Saturday, May 28, 2016

Book Review: Stars Over Sunset Boulevard

Photo from

The historical aspects of this book were intriguing. I loved learning about some of the history and behind-the-scenes looks into Hollywood and "Gone With the Wind" in particular.  Actually, on several occasions I looked up additional information online- from looking for a picture of Scarlett O'Hara's green hat (that I couldn't recall from memory), to information about various actors, actresses, and studios back then.  I enjoyed the historical aspects of this novel very much- but I am a bit of a fan of history.

However, I felt that the story and characters were a bit predictable. I was disappointed that the gospel didn't play a role at all in the character's lives, which I expected from a book from christianaudio.  There was of course the elements of any great story- a beginning, then a bad decision that leads to a problem and then a resolution.  However, I felt that the climax was breezed over a bit.  The resolution contained aspects of grace, but only after wrongs had been committed by both main characters.  There is however a great deal of grace given by Burt towards Violet, but less so towards Audrey.  The characters, though predictable, weren't always consistent. The beginning of the story seemed a bit slow, but then the pace sped up drastically as months and even years are skipped.  I did like the flash backs from present day to history, but the information was somewhat distracting from the main storyline.

Overall, I found the book to be entertaining, but mostly because of the fantastic narrator. Ann Marie Lee, from the very beginning had a lovely voice and then I was pleasantly surprised at her ability to distinguish the character's dialogue by the accents she gave them- while staying true to the descriptions in the text. Violet had a southern drawl seemingly straight out of "Steel Magnolias" and Audrey's deeper thicker voice was exactly as I imagined. Lee even provided French accents and perfect French for additional characters. Had I been reading the book, I might not have finished it, but listening to the audio recording proved to be delightful.

Overall, I do recommend this audio book for anyone looking for an entertaining reading of a moderately entertaining story of friendship with a glimpse into history.

*I received a copy of this work from in exchange for my honest review.

I'd love to know your thoughts, so comment below and let me know!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: Tell Someone by Greg Laurie

Tell Someone by Greg Laurie is a book that every Christian should have in their library.  It is a collection of personal experiences with the how-to's and what-not-to-do's of sharing the gospel.  This book is a quick read and very interesting.  I enjoyed reading Greg's personal testimony while at the same time being encouraged to share the gospel through telling my own testimony. 

I appreciate the actual tips on witnessing without this being an actual how-to, step-by-step manual.  The personal touch that Greg offers is the perfect balance.  And as I read each chapter I felt my confidence increase.  I especially like the prayers he includes at the end of each chapter as a reminder that this is not through our power alone, but by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can find the words to say when God leads us to speak.

This book was so encouraging and challenging.  As Christians, we are all commanded to tell others about Christ, though many of us falter and cower from actually telling people about this amazing gift we have received.  If you struggle in the area of witnessing, then I HIGHLY recommend that you read this book.  It has been such a help and encouragement to me.

If you have read this book, I'd love to know your thoughts, comment below or email me here:

Love in Christ,


*I received a copy of this book from B&H Publishing for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs

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This is my first encounter with Annie Downs, but I already feel like we are best friends.  Looking for Lovely, is a collection of experiences recorded by Annie in which she exposes very unlovely periods within her life but shares the healing process she experienced and the lovely she found through it all. 
Annie is completely genuine, open and vulnerable as she shares her struggles with weight, being single, being a quitter, loneliness, and many other areas. Yet, through it all, she doesn't come across as whiney or grumbling.  She shares her story with humor and humility while focusing on Jesus as the source of ultimate lovely.

I found Annie to be completely relatable and endearing. She had a wonderful way of sharing that though not all things are lovely, you can still look for the little lovelies in everything.

The audio version of the book was read by Annie Downs, and as I've mentioned before, I really enjoy the author reading their own work because these are her personal stories. She is completely engaging and you could hear the emotion in her voice- which I like much better than a detached voice that just reads the words.

This book was so enjoyable, I listened to the entire thing every chance I had and finished it within just a few days.  I have also added several of her previous books to my wish list and because we are best friends now, I've found her on Instagram and Twitter but if those aren't for you, have no worries she also has a blog (

If you are looking for a book that will encourage you as well as challenge you this is the book for you.  And if you are looking for a fun author, blogger, Christian to follow then she's your girl!

If you have read Looking for Lovely, or any of Annie Downs' other works, I'd love to hear what you think- comment below!

Love in Christ,


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

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sometimes I Just Don't Feel Good

I have unfollowed people on Facebook recently because their posts make me angry.  And today, I find myself wanting to check their pages manually (as in going and searching for them).  The desire to do so is so strong, I had to stop and ask myself why.  Why when I know there may be something unsettling on there that is just going to get me all worked up, do I even want to look?  And then it hit me.  I am in a bad mood today.  And I think I want to have a reason.  I want that to be my reason.  But in all honesty, sometimes I am in a bad mood for no good reason at all.

So why do I need an excuse to be in a blah place? As a Christian, I think we place this expectation on ourselves to be happy all the time.  But that is completely unbiblical.  Jesus wasn't even happy all the time.  So yeah, today I just don't feel like adulting.  I don't feel like pasting on a pleasant smile and talking about flowers and sunshine and rainbows.  I feel like curling up and sleeping until tomorrow.  Well, maybe not completely until tomorrow, but at least until I need to eat again.

But because I am a Christian there are some things that I will NOT do in my current mood.

1- I will not complain about life and rant all over social media or to anyone and everyone I encounter- that is just not okay, ever.
2- I will not snap at everyone I encounter today or make snide, grumpy remarks- I'm picturing Ebeneezer Scrooge here.
3- I will not stop praying and praising God for the gifts and blessings He has been so generous to give.
4- I will not actually go to bed and sleep the day away- I do have work, and a son and a husband.
5- I will not believe the lies that Satan wants to tell me:
     a- That if I loved God enough I wouldn't feel this way.
     b- That if He loved me enough I wouldn't feel this way.
     c- That if I was a better mom, wife, daughter, etc, I wouldn't feel this way.
     d- That if my husband, son, mom, friend, etc loved me more then I wouldn't feel this way.
     e- That something is wrong with me. I must be completely broken and unlovable.
     f- That I will never stop feeling this way.
6- And though I so desperately want to, I will not push my husband away and not talk to him even though I quite honestly don't know how to say, I just don't feel good. Because my husband, being a man and a Pastor on top of that, wants to fix it.  He wants to know why? He wants to know if it's him, and what can he do?  And so it's easier to retreat.  But because I love Jesus, I want to be a godly woman, a godly wife and a godly mother.  And that means communicating.  That means just saying, I honestly DO NOT know why I feel this way.  Today is just one of those days.  Please hug me and love me through it.  And if I don't feel fat, bring me chocolate. ;-)

If you have ever felt this way, I want you to know that there is hope.  God promises us that his mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).  (Which also Great is Thy Faithfulness is my favorite hymn and one I love to sing through tears in my eyes.  A personal favorite while rocking my son at 2 am during a feeding time as exhaustion threatened to overtake me.)
And another one of my favorite Bible verses is Zephaniah 3:17

God does care about you.  You are not alone.  If you are just having a no-good-I-Feel-Bad day then I pray that these verses encourage you as they do me.  And that you ignore all the lies and ridiculousness that Satan tries to feed you.  However, if you are reading this and your one bad day or two has become a continuous string of weeks or maybe even months, I so very much want you to know that you are not alone.  God loves you.  And I strongly encourage you to seek out a Christian Counselor to talk to.  This life is hard.  And unfortunately and wrongly, we believe that if we have "off" days then we don't love Jesus enough and we believe that we aren't supposed to even have blah days so we hide and retreat.  But there is such beauty in opening up and allowing Jesus to meet you here on these days.  When I stop pretending and just admit that I just don't feel good.  And I allow him to work, and restore the broken.  When I sit and imagine him rejoicing over me, quieting me and singing over me.  There is nothing more beautiful than trusting Jesus.

Love in Christ my dear sisters,