Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When the Soul Mends by Cindy Windsmall

While this was a good read, I did have a very hard time getting into the story.  That was probably due to the fact that I had not read the previous books in the series.  Once I did get into it, it was a great read.  The book tells the story of Hannah who left the Amish community two years prior to this book, after she is attacked and rumors run rampant about her in the community.  She returns after receiving a desperate call from her younger sister. As she returns home she and confronts those who turned their backs on her, she learns lessons of forgiveness, humility and healing which alter her forever.

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Only Water

In our part of the state, we have had rain just about every day for the past week.  Some of the storms have been serious and there has been major flooding in several areas.  With all the rain, I just wanted to post this song that I'm loving right now.  Enjoy!

There's a shadow coming
As the sky goes black
It's a stubborn rain
On a Nebraska plain

There's a farmer standing
On a thirsty ground
He holds his breath
This is life or death
It's only water

And it washes over me
Like a single river stone
Changes everything
But has no power on its own
It's only water

There's a winding canyon
Where a mountain stood
Miles of earth and clay
Carried far away

But there's something holy
In these cathedral walls
They took a lot of years
And a lot of tears
It's only water

There once was a wedding
All the wine was gone
They said He's just a man
That's where it all began
It was only water

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm on a roll!

I don't know what's up with me tonight but I'm just in a writing mood!  I am so excited about going to our regional VBS meeting tomorrow night!  I LOVE VBS!  This year our theme is Big Apple Adventure.  I'll admit, when I first heard what the theme was, I was a little skeptical. Big Apple Adventure doesn't really scream VBS to me, but when I started looking at it, I fell in love with it and see how it all ties in.  Day one is "Connect with Faith" and the life application is I can have faith in Jesus.  Day two is "Connect with Love" and the life application is I can love Jesus. Day three is "Connect with Trust" and the life application is I can trust Jesus as my Savior. Day four is "Connect with Others" and the life application is I can tell others about Jesus. Day five is "Connect with Life" and the life application is I can live for Jesus.  I've listended to the music and love it.  Here's the theme song:

I'll have other posts as the planning continues but in the mean time, here's the verse for the week:

"So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ."
– Romans 10:17 (HCSB®)

Search My Heart by Hillsong

This song is playing on the radio right now and I am so in love with it!

Search my heart
And search my soul
There is nothing else
That I want more

Shine Your light
And show Your face
In my life
Lord have Your way

So with all my heart and all my soul
With all I am, Lord, I will folow You

You took the cross, You took my shame
Restored my life, now I live to worship You

Hear my cry
And hear my prayer
Draw me close
I know your near

Without You I am nothing

Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs

This was such a great read!  I had heard of Liz Curtis Higgs but this was the first of her books I've read.  She is now a favorite of mine.  I just love her writing style.  She has such a way of pulling you into the story.  When I selected this book to review, I wasn't aware that it was the second in a series and was a little disappointed to find that out when I received it but that was quickly forgotten once I started reading it!

The story is set in 18th century Scotland and is based on the Book of Ruth. The main characters are Elizabeth and her, mother in law, Marjory.  They have lost their husbands to death and have been stripped of their titles and wealth for their husbands' support of Prince Charles.  They must learn to provide for themselves and adjust to a meager income.

The book shows us wonderful lessons of trusting God for His provisions and that every good gift comes from the Lord and not by anything we do or how much money we have.

I highly recommend this book or anything by Liz Curtis Higgs!

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

I'm a sucker for Christian fiction.  That's why I was so excited to get this book.  It was like a story within a story.  Lauren Durough is a young woman who was born into a life of privilege as the only child to a wealthy couple.  She decides to attend the local state college instead of Stanford as is expected of her.

After her first summer break, she comes back to school and decides to take a job working for an elderly woman transcribing a diary written by a girl accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.

The further she gets into transcribing the diary, the more she learns about herself. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical or contemporary Christian fiction as there are elements of both in it.

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Family Vacation 2011!

A little over a month ago we went on a cruise with my parents, brother and sister-in-law and sister.  The nephew and niece stayed home.  This was the first time we've all traveled on a week long vacation since we got married a little over 3 years ago.  This was mine and my husband's third cruise and we were so looking forward to it.  We were on the Carnival Elation and our cruise was January 10-January 15. The winter weather almost derailed our road trip to Mobile.  We were supposed to leave on the evening of January 9, but were afraid the weather was going to get bad so we left Sunday morning.  We really hated to miss church, but it was a good thing we did because we wouldn't have made it if we hadn't.  We ended up spending the night in some run down motel in south Alabama.  We got to the port and were on the boat by 11:30 am. 
First sight of the Carnival Elation!

Mom and Sis enjoying the first of many cups of hot cocoa!

Our rooms weren't ready until 1:30, so we had plenty of time to grab lunch and explore the ship.  When they finally allowed us to go to our rooms, we were so excited to see where we would be spending the next few days.  We were on the Riveria deck.
Our room, R197!
View of other side of our room.

We took a few minutes to settle into our rooms before we headed back upstairs for the safety drill.  On our previous cruises, we've had to take our life vests with us.  So glad we didn't have to do that this time.  After the safety drill, we headed back on deck for the sail away.  We were supposed to have left the port at 4:30 p.m., but ended up not leaving until after 5, due to "routine technical maintenance.  That should have been a sign for us that our week was not going to be what we had planned.

After the sail away, we went back to our rooms to get ready for dinner!  I was so ready for a hot shower after being on the road and out in the cold waiting for the ship to sail away.  We had dinner at 8:15, so we had plenty of time to get ready.  Dinner was amazing.  The family was so amazed at how great the food was and our waiter, Santiago, and assistant waiter, Leon, were amazing!  They took such great care of us all week.

Us and our waiter, Santiago

Tuesday was a day at sea.  We spent most of the day relaxing and going to different events on board.  This was also formal night.  One of my favorite parts of cruising is getting to dress up every night for dinner, but formal night is my favorite night!
Formal night!

Tuesday night was also when we began to realize something wasn't right with the propulsion system. the entire time we had been on the cruise, the water had been extremely rough, but we also noticed we were moving extremely slow.  Late that night, the captain made an announcement over the loudspeaker that they were experiencing problems with the propulsion system and wasn't sure when we were going to make it to our first port of Cozumel on Wednesday, even though we were supposed to arrive at 8 am.  Of course, we really didn't know how to react to this announcement.  We soon realized there was nothing we couldn't do about and were just going to enjoy ourselves.  We finally arrived in Cozumel at 1:30 and were allowed to stay off the boat until 9:30.  We didn't want to be off the boat after dark, so we just planned on being back before dark.  We took a taxi down the strip to the shopping area and spent a few hours going through the shops.  We made it back to the boat before 6 so we could get ready for dinner at 8:15.  When we got back to our room, there was a letter explaining that we were not going to be able to make it the second port of Calica due to the problems with the ship.  They reimbursed $75 to each of us for the inconvenience of not getting to go to the second port.  Lots of people on the ship were upset but again, we just decided that we were going to make the most of it!

Another favorite of ours this cruise was getting together for late night UNO games!  We would all meet up in the Lido dining room and play UNO until 1 or 2 every night.  It was so much fun!
The UNO champion himself (AKA Dad)!

All week long, it had been cloudy and a tad chilly.  Finally on the last day, the sun decided to make an appearance!
Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Even though we had problems with the ship and didn't get to go to one of the ports, we still had an amazing week and some great memories!  We are already planning the next one!

Sorry this is such a long post but I wanted to share about our cruise! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Welcome to Our World!

Okay, so I've finally started a blog.  Been thinking about it for awhile now thanks to my sister who got me started reading blogs.  Just not sure I have all that much interesting to say but here goes nothing. 

A little about me: We are the Smith's and we live in Arkansas.  I'm a lifelong resident of this state and have only ever lived in two cities.  In fact, I lived with my parents until me and my husband got married a little over three years ago.  Family is VERY important to me and my family is very close. My husband and I love to travel and we just got back from a cruise with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law and my sister.  Another thing that is VERY important to me is my relationship with God.  I love to study his Word and plan to share some of what I learn here!  I'm going to use this blog as a sort of journal and as a way to share about my family.

I hope you enjoy reading it!