Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Stitchy Things

My parents were going to send me flowers when I had my surgery but then they remembered how much I love doing my cross stitch and wanted to know if I would rather get some things for that. I, of course, loved that idea and knew I'd rather have something that lasts rather than flowers that don't. So I ordered these lovely things for my cross stitch


Can you stand it? A rhinestone poodle needle minder!!! Here's a closeup of this cutie.


My heart did flip-flops when I saw this little poodle. He's so adorable and fills that poodle place in my heart.

I also found this cute angel with a star. This meant a lot to me as when I did craft designing, my company name was Angel Star Designs. I had to have this sweet needle minder, too.


and a closeup...


My next little treasure I found was this lovely rose pin counter. It can actually be worn as a stick-pin as well but I'm sure I'll only use it as a counter. 


and a closeup of the rose


I've also done a little stitching on the Queen Elizabeth piece. I haven't done a lot but here's a stitching update. 


It's so wonderful being able to stitch again and using my beautiful new gifts from my parents make it extra special.

Blessings - Julie 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Health Update


It's time for a long over-due update from me. This has been a season of growth for me as I deal with something I never had imagined having to deal with. It has stretched me in a lot of ways and I've had to fight the immature desire to feel bitter and to have a pity party. I keep telling myself that this is not forever and that there are others that have it much worse. Sometimes, I just don't want to even hear myself saying this, even though they are true. Isn't it just so human to feel sorry for ourselves and think "why me"? Ha!

So on to my news. My skin finally healed enough that the bags are staying on and the nurse figured out, with the help of the company who makes these things, what would work for me. It's down to a routine now with the bag staying put for the most part. I still have an "oops" once in a while - with a bag leaking or just coming loose - but this is happening less and less. I am so thankful for this as dealing with the leaking was just so bad. It's gross enough (for me, anyway) to deal with this bag when it works, let alone when it doesn't.

I do have a surgery date to reverse all this and put everything back together. Right now it's set for February 13th....FEBRUARY 13TH!!! This was supposed to be a 3 month thing which means I should be having the surgery this month but, evidently, this surgeon does not plan for these things and she is so busy that this was the soonest date I could get. I was quite upset. I have called and called and now we are looking at moving my surgery to January 23rd. This is not set yet so I would so appreciate your prayers that this surgery would get moved up. Even sooner than January 23rd would be great but even the 23rd is better than 3 weeks later on the 13th!

I have been doing some stitching, crocheting and painting and will share about that on my next post. Thank you so much for being so faithful to check on me during all this and I'm so grateful for your prayers and friendship!

Blessings - Julie

Monday, December 4, 2017

Book Review - A Moment to Breathe


ABOUT THE BOOK:

When the rush of regular life leaves you breathless by day’s end, this collection of everyday stories becomes the place where you can come as you are, and find yourself among friends. Friends who have been there. Friends who’ll lean in close and say, “Me too!” Through our stories the bonds of friendship deepen as we listen to each other, laugh with each other, and learn from each other. Because we’re better when we’re living this one beautiful life together.

With stories from 80 writers, these pages become the very place your soul can exhale, where you can: · Connect with the hearts of women through stories that echo your own.· Find beauty in the ordinary and sometimes messy moments of your everyday life.· See your own stories as an offering of hope to those around you.· Treasure the unseen ways God moves through even your most regular days. With 365 readings, each day begins with a passage of Scripture, tells a story of everyday faith, and encourages you to take a moment to breathe with a simple but fun way to complete your day. So kick off your shoes and join us for a relaxing but special time, where friends come together and share the real stuff of everyday faith.

MY REVIEW:

This is such a wonderful devotional. It's visually beautiful with a lovely cloth cover and blue lettering inside. I love beautiful things and this definitely is beautiful.

Better than the pretty look of the book are the amazing devotions for each day that will really bless your heart and draw you closer to the Lord. These are written by several different women so there is a devotion that will touch you right where you are.

There are 365 devotions in this book and they start with a Scripture and then a wonderful heart-felt devotion. They are short but they will so impact your life. My favorite part is at the end of the devotion. There is a question for you to ponder or an idea for you to implement into your life that day.

I really like this devotional and I think you will, too. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by B&H/Lifeway Blogger Program



Blessings - Julie

Book Review - Blind Spot


ABOUT THE BOOK:

The wrath is coming" were the final words that FBI agent Declan Grey heard the suicide bomber say. Now Declan is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after or when the threat will be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation's best clue leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw for assistance. She's sought justice for refugees and the displaced around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. As they work together to uncover the mounting threat, the tension between them also includes a spark she can't deny--and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything more can develop, they find themselves in a race against time to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Praised by New York Times bestselling author Dee Henderson as "a name to look for in romantic suspense," Dani Pettrey's novels have sold more than 300,000 copies. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance novel. Her novels stand out for their "wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters" (Publishers Weekly), "gripping storyline[s]," (RT Book Reviews), and "sizzling undercurrent of romance" (USA Today).

Dani's adventure-focused Alaskan Courage series climbed the CBA bestseller lists, with Submerged staying in the top twenty for five consecutive months. The five-book series also won multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, and Christian Retailing's Best Award, among others. She turns her attention to crime and law enforcement in her home state of Maryland in her new Chesapeake Valor series, starting with Cold Shot, which Library Journal called, "a harrowing and thrilling ride." For more information about her novels, visit danipettrey.com.

MY REVIEW:

This book continues the Chesapeake Valor series. I have read the other books and recommend that you do, too, as you will probably be a bit lost regarding story-line and characters if you don't.

I had a hard time getting into this book for some reason. I have always enjoyed Dani Pettrey's books so was surprised that this was a slow start for me. I prevailed, though, and did finally start getting into the story about a third of the way through. I really don't like books that take me a while to get into them.

This story focuses on Declan and Tanner.and their investigation into a terrorist/smuggling ring. This was an intense mystery and definitely made this book exciting. I think I would have liked it better had the story focused solely on this story instead of introducing another mystery on the side with the other characters we have come to love from the other books.

I enjoyed this book but not as much as her others. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

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


Blessings - Julie

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Book Review - The Most Important Women of the Bible


ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Bible is the story of God's relationship with people--Jews and Gentiles, saints and sinners. From well-known characters like Eve and Esther to those less known like Jochebed and Zipporah, women play a vital role in the biblical drama. Authors Aaron and Elaina Sharp highlight three dozen of the most important women in Scripture, each handpicked by God to play a crucial part in His plan to redeem humanity.

Discover how each woman fits into the overall narrative of God's good news, and let it remind you that their story is also the story of His powerful love for you.

Read the short, lively chapters day by day as a devotional, or use them as a Bible study on your own or with a group.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Aaron and Elaina Sharp are both Master of Theology graduates of Dallas Theological Seminary. Aaron works for Insight for Living Ministries, and Elaina owns and operates a small business.
Aaron is the author of Everything the Bible Says About Parenting and Children and What Does God Say About That? Elaina writes and develops curriculum for ministries such as Cru. Aaron and Elaina Sharp live in Little Elm, Texas, with their three children.

MY REVIEW:

This book discusses 31 important women of the Bible and how God worked in their lives despite their circumstances.

Each chapter digs deep into character of women we are familiar with and, maybe, some we aren't so familiar with. They start with a quote about the woman and then there are the  Scripture references to the woman in the Bible. There is then an in-depth biography about the woman and how God worked in her life and/or used her to further the kingdom. I love that in most of these cases, they woman are quite flawed, yet the Lord used them in mighty ways. At the end of the chapter is a list of things that the author's wonder about the woman. Many cannot be answered but give us something thoughtful to ponder.

Since this book has 31 women, it would make a wonderful devotional for your quiet time. It would also make a great book to cover in a small group. I love how each woman becomes more real and human and the authors did a great job in reminding us that these are real people in real times.

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it! I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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


Blessings - Julie