Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What's On Your Nightstand? May 2015


Wow! It's been a month already since my last What's On Your Nightstand post which is hosted by 5 Minutes For Books. Amazing. My May reading life has gone very well. I did not read a ton of books, but my reading was good. I finished two books and maybe will complete a third. Plus, I have stayed current with reading through my Bible in 90 days. I look for to June and the worlds that I will be brought into as well as the non-fiction information that I will gain. For today, I look forward to reading What's On Your Nightstand posts to see what others have read, are reading and will read.

For April, I completed:


Lent For Everyone: Luke, Year C by N.T. Wright

This was such a good Lent devotional. Each reading caused us to stop and think. Each reading was a good way to start our day, and to focus on the Lenten season. I am very pleased that we chose this devotional for Lent.


One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

What I am discovering about Ahern's writing is that I like it. I like it a whole bunch. Each story that I have read,I have been drawn into with emotion. And that's what her writing is filled with, emotion. She has a way with words, and a beautiful way of stringing them together. One Hundred Names was no exception. Was it my favorite Ahern book? No, it wasn't. But I was greatly entertained, and could hardly set the book down once it brought me into the story.

I Am Currently Reading:


The Bible in 90 Days

As of this writing, I am current with this reading plan - Day 23. I hope to complete reading the entire Bible in 90 days but am very ok if it takes me up to 110 days.


Here and Now by Henri Nouwen

I am reading this book with my husband - I am reading it aloud to him. We are both enjoying the book. It's an easy book to read aloud, but yet packed with gems to ponder. Our book is being marked up a lot -- many quotes to go back to and think on, many that we don't want to forget.


The Cure by John Lynch | Bruce McNicol | Bill Thrall

I started this book just this past Sunday. It is interesting, and it too is being marked up but not quite as much as Here and Now. I am very curious as to what I will think of this book once I am finished. I wonder what I will walk away with and what my impression will be. So far, so good.


Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey

This book is one I am reading with my teenage daughters - Elizabeth (17) and Elliana (15). We just started, and we're not even done with the first chapter. The first chapter alone is packed. This will be a slow read aloud. So far, I think this book may lead to some good conversation, so I am hopeful that our time spent with this one will be fruitful. Yet, I am worried that maybe it will be too deep, require too much critical thinking for our purposes. But if it does, then so be it....our brain cells can use the stretching and multiplying.

Next Up, for June:

I am sure I will still be reading Finding Truth with my daughters, but I am thinking that my husband I will start a new book by mid-June. What that book will be? -not sure. Beyond those two books, the following is what I would like to read if I can squeeze them in to my already limited reading time.


Conversation Peace by Mary A. Kassian


How Sweet the Sound by Amy Sorrells


Glittering Images by Susan Howatch


Christy by Catherine Marshall


The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

(this will be a read along with 15-year old daughter and so it will be my priority book - beyond the Bible and the two I am already reading with my husband and daughters)

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Want to see what others are reading? Check out the link up at 5 Minutes for Books.



Thursday, May 7, 2015


"Success in marriage is much more than finding the right person. It’s a matter of being the right person." -Unknown


Twenty-six years married to this beautiful and amazing man. I wish I could say it's been all giggles and fun, but it hasn't.

What I can say, I've grown and learned so much from this compassionate, kind, caring, selfless and loving soul. I am most fortunate, this I know.

What I can also say is that my heart's desire is to love him; to love him more and more everyday with selflessness, patience, kindness, protection, perseverance, trust and hope and without being easily angered...in the ways he loves me.


We have "found 10,000 ways that wouldn't work" but in those ways we found what it means to love. The "in love" emotion doesn't even touch what love truly is, just saying. And also saying, there is far too much emphasis put on the actual wedding day and not enough placed on the days beyond the "I do".

Yes, making a covenant with one another is extremely serious, but the pomp and circumstance is way out of control.


Here is truth; the wedding day is exhilarating and you seem untouchable as a couple BUT marriage is hard. It has so many layers, layers not discussed much before the vows are taken. And, many of these layers are not so pretty, rather ugly actually. But, with those ugly layers comes beautiful and wondrous ones. And, those beautiful and wondrous layers are seen most and appreciated most when we each have surrendered fully to God and daily live that out...when we follow His command of "Come to Me".

"When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now." -C.S. Lewis


Here is another truth; without actively pursuing God's holiness in my life, I fall short and bow to my selfish ways. And, only because of God can I continue to choose love, to choose our marriage - to choose one another especially during those moments when the not so pretty layers are shining.


I am very fortunate. This beautiful man has continued to choose me, and to love me throughout these 26 years. And, over the last 4 years, he has drawn closer to God which has enabled him to show me a deeper love with grace and mercy.

Love is a choice.

Marriage is a journey, and it can be beautiful.


May 6 of 2015, we celebrated our 26th anniversary by exchanging new rings as a sign that our covenant has not broken, and fallen away. We also exchanged new rings as a sign that we reaffirmed our covenant with God as our witness between us.


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This has become our Marriage Mission...

Our prayer...


Out takes...


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Side note: words for our marriage mission and prayer were in part found on marriageprayers.today and timewarpwife.com

We also discussed this as part of our mission statement...

And I'll end with this truth - a truth that we've witnessed....






















Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What's On Your Nightstand: April 2015


What's On Your Nightstand

It's been a while - a loooong while - since I've participated in What's On Your Nightstand hosted by 5 Minutes For Books. Now is the time to start participating again. Why? I love books. I love reading. I love chatting about books. I miss being more active about books here on my blog. I am not reading fast enough for a weekly nightstand type of post. I am not writing fast enough about the books I've read this year..ummm, I've not written about one yet. sigh. Soooo, this once a month What's On Your Nightstand post, I hope, will help kickstart me and motivate me to at least write about something book related on a consistent basis. For more info about What's On Your Nightstand, check out 5 Minutes for Books.

April has turned out to be a somewhat good month for reading, however up to this date, I have only finished two books even though I've been reading much more than that statistic. In next month's What's On a your Nightstand, I will talk about April's books.

For March, I completed:


The Year I Met You by Cecelia Ahern

I really liked this book. Once the story took hold of me, I zipped right through it. At first, I did not care much for the main character, but she grew on me. Rather, I think she grew as a character. The story is narrated by Jasmine to Matt - I found this narration to be very intriguing and insightful. I was very pleasantly surprised that this book did not turn out to be a mushy romantic love story. I was not in the mood for that type of story so whew...it wasn't one of those.

I am currently reading:


Overrated by Eugene Cho

I am reading this book with a friend of mine, Jody. We chose this book because we will be attending The Justice Conference this June, and the author is one of the speakers. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I entered the book with apprehension. Why? Well, I am not exactly sure how justice plays outs in society today, from a Christian worldview, which is why I am attending the conference. I feel very drawn to justice....understanding it, and applying it to my life. This book, Overrated, is one to not enter with apprehension, so far, it is quite good. I like how the author writes in a conversational manner while bringing home some very solid truths, and then showing how those truths interact with life. I look forward to seeing what the next half of the book will bring.

Next Up...for May:

The Bible in 90 Days -- yes, I am going to take on reading my Bible in 90 days...or maybe upwards to 110 days. I have read my Bible, from front to back, two other times, and both times has been with this 90 day reading plan. Straight out reading the Bible, all the way through, is so enriching. Biblical knowledge is gained even though it's not actually being "studied" during the reading. Care to join me?

The following books I do want to read, BUT reading my Bible is going to take major reading priority for the next three months or so.

The Well by Stephanie Landsem

If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg


Some other books for May, maybe:

Our Covenant God by Kay Arthur

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth

Love Well by Jamie George

Conversation Peace by Mary A. Kassian

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Want to see what others are reading? Check out the link up at 5 Minutes for Books.





Sunday, April 26, 2015

Books I've Read, 2014


The end of 2014 came upon on me in a mad way, so many things going on. My fall back response when many things come at me at once is to simplify, simplify, simplify. So, I simplified and did not write this post. I thought about it, often, but did not write it. Now, May 2015 is fast approaching, and this blog post is still beckoning me to write and publish it. So, here I am, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, writing this post. I am going to slay this Books I've Read 2014 list and put it to rest. Hopefully, I'll have my ducks in a better row by end of this year so I can publish a timely 2015 Books I've Read post.

Favorite Book of the Year, 2014: it's a tie, there are two favorite books for 2014


Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption - Laura Hillenbrand

This book...this book is simply amazing. The writing is beyond superb. The story is gripping, intense, sobering, emotional and full of hope. Louie Zamperini's story is truly a story about survival, resilience and redemption. Unbroken has left a mark on my life in such a good way.


The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

What can I say? I read this book purely based on my 15-year old daughter's recommendation. I walked away from the book very grateful for her recommendation. The Count of Monte Cristo is not a simple story, there are many layers, and those layers left an impression on me. This book still comes to mind, often (even after five months since reading the book). It simply is a great story.

My Top Five Books Read, 2014 (in order of when read)

The Cross He Bore - Frederick S Leahy

Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis

Firebird - Susanna Kearsely

The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption - Laura Hillenbrand

Honorable Mentions (didn't quite make the top five, but were close)

Born of Persuasion - Jessica Dotta

Seldom Come By - Sherryl Caulfield

I must mention...


I didn't place the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon on a favorite list in order to give other books a chance because let's be frank...these books are by far my most favorite books, always. The Outlander series is my favorite series, always. Diana Gabaldon is my favorite author, always.



The Bible is an entity of its own. There is no list to place it on because it is ALWAYS above every book. The impact it makes in my life is powerful. It gives life.

Books I've Read, 2014 (in order of when read) The titles are hyperlinked to my reviews (where one exists)

1. Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller

2. A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny

3. Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

4. The Cross He Bore - Frederick S Leahy

5. An Echo in the Bone - Diana Gabaldon (This was my second reading of this book. This book still remains as one of my favorites in the series. My review from when I first read the book can be found here.)

6 & 7. Fifty Shades of Gray (book 1 &2) - E.L. James

8. The Lost Wife - Alyson Richman

9. Written In My Own Heart's Blood - Diana Gabaldon

10. The Shadowy Horses - Susanna Kearsley

11. Born of Persuasion - Jessica Dotta

12. Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis

13. Mark of Distinction - Jessica Dotta

14. The Splendour Falls - Susanna Kearsley

15. Cross the Ocean - Holly Bush

16. Firebird - Susanna Kearsley

17. Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers (I don't know why I didn't write a review of this book either here on my blog or on Goodreads. I really enjoyed this book, a lot. Maybe I can find my notes and place a review in my Goodreads account. But for now, just know that this book touched my heart deeply. It truly is a story about redemption.)

18. The Heiress of Winterwood - Sarah E. Ladd

19. Mariana - Susanna Kearsley

20. Every Secret Thing - Emma Cole

21. Seldom Come By - Sherryl Caulfield

22. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

23. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption - Laura Hillenbrand

24. The Bible

25. The NIV Application Commentary - Douglas Moo

Some statistics • 25 books read • 13,259 pages were read during 2014 • The longest book read was the Bible

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