Book Review! Bountiful Blessings by Susie Larson


Title: Bountiful Blessings 
: Susie Larson
Release Date: 
January 2, 2018

Description from Goodreads: “Rest in God’s Blessings as You Color

This beautiful coloring book is for readers who want to unwind with a reminder of God’s love and purpose for them. We often live our lives worried about to-do lists and responsibilities, forgetting how God feels about us and who we are in him. Because of this struggle, author Susie Larson began posting nightly blessings on Facebook to encourage her fans and friends, and since then, thousands have responded and forwarded the blessings along to others.

The lefthand pages of this book contain a blessing packed with biblical promises as well as a related Scripture to point you back to God’s timeless truth. The righthand pages contain beautiful, intricate illustrations for you to color that bring God’s wonders into focus.

Read, rest, and create as you soak in the wonder of God’s love for you.”

Review: This color book is absolutely adorable! I love the simple yet lovable pictures you get to color. I am the type of person who gets overwhelmed and anxious when I am faced with a really complex scene to color. These pictures are simple and perfect for smaller amounts of time and far more peace.

I love that one side of the page is the devotional to read, and the next side is a picture that corresponds with the message of the devotional. This is a perfect activity for reflecting on the message without getting distracted. In a world that seems so messed up, it is easy to get caught up in the materialistic attitude that seems so common now days. This is the perfect way to remember all the wonderful things God has already blessed you with. I love to start out my mornings with this coloring book.

This is the perfect size. Most of my adult coloring books are the large size. This is the size of a regular paperback, making it easier to store, transport if needed, and much easier to read.

This is now my favorite coloring book and devotional. It’s exactly what I need to start or end my day.


*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*





Book Review! Our Father Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer by Pope Francis

Title: Our Father Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer
Pope Francis
Release Date: 
March 15, 2018

Description from Goodreads: Discover what The Lord’s Prayer really means, reinterpreted for a modern audience

In this new work by the much loved Pope Francis, he offers remarkable insights into what the most popular prayer in Christianity can tell us about living a life of meaning, purpose and strength.

Going through the prayer verse by verse he reminds us of its timeless words, and addresses the concerns of us all, whether Christian or not, seeking to guide us while exploring the importance of social justice, helping others and forgiveness – all key elements of Pope Francis’ papacy.

Through his eyes, we realise the sentiments in Our Father are very much of today’s world, challenging our doubts and bringing us courage.”

Review: This book was a really short read. It took me about an hour to read the entire thing. There were some interesting points that made what I have always called The Lord’s Prayer, seem a little deeper and I was able to put parts of it in a new context that I hadn’t previously thought about, but I didn’t gain as much as I had hoped for. I found myself confused more than inspired.

I am not a Catholic so some of the things were a bit different for me. As a Lutheran, I knew there would be some differences; I have attended Catholic churches for weddings and baptisms before so I thought I was prepared. As I mentioned before, we call it The Lord’s Prayer, Catholics call it the Our Father. That took some getting used to but wasn’t a big deal. Then he kept mentioning The Mother; I guess that is the church, but it’s foreign to me, so there were probably some points that I wasn’t able to understand based on not being familiar with the terminology.

The one thing that really bothered me was that this would be reading like a regular book, and then suddenly there would be a question being proposed to Pope Francis. There wasn’t any preamble to the question or mention of who was proposing the question; I got confused about who was actually “speaking” in the text I had been reading. There would also be paragraphs, or sections where a story was given apparently by the ghost writer, and Pope Francis then commented on the story, it was very confusing. The copy I have is an advance edition so I hope in the final they separate the parts for who is speaking, and clarify who it is. Nowhere in the title, on the book,, or does it give another authors name, so when suddenly someone else started “speaking”, it was puzzling.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

Book Review! The Pharaoh’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

Title: The Pharaoh’s Daughter
Author: Mesu Andrews

Description from Goodreads: ““Fear is the most fertile ground for faith.”
“You will be called Anippe, daughter of the Nile. Do you like it?” Without waiting for a reply, she pulls me into her squishy, round tummy for a hug.
I’m trying not to cry. Pharaoh’s daughters don’t cry.
When we make our way down the tiled hall, I try to stop at ummi Kiya’s chamber. I know her spirit has flown yet I long for one more moment. Amenia pushes me past so I keep walking and don’t look back.
Like the waters of the Nile, I will flow.

Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile.
When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.
As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?”

Review: The Pharaoh’s Daughter was incredibly well written and it was obvious that a lot of research also went into it. The author did an amazing job bringing this time in history to life. I was able to understand what the Hebrew’s endured during their time in slavery far more after reading this book than when I’ve read those parts of the Bible before.

It is so sad and disgusting the way the Egyptians acted, treated the Hebrews, and prayed to the fake gods. They were so cruel, hateful, and self absorbed. On the contrary, I loved the devotion the Hebrews showed, the love and dedication they showed each other and God. It was easy to tell who worshiped the One True God, and who worshiped fake idols and gods.

This is not at all the life I expected of Moses. We didn’t get much from his life between being saved from the Nile and then being in his 80s and being summoned by God for his mission, so there wasn’t much for me to imagine. I loved getting a glimpse of what his early life, and the lives of all the Hebrew’s in Egypt, could have been like.


 *I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*




Book Review! Night Night, Farm Touch and Feel by Amy Parker


Title: Night Night, Farm Touch and Feel
 Amy Parker

Description from Publisher:  Night Night, Farm—now with a brand-new touch and feel element on every spread! Your children will love saying good night to the animals in pj’s on the farm, to their mommies and daddies, and to God. Bestselling author Amy Parker (more than 1 million books sold) and award-winning illustrator Virginia Allyn join to make this irresistible bedtime book.

Moo moo, cows!

Baa baa, sheep!

When the sun sinks low down on the farm, the animals are all tuckered out from the day’s adventures. Join these adorable farm animals in pajamas as they say night night to the farm, to their mommies and daddies, and to God. Enjoy the award-winning artwork in a brand-new way with a touch and feel element on every spread. The story comes alive as children feel the texture of the tractor wheels and soft baby calves as they drift off to sleep.

Your little ones will sleep until the rooster crows knowing that the God who made them loves them too.

Night night, farm!”

Review: This book is absolutely adorable. I grew up on a farm and I want my children to experience that same sense of wonder and joy that I did, even if they live in the city.

I love the touch and feel aspect of this book. Giving texture to this story, and the lives of these adorable animals is so special and really helps bring the book to life.

This is a book my kids will be requesting to be read many times before bed, and it’s so adorable, I don’t even mind. The fact that the animals are wearing pajamas make it more exciting for my children to get into theirs and curl up in bed for this story, and as a parent, the incentive to put on their pajamas is such a relief.

I love that this book incorporates faith and God’s love for them into it. I really want my children to understand that important message from early on so they never forget it. I cannot think of a better way for my children to go to sleep than with the knowledge of God’s love in their hearts.

The only thing I would change is that on some of the later pictures, there isn’t a touch and feel animal on the page. One page, I think some writing is textured but it isn’t the same.


Recommendation: I love this book and I would recommend it for any child who loves animals.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

Book Review! Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot by Mo Isom

Sex and Jesus.jpg

Title: Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot

Author: Mo Isom

Rating: 4/5
Release Date: 
March 6, 2018

Description from Goodreads: Sex. In a world overwhelmingly obsessed with it, why is the church so silent about it? While our secular culture twists, perverts, cheapens, and idolizes sex, there are gaping holes in the church’s guidance of young people. The result is generations of sexually illiterate people drowning in the repercussions of overwhelming sin struggles.

Enough is enough, says Mo Isom. With raw vulnerability and a bold spirit, she shares her own sexual testimony, opening up the conversation about misguided rule-following, virginity, temptation, porn, promiscuity, false sex-pectations, sex in marriage, and more and calling readers back to God’s original design for sex–a way to worship and glorify him. This book is for the young person tangled up in an addiction to pornography, for the girlfriend feeling pressured to go further, for the “good girl” who followed the rules and saved herself for marriage and then was confused and disappointed, for the married couple who use sex as a bargaining tool, for every person who casually watches sex play out in TV and movies and wonders why they’re dissatisfied with the real thing, and for every confused or hurting person in-between.

Sex was God’s idea. It’s time we invited him back into the bedroom”.”

Review: This book was really interesting and I am glad I read it. This topic is so important, especially in our society where people are made to feel less than if they are a virgin, even as young as middle school. I remember being in 9th grade, and a classmate made me feel embarrassed and self-conscious that I hadn’t had sex yet! She even went so far as to tell me to just pick any guy friend and get it over with.

I really wish I would have been able to read a book like this when I was younger and struggling with these temptations. I am married now, and though I am still trying to be better, the struggles aren’t as strong as they used to be. Reading this book made me feel less alone with some of the things that I did when I was young, and gave me some good advice on how to overcome the guilt and shame of them.

After reading Mo’s story, I have a better idea of what I need to share with my children when the time comes for the sex talk. Nobody wants to have to have that conversation with their child, but it’s so important that they get the correct information, and I want my children to have some of this information shared in this book.

I plan to save this book and share it with my children after the sex talk. I feel that every young person should read this book to feel less alone, to see the consequences of their decisions a little better, and from someone other than a parent.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to any young person, preteen and up, and/or to any adult who is currently or has struggled with sexual sin.


*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

Book Review! The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

Title: The Recipe Box
Viola Shipman
Release Date: 
March 20, 2018

Description from Goodreads: Bestselling, beloved author of The Charm Bracelet spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and in their pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life–including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

Review: Viola Shipman has a way of making me long for and treasure my families memories and heirlooms, and making me want to start wonderful traditions like this for my children.

This book inspired me to get out my grandma’s old recipe boxes and find new recipes to make for my family. I grew up baking with my other grandmother, just as Sam did, and I have always treasured those memories. This book spoke to my heart in such a glorious way.

This book was so well written and incredibly vivid, I was able to picture the orchard, smell the apples pies baking, and feel the pride at this wonderful family and business. I found myself so engrossed in this book that I didn’t even realize how much time had passed.

I loved this book and cannot wait for the next inspiring and heartwarming book by Viola Shipman.


*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*




I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith Under Fire by Melba Pattillo Beal


Title: I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith Under Fire
Melba Pattillo Beals
Release Date: 
January 16, 2018

Description from Goodreads: “In 1957, Melba Beals was one of the nine African American students chosen to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. But her story of overcoming didn’t start–or end–there. While her white schoolmates were planning their senior prom, Melba was facing the business end of a double-barreled shotgun, being threatened with lynching by rope-carrying tormentors, and learning how to outrun white supremacists who were ready to kill her rather than sit beside her in a classroom. Only her faith in God sustained her during her darkest days and helped her become a civil rights warrior, an NBC television news reporter, a magazine writer, a professor, a wife, and a mother.

In I Will Not Fear, Beals takes readers on an unforgettable journey through terror, oppression, and persecution, highlighting the kind of faith needed to survive in a world full of heartbreak and anger. She shows how the deep faith we develop during our most difficult moments is the kind of faith that can change our families, our communities, and even the world. Encouraging and inspiring, Beals’s story offers readers hope that faith is the solution to the pervasive hopelessness of our current culture.”

Review: This book was really well written, intriguing, and completely inspiring. I read this book in one day because I just didn’t want to put it down. I was drawn into this harrowing story from the first page. Towards the end it did start to slow down, as she went into more of  her adult life, but it was still interesting to read.

It is easy to tell that Melba Pattillo Beal has been a professional writer. The way she tells the story is incredible. She has a way of making you feel like you are right there with her, through all of the trials in her life. I could feel the pain and fear she experienced.

Melba’s story is so inspiring. She has been challenged all her life and she has overcome so much. Her powerful faith is something we should all aspire to. With all the terrible things she experienced, she never doubted, and she always trusted God for her and her families safety. If that wasn’t enough, every time she felt God nudge her to move onto something else, she did it, completely trusting that she was doing the right thing. I hope to apply some of the lessons I learned in this book to my life.

I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*