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Monday, November 24, 2014

Grace for the "GOOD" Part 1


I have been feeling compelled to write about Grace and think I want to do a little bit of a series on the things that God has shown me and taught me. I think I want to call it "Grace for the 'GOOD'", you will get what I mean as you read on.  

I really believe I have never truly understood grace until recently, maybe the past few years, these years that I would classify as "hard".

I knew I didn't get the concept of grace because I didn't have a gut reaction to the word, I didn't have a sense of recognition in my spirit towards the word. It was one of those words that I had heard all of my life, that I understood maybe in the simple definition but not in how it applied to me, how it affected me. I am not sure that I prayed specifically that God would show me more what grace was or help me to understand it, I might have, but He has slowly taken me through a process of revealing to me in great depth the meaning of it, the layers of it, the intense beauty of it.

Even reiterated yesterday in our church service from our pastor, what need is there of grace if we are "pretty good people". Even though, again, I knew practically that my sin was no different than anyone else, it was still mostly classified as "good sin" by most people, or so I think I told myself. I didn't have this attitude in my heart that made me want to drop to my knees in utter worship because anything good in me or about me was all God, as gross as it sounds, I think I thought of myself as "pretty good".

I became a Christian when I was 6 and by that time I had not stolen any cars, done any drugs, or been involved in anything I would have considered "testimony worthy". Being the eldest child I had strong urges in me to obey, be good, follow rules, and heaven forbid get into trouble, so even after I knew the Lord these things about me kept me pretty close to the straight and narrow. I remember having the thought that I simply didn't get involved with many things high school kids might because I was never presented with the opportunity, when I think I had thought it had been my great decision making all along. Maybe had I not been a "dork" I would have made more bad choices, and I may have done or tried those things as well. God's grace was present in my life even then, keeping me just a bit different from the cool kids.

And in these last weeks I feel so thankful, so thankful that He kept me from those things and many hard choices I could have easily made and yet has still been so faithful to reveal to me His grace anyways. Perhaps there is an element of understanding that can only come in the "valley of the shadow of death", the days that are dark, hard, lonely and our smallness and insignificance become so apparent. That our ability to do for ourselves or even control anything is all an illusion, there is nothing strong or capable about us when we have come to the end of ourselves. When we are face to face with our weakness, our depravity, our deep pain, and all we can do is brush all the pieces into a pile and take it to Him, where He waits. I am thankful for these valleys because we see Him and understand in a deeper way.


I know He has been there, so near all along, before I grasped a deeper understanding of this amazing concept, and even this is His grace. I remember being maybe 10 and getting a karaoke machine from my grandma for Christmas and laying on the floor of my office room with the mic and making up songs to the Lord. (Yea see, as I wrote back then in my diary "being a dork is hard" ha ha).  For so long I think I despised this precocious and deeply feeling little girl because I always felt so misunderstood or like I didn't fit in. I knew I was not as cool and think I always had this heart for the Lord, but I certainly didn't know how to express it in a way that wasn't a bit odd. It is almost like I hated that girl, the one who never brushed her hair, never wore the right clothes,  a little too chubby, who boys never liked. I think this concept of myself has been the one I have let rule my self for many years since.

God revealed this to me, and this was some sort of root to part of my depression. I was so hard on myself because at some point I had clung to the fact that I wasn't really loveable, that I was too much, too emotional, too feeling, to intense and no one can handle that. Most of my life has been played by this play book. Being paralyzed by the depression as I was, I believe, was my psyche not being able to take much more of this abuse I was giving to myself. And so much of this abuse, came down to "being good". It wasn't so much about not doing this or that bad thing, no it was more this inner abuse of knowing what I "should be thinking or feeling" because I was a "good Christian" yet not being able to reconcile my need to be real and authentic about how I didn't feel those things and I felt trapped in my own self hatred. This inner battle between how I should be and how I felt, the truth I should believe and the lack of strength to believe it. This is the crossroads God brought me to.

When I was in Northern Ireland I feel God spoke to me that Isaiah 61 was a part of my calling as it was Jesus'. To help bind up the brokenhearted, to call those that sit into darkness into light, etc.  I saw them as "those people" that I was called to, that I was going to help. As God met me in my brokenness and that "goodness" that was no where near being good enough, 
He spoke to me about how 
 "those people". 

That being saved wasn't only about my 6 year old experience sitting on my mom's bed at bedtime.
I still needed a Savior to save me every single day of my existence. I think somewhere along the way I had come to believe that God graced me salvation but it was my job to get me through the rest, all on my shoulders, on my shoulders to get it right, to figure it out, to stay right with God. But I felt desperate and broken and my strength had totally left me so long ago, all that was left was this broken mess of what I thought I had done right or learned all these years about how life worked. I needed Him to save me, 
every day, 
through every struggle, 
through every sin, 
through every insecurity 
and lie
 that I let lead me.

 One of the greatest things I heard was about how grace is for salvation but it's also to change us, we can't change ourselves! 
 change ourselves. 

All the things that I loathed about myself, the things that I saw in myself that I hated and presumed all others hated me for as well, I couldn't change them. All this time I had put the weight on my shoulders to change myself, if I just tried harder, just had a better attitude, just chose to be more involved, more service minded, more devoted to my devotions, and I just couldn't, it was so heavy, I just gave up.

You hear the cliche's about God waiting for you to stop trying, like, "finally". But it was so true and real for me. When I understood that as I saw things in my life that weren't what God wanted,
  I just had to agree with Him, 
acknowledge them,
 and then ask Him to change me.
 A freedom started washing over me. 

My job was from that point forward was to do whatever action he was asking of me for that day, not get overwhelmed by how it was all going to work out, when it would change, or even when I would feel better. He was going to take care of all of that, it was not my job.

He gave me an analogy of this through my training for my second marathon. 
As most of you know I had dislocated my knee on the first and second days of the year, so really, training for a marathon wasn't on my agenda. When the idea presented itself I had no idea how my knee would react to this much running, but I wanted to try. He showed me that I didn't know if I would be able to run 26.2 miles 4 months from then, but that day I could run three and I finished  that three, and the next time I would do five or whatever it was next. That faith was activated in stepping out for that next task, and then four months later, I ran those 26.2 miles. He showed me how His grace is poured out in extravagance and carries you through as you do the small things he has asked of you in obedience one moment at a time, if it must be. This is obviously how I am working through every next issue, moment, step that I continually encounter, even when He has to remind me continually.

He started showing me how He loved that girl in me that I had chosen to despise. How he created me to be intense and passionate and a deep thinker and feeler. Even that 10 year old girl with the horrible teeth, the heart glasses and the chubby waist, that even this girl He loved immensely, even in her mistakes and even when she didn't feel worthy of love. He taught me to love this girl, not the girl she turned into, not the girl she was still trying to become, this girl. That for everything that I picked apart about why who I was was unacceptable, He began to show me that there was a good aspect to that as well. That who I was, was not an accident, and as He (not I) redeemed those rough qualities, I could rest in His love for me despite them.

It is in all this, all this understanding that I never knew I needed and never knew I lacked, I began to learn about grace. How His grace had been there with me all along, and now it was grace that opened my eyes.

 That I was never good enough, 
and I never would be.
 That I didn't have to be, 
because it was never me to begin with.

 The freedom in this knowledge is something that I am not sure I can really describe. This acceptance of God's pure love for me puts everything in its place, gives everything perspective. I feel grace now, I grasp it deep in my soul, it is something I could never have studied to know. It is only by God revealing it to me. It's a sense of thankfulness I have never understood, a sense of love that doesn't require to take my question of value to anyone else, it's a confidence in Him and His shoulders to get me to sanctification, to more Christ likeness. 

It's freedom.


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chapter 11

How has this year flown by so quickly?  In some ways, honestly many, I am glad it is nearly over.
Like starting a new year has some kind of magical quality, which I know is not true, but somehow it feels so.

So many life altering things that have gone on this year. I remember last year leading up to the New Year thinking through all my thoughts and what I wanted to accomplish in 2014 and then the whole knee fiasco happened on the first.

When I was on a run one day while training for my marathon in the summer I was listening to an audio book and the author mentioned something about the verses that say how God will work everything out for the good of the those who love Him, even when it looks bad. The next day we found out Daniel was let go from his job.  I held that in my heart as a word from the Lord, that He was with us even though this seems so bad, so hard. In all these things I am waiting for the good that is being worked out, I think it is mostly happening in me. This year has felt like climbing up  rocky mountain and just when you think you are at top you see you are only at the bottom of another peak. Not to mention the year before that was super intense for me personally in major things God was speaking and talking to me about.
 I suppose needless to say, I do feel like I could use a vacation.

Just when things started to take a turn, of sorts, it's like we were slapped again and I haven't written since. I am not sure why except that I feel a bit like I am on pins and needles, waiting for that next bomb to drop. Wanting to have hope but being afraid to do so in many ways. 
Scared of being disappointed or devastated again. 

On the weekend before Halloween, the Saturday before we were going to leave to head to California for Daniel's dad's funeral we received a call from Daniel's job that they had to let him go, after a whopping 3 days there. His references from previous employers had failed to get their letters in and they just let him go.

I was furious!
How could this be? Seriously?
Who's fault is this?
I took it out on Daniel that day.
I had been trying so hard to be supportive of him in such a hard personal time, to not put so much pressure on him than was necessary, but I just didn't know where to place my feelings.
Why is this happening to us?
What is going on?
I can't take anymore.

The next morning at church I just cried. I didn't even know what to feel and I just told the Lord I had nothing to give Him that day, just please help, please save me.

We met with one of our pastors later that day and I believe the Lord did send us hope through his counsel. He told us to see this time as a gift from the Lord, a blessing.
He said to take advantage of it and to enjoy and have fun!

Have fun??
Is that responsible?

But what about all those people who had prayed for that job that he got and then lost? Now we have to explain to so many people what happened and it's so humiliating!

He asked why? And switched the situation to him, would I think less of him if that had happened?

I asked if it was possible we could be cursed or maybe like Jonah and running from something that he was trying to get our attention for. He assured us that if that was the case we would know what that thing was, we would know what we were disobeying in.

He talked to us about Daniel's work and about my dreams and I did leave feeling so much better.

We went out to California and had a nice time with Daniel's family celebrating his fathers life.
Daniel, of course, struggling with his dad not being there, how strange and unreal the whole thing was.

And because of our pastors advice we decided to get a hotel down near Disneyland, where Daniel's nephew could get us into Disneyland for free, and we went, by ourselves, without the kids!

It was nice, it was nice to get away for a minute or two, say things we can't always say whenever we want because of the kids or because we live in my parents house. It was nice to relax and have fun, even if it was just for a little while.

When we got back to Colorado it was job search time. Daniel had several interviews for a shipping manager in Chico, CA with Target. This is the hard part of this waiting. This sense of holding my breath.
Being a mom and a woman I want to imagine where home will be, will I ever make real friends again, where will church be and where will the kids grow up?

I will just adjust to the idea, think of all the great things about it, and then yesterday we found out that they are going another direction.

On a positive note he was contacted for an interview from a Denver company the same day and had an in person interview today. He said it went really well and we will hear before Thanksgiving.
I want him to get this job really bad, I want to have our own space again, I want to let out this breath that is stuck in my lungs.

The boys are so little that I am glad that they don't really understand what is happening, maybe Ashton a bit. He didn't understand why we had to move to Nana and Papa's and then yesterday he said daddy didn't need a job because Nana had a job and we would just use her money. ha. That is kinda what is happening, but yes, daddy does need a job!

I know that part of our being human is wanting to understand why things happen or for me, what God is doing, teaching, etc. I just don't know anymore, nothing really makes sense and in this moment I feel a little bit stuck personally. I haven't always felt that way through these times, but I guess I am just feeling tired.

The boys are definitely the little lights to brighten our days and keep us light-hearted with their funny selves. 

I am so thankful to be able to have my parents and somewhere to live throughout this time, they have been very supportive and encouraging.

And so, the journey continues....

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Watching Grief

   A couple Thursdays ago was the strangest day emotionally I have had in a long time, and let's face it, I've had some days. That morning I found out a project I had been working on for months was not done in the right way so I had to redo the entire thing over the weekend; stress and pressure. Later Daniel went to his final interview, I believe it was the 5th one, and we waited with anticipation as later on they called and said he had passed that and had one more to go, excitement and hope. In the evening Daniel received a group family call to discuss taking his father off of life support, grief, deep sadness and some frustration. Talk about a range of emotions all stuffed into one day.

  The few days that followed that were much the same. I had to work from the time I woke up till the time I went to sleep on that book project all the while Daniel getting word that he was officially offered the job and sadly by the end of the weekend that his dad had passed away.

 It is in days like these that you kind of just float, more just existing until you get to the next day. It's hard for me to even put words around it to explain. All the while I do feel the Lord speaking to me.

  Watching Daniel, whom I love so much, have to grieve someone so dear to them is a new page for us as a married couple. Daniel is always my rock as I am the one usually having the emotional struggles, now the table is turned and I must be his rock. I can't pretend to understand something I have never experienced, I can't tell him what to feel or how to be or even expect him to always be the man I have been married to for nearly 6 years. I suppose when something like this happens, when someone loses like this, a part of their heart is broken forever and a part of them dies with that person and its only about letting time allow them to live again in a different way, a new normal.

  I am the one that says how I feel, why I write this blog, but it is so different with Daniel. He is the strong silent type. He actually told me the day his dad died that he had to make a choice; to lay in the bed under the covers and grieve that way, or get up and live, and that he chose the latter. I have no idea how I will react when this is my situation but I would venture to guess I would choose crying under my covers, at least for a while.

 Sometimes I just see him staring off into the distance and I can almost see him thinking of his dad and the memories playing across his mind. How unreal it feels, how impossible it feels, how lonely it is to be away from his mom and siblings. The hardest part about watching grief is not having any comfort to offer, no real way to bring them that relief that you so want to bring. I just know I don't want him to feel like he has to walk through it alone, that we all go on and the world keeps spinning while he just wants it to stop and feel as broken as his heart does. 

 We will go out for the funeral next week and I am so glad he will be able to be with his family and grieve along side of them. They can offer something to him through this time that I simply can't because I haven't been there for every corny joke, for every Christmas memory, for every football game and reggae dance in the kitchen. I think sometimes it's these most ordinary of moments that we miss the most, because they just made that person who they were. And his 7 siblings, they know all those little moments that they already miss so much. 

 These are the days you talk about the moment you get married, the ones that are so far from your mind and the days that seem like they won't come for so very long. The days that are the worst, the days that are sick, the days poor, the days when all you can say is "are you ok?" It's almost as if in some ways I feel like I have a chance, as much as I fail at it, to love him back and hold him up just a little for all the times he has for me. It helps me know the feeling of what its like to care so much but not have any solid solutions.

 One moment at a time, one day at a time, and when the weeks and months pass and when it still might feel just as hard as the first day, still being there and being sad and broken and lost without him, it's still OK.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Growing Through Christian Entitlement

I have been thinking lately about our life circumstances and sometimes I just want to tell the Lord they are unfair. Moving to Denver has been great, but its a very affluent area and there really isn't a middle class, that is how it feels anyways. It's either you have a lot of money or you have next to nothing and those of us that struggle somewhere in the middle almost feels laughable. This becomes difficult when you can't do things that everyone else seems to find just normal, oh Awana costs $65, let me just write a check for that. That is like a huge thing to us, perhaps there are others like us out there and we just keep to ourselves knowing God provides what we need and not always what we want.

I write this not to sound like a big complainer because often times when I feel jealous or irritated by watching peoples extravagant tailored instagram photos wondering why my life can't be more glamorous, I tell myself that just because I am not experiencing those things now, doesn't mean I won't. I wouldn't want people hating on and squashing my joy when those days arrive. I just think that I have come to realize that we as Christians in America, or maybe any country that is not third world, are not only entitled generally but we have become entitled as followers of Christ.

We see "successful" Christians who seem to have it all. They have the thriving ministry, they are New York Times best sellers, they speak at all of the "must attend" conferences, all 50 of them. They have cute hair, nails, clothes and everyone seems to love them. To be honest I dream and pray and hope that someday that I can be a part of that, I don't think there is anything wrong or bad about it. I think that is why it is hard for me to watch and then look back at my own life that seems to be falling apart and wonder when my life is going to instead fall into place, when things are going to start flowing and when I will again have enough money to buy clothes.
 Just being honest.

And I know the Lord must look down on us in all His grace and wisdom and think, 
"girl, you are so missing the point, I will show you." 
I was reminded this last week that Jesus could have come into this world with purple robes and people carrying him around and a sign over his head that said "Scripture, I wrote that!". 
But He didn't. 
He was born and placed with wood on his back, he said he never had a home, and then he died with wood on his back, not a feathered pillow of luxury. Last week's verses in the sermon were even the very ones that tell us a servant is not above his master, if they hated him, they will hate us too. People mocked him, misunderstood Him and even those He loved and let closest to Him still never really got it. If we really want to follow him we have to take that wood and carry it on our own backs.

Yet we cry and whine and pout that things get hard. I think that this is normal because we are human and things are hard in life, but this is not the point, this is not where it all ends and what it all adds up to. It makes you stop and think about what "the first will be last and the last will be first" really means. It makes you stop and consider that when we decided to follow Jesus that we we were choosing a hard life, period. It was hard for him, it will be hard for us, why are we surprised and wounded as if God didn't give us example after example in His word of those who struggled, including His son. They didn't know the full story of what God was trying to accomplish in and through them, they just knew in that moment it was hard.

I remember a time when I was serving in Northern Ireland and I was very lonely and sad being over there alone without my family and feeling like an always outsider. I am sure there were other circumstances happening at the time but I couldn't tell you what they are at the moment. I remember being in worship and crying, as I frequently do, and I just pictured myself sitting on Jesus' lap like I was a little girl and He was comforting me and when I looked up into His face (in my minds eye) He had his thorns on with drops of blood flowing down and He just said to me "it was hard for me too". I have never ever forgotten that moment, clearly even ten or so years later. It moved me because how could I dare compare these trivial "sufferings" to what He endured for me, but at the same time I didn't feel judged but actual real compassion for this girl's heart who was struggling in that moment. We don't have a God who can not relate to us, I believe that was part of the plan all along. You trust someone who knows what they are talking about because they have experienced the hard things.

The past few years its as if the Lord has been speaking to me about it being time to grow up spiritually. Life hasn't ever been perfect, but probably as near as one could expect living on this planet, where my greatest struggles were boys and not having anyone to marry for most of my adult years. For whatever reason I was sheltered and protected from many of life's hard and scarring events, for which I am grateful because this was what God had chosen for me, but now this is what He is choosing for me. 
What is it that Lamentations says, should we accept blessing from the Lord but not hardships? 

We tend to say, "but if God was good and He really loved me He would change this, He would make it better". I remember thinking that when my knee dislocated for the second time, the second day in a row, that my earthly father would put that knee cap back on for me if he could without hurting me. But God is wisdom, He doesn't think like we do, He sees more than we see, and He loves us beyond what we could ever comprehend. We think love is getting what we want when we want it, but real love is giving the person what they really need to make them whole. If love was getting what we wanted than we would all be stuck without a Savior. Jesus prayed that if there were any way that the cup (of the crucifixion) could be taken from Him that God would do that, but He did add, "not my will but yours". In that moment of fear, anxiety, frustration that there must be another way, He walked that road not because He was certain beyond doubt that it wouldn't hurt, that it wouldn't be hard, that it wouldn't take everything within Him, but rather He knew the one who was allowing this thing to happen and He trusted Him. 

How easy it is for us to get caught up in our society and demand the Lord to fit in into our self satisfying ways wondering why God hasn't yet made us rich, famous, comfortable, and our lives worry free. He doesn't allow a perfect life

because He knows the meaninglessness of it, the trap that it is. If we have decided that we are going to be His disciples as I was once told, 
"get comfortable with being uncomfortable". 
And if God blesses with notoriety or money or success, so be it, but it doesn't mean we aren't walking every single step of what we are meant to in the struggle, the want, the pain. And God doesn't demand we suck it up, only that this is part of it, this is where we become who we need to be, learn what we need to learn, how He gets all the glory. 

His ways are not ours, but He can still be trusted. Some days are filled with beaches and breezes but others are filled with empty deserts and beating sun, we thank Him for the blessings and trust Him through the battles. I don't want to wallow on the ground feeling sorry for myself that my life isn't as easy as somebody else's, I want to be someone who trusts God even when things don't make sense and trust Him enough to bring me comfort when I don't understand and it hurts more than I can bare alone. 

"All of my life, in every season, You are still God, I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship. I will bring praise, no weapon formed against me shall remain. I will rejoice, I will declare, God is my victory and He is here" 

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Monday, September 22, 2014

You Need Only Be Still

It has been a crazy weekend for us with moving. We are now in my parents house and there is something nice about throwing all our stuff in storage and not having to unpack. Sure this is not our ideal situation, but I am glad we have somewhere to go at all in this hard time.

I have been thinking some in my old way, trying to "take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ", those thoughts that people are sitting quietly behind their computer screens judging why this must be happening to us, what fault it is of ours that this must have happened. Like that Anna Nalick song I like to quote "cause I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd, cause this is my diary screaming out loud, and you can use it however you want to".  But the lessons I have been learning about being myself over these past four years is outweighing any of that. That, yep, I am like Peter, a bit in your face, a bit of an over sharer at times, a bit passionate about most everything. I know those people are probably few and far between, and I also know that I am far harder on myself than others are. You can only give as much grace as you have been able to receive yourself, and this is the process I am in. Giving myself grace.

Our pastor has been working his way through Matthew and two weeks ago he spoke about the disciples, why they were chosen, etc. He wanted us to know their qualifications for being chosen....they didn't have any. What Jesus saw in them was their heart and maybe a little bit of tenacious craziness that just might keep them trusting and following when things weren't easy. They were incredibly rough around the edges, far from prepared, totally missing the point, but they were still chosen and here we are years later still learning from them. 

We are the same, all a little off in our own way, taking steps of obedience while God refines us and sanctifies our bumpy personalities to make them useful to His kingdom, to make us that little bit more like Jesus. It was their hearts that He saw, that He chose. And He is speaking to me about all this in the middle of this hard time. To be free to be myself, flaws and all, about the power of vulnerability and being real in the middle of things that don't make sense, make me scared, upset, ask questions.

During this time I feel like the Lord has given me the verse Exodus 14:14 

I wrote it out on our chalkboard at home. That there are many times when God has asked me to fight with everything that I have, with all my strength involved, but this time, it's about letting God move and I watch Him fight for me, for us.

Even moving this weekend, although I tend to get overwhelmed with things like that, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It went fairly smoothly and quickly and although we still have more to do, it was much easier than I anticipated. Carried.

I also found a small group at my church for women on Friday mornings that I decided to get involved in. I have been so hungry for community, it has been so long, but it really felt as though as hard as I ever tried to get into something it never worked out. Finally I was able to. It was like a breath of fresh air and I walked away knowing and feeling two things; I am changed, and I am loved.

I know I am changed because it has been over a year since interacting with other Christians in that kind of learning environment. As I listened to the discussion and participated I think I was even shocked myself the kinds of things that were coming out of my mouth. This bubbling passion for the Lord and feeling so much more freedom than I ever have. This deep knowing that I am loved and accepted by Him and that He has a plan and He sees me and He validates me, it removes the necessity to grasp after anyone else's approval of me. That I know that I can do nothing without the Lord, that anything that is good about me is because of the Lord, not because I have tried so hard and checked all the appropriate boxes.

This deep knowing that I am the needy one, I am the weak one, and I will boast in my weakness because then He will be shown strong. There is no need in pretending to have it all together, that we are one step closer to the Lord because we have all the right answers, when in reality we are all beggars before a Holy God. We come empty handed, anything good about us is Him and from Him. We are all in great debt to the one who has paid for our freedom, and as Steven Furtick said in a recent sermon "Passion dies when debtors become collectors". And yet, in this time of vulnerable weakness and not knowing where we will live next or any of the answers I would like to control, I feel His strength in me. This idea of making my theology a reality in my life, not something I talk about and know about but the Spirit beginning to work it out in me. That Biblical knowledge without practical application in every day life is quite pointless, He gave us His word to help change us to become more like Christ and show other people the same.

And I am realizing that it is in this hard times that the rubber meets the road. Like "Ashley, am I good or not? You say you believe I am good, you say that I am your provider, you say all these things and so I need you to trust what you say believe, I need you to trust Me". 

And this other aspect of knowing I am loved. He has shown me and been so near and intimate with me. Speaking to me so tenderly, literally getting me from day to day, filling me with a joy and hope that could only be coming from Him. The joy of the Lord is our strength, and trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths, and do not be anxious about anything but in everything with prayer and petition present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. All these things, they are my reality right now.

Maybe I have a million reasons not to understand what is going on, and I still don't, and I don't know what will happen next. But I do know that God is doing something, that He has changed me and that I am so loved.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Treasury of Bible Stories by Kelly Pulley REVIEW & Giveaway!

When I was asked to review a children's book I thought it would be a great opportunity and on top of that Bible stories, I knew it would be a great addition to our family. 

Being interested in children's book illustration myself, I noticed the drawing first. I think the only thing I could find about the book I didn't love altogether were the eyes of the characters, but the rest of their funny and cute characterization were so great.

The author takes the old stories that we all know and love and makes them into and easy to read, easy to perform, sing-songy lyrical stories that I love to read. 

Sometimes when you are a parent you find that you are reading the same stories over and over again and I have found myself trying to say the words more interestingly or simply getting bored on how the words were laid out. Not with this book, every single story I read, although familiar, was so fun to read.

The rhyming of the lines reminded me of my speech meet days in school when you had to choose a children's poem and recite it for the class in competition. I don't know if they still have such things, but if they did I would have my kids choose one of these stories. They are not only telling you the story but cleverly rhymed and fun and sometimes even funny.

Both my boys really enjoyed the brightly colored pages and me reading to them the stories. I would highly recommend this book for bed time reading for a fun and entertaining alternative to Bible stories at night. From Adam and Eve to Jesus this is a fun and educational book.

If you would like to win a copy of this cute book, please leave a comment and one will be chosen by! Good Luck!

Watch this quick video all about it chose the 7th commenter out of 10 which is.....
Jena Abaria!!
Yay, I will email you Jena!!

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