Win a Wall Pops! Wall Art Kit to Brighten Up Your Walls! (Giveaway Ends 8/1/17)

So…are you looking for some fun ways to brighten up your walls…or your dorm room…or some other space that needs some decorating?

Then you’ll love my newest giveaway–a Wall Pops! Wall Art Kit set in the colorful & fun Tika design!

 

 

Have you heard of Wall Pops! yet?

Wall Pops! Wall Art Kits are repositionable art designs–like decals–that you can use to add a dose of pop to any wall in your home. They’re incredibly easy to use: as the box says, just “peel, stick, and move.”  In moments, you can turn your walls into works of art!

 

How exactly do Wall Pops! work?

Wall Pops! has easy-to-follow instructions included with each kit.  First, you’ll want to clean the wall area you’ll be adding the Wall Pops! to.  The company also recommends that you first spot-test them by applying a small one on an inconspicuous area.  This way, you can ensure that they’re compatible with your paint or walls.  Once you’ve taken care of the safety steps, you’ll just peel the stickers off the sheets and place them onto your clean, smooth wall surfaces.  Then…ta-da!  A beautiful new look for your walls!

If you don’t like them where you’ve applied them, you should be able to gently remove them from your surfaces to reposition elsewhere.

 

And now…enter to win a set for yourself!

One reader of the FINCHNWREN blog will win this Wall Pops! Wall Art Kit in the Tika style.  Just enter by clicking on the pink “Enter here” link below.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools form; once you’re there, just follow the directions!  This giveaway closes on 8/1/17.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

 

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Lisa from “A Rup Life”

Welcome back to 5 Things You Didn’t Know About… today, featuring Lisa from A Rup Life!

In 5 Things You Didn’t Know About…, I’ll be introducing you to some of my favorite friends from the blogging world.  Each of them will tell you a little about themselves, how they recharge, what they’re reading and doing this summer.  Just lots of fun in bite-sized quantities!

 

Here’s Lisa!

1.  Favorite summer activity:

My favorite summer activity is going to the pool. Watching the kids splash and have a good time while I relax on the side lines dipping my feet is always a joyous time. I do occasionally go in but I actually don’t know how to swim so mostly I just take a dip to cool off, then watch the kids. Perhaps part of my joy is knowing they do know how to swim.

2.  Best book you’ve read this summer:

The best book I’ve read so far is a book for kids! It was a book I received for review but I loved it. The series is called Bodyguard by Chris Bradford. Book 1 is Recruit.

3.  How do you renew your spirit/recharge your batteries?

The best way I can renew/recharge is to take a nap. I don’t get much sleep since having my youngest and I find that when I’m frazzled this really resets my mind and attitude.

4.  Something cool God has taught you lately, or a favorite meaningful quote:

God has laid on my heart that my family is my first ministry. I’ve been really focusing on character building, memory making and generally loving on my kids. My oldest will graduate next spring and these are really the last full moments of him being a kid. I want him to look back and see fun times and loving times.

5. This year, you’re looking forward to….

For the next year I’m looking forward to spending the summer being lazy with the kids. Sleeping in, going on trips, doing crafts, watching movies… all the things we don’t really have time for during the school year.

More about Lisa:

Hello, I’m Lisa – owner and primary writer here at A Rup Life. I’ve been married to my husband John for 17 years , together we raise our 4 sons. We reside in NJ and enjoy church, music, movies and family time.

Lisa Rupertus has been blogging for over 8 years. When she is not at the computer she spends time with her husband John of 17 years, along with their 4 sons. For the last 5 years they have taken on the adventure of homeschooling. Together they love to watch movies, go to church and laugh – a lot! You can follow their adventures at A Rup Life.

 

Thanks for stopping by to meet Lisa!  I encourage you to check out her blog.  I always find Lisa to be very real and fun at the same time!

Enjoy!  –Wren

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Rebekah from “There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining”

Welcome back to 5 Things You Didn’t Know About… today, featuring Rebekah from There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining!

In 5 Things You Didn’t Know About…, I’ll be introducing you to some of my favorite friends from the blogging world.  Each of them will tell you a little about themselves, how they recharge, what they’re reading and doing this summer.  Just lots of fun in bite-sized quantities!

 

 

 

1.  Favorite summer activity:

I have a couple of summer rituals. First, I LOVE cooking with fresh veggies. I think this has to do with growing up on a farm. Our meals become a little healthier in the summer, which in turn makes me feel like I’m doing something right!  Another ritual is that I always have a summer reading marathon. Now mind you, I always have a book in my hand…but I have save summer time for those series that seem to never end. I usually spend my summer with mysteries.

 

One of the big highlights of our summer is our annual Cousin Camp. My parents host their grandchildren for a week on their farm. My mom and I plan and orchestrate all the activities. We have a different theme every year. In a few weeks, we will be having our 7th Annual Cousin Camp. This year the youngest cousin is 8. The oldest cousins are 20!

 

This picture is last year’s Cousin Camp…You can guess what the theme was. I think the littlest cousin is MIA. She probably went off to fight a dragon!

2.  Best book you’ve read this summer:

This has to be a new series I started at the beginning of summer. It’s The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood. I love, love these books. They are intended for a younger crowd, but they are so fun and witty! I have read all of them so far and I believe there is a new one coming in the fall.

 

3.  How do you renew your spirit/recharge your batteries?

I love to doodle. I will often meld my doodling together with my devotions. I am not the best doodler. My mom is a professional artist and I know what good art is supposed to look like! But, it’s something that feeds that creative, quirky part of me. Often times, I will doodle a Scripture that God has brought to my attention or a quote from a favorite missionary, pastor or hero of the Faith.

 

4.  Something cool God has taught you lately, or a favorite meaningful quote:

My husband and I pastor a small congregation in Indiana. We moved here towards the end of 2016. The transition was not as easy for me as it would have been when I was younger. I have some health issues that occasionally cause concern. Plus, I grew up in the Ozarks. It was hard leaving family and friends (once again) for this new adventure. But…I have seen God’s faithfulness. He has reminded me time and time again of His love for me. No matter where you are in your life and what you are facing…He has a purpose for you.

 

5. This year, you’re looking forward to….

 

I’m looking forward to getting healthy! I want to continue writing that book I’ve been working on for a million years. I also want to go back to school. I’m content with starting out with a few classes online. I was one of THOSE students in college who thrived on the whole academic mess. If somebody would pay me to be a professional student…

 

I also look forward to spending time with my husband (The Studly Muffin) and our 15-year-old son, Josiah. We love being together and I don’t want to miss a thing. Except for laundry. I could do without laundry.

 

More about Rebekah:

Rebekah Teague is the homeschooling mama to one busy and beautiful boy. She is married to The Muffin who is a pastor and a really great guy. In her spare time she can be found with a book and a cup of tea. She blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining.

 

Thank you for stopping by!  Be sure to click the link to There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining so you can see more fun from Rebekah!

Enjoy! –Wren

“Hope Prevails” ~ A Review & Giveaway (Ends 7/16/17)

Have you ever gone through challenging times and found it difficult to hang onto your hope?  Or, have you even struggled with depression?  Have you wondered why your faith wasn’t enabling you to kick that depression in the teeth?  Or, have you ever found it difficult to believe what God says about you?  If so, you’re going to love Hope Prevails by Dr. Michelle Bengtson.  The BlogAbout Blogger Network sent me a copy of this amazing book to review and a copy to bless one of our readers with….as well as a gorgeous & incredible gift box from the author!  (I’ll be sharing some goodies with my giveaway winner from that as well!)

 

I have read a lot of good books over the past year.  However, I must say that in all my reading, I don’t know that I’ve seen an author open the door on her own struggles and then describe them in such a way that I felt that she was talking about my own.  I endured a season of depression myself following a couple of serious surgeries and family difficulties several years ago.  While I would say that depression doesn’t describe my emotional state at this moment, I am in a place where Dr. Bengtson’s words are still of enormous value and assistance.  Readers of the finchnwren blog know that after having abdominal pain that just wouldn’t go away, I required surgery to remove a cyst in early May.  That cyst turned out to be cancerous, to my utter shock and disbelief!  The surgeon felt optimistic about having gotten all of it out, but he still recommended chemotherapy.  So I’ve completed the first third of the chemo journey (having had 2 of 6 sessions) but I am discovering that for me, the battlefield of the mind is almost as important as the battle being waged in my body.  How do I endure the physical challenges while hanging onto my hope, my faith, my belief in  God and that He is FOR me?  What a perfect book Hope Prevails is for my journey!

What will you find in Hope Prevails?

Author and neuropsychologist Dr. Michelle Bengtson found, after treating patients for years in her own practice, that she required treatment for depression herself.  And she discovered that there was a crucial ingredient missing in common treatment options for depression; the spiritual aspect.  In Hope Prevails, you’ll find out what depression can look like, what it can do to you spiritually, and how you can integrate care of yourself spiritually to work alongside traditional treatment.  And receive true healing!

Each chapter begins with identification and description of depression plus the key elements of YOU, yourself, that can be tended on your walk toward healing.  Next, Dr. Bengtson gives the reader an Rx (prescription) to follow, that includes anything from Scriptures to read and review, brief research, prayers, and more.  She writes the most meaningful prayers for the reader/sufferer of depression, and concludes each chapter with a Recommended Playlist of praise and worship songs that are keyed to each chapter.  (You can find them by searching YouTube or iTunes.  Worth a listen!)

And Dr. Bengtson shares her own life, transparently, and how to address the spiritual component of the healing of depression in the following chapters (and others):

  • This Thing Called Depression
  • You Are Not Alone
  • The Underlying Causes of Depression
  • Recognize You Have An Enemy

These first chapters define depression in all its lack of glory, and remind us that there is an enemy of our souls who seeks to do us in, as Jesus instructs us in John 10:10:  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”

But then Jesus goes on to encourage us and remind us of the truth:  “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  Life!  Not just painful existence.  The remainder of the chapters in Hope Prevails tell us about this full or abundant life, and how we can apprehend it:

  • Recover Your Joy
  • Reclaim Your Peace
  • Reestablish Your Identity
  • Know Your Worth
  • Remember  Your Secure Destiny
  • Be Confident That Nothing Separates You from God’s Love
  • God Uses Your Pain
  • The Way to Hope

Each of these chapters is so rich; each one speaks to a component of our spiritual identities (you know, the invisible part that makes each of us uniquely us), how each is affected by depression and its spiritual battles, and how we can regain strength and joy in them.

 

 

How Hope Prevails affected me

So…I’ve mentioned a bit to you about my own current physical, mental, and spiritual journey.  How I am walking through chemotherapy: one day–6 hours, actually–getting the IV infusions and then 20 more days of letting that medication do battle in my own body.  Then starting the whole process over again.

I can tell you (see my Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator for confirmation) that I am a great beginner.  I love starting new things, new classes, new projects.  But there is that spot, sometimes, in the middle of the journey where the fun isn’t as obvious, the grind has become the grind, and the newness has worn off.  Now nobody is really going to call chemotherapy a fun journey.  But there has been that newness of it: the not knowing what’s coming next, the unforeseen challenges.  All those kept me on my toes, really depending on God for what was around the next corner because we just had no clue.  But now I’m kind of noticing that we’re in that middle part; the routine.  Not that there won’t be unexpected surprises or challenges; but now I’m thinking that suddenly the circumstances (the pain, the medications/their effects, the trips to the doctor) aren’t my fight, I (my choices, my relationship with God, my mental battle) am my fight.  Or rather, my reacting to each day; knowing I might not be feeling my best or feeling well at all, but choosing to ENGAGE.  Engage with God; believe His truths; attempt to walk out my best in my life and with my family.  Sigh.  The middle.

What a powerful tool, what a valued companion Dr. Michelle Bengston has provided for me in my fight.  In each chapter, she defines what I am needing, whether it’s hope, joy, peace, identity, etc., and kindly and lovingly explains how I can grasp or attain it.  She provides truth to counter the enemy’s lies.  She includes Scripture that I’ve written in my journal or on cards for my vision board, so that I can remember what is real and true about my journey and about me.

How could Hope Prevails help you?

Now…most of you (and maybe even none of you!) are NOT undergoing my particular journey.  But perhaps you have experienced depression.  Maybe someone you love has.  Or it could be that you just desperately need to learn, remember, and know the truths the enemy would love for us to forget, but that God has given us in His Word.  Or, what if you’d just like to learn how you can grow in your own relationship with God?  If so, this book is for you!  (And keep reading because I have one copy to bless a reader with…that just might be you!)

I have to tell you that discovering that there had been a cyst in my body that was cancerous, and then going thru six rounds of chemotherapy, was NOT something that I was hoping for in my life!  But God has spoken Romans 8:28 over every one of us that loves and believes in Him…and He has spoken it over me and my life and journey to defeat illness as well.  I know that there will be a day when I can richly and fully say that I can rejoice in having gone through this.  If this also is something you desire to be able to say about your own pains and struggles, then that’s another reason to read this incredible book!

 

The unboxing of encouragement

Before I get to the giveaway, though, I have to share with you the absolutely wonderful gift box that I received from Dr. Michelle Bengtson.  It came to me at just the right moment, when I was home from surgery but still in significant pain from a wound infection.  WHAT an encouragement and blessing this box was!  Just at a moment when I needed something beautiful and wonderful to encourage me.  (Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dr. Bengtson and The BlogAbout Network!)

 

 

Of course, you know after reading my review that I adored the book.  But at a time when I needed some beauty and love (and isn’t it nice to get that in a physical form from time to time?), I was blessed with that gorgeous scarf and the beautiful pearl bracelet that reads “Hope”!

 

 

I have to tell you that I wear the bracelet every time I go to chemotherapy.  It reminds me of beauty, that God is good, and that I have a hope to look forward to…not only in the life to come but in the here and now!

 

And now…enter to win some Hope Prevails goodies!

One reader will be selected to win a copy of Hope Prevails, a dog tag necklace with Jeremiah 29:11 on it, AND a delicious bar of chocolate from Dr. Michelle Bengtson!  Just click on the pink link below to be taken to the Giveaway Tools entry form.  Giveaway closes on July 16.  Best wishes!

Enter the giveaway here!

 

Don’t forget to visit Dr. Michelle Bengtson on social media, where you’ll find more encouragement and beauty

 

Her website, DrMichelleBengtson
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram

 

Thank you for letting me share this powerful book (and goodies!) with you all.  Blessings!

Enjoy!  –Wren

DISCLOSURE:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Christy from Unexpected Homeschool

Welcome back to 5 Things You Didn’t Know About… today, featuring Christy from Unexpected Homeschool!

In 5 Things You Didn’t Know About…, I’ll be introducing you to some of my favorite friends from the blogging world.  Each of them will tell you a little about themselves, how they recharge, what they’re reading and doing this summer.  Just lots of fun in bite-sized quantities!

 

This week, I have the honor of featuring my friend Christy from Unexpected Homeschool.  Here are 5 things you didn’t know about her!

  1.  Favorite summer activity:

I’m not sure I have a single favorite summer activity. I love when Amber and I take whole days to play LEGO video games; watching superhero movies in the theater as a family; and lunches out with my girl.

 

  1.  Best book you’ve read this summer:Best entertaining book, and not informational, is The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn. Because… it’s Julia Quinn and is a Bridgerton prequel.

 

 

  1.  How do you renew your spirit/recharge your batteries?  This is a thing we get to do? Honestly, just relaxing with my family and reading. Or see number one above. Basically, abandoning my to-do list.

 

  1.  Something cool God has taught you lately, or a favorite meaningful quote:My timing is not his. My wishes are not always well guided or for the best. Anxiety is not necessary (better said than practiced).

 

  1.  This year, you’re looking forward to….

Feeling more at ease with a homeschooled high school student, our home school co-op classes, and cooking more. I know that last one sounds odd if you know me, but even I can get tired of eating out.

 


Christy’s Bio:

A scientific minded homeschool mom of a language loving high school daughter. I write at Unexpected Homeschool about our homeschooling adventures and chronic illness (in us both) along with a few curriculum reviews thrown in.

Thank you so much for…

stopping by to meet Christy! Be sure to click on either the link to her blog (Unexpected Homeschool) or her button, where you’ll find more Christy and more fun!

Enjoy! –Wren

The Other Half of the Story from Wren…

Hi dear ones!

I have been meaning to write this post to you for a long time.  Finally, today!

The rest of the story…

So, y’all may remember my long story about the surgery that I had and the many unexpected events along with it.  Infection, the wound vac, going back into the hospital.

But, there is one little piece of information I hadn’t included…really because I was still processing it myself.  The purpose of the surgery was to remove a large cyst, and the surgeon successfully did so.

To my shock, the cyst was cancerous.  We are so thankful that it was completely enclosed within the ovary (which was also removed).  They felt good about getting everything out.  But, we agreed with the doctor that chemotherapy was the way to go for a good prognosis.

So…I’ve started down the chemo journey.  I have actually completed two rounds already.  They give the chemo on day 1, then 21 days later they give the next round, and so on.  This coming Friday, I’ll have round #2 with the goal of completing 6 total.  That will give us October as the final round.

So, what has it been like?

The chemo infusion (or whatever you call it…probably there’s a technical term I’m missing there) wasn’t bad at all.  It contains steroids to help the body assimilate the chemo so you actually think you feel better than you do.  Two days later, the steroids have worn off and the uck part begins.  I had only a little nausea (no vomiting, woo hoo!).  The worst part for me was bone and joint pain from the waist down.  That was not probably excruciating but pretty darn painful.

So that was week 1 of the round.  They say that during week 2 and 3, the person feels better and better and that was true for  me.  In fact, last Thursday I woke up for the first time since before the surgery IN NO PAIN!  Ask me  how happy I was.  🙂

 

Something else happens between week 2 and 3…

Yep.  You probably guessed it.  The hair makes its exit.

I have to admit that it has its funny moments.  I knew it was going to happen, and I did have one emotional evening.  I have gone from a big-haired Texan to…well…NOT a big-haired Texan!  As a matter of fact, I have always thought I had a big head.  Turns out it was the hair.  Which may not sound that funny but around here, it is!  (For any of you with kids who watch the Disney show “Mighty Med,” I am particularly partial to supporting cast character Philip’s line.  He has a HUGE head…but compared to others on his planet, his head is small.  He loves to mention his “embarrassingly tiny head!”)

I have a few beanies now and a wig.  I haven’t worn the wig yet just b/c the hats are so easy.  But I expect I will.  The hair will come back, 6 months after the chemotherapy ends…which should be around March.

So, what’s next for me?

Two chemo sessions down, with four to go, with the last one estimated to be in early October.  We’re just trying to live as normally as we can, given the circumstances.  We’ve being blessed by support from so many friends and family.  We appreciate those so much!

My goal is to just walk this out as positively (and healthfully) as possible.  By God’s grace, right?

So now you know.  🙂

Lots of love!  –Wren