Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Book Review: KILL THE SPIDER by Carlos Whittaker

Good afternoon, friends! This book review is for another BEAUTIFUL new book, KILL THE SPIDER. It's not only the iridescent cover that;s so pretty, but the vulnerability and honesty that are poured out on every page.

This is definitely a YES, PLEASE. if you've EVER dealt with depression anxiety, or any other sort of problem with things that lurk in the corners of your heart or mind, this book is for you.

"In Kill the Spider, Carlos describes his journey to knock out deep-rooted habits that were hurting his relationships with others and with God. With laugh-out-loud humor and refreshing vulnerability, Carlos helps you identify the hidden spiders that haunt you - the real causes behind worry, addiction,m comparison, childhood loss, or the struggle to receive God's love."

I typed that all out because I think it is a precise summary of this book. The VULNERABILITY took my breath away! I have an extra copy, if you're interested in reading it and are local. However, I think you're going to want your own copy to mark up and possibly highlight!  http://amzn.to/2jZOrw2

BOOK REVIEW: CHURCH OF THE SMALL THINGS- The Million Little Pieces that Make Up a Life

Good day! :) Today is the day - the release date of NYT Bestselling Author, Melanie Shankle's newest book. CHURCH OF THE SMALL THINGS - The Million Pieces That Make Up a Life. I was able to read an advanced readers' copy; here's what I thought. :)

This is a YES, PLEASE!! Melanie is just a few years younger than I, and I found myself relating to so many things she wrote about! It's a great book, and  highly recommend it to everyone. It was an excellent reminder that I can do little things in a big way!

My mom has already requested to read this book. :D You'll enjoy at least parts of it, because that's how Melanie writes! :)

With chapter titles like, "Yes, Virginia, There Is Such a Thing as a Naugahyde Sofa" and "Se Habla Van Halen?" , there's definitely something for everyone!!!

Book Review - LOVED BABY by Sarah Philpott, PhD

Miscarriage has been an unspoken, pain-filled topic for so long - not just in the church, but in all of our society. Sarah has written a beautiful book, from her own grief and brave vulnerability, to help the one-in-four of us that are dealing with miscarriage. It's such a wonderful, hopeful, beautiful resource for woman and MEN who have suffered a miscarriage.

The truth: one in four women have or will have a miscarriage. The rest of us probably love one of them. This book is not only a great resource for us - to learn a little about their grief and pain - but I would highly recommend it as a gift to those who have lost a baby during  pregnancy.

This book deserves a YES, PLEASE. Use it, share it, gift it - just get it!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Today's the day! LOVING MY ACTUAL CHRISTMAS is available! And if you have trouble with Christmas, you will WANT to order your book!!!!

The author had already signed her contract to do this book during last Christmas season - and it ended up being a very difficult one. Her father-in-law passed away, and this was their first Christmas without him. But Alex knew that her family needed to celebrate, so she set herself tasks as she did in LOVING MY ACTUAL LIFE - which was her book we launched last year.

I recommend this book for anyone who's tired of the same ol' Christmas games, who's looking for a deeper, simpler celebration. She talks about the entire Advent season, and using the days between Christmas and New Years as days of cushion for your family and senses. It ALL makes sense!

Get this book. Read it. Follow its direction. Maybe not everything you can use, but I'm willing to bet a lot of it will be useful for you! (And if not, you have a fantastic book to gift!) :D

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Book Review: TABLE MENTORING: A Simple Guide to Coming Alongside

This is an excellent resource for individuals and/or women's groups! Sue Moore Donaldson (the author of the book) has a true heart for mentoring. This is a post she wrote just for you!

A growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

That’s it. That’s the main thing.
I didn’t say a perfect relationship or sinless existence. Perfection and sinlessness is for later on when none of us will need to mentor or be mentored.
But qualified mentoring does take a pressing on mentality. Pressing on to know and love Christ better and deeper. As Paul, again the model mentor, cried out passionately to the Philippians:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Philippians 3:f1f2-16 ESV

Paul put himself in the mature camp, but he knew he needed to keep pressing. And he did. “I press on to make it my own.” To mentor well means we keep on pressing to make it our own. We share our own stories, our own walk with Christ, our own victories and losses and pressings to know and love Him more. That’s all. A going-on-with God til He comes or we go.

Yesterday a conference director called about the possibility of my speaking and she asked me: “Tell me when you first fell in love with Jesus. When did He grip your heart?” She went on: “Tell me how He is entering your world right now and making a difference in your life?”

Both great questions and I loved answering them. I know I love Jesus more today than fifty years ago, but that’s when it started. I can tell you right now how He’s leading and training and teaching and loving me. Today. Right now. He keeps after me, and--by His mercy and grace, I’m keeping after Him. Not perfectly. I’m not finished loving Him. He still has mounds of work to do in me. But He doesn’t want me to wait til Glory to share my walk with Him with someone else.

Same with you.

If you feel God leading you to mentor, ask yourself:

  1. Do I love Jesus more today than ten years ago? One year ago?

  1. Do I trust Him for the unknowns in my future?

  1. Do I know some of His promises in His Word?

  1. Do I live like I trust in those promises?

If you answered: “Sort of. I’m working on it.” You are ready to mentor. Paul wasn’t perfect, just pressing.

If you think you know everything, think again.

If you know one promise in God’s Word, you are ready to mentor that one promise. Ask God for someone to share it with today.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Book Review: OF MESS AND MOXIE by Jen Hatmaker

 Happy day - I'm posting!!!! :D I'm feeling much better these days - if you don't know what's been going on with me, feel free to reach out to me, and I'll catch you up. :)

ANYWAY. This new book by Jen Hatmaker, called OF MESS AND MOXIE, is officially releasing Tuesday, August 8!!!!! If you preorder from now until AUGUST 7 (Hello! It's already in a lot of bookstores!!!!!), you can get great freebies - check out the book's website by clicking on this clause! :D (And there's NEW NEWS at the end of this blog post about something else fun you can get in on MONDAY!!!)

This book is another great series of essays, more than a chapter book - each chapter is another essay. It's easy to read, and ranges from hysterically funny to grab-a-tissue levels. :)

Here's a fun video where Jen shares a bit from this brand-new book! :)

And I'm going to give you some of my favorite quotes from it, too; I can't do long sections because legalese, but you'll get a taste of more of the book (assuming you watched Jen's video, that is... :D )

This is from "It's Just Paint":
Dear one, may I say something? It is not shallow or empty or frivolous to create a beautiful space to live in. It's not silly, not vainglorious, not a waste of time and energy. It doesn't make you superficial nor slide you down the godly scale. We spend the majority of our hours in our homes with our people. Creating beauty and nurture under your roof with colors that soothe, art that inspires, furniture that invites, and textures that thrill  is a wonderful use of your small space on the planet.
I do not mean this in a trite, cliche' we in the slightest: how could we imagine that a God who created wildflowers and waterfalls and pine trees and hummingbirds and warm sand and mountain ranges and tulips thinks beauty is nonsense? He made a gorgeous, over-the-top earth wild with colors and textures and breathtaking landscapes. And He loved it. He said it was good, so good. He made it for our pleasure as a testament to His character. He created a sensual, aesthetic, jaw-dropping world and asked us to enjoy it. If God decided to make his whole earth pretty, we can choose to make our little homes pretty without tension, guilt, or shame.

SO good!

Here's some from "Sanctuary":
He told of his [her father-in-law, Bob]  small church in Tennessee where he and his buddies were surrounded by deacons, pressed in on all sides, and terrified into receiving salvation during a church service. Strong-willed and resistant to spiritual bullying, Bob alone refused to "walk the aisle." The pastor threw his hands up and proclaimed, "Well, I've done all I can do with this one. I guess he's going to hell." Bob walked out that door and never looked back.
It was the last time he went to church regularly - more than sixty years ago.
Who could blame him?
Sometimes the one place we should all be most welcomed is the very place we are most rejected; the house of healing becomes the inflicter of pain. Much like any betrayal, the more considerable the source, the harder the loss. No one can wound us more than those supposed to nurture: our parents, our spouses, out churches. The chasm between expectation and reality is particularly grim in supposed safe places.

I don't know about you, but I've found this to be more truthful than I wanted it to be. I might have become another person who left the organized church (NEVER Jesus!), if it had been up to me. But GOD...!

This last excerpt is from my favorite essay, simply called "Fangirl":
Four years ago or so, one of the questions [at their Supper Club] was this:
Would you rather be rich or famous?
The answers were absolutely hilarious, and along with half of SC, I said, "Famous." I know. Gross. In my defense, my reasoning was that our life was happy as is, and money wasn't that motivating, so I defaulted to fame, which seemed harmless, intangible, almost like a fake paradigm with no real effect. I guess I pick famous! Tra la la.
Girls, forget that noise. I've since had a small taste of that, and it is the oddest, most bizarre alternate universe ever. Being low-grade Christian famous is straight-up crazy. I only occupy a very minor corner of this zip code, enough to know what I'm talking about but not enough to make me a weirdo. I am regularly confused by my life.

The whole book is filled with Jen's talking to us like she would if we were sitting on her porch, drinking iced tea. Breaths of fresh air, giggles, and tears - I PROMISE you'll find something in this book that you will relate to. :)

Now, then, the news I mentioned at the beginning of this post. The following is straight from Jen's communication with the launch team (edited a little bit):
Monday at 8:00pm CT, I am doing a live stream from my backyard as the Day Before Launch Big Deal. Rachel Hollis and Jessica Honneger will be my special guests, and I invited the women from my church. I'll be doing live readings and taking questions from the internet and doing some giveaways. It will stream live on my page for around 45 minutes, and you can direct people to it.
You DEFINITELY won't want to miss it! It gets a YES, PLEASE from me!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Good morning! I actually have a few reviews I need to catch up on - and one will entail a giveaway! :) But today's review is for Esther Fleece's book, released TODAY, called NO MORE FAKING FINE.

This book. Wow. Most books I read that are nonfiction are books I think, "Wow. I needed to hear that!" and then put into my lending library. This one is different.

Esther talks about how we've lost the knowledge of how lamenting brings us closer to God, and allows us to know Him truthfully. She starts out talking about "coping mechanisms" versus true lament, and it truly startled me; we always hear about coping mechanisms being GOOD things, right? Esther challenged that in me; I put the book down after the first chapter, to digest what she had to say, and to sift through the Scripture (which she uses with each and every point she makes!!!!) to figure out what belief was true and Godly. Then I picked the book back up.

I finished it this morning. There's a LOT to chew on in here. And it's not going on my shelf right away. God and I have a lot more to work through together. There are things in my past I haven't lamented that I need to. And I'm lamenting for our world, and our country, for the pain and division. I'm asking, "How long, God?" And I'm finding that He wants to meet me in that pain, to give me comfort. He's teaching me a new thing, and is using Esther's vulnerability and own journey to do it.

On one of the last few pages of her book, Esther writes the following - and the ring of truth was a clarion call to me:
  Suffering has the ability to transform us into compassionate people. Without suffering, it would be far too easy to become entitled, stuck-up, self-centered people. We can choose to cling to a "fine" and comfortable life, but it will compromise authentic relationships with God and others. We can accompany people on their journeys only as far as we are willing to go ourselves."

I recommend this book. I recommend it to people of ANY age - especially if you're hungry for community but don't know what's holding you back. If you've EVER been told to "suck it up", you NEED this book. If you want to help others, read it. If something's been holding you back in sharing your own story, read it.

Read this book. :)
Edited to add: It's less than $10 on Amazon, y'all - and you can get it by Thursday if you're a Prime member! https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Faking-Fine-Pretending/dp/0310344751/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484074646&sr=8-1&keywords=esther+fleece+no+more+faking+fine