Susanne Dietze’s new novel “The Blizzard Bride” ~ Takeover Tour & Giveaway (ends 2/11/20)

I’ve got a new book and a giveaway to share with you from JustReads Publicity Tours!

 

 

Author Susanne Dietze’s new THE BLIZZARD BRIDE is the newest book in The Daughters of the Mayflower series. Here’s the lowdown on the book:

 

Happy reading, and best wishes! –Wren

 

DISCLOSURE: I received a free copy of this book from Just Reads Publicity Tours.

3 Books to Add Meaning & Value to Your Spiritual Walk

#sponsored #partner

I have been privileged to read and review books for a number of years. I am a total booklover, but sometimes there are books that not only are an excellent read but make an impact on you or your life personally. WaterBrook Multnomah sent me these books to read and review, and I wanted to let you know about them! They’ve all impacted me in multiple, and postive, ways.

 

 

Dee Brestin’s The Jesus Who Surprises: Opening Our Eyes to His Presence in All of Life and Scripture is both a book and a Bible study. It can be used in a group, or by one person on her own. We all know that Jesus is mentioned many times in the Old Testament, but we may not know exactly where. Here, Brestin draws us through different segments of the Bible (the books of Moses, the Psalms, and the prophets) to show us a more intimate portrait of Jesus and to connect the dots between the OT and the New.

Each chapter focuses on an image of Jesus pulled from those three Bible segments and is introduced beautifully by Brestin, who shares her own experiences and even her own suffering and how Jesus met her. We learn about Jesus’ love and the seemingly paradoxical correction He administers (see the moneychangers in the Temple); how to live and serve out of joy rather than obligation; the Lamb as He’s beautifully described in Isaiah; intimacy and prayer; the royal Wedding; suffering; God’s holiness, and more. The book’s Bible study sections include lots of room for the reader to answer questions; to ponder; and to journal.

This is a deep, intimate, sweet, and beautiful study. It brought meaning and vividness to my personal quiet times, and my own view of and understanding of Jesus. I’ve heard tons about Dee Brestin and her amazingness over the years, but this was my first time to read one of her books. I’m only sorry I waited so long! The Jesus Who Surprises was one of my most favorite reads/Bible studies of 2019.

 

 

As a new Christian, years ago, one of my most pressing questions was: how do I know what God wants me to do?

Over the years I have learned to hear God better. I certainly don’t get it right every time or always hear God well. But there are moments when I do, and those moments have brought beauty, joy, and fulfilling careers and choices to me (and, I hope, to those around me). There’s also the downside, though. As a human, with failings, family histories, and traditions, I don’t always get His voice and direction right. (Ugh!) So I do still have that same question, reframed a tiny bit: how do I hear God well?

Nathan Finochio, teaching pastor and worship leader, has a book that I’d recommend to anyone who’s wrestling with the same questions I did and do, still: Hearing God. This book is honest, funny, and designed to help you tear away the “myths” about hearing God so that you have a better perspective to understand how He might be speaking to you. Such “myths” include: that it’s always easy; that if messed-up people weren’t around you you’d hear Him better; that the Holy Spirit can be divided from the Bible; that if your life weren’t full of so much messed-up stuff you’d hear Him better.

I love what emerged as the bottom line for me: God loves me, desires for me to grow toward maturity, and will continue working with me when I mess things up (or when I don’t!). Nathan’s funny, conversational style clearly explains what God might be doing with us despite our faith traditions, our bad habits, and our own misconceptions. Hearing God is great. We actually used it as a read-aloud in our homeschool; it was perfect for me and my teen!

 

 

 

Core 52 by Mark E. Moore’s subtitle says it all: “A fifteen-minute daily guide to build your Bible IQ in a year.” In 52 chapters, Moore starts with Creation and ends with Heaven, and covers tons of information on what the Bible actually SAYS about these topics. Which is awesome! This book would be perfect not only for individual study and reading, but for quiet times, small groups, and even classroom teaching in a religious setting.

Here are some of the other topics Moore covers in Core 52:

  • The Fall, Covenant, and Holiness
  • Our True Identity
  • Jesus and David
  • Prophecy
  • The Messiah
  • Wisdom
  • Prayer, Money, and the Golden Rule
  • And clearly, tons more; that just scratches the surface of the 52 topics!

Each chapter starts with a question (e.g., “Who do you say Jesus is?” or “How can I achieve greatness?” or “What kind of kingdom is the kingdom of God?”). Then, Moore writes an essay which explores those questions (and sometimes, inspires further questions!). Each chapter closes with a summary of key points.

There is a box alongside each chapter that gives a daily (for 5 days each week) assignment to complete. Those assignments include reading the essay, looking up Scriptures, Scripture meditation, and a related activity that varies from chapter to chapter, like taking communion, writing notes, seeking out ways to grow in different areas. There are also bonus assignments for overachievers (ha ha!) and extra reading ideas.

Reading and utilizing Core 52 will take the reader through what almost amounts to a discipleship course on living and walking with Christ, understanding the Christian church, and becoming deeply familiar with the Bible and its precepts. While it would definitely be effective for new Christians, it will be just as powerful for more seasoned Christians.

 

Are there books or materials you’ve deeply enjoyed lately in your life? Be sure to share in the comments below!

 

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.

I received these books from WaterBrook Multnomah to read and review.

“Take Back Your Time” Book Review & Giveaway (closed)

CONGRATULATIONS to Dolores M., the winner! Thanks to everyone who entered!

#sponsor #partner

Do you desperately need more time…but don’t know where to find it? Have you tried tons of planners and lists but still feel overwhelmed with the busyness of life?

If you can answered “yes” to those questions, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Morgan Tyree and her remarkable book, Take Back Your Time. The BlogAbout Blogger Network sent me two copies of this wonderful book; one for me to review and another to gift to one FINCHNWREN reader! (You’ll find the entry form below.) It is a fantastic book, and one that I’d definitely recommend to you.

 

 

I am a person who has always thought (at least in my adult years) that, if 5 activities/responsibilities are good, then 50 must be even better! Or amazing! It’s been a long, eventful journey for me to learn to say “no,” to learn to thoughtfully evaluate jobs, invitations, and outside responsibilities before just jumping in. With our son’s senior year in high school this year, the need has been even more significant to plan and to consider choices and activities. This book, though, is making an incredible difference for me!

 

What you’ll find in Take Back Your Time

Morgan Tyree has designed the most gentle AND the most helpful time/life management course I’ve ever seen or used in this book. Ever! Time and life management courses often start with figuring out overall vision. That is sort of hard for me; I am definitely more of a practical list-maker than I am an overall vision person. But Tyree makes it so, so easy and manageable. The vision piece that I learned as I read is that I have received a gift of time, and I can learn to fill my time to the fullest, yet still create margin for the unexpected. (Which, as we know, WILL happen!)

 

 

Tyree guides the reader first in figuring out her top life priorities. (And don’t worry! That can sound daunting but she makes it easier than you can imagine.) Next, we’re instructed to make a log of the way we use our time, only for one week. Then, we can see if our activities align with our priorities. If not, we know some places we can make adjustments.

So. Once we’ve got our priorities and responsibilities figured out…how do we slot those into our days? Here, Tyree helps us determine how best we can organize our days. How are we wired? Are we night people, morning people, or middle-of-the-day people? Understanding how we’re wired is crucial to assigning the work we need to do at the best moments of our days. If I choose to do the work that is hardest for me and my brain when I’m the most tired, that may be not only difficult but frustrating. Yet if I can do that work when I’m the most energetic, and the freshest…what a win! But I have to know when those times are for me. Tyree offers charts and spreadsheets, actually in the book, for readers to use to figure out your personal ebbs and flows of energy. Which in turn, you can use in your own daily schedules.

 

 

The last third of Take Back Your Time helps us to look at and identify who we are (our personalities or temperaments–are we arrows, circles, bolts, or diamonds?) and how we need to interact with the world based on our design; our calendars; and our goals, or deciding how we want to move forward with everything we’ve learned in this book. Because, honestly, how many times have you read a self-help or organization book, put it down, and promptly forgotten everything you read? This segment of Tyree’s book enables us to take the next step: integrating all we’ve learned into our lives, where the material can truly make a difference and enable us to create a more beautiful and effective (and peaceful!) way to live.

So, what are the most important things I’ve been able to take away from this book?

  • I’m generally the most energetic between the hours of 9 to 1, so these are the moments for my most challenging and important tasks. I usually experience a dip between 1 and 4, another energetic period around dinner, then another dip with a last blast of energy between 10 and 11 PM (when we talk as a family and recount our day)
  • I am an arrow first, with a circle as a secondary personality type. That means I need to remember that ALL MY MINUTES AND SECONDS every day do NOT need to be scheduled! Down time and relational time must happen for me to operate well and healthily.
  • I have precious (um…and also difficult…) memories. But those memories are in the past. All my activities, and my family and friends are in the present.
  • And so much more, that I’m using to create more effective, present, and peaceful days

 

If any of these wonderful ideas resonated with you, do pick up a copy of Morgan Tyree’s Take Back Your Time. Life will always have unexpected issues, chores to juggle, and seasons where we don’t get enough rest, or we overschedule. But we truly can learn to create schedules and lives that feel full but don’t wear us out or make us wish for something to change (so we can keep our sanity!). It can happen!

 

And, now for the giveaway!

One FINCHNWREN reader will win a copy of Take Back Your Time. Simply click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 11/15/19. 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.

Artsy Coloring Book Giveaway~May Flowers Hop Linkup (CLOSED)

Hello!

I hope your May is starting out beautifully! We had a couple of days last week that were gorgeous but today it’s in the 30’s and snowing. Not enough to accumulate…but it is cold!

However!

I am so happy to be joining in the May Flowers Hop (hosted by Dena at The Review Wire and Chatty Patty’s Place). Tons of other bloggers will be hosting giveaways on their own blogs so you’ll have lots of chances to enter to win something amazing.

 

 

 

I’m giving away something that I’m hoping will provide a little tranquility, enjoyment, and fun in our busy, full lives. One winner will be selected to win:

  • Cattitudes Inspirational Coloring Book (probably best for teens and adults)
  • Crayola Super Tips Washable Markers in Bold Colors

The Cattitudes book is full of line drawings (black on white, so you can color them in with crayons, colored pencils, markers) of kitties against artsy backgrounds. Each page also has a Bible verse to encourage and bless the artist.

 

 

The Crayola markers have both a fine tip and a conical tip so that you can draw fine lines or shade in with the wide edges.

 

How to enter

Simply click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on May 24, 2019. One winner will be selected and will win both the coloring book and the markers.

Enter here!

 

 

 

 

 

And now, for the other May Flowers Hop giveaways!

You can access all the other cool giveaways in this blog hop by clicking on the blue inLinkz button below. That will take you to a page with all the other giveaways!

 

 

Congratulations to the winner: Cassandra. Thanks for entering, Cassandra!

Best wishes, and enjoy!  –Wren

Practice Your Lettering, Illumination, and Artsy Coloring! Ellie Claire’s Art Journal Trio (Review)

#sponsored

Are you someone who loves Bible journaling?  Coloring, painting, or drawing?  Writing quotes in lovely calligraphy?  Or just taking moments here and there to express your own unique form of creativity?  If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions…or even if you don’t feel that you even are particularly creative, but would like to learn to be…you are going to love the books I’m sharing with you today!  Worthy Publishing generously provided some of their newest Ellie Claire publications for me to use and review.  They sent me copies of these lovely art journals, entitled Faith & Lettering Journal; The Illustrated Word (An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal); and Illuminate Your Story Journal.  I have had hours of creative time, fun, and enjoyment with them.  Let me tell you more!

 

Each of these books is a sturdy, hardback book that’s perfectly-sized for the lap or table.  They have fun textures on their covers, touches of fabric or embossing here and there.  Two have pencil or pen holders on their spines, and one has a ribbon bookmark and a stretchy elastic band to hold it closed.  Although the page thicknesses vary somewhat, they all contain beautiful creamy pages with a nice heft.  Illustrations of different types (according to whether the book is for lettering, illuminating, or coloring) pepper the pages, and there are grids, dots, and journal lines to guide your work.  They are beautiful inside and out and are just a pleasure to look at, or to work in!  And now that I’ve given you an overview of the books, I’d like to show you some of the features of each journal.

The Faith & Lettering Journal

If you’ve ever lurked around Pinterest, you’ve probably seen the italic, unusual lettering that people are doing right now in their Bibles or Bible journals.  Have you ever wondered how on earth they wrote so beautifully?  I have.  And I’ve even worked on practicing a simple italic alphabet.  But that’s still pretty far from the lettering I’d love to learn how to do.  Faith & Lettering Journal to the rescue!  This book includes:

  • Full-page quotes and Bible verses on colorful painted backgrounds
  • Pages of alphabets, doodles, and flourishes with lots of room for you to practice
  • Illustrated verses with spaces for you to trace, practice, and repeat
  • Empty pages with dots or grids for you to write your alphabets or verses in
  • Directions and instructions to help you gain mastery in lettering

 

 

This is an example of the full-page, colorful quotes and facing blank journal pages throughout the book.  One night I wondered if I could copy the lettering on the adjacent page….and lo and behold, I did!  It was really fun and not too difficult.  I simply worked in pencil (and eraser) word by word and line by line.  Then, I got some gold tempera paint and a very skinny paintbrush and filled in the letters.  (You can see a photo of me painting the gold in the trio pictures below).  In this book, I used mostly pencil (don’t forget the eraser and a good sharpener so your pencil point stays sharp), tempera paint, and thin paintbrushes.  The paint never soaked through the pages, which means you’ll always have a fresh canvas to attempt!

 

 

The Faith & Lettering Journal provides a huge variety of alphabets, verses, and lots of instructions for both the novice Bible journal student and the more experienced one.  You don’t have to work the book in order.  Just page through the journal, find something you’d like to try, and jump in!

You can find the Faith & Lettering Journal at the following links:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/WhittenAmazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/FaithAndLettering-BN 

 

The Illustrated Word

The Illustrated Word (An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal) might just be the most beautiful coloring book you’ve ever seen.  Its images are taken from the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., which has a quite fascinating collection of historical Bibles, fragments, Books of Hours, and art inspired by the Bible.  In The Illustrated Word, you’ll find images, verses, prayers, and art from a variety of these sources.  The reproduced images are rich and colorful, and the coloring pages taken from these are verses with incredible art, historical images with intricate borders, or even redrawn pictures that resemble stained glass windows.  Lined blank pages round out the journal, so you have spaces to write your thoughts, prayers, or descriptions of the art you’ve created.

Some of my favorite pages included scenes from the book of Esther (taken from an old parchment scroll from Israel), images from a Book of Hours from the 1300s, and a commentary on the Apocalypse from 1420.  How encouraging to think of believers who loved art and God’s Word throughout the ages!  And, to have reproductions and journaling pages of these is a pretty amazing benefit of living in our own day and age.

 

 

This journal is printed on thick, creamy pages.  The art media that worked best for me as I created in The Illustrated Word were tempera paint and brushes, or paint pens (my favorite).  I used colored pencils and they looked just fine, but they honestly didn’t provide the vivid colors that I felt these pages deserved.  I even tried my tube watercolors; while the colors looked fantastic on the pages, some of the color did bleed through.  Colored markers are also a great idea, plus they have the fine points you’ll need for some detail.

You can purchase The Illustrated Word at:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Illustrated-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Illustrated-BN

 

Illuminate Your Story Journal

Have you ever heard of illuminated pages?  The short answer is that monks would copy prayers and Scriptures into handwritten books.  Sometimes these were Bibles, and sometimes Books of Hours (prayers and Scriptures with illustrations).  What they often had in common were illuminated (decorated, ornate paintings) first letters.  These would often be an enlarged letter, surrounded by a painted and golden square, which would be the first letter of the prayer or Bible chapter.  These were often given as gifts from a prospective groom to his fiancee, or to other members of well-to-do families (since literacy in the Middle Ages was generally confined to those and to priests, monks, or clergy).

The Illuminate Your Story Journal was captivating to me, because I had just taught a lesson on Books of Hours to my elementary art class this fall (and had them illuminate their own initials)!  And, this journal even has a short lesson on illuminated art at the beginning, as well as a list of materials and instructions.  You’ll also find practice pages so that you can learn to create illuminated letters.  Each letter of the English alphabet has two decorated (and quite different) versions to draw.  Step-by-step directions and squares are given so that users can draw both the letter and ornate decorations around it, as well as a grid of dots to help you utilize the space.  You’ll find nice thick pages and a wealth of creative ways to illuminate letters.

 

With this book, I used my gold paint pen, a no. 2 pencil for the original and practice drawings, and colored pencils to color in the letters and decorations.  Colored markers and a fine-tip black ink pen will round out all you need to make beautiful illuminations.  (Although, as always, I love using tempera paint in these books!  For some reason tempera lays nicely on the pages and makes vivid color without sinking through to the other sides of the paper.)

Check out these links to find Illuminate Your Story Journal:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Illuminate-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Illuminate-BN

 

In closing…

I have absolutely loved using these books myself.  Whether it has been just looking at them on my table, paging through the illustrations, or actually diving in and creating (or attempting to create! :)) beauty, I’ve found them to be such a joy.  Working in these journals has allowed me to step aside to a quiet place.  It has not only produced peace in me as I’ve focused on doing just one thing, creatively; it has lifted my spirit as I’ve been able to notice more of the beauty of the Lord, His Word, and His creation.  What a blessing!

Check these beautiful journals out.  They’d make a wonderful gift for friends or family; for teachers or Bible study groups; or even for you, yourself!

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

DISCLAIMER:  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.

“The Daily Question for You and Your Child” Book Launch — For Beautiful, Rich Moments Together Between Parent and Child

#PRHpartner

I have just had the opportunity (as part of Waterbrook & Multnomah Launch Team) to preview and use the most beautiful and wonderful book that can provide years of rich conversations and keepsake memories between you and your kiddos!

 

 

As a parent, are you noticing that the years and moments are flying by?  Our son is 16 and we are beginning his junior year of high school.  As I’m sure you can do that math, you probably can see that we have ONLY two years of high school left.  I am suddenly very, very aware of the brevity of that time left.

I’m so happy to have received The Daily Question to use with our child.

 

What is The Daily Question?

The Daily Question is a 3-year sort of journal where you can sit down with your kiddos–each day–and answer questions that range from silly to deep to opinion-based; from concrete to abstract, from spiritual to physical.  Each day, starting from January 1 and ending with December 31, has a question for your kids to answer.  And each day has three sets of lines for kids to fill out themselves with their answers, or for parents to fill in (if the kiddos haven’t mastered writing yet).

 

What kinds of questions will you find in The Daily Question?

There are a huge variety of questions in this sweet book.  They aren’t only serious at all; they’re fun-loving as well.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • What are 5 things you like that are yellow?
  • What new thing could you invent?
  • What do you think college will be like?
  • When did you last have to be brave?
  • What do you need most from Jesus today?
  • and 360 other amazing questions!

 

How could you use The Daily Question in your family?

So easily!  You could use it at bedtime, during those sweet moments right before your kiddo goes to bed.  Or in the morning when you get up.  Or, during a mealtime.  It doesn’t even have to be at a set time, although I think the book is so wonderful that it could easily become part of an enjoyable bedtime or mealtime routine.

Honestly, I’m using it with my high schooler!  He’s writing a lot this year (fiction, essays, journals) so this is an easy addition to our days.  Its calm, interesting, yet non-intrusive questions provide a way for us to chat or connect on thoughts or ideas that maybe we wouldn’t have thought of.  But it would be just as amazing to use with a toddler, kindergartner, elementary- or middle school-aged kid.

 

 

 

In closing…

I heard a speaker a couple of weeks ago at a teachers’ training seminar that talked about how the current group of American students (elementary to high school) is more connected online or via cell than any other generation.  However, at the same time, they’re actually less socially connected in real life.  And they are absolutely longing for that connection.

Then, just last Sunday our pastor spoke of the importance of being involved in community.  Clearly, we all need that; human beings thrive via connection and community.

If you’re looking for a lovely, easy-to-use tool to engage with your own child, and provide some of that connection, I recommend The Daily Question.  It is just a fun, beautiful way to connect with your kiddos…and have a lovely keepsake of their thoughts and dreams in the process.

 

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.

 

@WaterBrookPress #Partner

“Stepparenting with Grace” Book Launch & Giveaway (Ends 8/20/18)

Are you a stepparent?  Or, if not, did you perhaps grow up in a blended family?

If you can answer “yes” to either of those questions, you’ll be interested in this brand-new book, Stepparenting with Grace:  A Devotional for Blended Families” by Gayla Grace.  I am privileged to have been able to serve on the launch team for this devotional.  I’d love to share more about Stepparenting with Grace with you…and I even have a copy to give away to one special reader!  (Giveaway details will be at the end of the post.)

 

 

So what is Stepparenting with Grace?

Stepparenting with Grace is a book born out of both the experiences and the ministry of Gayla Grace.  She cofounded a nonprofit, Sisterhood of Stepmoms, to provide community and retreat opportunities for stepmothers.  She founded the website Stepparenting with Grace ten years ago to support stepfamilies with coaching, encouragement, and other resources.  She also has completed a master’s in psychology and counseling.  And as a writer, she brings all these experiences to the reader in a voice that is at once practical, supportive, and hopeful from a Christian perspective.

The book itself is a collection of 90 different two-page devotionals on a wide variety of topics that speak to stepparents.  Each one includes a Thought for the Day, then an exploration of a topic or life experiences.  Gayla uses clear thinking, wisdom, Scripture, and sound counseling techniques to convey hope and practical helps to stepparents who are struggling with all the different challenges of combining two families into one.  The reader can either start at the beginning and read right through, or browse through the titles listed in the table of contents for topical help.  Here are some examples of what you’ll find there:

  • Live Fearlessly
  • Your Efforts Matter!
  • Let God Heal Your Hurt
  • Change Requires Adjustment
  • Maturity Required
  • Trusting God
  • The Price of Forgiveness
  • Coping with Difficult People
  • and more!

Topics that I haven’t seen addressed much in books (other than fiction, maybe) are lovingly unpacked and explored, with calm confidence and grace.  Each entry is short yet full of worthwhile material, so the reader who’s short on time won’t ever feel overwhelmed.

 

What I thought of Stepparenting with Grace

 

I am not personally a stepparent.  Yet, I did grow up as a stepchild or, to be more specific, a stepdaughter.  Combining two families to attempt to create one new family is just a whole different, and often difficult, proposition.  But how can a stepparent approach this enormous challenge with grace, with love, and with wisdom?  We’re all working out the issues of life as we journey along, and many different things shape us as individuals, including the families we grew up in.  So, when I received the opportunity to serve on the launch team for Stepparenting with Grace, my attention and my heart were captivated.  And I can’t tell you how very thankful I am to have had the opportunity to read this book.

 

 

I decided to begin at the beginning of the book and simply read through, as part of my quiet time in the mornings.  It has been a wonderful experience.  Some mornings I did the book version of binge watching and just read chapters upon chapters, one after the other.  Other days, I’d just focus on one.  I have to tell you, the words were just so rich, often so healing, and they spoke to me on a profound level.  I looked forward to reading it each time, and I always came away with something to think about, or something to put into practice.  Other times, I found something that deeply encouraged me.  In fact, I recopied many quotes or passages in my journal so that I could refer to them again and again.  Here are some ideas that particularly resounded with me:

  • “If you’re trudging through difficult days in your stepfamily, don’t give up.  Rely on God’s strength and power to sustain you—He will see you through to better days ahead.”
  • “Accept God’s unconditional love and move past your failure.”
  • “Allow His presence to heal your hurt.  And remind yourself of the magnitude of His love every day.”
  • “We’ll find contentment when we stop focusing on our expectations and trust God to give us strength for our present reality.”
  • “But God provides the tools we need for a sure and steady walk.  “The secret,” Elisabeth Elliott says, “is Christ in me—not me in a different set of circumstances.””

 

 

Sometimes as parents…and, I’d imagine, as stepparents as well, we desperately need someone wise to speak into our circumstances.  To tell us, “Yes, you’re doing this well.”  Or, “Have you considered trying this instead?”  Or simply, “I see you.  God sees you.  And He is with you and you will get through this.”  Gayla Grace, in Stepparenting with Grace, can do that for you.  Her words of wisdom are calm and kind, yet possess the kind of depth that only a person who’s been through the struggles—and come out successfully on the other side—can bring.  As a Christian, she also is convinced of God’s partnership for us as we parent.  I appreciate that as well.

I can, and do, recommend this book wholeheartedly to any stepparent who’s looking for a devotional to help them along on their stepfamily’s journey.  (And obviously, these ideas will resound with any parent, I’d believe, as they have with me!)  Check out Gayla Grace’s Stepparenting with Grace.  You will be lifted up and encouraged as you read her wise counsel.

 

And now, your opportunity to win your own copy!

I’m so pleased that Worthy Publishing is providing a copy of Stepparenting with Grace for one FINCHNWREN reader to win.  Simply click on the pink link below that says, “Enter here.”  That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways.  Giveaway closes 8/20/18.  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 opinions, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations