Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Counting Our Blessings - Link Up!

How was your week? I hope it was good and that you had a week full of blessings!!

15.  Do you go to the dollar store? I just adore going there and I always find something really fun there. I have been wanting to have something cheerful in the living room during the winter but I didn't want to spend a fortune. I found these cute roses there and they are just the cheerful touch I wanted.

There's three bunches there and so it just cost me $3.00! See those little pink hearts peeking out there? They were part of one of the bunches and made just a perfect touch to the whole thing. Such a blessing to find these fun things there.

16.  My parents send me the comics from their paper to help cheer me up. They know I love the comics and, since they live in a big city, they get a lot in their paper each day. I have decided to use them as a base in my art journal!  Here's a picture of two of the pages all done.

I will gesso over these slightly and then do my artistic touches over the top. It's turned out to be a great way to save the comics and have the remembrance of my parents doing this sweet thing for me. Truly a blessing all the way around!

17.  I'm doing the Lent Challenge Bible study that Margaret Feinberg is doing. We are reading through the four Gospels and this is a copy of the book of Matthew. You go through and circle the verbs, names, etc., and I'm finding that this is really helping me to get a lot out of what I'm reading! Here's the link to Margaret's website if you're interested.

I have really been so blessed by doing this and observing Lent.

18.  I am doing a faith journal and it has been such a great blessing to me! I love expressing my thoughts about Scripture through my art work! I received Copic pens for Christmas and I'm still learning how to use them. I did this artwork with the pens and really didn't get the hang of them until the last when I was doing the quail's feathers. It's not exactly wonderful, but I really like it and, now that I am getting an understanding of how to use the pens, I think my next entry will be much better.

I can't tell you what a blessing it is to be doing my art again and having this new way of expressing my joy at knowing the Lord!

19.  We watch my son's pug when he's at work. He works a 24 hour shift, twice a week, and Muffy is much better not left alone. She's 12 years old and we like to make sure she's okay. When we were taking care of her this past week, she found the clean clothes basket with the soft, fluffy blanket in it. Amazingly, she jumped in and slept there the whole day!

I didn't have the heart to shoo her out, so I let her sleep in it as long as she wanted. She's such a sweetie and it's a blessing taking care of her!

20.  You know I can't do a blessings post without sharing the poodles. lol  This week, they did something they have never done before - snuggled together and slept! It's was a momentous occasion and we made sure we captured it with the camera. Here are those sweet things all snuggled up.



Cookie and Mitzi just bless me so much every day!! They are so sweet and it's so wonderful having them snuggle up with me, too.

What are your blessings this week? I hope you'll share them! Don't forget to grab a button so others can find the link up you share on.



Blessings - Julie

Monday, March 2, 2015

Book Review - Sabotaged

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now, working together as search-and-rescue for Alaska's arduous Iditarod race, a growing attraction seems to be forcing aside old arguments. Then Reef catches Kirra sneaking from camp in the middle of the night.

Kirra's uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing: Frank's daughter has been kidnapped. Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl's life--but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, and Silenced, and new release, Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award, among others. 

She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and a super adorable grandson. You can find her online at www.danipettrey.com.

MY REVIEW:

Dani Pettrey is fast becoming one of my very favorite authors! Sabotaged is a wonderful book that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Kirra is a Vet and she has known Reef McKenna since she was a little girl. She always liked him until he teased her in school and then became a rather wild guy. At that point, she gave him a wide berth. Fast forward and we find them thrown together as they find out that Kirra's cousin Meg has been kidnapped and her father, Frank, forced to do something for these kidnappers. They don't know what he's been forced to do, but they do know that if he doesn't do it, Meg will be killed.

Frank is running the Iditarod race when all this happens and so they are trying to figure out where he has gone as he hasn't checked in and they don't know where Meg is being held. Kirra and Reef start looking into Frank's past and Meg's life at college to see if they can find a clue.

I really liked all the twists and turns in this book and the fact that I never was sure who was the bad guy or why. I love a book like this that keeps you guessing! I also loved how Kirra and Reef turn to prayer when they need direction and how Kirra's faith is reinforced as she goes through this difficult situation. It's all so natural how the author writes their faith into the book.

This book is part of the Alaskan Courage series but you don't need to have read the previous books to know what's going on, however, I'm going to highly recommend that you do! It's a wonderful series full of wonderful characters that you won't soon forget. I hope you'll read this book because you'll enjoy it immensely! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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


Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Counting Our Blessings - Link Up!

It's time to count our blessings again! I look forward to focusing on how good God is to us every week.

11. I dearly love orchids but they are usually so expensive! I found this beauty at Sam's club last week and it was only $11.00! I thought the color was so exquisite and the flower so unusual.


The other thing I loved about this orchid, is all the buds on this plant. It should bloom for a long time, which is so nice. 
It's such a blessing to have something so beautiful!

12.  Look at this face...

Cookie is such a little love bug. She sits with me every day and sleeps. She is one of the most affectionate dogs ever! She blesses me so much with her unconditional love and her adorable face!

13.  I found out something two days ago about my surgery, that I didn't know, and as my son said, "Mom, it's just amazing that you didn't die that day!" I agree. When that doctor cut my artery, God truly had His hand on me and saved my life (and my leg!). It truly is a miracle! I'm so thankful each and every day for God's blessing of continued life here with my family.

14.  Okay, you all know that I love "My Little Pony". I know, I know...LOL  Anyway, I finally was able to get a shelf cleared off to display all my pony stuff. It took me a while, but I did it! Here's a picture of my pony shelf

My husband and son have bought me most of these pony things. They are so sweet to add to my collection! My shelf is right in front of my chair so I can see my little ponies all the time. Every time I look at them, they just make me smile - and that - is a blessing!

What are your blessings this week? Please share on the link up and don't forget to grab a button! Thank you so much.


Blessings - Julie

Book Review - Authority in Prayer

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Authority in Prayer will show you how to take hold of God's promises and pray with the authority He wants you to have. You can reign in life and be the overcomer God intends you to be, taking charge of your personal world and changing the world around you. Don't allow sin, Satan, or the circumstances of life to weigh you down.
  • Beginning with your private world—your thoughts, body, actions, and ultimately your God-ordained destiny--you can take charge. Authority is yours for the taking.
  • Then, because God established and so honors the principle of authority, He will back you as you walk in the government He has delegated to you for your extended world—your home, family, business, and possessions.
  • Finally, God's plan is for you to partner with Him on the earth in broader realms of influence and authority—your universal world. Jesus, the sovereign King over the earth, wants to rule institutions, cultures, societies, and governments through you and your prayers.
Are you ready to use your God-given authority to further His kingdom?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DUTCH SHEETS is an internationally known conference speaker, pastor and author. He has written many books, including Authority in Prayer and his bestseller Intercessory Prayer. Dutch travels extensively as a guest lecturer in various venues. He is fervent in empowering believers for passionate prayer and world-changing revival. Dutch is the senior pastor of Freedom Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He and his wife, Ceci, their two daughters and three dogs make their home at the base of the Rocky Mountains.

MY REVIEW:

This book is a really good book on prayer. I've read a lot of books on prayer and this one has some really great points. I enjoyed the stories throughout the book on the intervention that God did in peoples lives. I always find that so inspiring to hear how God has worked in peoples lives. These stories really help to make the book easy to read and keeps you going as it holds your interest.

One area that really inspired me, and where I lack in my prayer life, is praying for those in government. He really makes valid point after point of how important this is. Of course, we always think of the Federal government, but he encourages us to remember the state and local government, too. Everything he talks about, though, he backs up with Scripture, which I feel is very important. If a book like this isn't Biblical, there's no point in reading it at all.

The author is charismatic, and I'm not, so this made the book perhaps more difficult for me to read than someone who is charismatic. However, it didn't deter from the excellent material of the book or lessen the Biblical truths of the book.

I think you'll enjoy this book on prayer and it will definitely help you in your prayer life. It certainly has me, and prayer is so important as Christians. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers




Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Counting Our Blessings - Link Up!

I love counting my blessings. Do you? For me, it helps to remind me that God is there for me - blessing me in big and small ways. Really, are there small ways? I don't think so when they make you feel better and you see God's hand working in your life. I'm so thankful for God's grace and all His many blessings!!

7.  I know it's past Valentine's Day, but I wanted to share some of the decorations that I put out this year. I have favorites that I've had forever, it seems, that I always look forward to seeing each year. First is my centerpiece that I put on my dining room table.

I painted those ceramic bears quite a few years ago and I still love them.

This is my display on my side table in my living room.

Here's my Valentine gift from my hubby! Isn't it adorable? It reminded me of Mitzi when I saw it and it's so soft. Don't you love the little, red heart on it's paw? I just love this little puppy.  What a blessing to have a hubby who knows exactly what will thrill my heart.

8.  Speaking of puppies - look at this girl.

Can you stand that adorable face? She was sitting on my lap and looked up at me. Thankfully, I had my camera at the ready and snapped this picture. She blesses me more and more every day!

9.  I finished my gingerbread ornament! I'm so happy with how it turned out. I'm going to use some gingerbread fabric on the back to finish it off and I'm hoping I can do a pretty ribbon finish around the edge. I enjoyed this so much and it was a good project to get back into my cross stitching.

10.  Hubby got me a couple more gifts lately. I have been wanting a 3-tier rolling cart for awhile but I didn't want to pay the Ikea price. One day I got an email from Sam's Club and they had the carts for $15.00 less! Now, that I could get behind. Plus it was a beautiful teal color. So, hubby and I went off to Sam's club and I got a cart.

This has been such a blessing!! I have loaded it up with my art journaling supplies and roll it from room to room, depending on where I want to work. It rolls very smoothly, even on our carpet, and I love that I can have all my supplies at the ready.

We went to Wal-Mart another day and they had a bunch of their plants marked 1/2 off. I got two African Violets for a total of $1.75 and then found this beauty!

I do love cactus and this guy was only $3.50! It has a ton of little babies and I'm so thrilled to have it. I haven't had a really large cactus for a long time because they are always too cost prohibitive for me. It was such a blessing to find this guy!

What are your blessings? Please link up and share your blessings!! Be sure to grab my button and share it on your blog - I really appreciate it.


Blessings - Julie