Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Hymn

During this season where we celebrate the birth of Christ, I have found this hymn to be encouraging. It is one of my favorite Christmas hymns--what a great reminder that during a time where people are killing each other, there is much hate, "God is NOT dead, nor doth he sleep" May you be encouraged by it as well. I have included the history of the song at the bottom.

I heard the bells on Christmas day,

Their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet the words repeat

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men

I thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along, th'un broken song

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men

And in despair I bowed my head:

"There is no peace on earth" I sald,

"For hate is strong, and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: 

"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail

With peace on earth, goodwill to men"

Tilll, ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime, a chant sublime

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men

Written in 1864 by Henry Longfellow. His wife, while cooking dinner, managed to catch her

dress on fire from the stove. Unable to put it out, the rest of the house caught fire, burned 

down and Henry's wife perished. In addition to this, he was informed that his son who was

 serving in the union army (without his fathers blessing) was severely wounded. In despair at

 Christmas time while walking outside, he heard bells ringing nearby pealing a Christmas

hymn. Pulled from his slump and given new encouragement, he was inspired to write this 

hymn of peace on earth and goodwill to men.

Edit: Sadly, I cannot remember the source to this story . A lengthier version is available  by doing a simple Google search.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Christmas Singing, Cindy Woodsmall

I was excited when I found that this book was  available for review—and just in time for the Christmas season as well! Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors, and this book does not disappoint. It is a wonderful warming story of love and romance.

When Mattie’s fiancĂ© breaks up with her on Christmas Eve, she moves away to open her own cake shop. When tragedy strikes, she is forced to make some major decisions. Will reuniting with her former fiancĂ©, Gideon, reveal the truth about what happened or will it drive them further apart? Enjoy this story that is sure to warm your heart.

I have greatly enjoyed this story. Anyone who is a fan of Amish fiction is sure to enjoy this as well. Curl up in front of the fire with a warm blanket and you will not want to put it down! 

This book was provided free of charge in exchange for a review by Waterbrook Multnomah. I am not required to write a positive review.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Espresso for Your Spirit, Pam Vredevelt

When I first ordered this book, I was excited to read it. It sounded intriguing. When I received it and started reading, I was disappointed. It seemed very hard to get into and just wasn't interesting at all. I only kept reading it as I was obligated to write a review after reading it. So, I sat down and started reading some more. The further along I got in it, the book got somewhat more interesting.

Pam Vredevelt has written an inspirational book geared towards parents who are tired out and needs some "espresso" in print form. She has shared stories that will make you laugh, some will make you cry, and yet others will allow you to marvel at God's faithfulness and provision. She shares some of her struggle with having a child with Down Syndrome, ways God has used the precious little boy in the life of her family, and other miracles that God has done in her life and others. 

While it has been an interesting read, it is not a book I am overly excited about. Somewhat inspiring, yes, but something about it just made it hard for me to read. It's not the kind of book that "sucks you in". I did enjoy a lot of the stories and humor, but I don't think it's a book I will read again.

I received this for free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for a review. I am not obligated to write a positive review. 

This book can be found here if you are interested in purchasing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful in ALL Things

While reading my Bible yesterday afternoon, I came across this verse:  "Giving thanks for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20 I was reminded that we are to give thanks for EVERYTHING, not just the good things. While we are busy being thankful for everything, it leaves no room for self-pity and complaining. While not everything may be desirable, we can learn to be thankful for it anyway, we don't see the whole picture and do not know what God is going to do through that situation. God's ways are not our ways, but they are always best.

God has helped me be thankful for some not-so-pleasant things such as sleepless nights, leaky diapers, interruptions from children when I am busy, fingerprints all over my windows, and the list goes on. How can I be thankful for them? Because I know some women who would do anything to have those moments, their babies being taken from them too soon. I am thankful for each moment God lets me have with my children, I never know when it will be the last. I can be thankful about my miscarriage because even though I am saddened by it, God is using a dark time to bring me even closer to Him.

I am thankful for little things as well--the beautiful fall-ish weather we are having (AZ has the perfect fall weather!), kisses from a cute little girl with a runny nose, a little boy telling me thank you for breakfast voluntarily, snuggling with my husband and watching a movie together while we eat ice cream.

I have to say, God has really blessed me, and for that, I am thankful!
What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book Review

While I have no children with Down’s Syndrome, I have interacted with them. They are a delight. After reading A GOOD AND PERFECT GIFT by Amy Julia Becker, I became more aware of the struggles of a parent who has a child with Down’s Syndrome.

Amy tells of her disappointment and surprise as she first learned of Penny’s extra chromosome. She tells of her struggles and fears as she learns to deal with the fact. Gleaning strength from God, she accepts this and finds joy in watching her daughter develop and grow.

This book is inspiring. In a world where doctors give parents the option to abort children that possibly have Down’s Syndrome, this would not have been an option for Amy even if she had known. Amy and her husband chose to love the gift that God gave them. They made the decision to trust Him with future children, even if they too would have Down's Syndrome.

A book easy to read, I would recommend this book to anyone. This story was an encouragement to me and I know will be an encouragement to others. It is another testimony of God’s faithfulness as we trust in Him even during difficult situations.

*I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not required to leave a positive review.*

Purchase here

Monday, September 12, 2011

Latest Happenings

It's been quiet here lately, thought it was time for another update! We have enjoyed a family vacation to SD recently. It was a lot of fun. We were "brave" and stayed out in the middle of nowhere in a tent. It was an adventure for sure! One night we had back to back thunderstorms, another night the coyotes were really close! The children enjoyed all the openness  and had great fun running/crawling around in the grass. N got to roast marshmallows for the first time, something else he greatly enjoyed. Our little H just thrived in the fresh air, I have never seen her eat so much as when we were on our trip. Precious memories, I so cherish them!

We were able to visit a little church in the town we were staying at. What a refreshing time that was. Also encouraging to be with God's people once again. The fellowship was wonderful and God's Spirit was definitely there.

On our way home we stopped at a small town in Wyoming. We ended up renting a hotel room there as there was no tent-camping available. We found some really nice thrift stores amongst other things. The highlight of the town for N and H was the nice city park. Oh how they love to swing and slide!

After a nice 2 week vacation, it was time to head home. 17 1/2 hours later, we arrived back in our cozy little home in AZ!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

My new blog

I have been thinking recently that I miss blogging. This was set up a long time ago, before I was married I believe, and I thought I would start blogging again. I will be putting up some new posts soon, so keep an eye out :)