GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Book Review: The Pinecraft Pie Shop book 1: Made with Love by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore


love_zpskbjceed3 About the Book:

Lovina Miller should be thrilled. Pinecraft, Florida, has everything a young Amish woman could ask for: sun, sand, volleyball games, and evening singings in the park. But Pinecraft lacks the one thing Lovina desperately wants—a pie shop of her own. She longs for a place to gather with the community and serve the treat she loves.

A young carpenter named Noah Yoder strolls into her life and offers a way to make her dream come true. But before Noah and Lovina can build a shop—and a life—together, they must each face heartaches from the past. Is their new love stronger than their regrets?

You can purchase your copy at Harvest House Publishers.

love2_zpsm6hcjcin About Tricia:

Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. A USA Today bestselling author, Tricia has published over 40 books and has written more than 500 articles. She’s well-known for her Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Amish series. For more information visit Tricia at http://www.TriciaGoyer.com. Tricia, along with a group of friends, also runs http://www.NotQuiteAmishLiving.com, sharing ideas about simplifying life.

love3_zpsousbu2xi About Sherry:

Sherry Gore is the author of Simply Delicious Amish Cooking and Me, Myself and Pie and is a weekly scribe for the national edition of the Amish newspaper The Budget. Sherry’s culinary adventures have been seen on NBC Daytime, Today.com, and Mr. Food Test Kitchen. Sherry is a resident of Sarasota, Florida, the vacation paradise of the Plain People. She has three children and is a member of a Beachy Amish Mennonite church.

My Opinion:

I’ve read many of Tricia’s book before, such as Where Treetops Glisten and Mom’s Night Out, among others. I have never read any of Sherry Gore’s other books though and that is something I will be rectifying soon. I used to be obsessed with the Amish culture, so much so, I tried to convince my husband to convert but there were some issues and we couldn’t and he wouldn’t so we stayed English. I didn’t quite connect with Lovina like I wanted to, she was single, still at home and all she wants is to open her own pie shop – I could relate to the dream part but not so much some of her mopey attitude. Enter Noah, who has a bad reputation among the Plain People and well I’m sure the reader can figure out what happens next, or can they?

Full of twists and turns, I had a hard time figuring out what was going to happen next because just when I think I figured it out, I was wrong. I like that, I don’t like boring, predictable books and this was not that. Even though I’m not as obsessed with the Amish as I once was I still enjoy a book about them. That said there is romance, nothing risque, obviously but I’m throwing that out there. Lately, when I read romance novels my heart isn’t in it but this one seemed so real it was hard to not want the ending to be what it was and so I could enjoy it without feeling like my heart was being ripped out. A fantastic book if you’re looking for a quick, summer read.

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(c) 2016, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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BookLook Review: Diary of a Jackwagon by Tim Hawkins w/John Driver


About the Book:

Popular Christian comedian Tim Hawkins shares his hilarious perspective on life in the 21st century.

In this wide-ranging, long-awaited book, comedian Tim Hawkins holds forth on everything from family, culture, and music to church, parenting, and education. Readers will enjoy laughing their way through the book, always feeling good about the clean and sometimes inspiring material they are laughing at. Chapters include riffs on marital communication (“marriage needs a challenge flag, like in pro football”) aging (“the diabolical orifice witch hunt”), worship music (“pick the right key, because I’m not Barry White and I’m not a Bee Gee”), and fatherhood (“There are no manuals for parenting. Color-coded warning labels or open-ended prescriptions would be just as helpful.”)

For fans of Jim Gaffigan’s Dad Is Fat and Food: A Love Story, Tim Hawkins’ hilarious first book reveals that for life’s many difficulties, laughter is the best medicine-when there aren’t any pills left.

My Opinion:

My family and I fell in love with Tim’s comedy when we saw him on Bananas, a local Christian comedy place that was aired on one of our stations and has unfortunately gone away – and way before we knew his family were fellow home-schoolers. I’ve also had the pleasure to see him in person at a show, unfortunately my husband and children weren’t with me, so I really, really wanted to like this book! I did like it but not as much as I thought I would – mainly because most of the material in it was stuff I’d already heard, either live or on Bananas. Since Tim also includes songs in his performances, it hard to really get a feel for the song when he’s not actively singing it and instead you’re just reading the lyrics.

I did enjoy the “Tweet Thought” at the end of each chapter and I did enjoy the book but it’s just better to hear him live – if you haven’t then I highly suggest you search out some videos of him BUT read the book first and then go watch. If you’ve already seen him the book will still be funny and your children may look at you like you’ve lost your mind as you laugh out loud every few seconds but it’s just not the same. So while I’d recommend this book, especially if you’d like something clean and wholesome and that you could read out loud with the family gathered round, comedy is much better live.

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(c) 2016, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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Almost 1 and a half year of young widowhood


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This was my Facebook status last year on this day:

May 1st. Wow! **warning** this may be sad and long for some. Starting a new month, while it’s putting a foot forward and taking a new step, is also hard – that means it’s 12 days until the day when our world went Topsy turvy, when the Lord called Don home. Having no answers still plagues me. I’m doing good, you know? We’re back to doing school regularly, H is looking towards college, trying to get my health back, BUT each new month is closer to that one year mark. Next month makes 6 months. 6 months! A half a year!! Having never expected or wanting to be a widow, knowing that I’ll have been one for 6 months is hard – sometimes I think it’s harder now as I’m young and we still had our whole lives ahead of us. I know Don is still providing for us, things are tighter than they were BUT he made it so I could stay home and continue doing what we knew we wanted for our family so in some ways it feels like he is still here, taking care of us. Some days I get so mad at him, mad at God, mad at myself – why didn’t he try to wake me up? why didn’t God let him stay awhile longer? Why didn’t I notice he didn’t come to bed and go down to investigate? Then I feel guilty for being mad. Part of me is happy, Don is healed – his legs are no longer in pain, no more back and forth to cardiologists, no more worrying about his weight – he is free. I’m selfish though – I want him back. When we were first married we had some dozy of fights – I can’t believe our neighbors didn’t call the police, not physical fights but yelling, screaming, etc and I also wasn’t walking with the Lord. As we both came back to the Lord together our marriage improved – we still had work to do, don’t we all? but our marriage was 90% better than when we started and it was continually getting better. I was not a perfect wife and he wasn’t the perfect husband but putting God at the center we had the hope of being perfect. For those who want to tell me it’s time to move on, there is no moving on – there is moving forward but not moving on. The loss, our loss will always be with us – when our children marry, when they graduate college, when I need a spouses support or his opinion, I’m not ready, nor will I ever be ready to forget a man that made me a better human – he was patient with me, he loved me in my imperfections, he truly showed how Christ loves me. Some have asked when I might re-marry “because I’m young” and first my reaction is offense then I tell them I don’t. If God has another man out there for me he’ll let me know but honestly I won’t be able to find a man who was as supportive, godly, loving, patient or who enjoyed his Hawaiian shirts as much as my Don. So, that, is my spiel and if you’ve read to the end, thank you. Just some of my rambling thoughts – I’ve talked to other widows who don’t fully get the impact till one year or even several years later – so while some feel there is a cut off to grief – please understand if one day in the future I’m falling apart it’s because my grief is again fresh and just come along side me and pray and hold me.

I read that this morning and was taken back, taken back to when the grief was so raw it wanted to consume me. When I could have just stayed in bed and let the world go on, never knowing that they failed to mourn a great man, a man greater than the celebrities that we seem so keen on mourning. As I listen to the birds sing outside I know there is hope and it seems brighter than it did when I wrote that post. There is hope.

My oldest didn’t get to start college last year because no funding came through but we are pursuing it again this year. I’m back at home full time, it took six long months to realize that work wasn’t what we needed but after a frank discussion with my children I put my two week’s notice in and am back where I belong. Unfortunately, I’m seeing a lot of men who want a dual income home – whether it’s because they’ve racked up considerable debt or whatever – I don’t plan on being with another man who doesn’t value a woman at home. I love being home.

I can’t believe we’ve almost made it to the 1 and a half year mark. There has been much that has happened since then:

  • our oldest turned 14 years old
  • our middle turned 11 and youngest turned 10
  • I began full time college studies
  • I joined e-harmony
  • I lost my baby brother
  • I lost an Aunt and a woman I viewed as a Grandma within a week of each other
  • I began and quit my job
  • I’ve grown closer in some of my friendships
  • I’ve tried to get more involved in our church
  • I’ve joined our church as an official member
  • I’ve seen our middle DD get baptized
  • and more!

This is just a small sampling of what has happened over these 18 months, both good and bad. Tonight I’m going to a gathering of women who are without partners, whether divorced, widowed or single tonight to get some fellowship, food and fun! I’m so thankful for those who have and still do surround my children and I with support – emotionally, financially and/or spiritually.

This isn’t the end – I guess in a way, while we still walk with our loss, we remember Don now with more smiles than tears, with more laughter than sadness – and for that I’m thankful too. I can view his pictures and remember who he was, I still sometimes find myself wondering what if? Would we have had more children? Would we have adopted? Would we have moved? Would we have gotten that R.V.? But even with those what-ifs there aren’t as many tears, I still mourn him and our losses but I’m sort of entering my spring – new life, new hope. Whoever enters my life and my children’s will have to understand Don will always be a part of us – our lives – he will be remembered, his pictures will still hang on the walls, my final resting place will be next to him. It’s hard to find that balance.

I’ll write another post more in depth on what has been going on in my/our lives soon but I wanted to write this as it’s been on my heart this morning, and with that I’ll close – I have a lot of homework to do so I can relax this evening.

(c) 2016, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

 

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Litfuse Publicity: The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan


murder_zpsp7rape4f About the book:

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever—if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

To learn more and purchase a copy visit here.

What to read up on Jem and Merinda before reading book one? Check out the e-novella, A Singular and Whimsical Problem.

murder2_zpsdekiylvn About the Author:

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

You can connect with Rachel on Twitter and on Facebook.

My Opinion:

I’m a huge fan of a certain detective and his side kick so when the description listed this as a female version I knew I had to check it out. I really, really wanted to like this book and I did – the mystery of the three murders of Irish women had me flipping the pages faster than I should have. Set in Canada, it was very reminiscent of the above mentioned male detective – without all the “mind-palaces” and drug use. Merinda and Jem use costumes to access places that women wouldn’t have been allowed access, of course this also puts them into jeopardy with the Morality Squad. I did enjoy learning that the Morality Squad was made up by the author for the book, however she does say at the end that in Toronto women were tried in courts for things such as idleness,dissolution and incorrigibility.

What did drive me slightly crazy while reading this was Merinda’s constant refusal to hear anything about God and her staunch women’s lib mindset. She doesn’t like it all when Jem begins falling in love. Then there is Jem who constantly wonders what she is supposed to do, and disregards her parents advice about what to do with her life, which is specifically to find a husband. I get that not everyone is called to married, and that is fine, but Jem’s blantant, almost seemingly disrespect of her parents, made me a bit testy. However, in light of these issues Jem and Merinda work well together and eventually they solve the crime, however I won’t disclose the intricacies of the crime.

I have to reiterate that I did like the book, it was an enjoyable read even with some of the issues I found in it – I hate to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I admit when I could tell there was a complaining scene or a women’s lib scene I did skip it and move on – not that I’m against women’s lib but I am against the idea that they espoused that being married and having children made a woman somehow not equal or as important as her husband. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in this series to see how Jem and Merinda are faring in their world and to see if they’ve matured any.

To see what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

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Meet best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem, who launch their own Sherlock Holmes-esque consulting detective business in 1910 Toronto in Rachel McMillan’s The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Rachel is celebrating the release of The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder with a Murder Mystery Prize Pack giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on April 28!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 4/28. The winner will be announced at The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Rachel and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

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Book Review: Road to Bethlehem: A Prelude to The Seeds of Christianity Series by E.G. Lewis


road_zpsc45sab6j About the Book:

Having heard the Christmas story told and retold more times than we can count, it is easy to view Mary and Joseph as nothing more than paper people whom we encounter every year on the Christmas cards that crowd our mantle.

In Road to Bethlehem, a prelude to his popular Seeds of Christianity Series, E. G. Lewis rounds out this flat, two-dimensional view of Mary and Joseph. In his hands they become real flesh and blood people who live, love and interact with the world around them. Relying upon meticulous research and masterful storytelling, he has crafted a wonderfully entertaining, thought-provoking, and deeply informative novel. Through careful attention to detail he immerses the reader into the daily life of the new carpenter in Nazareth and a young woman named Mary who has caught his eye.

There’s a beautiful innocence to Mary and her thoughts. The author has a gentle way with words, explaining just enough to intrigue, leading enough to entice. Wise lessons are threaded into the tale…the power of forgiveness, the gift of mercy, and the healing capacity of love. The God of these pages is ever-present in the characters’ lives, but never intrusive. You’ll come away from this novel with a deep understanding and newfound respect for both Mary and Joseph. Like all of E. G. Lewis’ Seeds of Christianity books, Road to Bethlehem is both historically and Biblically accurate. As always, it includes Author’s Notes full of interesting insights designed to enhance your reading experience.

You can purchase your copy at Amazon.

About the Author:

Author of ten books, writing has always been a major part of E. G Lewis’ life. A former newspaper editor and publisher, his articles have appeared in many national and regional magazines. He also wrote and directed corporate training films. He has a graduate degree in Economics from Ohio State University and worked in management and corporate planning before becoming a full-time novelist. He and his wife, a writer and book editor, live on the Southern Oregon Coast.

My Opinion:

Often thought of as just a Christmas story, the story of Mary and Joseph is much more than that – it is a display of love, faith and sacrifice – and one that should mean much to the Christian year ’round. I’ve always been intrigued by what Joseph and Mary were like, what they did, how they interacted with those around them BEFORE the angel of the Lord came to them. The Bible doesn’t tell us much and I know it’s because it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things but as a watcher of people I like to know these things. E.G. Lewis gives us this glimpse, using historical information he weaves a tale with both accuracy from what is given us in the Bible as well as from facts, like how the Jewish people would have interacted with one another in daily living.

I almost thought the book was going to be dry and boring, but I was proven wrong, E.G. Lewis’ way of writing pulls the reader in and enchants them, pulling them into the world of the characters and making it feel like the reader is really standing in Joseph’s wood shop, inhaling the smell of fresh cut wood, stain. The whole book was masterfully written and is a great read whether in spring time before Easter or at Christmas time as we await Christ’s birth. Also of note is his author’s notes at the end – these are especially interesting to the reader who may wonder how Lewis got some of his details or are interested in more history surrounding the Bible’s account of Mary and Joseph. This is a fantastic read and I cannot wait to find E.G. Lewis’ other books and begin reading them!

 

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Review: Living on His Income: Rembrances and Advice for the Christian Housewife by Mrs. Sharon White


living_zpsov46j902 About the Book:

Teaching on the Christian home is needed more now than ever for housewives. . . Here you will find brief examples of 5 housewives over 3 generations from Mrs. White’s family. This includes her mother-in-law and grandmother. . . There are also 9 short chapters of advice and encouragement. These cover such topics as standard of living, the content wife, being dependent on him, and the house account. . . Practical resources are recommended at the end of the book. . . You will be inspired to continue on as a cheerful housewife, knowing your work is just as important as the mission field.

You can purchase your own copy on Amazon.

My Opinion:

You may be wondering why I wanted to read a book about living on a husband’s income since I’m a widow? Well, it’s because I’m still technically living on my husband’s income – in his career he paid into a retirement system and I now get a monthly stipend for each our children and myself. However, I also have taken a part time job to supplement that benefit. That said I also am praying that the Lord will bring another godly husband to me and I can once again be a studious homemaker full time. I’ve read a few of Mrs. White’s other books such as Economy for the Christian Home and Early Morning Revival, this book while short on pages is big on ideas and advice on how to live and be happy living on your husband’s income.

In today’s world we are so caught up in keeping up with the Jones’ that we fail to realize what exactly we are supposed to be doing – that isn’t to be buying the newest gadget – but to bring glory to God. This isn’t a workbook but more of a guidebook, Mrs. White shares short stories of her Grandma, her Great Aunt, her mom, her mother-in-law and herself and how, through the generations these women of faith learned to live on what their husband’s brought home and be happy about it, even when it meant meager living or what we’d see as poverty today. I like her advice on setting up a house account, although I do track our monthly expenses because the heating bill or water bill fluctuates month to month and I like to see by how much.

One thing I’ve become more aware of is our eating out, just by looking back in my check register we ate out way too much in February – that was because we had a lot going on and I’m trying to get better at preparing ahead of time, I’d rather have money in the bank or be able to help out a missionary than spending money at restaurants. This is a fantastic little book on how women in Mrs. White’s family lived on their husband’s income and how she too, continues to do so. If you’re thinking of leaving the workforce, cutting back on your hours and wondering how can we live on what he makes or even if you already are at home and trying to be a better steward, this book can help inspire you to be that homemaker.

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Nourish Your Family’s Spiritual Health this Easter


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If your family is like most, breakfast is rushed to get everyone out the door. Lunch is spent at school or work. So where does that leave dinner? Nourish your family’s spiritual health as you eat supper together. Adventures in Odyssey and Odyssey Adventure Club want to give you a free resource to help you begin your new dinner tradition of making the most of your family mealtime, beginning this Easter season. Simply head to this page and fill out the form to receive a free sample of Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions.

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Want new resources to continue to build your family’s faith, even after Easter is over? Consider signing your family up for the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter. and Pinterest.

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Litfuse Publicity: The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck


wedding_zpskc7jrt2f About the Book:

For sixty years, a wedding chapel sat silent, waiting for love. But times have changed and the hour has come when it just might be too late.

Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—the wedding chapel he built for Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in ’49. But now an offer has come to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be—a place for love—and Jimmy sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.

Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s abysmal marriage rate. But love surprises her when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester, a top ad man. Their whirlwind romance results in an elopement, and a mountain of doubt. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to overcome his own demons to find the words of his heart.

When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time.

When Taylor’s journey intersects with Coach’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

You can purchase your own copy at Rachel Hauck.

wedding2_zpsq3102h8a About the Author:

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Connect with Rachel on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

My Opinion:

This is a beautiful story of long lost love and unrequited romance – set in both the modern world and also in 1948 and caught between Manhattan and Tennessee – there are viewpoints from the characters as they reminiscence and remember things from their past.Thankfully Rachel Hauck made it easy to know which view point was being read at any given moment. I fell in love right away with Jimmy and Collette’s love story – once they find out about letters that were kept away and the misunderstandings that have kept them apart of 60 years – you’ll fall in love too.

Of course, it’s a happily ever after sort of book, but I guess after sixty years of loss and wondering, “what if”, the characters are entitled to a bit of happily ever after. Of course Jimmy and Collette aren’t the only romance in this book there is also the marriage of Taylor and Jack but both are leading very separate lives even though married – how can they become one and renew that love that they first felt when they eloped? It all comes together in this book and it is a fast and enjoyable read.

You can read what other bloggers thought on the Litfuse Landing Page.

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School, work and home


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Its been awhile since I’ve written a personal post – November 2015 to be exact. I have to say things have been so busy and also sad in our house. On our way home from West Virginia for Thanksgiving on November 28th, my mom called me to ask if we could pick her up at the hospital. She said she’d been in a small car accident and seeing as we had just past the city where she was I turned around, she couldn’t get a hold of my younger brother. Found out it wasn’t a small car accident and she had a severe concussion. My brother agreed to come to her house to care for her as she is unable to climb the stairs in my house. On November 30th I received a frantic voicemail that my brother had fallen and she couldn’t get him awake. I had just spoken with him a few hours before and he was fine. I rush over while having my best friend on the phone to turn the corner to see many cops, two squads and two fire trucks. I go up to the house to find them working frantically on my brother – he was 32. His obit is here.

The next few months had me working my part time job, taking care of my mom and my children and beginning school. My first two spring quarter classes started in January and finished this past Friday. My next two classes begin next Monday. I’m taking a full time course load so I can get all my federal financial aid.  Needless to say it’s been a VERY busy few months but in some ways also very rewarding. My children are very supportive of my going to school even if my son doesn’t quite understand when I need time to study or write my papers – I’m currently carrying an A average. I’m attending Liberty University Online pursuing my Bachelors in Social Work. My goal is eventually to either continue working the developmentally disabled field or to work with women leaving prostitution and human trafficking.

Work is well, work. I take care of three men who are DD in their home – they are great guys but it is still work. I was taking care of a fourth in another house but he passed away two weeks after I met him.

I feel like home is an area I’m failing in – the house is often a mess and even with the children, especially my oldest pitching in there is a sense of disarray and dirt everywhere. When people say you can’t have a career and a house, it’s true – you can but one is going to suffer and right now it’s my house, and I hate that. Honestly, we could probably scrape by if I didn’t work but there wouldn’t be extras because we’d only be able to buy groceries (and then only cheap stuff, not healthy stuff) and pay bills and put gas in the car. There wouldn’t be room to pay for dance or take small trips or take in the occasional movie at the cheap seats theater. I’m trying to get into a groove and find a balance but so far I haven’t. I’ve cut out reviews – as soon as I get the ones that need posted up and done I’m out because it’s one thing I can say no to.

We’ve also made it through a whole year of not having Don with us – and we’ve gotten through our 2nd anniversary without him and his 2nd birthday. It’s been tough – and while we aren’t in the throws of grief, we still have our sad days but we are much more better at remembering him with laughter than we are with tears. I don’t go to the cemetery much, although my in-laws do, it is hard and I know he’s not there and seeing my name on the marker is well, eerie. I’ve also had a talk with the children about me wanting to find love again – it’s not something I’m rushing in to and there is no one in mind – but I know Don wouldn’t want me grieving the rest of my life and since I’m only 37 I am still young. My in-laws know too. I would want the same thing for him, had it been me to go. I’m praying the Lord will show me the right man even if that comes through eHarmony which I’ve joined. For those who are against online meetings – I know the risks, my husband and I met online and we almost made it to 14 years.

I’ve been told by different people lately that they admire me, they don’t know how I do what I do. I can say it’s all the Lord – if not for Him I’d have fallen on my face a long time ago. It’s also my children, they keep me going and then I read my oldest daughter’s blog post and I get the sense that even when I’m failing, I’m doing something right. So, with that I’ll close – I’ll try to get better at posting personal stuff and also more homeschooling stuff as I get caught up on my reviews.

(c) 2016, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Walk Through Holy Week with Odyssey Adventure Club


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The Bible is no doubt a timeless book, but often it’s seen by the younger generation as ancient and antiquated. How can we make the stories of the Bible—particularly the Easter story—alive and exciting for our children? Adventures in Odyssey has created a free activity kit for families to experience the Easter story brought to life through eight days of Christ-centered and fun activities. Click here to sign up and download the kit for free.

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If you’re looking to bring the Bible to life further during the Easter season, consider signing your family up for the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter. and Pinterest.

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