Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Favorite Books of 2018

Last year I had a goal of reading 15 books. I knew I wouldn't be able to do much reading after Stafford was born, so I kept my goal pretty low. I was able to reach my goal, but I must admit that several of my books were very short!

Here are four of my favorite books from last year:

The Gospel According to Paul by John MacArthur

This is a wonderful book! John MacArthur clearly explains the gospel as it is taught through the letters of Paul in the Bible. Reading this book helped me to appreciate even more the sacrifice of Jesus on my behalf and to marvel at the beauty of the gospel. The Gospel According to Paul is a must-read!

Glorious Intruder by Joni Eareckson Tada

I often read a chapter in this book at night before falling asleep, and I’m so grateful for Joni’s encouragement through this book during a difficult year for me. No matter what you are suffering through in life, Joni’s words will help to encourage your heart and strengthen your spirit. This book contains very short chapters, which is very helpful for those who struggle with reading or brain fog.

Doing Life Together by Debbie Lillo

This is a great little book, and it is available for free on Kindle. Doing Life Together is a good resource for individuals and churches who wish to reach out to families affected by disability. It is very applicable for families who are affected by a disabling chronic illness as well. If someone came to me and asked for tips on how to reach out to the chronically ill in their church, this is one of the first books I would recommend.

God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell

Trillia has written a wonderful children’s book that shares the Gospel and God’s plan for a diverse people to worship Him. God’s Very Good Idea is filled with fun and colorful illustrations, and it will be a delight for parents and children to read together.

This year I have a goal of reading 20 books. I'm keeping up so far, but just barely!

What were your favorite books from last year? What books are you enjoying currently?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

He Is Risen

Happy Easter! He Is Risen!
Image: Full of Eyes

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. 
Luke 24:1-12

by Andrew Peterson
(If you are reading this in an email, you may click over to the blog to play the music.)
And so the winter dies with a blast of icy wind, like a mournful cry
It’s giving up the ghost again
Another sheet of snow melts away to gold and green, just look at Peter go
He’s racing to the tomb to see

Where has my Jesus gone? He is not dead; He is risen
Risen indeed

And now the flowers bloom like a song of freedom, behold the earth is new
If only for the season
And so the seed that died for you becomes a seedling
Just put your hand into the wound that bought your healing

And let your heart believe, He is not dead; He is risen
Risen indeed

And the rain will fall on the furrow
It immerses the earth in sorrow
Mary, the sun will rise again, Mary
The sun will rise again
Daughter, listen, listen, daughter
Listen, He speaks your name

Father Abraham could not have dreamed of this
Could never understand the end of all those promises
How all the pieces fit, every star and grain of sand
Is safely hid in Jesus’ hand

Let every tongue confess, He is not dead; He is risen
Risen indeed
He is not dead; He is risen, risen indeed 
Mary, the sun will rise again, Mary
The sun will rise again
Daughter, listen, listen, daughter
Listen, he speaks your name

Friday, April 19, 2019

Good Friday

Image: Full of Eyes

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." 
John 3:16-18

Monday, April 15, 2019

Review: The Long Goodbye

One of my favorite bloggers was Kara Tippetts. She wrote at Mundane Faithfulness about motherhood and her journey with cancer. One of the things I appreciated so much about Kara was her absolute trust in God's sovereignty and in His good plan for her life, even though it wasn't the story she would have chosen.

Kara passed away four years ago, and her story is now being told through a new documentary, The Long Goodbye: The Kara Tippetts Story. This documentary follows her journey as cancer slowly takes her. It is a sad story to watch, and yet it is also full of hope and beauty because Kara knew Jesus.

Some of my favorite scenes in the film were ones where Kara was spending time with her children in whatever way she could, even when she was confined to bed. Those moments were especially encouraging to me as a mom with a disabling chronic illness. I am homebound and have to spend the majority of my time resting in bed, so being able to catch a glimpse of another mom who was loving her children while exhausted and confined to bed was very encouraging to me.

Kara sought to be kind even when grieving and in pain. She had such a hard story, but she lived it well, and she trusted in Jesus through it all. She is an example of how to live well, and how to die well.

My favorite quote from Kara in this documentary:
The world says I should be angry, that I should be shaking my fist at God. I didn’t think at 38 I’d be battling cancer, but I am, and so I need to find contentment in that place. I want to be able to share this story that suffering isn’t a mistake, and it isn’t the absence of God’s goodness because He’s present in pain.

The documentary is very well done. I highly recommend it. It is sad and wonderful and hope-filled. It will help you to keep your eyes on Jesus as you persevere through whatever hard thing you have been called to endure.

The Long Goodbye
(If you are reading this in an email, you may click over to the blog to view the trailer.)

The documentary is available on DVD and digital. The DVD is my favorite of the two formats because it has bonus features with Joanna Gaines, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Ann Voskamp. You can find the DVD on Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble, and Lifeway. The digital version can be found on Amazon, christiancinema.com, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu.

Photos are courtesy of Jay Lyons Productions.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

One Year with a Baby

We have made it through the first year with Stafford! It has been hard - full of challenges and tears and tired days. But it has also been full of joy and blessings. Our cup overflows.

Here is a little peek into our past year...

Baby snuggles are the best.

My Three Children

Sleepy Baby, Tired Mama

Six Weeks Old

Bow Tie Tuesday!

Stafford has been the snuggliest of my three babies. He wanted to be held almost constantly for the first few months of his life.

Stafford napped in William's arms quite a lot last summer!

Dressing up!
Hermione, Legolas, and Yoda.

Best gift of 2018!

Stafford loves to play guitar with his daddy.

10 Months Old

Happy First Birthday, Stafford!

We love having a toddler in our family again! Stafford brings much happiness and laughter to our home. It has been a hard year, but we are thankful for the gift Stafford is to all of us. We are also very thankful for the help we have received from family and friends over the past year, because we could not have done this on our own!


I am hoping to be able to blog again this year. My body is tired, and my muscles are weak, so my posts may be very short or infrequent, but I'm going to give it a try! Let me know if there is something in particular you would like me to write about in the coming months.

How are you doing? What have you been up to this past year?
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