“Room 1010” ~ a review & giveaway of an incredible story of a little girl & answered prayer (ends 11/26/22)

*this is a sponsored post*

Here’s a wonderful book that will encourage you and remind you of the miracles of prayer, as mom Billye Survis and cowriter Brenda E. Cortez tell the story of Billye’s daughter Elynn’s accident. It’s a remarkable story told with honesty (and all the mom feelings you’d imagine) by the pair. I received a copy of this sweet book from the author and FrontGate Media. Here’s more about the book, plus a giveaway you can enter to win Room 1010 for yourself!

About the book

When Elynn Survis was ten years old, she and her brother Ethan were riding their bikes in their neighborhood when a freak accident occurred. She was brought home, but her symptoms worsened and Elynn was taken to a children’s hospital and admitted–during the height of Covid-19, when only one family member could accompany her inside. It became clear that surgery was necessary to repair the traumatic injury–surgery which could leave her with lifelong health issues and complications. Or is there another way?

Room 1010 is the story of how people around the world were rallied to pray for this little girl–in a remarkable and miraculous true story. Coauthored by Elynn’s mother, Billye Survis and Brenda E. Cortez, Elynn’s journey will remind you that God answers prayers; and often, in ways we’d never expect.

And about its author, Billye Survis

Billye Survis was born and raised in rural Wisconsin. After spending a few years working and traveling, she settled back in Wisconsin where she met her husband Dan. Billye has spent the last twenty years helping to build, grow, and lead talent acquisition teams, where she is able to share her passion of helping others. Billye and Dan still reside in Wisconsin with their two children, Ethan and Elynn.

You can read more about the Survis family’s story at their website.

My thoughts

Do you ever read a book, and the experience of the believers in it transports you to a time when you saw amazing faith and answered prayers happen? That is exactly what I felt as I read Room 1010. The Survis family’s experience took them out of what we’d consider regular life, into a frightening experience when their precious ten-year-old daughter was terribly injured (on the inside, where it wasn’t visible, other than externally with a bruise on the skin). Emergency care. Surgeries. Some potentially awful life-long prognoses. Potential months in the hospital.

And yet, God.

As I read Elynn’s story, penned by her loving mama, I was reminded of, and encouraged by, so many Bible verses. Here are two of them:

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Matthew 19:14, The Holy Bible

and,

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Matthew 18:19-20, The Holy Bible

Life is hard sometimes, isn’t it? Especially when it’s our own children who are suffering. We would do *anything* to be the ones who are going through the hard things instead of our little ones! I so often forget that God must certainly feel that way about us when we are going through suffering. He made all of us–and how His heart must grieve when we suffer!

We don’t always know what we should be doing when we’re suffering, much less what we need to be doing when our kids suffer. We try to love them, and support them. To help them to make (or make ourselves, depending on their ages) decisions that will be good ones. And yes, we pray. Constantly. We ask our friends to pray. We turn to the One who sees everything and ask Him to help our babies.

This is what Billye did. And in Room 1010, we get an intimate viewpoint of the suffering both Elynn (and her mama, as she watched and held her daughter) endured. But oh, the faith. And the prayers.

Room 1010 reminded me that we can all come to God as we pray with the faith of a child. Even if our faith is as tiny as a mustard seed! And that God still does miracles today.

Where you can purchase Room 1010

You can purchase a copy of Room 1010 from Amazon, via the purchase link below.

Purchase Room 1010 here

Enter to win your own copy of this inspiring book!

You can enter to win a copy of Room 1010! Blessed Freebies is giving a copy away to one entrant. Just click on the link below that says “Enter to win!” Giveaway closes 11/26/22.

Enter to win!

Again, I believe that this lovely book will encourage and bless you! Enter to win your own copy or go purchase your own at the links above!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions expressed here are my own.

A new way to view our struggles: “Breaking Open” by Jacob Armstrong (a review)

**this is a sponsored post**

I have yet another incredible book to tell you about! FrontGate Media provided a copy of Pastor Jacob Armstrong’s Breaking Open for me to read and review. I so appreciated the perspectives he shared on suffering and our struggles; and how we can approach walking through them differently. Just amazing. What if, when we try to run away from painful moments, we are missing something transformational?

About Breaking Open, from the publisher

Everyone aches to be whole. We ache to be healed. We ache to be restored. But most of the time we wouldn’t put it into words. We just know we are broken because our child is addicted. We ache because the depression of our youth is now the depression of our golden years. We are stretched to the point of breaking because our career ambitions position us to commit to a pace we can’t sustain. Miscarriage, divorce, loneliness. In all of it, we ache.

In Breaking Open, Pastor Jacob Armstrong exposes the seven dangerous ways that we commonly seek to avoid a breakdown, showing how these seven ways are stealing life from us, and then walks us through a progression of seven Jesus-ways that move us from merely breaking to breaking open. It is these Jesus-ways that get us to the good stuff: a life filled with hope and opportunity.

In Breaking Open, you

  • discover how your greatest heartaches can open you up to the life God desires for you,
  • learn how to slow down from a frenzied pace and settle into the spacious life you have been longing for right now,
  • stop living a cheap imitation of life and develop trust in who God says you are,
  • receive permission not to have it all together by finding the power to love and live vulnerably, and
  • find the courage to name the achy undercurrent in your soul so you can break it wide open and let Jesus heal you and make you whole.

Jesus never intended for us to break and stay shattered, but to fall and rise differently. To rise with power, rise with hope, rise with purpose. In Breaking Open, learn to rise open to a new way of living!

My thoughts about Breaking Open

There was a time in my life when I thought I really had the suffering thing down. (Don’t laugh.) Let’s just say that my personal pair of rose-colored glasses was VERY rosy. Also, I was still in my twenties and obviously naive in many ways.

But, as it can, unexpected suffering hit me hard and fast for a number of years, later on. And none of the things I thought I had learned during that first dramatic time of adult suffering really seemed to apply. These more recent years of suffering really began to wear me down and in some ways, I felt, changed my outlook quite a bit. I struggled as I tried to navigate those years and situations, and I never really felt that I was able to get on top of them and manage them.

How refreshing, useful, and hopeful Jacob Armstrong’s book was to me! It seems that there are a lot of behaviors that not just I, but many humans, try to utilize in suffering: running faster and harder; trying to hide from it or “hunkering down,” as Armstrong describes it; turning the focus on myself and my own pain; and striving to be capable, among others. All of these coping mechanisms don’t really solve our problems or reduce the suffering. They can just make us numb.

Sometimes, without a guide, our attempts to navigate struggles can take us down the wrong paths of building useless habits, overworking, hardening our hearts, or even wearing down our bodies. How grateful I am for Breaking Open! In this incredibly good book, Armstrong doesn’t try to give us the perfect 5-point sermon for overcoming suffering. Rather, he tells us how humans can go the wrong routes–but then shares Scriptural truths along with the contrasting paths, to help us to choose and open our hearts to better ways that might just help us to know that Jesus is near; and He has never left.

The practices that Armstrong recommends in Breaking Open might feel counterintuitive. After all, when we’re in pain sometimes the last thing we want to do is to open our hearts and be vulnerable. But perhaps, like me, you are actually looking for something different to help you navigate the painful parts of life. I learned so much on my first reading of Breaking Open. In fact, I ordered an additional copy from Amazon today for my family. So much good, for areas of life where we really need some good counsel and kindness.

Some of my favorite moments from the book

I’ve got a lot of bookmarked places in my copy. From the many well-loved passages, here are a few of my faves:

  • “First, we have to notice that we are hurting. We might have to pause for a moment here, because there are all kinds of ways the ache can be numbed. Some of us are experts at ignoring the ache. We may have an unintentional routine to push it down every day.” (p. 31)
  • “We, the people of God, who live in the midst of so much promise, can actually settle for way less than the real thing. Over and over and over. It can become normal. That is why we can have such trouble understanding our breaking points. That is the ache–the ache for the real life Jesus holds for us.” (pp. 59-60)
  • “But life is crazy and filled with brokenness and grief, and that can lead us to live in urgency. An urgent need for Jesus, for real love, for real connection.” (p. 88)
  • “Whether we identify with the haughty teachers, the passive onlookers, or the condemned woman, the call is the same. Jesus is beckoning us to see ourselves in desperate need of grace. Neither the teachers the crowd, nor the woman can escape the stones until they hear the call to holiness.” (p. 142, on the Gospel of John, chapter 8)
  • “Some of us began reading this book with some places in us that were really broken. And as we come to the end of the last chapter, we still feel that brokenness. But with a miracle-working Jesus, we can reframe that brokenness in our lives. With a Jesus who experienced all the brokenness and then walked out of the grave whole, we are given an entirely new way to experience brokenness and an entirely new invitation to wholeness.” (p. 183)

And so…

Now that I have finished Breaking Open, have I returned to the perspective of that naive young me who thought she had suffering mastered? No, not at all.

What I do have is a new set of tools, or perhaps a new pair of glasses to look at suffering. I have longed for healing and restoration, as perhaps you have. I believe this lovely book will help me as I walk toward those; and to embrace God in the process, as truly Emmanuel. God with us.

About the author

About the author

Jacob Armstrong is a published author, speaker, and pastor of Providence Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Jacob and his wife, Rachel, founded Providence Church in 2008 with a vision to see people who feel disconnected from God and the church find hope, healing, and wholeness in Jesus Christ. Providence Church has been one of the 100 fastest growing churches in the nation the last three years.

Where to purchase Breaking Open

You can purchase this wonderful book at Amazon, by clicking the link below.

Purchase link for Breaking Open

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions shared here are my own.