, and to the point the author is. There are bible verses, summarized sentences, and questions with space for you to journal. It’s an easy book to pick up and read a few things from and still feel like you’ve gotten something really good out of it. Do I feel like all of this was new information to me? No. Being a Christian for a lot of my life has already exposed me to a lot of these ideas and thoughts previously. Was it a nice refresher? TOTALLY. I especially loved the journal aspect with the main questions for each of the 99 ways. I didn’t expect that! I will keep coming back to this book as reference when I know I need it most.

3.5/5 Stars

Back Roads to Belonging by Kristen Strong

I just moved to a new state less than a few weeks ago and it’s been a large task. The biggest thing for me to think about (or not think about because it’s much easier to do) is making new friends. That’s where this book comes into play.

Thank you Revell Books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: At one time or another, shifting seasons in family, friendships, employment, and communities will bring each of us face-to-face with the feeling of being on the outside looking in. Because we are made for connection, this will often lead us down one of two roads. Either we will hop on the popular but crowded highway that asks us to do whatever it takes to get noticed, or we’ll stand still, paralyzed by the fear that we’re not important, loveable, or worth other people’s time and attention. But what if there is another way? With an understanding voice that will speak into your own circumstances, Kristen Strong walks beside you along the less traveled but more satisfying third way–the back road way–to belonging: remaining in Christ and relaxing into the unique role God has for you. Along the way, you will learn simple, doable actions that not only will help you feel and know that you belong but will welcome others in as well.

Whether you have friends or are in need of new ones, you need to read this book. I absolutely loved it and still find myself turning through the pages every day. I think I’ve always just been so stuck on beliving that it’s impossible to find good friends now that I’m out of high school and college, but this book has completely changed my focus. Even if finding friend is easy or difficult for you, I think you will find rest and comfort through these words.

5/5 Stars

The Girl Behind the Red Rope by Ted and Rachelle Dekker

I’ve heard some amazing things about Ted Dekker so I am really excited for the privilege to read his latest book.

Thank you Baker Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Ten years ago, Grace saw something that would forever change the course of history. When evil in its purest form is unleashed on the world, she and others from their religious community are already hidden deep in the hills of Tennessee, abiding by every rule that will keep them safe, pure–and alive. As long as they stay there, behind the red perimeter. Her older brother’s questions and the arrival of the first outsiders she’s seen in a decade set in motion events that will question everything Grace has built her life on. Enemies rise on all sides–but who is the real enemy? And what will it cost her to uncover the truth?

Now I know why Ted has such a huge fan base – his writing (and Rachelle’s too) is excellent! They really captures your attention and paint a suspenseful picture, leaving you on the edge of your seat. The only issue for me was, I felt like this was a bit predictable. As you can probably tell (if you’ve been following my reviews long enough), I read a lot of suspense novels. Sometimes I just get caught in a wave of similar books and I feel like I’ve hit that here. I think I will come back to this one at a later date and see if my opinion changes. Nonetheless, I cannot disregard the talented writing throughout.

3.5/5 Stars

The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions by Tim Shoemaker

Since having a daughter, I’m all about finding new ways to deliver the gospel to her. This one looked intriguing!

Thank you Revell Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: As parents hoping to raise godly children, we may understand the importance of regular family devotions. However, we may find it difficult to get our kids (or even ourselves) fully engaged. But what if devotions looked less like sitting in the living room listening to someone read and trying to pry answers out of reluctant kids and more like, say, electrocuting a pickle? Or converting a leaf blower into a toilet paper launcher? Or lighting toothpaste on fire? These hands-on, kinda dangerous, totally unforgettable object lessons (along with nearly fifty others) are not only more fun than other family devotions–they actually deliver the spiritual impact you desire for your kids. They’ll even get dads and any too-cool-for-this-stuff teens jazzed about a weekly family devotional time. So put away the flannelgraph, get out the safety goggles, and start bringing the truths of Scripture to vivid life in your household. Just remember to change out of your Sunday clothes first.

I was a little skeptical about the dangerous part, but it really does turn devotions into something that kids can have fun with. As a science teacher myself, I could totally relate to a lot of these activities. I felt like the book may have taken away from the importance of learning the gospel and focusing more on the fun part, but I do realize some kids really need that practical relation in order to understand what God is teaching us. I do wish there were a lot more photos in this book. There is also a lot of planning that needs to take place in order to complete these activities. Sometimes I really do wish I had something I can pick-up on a whim to teach my daughter. This isn’t one of those things. Love the concept!

3.5/5 Stars

Powerful Prayers For Your Daughter and Powerful Prayers For Your Son by Joanna and Rob Teigen

Ever since I’ve become a mother, worries cross my thoughts more than I want. I want to give the world to my daughter and I want to protect her from all the darkness. Obviously, that isn’t possible – but through prayer it can be.

Thank you Revell Books for gifting my copies in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Parents know that their children need their prayers. But sometimes, they aren’t sure where to start. For moms and dads who long to lift their kids up in prayer, Powerful Prayers for Your Daughter and Powerful Prayers for Your Son offer hope, encouragement, and practical help. Rob and Joanna Teigen assure parents that just because they don’t always understand their son or daughter, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t. Collecting specific prayers parents can use, along with stories from other parents about how God has answered their prayers, Rob and Joanna give readers a strong foundation to build a lifelong habit of praying for their kids. They also explain what boys and girls need to learn as they grow up, including character, courage, modesty, self-control, forgiveness, and more, so parents can pray for every part of their kids’ lives.

I wish I had known about these books sooner! These books have comforted more nights than I can count. Reading through these prayers and actively using them have provided me the peace and serenity knowing that God will provide and He works things together for our good. There is literally a prayer for every situation that you will come across with your children. I couldn’t have imagined a better resource for parents. Magnificent!

5/5 Stars

Love Where You Live by Shauna Pilgreen

My husband and I talk about moving from time to time. We’ve lived in the same place for the last 9 years. Growing up, I moved almost every 2 to 3 years until my parents finally settled down to where they live today. I was almost getting used to moving and expected it. Sometimes, I still do! There are things about where we live that I really struggle with. The busyness, the people, the lack of jobs, you name it. Again, moving seems to be the easy way out. But will moving make the difference that I’m looking for?

With these struggling thoughts, I felt very compelled to jump on the opportunity to read “Love Where You Live”, all thanks to Revel for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Despite being part of one of the most mobile societies in history, it’s easy for us to feel stuck where we are. Whether because of a recent move or because we’re still in the exact same place we’ve been for years, many of us just aren’t where we thought we’d be or doing what we thought we’d be doing. Sometimes we may wonder if God knows what he’s doing. How can this be part of his plan? With enthusiasm and contagious joy, Shauna Pilgreen assures readers that, yes, God does have a plan and a purpose for them–right where they are. In fact, he sent them there. She invites readers to “live sent,” showing them how to see their surroundings with fresh eyes and renewed energy. Weaving her own remarkable story with biblical habits readers can incorporate into their daily routines, Pilgreen equips us to reach out into our communities with God’s love, knowing that our efforts are never in vain. 

Shauna is an extremely talented writer. I felt as if I was sitting right next to her, chatting about our life over a cup of coffee. She writes with eye-opening wisdom and never tries to convince you of believing one specific thing over another. Reading this showed me that we matter no matter where we live. We are meant to be there for a reason. Her stories from her own lifetime help encourage you to make relationships with people you may not have thought would be fruitful. God will meet you where you are at. If you struggle with even that thought, Shauna encourages you to lean into Him. He is our shelter. This was a refreshing read and something I really needed to hear at just the right time.

5/5 Stars