Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Counting Our Blessings - Linkup!

Hello Friends! I hope you have had a lot of blessings in your life. Let's get going with counting our blessings!

62.  We have been so blessed to be finally getting our daily rain showers. Things were so very dry here and now our trees and plants are so happy and thriving. Some of our trees were really suffering despite our watering them. They just do better when they soaked with rain plus it's so lovely to look out my front door and see green rather than the browns everywhere.

63.  I've been getting so many lovely books to read! Here's a stack that I'm so excited about as these are some of my favorite authors. I know I'm going to enjoy the places and people I meet between these pages.

64.  Now for the best part of my week. I finished another set of poodles on my poodle bookmark! Oh, I am loving stitching these precious poodles designed by my friend, Vickie over at A Stitcher's Story. She has done such a beautiful job of capturing our favorite little friends!

The latest poodles I stitched are the bottom two. I stitched them to represent Cookie and Mitzi and I think they look just like them!

Thank you, Vickie, for your beautiful designs! They are such a blessing and so fun to stitch up!

Now it's your turn to share your blessings! You can add your link on the linky below or share in the comments section.

Blessings - Julie

Monday, August 13, 2018

Bible Review - Archaeology Study Bible


The ESV Archaeology Study Bible roots the biblical text in its historical and cultural context, offering readers a framework for better understanding the people, places, and events recorded in Scripture. With editorial oversight from Dr. John Currid (PhD, University of Chicago) and Dr. David Chapman (PhD, University of Cambridge), as well as contributions from a team of field-trained archaeologists, the Archaeology Study Bible assembles a range of modern scholarship—pairing the biblical text with over 2,000 study notes, 400 full-color photographs, 200 maps and diagrams, 200 sidebars, 15 articles, and 4 timelines. These features bring life to the ancient texts, helping readers situate them in their historical context while recognizing the truth that the eternal God became flesh entered human history at a specific time and in a specific place.


This is a fantastic Bible, especially if you want to understand the times that you are reading about. I love how it puts things into context for me by educating me about the people and their culture. It gave me a deeper understanding of why certain things were done or said in the Bible.

There is so much information packed into this beautiful Bible. Photographs,  maps and more! Here are a couple pictures of the inside pages of the Bible and what you can expect.

I love that you have so many visual aides inside to help you truly see how the people lived. Plus, having the color maps is really nice so you know exactly where you're reading about.

There are over 2000 study notes, plus diagrams, articles (like the one you see above) and more! It truly does take you into the lives of the people! I also liked that there are book introductions before each book of the Bible. I find this very helpful before actually digging into the book. You have an idea of what you're going to be reading and how you can apply it to your own life.

Here is a picture of the New Testament Timeline inside.

I have never had a timeline inside my Bible before and I love this! You can look at a glance to see when important events took place and exactly where they are in the Bible. There are actually 4 timelines in this Bible and I found them to be so helpful!

There is so much to read, to look at, and to ponder over as you read. This Bible would be great for anyone but it would really be great for Pastors, teachers or students. For my own women Bible studies, this is going to be invaluable for gaining more out of my studies.

Everything is easy to read and understand, which is also a plus. You come away feeling like you truly understand things so much clearer because of how it's written.

I really love this Bible and highly recommend it! It's become my favorite and I'm using it as I do my studies as well as my daily Bible reading. It's made it all come more alive for me. I give this Bible 5 out of 5 stars.

*This Bible was provided to me for my honest review by Crossway

Blessings - Julie

Think Learn Succeed


Our thought lives have incredible power over our mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. In fact, our thoughts can either limit us to what we believe we can do or release us to experience abilities well beyond our expectations. When we choose a mindset that extends our abilities rather than placing limits on ourselves, we will experience greater intellectual satisfaction, emotional control, and physical health. The only question is . . . how?

Backed by up-to-date scientific research and biblical insight, Dr. Caroline Leaf empowers readers to take control of their thoughts in order to take control of their lives. In this practical book, readers will learn to use

- The 5-step Switch on Your Brain Learning Program, to build memory and learn effectively
- The Gift Profile, to discover the unique way they process information
- The Mindfulness Guide, to optimize their thought life and find their inner resilience

Dr. Leaf shows readers how to combine these powerful tools in order to improve memory, learning, cognitive and intellectual performance, work performance, physical performance, relationships, emotional health, and most importantly a meaningful life well lived.

Each of us has significant psychological resources at our fingertips that we can use in order to improve our overall well-being. Dr. Leaf shows us how to harness those resources to unlock our hidden potential.


Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology and a BSc Logopaedics specializing in cognitive and metacognitive neuropsychology. Since the early 1980‘s she has researched the Mind-Brain connection and did some of the initial research back in the late 80's showing the neuroplasticity of the brain. During her years in clinical practice and her work with thousands of underprivileged teachers and students in SA and Africa as a Communication Pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist, she developed an original theory of how we think as well as tools and processes that have transformed the lives of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), learning disabilities (ADD, ADHD), autism, dementias, emotional mental health issues and has shown thousands of students and adults and corporations how to use their mind to detox and grow their brain. She currently teaches globally at conferences and churches and to secular audiences on these topics. Dr Leaf is also involved in the global ECHO movement training physicians worldwide on the mind and she has a panel of top neurosurgeons, neurologists, MD's, ob/gyn's, endocrinologists and neuroscientists that she consults and does research with. She has many YouTube, podcasts and video clips that she produces, reaching millions globally. Her passion is to help people see the power of the mind and the link between science and God as a tangible way of controlling their thoughts and emotions, learning how to think and learn and finding their sense of purpose in life.

Find out more about her here: https://www.drleaf.com


I am always so very blessed to read a book by Dr. Caroline Leaf. She has, quite honestly, changed my life for the better in so many ways. She's really brilliant and her books are easy to read and apply to our life, despite her use of big words! lol

I really like that Dr. Leaf always emphasizes that we are each uniquely created and that we can utilize the way we think to learn and succeed in better ways. I also love the Gift Profile part of the book because it gave me a clearer understanding of who I am and how I can better use my gifts. I also like that she talks about healthy mindsets. This was particularly helpful to me, especially when she talks about taking thoughts captive. It's so easy to think negative thoughts and she gives us the tools to stop these things in their tracks and think in better ways.

Of course, how we think affects how we learn and succeed so she draws the line from one to the other for us so we can have better success in our lives. Having a more loving attitude with gratefulness and forgiveness is the road for us to do better in our lives. Of course, we know this, but with Dr. Leaf, she breaks it down and gives us the tools to actually think this way.

This is a great book for anyone who wants to improve their thinking and their life. Dr. Leaf has once again written an amazing book that will bless you! I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me by the publisher an author for my honest review

Blessings - Julie

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Book Review - The Valiant Wayfarer


After her mother abandons her for a third time, soft-spoken Janey Preston, who just started third grade two weeks before, decides she will not wait around to be taken to the awful Children’s Home again.

She loads up a grocery cart with canned food, water, and her loyal Raggedy-Andy and heads for Highway 25 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, her destination: Trinidad, Colorado, 250 miles north, where her beloved second-grade teacher, Miss Butler, lives and can hopefully give Janey what she’s been yearning for her entire life.

With an impressive blend of Cormac McCarthy’s direst settings and the childhood innocence of Don Robertson, L.M. Stockton captures youthful hope, courage, and determination.


L.M. Stockton was born in 1926 in Raton, New Mexico. Her family were homesteaders and that lifestyle proved a powerful influence in her later fiction writing. She died in 1996, but in the decade prior, Stockton wrote extensively, completing several novels and short stories and leaving one novel unfinished. In her early life, she was an English teacher, having graduated from the University of Denver. She spent her later life as a used-bookstore owner in Albuquerque. She was lifelong friends with Liam Llewellyn's paternal grandmother and the rest of his family.


This book touched my heart in such a huge way! It is a short story that packs a huge punch and I won’t soon forget the story or little Janey.

When we first meet Janey – a little eight-year-old girl – she is coming home from school to find her home empty and her mother and her mother’s boyfriend gone. Janey knows what this means as it’s happened to her before. Her mother has gone off and left her in the little rented house in Albuquerque and won’t be back anytime soon, if ever. Poor Janey is devastated because she doesn’t want to go back to the Children’s Home she went to when her mother did this before. She makes the decision to go to Trinidad, Colorado to see her loving teacher, Miss Butler, who was her second-grade teacher when they lived in Trinidad.

Janey decides to wait a week to see if her mother comes home and makes her plans and talks them over with Andy – her raggedy doll. I love how she talks to Andy and how he is her friend and her comfort. I can just see her clutching her little, soft friend!

The day comes for Janey to leave and she packs a wire, two-wheeled cart with all her things including food and water. She is quite a resourceful girl, but it’s totally believable because we know that she has had to fend for herself many times before when her mother can’t be bothered. Janey thinks she will make it to Trinidad in 2 or 3 days, but, of course, it’s much longer.

We follow along as Janey walks from Albuquerque to Trinidad and her struggles along the way. Andy is right by her side as she determinedly walks with I-25 in her sight, because she knows this is the road to Trinidad.

I really enjoyed this book! Is it believable to think that an eight-year-old could walk 250 miles? I don’t know, but I believed it. Her desire to be loved by someone she knows and to be valued is so great that she is willing to walk for days to get to that love. I think we all need and desire that kind of love and can relate to doing what we need to do to get it. This is a child that has been shown great compassion and care by a teacher and, because she doesn’t have that from her mother, it makes a great impact on her. I really loved this because my own second grade teacher made the same impact on me.

I also enjoyed this book because I am very familiar with Trinidad and that whole area from Albuquerque on to Raton, NM. My husband was raised in both Trinidad and Raton and so I could picture in my mind exactly where Janey was and where she was going. It was fun to read a book about an area so familiar to me.

I absolutely loved this story and all the characters. I enjoyed that the author showed us the best in people and it was such a feel-good story. I highly recommend this book and hope that you will get a copy to read. You won’t be disappointed! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by liampublisher.com and LL Press

Blessings - Julie

Book Review - La La Lovely


Through beautiful designs and imagery, LA LA LOVELY invites readers to find their true identity where there is brokenness, discover the love of God, and design their own special place of beauty.

Author Trina McNeilly has been blogging for nearly a decade. While she spent her days sharing beauty, looking for lovely things, and redecorating her childhood home, her parents' unexpected divorce shattered her ideals of "home."

Through this journey, Trina learned that beauty is not beyond the laundry pile, chipped paint, dirty dishes, broken table or broken life. It's right in the center of it. Trina found that God IS beauty. And that he invites us to look, discover, uncover and find because when we find beauty, we find God.

In LA LA LOVELY, Trina shares stories and inspiration from her journey of finding, and being found, by beauty. You will find deep matters of the heart along with practical pointers on things like decorating your home, finding your style, and creating beautiful spaces. Each chapter offers essays, beautiful photographs, design tips, and practical advice for creating a place of beauty and belonging no matter where you live or what you're going through.


TRINA MCNEILLY is a writer and founder of La La Lovely, where she has been blogging for nine years, sharing matters of the heart and design related finds. With an eye for beauty, Trina finds inspiration in styled spaces, other times in the broken places, and everywhere in between. Through soulful writing, in the voice of trusted friend, she shares her finds and all about being found. Trina's work also includes creative direction, styling, and design projects. Trina lives in her hometown, near Chicago, with her husband, and four children.


I really felt like the author had read my diaries! She said so many things that I have thought to myself and, not only that, but we like so many of the same things!

This book is for anyone who finds their world turned upside down by circumstances out of their control. For the author, it was finding that her parents were getting a divorce after decades of marriage. It made her feel like she could not depend on the normal things of her life any longer and I know exactly how that feels.

She is so honest and open about how she felt going through all these things. She felt lost and alone. I’m sure you’ve had something happen that makes you feel like there is no normal – nothing to hold on to – but here’s where the author helps to direct us. To Jesus. She reminds us that God is always there and working all the loose ends of the bad things into a good thing. It is during these times that we need to rest in God and rely on Him.

She also shares how she tries to make the atmosphere around her lovelier. She creates spaces that make her feel calm and peaceful, yet homey for her family. There is a lot of wisdom in this as we all need our homes to feel as peaceful and welcoming as possible, especially in the hard times when we just want to hunker down.

I also liked the questions that she asks in each chapter. It really makes one focus on what is important, especially our faith in God. I love this book and received an ebook to read for my review, however, I liked this book so much, and it made such a difference in my life, I am going to buy a hard copy of this book. Obviously, I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

This book was provided to me for my honest review by Hachette Book Group

Blessings - Julie