Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

daddy... i mean, mommy.

mama: sweetie, do you want to bring your candy along?
emma:OH! YES, DAD!
mama: who?
emma: haha... I straight up called you dad!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Truth About Forgiveness {Book Review}

The Truth About Forgiveness
John MacArthur

Book Description

A focused, powerful message about forgiveness and its necessity in living a joy-filled Christian life.

The greatest measuring rod of love in the life of a Christian may be forgiveness, because God showed His love to us in terms of forgiveness.” —John MacArthur

Does anyone really want to forgive? Or admit that we need forgiveness? Whether we’re giving or receiving, forgiveness is hard. It seems unfair. It feels unnatural. And as best-selling author and pastor John MacArthur demonstrates, forgiveness apart from Christ is unnatural. It is only as we understand our need, Christ’s power and example, and what it really means to love that we can embrace two of the most liberating acts of love: forgiving and being forgiven.

My Thoughts
A quick read, only seven chapters long.  MacArthur definitely has a straightforward approach when dealing with the topic of sin.  From the git-go, he is very straightforward about how our culture's mindset regarding responsibility and sin has strayed so very far from the standard set forth in God's Word.  This book can be read as a general overview of the topic forgiveness (why man needs it and how God provides for it) and it can be worked through as a small group study.  This is just one book in the "The Truth About ________" series. Other topics include grace and the lordship of Christ.

BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

When the Hurt Runs Deep {Book Review}

Publisher's Description
Where Can You Turn for Hope When the Hurt Runs Deep?
At some point in life, every one of us will face the dark pain of heartache and despair, a hurt that pierces so deep we’re left gasping with questions:
 Why me? Why now?  What have I done to deserve this?  Will the pain ever go away?  How can God just stand by and let this happen?  What do I have left to hope for?

Writing from insights she has gained, not only through her own valleys of deep hurt but also from years of study and counseling others through their pain, Kay Arthur points the way toward genuine healing. With candor, grace, and vulnerability, she invites you to join her on a journey toward wholeness as you exchange your fears and frustrations, hurts and disappointments for a hope that will never disappoint.

My Thoughts
There was definitely some helpful information found throughout this book.  Primarily a straightforward list of things to remember when the hurt runs deep as well as an appendix full of practical helps that I found helpful both in my life as well as future counsel for those who are hurting whom God places in my path. Unfortunately, I didn't necessarily enjoy the author's writing style and if the topic weren't so completely relevant to the last few years of my life, I would have simply tossed it aside and moved on to something else.  However, the information proves to be valuable.  I have yet to decide if I will take the time to work through the study guide included at the end of the book, but I'm thankful that it's there if I choose to do so!

You can read the first chapter of this book online here.

WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Couldn't Love You More {Book Review}

I Couldn't Love You More
by Jason Ingram & Matt Hammitt

For those of you who see my updates on your Facebook feed, you are aware that I am a huge fan of Matt Hammitt--lead singer of one of our favorite bands.  When his wife was pregnant with their third child, they became aware via ultrasound of that their son Bowen's had a heart defect.  His chances of survival weren't stellar.  At the time Bowen was born, we had already said our goodbyes to our Malachi.  Bowen was to have the same open heart procedure that our little boy endured.  God has blessed our lives greatly by the album Matt Hammitt wrote through this journey--Every Falling Tear.

One of the songs from that album is "I Couldn't Love You More."  I love when John sings this song to our babies.  Not only does it remind them of their parents' love, but it also points them to the love of our God and Savior.  The hand-painted illustrations are a definite perk, too!

Catch a sneak peek of the book here.

Watch Matt Hammitt talk about the book here:


Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

before and after: the study

September 2010… Be thankful the camera does not capture smell!  Our home had been sitting as a foreclosure for over a year.  This picture does not reveal the coarse texture on the walls of the two outside walls of the study or the awful animal stains on the carpet.  However, it does show the footprints of the children who were here prior to our residency!


All flooring in the home was torn up.  These are the bags we systematically left out for the garbage trucks.  Big thanks to friends who offered to put some out in their trash as well!  Just getting all of this out of the house helped tremendously with the smell!  We were not taking any chances, so we primed and sealed every surface before moving in.


The walls have been primed.  The study became a holding area for everything that would eventually be moved into our house.  We moved in once the bedrooms and kitchen were liveable—roughly two months after closing on the house.


A mid-way pic.  The most obvious difference here is that all of our “stuff” is no longer loitering in the middle of the room!  Emerson reading the books as I was unpacking them.  The desk also in place and now holds John’s computer and our printer (along with everything else it seems to accumulate!).


A midway shot during the day…

Also, John installed the wood laminate flooring himself.


A midway shot during the evening…


Here is the most current set up of the study.  The play table has been brought down from Jackson’s room.  I have four totes of toys which are regular rotated down to the study so as to keep it mostly an office as opposed to a playroom.  We also have added a new rug.


Hopefully I will continue in this series of before and afters as the progress we’ve made (okay, the progress JOHN has made--between working full-time, having a wife and kids, and stuff at church) has truly been remarkable!