Jul 30, 2016

Farewell July

How would I describe my July?  Rain.  Rain.  And more rain.  It was allllll lovely.  =)  Who doesn't enjoy a beautiful rainstorm in the middle of the country?  I was also able to experience a strike of lightning touch the earth only 100 feet away from us while we were in the car.  Talk about loudness!  We were all shaken, but it was a glorious reminder of the power of our God!

And black berries.  Lots of blackberries.  But you can read for yourself. =) 

Adventures in Life:

  • I passed the CLEP test Introductory Psychology!!! (and I am DONE with psychology for the rest of my life!) =) Woohoooo!
  • I finished my online college class Men of the Bible! *sob* But I will miss it so much! The teacher commented on every assignment...and THANKED me for taking the class. =) She is the sweetest! My favorite part was that we had no textbook - only the Bible! What a way to earn college credit! =) But the tears... =(
  • My family celebrated the 4th of July by watching fireworks! =) My older brothers also competed in a kayak race and won...and my little sisters performed in a flash mob performance!
  • My little brother Josiah stared his own vlog! Presenting............ Faith Warrior Films! Check it out and you'll be able to read encouraging, Christian posts and see videos with some of my siblings as actors. =) (and you'll make his day if you subscribe!!!) ;)
  • We picked at least 30 gallons of blackberries from our bushes. (which is calculated to be around 150 lbs of berries!) =) We also picked tons of cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and other garden goodies. Yum.
  • I had the privilege of being an pre-reader/editor to Alea Harper's masterpiece, The Clockshifter!  I can't wait until this comes out.  You all HAVE to read it!
  • I also was able to be a pre-reader for Jordy Leigh's masterpiece Omnipotent!  Another amazing piece to be on the look for!

Books I Read: 7

  • Peace, Be Still by Amanda Tero
  • Coffee Cake Days by Amanda Tero
  • A.D. 33 by Ted Dekker
  • The Assassination Plot by Ed Dunlop
  • The Heart of a Woman Who Prays by Elizabeth George
  • The Invisible Friend by Lois Walfrid Johnson
  • The Princess Adelina by Julie Sutter

My Favorite(s):
All of these books were really good!  My top three favorites (I know, I know...but I couldn't decide!) are A.D. 33, The Heart of a Woman Who Prays, and The Invisible Friend!  =)

My Least Favorite:
I liked them all. =)  But if I had to pick a least favorite...I guess I would go with Coffee Cake Days.  That is just because it wasn't "amazing" but "pretty good." =)

My New Creations: 

I wrote 19,451 words this month!  I am getting close to being done with my second rough draft of Emblem of Hope!  I can't wait to perfect it and send it to readers.  *happy sigh*

Blog Friends:
Check out these other amazing posts!!  =)
From Faith Warrior Films by Josiah Chad

From the blog The Left Handed Typist by Abigayle Ellison 

From Project Inspired  (I am not subscribed to this website, but I enjoyed the post) 

Blog Posts: 

Did you miss one of these posts this month?




How did your July go?  Did you read any amazing posts recently?  Has it been a rainy month for you?  Comment below!

Jul 26, 2016

A Change of Heart: It Has to Be God

Finally!  Today's the day!!!!!!!

I am going to host my first guest post!   I can't tell you how excited I am for you to read thisMy friend, Jordy Leigh, prayerfully wrote this post for you, and I am hoping (and praying!) that it changes your life!  I met her only two months ago, and I have already been impacted by her wisdom and heart to serve God.  And this post is so good.  (sorry for being forward...)  My life was changed because of it.  Thank you so, so much Jordy!

Please check out her lovely website!  I know you will be blessed by her posts. And lastly,  Jordy will be replying to blog comments today, so write away! =)

Enough with talking!  Read on!

Alanah had all her ducks in a row. She drew her map of life carefully, and the only colors were black and white. She adopted her parents' views of right and wrong, and never dared to question. Sometimes she had a burning desire to take her younger sister by the shoulders and fix her.

Katie was the wild child. She did as much as she could get away with. Though she didn't try to be bad, she pushed her parents' limits. When Katie looked at Alanah, she felt like a failure, and like there was nothing to be done about it. The desire to change came and went in fleeting phases.

When God works
Then Katie changed drastically. It wasn't a phase and it wasn't by her own efforts. God worked in her life.

As she read her Bible, she felt as though she was seeing for the first time. She understood - truly understood - that God is the Sovereign Lord of the universe, deserving of all the glory she could give Him. Though she had heard it many times in her life, this was the first time that she realized it in her heart.

Countless times before, Katie had tried to fix up her own life; to be responsible and mature. Countless times she had failed.

But this was different. She didn't make any effort on her own. She didn't tap into her reservoir of willpower. She simply acknowledged before God that she was helpless to change herself. Then she told Him that she was willing for Him to do His work in her life.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
-1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (emphasis added)

When God doesn't work
As Alanah watched the transformation in her younger sister's life, she couldn't help being amazed. There was no denying that she had changed for real. In fact, she truly believed that Katie had something that she didn't. Alanah's was the sensible good girl that everyone wanted her to be, but it was all superficial. What Katie had was real.

The thing is, Alanah had built up her model lifestyle by her own efforts. It looked impressive to everyone who watched her, but only she realized that it was hollow. She kept every law in the Bible, and yet her heart was missing. She had built her life based on her own abilities and performance, not on submission to God and a desire to see Him glorified.

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
-Psalm 127:1

Life application
Perhaps as you read this, you can think of a few Alanahs or Katies in your own life. Before you go figuring who is who, I want to encourage you to prayerfully examine your own life. If you want to fix up some people that you know, that may be an indication that you're an Alanah, yourself.

I can say this because I know from experience. I'm a lot more like Alanah than I'd like to admit.

As for the Alanahs and Katies in your life, God has a plan for them. He may work in their hearts and lives to bring about some major transformations. He may even use your words and actions to accomplish it. But the actual transformation - whether in your life or in theirs - will be His work.

Only God can change hearts.

I'll be reading all you comments, so let's discuss it!
  • Are you more like Alanah or Katie?
  • Have you had any experiences where God taught you something and you *know* it wasn't just you?
  • If you can't change a person's heart, how can you be a friend to them?

Resources for deeper digging
Psst! For more on life transformations that only God can bring about: Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth writes for a predominately female audience, but we can all learn from this article.


Jul 19, 2016

Little, White Spots

When you come to the point of reading your Bible every day (which is something that EVERY Christian ought to do), you might come to a section that doesn't seem very relevant to your life.  I know that I have!  We often tend to push the chapter(s) aside and say, "this isn't important to me or my life in the 21st century!"  And yet, sometimes God hides gems of truth inside the longest and driest chapters of the Bible.  This post is about one truth that I found while reading Leviticus.

Photo thanks to my little brother.  =)

Leviticus 13 is titled, "The Law Concerning Leprosy."  Haha...a blog post about leprosy?  Yes, be forewarned!  =)

Leprosy was a common skin disease back in the Biblical times.  In some places around the world, it is still common to find.  The disease would literally eat away your skin.  It was also highly contagious.  If you found those "little, white spots" on your skin, you would be forced to leave your family, your friends, and your previous life.  You would be confined outside of the campalone.  Your only company would be other lepers.

Leviticus has lots of rules about how to determine if someone has leprosy.  Simply put, if you had white spots, there was a large chance that it was leprosy.  (Don't become paranoid that you have it, please!  That is NOT the point of this blog post.  Haha.)

Those little spots would change your life.

Leprosy is a lot like sin.  Maybe you just have "a little bit" of sin.  Maybe you've only said "little" lies, thought only a few bad thoughts, or stolen insignificant things.  Compared to others around you who have done horrible sins, you  might look pretty good right?


Romans 6:23 says, " For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

It doesn't say anything about big or little sins.  If you have committed any sins (and we all have), then you are a sinner in need of a Savior.  What is worse, is that those "little, white spots" of sin that you have will come between you and Him.  Just like leprosy, you are unclean.  Sinful.  Filthy.

That's where the Good News comes in!  Yes, I have sinned.  Yes, my heart is was covered in little, white spots.  But because Jesus has died for us, "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

So....how are you going to live your life?  Will you say, "My sins are so little compared to all the good I've done.  God couldn't possibly hold them against me?"  That answer won't work when you come before the Judge.  Or, are you going to give up your life for the One who gave His life for you?

Those little white spots will stand between you and Jesus.  Are you going to ask His help to take care of them?

Thoughts?  Comment below!

Jul 15, 2016

Miracles Still Happen Today

Hello Readers!

I wanted to share some amazing things that have been happening in my life recently.  I hope it shows you that miracles still do happen today!  God is at work in lives, and He loves each and every one of you!

I have been spending a lot of my summer practicing for a CLEP test that I took last week.  The subject was psychology... thus, I have not been enjoying studying this topic. ;)  Psychology is just not my thing. =)   After studying for more than a month, I still barely scraped by on the practice tests!  Because my brother and I were both studying for CLEP tests and we wanted a summer break *grin*, we decided to wing it.  We hopped into the test not knowing if we would pass.  (Talk about stressful!)  I asked several of my closest friends to be praying for my exam as I took it.

While I sat at the testing computer, God was with me.  No, I couldn't feel Him, or see Him, or touch Him.  But as I came to questions around the middle of the test, my brain began to get tired.  Two or three times, I came across easy questions, which I put somehow down wrong answers.  Immediately, God seemed to say, "Try again, Hosanna!"  Somehow, my eyes were opened.  I saw how close I had been to marking the wrong answers.  I could honestly sit back in the testing room and laugh to myself.  God cares about those little things!  Needless to say, my score was tons higher than what was even possible.  My practice tests were terrible, but I *somehow* flew by the real one with flying colors.  Talk about a God thing! =)

Another miracle that has happened this month surpasses my little test taking miracle by far.  For nearly a year, I have been praying for a friend's dad, who has had Pulmonary Fibrosis.  Basically, his lungs were dying.  He couldn't take large breaths, and he was slowly declining.  Through the trials that their family has come through, my friend has remained so strong in the Lord.  She has been praising Him through every trial.  (Which has encouraged me SO much!)

After praying for a year, it's easy to lose faith.  I think some of us thought that his healing would never happen.  Only a miracle could heal this impossible disease!  But that's what God gave us—a miracle!

Only a week or two ago, their family was notified that there was hope.  Healthy lungs were available to be transplanted into his body!  Through a long and terrifying day for him and his family, he had both lungs replaced with new, working lungs.  God blessed their family so much, and now their daddy is on the mend!  He was able to walk six miles in a 24 hour period!  Every day, I receive updates from my friend's mom.  The updates almost always end with the same message:  

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

The family is still going through a hard time.  He is still struggling as he going through the healing process.  The enemy has been trying to discourage them.  My friend's little sisters *happened* to get fevers around the same time as the procedure on their dad.  But through it all, God is strong!  He has given them strength to overcome every trial!  Annnnnnd...he is supposed to be released from the hospital TODAY if things work out!!  Praise the Lord!

As someone who knows what hard times feel like, my friend wanted to share these words.

"These trials are temporary.  Do not let them steal your joy, for trials will perish, but the joy found in the Lord will never die!"

If you are going through a hard time right now, do NOT despair!  God is with you!  The same One who calmed the storms, raised the dead, and gave sight to the blind loves you so much.  You are never alone!

Have you experienced a miracle in your own life?  Are you going through a hard time that I can pray for?  Comment below!

Jul 12, 2016

"The Old River Road" Blog Tour!

I am VERY excited to participate in my first blog tour!!!!  Not only because it was so much fun, but also because this is an amazing book!  I was given the privilege to participate in Ivy Rose's blog tour for her novel, The Old River Road.  I hope you enjoy reading my review and my interview(!) before going and buying a copy of the book for yourself, as well as entering in the giveaway!!  (and subscribing to her blog, of course)  I will warn you that this is a longer post than normal. =)

 Meet Ivy Rose and her debut novel, The Old River Road. This book is the first in a series of a yet-to-be-determined number of books based on the lives of the author’s ancestors. Written in a style similar to that of Janette Oke and Laura Ingalls Wilder, this is a story you won’t want to miss.


When seventeen-year-old Clara Boutwell married her dashing coworker, William McDonald, she was convinced her life was near perfect. The journey before them as newlyweds in the great city of Chicago was promising and exciting. But a frightening disease soon takes William in its grip, forcing them to the clean air of the western frontier in a desperate attempt to save his life. But pioneering doesn’t prove to be easy, with miles between neighbors instead of fences. On the eastern Washington prairies, the McDonalds face hardships and trials in a new world where everything is tested, from physical endurance to emotional strength—down to their relationship and faith in the Lord.

This novel tells the incredible true story of Clara and William, the great-great grandparents of the author, in a sweet narrative full of laughter, tears, and the struggles of an early pioneering family. Prepare yourself to share in their experience as you read this account of a pioneer family in Washington state, and see their lasting legacy that has endured into the fifth generation.

Available now in paperback and ebook on Amazon!
Add on Goodreads!

My Interview:

Hello Ivy!  I am SO glad to have you on my blog today!!!  Now for some questions... ;) What is one unusual writing habit that you have?

Probably my whole “Binge Writing” method. A lot of people think it is really weird. :)

Your novel is based on a true story, correct?! Can you tell us a little about how you got this idea and turned it into a book?

That’s correct! It started eight years ago, when I stumbled across Clara’s memoirs in a box of old documents. I remember thinking, “Wow, this is so cool! Someone should write a book about this!” It was only by my mom’s nagging gentle encouragement that I even gave it a try in the first place. It took me eight years to work up the courage, though. :)

How have you been able to show the glory of God through your writing/blogging, and how has it blessed your personal life?

Wow, that’s a big question. :) I think the main way I’ve tried to show God’s glory through writing is by making my books family friendly. It’s blessed my personal life mostly through readers saying how much they appreciated the fact that my book was clean, and that they can’t wait to share it with younger siblings/children.

What is your biggest dream for your writing?

That it will lead someone to Christ.

Can you give one piece of advice to writers who want to create historical fiction pieces? (like me!) What has helped the most in your research adventure?

Talk to people! Find the experts on whatever subject you are researching and TALK TO THEM.  They can tell you far more in a much clearer way than you could ever accomplish reading a bunch of books. 

My Review:
Perhaps it is bad to start out a book with high expectations. While sitting down to read this book, I had very high hopes. Just look at the lovely cover!! Needless to say, The Old River Road did not disappoint me!!

Ivy Rose's writing style is very similar to my favorite author's  Janette Oke. I enjoyed how Ivy portrayed beautiful characters with their own distinct personality. Her romance was simple, yet perfect. I loved how she wrote the romance between Clare and William, making it clean for readers and glorifying to God. It is a touching story of two people falling in love and courting in a God-honoring way, which is so rare in today's world.

This is such a lovely historic-fiction book! What made it all the more special was that it's based off of a true story of one of the author's relatives. I loved reading it and am looking expectantly to other pieces from this budding authoress.

About the Author:

Ivy Rose is an 18 year old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, chocolate, travelling, reading, and ATVing (preferably if there is mud involved). She resides with her family of 9 on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington.

You can connect with Ivy via her blog, Goodreads, and Pinterest.


Blog Tour Schedule:

Check out these other wonderful participants in the blog tour! =)

Friday, July 8th (release day!)

Emily — Review, Spotlight
Jesseca Wheaton — Review, Interview

Saturday, July 9th

Olivia K. Fisher — Interview, Spotlight
Faith Blum — Review, Interview, Spotlight
Hannah — Review, Interview

Monday, July 11th

Faith Potts – Review
Rebecca Morgan — Review, Interview

Tuesday, July 12th

Abigayle Ellison — Review, Spotlight
Kenzi Knapp – Review, Interview
Hosanna Emily — Review, Interview

Wednesday, July 13th

Blessing Counter — Interview
Victoria Minks — Review, Spotlight

Thursday, July 14th

Deborah C. — Review, Spotlight
Anna S. Brie — Review
Leona G. — Review, Interview

Friday, July 15th

Hope Ann — Review, Interview
Amanda Tero — Review, Interview
Anika Joy – Review, Interview 

Thoughts?  Do you want to read The Old River Road?  Wait!  You're supposed to be on Ivy's blog right now, or on Amazon buying your own copy!  What are you waiting for?!?!