Grit and Grace Review

Reading has been something that has been very difficult for me lately, however when this book review came to me, I knew I needed the challenge.

I received this devotional for my honest review.

Grit and Grace

This book is a 90-day devotional geared towards mothers. I knew I was going to like this devotional after the first page. One of the authors went into a story about being late to church and the frazzled feeling when you take your kids anywhere. She is my people.

There are a couple things to note from this book that I really like:

  • The two authors are at different stages of motherhood. One has young kids (like myself) and one has older children and is able to provide perspective from the other side of being in the weeds of toddlerhood.
  • With that being said, it does seem that this book is geared more towards mothers who are in the younger kid stages. I don’t mind it, and I think there is still much to glean from it. However, many of the stories are from this time.
  • The book is separated into daily devotionals, and let me tell you they are easily digestible. First they are fairly short, so each day could be read in 5 minutes. For someone who falls asleep within a matter of a few pages of any book,  this is a must. I also loved that they included the full text of the scripture in each chapter as well as a short prayer. This easy access is great for me to connect with God and have a little guidance that gets me started with the word and prayer. I am all about some given structure in my chaos of days.

All that is great, however, what I loved most about it was how relatable it was. It is so easy to feel like you are alone and feel like you aren’t doing things right. Just this morning I mumbled under my breath that I do not have the patience to be a mom as both kids were crying at me for reasons that are still unknown. The stories that were shared were experiences that I have had. They shared thoughts that have gone through my head. They spoke insecurities that are deep in my soul. They are me. It is devotionals like these who talk about the mess and the realities of the imperfection that help me to connection with God. In these stories we can embrace grace through the love that is given, and I so appreciated the words that were spoken through this book.

I do not think this will be a book that I just read once. It might be one of those that I read yearly just to remind myself how wonderfully and fearfully we were made for motherhood. God made all this possible, even if sometimes it is a little messy.

He also provided us with a little Grit and Grace.

You can find the book here.

 

‘My Daughter’s Legacy’ Book Review and Giveaway

Meet two women in different eras but both with unfailing conviction in Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould’s new book, My Daughter’s Legacy. Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? Nicole Talbot’s life is back on track after years of substance abuse. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family’s legacy, she must risk all that she’s gained-her fresh start, her family’s trust, and her growing relationship with a new man-to unlock the secrets of the past.

Y’all this book was awesome. I am giving it a 4.5/5. You know how I love a good historical fiction, and this one is set in one of my favorite eras.

What I enjoyed about this book was the mystery that connected these two relatives from different times. It was fun to pick out pieces of the story as the author went back and forth between the two women. She did a great job giving you just enough to want to keep reading, but not too much that it was completely predictable.

I also liked that it was about women and the inner struggles we face to prove ourselves and let go of inner demons. I am all for stories about strong women.

The only pitfalls to me where that I felt that there was one of the women’s story that was stronger than the other. I wanted to read more about her life and found myself upset when the other woman took up too many pages. But I guess that is a sign that I really resonated with that character or enjoyed her story more.

The other minor thing was that I felt that the ending was flat. It was such a page turner for me, that the ending didn’t really fit for me.

But other than those two things, I really loved it. This is also a book in a series, but it can definitely stand alone. The other books just follow other women in the same family so you get different perspectives. I have added them to my reading list because I loved this one so much!

Celebrate the release of this book by entering to win the $75 Visa Cash Card Giveaway (details below) and by attending their author chat party on August 1!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • One copy of My Daughter’s Legacy
  • One $75 Visa Cash Card

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 1. The winner will be announced at the My Daughter’s Legacy Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Mindy, Leslie, and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race $75 Amazon Giveaway with Mike Mizrahi

Take a ride through 1895 Chattanooga as it’s turned upside down when a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle-in bloomers-in Mike H. Mizrahi’s new book, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race! Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit to Brooklyn, she’s drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.

This book receives a 2/5 from me. I liked the idea of the book, especially now with all that is going on with women’s rights. I thought it would be interesting to read about a woman’s right to do something so trivial in today’s time like riding a bike.

I liked bits and pieces of the book. Honestly, it was a bit chaotic for me. There were a lot of side stories going on that made it seem very disjointed. While they may have added a little bit, in my opinion there was not a very good flow from one story to the next. At times it was hard to follow along with which story line was the focus at the time. Because there were so many story lines to keep up with, I don’t feel that there was very much depth to the characters even though I think that is what the author was going for.

What I did find interesting were Anna’s inner thoughts. She wrestled with the unwanted responsibilities that come with being a leader. There was one chapter where she talked about how she had become a role model to younger girls and how she was scared about the weight of that role. I think any leader has these moments where we have to think about how each thing we do has meaning to those around us. And that sometimes doing the right thing for the greater good will come with some harsh comments from naysayers. Change can be hard.

It was also interesting to think that there was a time that women had to fight to ride a bike or to wear pants in public. We have come a long way, but it also made me think, what is it of our time that our kids will look back and say how ridiculous it is that we had to fight for that equality. This book mentioned several times about equal pay and hiring standards, and it makes me sad that we are still fighting that fight today. I hope that things will be better for my daughter so she doesn’t have to endure things like this.

There is a giveaway to celebrate the release of Mike’s new book. You can enter to win this $75 Amazon gift card giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race
  • A $75 Amazon gift card

Enter today by clicking the banner below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 14. The winner will be announced June 15 on Mike’s blog.

Book Review and Give Away: A Fragile Hope

When your life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages, what happens when your own marriage begins to fall apart? Find out what happens to Josiah Chamberlain in Cynthia Ruchti’s new book, A Fragile Hope. Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

Celebrate the release of A Fragile Hope by entering to win Cynthia’s Sign of Hope Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 3. The winner will be announced May 4 on the Litfuse blog.

I received this book for my honest review.
Honestly, it was a 3/5 for me. It was good, but not amazing.
Here is my one con:
  • It took me about 10 chapters to get invested. It should never take me that long to get into a book. This is the only reason why I didn’t love the book. It just was extremely repetitive. We get it he was lost in despair and uncertainty. I think having that rough start gave me a weird overcast for the rest of the book.
Here are my praises:
  • While the first part seemed to drag on, ultimately there was an element of wanting to see improvement for the characters that kept me coming back.
  • This book was relateable. I liked how it showed the inner-thoughts of doubt and betrayal. I think we have all been there when our faith has been shook to the core. This story approached very real humanness and how we can overcome to forgive. I also love the fact that his job is to fix marriages and offer sage advice as a counselor, but he failed to notice how much his own marriage needed help. I think this goes to show that it is hard to hold a mirror up to our own issues and deal with them. She did a great job discussing this aspect of faith and healing.
  • The author was very intentional about the details of the book. For example, the quotes at the beginning of every chapter come from one of the characters print shop. It was nice little touches here and there that I though added a little fun to the book.
  • Ultimately, the message is really powerful. Everything in our life will not be perfect no matter how orderly we try to make it. Things will get messy and possibly shake us to our core. God will never leave you, we just have to be willing to lean in on him.

So it may have taken me awhile to get into the book, but it kept me engaged. The end result was worth it! I love reading stories that talk about real emotions and problems that are all around us, but also with the foundation of our relationship with God.

Good read indeed.

Book Review-40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood

I am always searching for a good devotional, so when this book came along paired with adult coloring pages it really seemed to be up my alley.

This book was tailor made for moms. From what I could see it was a love letter/words of encouragement from one mom to another. The scriptures and devotionals picked were like your own cheering section at the end of the day that we are all doing ok.

I love to color, and I have a really hard time calming down and just being. I, however, find most “adult” coloring books to be too complex and stress me out even more. These coloring pages were fairly simple, and they allowed me to let go and relax at the end of the day. I will say though that I usually do my devotional right before bed, and I did find it hard to do the coloring there. It takes me about 30-45 minutes to color a page, and I found myself dozing off before I could get done if I did them in bed. (This has nothing to do with the author, I am just an exhausted mom.) So I do the coloring while I am watching my TV shows after George goes to bed, and then I read the devotional portion right before bed and write my joys and concerns for the day in the margins.

I have really struggled with making time for scripture and knowing how to pray, so devotional or guide books like this help me in my walk with the Lord.

Each page (or day) had a scripture, a brief explanation of application, and a simple prayer. I like this approach because it helps things come alive for me. As I said then I will add my thoughts for the day in the open spaces.

This is a great devotional for moms who need to focus on self-care but find it hard to do so. It’s things like this that can keep us grounded and be the best for our families. The idea of combining a stress relieving activity with a devotional was genius in my opinion!

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You can buy your own copy here.

Have you tried adult coloring books? What is your way to focus on self-care?