Tuesday, December 3, 2013


About seven years ago my friend, Sandie, and I started giving away two books to help strengthen marriages.  They are "The Politically Incorrect Wife" by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby and "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian.  

I have been using the 30 prayers in "The Power of a Praying Wife" to pray for my husband ever since that time. (I have my book spiral bound and make notes & comments throughout the book.)  If it is the 3rd day of the month I pray the prayer for Chapter 3 and so forth.   Every time a new month rolls around, it is a bit challenging (to say the least) to pray the prayer for Day 1!  So I'm challenging ALL OF YOU WIVES to pray this prayer (IF you dare).  Then, hang on for the marriage ride of your life and SEE what the Lord does!  (This is the longest prayer in the book so be patient and pray it ALL - out loud.)

The Power of a Praying Wife Prayer and Study Guide  -     By: Stormie Omartian

Lord, Help me to be a good wife. I fully realize that I don't have what it takes to be one without Your help. Take my selfishness, impatience, and irritability and turn them into kindness, long-suffering, and the willingness to bear all things. Take my old emotional habits, mindsets, automatic reactions, rude assumptions, and self-protective stance, and make me patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Take the hardness of my heart and break down the walls with Your battering ram of revelation Give me a new heart and work in me Your love, peace, and joy (Galatians 5:22,23). I am not able to rise above who I am at this moment. Only You can transform me. 

Show me where there is sin in my heart, especially with regard to my husband. I confess the times I've been unloving, critical, angry, resentful, disrespectful, or unforgiving toward him. Help me to put aside any hurt, anger, or disappointment I feel and forgive him the way You do-totally and completely, no looking back. Make me a tool of reconciliation, peace, and healing in this marriage. Enable us to communicate well and rescue us from the threshold of separation where the realities of divorce begin.
Make me my husband's helpmate, companion, champion, friend, and support. Help me to create a peaceful, restful, safe place for him to come home to. Teach me how to take care of myself and stay attractive to him. Grow me into a creative and confident woman who is rich in mind, soul, and spirit. Make me the kind of woman he can be proud to say is his wife.

I lay all my expectations at Your cross. I release my husband from the burden of fulfilling me in areas where I should be looking to You. Help me to accept him the way he is and not try to change him. I realize that in some ways he may never change, but at the same time, I release him to change in ways I never thought he could. I leave any changing that needs to be done in Your hands, fully accepting that neither of us is perfect and never will be. Only You, Lord, are perfect and I look to You to perfect us.

Teach me how to pray for my husband and make my prayers a true language of love. Where love has died, create new love between us. Show me what unconditional love really is and how to communicate it in a way he can clearly perceive. Bring unity between us so that we can be in agreement about everything (Amos 3:3). May the God of patience and comfort grant us to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus (Romans 15:5). Make us a team, not pursuing separate, competitive, or independent lives, but working together, overlooking each other's faults and weaknesses for the greater good of the marriage. Help us to pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another(Roman 14:19). May we be "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (1Corinthians 1:10). 

I pray that our commitment to You and to one another will grow stronger and more passionate every day. Enable him to be the head of the home as You made him to be, and show me how to support and respect him as he rises to that place of leadership.. Help me to understand his dreams and see things from his perspective. Reveal to me what he wants and needs and show me potential problems before they arise. Breathe Your life into this marriage. 

Make me a new person, Lord. Give me a fresh perspective, a positive outlook, and a renewed relationship with the man You've given me. Help me see him with new eyes, new appreciation, new love, new compassion, and new acceptance. Give my husband a new wife, and let it be me. 


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Redeeming Love

The name of this book "Redeeming Love" totally describes the book.  It's a story about loving the one everyone else, including themselves, looks down on.  It's about that love persisting and pursuing and loving unconditionally, when no love is returned.  It's about truly laying your life down to love another, when the other person resists and runs away.  It's a story about pain and terrible evil, about broken lives that look like they can never be mended.  It's about hopelessness, despair, darkness, and death; and out of all this comes hope, joy, light and life.

This is truly the best Christian fiction book I have never read.  I read it 20 years ago and I read it again, celebrating its 20th anniversary.  When God takes a book and makes it His own, it is truly amazing.

I received this book from Waterbrook Press for my honest review.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Forever Friday

“Devoted to You” was the name of one of the songs we had at our wedding.  So I totally get the theme of “two hearts devoted as one” in this book.  The book really grabbed me at the beginning.  I like how it starts out in modern day with Adam and Yvette, and then travels back to meet this crazy in love couple, Gabe and Pearl.   Yet I was disappointed in that as their love deepens as they go through life’s ups and downs, nothing seems to happen with their faith.   And because of that, nothing really happens to Adam’s faith either.  They were devoted to each other but that seemed to be it, because any devotion that was to their God or a Savior who loved them so much he died for them, only came out as holding on to the words of an angel and looking for him most of their lives.

This is well written but in a day with so marriage so shaky, Gabe’s character as an over the top romantic is not reality for most of us.  My husband has written me several poems throughout our 35 years of marriage and we are “two hearts devoted as one” but only because we have been strengthened by Christ’s romantic love intertwining with ours.
This was what I thought was lacking in “Forever Friday”.

I received this book from Waterbrook Press for my honest review.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Governess of Highland Hall

Pleasant is one of the words I would use to describe this book.  I enjoyed sitting down with a raspberry smoothie and reaching for this book, eager to see what the characters were doing and how they were reacting to life’s challenges.  Tragedy and trials had come to many of them and the author writes to show how they persevered, yet fretted and worried, then turning to God’s Word for peace and understanding.


a novel

    About the Author

    Carrie TuranskyCarrie Turansky is the award-winning author of ten novels and novellas, including Snowflake Sweethearts and Along Came Love. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award and the International Digital Award. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, counselor and the author of several parenting books. They have (...Read More)

    The Governess of Highland Hall

    Interesting is a second word I would use because this book tells of a social structure set in place by society, depending on what family you were born into, your wealth, power, and education.  Love and faith win out but not without cost and attempted deception by some of the characters.  

    Some of my favorite lines in this book are: 

    “I admire you...and your faith.” 
    “My faith has very little to do with me, and everything to do with my Savior.”
    He cast a curious look her way.  
    “What I mean is, the more I understand His character and the promises in His Word the stronger my faith becomes.”
    “You make it sound so simple...”
    “Faith is not complex, though living it out in the face of challenging circumstances can be.”

    So this is a pleasant and interesting book.  I did anticipate the ending and keep waiting and wondering when it was going to happen.  I had  to wait until the very end, but it was worth it.   I closed the book thinking “happy endings are so wonderful”.   I drank the last drop of my smoothie thinking how both book and drink were refreshing and well worth my time.

    I received a complimentary copy of The Governess of Highland Hall from Waterbrook Press Publishing for my honest review.

    Monday, August 26, 2013


    Everything was
    played with,

    Every towel.
    Every blanket.
    Every bed.
    Every inch of floor.
    Every yard toy.
    Every door.
    Every yogurt.
    Every peach.


    Energy, Everywhere.
    Handprints, Everywhere.
    Pretending, Exploring, Investigating, Creating. 
    It was Everywhere.

    Life lived at its fullest.
    Excitement in a treehouse, 
    a sandbox, 
    a raspberry patch, 
    the corn bin,
    a clue hunt, 
    a scavenger hunt.
    driving the 4 wheeler.

    Fun in new yard games, 
    relaxing with a movie, 
    going to town for pancakes.

    Getting overtired playing with cousins, 
    upstairs, downstairs, inside, outside.

    Loving the campfire and smores and 
    roasting "every" marshmellow.  
    Everyday, fishing, and
    everyday, wanting more fishing!
    Bug bites, ugh, by the hundreds,

    The wonderful sound of childen's feet. 
    Voices warming my heart.
    Little hands around my neck.
    A soft behind on my lap.

    Fathers showing discipline and love.

    My three daughters,
    Now mothers, gifted and beautiful.

    My ears gifted to conversations
    wonderful and loving.

    Every life.

    A gift.

    By HIS favor and HIS shield.

    Count your blessings.
    They are

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013


    WOW.  I love being in this movie called "Life" that God totally directs!  This is an unbelieveable summer.  Scene after scene keeps playing out, one quickly after another and although I want to write it down, I"m not sure words can express my overflowing heart.

    This morning I turned to The Living Word, my script for this movie, and here it is, God wowing me once again.  From Psalm 40:5

    "Many O Lord God are the wonders you have done.
    The things you planned for us no one can recount to you.
    Were I to speak and tell of them
    They would be too many to declare."

    And verse 8 was a reminder of a prayer written in my journal: 
    "Here I am, I desire to do your will" 

    The episodes of this movie must be shared.  So here is one of them.

    He came like a hurricane to our home, welcome yet forceful; loud and fast moving, controlling yet caring.  Leading the conversation, passion pouring out for a worthy cause; living life for a purpose but not "the purpose."

    The All American family.  Wonderful & caring parents.  Responsible, hard working and honest.  Loved fully by the One who is waiting to make them royalty.  Like minded friends visit the scene.  Creative and comfortable with their lives.  Will they drink the water that will quench their thirst completely?  Does anyone want more?

    A substance foreign to our counter rests there, something called brandy.  This and it's cousins are what the whole world seem to need for relaxation, conversation, having fun and just living.  It isn't that the glasses are always full, but it seems to be a central part of many life movies.  

    Defeat was not felt but frustration.  A sadness and grief for him and his family because God has sent them to our set to be in this scene at this time.  Before they arrived we invited the maker of all, the breath giver, to be the director and producer of everything.

    The prayer at lunchtime of a little girl who volunteers to pray is heard across the heavens.  While picking raspberries she says "I want my dad to go to church too".  It is that part of the movie where you  get your kleenix and hope to see her request played out.

    Conversation sitting on the deck under the warmth of the sun is directed by divine intervention.  The leading of His Holy Spirit to testify of this Jesus,  who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, who is our One and Only Savior,  who suffered and let darkness cover him so it doesn't have to cover us.  

    Love cannot be described but that day it pierced the darkness in this hurricane and brought him home.
    Passion redirected. Purpose transformed.

    The deep joy cannot be described.  It's like the bursting of the sunrise, full and colorful and shining bright.  So the sunrise comes and it is not the end of this movie, but only the beginning.

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013


    Love is pouring out on me.
    1. HIDING.  I have to explain.  About six months ago when Jer & I arrived at our daughter's home there was no one home; so we went in and decided to hide.  Much to their delight, our grandkids found us.  So when I arrived at their home this trip, they were all hiding from me!  Miss Delight, the 2 year old, was behind the living chair eating yogurt and the 4 oldest kids were ALL under the covers on their parents bed.  What FUN!!!
    2. ENVELOPES.  Our 8 year old grandson is kind and caring.  He gave me 2 envelopes; one for Gramma Marilyn and one for Grandpa Jerry.  There also said "do not open until you get home and open together".  So when I returned home the Hunk Jerry and I opened our envelopes to find beautiful pictures drawn especially for each of us!

    3.  LAVISHED WITH GIFTS.  Several Tuesday nights ago (I am slow at this blogging) ALL of the gals who gather at my place on brought me gifts!  It felt like my birthday but it was just an ordinary Tuesday where girlfriends were lavishing me with fun and fabulous gifts..

    This little purse was full of treats (which I ate)!  Annette bought it for me because of the JAM on the front, which is the name of our Christmas newsletter, "The JAM years".

    My cousin, Sandy, saw this sign in a store on her way back from Boston, MA and she know my life word is "JOY"!  I found the perfect place for it!

    My friend, Mary, brought me a colorful towel for my bathroom every Tuesday for 4 Tuesdays!  They brighten up my room very much!

    My neighbor, Chris, brought over my favorite treat, Lindt dark chocolate truffles.  I ate them before I got a picture and enjoyed every bite!

    Love pours down into my life in many ways everyday.  Lord, give me eyes to see it, ears to hear it, a mind that slows down enough to not run by it, and a heart that is grateful for each drop.

    Saturday, June 1, 2013

    A Quick Smile & Pick-Me UP

    “Devotions for a Ridiculously Good Life” is the subtitle of the book “Limitless” by Nick Vujicic.  This is Nick’s first devotional after writing two other two previous books about his life.  (See my review of “Unstoppable”.)
    This is a wonderful book to have just laying around on your coffee table.  You can pick it up and read a couple devotions in less than five minutes.  Nick’s positive attitude and his zest for living a life outside the norm are contagious.  

    Joy and hope ooze out of the pages.  Because he actually was born with no limbs, his words of faith and trust and overcoming life’s obstacles are believable (although unbelievable). 

    We should all have this little book within view in our homes especially in the times we limit ourselves and others.  Nick reminds us if he can persevere and overcome life’s adjustments, anyone can.  And he (and we) can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength.

    Waterbrook Multnomah provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    Monday, May 20, 2013


    It took me awhile to get out of bed and open my eyes this rainy morning.  When I finally did I decided to listen to  "Show Me Your Ways" in my praise time. I love the piano music in this version and how it talks about the faithful ways of God and how in getting to know Him You will climb a mountain and that there is a cost.

    It is prayer to know God.
    His heart.
    His ways.

    Then as I sat down to pray for my family and many others, I saw the GIFT.

    There is no way to describe it's beauty here in words.
    My journal was open (as I leave it) ready for my next entry.
    As I looked I saw my daughter's handwriting.
    She had written a beautiful prayer
    It thanked God for His presence on our farm,
    thanked Him for the beauty she saw in removing the dead leaves. There were personal words for me.  Tears of joy appeared as I read.

    This GIFT
    God's Ways.
    flowing and 
    pouring over me like a flood.

    This GIFT was like
    love waiting for me this morning.

    And I think love is waiting every morning.
    And GIFTS are waiting too.
    I just need to get out of bed and open my eyes.

    How Worthy God is.
    Glory, Honor & Majesty to Him!

    Monday, April 15, 2013


    by Ryan & Josh Shook

    Reading the first line in this book, “Hi, we’re Ryan and Josh Shook, two brothers in our twenties”, my first thought was “oh great I guess I’ll just get through this book and move on”.  However, as I read on, this is turning out to be one of the favorite books I’ve read this year.  Ryan and Josh are open and honest and have an easy writing style.  If they knocked on my door today, I would welcome them in with, put the coffee on and we’d have great conversations (and hopefully my son and son-in-laws would be there too.)

    The subtitle of this book is “Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own”.   This book is written by two young men who know this generation to their generation at a time when it is urgent.  

    I love the chapter names chosen for this book and also the subtitles; Soul Thirst, A Faith That Fills Emptiness, or Trashing the Checklists, A Faith Focused on Relationship, to name a couple.  Just the names could stir up great discussion and they reveal how so many this age are feeling.

    I love the quotes by different people at the beginning of each chapter.  One of my favorites is “It is more important to live one word of Scripture than it is to memorize volumes” (Tim Hansel).  

    The authors are not fake nor do they pretend know it all.  Their strong faith comes through only because they truly have a “firsthand” faith and have a passionate desire to share it with others.

    This book is like a no nonsense discussion that really makes sense.  From the interviews where others answer hard questions to the easy ideas the brorthers offer and even the videos posted online that go along with book; this is a great book.  I would buy it for gifts and recommend it to parents who wish to communicate to their kids that you don’t want them to just adopt your faith but to experience a relationship with Christ “firsthand”.

    I thought the reason I ordered this book was because I could get hard copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for my review, which I did.  But God had a higher purpose in mind.  This book was sitting on my kitchen counter when my friend Sally dropped by.  Sally & her husband and 27 year old son have been going though a tragedy.  She had heard about this book and  was planning on buying it to leave it in her son’s house, and now here it is, sitting on my counter, ordered just for that purpose.

    Thank you God!  And thanks Waterbrook Press.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Trusting God

    Just writing the title for this post I feel like I"m supposed to write something profound and deep.  So in titling their book "Trusting God",  Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith and Mary Southerland really were jumping off the swing midair, arms extended, and freely falling as their cover indicates.   These three authors, known as "The Girlfriends in God", teamed up to write a devotional/Bible-study/journal for all of us girlfriends.  Using real life experiences and being real to tell us how they trust God helps us relate and see ourselves.

    My favorite thing about these chapters is how they back everything up with God's word.  They even have a short video on their website that coordinates with each chapter.   This book can be read just "me", but since it was written by girlfriends, I would love to read it and study it as a Bible study with my girlfriends.

    The stories are divided into 12 weeks with 6 stories in each week.  As in any devotional, there are some   stories that did not resonate with me but as I move on to the next one, I am drawn in and learning and going deeper in learning to really "Trust God".  

    I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for this review.