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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children

You might find it strange that I would have picked this book up because I do not have any adult children. I decided to read it for two reasons. 

1. What people say is true. It goes so fast. My kids will be adults in the blink of an eye. Why not go ahead and prepare my heart and head to help them fly on their own and support them as best as I can?

2. Sometimes aging parents can feel like adult children and I need all of the prayer help I can get to support them to the best of my ability.

I am truly glad that I picked the book up. It handles a wide range of topics such as blessing & releasing, prayer for spouse, through divorce, a job, health & mental health, prodigal children, and addiction. 

It is a rich encouragement reminding me to daily take my cares for those I love straight to Jesus. I wish I could buy a copy for all of my friends with adult children. Buy it. You'll be blessed. So will your kids.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids: Devotionals

I wanted to share some devotionals and a Bible that my girls have been enjoying. My almost 11 year old is loving the Brave Beauty dev. She spends time with it every night before she goes to bed. It takes courage to do beautiful things, to come out of darkness as well as helping others out of darkness. Inside you'll find prayers, quizzes, and calls to courage. It is a well-designed book for preteens and teens. It's part of the Faith Girlz collection written by Lynn Cowell, part of the Proverbs 32 Ministries team. You can buy it here:

Adored 365 is great devotional for teen girls. The layout is beautiful. After each short reading, there is a space to pray or write thoughts. As I read through it, I loved how the author, Lindsay A. Franklin, kept the focus of the reader on the attributes of God. She continually invites the reader back to trust in God. It's a great way to start the day for young women. 


This isn't something I would usually be interested in, but I have a girl who loves Star Wars. I thought it might be cheesy or skewed in some way, but I am actually impressed. The sections have areas highlighting where the wisdom is in the book. One page had a section asking "Why Did Jesus Have To Die?" It goes on to clearly present the gospel. Other than that, it's just God's word. It would make a good gift for any Star Wars fan and could be a good way to start a conversation of faith.

These books were graciously provided for review by Zondervan Publishers.


May your Christmas be full of the beauty of Christ!

If you are interested in sending me to Haiti, I thank you kindly.
https://www.gofundme.com/stephs-haiti-trip

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I loved Nourished by Lia Huber

This book drew me in right from the get go. Fresh ingredients showing love at an open table. I'm in. The great part is that we get to follow Lia around to all of the tables she held on her many adventures. Look at that book cover. Don't you want to sit right in the middle of that table and eat?

She had me right off the bat describing eating homemade food in Greece. I followed her through her journey to finding love and losing her uterus to wondering what God had in store for her family. I don't want to issue any spoiler alerts so you'll have to read the book to find out what happens. I do want to share this that stuck me.
He very much intended me to bear things of beauty and worth.

There's more to love, people. One thing is how she spoke about the food industry. Much of her early writing and attending food conferences included people who attempted to make food and elitist thing. Knowing how to do or cook something somehow made these critics feel superior. I can understand. I have been lectured on coconut oil and essential oil and everything under the sun. Lia made a beautiful point by saying that good food and rich tradition is meant to be a point of connection rather than a point of contention. I agree. Come to the table.




Lastly, I was reading this book after leaving a homeless center in downtown Austin and came across this great section. It goes with what Jimmy Dorrell, founder of Church Under the Bridge, says about compassion not being about bending low from a place of superiority. It's about sitting among the broken. 
Y'all. Read it. It will make you want to eat good food and love people better. Amen.
This book was graciously given by Convergent Books Publishing for review.
Somebody come cook with me. love, Steph

Monday, November 13, 2017

Stones of Remembrance by Daniel G. Amen

I originally found interest in this book because all year long I keep hearing and seeing the word "remember" every where I go. Remember. I have been on a mission to remember the things God has done for me and those I love. I did not initially realize that this little is a companion to a book entitled Memory Rescue. The timing of me reading this book hit me pretty hard as I sat in the neurologist's office with my dad for his dementia that is progressing. It is truly one of the hardest things I have dealt with. It's hard loving someone so much and being able to do nothing to help them. If my help involves change for him of any kind, he doesn't want my help at all. It's a deep ache to miss people who are not missing from you physically.

As this disease progresses, I feel like I need to read everything I can to help me transition to this next phase of life. It seems like that angst of having your first child. I have no idea what I am stepping into and want to be prepared as possible. I'm thankful for all of the people who have gone before me into this wild unknown. I am grateful for those who have left guidebooks so that the journey does not feel so lonely.

This book is small. It has just a few simple pages on the brain and a lot of scripture to deal with what our brain throws at us. As I read through the pages, I felt conviction and great hope. It's something I could easily see myself tucking in my purse or at my bedside table to read again and again.

I have not read the book that this is a companion to, but this book was encouraging and gave battle verses for life in the unknown. Memory Rescue is on my wish list. I recently ordered another book that the Neurologist recommended called 36 Hour Day. It's about caring for people with Alzheimer's and Dementia.

This book was graciously provided by Tyndale House Publishing for Review.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Miscarriage | Infertility | Hope : My Story

I was recently asked to write a story of my journey through miscarriage and infertility for the Trying Collective. I thought I would share it here as well for anyone who might be hurting. 

Stephanie's Story

November 9, 2017

I encountered Jesus as a young child in a church pew in the balcony of an old country church. Through a lifetime of trial, I knew he was there. I did not always know or understand what he wanted of me, but I knew I was wanted. We could go through all of the pain and abuse of my life and unpack each tiny detail, but that is not what this is really about. I love what Frederick Buechner said, “Pain is not the biggest thing that has ever happened to you.” That is true. I have beheld far greater glory. As I clung to his word through all of this, I knew he was there.

My story about trying begins long before I began trying to have children. I tell you this because almost half of the population has been abused in some way. The attack on my uterus began when I was four-years-old. I spent most of my life believing that I was broken and I was crippled by shame. I carried that shame into every relationship I had. As I encountered people in the church, I never felt safe enough to ask for prayer or help. I could hear in their words shame heaped upon shame, even when they were trying to seem compassionate. I simply could not bear even one more ounce of shame.

Through all of this,... read more