Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Counting Our Blessings - Link Up


Although it's very late in the day, it's still Tuesday! It's time to focus on our blessings and give thanks to God for all He has done!

70.  I'm still infection free! This is a huge, huge blessing! I was really sitting on pins and needles about this but as the days go by and no infection, I feel extremely blessed!! Keep praying for me, please, that I stay infection free!

71. Miss Mitzi is growing by leaps and bounds! Each day she becomes more and more loving and follows me around everywhere I go. She's also really coming into her personality and it's just a sweet personality! She has been sleeping better at night, too. I was having to get up as much as 3 times a night to take her out, but last night she actually slept through the night and we slept until 9:00 am! That was a real blessing as I really felt like I got rested. Here are some new pictures of her.




What a sweet, little blessing she is!

72. I've been reading some wonderful books! I just love reading and reviewing books and it's such a blessing to have this opportunity to do that. I've been trying to spend more time outside of my bedroom and more time with my hubby. He's been watching old episodes of Hawaii 5-0 (the 1960's and 1970's classics) and while he watches, I read. It's perfect and a blessing to spend time with my hubby as well as reading.

73.  I spent some time last week putting out my Fall decorations. I just love doing this and it was so nice to have a day that I felt good enough to do this. I was exhausted afterwards but it was so worth it! My nurse even commented that I seemed like I was in a better mood that day. I wanted to share a couple pictures of the dresser in the living room that I put my Fall decorations on. (Please ignore the picture of me in the mirror! I wasn't paying attention when I took it and captured myself, too! lol)


It makes me so happy and feel so blessed to be able to do my decorating!

Now it's your turn! Please grab one of my buttons for the link-up (you can find that under the "Grab My Buttons" tab at the top) and then share your own link!


Blessings - Julie

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Review - A Grand Design


ABOUT THE BOOK:

A getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs---if only she can let go of her past.

When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa's grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt's story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother's life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa's fractured heart---and bring healing to her entire family?

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amber Stockton is an award-winning author, a national speaker, and a direct-sales brand partner with Nerium International. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. Three of her novels have won annual reader's choice awards.

Connect with Amber: website, Facebook, Twitter

MY REVIEW:

This book is another "Quilts of Love" series book. Each book centers around a quilt and those who love them.

Alyssa is a young woman who has put her heart on hold for fifteen years. Between the death of her father and then a tragic episode inher life, she doesn't trust easily, if at all. On a whim, she enters a contest for a trip to Mackinac Island and wins. The trip is for two so she takes her best friend, Libby. The island is special to Alyssa because she went there every summer with her dad and her grandmother still lives there. She hasn't seen her for fifteen years either.

When she gets to the dock, Scott and Ben are there to pick her and Libby up,and take them to the Grand Hotel. Both of these men become very special to Alyssa and Libby. Scott is the first man that Alyssa has opened up to in years. 

While she's there, her grandmother has a special project for Alyssa and Libby to help her with. Her grandmother used to be a part of a quilting group and she wants to collect blocks from each of the members to make a special quilt. As Alyssa and Libby do the collecting, they learn a lot about the island and her grandmother.

This is a sweet story, however, I would have liked to have an explanation about why the quilt group broke up, more about Scott's family (since the author brought up something major but never went any where with it), and most of all, I thought it was very strange and actually annoying, how many times the author said, "she licked her lips". I found this to be a distraction and wonder why it was in the story so many times?

Despite this, it is a nice romance and an easy read and I give it 3 ,cout of 5 stars. 

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group


Blessings - Julie

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review - Finding Faith In The Dark

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Can we trust a God who gives us different answers than we pray for? Who only fully reveals himself when we look back? Who lets us walk in darkness for months (and sometimes years) at a time? In Finding Faith in the Dark, Laurie Short says yes, and through her story and the stories of others, she reveals a God who is able to transform the dark chapters of our lives into opportunities of grace.
Maybe you've been there:
  • The husband or wife you stayed faithful to had an affair
  • The death of a spouse or child has torn your heart
  • A diagnosis has taken away your health, your plans and your future
When these things happen, we are left wondering "Where is that God who promises to answer our prayers if we trust in Him? Why isn’t my life turning out the way I hoped, let alone how I had planned?”
If you are, or have ever been, in that place, this book is for you. And more than helping you find your way out, this book will help you find your way through that place

MY REVIEW:

This book spoke to my heart in so many ways! My e-book is highlighted so much that I think more is highlighted than not! I love this book and how much it comforted me with God's Word and from the lives of, not only the author, but other people, too.

Laurie Short shares about her own struggles in life - where her own life got derailed in ways that she never thought it would. Her heart was broken profoundly and her plans for her life not at all what she got. She could have turned bitter but she chose to trust God and shows how she moved forward with her life.

She also shares the disappointments and struggles of others and how they managed to go forth with their lives because they chose to trust God. I also love how she weaves different stories of the Bible throughout the book - the story of Job and Joseph, being just two. She shares how they struggled, yet how God used their disappointments and heartaches for their good and His glory.

Here are just some of my favorite quotes from the book:
  •  God's nature in not doing what people expect. He does what people need, even when they don't know they  need it.   
  • By embracing the difficulty of the now, we open ourselves to the fulfillment of what's to come, and we can trust that what is happening in our current circumstances will pave the way there.
  • Some of our sufferings are forgotten as time transforms them into blessings. Some of our sufferings are never forgotten, and their purpose is to transform us.
If you are in a season of suffering, I highly recommend this book. Even if you're not in a season of suffering right now, you should still have this book as an encouragement. I gained so much from this book and I know I will go back and re-read it again. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

*This e-book was provided to me for my honest review by BookLook Blogger Program


Blessings - Julie

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review - Dancing on the Head of a Pin


ABOUT THE BOOK:

A compelling combination of advice and inspiration, Dancing on the Head of a Pen will challenge and encourage writers, artists, musicians, painters—anyone drawn to a life of artistic expression.

Digging deeply into his own writing habits, failures, and successes, Robert Benson helps you choose the ideal audience for your work, commit to it, and overcome the hurdles that inevitably confront both aspiring artists and accomplished professionals.

Extending beyond the craft of writing, this gentle book moves into a rich discussion on the relationship between spirituality and art. Including wisdom from revered writers past and present, Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a beautiful mosaic of inspiration, practical help, and a glimpse into the disciplines that shape one writer’s life.


MY REVIEW:

I've read many, many "how to be a writer" books, but I have to say that I gained more from this little book than all the others put together!

Robert Benson shares his own journey of writing with his readers and how he goes about doing his called vocation. He gives so many practical ideas that he puts into practice himself. I learned what to do and what not to do if I'm going to be a writer. The one "not to do" that really hit home with me was not to talk about what I'm writing with just anyone, and even then, not to talk it to death. I do believe that's my biggest mistake as a writer. I out too much credence in what others think about it before it's even done. Plus, as Robert shares, you literally can talk it to death to the point where it never ends up on paper.

He also shares about the three hats (you'll have to read the book to find out what this means) and how they apply to his writing. This made so much sense to me and gave me the freedom to put pen to paper and just write. It helped me to understand the process of writing, too!

I can't wait to put into practice all that Robert shared and, if you have the calling to write, I highly recommend this book! It will give you so many ideas plus the confidence to go forth and write. This book will be going on my shelf of books that I return to again and again! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by the Blogging for Books program


Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Counting Our Blessings - Link Up

This has been a very stressful week and I need to focus on my blessings more than ever. I know I've shared how difficult it is to deal with everything and I see the stress affecting my family, too. Truly, I couldn't do this without the Lord...He is my Rock!

Let's focus on the blessings!!

65.  I went to my wound care doctor last Friday and I have no more tunnels in my wound! This is huge and I feel like I'm starting to see some healing. I had two wound in my knee and one is completely healed, too. It's just so slow...I am very thankful for the healing and for the doctor I have and all the caring nurses, including my in-home nurse. I am blessed!

66.  There has been a name change for my new little girl. Lily just didn't fit her - she has a really bold personality and she needed a new name. She wasn't responding to Lily, either, so I decided to change her name to Mitzi. She is definitely a Mitzi! I haven't come up with a middle name yet but if you have an idea, I'd love to hear it! I still like the "Lou" in honor of my Tammy Lou, but I'm not sure it sounds right. Anyway, without further ado, here's my sweet blessing - Mitzi!


67. I am so thankful that when I feel tired, I can lie down and take a nap. I really fought this for a long time as I felt so guilty, but I started praying about it and I really feel like the Lord is telling me to rest right now in preparation for what He has for me to do. I am so blessed that we have a Lord we can go to over everything and get an answer. I really do need more rest than I've been getting and it's such a blessing to know that I can just rest.

68.  We have had such nice, cool days lately. Rain has been falling here - not really hard - but enough to give everything a nice drink and to cool the temperatures off quite a bit. There's nothing better than being able to open the doors and windows to let fresh air into a house that has been closed up for the summer. Such a blessing!

69.  I've been working on my crochet as much as I can. It's so relaxing and I've got a lot of squares now. Here's just a sample of four...

It's such a blessing to be able to do something I enjoy when I'm not feeling well.

Now it's your turn to share your own blessings. Please link up below!


Blessings - Julie