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 Tricia, along with a group of friends, also runs, 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,, 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.


(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.


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

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Almost 1 and a half year of young widowhood


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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