Monday, March 19, 2012

My Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos

My Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos drew me in with just its title.  I tend to choose books with neat looking covers or titles.  I am not familiar with the author at all, but now I know that he is a very talented author with an amazing imagination!  His book is a semi-fictional story of his journey to find the real Jesus.  Along the way he meets many Jesuses...but not the real Jesus.  The ones he meets are the ones that we make up in our imagination.  We conjure up an image of essentially what we want Jesus to be, instead of what He really is. 

This book came at the perfect time for me.  My church is currently doing a series on what Jesus looks like and this book went right along with what my pastor has been teaching us.  (So much so, that I was sure my pastor had read this book...and even asked him if he did.  Which he didn't, but he may be borrowing it soon!)  It was great to read this along with my church's sermon series. 

My Imaginary Jesus, although not quite what I was pictured it to be, was a good book.  It caused me to take a look at my own personal Jesus and to ask myself whether mine was the real one, of if I was trying to mold my Jesus into something in order to fit my needs.  If we develop an imaginary Jesus, we will rely on him and all of his falsehood in stead of bringing our questions, hopes, desires, situations to the only true Jesus.  This book will help you examine your faith to determine whether or not you are worshipping a Jesus that is real or counterfeit!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Will you take the challenge with me?

I came across a free ebook this morning that intrigued me.  I am a bit of an ebook hoarder.  (I'm a bit of a paperback book hoarder also.)  I've been "collecting" these ebooks over the past few months when I come across the opportunity to acquire a free one.  However, I haven't read any of them.  Until now. 

The one I came across this morning is titled, From Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae (you can read more about her on her blog HERE.)  It talks about, and challenges readers, to get dressed each morning.  Sounds simple, right?  This was something I didn't really even think I had a problem with, honestly.  I get dressed on most mornings.  I just don't make it as much of a priority as it should be.  I thought back to earlier this morning when I my wardrobe consisted of my over sized t-shirt/nightgown (yes, I need to revamp my bedtime wardrobe...but they are just sooo comfy!) and a pair of blue short with stars on them.  Add to that hair that would put Medusa to shame.  Yes, I was the epitome of blah.  I usually wait until I get the older kids on the bus before getting my shower and getting dressed, but now I'm inspired to get up a bit earlier to get myself dressed and presentable before anyone else is up.  Yeah, that means a few less minutes of sleep...but it also means a few more minutes of quiet time and a nice hot shower! (Since no one will have taken one before me!) 

Of course by the time I started reading the ebook, the older kids were already on the bus.  But I was inspired to get into the shower asap and get out of my pjs!  So I did.  And even blow-dried my hair and put my makeup on.  When I am dressed and presentable, I am more productive.  And I don't have to worry about a customer coming to our house and finding me in my pjs with Medusa hair!  It's a great feeling.

So I'm going to challenge myself to get up earlier and get dressed.  Will you join me in the challenge?  Here's the cool part:  Sarah is giving away a FREE copy of her ebook to anyone who signs up for her email and/or RSS feed!  So sign up, and download yourself a copy!  The neat thing about her book is it is what she calls a "motivotional" which is a motivational plus a devotional too!  So each day (Mon - Fri) there is a reading/challenge for us.  I'm excited to see what changes we will notices by doing something so simple as getting dressed a bit earlier each day and choosing not to live in our pjs!!   

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson


Have you ever had a dream?  A dream that you were sure God gave to you, only to give up on it because you are convinced that you must have heard wrong?  In The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, you will learn how to revive those dreams.  In most circumstances, God hasn't given up on our dreams, but we have.  And that is why we never achieve them. 

The book is centered around the legend of a man named Honi.  Honi lived in the "first century BC, and a devastating drought threatened to destroy a generation - the generation before Jesus. "  Honi was famous for calling down rain from the heavens.  So his community looked to him for help.  Honi drew a circle in the sand, stepped into it, looked up toward heaven and told God that he would not step out of that circle until he sent rain.  And the rain came.  It was more like a torrential downpour from the sky! 

Mark Batterson challenges us to draw our own prayer circles around our dreams and to not give up.  His book is full of so many amazing stories of God's faithfulness to Mark personally and how Mark has used prayer circles time and again to see God fulfill dream after dream.  Dreams that Mark never thought possible.  Dreams that seemed downright silly.  Mark Batterson is a firm believer of circling our dreams in prayer and through his book, hopefully you will become one too!  I know this book has challenged me personally concerning my prayer life.  I tend to pray once for something, and when I don't see God answering the prayer almost instantly, I tend to think "well, I guess it's wasn't God's will".  But so many times we walk away from those prayers without giving God time to answer them.  Most often, God is working behind the scenes closing doors of what is essentially 2nd or 3rd best in order to give us THE best.  Because of those closed doors, we walk away and give up without ever experiencing THE best that God has for us in that situation.  

When I first picked up this book, I really wasn't sure what a prayer circle was, but I was intrigued!  I now am excited to confront my prayer life with a new dimension...of circles.  No longer will I only pray once for something.  I will circle that prayer with many prayers until it become what Mark Batterson describes as "long and boring".  That is when I will see God move on my behalf. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

It's crazy how something can become a habit for a few weeks, then is completely forgotten.  I was doing so well at posting on here every day or so and then it was gone.  And now I feel as if I'm completely out of the habit.  Or maybe I don't have anything to say.  Yeah...I didn't think that was why either!  I always ALWAYS have something to say if you know me in person.  So I'm not sure what happened with my posting.  I know my first week's hiatus I was experiencing some weird aches and pains and symptoms and by the end of the week I was miserable.  After 6 days of a recurring headache, I decided to go to the chiropractor.  And boy did he work wonders!  Not sure what I did to get my bones all jumbled up in that way, but I was definitely broken!  I'm still not 100% but after another visit to the chiro, I'm sure I'll be back to my self. 

So that was last week.

This week poured on the stress for both hubby and I.  There were some issues he was having in the garage where repairs weren't going as planned.  And one truck actually bent in half when hubby lifted it up on the rack in order to take a look at it.  Disclaimer:  it wasn't hubby's fault...that particular make and model had a week point where the cab and the bed meet so it was going to break sooner or later...and it just decided to happen in the midst of our already stressful week.  On top of those stresses, there is just a lot of questions we need answers for involving the business and future growth.  So this week we were just plain STRESSED.  So that is why I didn't post much this week. 

I'm hoping for a non-stressful and non-painful week this coming week so I can blog to my heart's content!  Aren't you excited?  I bet you are!!

One cool thing I was able to accomplish was working in my flowerbeds on a particularly sunning and warm day.  It felt great to be outside and get a jump start on the landscaping.  Not sure if it's too early, but heck, it's March...why not?  So I cleared away all the dead stuff to uncover the perennials peeking underneath.  I tell you what, I get GIDDY when I see the perennials growing in early spring.  Honestly, I'm not sure why, but I LOVE IT.  And don't even get me started on when the bulbs peek through!  Yes, I'm weird.  So anyways, I cleaned it out, dug up some stubborn weeds, and then mulched it with some mulch a friend had given us.  Every year I clean out the beds to get them ready for mulch and then I rarely ever put the mulch in them.  Not sure why...I guess probably the cost involved.  Or the lack of time and focus in spring...or the fact that spring is normally very busy for us with Evan playing baseball....probably a combination of all of those things.  Well, I have one flowerbed DONE!  yay!  And I think it looks awesome!  I would totally take a picture if 1.  I weren't in my nightgown and 2. it weren't cold outside.  Living in Ohio this winter has been interesting...one day it will be in the 60's and then next day we have snow on the ground.  We are experiencing some season-confusion here in OH-IO!  My hope with getting my flowerbeds cleaning out and mulched early is that they will NOT grow weeds.  I know...it's a bit unrealistic.  Never hurts to hope, right?

Another cool thing from this week is that I am getting more eggs from my hens!  4-6 eggs a day!!!  Yay!!!  The eggs got me to thinking about incubating eggs, which I do every spring.  The incubated eggs got me to thinking about baby chicks.  Which then in turn got me to thinking about buying some chicks instead of going to the hassle of incubating them.  (Does anyone else think like this? I'd like to think I have a complex mind and it's a sign of my intelligence...)  Anyways, so I bought 6 chicks, even though I really only wanted 2 or 3.  You have to buy 6 because they need to be in a flock.  I really think it's because they don't want to be stuck with little chickies in the store very long...but oh well.  So I bought 6.  

I bought 2 of these:  


2 of these:


and 2 of these:

   
So I bring them home and the kids (especially Allie) loved them. 

Then it happened again.  The urge to buy more.  A different TSC store had another breed that I've never owned before.  So I bought 6 more. 

I bought 2 of these again:


1 of these only because I didn't know that breed.  But after getting home and googling it, I wish I would have bought more of them because I think they are beautiful:



2 of these:



And 1 of these:



I know!  Isn't she adorable??  And to top it off, she is a bantam...which means she will stay small.  So I think it's safe to say she's going to get the most love of all the others.  The kids already can't keep her hands off of her! 

So now there are 12 chicks living in my kitchen under a heat lamp.  I plan to clean out the coop today and transfer them to their new home and pray that the temps stay warm enough at night.  I can't sleep with that heat lamp on...I'm so afraid it will fall and burn the house down.  It's hard to sleep with thought like that running through your head!  

So now that I'm done buying chicks....I find myself thinking about incubating again.  It's spring and I apparently am feeling the need to mother something like every other species.  And since I can no longer have children, I'll substitute with chickens I guess.  Again, I'm weird.  lol

So that was my week in a nutshell.  Hope it didn't completely bore you!!   

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Party at my house!

Have you heard of House Party?  I hadn't until about a year ago.  It's a site where you can apply for specific themed parties and if you get picked, they will send you a party pack with pretty much everything you need to host your own house party! 

I say all of this because I had applied for a few parties, however I never got picked.  I have a friend who has hosted 2 of them (was trying hard not to get bitter about the rejection...lol).  I went to both of hers and it was fun.  Mainly you get to try a new product (usually a food-type product, but there are non-food products too).  I recently applied for the Johnsonville Italian Inspirations House Party...and I got picked this time!!  YAY!!  Can you tell I'm excited!  And I'm even more excited because I just received my Party Kit today!  I must say I was like a kid on Christmas morning opening up that package! 

Here is a pic of what my party kit included:    


My kit included 2 bags and 2 boxes of pasta, a container of parmesan cheese, a bottle of olive oil, an apron, a hot pad, a pasta measuring tool, paper plates, napkins, and a pasta spoon to be used at my party.  In addition to those items, I also received 5 coupons for a free package of Johnsonville Italian Sausage!  How cool is that?  Each of my guests will receive a recipe booklet and coupons of their own for sausage!

I'm so stoked about this party!  Not sure what I'll do, but I know it will include great food along with some girl time!

If you are interested in hosting your own House Party, check out the current parties accepting applications HERE.  And if you don't see any parties that interest you at this time, be sure to check because they are constantly changing.  With each party listing, you can also see what will be included in your party pack if you are picked as a hostess.  Last year my friend received a really frying pan that retailed for $120 in Amazon!  (Still trying not to be bitter...lol) 

Best of luck if you apply!!

 


Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Winner of the Worst Blogger of The Year Goes To...

ME!  I'm not sure what has happened the past week or so...I was on such a roll with blogging almost daily.  I think I'm in a bit of a funk.  There's been a lot going on and I just haven't taken the time to post anything. And honestly, I didn't really think anything that was happening is something you would want to read.  So instead I went on a hiatus.  Did you miss me?  I sure hope so.   

So I must say I'm sorry.

Do you forgive me?

You do?  Oh goodie! 

I'm glad we were able to resolve that.  With that being said, I commit to blog more often, ok? But it's not going to happen tonight (other than this post of course).  It's been a long week, but a short one.  You know the kind...where you are so busy and in the midst of it it seems as if it's moving by so slowly, yet the busy-ness also make the week fly by.  Or maybe I just conjured that whole thing up myself.  Not sure.  I know that I've been busy, and I haven't been feeling all that great, and my routine is all out of whack.  So I'm just feeling generally messed up. 

And when I feel messed up and need to escape.  I take a bath.  Some people take vacations or trips to the bar.  I take a bath.  If you haven't figured it out yet from all of my past posts, I'm sort of weird.  But weird is a bit harsh....so let's describe me as ecclectic, ok?  Or is it eccentric?  Probably both, but I'm too tired and stressed to google it.  So just pick one, ok? 

While I'm allowing Calgon to take me away, I will be dreaming up amazing things to post about in the future, ok?  And if there is ever something you'd like me to blog about (subject to approval of course), please let me know!!!