Add Creativity to Your Prayers! Giveaway (ends 10/7/22)

Hello dearies!

I have a lovely giveaway that’s just for you if:

  • You feel as though your prayer life needs a jump-start
  • You want to be creative in praying–but don’t know how
  • You’d like to try something different with your prayers

Keep reading for more on the prize plus how you can enter to win!

More about the Add Creativity to Your Prayers! Giveaway

I have definitely felt, at different times, that I needed to learn how to pray in a different way. And what I *didn’t* feel that I needed was a list or regulation for how to do it. (After all, Jesus already covered that when He shared the Lord’s Prayer with His disciples! Check out Matthew 6:9-13 or Luke 11:1-4 for that.)

What I was looking for was, perhaps, ways that I could add prayer to moments throughout my days. Or ways I could remember times when I’d really noticed God answering prayer or reminding me of friends and loved ones I could pray for. Mostly, I just wanted to be able to draw nearer to God.

I love author Kelly O’Dell Stanley’s books on prayer and her fun and creative tools (that are gorgeous!). They are so wonderful for helping me to just slow down my life to look at God and to think about connecting with Him throughout the day. So, I’ve put together some of my favorites of her creations (plus a delicious-smelling candle) for one of you to win!

The prize package includes:

  • Weekly Recap Notepad: a wonderful way to write down your prayer list, your goals/memory verses for the week, things you learned, and more. Plus a pen and two washi tape rolls!
  • A 6-card Creativity Card set, with beautifully-illustrated quotes on creativity. Each card is just over 5″ x 5″.
  • Keychain Prayers: 18 cards held together by a ring. Beautiful illustrations and ideas for prayers and printed on both sides, so you have 36 ideas to add to your prayers! The cards and ring are small and compact (business-card size) so you can pop them into your backpack or purse and take them anywhere.
  • And last but not least, a Bath & Body Works mini candle (with a lid even!) in Pumpkin Pecan Waffles scent–to remind you that your prayers can rise as a sweet aroma to God!

How to enter the giveaway

Enter to win this giveaway by clicking 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 10/7/22. One winner will be selected to win all the items listed above in the prize package. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

A review of the marvelous “Hope in 60 Seconds” by Cristina Baker

#sponsor #partner

Readers, I’ve had an incredible opportunity to read Cristina Baker’s Hope in 60 Seconds, and to share my impressions with you. It is the most amazing life story. But it also contains healing, blessing, uplifting prayers and wonderful Bible teaching–that will give you hope for the future and bless your own relationship with God. This is a book that you will want to get for yourself!

About Hope in 60 Seconds

“At twenty-one I was as far from hopeful as anyone could get. Maybe as far as you are now.”

From the publisher:

“These are the words of Cristina Baker as she considered her traumatic life: from childhood abuse to troubled teen years, to a descent into substance abuse, she resonates with a lost world who understands first-hand how easy it is to lose hope. Then, just as she was about to go to jail for drug possession, the Hero of Hope, Jesus Christ, came into her life and set her on a completely new path.

If you are weary and doubting, Cristina understands. Hope in 60 Seconds will help you to:

  • Be encouraged and empowered by someone who has been in a similar place of discouragement and discovered Christ’s authority and love,
  • Learn how Jesus establishes hope and begin to experience it first-hand in the darkest of circumstances,
  • Grow in your ability to connect with Jesus and find the hope you have longed for all of your life, and
  • Prove that a connection with Jesus is the ultimate source of hope.

The message of Cristina’s life is Jesus, the hope we need and hunger for—a hope that will stand secure in the face of brokenness, loss, sickness, abuse, a brain tumor diagnosis, injustice, and death. In Hope in 60 Seconds, she shares the steps of her journey to encounter, receive, and walk in the hope of Jesus, and offers readers powerful wisdom for how they can take the same journey for themselves.”

Hope in 60 Seconds is arranged in 10 chapters. The hardback book is easy to hold as you read, and there is a ribbon marker attached so that you can mark your place. You’ll see that each chapter begins (and ends) with a prayer and a Scripture. Then, Cristina tells her story; what happened in her life, and how God ran to her, met her, and was moving toward her to save her life when she hardly knew He even existed. In addition, there is an afterword that’s filled with encouragement. And finally, there’s a closing section entitled “Prayers of Hope,” which includes prayers for a number of topics, from salvation, protection, restoration, belief, healing, and lots more which will meet readers where they are—and help them to go where God is. In the best and most humble way!

My thoughts about this book

Aren’t we all on a journey? I certainly am. And I’ll admit to y’all that many of my own recent years have had lots of struggles (even before the corona happened), alongside joys. And even though I would personally say that I do know Jesus and I consider myself a Christ-follower…that this book is JUST what I needed. Cristina’s story and her voice really do speak to everyone, whether they’d say they are people of faith or they’re just dipping their toes into it. And her book will encourage you wherever you are.

For me, I was incredibly moved by the entire book. You can see in the photo above that the page on the left is black with white typeface (which is where the prayers are) and the one on the right is that in reverse (which is your cue that you’re in the chapters). As I read, I prayed every prayer! (And highlighted a lot of the book as well.) Because I found that each prayer contained something in it that I needed–sometimes desperately! I need to see God work some miracles. I need for God to touch and heal some pain from my own past. I need hope–hope from Him. And I want to continue to know Him, to love Him, and to follow Him.

Would you be surprised if I told you that I found prayers–and Scriptures–and story in Hope in 60 Seconds, all that met me in some way where I am today? Well, I did, along with so much more. I actually started using washi tape to mark the prayers and passages I wanted to come back to or refer to again; because I know this is a book that I’ll continue to use alongside my Bible. It just contains so much in it to help us to grow, to love and know God better, and to engage with Him and His purposes. It’s wonderful and I so recommend it!

Some of my favorite passages

I wanted to share some of my favorite moments from Hope in 60 Seconds, so that you can share in the joy and encouragement that I did. I hope that they also encourage you!

  • “One of the greatest gifts God gives us is the power to choose. You, too, can choose new life and receive the powerful hope found in Jesus. A new season and a new day wait for you on the other side of your deepest valley and heartache.” (p. 72)
  • “I am here to tell you that hope never runs out. Hope is a person, and His name is Jesus. He is the greatest advocate you will ever know. Our wisest advisor. The kindest caretaker. Our greatest defender. He is never in a hurry, and He never gets frustrated to the point of giving up and casting someone off as a lost cause.” (p. 57)
  • “Jesus’ love for you is so great that He was willing to die in your place. He is the lifter of your head and the one who breaks off all the shame of your past. “But You, O LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.” (Psalm 3:3 NRSV) You are priceless, and God longs for you to come boldly into His presence and receive this extravagant gift.” (p. 30)
  • “There is power in forgiveness. It releases the power of God into our own lives, and it opens the door for our hearts to be healed and made whole. I’m not saying this is easy. Quite the opposite…(but) Walking in forgiveness brought me emotional freedom. It gave me the boldness to confront all kinds of memories from my childhood and young adulthood. I took these moments to Jesus and each time chose to forgive those who had harmed or abused me–even if I never had the chance to see or speak to them. I acknowledged their role in my life, what had happened between us, and I spoke words of forgiveness over them. Then I placed them into God’s hands. I released them. Each time I did, I stepped into a deeper measure of freedom.” (p. 120)

There is SO much richness in this lovely book. I recommend it to you wholeheartedly, as you pursue your own freedom and rich relationship with God.

Where you can purchase Hope in 60 Seconds

You can purchase Hope in 60 Seconds from many booksellers, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Google Play, Christianbook.com, and more. Just visit Cristina’s blog and scroll down to find purchase info!

Cristina Baker blog

Where to find Cristina on social media

Cristina is active on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. She also has a blog! So you can visit her at the links I’ve included here!

IG @itscristinabaker

Tik Tok cristina.baker

Facebook @cristina.baker.543

Cristina Baker blog

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of Hope in 60 Seconds from FrontGate Media. All opinions shared here are my own honest ones.

Can There Be Creativity in Prayer? ~ Reviewing DESIGNED TO PRAY & Giveaway (CLOSED)

How is your prayer life going?  Do you need a boost?  Are things there seeming like the same old, same old?  If you’re needing something in this area, but you don’t know exactly what, then you’re going to love this book.  The BlogAbout Blogger Network was so very kind to send me a copy of Kelly O’Dell Stanley’s Designed to Pray: Creative Ways to Engage With God to use myself–as well as a copy for one special reader to win!

 

designed-to-pray-banner

So how is your prayer life, anyway?

I will admit to you that my own times of prayer have really undergone a beating in the last four years.  Two abdominal surgeries (which left quite a mark on my overall stamina and energy) plus job challenges took my own faith to a place that I never expected it would go.  Did I believe in God?  Yes, of course.  Did I spend time in God’s Word?  Yes.  But even as I read the Bible’s truths, I struggled to apply them to myself; to believe that God really was FOR me, in my corner, loving and upholding me.

Hard times.

But (and here’s where we insert a “yay!”), I’m journeying back.  Receiving healing.  Able more and more to receive God’s truths for myself.  But I still could see that my prayer life needed…life.

 

dtp-graphic-quotes10

Enter Designed to Pray: Creative Ways to Engage With God

I will not be exaggerating if I tell you that this book has made more of an impact on my prayer life than any other resource I’ve ever found on prayer.  It has been a delight.  It has caused me to see God differently–more truly what He is.  It has enabled me to desire prayer more fully, and to enjoy connecting with Him.  It has made my morning prayer time SO FUN.

It has been just what I needed at a moment when I really needed SOMEthing, but didn’t know exactly what.

 

designed-to-pray-2

So how can a book do all that?

Kelly O’Dell Stanley, who already authored a book on prayer called Praying Upside Down, kept having ideas about journaling prayer.  Designing something for people to use that would help them see God, hear Him, know Him, get closer to Him, that could engage them both individually and creatively.  A book that could take the reader on an interactive & joyful journey.

dtp-graphic-quotes19

Designed to Pray provides a unique journey on prayer that I’m pretty sure nobody has ever taken before.  O’Dell Stanley has designed 8 weeks’ worth of daily exercises on prayer which will enable the reader to use her own creativity, colored pencils and pens to venture into prayer in ways that are exciting, encouraging, and uplifting.  The weeks’ titles include:

  • “Fumbling into God’s Presence”
  • “The Faith of a Child”
  • “Creativity…or Connecting the Dots to See God”
  • “We’re All in This Together (Praying with or for Others)”
  • “A Personal God (Knowing God, Knowing Yourself)”
  • and three more

Each of these chapters begins with an introduction from O’Dell Stanley that sets the tone for the week’s activities and prayers.  Then, the reader is given 7 different activities, one each for every day that week, Sunday through Saturday.

 

designed-to-pray-3

How can art & creativity take you into God’s presence?

It’s all about the activities, the grace and fun behind them, and what Kelly O’Dell Stanley has designed them to do; engage with God on a heart level.  Sometimes, I started with a page the author designed with some beautiful doodles in one corner, and doodled more…then wrote prayer items in the spaces.  Another time, I wrote lists of things I was thankful for like rays of the sun.  Once I lettered the words to a children’s song about Jesus’ love.  Sometimes I got to color!

One pivotal day, I wrote down fears that kept me from praying.  Honestly, these were sort of buried in my mind and I wasn’t consciously aware of them.  But when the author asked the right questions, out they came…and I was able to progress beyond them.

 

designed-to-pray-4My conclusions

I like artsy stuff.  I teach art at our homeschool coop.  I have just jumped into Bible journaling.  I like to “do” art with my child.

I am not, however, a “trained” artist.  But I’ve found over my years as a mom and a homeschooling mom in particular, that art does something in me that nothing else does.  It encourages me.  It removes me a step from life’s pressures and helps me to take a breath.  It provides cool times for connection with my son.

So, combining creativity with prayer?  It felt very natural.  It created real connection points between me and God (okay, He was there already, but it helped me to reach for Him).  It moved me to pray and think about things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

Best of all, it breathed new life into my prayer times.  It made me WANT to pray.  It showed me that connecting with God can happen in new and beautiful ways.  It helped me to start my days with joy and a real knowing that He is there.

To me, that’s an amazing outcome from a book!  (I have to tell you that when I finish this book, I am thinking that I need to purchase a fresh one and work thru all the exercises and activities again!)

 

designed-to-pray-5

Who could use this book?

  • Someone who is worn out with legalism and the “right” way to do things
  • A mom who wants to pray but doesn’t feel like she has a lot of time
  • A person who’d like to pray but doesn’t know how
  • Someone whose soul needs touches of beauty
  • And anyone else who’d like to know that God loves and cares for them

 

dtp-graphic-quotes-announcement

My recommendations…and a chance for you to win!

If you see yourself in the list above…if you’d like to bring more beauty and joy to your prayer times…or if you’d just like to connect with the God who loves you in a new way, get a copy of Kelly O’Dell Stanley’s Designed to Pray: Creative Ways to Engage With God!

And, you can enter to win a copy now!  (Giveaway ends February 10, 2017.)  Just click on the pink link below to go to the Giveaway Tools form to enter!

Enter here!

 

WINNERS SELECTED:

I loved DESIGNED TO PRAY so much that I selected 3 winners!  (1 gets the copy from Blog about Network, and the others from FINCHNWREN.)  Congratulations to Diane P, Kayla F, and Savannah H!

Enjoy!  –Wren

 
blogabout-button

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.