Showing posts with label Reviews/Giveaways. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews/Giveaways. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Donkey That No One Could Ride ~ Children's Book Review

Just like the author, Anthony DeStefano, started his newest children's book, The Donkey that No One Could Ride with Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, so shall I start this post.

Jesus went on toward Jerusalem...he sent two disciples ahead.  "Go into that village over there," he told them.  "As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden.  Untie it and bring it here."  ...So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.  As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him...all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

"Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
  Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!" Luke 19:28-38





 In the pages to follow the reader is brought to see life as the donkey, presumably young, weak and small to start, why else would he be left unridden?  In a beautiful cadence of rhyme, the story depicts the donkey as undesirable, sad, unworthy and without purpose.  Therefor, the donkey is banished to the far end of town.

...left wondering why he was born to be weak and born to be shy, and born to be frightened, and born to cry.

Until, the disciples come to save the donkey and is brought to Jesus.  Donkey then finds his purpose although he still feels unworthy in the presence of Jesus.  It's only after hearing the words of Jesus he feels healed.  In my opinion, this was the best page in the whole book.  I read this page a couple of times to my kids and this is what makes this book more than just a book about Palm Sunday.  The illustrations and words of Jesus looking into the eyes of this young soul, are for everybody.  Hearing these words, donkey was transformed to a donkey of "courage and power and pride!"  These two pages were brilliant, in illustration and word.  It was as if Jesus was speaking to me and looking into my soul, not just me reading them to my children.


Whenever reading books to my children I decide if it's a top shelf keeper if the message is one that will last them their entire life.  Without a doubt this is such a book.  I will be reading it to my children for years to come.  I imagine we'll read it until they know the story by heart and I foresee when they are older, I pull out , The Donkey That No One Could Ride,  when one of them comes to me feeling blue.  They will think I'm a corny Mom when I read a book from their childhood but, they will remember the truth that they were taught. 

I highly recommend The Donkey That No One Could Ride by Anthony DeStefano, with amazingly beautiful illustrations by Richard Cowdrey.   If you would like to have this book for the top shelf of your library you can find it on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

Enjoy!


You can have the book read to you right here:



And here is the book trailer:




The post is from the archives but well worth sharing again during Lent.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Late Late Late Giveaway Announcement

Please forgive this late announcement.  Seems as if I need a better planning system.  So sorry.

and the winner is.....Cari from Clan-Donaldson.  Shoot me an e-mail Cari with your address and I'll get that off to you.  Soon, I promise.

Tina

Original Post:
I smile every time I finish reading, I Just Can't Take It Anymore!, by Anthony DeStefano. The pictures of these little kiddos are just so darn cute! The words that go with the pictures make me laugh, reminisce, and then when you look at the pictures again, you laugh some more.



Make no mistake, there's a message, and it's great. It's just so simple and yet, we all need it. Constantly. Or at least I need it more than I'd like to admit. More on that.

The book is small, will fit in your purse and there are a little more than 30 pages. They are filled with cute sayings and pictures relating to every day life situations, thoughts, fears, and what might be our sufferings. As you progress through the book you realize that yes, if you start paying more attention to Him and start paying more attention to the things that really matter in life, start praying and notice that the bad things that happen in life often lead to something good-...even miracles. We are also reminded of the most terrible suffering Jesus went through and that happy ending.

And the message we all need.....If only I put my trust in Him.

It is really hard to pick out a favorite page because so many have fit a situation in my own life, either long past or just yesterday, or even today. There are two that I found very funny, and they just happen to be right next to each other. One I tell myself every day and the other I hope to never have to tell my girls.

The left page reads, "For some reason I can't seem to lose weight" The right page reads, "I seem to make a habit out of getting involved in the wrong relationships."




This is a wonderful book to give as a small gift and as well as to receive. Better yet, Mr. DeStefano has been gracious enough to send a book to give to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address so I can let you know if you've won. I'll leave the giveaway open until July 18, 2012. Good luck!
I guarantee you'll smile, be thankful and uplifted.

Other titles by Anthony DeStefano that I have reviewed are: The Donkey No One Could Ride, The Invisible World and Little Star.

God Bless,

Tina


Monday, July 2, 2012

Post 400 ~ I Just Can't Take It Anymore

I smile every time I finsih reading, I Just Can't Take It Anymore!, by Anthony DeStefano.   The pictures of these little kiddos are just so darn cute!  The words that go with the pictures make me laugh, reminesce, and then when you look at the pictures again, you laugh some more. 



 
Make no mistake, there's a message, and it's great.  It's just so simple and yet, we all need it.  Constantly.  Or at least I need it more than I'd like to admit.  More on that.

The book is small, will fit in your purse and there are a little more than 30 pages.  They are filled with cute sayings and pictures relating to every day life situations, thoughts, fears, and what might be our sufferings.  As you progress through the book you realize that yes, if you start paying more attention to Him and start paying more attention to the things that really matter in life, start praying and notice that the bad things that happen in life often lead to something good-...even miracles.  We are also reminded of the most terrible suffering Jesus went through and that happy ending. 

And the message we all need.....If only I put my trust in Him

It is really hard to pick out a favorite page because so many have fit a sitaution in my own life, either long past or just yesterday, or even today.  There are two that I found very funny, and they just happen to be right next to each other.  One I tell myself every day and the other I hope to never have to tell my girls.

The left page reads, "For some reason I can't seem to lose weight"  The right page reads, "I seem to make a habit out of getting invovled in the wrong relationships."




This is a wonderful book to give as a small gift and as well as to receive.  Better yet, Mr. DeStefano has been gracious enough to send a book to give to one of you.  All you have to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address so I can let you know if you've won.   I'll leave the giveaway open until July 18, 2012.  Good luck!
I guarantee you'll smile, be thankful and uplifted.

Other titles by Anthony DeStefano that I have reviewd are:  The Donkey No One Could Ride,  The Invisible World and Little Star

God Bless,

Tina


Monday, December 5, 2011

Tulips in December

We've had our first snow and won't see things flower for quite some time.  I always miss happy flowers. 

When I was a hair stylist after Christmas the salon seemed so dreary until my birthday when flowers would come.  So one year middle January, I decided I would get fresh flowers each week to bring that happy flower feel to my corner of hair.  I so loved going to the florist to see what she created for me.

Being a stay at home mom of three, when I have an extra five dollars out and about, it's generally for coffee to keep up with my Littles.  My husband is so kind to bring flowers out of the blue every so often, so I do get that happy flower feel once in awhile.

Then last week Silk Plants Direct was kind enough to send me one of their beautiful silk flower arrangements.   Tulips are one of my favorite flowers.  I wish they lasted all summer long, now they will, all winter long too!  It's white outside but inside I view these pretties.



Silk Plants Direct also has gorgeous poinsettias if you are looking for something for Christmas and, if you're like me, a blog to help you with ideas.

Thank you Silk Plants Direct!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Just in Case You Ever Wonder ~ Book Review

A great huge thank you to BookSneeze for sending us the beautiful book, Just in Case You Ever Wonder, by Max Lucado and illustrated by Toni Goffe. 

The resounding message, "God made you", carries through every page of this beautifully illustrated book, along with reassurances that your child was created in a very special and unique way by God. 

The wonderful thing about Just in Case You Ever Wonder is that not only does it speak about when your child was a baby but also as they get older, grow and change.  The child will hear the words that you will always love them, hug them and be on your side.  So sweet! 

And straight from the book:

Most of all, I'll be here to teach you about God.  He loves you.  He protects you.  He and His angels are always watching over you.


Beautiful!

I highly recommend this book!  Wonderful book for baby showers, baptism, birthday, or a Christmas gifts.

Thanks again Booksneeze!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Winner Is:

And the winner is......

And that would be you, Leslie!

Congratulations!

Thank you all for entering!

Original Post:



"...so many people in the secular culture don't pay much attention to the devil, despite the fact that his existence and the existence of the whole demonic realm is an absolute biblical certainty and a major doctrine of the Christian faith. They simply don't "get" him."
And that was me. And if it's you, I highly recommend reading, The Invisible World, by Anthony DeStefano. Even if it's not you, I personally think you will love the book.



Through the ten chapters of the book you will come to know the invisible good and what to watch for in the invisible warfare. The one who works hard to pull us away from our ever loving, merciful God.

Mr DeStefano states this in the first chapter: "Once you're armed with a kind of certitude, three things will naturally happen: (1) It will be easier for you to act in sync with your moral beliefs; (2) your life will be much fuller, richer and more exciting than you ever imagined possible; and (3) no amount of suffering - physical, mental, or emotional - will ever be able to destroy the profound inner sense of peace that you'll experience on a daily basis." That's a pretty strong statement, and I can say after reading the book and a number of personal experience that happened just following the book (no coincidence, I am sure), it's true.

I found it very easy to understand each point the author was making and enjoyed the stories he added from his own life to illustrate further. Some of the stories reminded me of my own childhood, such as the time he had to call his Dad when his car broke down on a dark street. Actually, the story reminds me my every day when I try to go it alone, until I realize that I do need to rely on, to call upon, my heavenly Father.

I loved how each chapter flowed right into the next. Most especially this hit home with me, "If we can't even resist, having that extra piece of cake for dessert, how can we ever have hope to combat such overwhelming forces [Invisible Warfare]?" This segwayed to Invisible Grace, my favorite chapter. And this is his answer, Divine grace. "Grace at its deepest level, isn't just help from God - it's God himself."

The book is meaty, yet, a quick read. You will come away with a stronger relationship with the Holy Spirit, a better understanding of suffering, as well as how to see the invisible.

The Invisible World is a part of The Catholic Summer Reading Program and you can purchase it from Aquinas & More or Amazon.com.

AND....

Mr. (although, he perfers I drop the Mr.) DeStefano has given me the opportunity to give a book away to one of you lucky readers. What do you have to do??

  • Leave a comment
If you want more than one chance to win do one of more of the following:
  • Tweet this giveaway
  • Facebook this giveaway
  • Blog this giveaway
That's a chance of four entries per person, you decide your own odds!

I will pick a winner on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 July 27, 2011. It has now been extended!

I guarantee you'll love the book!

God Bless!

Tina

I also wrote this review of The Invisible World for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Invisible World ~ Book Review & Giveaway!

"...so many people in the secular culture don't pay much attention to the devil, despite the fact that his existence and the existence of the whole demonic realm is an absolute biblical certainty and a major doctrine of the Christian faith.  They simply don't "get" him."
And that was me.  And if it's you, I highly recommend reading, The Invisible World, by Anthony DeStefano.  Even if it's not you, I personally think you will love the book. 



Through the ten chapters of the book you will come to know the invisible good and what to watch for in the invisible warfare.  The one who works hard to pull us away from our ever loving, merciful God.

Mr DeStefano states this in the first chapter:  "Once you're armed with a kind of certitude, three things will naturally happen: (1) It will be easier for you to act in sync with your moral beliefs; (2) your life will be much fuller, richer and more exciting than you ever imagined possible; and (3) no amount of suffering - physical, mental, or emotional - will ever be able to destroy the profound inner sense of peace that you'll experience on a daily basis."  That's a pretty strong statement, and I can say after reading the book and a number of personal experience that happened just following the book (no coincidence, I am sure), it's true. 

I found it very easy to understand each point the author was making and enjoyed the stories he added from his own life to illustrate further. Some of the stories reminded me of my own childhood, such as the time he had to call his Dad when his car broke down on a dark street. Actually, the story reminds me my every day when I try to go it alone, until I realize that I do need to rely on, to call upon, my heavenly Father.

I loved how each chapter flowed right into the next. Most especially this hit home with me, "If we can't even resist, having that extra piece of cake for dessert, how can we ever have hope to combat such overwhelming forces [Invisible Warfare]?" This segwayed to Invisible Grace, my favorite chapter. And this is his answer, Divine grace. "Grace at its deepest level, isn't just help from God - it's God himself."

The book is meaty, yet, a quick read. You will come away with a stronger relationship with the Holy Spirit, a better understanding of suffering, as well as how to see the invisible.

The Invisible World is a part of The Catholic Summer Reading Program and you can purchase it from Aquinas & More or Amazon.com.

AND....

Mr. (although, he perfers I drop the Mr.) DeStefano has given me the opportunity to give a book away to one of you lucky readers.  What do you have to do??

  • Leave a comment
If you want more than one chance to win do one of more of the following:
  • Tweet this giveaway
  • Facebook this giveaway
  • Blog this giveaway
That's a chance of four entries per person, you decide your own odds! 

I will pick a winner on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 July 27, 2011.  It has now been extended!

I guarantee you'll love the book!

God Bless!

Tina

I also wrote this review of The Invisible World for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

iPad2 Giveaway & Book Trailer

Iwould normally wait to do a book review until I finished the book but I have to tell you about this book now, for two reasons.  The first is the book itself, I've read two chapters and I have been so engrossed I can hardly put it down.  The other reason you ask?  Well, since the first two chapters have captivated my mind so much I thought I would check out the author's website.  You can guess by the title of this post, I found a chance to win an iPad2 and thought I would share it the opportunity with you!


You'll find a trailer for the book, a downloadable preview and the link for the iPad2  giveaway here: 

http://www.anthonydestefano.com/

Hurry to enter for the iPad2 because it looks like it ends on April 15, 2011. 

I will review the book proper once I've actually finished it.

Hey, if you win the iPad2, let me know you won!

Blessings to you!

Tina

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Swing Sets & CSN Stores

With highs of 9 degrees Fahrenheit my kids and I have been dreaming of Spring and Summer.  So much so that I've been doing some online shopping for our Swing Set.  I have been thinking of either the tire swing, a full bucket swing (we have an old half bucket that might need re-placing) or a telescope.  I haven't seen one this spinning wheel and I know the kids would love this!  So much to chose from, any suggestions?




It's quite obvious CSN Stores has a lot to offer and the customer service is top notch!

I also wanted to let you know that I got this fun cookbook holder in the mail a few weeks ago. 




Notice the cookbook it's holding?  Ya, my husband likes to make the pancakes and the sugar cookies from it.  I also see that I forgot to take all the post its I have marked before I took the picture.  Opps!  The cookbook holder a silver color, small in size so it doesn't take up too much counter space.  I move it all around the kitchen depending on where I am cooking.  It also looks great as a decoration, as does the cookbook it holds!

Don't forget about CSN Stores the next time you are doing any online shopping!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Will Give Thanks To You, O Lord

After having completed a Bible Study on the Psalms this has been an excellent book to write down my daily thanks and praise to our Lord! I was very excited to start on January 1, with I Will Give Thanks To You, O Lord but you can certainly jump in at anytime.



You will enjoy a letter guiding you on how you might choose to use the book, a page listing the abbreviations of the books of the Bible, as well as a two page layout of 2011 and 2012 for future planning.  Each month has a beautiful picture followed with a selection from a great Christian writer, church documnet, or Scripture verse.
  
On the following pages you'll move right into your space to ink all of your thanksgiving. Each of these pages may contain verses from the Old Testament and New Testaments, saints, Christian writers, historic and contemporary figures.  You will also find Mass readings for each day of the year.
I've enjoyed writing each day in this book every day.  I keep it with me at all times as it's small enough to fit in my purse.  When I have a moment while waiting picking up my son from school I can jot down a few things from the day before or things I am looking forward to later in the day. For the most part I keep it on the kitchen counter top, open to remind me, at a quick glance all that I am thankful for. 

I plan on keeping this to be able to look back on, see where I was and where I am hope to go. 
Also, this is where I keep track of the 1000 Gifts with Ann Voskamp.

Here is a sample quote from the page of January 13 & 14.
The chief service I owe you, O God, is that every thought and word of mine should speak of you.  ~ St Hilary

And here's an actual page....


What better way to reflect upon your day!  It's not too late, you'll love using this to keep track of your 1000 Gifts!
You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of I Will Give Thanks to You, O Lord! for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.



Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.


I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Little Star - Book Review & Giveaway!!

I am overjoyed to share a superb children's Christmas book with you!  The book is Little Star by Anthony DeStefano with illustrations by Mark Elliott.  I really can't say enough about what a remarkable book this is.



I think I could have cried when I read this page.  My friend and I were just talking last week how humbled Jesus was to have been born in a manger and those are the words that come alive right on this very page. 


The story of Little Star has more to it than meets the eye, not only is a story of our Savior's birth but also one of a small star who didn't think he was worthy.  Little Star discovers that his life was worth everything to Jesus and that the King's message is Love.  After realizing this, he is overjoyed and wants nothing more than to shine big and bright!

This will make an excellent read during the Christmas season and beyond.  If your child ever feels unworthy, sad, lonely or ignored, read Little Star and afterwards he or she will feel His joy, love and gratitude!  And I have little doubt you'll want to find a star tree topper!

Anthony DeStefano and I are happy to offer this book to one of you!  Please leave your name in the comment section below and check back on Saturday, November 13 for the winner announcement.  If you would like more than one chance to win you can tweet, facebook or blog about this giveaway.  For each one you do, please list your name in a new comment entry.  Don't forget to come back on Saturday, November 13, 2010!

You may also purchase the book here

Most Grateful,

Tina

I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.

Comments are now closed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

CSN $25 Gift Card Winner

I have been blessed to be a preferred blogger with CSN Stores!  Not only have I had the privilege of reviewing the two products listed below, but I've also been able to share with you some of the goodness of CSN Stores.  Your winner in just a moment. 

The First Item:





I was so happy to get this in the mail! This is a beautiful crockpot, I love the stainless and black look!


It works like your basic crock, but I think that it heats a little better than my other larger crock pot which is nice when I don't get something in right away in the AM. THE BEST FEATURE of this crock is that it has a "To Go" lid. In other words, the lid locks down for easy transporting. Now my hubby won't be spilling beans all over the car when he rounds a corner! It's just really nice to have the lid secure for travel!

The online shopping experience was easy and the shipping process was simple. I received notifications along the delivery to my home.

I really haven't found a single thing that I don't like about this crock. It's awesome and the only way to go. You won't regret this purchase.

I received this product for my honest review.

Accessories I Recommend:

Fix it & Forget It Cookbook
 
The Second Item:
 
 
I've needed new knives for a long time. I really like the stainless steel feel and look. Originally I bought stainless because the old set of knives I had had wooden handles and eventually deteriorated in the dishwasher. These knives are just too pretty to put in my dishwasher that makes everything stainless icky. So I wash them by hand. If you have a nice dishwasher I wouldn't think it would be a problem. I also like having serrated knives but my hubby said it might not be a good thing when sharpening. Although in most cases I prefer serrated.


Each knife is very sharp for cutting and very sharp looking! The block is a standard block in natural color and looks wonderful on my counter.

The online shopping experience was easy, product description was great (I may have missed the fact that all the knives were serrated.) and the price was even better! I received e-mail confirmations of where my purchase was all along the mailing process, all of which was really quick!

I certainly would buy again!

I was given this product for my honest review.

Thank you for reading and here is your winner:

Holly, send me an e-mail and I'll give you the instructions on how to use your $25 gift card!

To all who entered, thank you from myself and CSN Stores!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Handbook for Catholic Moms - Book Review

I am very excited to review my first book with Tiber River for Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.  I was even more excited to get The Handbook for Catholic Moms by Lisa Hendey in the mail a few weeks ago! 
I had The Handbook for Catholic Moms on my wish list for a long time.  I can't remember how I came to find it, but I am sure am glad that I did.  It was a great read and will be a great resource for years to come.  I really enjoyed how all the chapters were laid out:  A Bible verse to start, a story of her own, another relatable story from another resource, (some authors I've read previously and some that are new to me), the main contents of the chapter, quotes relating to the topic, followed by "Mom's Homework" and finally "Resources".  I thought each chapter had a nice flow and ending with the homework and resources brought it all together.

I underlined, circled and starred many words, thoughts and resources.  I plan on going back through the book to start implementing some of the items I marked.   All the ideas and suggestions were simple life suggestions but if you don't have a reminder, or one place where all the ideas are all collected, you could easily forget with the business of life. 
As a mother with three children (ages, one, two, and three) it was nice to hear her encouraging words from her own life, as well as all the other mothers who wrote in with similar stories and alternate ideas to work for an array of Catholic moms.  
Without a doubt I will be visiting Mrs. Hendey's website http://www.catholicmom.com/ a lot more as well as referencing my book regularly. 
You can purchase a The Handbook for Catholic Moms here.

I wrote this review of The Handbook for Catholic Moms for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Cathlic store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Love CSN!

Online shopping has been a time saver for me for sure.  We live a good 40 minutes from just about everthing and with two girls that still nap it makes it hard to get errands done and protect the nap.  That's why I love CSN Stores!  CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from cookware to toys to specific needs such as dining room sets and bedding!  It's also fun to "window shop" like I was doing today.  I've never bought a dining room set of my own and thought it would be nice to have this one.  It feels "homey" to have two chairs on the ends don't you think? 



I love CSN and I'm so excited that I get to do another review with them. So stay tuned for a CSN review in the future, I'm thinking of something for my kitchen.

Have a great weekend!

Tina

**I received no compensation for posting this, but I will be receiving a gift certificate to use for an upcoming review. My opinions are 100% my own and others may have different opinions.**

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Mother's Rule of Life - Book Review

I can't even tell you when I last read a book and I mean the entire book.  It's been a long, long time.  I have to laugh because the shear fact that I finished the book at all is really a testament to the the book itself.  Knowing "me" a little, I gave myself 30 days to finish it, I've come to the realization that I must start putting end dates on things or it (whatever "it" may be) will not get finished.

So what was the book? 



I read A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot which is published by Sophia Institute Press.  I was surfing Sophia Institute for a book and found A Mother's Rule of Life, the bio said "The house was dirty, the laundry undone, Holly felt frustrated, discouraged and alone.  She couldn't find time to snuggle and have fun with her five children or to go out with her husband".  I think for the reasons of the house being dirty, laundry undone and not being able to find time to have fun with her children I ordered the book.

Right from first chapter when Holly said "...did I even know what my primary duties were supposed to be?" I knew this was the right book for me.  I so often have sat in my kitchen thinking what should I do today, which task, or which direction.  Or to start the day with great aspirations to accomplish everything only to tackle a few things and feel like a failure at the end of the day.  All to which my loving husband would say the kids are the most important thing, yet I would still feel like a failure because the house was a mess, clothes were everywhere and I felt miserable about it.  So I kept reading, got out a pencil and was underlining like crazy!

Holly explains that, "A Rule of Life is a traditional Christian tool for ordering one's vocation".  You might wonder what that would mean for a stay at home mom like me?  Well, she goes on to say in the second chapter that, a Rule of Life is not just a schedule, or a collection of activities but rather an organization of everything that has to do with your vocation.  And what is my vocation?  My vocation is to be a wife and mother.  Holly breaks down a marriage vocation with the Five P's:
  • First P = Prayer
  • Second P = Person
  • Third P = Partner
  • Fourth P = Parent
  • Fifth P = Provider
There were a few thought in each section that struck a chord with me. 

In the First P = Prayer Sections:

  •  "...instead of never finding enough time for God in the midst of everything else, I had to work everything else around God." 

I am still trying to figure where things are going to go as I write my daily schedule.  You may remember my friends and I are reading the Bible cover to cover in 180 days, so I am trying to carve out time each day in my schedule.

In the Second P = Person Sections:
  • "...how much sleep I felt my body needed...how much exercise I needed....what types of food..."
I've pretty much have it dialed in that I need a lot of sleep.  9 hours ideal, 8 hours okay and 7 hours can do for a short time.  Sad but true.  Sometimes running it's hard to figure out when I can run.  I so love doing it.  It's good for my person in so many ways! 

In the Third P = Partner Sections:
  • "...(a) loving marriage is the bedrock of family life."
Without a doubt!  I am going to be more mindful of our time together as a couple and not just what I need but what do we need.

In the Fourth P = Parenting Sections:

  • "...my children need me to be mentally available to them...to be fully attentive to them when I am with them...to tone down thoughts of all the projects that filled my head and to make more casual time to talk and laugh and simply be with them." 
  • "As we work to form and mold our children, they in turn, force us to face, and, we hope, to master our own weaknesses. In parenting, saving grace is a two-way street."
  • "A little attention and love, understanding and compassion can radically change a child's general attitude. Let him know he's 'good' and Mummy sees him as good. So often children rise to meet the level of our expectations. If we secretly think of them as rebels, they tend to act like rebels."
Oh man, was time a lesson that was greatly learned after my facebook & twitter fast!  Which really just reaffirms that it was the right thing to do and something I need to be very very mindful of in the future!  Bye Bye Twitter, for good.

In the Fifth P = Provider Sections:

  • "...both my husband and I are called to provide for our family... in his way by going to work and earning a paycheck...in my way by caring for, maintaining and repairing (as much as possible)..."
  • "Part of financial stewardship also involves not just avoiding frivolous spending, but recognizing that all we have has been entrusted to us so that we may fulfill our mission to raise our children and even to help those less fortunate than we.  This means that we need to distinguish between our essential needs and our excessive wants.  For often, rich or poor, we just want more"

In discussing the Rule she also writes, "...there's a deeper and more fundamental level to a Rule of Life that distinguishes it from a mere schedule: the intent and aim of following the Rule.  A Rule followed for the practical benefits alone is not a Rule of Life; it is a schedule.  Duties attended to grudgingly or with reluctance do not make a Rule, for a Rule of Life must be lived as a response to the call of God."  I had to really think about this.  I've sort of tried a schedule before and never really stuck with it.  I also had "....to adjust my attitudes and outlook toward His vision for my life".  I mean really, look at my wonderful life.  I have a awesome husband who loves me to the ends of this world and three healthy, beautiful, thriving children.  Not to mention how blessed we are to be able to have me stay home with our children.  My husband has a job, we have a house, etc.  Why would I ever look at my life as anything but a dream?  So instead of thinking, "I can't believe this floor is dirty already, I just cleaned it."  I need to think it's my awesome job to be able to have our baby in her high chair throwing food on our floor and not somewhere else.  I've decided to be glad to have all the responsibilities of motherhood and being a wife.  It's my awesome gift, given to me, and it is after all my (and my Mother's) prayers that were finally answered.   In conclusion to that thought Holly writes, " Our heart is where God lives.  Our heart is where we love" 

In the last pages of the book she says, "...the most important things are the relationships God has placed in my life."  As well as "And believe that if God wants you to do it, he'll empower you."  LOVE IT!  Isn't that so true!

At the end of every chapter Holly offers a couple of exercises to help establish your Rule.  She includes charts of  what her Rule looks like and at the end of the book she lays out her Rule further in her Spirit of My Mother's Rule of Life.  I loved this section.  I will be typing out the whole section in putting it on my refrigerator.  I might also say it was like her own mission statement which is something I've thought of doing for myself and for Adam & I, as parents, for guiding our children.

I would highly recommend this book to any mother!  I also want to add that I did a google search and found Holly's website A Mother's Rule of Life.  I read a little bit and then thought I would drop her a line just to tell her I was reading her book, to my surprise she sent a note back the same day.  I thought that was very nice.  I am still working out some of the details of my Rule.

Hope you are having a great day!  As always, thanks for reading my blog!
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