Monday, January 30, 2017

Kid Lit Book Review: The Dog Encyclopedia




I opened up The Dog Encyclopedia for Kids by Tammy Gangne for my boys after lunch today and they were immediately captivated by the beautiful pictures and little tidbits of information. Their curiosity exploded not just about these dogs but also where the breeds come from. We talked about Geography a little bit, we talked about allergies and how some breeds of dogs are hypoallergenic. We talked about dogs that help people and the important jobs that they do. They practiced reading hard words and learned the proper way to pronounce place names that they don't hear every day. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much my kids enjoyed reading this book. I had to drag my kids away to move onto the next thing we needed to do today. I highly recommend this Dog Encyclopedia for kids for just about any kid.


I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley.com for the purpose of this review. Links to Amazon are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog! If you want to see what I'm reading to my kids right now then be sure to follow me on Instagram! 


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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What to do when skies are blue

Yesterday was a really terrific day. I finally got enough sleep over the weekend. I had a terrific date with my husband for our anniversary. Church was so good. I felt a lot of positive energy. It was a blue-sky day for me.

Today has been pretty good too, and before the clouds roll back in I wanted to write a little bit about what I am doing right now so I don't forget and so that whoever is reading this might be encouraged.

Keep on Worshipping 
I know you were listening to that worship music when you could barely make it from point A to point B in your dark days. Keep on listening to worship music. Listen to it and worship from a place of healing and light. Worship isn't only for the blue sky days and it isn't only for the dark and rainy days. It is for every day.

Make Healthy Choices
The dark days can creep up from out of the blue with no reason or warning, but sometimes they come at me because I'm being reckless with my health. Here on these blue sky days I'm filling my plate with the food that bring me life, not just satisfy a craving. I'm trying to remind myself to sleep properly and get out of the house, to make healthy choices about social media and screen time and to keep connected to my people.

Plan For More Healthy Choices
A blue sky day is a good day to get some planning done with that awful brain fog out of the way. Now is a good time to figure out how to keep this going, even when the fog rolls back in. Now is a good time to make some good choices that will pay off down the line and plan for more healthy choices even when I don't feel like it. I have the energy now. I need to use it wisely.

Spread Love
When you're in a funk sometimes you get a little overly-introspective. Don't forget to look up and around you and spread love. Send that text, write that email, drop that card in the mail. Give back to the people who are there for you when you're not quite all there. Spread love and throw hope around like confetti - they may be the bread crumbs that bring you back home when things get bad again.

Hoard Truth
Now is prime time to soak up just as much truth as you possible can. Listen to it, read it, speak it, write it down. Truth, truth, truth, truth. Don't waste your time on anything else. Pack it down into every corner of your soul. Lean into Truth. Seek His face. Write it down some more.

Set Up Your Ebenezer 
An Ebenezer is a rock the Israelites set up to remind themselves "this far the Lord has brought us" it was a reminder of God's faithfulness in the past and a promise of His faithfulness in the future. Those blue sky days come and they often go as quickly as they came. It is easy to forget that we even had one when they are gone. Take a walk and pick up an actual stone and set it on your windowsill. Take a picture and post it to Instagram. Keep a journal. Write about today.

Hold These Days With Open Hands
As someone who suffers from chronic mental illness the good days are never guaranteed. I used to cling to these good days for dear life. Now I hold onto them with open hands. They come and they go. I have good days and I have bad days. Sometimes I get more than one good day in a row, sometimes I only have a bad day here and there, sometimes it is really hard for a really long time. I can't always control it so I hold onto it with open hands. I remember that I was made for more than to just be comfortable.

Today is a good day. Whatever tomorrow is like God won't change.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mini-Bible Study Monday on a Tuesday

Yesterday got away from me and I wasn't able to get to the computer. But here are the verses that have been on my heart over the weekend - I hope encourage you.


Psalm 2 - The Reign of the Lord's Anointed
1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 "Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us."
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 "As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill."
7 I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, "You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (ESV)


I have had this as an echo in my heart... why do the nations rage? 

If ever there was a moment in my lifetime when there was an undercurrent of rage it would be now. Even inside of my own heart, as Former President Obama's presidency came to an end and President Trump's time has begun, I have felt a lot of feelings. I have felt the churn and turmoil of our culture. I have seen the anger and the fear, and I have seen the people misunderstanding the anger and the fear and if I'm honest that hurts even more. I don't know what to do with everything I'm seeing.

But as I read on I gain a new perspective the people plot in vain... the kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed..." and I remember - hasn't it been the tale of humanity that we forget God? We get together and make our plans and totally leave God out? I'm not saying we shouldn't gather in protest and we shouldn't stand up for our beliefs - we need to, now more than ever, whichever side we took during the election, but we need to do so in light of God's presence with us. 

He who sits in heaven laughs - He isn't threatened by anyone or anything. He isn't scared or even a little bit worried. Not by the progressive agenda, not by the conservative resurgence. He wasn't threatened by a progressive in the White House, and he isn't scared of whatever it is you want to call the current President. God is King above all kings and rulers and presidents and congressmen and senators and Supreme Court Justices. He is King no matter who sits in our oval office.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Knowing this settles my soul. Whatever I say I want to say it from this place. This place of being settled, this place of security, from a place of love and compassion and trying to understand both sides and find common ground. I want to say this as a citizen of a heavenly kingdom with an eternal king.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday morning encouragement


I don't know what your Monday morning has been like so far. Here it was overcast and just well dull. Because I am here in the Deep South and it is MLK day the whole city feels like it is taking it's time getting out of bed. I had plans to meet a dear new friend for coffee and as I'm processing the conversation I had with her it sparked an idea, or more precisely I had an idea that I couldn't quite figure out and the pieces are kind of falling into place now. In the wake of inspiration that, today, took the form a friend.

I want to start posting these mini-Bible study snippets. Mini-Monday-Morning encouragements. Just a scripture that has spoken to me and maybe a thought about it. We'll see...

Today as I was reheating my leftover white chicken chili I knew exactly what very I wanted to share with you:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust."For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowlerand from the deadly pestilence.He will cover you with his pinions,and under his wings you will find refuge;his faithfulness is a shield and buckler  
Psalm 91:1-4 (ESV)

I always feel like looking up the definitions of these words helps me to understand the verse more fully and it is how I meditate on a verse because I am going over and over each word, turning it over in my mind, trying to notice the sparkly little bits. Here are a few from verse 1:

The word translated "dwells" in these verses literally means to inhabit, to abide or remain, it literally means to sit down.
The word translated "shelter" means to a secret, hiding place, a place of protection.
The word translated "abide" can also mean to pass the night, to remain and to dwell.
You can look up more definitions for this passage at Blue Letter Bible.com


I don't know about you but I need the truth of these words to sink deep down into my subconscience. I have been learning more and more fully the beauty within living the word abide. It is such a beautiful word full of rest and trust. There are seasons for doing battle, but there are also seasons of just resting under the wings of our Heavenly Father. Sometimes I need to pass the night hidden, safe, protected and finding refuge in arms of the Almighty.

See these other verses: Psalm 5:11-12, & Psalm 17:6-8





image credit: My sister Abigail Cauble took this photo of Grayson in my arms the day before his surgery at three weeks old.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekend link-up


As I'm writing this my boys are burning some energy at the park. I'm standing in a corner, in a little patch of shade, with my baby who is asleep in his stroller. I'm surrounded by moms and kids but if I'm honest, I feel really lonely right now.

The internet can feel that way too - there are a lot of people on here in this blogging and social media world but it can be difficult to really connect, or to really feel that connection. This weekend link-up is to share links you found helpful/interesting and really just any random details from everyday life that don't fit elsewhere, because sharing these always makes me always feel a little less alone online.

Here's what I have to share this week: 

This week I wrote a post about new books released this January in the Christian women genre. I hope you'll check it out and let me know which ones interest you. I can write a more in-depth review for the ones I have a digital advance copy of.

Emily Freeman is giving away a coloring page (it's at the end of the post) that summarizes my life right now. I have started slowly coloring it and I'm really thankful for the reminder.

My friend Cynthia Stuckey wrote this post with an amazing dose of perspective on the feelings of being smothered by our little ones. "Some days I am a bit of sandpaper, smoothing away edges that should go. Other days I’m a thick blanket enveloping them in the understanding that they are loved beyond belief..."

My friend Jessica Bolyard wrote this post on true friendship. "friendship is a place to safely be and become the person God uniquely designed me to be... friendship doesn't discourage differences it celebrates them." 

My Instagram friend JaynaRae posted this: "sometimes life is hard, even when it's good. And sometimes it can feel like you've lost your way, even when you're exactly where you're meant to be."

This is a post about how to schedule an entire year at once. via Paper & Oats

This post is on gentle ways to reflect on the past year.

Bethel is streaming their newest album for free for 48 hours.

Other randomness:
I signed up for SnapChat. I had to have my 13 year old teach me how to use it. #ifeeloldnow I mostly just have it so that Grayson can take selfies with the puppy ears. #truestory.

Isn't this video is just the cutest?

My teenager told me about this Harry Potter puppet video - and it is hilarious

These guys are pretty funny too. I watched several of their spicy foods challenges. Wow.

This is my favorite Instagram picture of the week



I finally re-figured-out how to host a link-up!! So we have an actual link-up widget in the post :) I hope you'll link up and visit each other's posts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book Reviews & New Releases



One of the things that I want to start to do here on my blog is let you know about some of the books that have just been released. I haven't read all of them but they have either been recommended by someone I trust or written by someone I follow online.


Finding I AM
This year for Christmas I got a little bit of money and I bought myself the new Lysa TerKeurst book Uninvited and so far I have just loved it. I have been following The First5 app and Proverbs 31 on Instagram for awhile and I am consistently encouraged by the content. There is an online Bible Study you can join for this one January 23 - February 24.
(1/02/2017)

Fear Fighting
I just got approved to read an advance copy of this and I can tell you that there won't be a whole lot of sleeping going on over here. I have only read the first few pages and I'm already really loving it. She begins with "if you hoping for a perfect, brave, bold, amazing and beautifully clad woman wearing the badged heart of courage, I am not your gal." Oh I already love this! A little later she writes "I am tired. I am tired of pretending I am good. I am tired of just existing. I am tired of returning to swampy places that make me sink into selfish desires..." If you have been reading my blog here for awhile, especially if you read all of my posts about being brave then you know how much this is in my lane. I can't wait to read this one. I received a digital advance copy of this title from NetGalley for the purpose of review. You can be sure you'll be hearing about this some more soon.
(1/03/2017)

Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction
I follow Asheritah Ciuciu on Instagram and I have to say - I really love her. You may have seen her book "Unwrapping the Names of Jesus" over the advent season. She is such a real person, and someone who I look up to. On the topic of food - isn't it something most of us have to deal with in one way or another? Eating too much, or not enough. Thinking about what we eat too much, or not enough. As someone with an eating disorder I have a love/hate relationship with books on food. This is one that I love. I love that she says that this is not just a "fat girl" problem. I love that she comes to this with an attitude that just because we struggle with food does not mean that this is our "thorn in the flesh" and that we can experience victory in this area.  I love that she comes at this as a form of idolatry, yet with the compassion of someone who has been there - done that. There is also a companion journal available. (1/03/2017)

Shalom in Psalms
This is the Psalms re-translated by a group of Messianic Jewish and Christian scholars into the Tree of Life Version of the Bible with a short devotional after each Psalm.  The devotions are written by Jeffrey Seif - the vice-president & Chief Theologian of the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Project, the group who commissioned the Tree of Life Version, Messianic Rabbi Glenn Blank & worship leader Paul Wilbur   I love reading the Scriptures in different translations because each time something new jumps out at me. I also appreciate the different perspective on a familiar (and favorite) portion of scriptures. (1/03/2017)
I received a digital copy from NetGalley.com


Love Unending
It has been true for me, I don't know if it has been true for you as well, that I had very high hopes for my marriage at the beginning. Then life comes along, especially kids, and wears down those high hopes. One of the things that I appreciate about this book is that Becky Thompson is that she is very real. You can tell that she has been blogging for awhile and that she is used to telling it like it is. She shares the side of her marriage that a lot of us might try to keep hidden, but she does it in order to offer hope. She writes about a pivotal moment when she asked her dad for his secret to a happy marriage and he said that he treated each day like it was his first day in love with his wife. This book is a 21 day challenge with really specific action steps for how to apply this principle to your marriage. For example - day 1 is to think about how you might have greeted your husband when your relationship was first starting, compare it to how you greet him now and see how you can improve in this area. There are also really sweet journaling prompts right in the book. I do wish that there were more positive examples of how this principle is actually improving her marriage. Other than that I enjoyed reading this book and looking for ways to apply this to my marriage. Be on the lookout for a giveaway of this book coming soon!!  (1/03/2017)
I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books

No More Faking Fine  (1/10/17)


Craving Connection 
The first thin that you need to know, in case you don't already is that this book is edited by none other than the wonderful Crystal Stine who hosts the write31days challenge that I have done the last couple of years. If you haven't connected with her on social media yet - get to it! Her 31 days posts this year were written specifically and directly to me. I am not even joking. What you need to know about this book - it is divided into three sections - connecting with God more deeply, connecting with friends more purposefully and Connecting with community more intentionally.  The chapters are from (in)Courage authors (like Annie F Downs and Lisa-Jo Baker, Holley Gerth, ) and they are really similar to the blog posts we see on that site. The chapters vary in length and tone but they are all similarly pointing to the singular idea that we are made to live connected - to God and to each other. There are questions, a challenge and a prayer with each chapter. There's a Bible verse and a quote to consider. There's also a fun section at the back where the authors answer random questions like "what role would you play in a rock band?" (Does photographer/social media person count?!) (1/10/17)
I received a digital advance galley from NetGalley.


Chasing Slow
Emily Freeman (do I still have to add the P? Okay, Emily P. Freeman, there, now it is official) recommended this book in her post 17 New Books to Read in 2017 (I just got that and had to giggle a little bit. Will she do 18 books to read in 2018 I wonder?) I read a bit of it on the Amazon page and a bit of her blog Design for Mankind I can not wait to read more. It is the memoir of "viral sensation" and HGTV star Erin Loechner, she is married to Ken who has a brain tumor. They have an adorable little girl and they just adopted a dark haired little boy! (01/10/2017)

Coming Soon:

Sweeter that Honey - a coloring book by Lindsay Letters (1/24)


Nothing to Prove - Jennie Allen (1/31)

Coming Later:

It's Simply Tuesday - a coloring book by Emily P Freeman & Jennifer Tucker (4/4)

BTW it is not too late to enter my giveaway of the book "It's Not Fair" by Melanie Dale.


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Monday, January 9, 2017

Kid Lit Book Review: Where does love hide?


Where Does Love Hide is a  lift the flap book young children explore all everyday opportunities to experience showing love - in sharing, in being kind, etc. there is also a Bible verse on each flap that you could have your preK child memorize if you wanted to. The book is not terribly thick or sturdy and I'm not sure it will wear well but it is definitely cute and not too expensive. You can buy a copy here for about $5

I am giving away my copy of this book on my Instagram page so be sure to head over there to check it out and enter for your chance to win this adorable board book.



Tyndale Blog Network
I received a copy of this book for the purpose of review from the Tyndale Blog Network
Amazon links in this blog post are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Book Review, Link Up AND a Giveaway!

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithraider) on


Happy New Year!!!

I hope that you have been enjoying your winter break and are ready to get started on this new year. Some of the changes I've made since the start of the new year are to be more strict about my wheat-free diet, I'm eating less grains, lower carbs, and low sugar. I am trying to do some form of exercise every day, even if it's just dancing along to some Just Dance videos on YouTube. I signed up for some blog reviewing programs and will be reviewing books and hosting giveaways pretty regularly. I have three, maybe even four, planned for this month. I am really excited about this. I love reading, and reviewing is always fun. So things will be changing around here a bit.

It's not an accident or coincidence that this book is the first one I'll be reviewing this year. I picked this book as my first one because I enjoyed reading it so much. I won the book in an Instagram giveaway. I enjoyed it so much that I bought another copy to give away.

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithraider) on

I don't know about you but I feel like life has had a way of knocking me over, backing up and then rolling me over again. I spent a couple of years certain that anyone who looked close enough would be able to see the tire treads across my face. Pain and heartache are part of our lives and there are plenty of books on the topic. Some come to you as a Pastor, or as a Therapist, this one comes as your girlfriend. She quotes the Bible, and The Princess Bride. She has a whole chapter "for when you want to eat your feelings" (with gluten-free and dairy free options!!) Sometimes we need a serious book about dealing with our pain, sometimes though, the best medicine is laughter. Sometimes the thing we need is a compassionate heart saying "me too."

It's Not Fair is funny, and sarcastic. It isn't going to be for everyone. But it was for me. I read it a lot during the week of Grayson's big surgery and it really helped me get my perspective re-adjsted. I laughed, I cried. I needed to read this. I want you to have a chance to read it to. So I am giving away a copy. A copy that I bought - for you. That is how much I love this book.



Another one of the things I am trying to do is host a weekly link-up, where we share small bits of our ordinary lives, links to stuff we enjoyed on Facebook - stuff like that. I used to do photography link ups and they really made me feel a part of a community. So if you have a blog I'd love to invite you to link up here every week.

A couple things I wanted to share: 

Emily Freeman is releasing a coloring book!!!! 
Yes this deserves all of the exclamation points. I will be sending a gift to my future self, one that I will be really thankful for, and ordering this coloring book.

Kate DiCamillo's Facebook page. A friend of mine shared something from her page a couple weeks ago and I spent awhile on her page.

I have more links, I'll post them next week. I'd love to hear yours!


How to enter my giveaway: so here is how to enter to win - use the rafflecopter below to enter. This is the first time I've used this for a giveaway. a Rafflecopter giveaway Also... I could not get my link-up tool to work so please leave your blog's link in the comments!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Brave with your past

I wrote last year about being brave with my past but I was thinking today about being brave with my past. A new friend on Instagram just announced her pregnancy and in doing so wrote a meditation about pregnancy and anxiety. I realized something as I replied to her post - that I knew exactly what she was writing about. I spent every day of my pregnancy with Grayson in a state of low level anxiety, a low level anxiety that leapt up into high-alert anxiety at every chance it got. I wondered why it was that God asked me to be brave at the beginning of a pregnancy. I didn't understand then, when I was walking through it, how much I was learning about what it means to choose brave, to embrace the bravery that God offers to us, until now, as I look back, and try to offer hope to a new friend. Being brave with my past sometimes means sharing what God has taught me. It feels awkward sometimes, but I think it is in important part of what it means to be a community - online, or in person - it is important to be brave and speak up and share what God has done. To say, yes, I know what that feels like. I know what it feels like to have the day after day burden of anxiety trying to crush the breath out of you, and the hope and the joy and the love right out of you, but I know what God did for me. He carried me all the way through that season, close to His heart, and He brought us safely to the other side of this season. 


Being brave about my past means that I am not always so forward focused or present-focused that I never take a moment to sit back and notice what God did. Sometimes it takes a friend going through something similar for me to remember, sometimes it is a moment when I catch myself responding better than I used to. I am not the person I used to be. God really is doing something incredible inside of me - and inside of you - and I hope that we will be brave enough to really see what God is and has and continues to do, and then be willing to share it, when it is appropriate.

I want to help you with this - I will be hosting a weekly link-up, kind of like a Misc. Monday style link-up. I think initially I'll be keeping it open Friday - Monday just to see how it goes, but it will be a place to share some random little things - books we are reading, TV shows we are enjoying, music we discovered - but especially how God is working in us. Something we have learned this week, a moment when God showed up and reminded us how much He loves us, a moment we choose to embrace love and bravery over fear and anxiety. Tomorrow will be the first one so I hope you'll join me!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

my one word for 2017

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithraider) on

I used to name my years with one word after they were over. I would write in my journal "this year was about love" or "my word for this year was patience". Later, like everyone else, I began to pick my words at the beginning of the year. For the last two years my word has been brave. 2015 felt very strongly that my word needed to be brave and in 2016 I felt like the word brave wasn't done with me yet, so I kept the word. Going into 2017 I feel like I really am done with the word brave. I have learned so much, written so much and am, I think, still processing all that I have learned about embracing the bravery that God offers His children, in the small ordinary places of our lives. Yeah. Lots and lots.

This past Sunday I walked with Grayson and listened to the message over the speakers. The sermon was also about having one word. The word that our pastor chose for the church was presence. And his first point was to choose presence with God and tucked within that point was the truth I needed to hear - that when Jesus told us who God is, He told us that God is like a father, who loves his wayward child (as well as the rule following jerk) and he waits looking for his child to return to Him. God is like that with us - we wander away but God delights in the return of His children. The prodigal son doesn't have to jump through any hoops, he doesn't even have a chance to finish his speech, the Father runs to him and embraces him and celebrates his return.

I think my problem with this story is that I limit it to a salvation experience only. I take this as a salvation story, past tense. One time only. Instead of understanding the character of the Father. He delights in the return of His children. Because I don't know about you but I feel like I live out the prodigal child story every day - I forget about God and don't appreciate His blessings, I wander away and return with my tail between my legs.

I forget that when I return, muddy and starving, my Daddy God jumps up, runs to me and embraces me. He doesn't sit up on His big chair looking down His nose at me, scolding me, if only with disappointed eyes. No - He delights in His children. No matter how many times we stray, no matter how long or short a time we are away. He delights in His sons and daughters, He rejoices over us with singing. Even me. And all of the times I've gotten distracted and forgotten what He told me, forgotten what I am supposed to be doing, forgotten who He says that I am.

My one word for the the year 2017 is delight. 

I actually wrote about delight a bit last year and had forgotten about it. I have been writing about delight in my private Bible Study journals for the last couple of months. So this is my word for the year.

I will share one more story about my experience with delight. I was leaving a women's community worship event and I wrote down these three words in a note on my phone as soon as I got into the car - daughters of delight.  I meant that it was in my DNA as His daughter to be someone who delights in God my Father. But it was like the Holy Spirit arrested me in that moment and the next words I wrote were "I do not delight in God because I do not understand how much He delights in me." I was pretty dumbfounded by this idea. I hadn't come to the idea of delight with self- focus. I came to it with worship. I think God often works like that - I come to God saying "I love you" but He replies "I love you even more!" I come to God to say "I delight in you God. Even though I'm still working out what that even really means." and He says "I delight in you, even more. Come and learn what it means to delight in me as I delight in you, and then you will delight in me even more." And my brain just kind of aches a little but I know that He is right.

I have been looking up a bunch of  original language words for delight and it's synonyms in my Bible Study time and it has been amazing. I highly recommend using a tool like BlueLetterBible.org it has been really helpful. I'll be sharing some of what I've found so far in the coming weeks - you know me, I can't help myself.

I'm working on a playlist on Spotify for my word for this year - so if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments!! I am so ready for some new music.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Reading through the Bible

I have always wanted to read through the Bible in a year. Most years begin with the resolution to "do better" at reading my Bible daily. I start a plan. I fail miserably. I have been working on daily a devotional guide, starting with Genesis and today, on a whim really, I'm dumping the bit  of devotions here... I'm in the car, driving to Atlanta to celebrate my husband's birthday with an old friend, so I don't have access to my computer. Hopefully this new feature in Evernote will work and you'll be able to access the file. If not please send me an email and I'll email the file directly to you tomorrow . Here is the link to my study, I've called it....

Roots


May the roots of your faith go down deep as you sit with God's word. May the Holy Spirit make His words come alive to you.


Here is the introduction...

R  O  O  T  S
Sunday school stories 
for grown-ups
 
 
 
Hi there. I’m so happy you are sitting here, reading this and sharing this journey with me. Before we dig in I wanted to write a few words to introduce this study to let you know where I am coming from and where I hope we will go together with this study.
 
I was raised in church. I had the frilly dress, best Sunday shoes kind of childhood, but not only did I learn the Bible at church I also learned it at home. I memorized my Bible verses and Scripture songs. I knew the stories of Ruth & Esther the way most girls know about Ariel & Belle. It's a spiritual heritage with its bright spots and dark corners but overall it’s been a firm foundation and one that I'm thankful for.
 
As I've been leading a small group I've heard many of my friends regret that they didn't know the Bible stories that they want to teach their children as well as they’d want to – and so the dream for this study began to grow in my heart and mind: the Sunday School stories I grew up re-packaged for women like me with some grown-up perspective.
 
As I was praying over this study one morning God showed me a picture of what this study could be. I saw a cozy house, with big picture windows that let in lots of light. It was beautifully decorated with a comfy chair and pretty curtains and pictures on the walls. God showed me that this study is the house with bare walls - it's His Spirit who comes in and fills the empty spaces. He gives us answers to the questions and new questions of our own. He'll bring scriptures to mind for you to look up and jot down and He reveals the truths behind His Words that I can not even begin to comprehend and so the beauty of this study will, I hope, be that this could become a collection of moments where we met with God. A place where we stack up our stones and say "this far God has led me" and "surely God was in this place and I didn't even know it"
 
"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.   (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)
 
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7 ESV)
 
 
May the roots of our faith sink deep down into God and may we turn every question into a prayer and every struggle into a cry to the One who loves us and has been revealing Himself to us from the beginning of time.