Brave Beauty ~ A Girls’ Devotional Review & Giveaway

I have a fantastic giveaway for you all today!  The BlogAbout Blogger Network kindly sent me a copy of Lynn Cowell’s Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You to review–as well as a copy to give away to a reader!


What is Brave Beauty?

Authored by Proverbs 31 Ministries author and speaker Lynn Cowell, Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You offers devotional writings that are perfect for young women.  Lynn Cowell has raised three teens herself and is committed to help young women learn who they are in God and build confidence in themselves and in Him.  Although Cowell wrote this book for girls aged 8-12, I think that older teens (and even adult women!) will find the thoughts and encouragement both rich and absolutely on track for questions of value, love, and identity.



Cowell discovered that 70% of girls do not feel they measure up.  Given our culture’s focus on external beauty, the perfect selfie, and having been a teen girl myself at one time, I don’t find that surprising at all.  Although it is sad!  But I do think that it’s honest and truthful.  We all, whether we’re female or male, want to know that we are of value; that we matter; that we measure up.  So Cowell has written a fantastic book (full of 100  short devotional chapters) that address those issues, in the following categories:

  • Section 1:  I Am Loved
  • Section 2:  I Am Brave
  • Section 3:  I Am Confident

Each of these has subsections, where you’ll find titles like “I Can Redefine Beautiful,” “You Are With Me,” “I Can Do the Scary Things,” “My Purpose,” “I’m Beautiful,” and much more.  Each of these subsections has four devotionals (comprising the 100 contained in the book) which develop those titles more and more.

Cowell’s writing is in a kind, friendly, and confident voice that is easy to read and enjoy.  It’s clear that encouraging young women and enabling them to see the truth on what God says about them is the author’s passion.  Each chapter talks about a particular issue and includes a Bible verse (or sometimes even a Bible story) that shares the truth that God would want a young woman to know and dwell on.  The chapters are just long enough to develop a thought or idea; enough to encourage the reader but not overwhelm.


So what did I think of Brave Beauty?

I.  Loved.  It!

I actually wish that Lynn Cowell had written a version of this book for young men as well as young women!  The ideas and truths that she shares are so vital for healthy thinking and healthy living with God and with others.  As a matter of fact, I’ve read different chapters out loud to my husband and son in family worship or devotional times, because what she has shared has been so impactful to us.

Here are some words from several of my favorite readings:

  • “God knows you because He has taken the time to search you.” (p. 37)
  • “It takes bravery to be a girl who thinks people are more important than things.”  (p. 40)
  • “Knowing Jesus’ words can give us peace even when trouble is coming.  When we learn what the Bible says about us, we can speak these words to our heart when it is hurting.”  (p.46)
  • “Finally, Leah changes the person she is looking to for the acceptance she wants so badly.  “This time I will praise the LORD,” Genesis 29:35 (NIV) she says…..Leah was brave and beautiful.  Brave because she never quit believing God would help her.”  (p. 49)

And the rest of the book is full of more wonderful, loving, truths.  This book would be an incredible gift for any young woman who’d like to know how God really feels about her…and the truths He speaks over her!  It would be perfect quiet time or before-bed reading for girls.

And yes, I admit it; even as an adult mom I have found these readings incredibly helpful and a blessing to ME!



And I have one copy to bless a reader with!

The BlogAbout Blogger Network has provided a copy of Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You
for one reader of the FINCHNWREN blog.  Just click on the pink “Enter Here” link below.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools form where you can enter to win!  Giveaway closes October 4, 2017.

Enter here!


Best wishes, and 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.



Faithgirlz’ Backpack Bible ~ Review & Giveaway

I have another lovely giveaway for you all!  The BlogAbout Blogger Network has sent me a fabulous, compact Bible for young women called the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible…plus one to give away to a reader!



So what is the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible?

Have you…or has a young girl you know…ever wished for a compact Bible that could be easily carried in a purse, messenger bag or backpack?  I know that Bible apps are widely available these days on phones and devices and I use those myself.  But I always go back to my actual Bible each day during devotional times or Bible study.  Or when I just need to find a particular verse for myself or to share with others.  So I really do appreciate an actual Bible that I can hold in my hands.  And one that’s compact yet not too heavy to bring along with me?  Perfect!

And this one, the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible, truly is the perfect size to hold, use, and carry.  It measures at almost 4 1/2″ x 6 3/4″ and just over 1 1/2″ thick.  It’s a leathersoft, opens and lays flat, and colored in a soft pink with an embroidered message on the cover that reads “Follow your heart.” The Bible version is NIV and the text, while compact, is still highly readable.  (Jesus’ words are even lettered in red!)  There are 12 brightly colored pages containing encouraging messages, Scriptures that are perfect for a young girl’s heart, and even an invitation to begin a relationship with Jesus.  This Bible is designed for girls aged 8 and up.  There’s also a pink ribbon bookmark attached.  It retails for $24.99.  Though it’s beautiful and very girly, it’s also very sturdy and should last for years to come.


Who would enjoy the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible?

Any girl, really–whether she’s 8 years old or an adult!  Anyone who’s interested in a Bible that can be easily carried around in daily life, or even on trips or vacations.  Or, a mom or youth leader who wants to bless a special young woman with her own Bible that’s designed especially for her.  Or maybe you know a young girl who has just given her heart to Jesus.  This would be a wonderful gift!

Because it’s a lay-flat Bible, it’s perfect to just open up and use during Bible study, during Bible sharing times with others, or simply during Bible reading.  (Sometimes small softcover books won’t stay open if you’re trying to keep them open to a certain page.  Not this one, though!)



Why should young women (or any women) read the Bible?

I know that, even as an adult, I need the truths of God’s Word to remind me of what is really important.  There are so many reasons to read the Bible.  Here are just a few!

Our culture, with its focus on physical beauty, acquisition, and the here and now is pretty forceful.  Yet God’s still small voice still beckons us with real truth and real beauty:

  • “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (from 1 Samuel 16:7)
  • “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
  • “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”  (1 Peter 3:4)

In addition, my relationship with God is a relationship with a Person.  And reading His Word helps me to get to know Him:

  • “The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.”  (Psalm 145:13)
  • “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (John 1:5
  • “And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…”” (Exodus 34:6)

And what about help in my relationships with others?

  • “When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26, NLT)
  • “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  (Proverbs 18:24)
  • “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father Who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”  (Mark 11:25)

I could go on and on…these are just three categories that one can discover from God’s Word.  But they’re a great place to start for any woman!

And now…I have an opportunity for someone to win!

The BlogAbout Blogger Network has provided a copy of Faithgirlz Backpack Bible
to bless one special reader with.  All you have to do to enter is click on the pink “Enter here” link below.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form, where you can enter to win!  Giveaway ends October 1, 2017.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

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.


Enter to Win Matthew West’s new CD “All In” ~ Ends 9/29/17

I have an opportunity to share with you about Matthew West’s awesome new CD!  It’s called All In and FlyBy/Propeller Promotions sent me a copy of this highly listen-able and encouraging album to review.  Read to the bottom for a chance to be selected to win a copy for yourself!


Are you familiar with Matthew West?  He’s a Grammy-nominated songwriter and singer who follows the Christian faith.  He has written songs that were recorded by Rascal Flatts, Michael W. Smith, Mandisa, Casting Crowns, and Amy Grant.  (Our family’s favorite Matthew West song–at least before we received this new CD–was “Hello, My Name Is.”  If you haven’t heard this go look it up on YouTube and listen!  It is amazing!  The way he deals with the regret, the despair, the lies that try to influence our thoughts and replaces those with the REAL truth…”Hello, my name is Child of the One True King.”  Isn’t that incredible?  Okay, now back to  All In…)  Brings tears to my eyes every time.

If “Hello, My Name Is” were the only song we’d ever heard of West’s we’d still be confirmed fans.  But I can happily tell you that All In is just as wonderful.  His lyrics are both encouraging and inspiring, his music catchy and memorable.   His goal in writing All In was “encouraging himself and others to get up off the sidelines of their faith and really live it out – to go all in in your time with God, all in with your family, all in with your community, and all in battling your fears that may hold you back from becoming who God made you to be.”

I love that goal.  But I found that this CD did even more for me than that.  It reminded me of what God says is true about me and about my life.  About what He has called me to as God’s child, as a friend to others, as a member of the family I live with.  How do I live inspired by God’s truths about me…rather than by the world around me or my own emotions in tough times?

More about some of the songs…

I loved “Mercy Is A Song.”  What wonderful lyrics!  Here’s the chorus:  “Singing oh, there is a light for every soul, no matter where you’ve been just come on home, let all God’s children sing along, hallelujah, chains are gone, mercy is a song.”  I totally need to remember that that is God’s invitation to me!  No matter what has happened or what I’ve struggled with, He invites me to come home to him.

Then there’s “The Sound of a Life Changing,” which recounts the story of West’s moment at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert when God impressed upon his heart that he too was going to get to tell people about God’s grace.  Wow!  The moment when God’s still, small voice shows a person that there is a calling for them…that will be amazing and just perfect for the way He made them.  (It even references “Hello, My Name Is,” and you know how I feel about that already!)  More than that, it recounts what God’s amazing grace really is—Jesus’ invitation to all of us.

“Something Greater” shares West’s thoughts about “the feeling that there’s something greater happening here, it’s like our hearts are a part of a bigger story” as he talks about meeting his wife when he moved to Nashville for his record deal.  Beautiful song!

There’s also “Power Love Sound Mind” which is SO encouraging…for anyone who ever appreciated 2 Timothy 1:7.  Or who wanted to appreciate it but found it a struggle.

Other offerings include:

  • “The Beautiful Things We Miss”
  • “1 Song”
  • “Never Ever Give Up”
  • “Dream Again”
  • “Becoming Me”
  • and more riches of music and lyrics

Are you someone who would love to remember the truths we can so often forget when life gets hard?  Would you like to be encouraged?  (Would you even like to see a tear come to your eye when a song will touch your heart?)

Then you must enter my giveaway—maybe you’ll be the winner of a copy of Matthew West’s new CD All In!  And if you’re not the winner, I do encourage you to get a copy of this for yourself.  What a blessing!  More info and links are below for purchase and more music.

How to enter my giveaway

Just click on the pink “Enter Here” below.  You’ll be taken to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you can enter.  Giveaway ends 9/29/17.  Best wishes!

Enter here!


Social Corner:

Broken Things Music Video:
Broken Things (story behind the song):
All In Lyric Video:
All In (Story Behind The Song):
Buy Link:


Enjoy!  –Wren

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Bonnie Rose from WriteBonnieRose

Welcome back to our 5 Things You Didn’t Know About… series; today, featuring Bonnie Rose from WriteBonnieRose.



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’ve read and done over the summer.  Just lots of fun in bite-sized quantities!

Now…meet Bonnie Rose!


  1.  Favorite summer activity:

Playing board games with my family with the windows open and the breeze blowing through the house.



  1.  Best book you’ve read this summer:

Garden at the Edge of Beyond by Michael Phillips


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

Reading God’s Word, especially Isaiah 40-66.


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

I’ve always loved Isaiah 43:1-3, but when I pictured the words in verse 2 where God says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” I always pictured the scene from when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and God parted the waters. But God doesn’t say He’ll part the waters in front of us. He said we will pass through and not drown. He may part the waters, or He may lift us up in His arms and carry us across. The waters will beat against us both, but we will be safe in His arms. There is no power able to make Him fall or lose His hold on us.


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

Spending time with my loved ones and working together on some projects we’ve wanted to tackle together.


More about Bonnie Rose:

Bonnie Rose Hudson’s heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She works as the Director of, the curriculum site of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine®. She would love for you to explore the wonderful curriculum available there and to stop by her author’s blog for resources to help teach your children about missions and the persecuted Church, free history and writing printables, discover how you can write for the homeschool market, and check out her newest release The Hidden Village, an early reader sent in India from JourneyForth.

Thank you for stopping by to meet my friend!  Stop by her cool blog and learn more about her and her great books and resources for children and families.

Enjoy!  –Wren

Kim Frauli’s “When No One Was Looking–Project Mnemosyne” ~ A Review

Earlier this year I was offered the chance to read a fascinating book by Kim Frauli when I was given a free e-book copy to review.  When No One Was Looking–Project Mnemosyne is an engrossing read about a young woman in a post-apocalyptic America, that doesn’t look much like the America we know.



About the story:

Julianna Brenner is a bright, personable young woman.  Although her life was dramatically reshaped by the terrorist attacks that blew across her nation, especially when her parents were killed.  Julianna was brought to the Scholars Compound, where she lives and works on scientific research.  Her work is focused on discoveries that will enhance and benefit the remaining humans who live in the country.  She’s fortunate to work daily with Declan, her best friend.  Her life is very regimented and controlled; there are places she can go (and not go), security personnel who take her almost everywhere she goes, a bedroom which looks much like everyone else’s in her division.  Julianna’s work challenges her and excites her on a daily basis.  She also loves working with Declan; in fact she’s becoming emotionally connected to him in ways that the New Regime might not appreciate.

Guardian Costma is the man in charge of the New Regime, and of Julianna’s area in general and her work in particular.  One day she is taken off the work she’s doing and reassigned to a new project; and the more she works on it the more concerns she has about its ethics and moral rightness.  This new project seems awfully like something that could be used as a weapon, or to harm others.  In addition, she discovers that she is to be “matched” or joined in a sort of marriage with another young man with whom she has NOTHING in common.  In fact, she can’t stand him.  And Declan, it turns out, is as unhappy about this as Julianna is.  They decide that, for their (and humankind’s) survival, they have to try to leave the compound.

Declan and Julianna have a journey before them that they cannot imagine.  Can they get away from teh guards and the compound?  What will they discover in the outside world?  Are there people there, will it be safe….and will they get caught?  And what is Project Mnemosyne?

My thoughts:

I enjoyed Julianna’s and Declan’s story.  Kim Frauli has written an interesting and compelling story. Young adults and those who enjoy YA fiction will be captivated by When No One Was Looking–Project Mnemosyne.  This book is appropriate for teens and would definitely be considered family-friendly.  I recommend it!

Where to find this book:

You can find When No One Was Looking–Project Mnemosyne at Amazon.  Even better, I understand that Kim Frauli is working on book 2 in the series!

About the author:

Kim Frauli lives on a farm in rural Illinois with her husband, three children, and a menagerie of animals. She spent several years in marketing and communications for non-profit organizations, including serving as editor-in-chief of a hospital’s health magazine. She took a break from full-time work to focus on family and volunteer work and became involved in education. She has served as a PTO president, board of education member, reading tutor and youth sports coach, in addition to chairing various events.

Enjoy!  –Wren

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Annette from A Net In Time

Welcome back to our 5 Things You Didn’t Know About… series; today, featuring Annette from A Net in Time!

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 fall.  Just lots of fun in bite-sized quantities!

Here’s Annette!

1. Favorite summer activity:

Now this is a hard one actually. I want to say camping, though I do love camping I can’t say it’s my favourite. I want to say swimming at the beach, though there are days I could toss that idea out of the window. I’m thinking this year I’ll say “hosting an international student”. We do it for three weeks every year and every year I’m more desirous of doing things with them. Going to the beach, taking in something in Toronto or heading out to Niagara Falls or something. Just doing something out of the house with them. It’s good to do eh? This year I might even plan a birthday party!!! (something I dislike doing for myself).

2. Best book you’ve read this summer:

Best book by far! The Imperfect Disciple by Jared Wilson. Absolutely loved this book. A great book on learning about discipleship from an imperfect disciple. Full of grace and God’s love and strong encouragement.

Another book I liked was Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones. A good middle school fantasy.

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

Time alone in my own mind. So going for a bike ride, mowing the lawn, cudding baby bunnies or just messing around in the rabbitry, doing a major clean of a room. Something where it’s just me and a story or a background noise. It’s a very good thing.

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

mm… something God is teaching me lately? The more secure I am in the love he has for me, the less concerned I am with people’s opinions. At least that’s what I’m starting to figure out. 🙂

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

I haven’t the foggiest. 🙂 I hope my hubby finds a job. I hope my son discovers a new passion and follows it well. I hope our international students enjoy living with us. And that’s about all I can think of. The year is full of promise!

Annette’s Bio:

Hi!  I’m Annette.  You can find me blogging at A Net In Time (   There you will find me indulging in writing poetry, talking about parenting, book and curriculum reviews, devotionals, life in general and homeschooling.   I love the Lord and you know what?  He loves me too!  It’s the most amazing thing.



“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

My homeschool blog (
My rabbitry site and blog (

Thank you for stopping by to meet Annette!  Be sure to check out her neat blogs.  (If you are a lover of small, cuddly things, DO visit her rabbitry site!)

Enjoy!  –Wren

The Latest on Kwik Stix…Plus Your Chance to Win a Set! Ends 9/15/17

Readers of the FINCHNWREN blog know that our family loves Kwik Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc..  Well, guess what…now you can purchase them from Amazon, Michaels and BJ’s Wholesale Club!  Read on for our latest Kwik Stix adventures and a giveaway where one FINCHNWREN reader will win a set!



So what are Kwik Stix?

Kwik Stix are fabulous tempera paint sticks which work just like glue sticks.  They come in plastic sticks with caps, and rotate up or down with the twist handle at the bottom of each stick.  They are safe to use for children aged 3 and up.  The colors are bright and vivid, and dry quickly, within 90 seconds.  There is no water required; just the Kwik Stix and the artist’s surface of choice.  That could be canvas, paper, wood, poster board…really, anything that one would normally use tempera paint on.  An extra bonus is that the Kwik Stix (unlike regular liquid tempera paint) has no scent whatsoever.

They come in two widths: Classic, which are 3 1/2″ long with 3/4″ paint stick width; and Thin Stix, which are 5 1/2″ with just over 1/2″ wide tips.  The chubbier Classic stix are perfect for quickly covering large areas, while the Thin Stix work well for more detailed work.  The Kwik Stix packs come in sets of 6, 12, and 24.  There are also multiple color choices available:

  • The Classic colors, including black, brown, blue, green, yellow, and red
  • The Metalix colors (which have a nice metallic shimmer), including silver, gold, fuchsia, dark green, deep blue, and purple
  • The Neon colors, which include neon versions of pink, yellow, robin’s egg blue, lime green, purple, and orange


Creating art with Kwik Stix

For some reason, we often end up using our Kwik Stix sets for fine art study.  They work so beautifully when you’re copying a famous painting that embraced vivid colors.   Recently, we used them to illustrate a copy of Henri Matisse’s colorful The Goldfish:



And also, Paul Klee’s charming Cat and Bird:



But, we’ve also loved using them in Bible journaling:


And on stock card, canvases, and in our art journals:



In short, Kwik Stix are fabulous!  Use them with your family any time you’d like to create wonderful art with no mess.  (They’d even be fantastic for car trips!)

And now…your chance to win!

The Pencil Grip, Inc. is giving away a set of Kwik Stix to one FINCHNWREN reader (size, style and color to be chosen by The Pencil Grip, Inc.).  Just click on the pink “Enter Here” link below, which will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form so that you can enter to win a set of your very own.  Giveaway ends 9/15/17.  Best wishes!

Enter here!


Learn more about Kwik Stix at the following links!

Kwik Stix at Amazon
Kwik Stix at Michaels
Kwik Stix at BJ’s Wholesale Club
The Pencil Grip, Inc.
Kwik Stix on Pinterest
The Pencil Grip, Inc. on Facebook

Enjoy!  –Wren