Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Counting Our Blessings - Linkup!!


Did you wonder if I had dropped off the face of the earth? I'm still here! I have been super busy changing things around and creating a new studio space for myself! Lots of new and wonderful things!

90. I think I've shared before that my art/craft studio was in an outside building. Not horribly far from my back door, but not really close, either. It was becoming almost impossible for me to go out there for many, many reasons. In fact, when I started to think about it, I had only been in there a half-dozen times in the past 3 years. So, it finally dawned on me...why didn't I move my studio back into my home? My goodness,why did it take me so long to figure this out? I used to have my craft room inside my house in my living room. I have a living room and a family room so it worked perfectly for me and my family. The living room had become a place for furniture and nic-nacs but really an unnecessary room that wasn't used very much. I told my family what I wanted to do and they all thought it was a great idea! My oldest son took on the project, and what I thought would take at least a month to do, he did in about a week! I think the most amazing thing is that doing this energized me so much and I was able to do way more than I ever dreamed I could!

Before I show pictures, please realize that not everything is put perfectly away in these pictures. Most everything is done, but there are a few things here and there that need to be more organized and/or put away. These pictures are from last week so a lot more has been done and it is actually pretty much completed. So here's the big reveal of my new craft/art room!





I am so thrilled because I have now been able to craft whenever I want - which is a lot! lol It's so wonderful to have everything exactly as I need it in one room.

Don't get me wrong - I cried when the last of my things were moved out of my studio. My two sons finished that building off inside just for me. My youngest put up the drywall and then they both painted it (light purple walls and dark purple floors), and did all these little things just for me to make it my own. It was like saying goodbye to a really special time. However, now I'll create new memories and have the special memory of my children and husband helping me to set up this new space. :) Huge, huge blessings!!

91.  So what is one of the first things I created? This cross! I absolutely love it! Most of all, I so enjoyed painting again.

This cross says it all. We need to have faith in our darker hours that we will come out into the light again.

92.  Now we come to Miss Mitzi. Such a silly, silly girl! She and Cookie were groomed last week but I have yet to capture a flattering picture of either of them. Usually, Cookie is like a little princess, posing and showing off, but she hasn't felt like sitting still. Since her bad tooth was removed a couple of months ago, she's been like a puppy again - playing and running all over. So happy to see her doing this so no complaints that she won't pose for me.

I did capture this picture of Mitzi the other day - not exactly flattering - but you can see her cute purple and orange bows for the Fall on the ear on the right in the picture.

This next picture just cracks me up! I don't usually use hair spray but did one day recently and this is what she did.

She went over and stuck her bum in the corner (don't ask me why - I have no idea) and then crouched down on her front legs. She stayed this way for several minutes! It just cracked me up! I know she didn't like the hairspray but I'm not sure why doing this was required. lol She's such a doll and a blessing!

93. My other huge blessing is the online Bible study I've been leading. The ladies in my group are so wonderful and it's been so nice to be studying and sharing thoughts again together. This is our last week for the Everyday Peace study and then in October, I will be leading a new study called Entrusted by Beth Moore. I will share more about that here soon.

Now it's your turn! What are your blessings? How have you been? Please share on the linky below. As always, I'm so thankful for your comments and participation in the linkup! You're a blessing!


Blessings - Julie

Book Review - 365 Pocket Morning Prayers

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Each morning when you arise, take a moment to talk with God about the day ahead. Ask Him to prepare your heart so that you can be ready to face any challenge that comes your way. 365 Pocket Morning Prayers can guide this time of life-changing conversation and help you express your needs and concerns to God. Don’t worry about what the day will bring. Instead, release your troubles and concerns into God’s care by reading and meditating on the prayers featured in 365 Pocket Morning Prayers. Begin your day in joyful anticipation, trusting that God is in control of your life and wants only the best for you.


MY REVIEW:

This is such a pretty book! It has so much pretty detail on the cover and the cover itself is so soft and lovely to have in your hand. Then the inside is very pretty with aqua colored text and little birds throughout.

These little prayers will guide you into deep felt prayers to the Lord. There is a topical index so if there is something specific you want to pray over, you can look it up and let it guide you through a prayer. You can also read through the book straight through and use the prayers in your quiet time.

What I like most about this book is the prayers say things I might not think of myself concerning situations that are bothering me. Sometimes when we are concerned about something, we have a hard time putting the words together to pray what we want to pray. With the guidance of these prayers, we are able to pray directly and to the point about these situations.

The Scriptures quoted along with the prayers give you a firm foundation from God's Word to pray with. Each one is perfectly paired with the prayer, too.

I really like this little book. It's perfect for tucking into my quiet time bag to use for my quiet time. It would make a really nice gift, too, for anyone needing a bit of encouragement. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Tyndale House Publishers


Blessings - Julie

Book Review - Gratitude - A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal invites you to bring creative journaling and the calming act of coloring into your quiet time with God. This beautifully designed interactive prayer book from Tyndale’s Living Expressions collection helps guide your thoughts as you pray about concerns such as health, overcoming stress, personal relationships, and more. Gratitude gives you a way to celebrate and give thanks to God for the many blessings he provides. Filled with over 100 designs to color, plenty of space for journaling and sketching, and 40 needs-based prayers, Gratitude helps you express your devotion to God with your whole heart!

MY REVIEW:

I absolutely love this gratitude journal! The first thing that caught my eye is the beautiful cover that is extra thick so you can carry it in your bag without worry of the cover getting crinkled or damaged. It also helps to lie the book flat while you're working inside.

The greatest thing about this journal is the heavy paper they used inside! I was actually able to use my paints inside this book without it damaging the paper! Now, obviously, you wouldn't want to overuse the water but I used my watercolors and my acrylics inside the pages and they worked beautifully!  I really loved this because I don't always want to use colored pencils but in so many coloring books, the pages will only accept the pencil.

Here's a couple pages from the inside of my book:


This is when I first started coloring in the book. You can see I colored in the little motor scooter, the word "friends" and the little pretty scroll at the bottom of the second page. Don't you love all the space to write? The book is like this throughout. There are beautiful Scriptures and devotional type writings that guide you as you use the book, as well.

The book is so very beautiful even without being colored in! They put so much extra thought into this little book and it has become a part of my quiet time. I use it to write my prayer, my thought, my blessings and more! As I color in the pages, I pray for my family and friends. It's such a relaxing thing and really helps you focus on the Lord and your prayers.

I love this book! I have never had such a gorgeous journal that allows me to express myself with so many different methods of pencil, paint and brush. You can really get creative and make this book your own! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys coloring, writing, and journaling. I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Tyndale House Publishers


Blessings - Julie

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bible Review - NKJV Word Study Bible

ABOUT THE BIBLE:

The NKJV Word Study Bible includes in-text subheadings and 1,700 easy-to-use word studies with select Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words explained in every chapter from Genesis to Revelation, helping you dig deeper into your Bible study. By looking into these ancient texts we are able to read scripture as it was originally written and passed on from generation to generation, bringing these words to life and allowing you to almost hear Jesus teaching on the hillside or crying out to God on the cross. As you study you will discover the richness and significance of the original languages of the Word of God and experience scripture in a whole new way.
Features Include:

• NKJV paragraph-style text with in-text subheadings and translators' notes
• Book introductions
• Words of Christ in red
• Word studies
• Indexes
• Concordance

MY REVIEW:

This is a fantastic Bible! I have been wanting one that gives the Greek and Hebrew definitions of words as I study and this is perfect!

I really appreciate how I can study the Bible so easily with this version and understand what I'm reading. Each book of the Bible has an introductory to explain what it's about and also shares a list of "Watch Words" to look for as you read through the book. I absolutely love how the definitions are highlighted in blue boxes so it makes it so easy to find and read. I also like that the words of Jesus are red-lettered, making it easier to read the words of Jesus.

This is the perfect Bible for Bible studies, too. I have been using it for the Bible study I'm doing right now and it has made my Bible study time deeper and richer. It gives me a clearer understanding of what I'm reading and how it should be understood. Since it uses the Strong's concordance numbers for the highlighted words, it makes it great for inductive Bible studying.

I highly recommend this Bible if you want to understand God's Word in a clearer way. If you do Bible studies, this really is a must have Bible because you'll come away from your studies with a clearer understanding. I highly recommend this Bible and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This Bible was provided to me for my honest review by BookLook Bloggers program


Blessings - Julie

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Review - While My Child Is Away

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The most powerful thing a parent can do for their child is to pray. Sometimes, the only thing a parent can do for their child is pray for them, but that is enough. When your child is at school or camp, with another parent, or even grown and living on their own, these prayers for blessings, protections, wisdom and insight will resonate with you. Written from the heart of a mother who has prayed her sons through schools, college, military deployment and now the distance that comes when they are grown and on their own, these words bring to life the concerns every parent has for their son or daughter. Whatever their age, if they are away for days or years, these prayers will speak right to the heart of God.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s addressing parents, military families or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Connect with her on her blog and through Twitter and Facebook.  You can visit her website at http://www.ediemelson.com

MY REVIEW:

What a wonderful and powerful book of prayer! As the mother of adult sons, this book is so perfect for me! It gives me the guidance of how and what to pray for my adult children. I have never seen a book like this before and it is so perfect for the mom (or parent, really) whose child is away from them for whatever reason. If they are away at school or grown up and on their own, this book guides you through prayers that will protect them and help them.

There are nine sections to the book, each on a topic that include faith, self-confidence, and good choices. I really found this helpful as I was able to find a prayer on the topic that fit the circumstance that I wanted to pray over. Edie also shares from her own life and she is so open in sharing things that you feel like she's a dear friend. You find that the things that concern you, she has dealt with and she directs us to pray first, which is such a great reminder for those of us to don't do this!

I have little flags on the prayers that I want to refer to for my children every day and highlighting throughout. You can either pray the prayers that she has in there, word for word, or you can allow them to guide you in your own prayer. I really loved this because there are things that she so eloquently says that really get to the root of the matter. It helps me so much to have this guidance for my prayers! She also shares prayers in areas that I had never really thought about but that are so important for our children! I love this, too, as it has given my prayers more depth and width.

I highly recommend this book to any parent who prays for their children. These prayers will make your prayers more on point and give you direction on what to pray. I really love this book and it has been added to my quiet time area to direct my prayers for my children. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Worthy Publishing and First Look Blog Tours


Blessings - Julie