Loved Baby – A Book Review

I have had the extreme pleasure of the opportunity to review a needful resource for so many women.  Sarah Philpott has written a moth long devotional book with the intention of helping moms grieve and cherish their child after pregnancy loss.

Since I did not experience the heartache of losing a child, I have many times grieved with friends and family who have struggled to make their way through their pain.  While leaning on the Lord, Christian women still experience palpable pain and Sarah tenderly encourages women during this time. As all good writers do, she uses her journey of loss and hope to encourage women.  She captured the stories of many other women as well and used their stories of stillbirth, miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy losses.

Sarah weaves these stories with Scripture, with advice for soul and self care and prayer in a beautiful gift size book that is delightful to look at as well as read.

I am personally so thankful for this quality resource that can be used to encourage women in a way that I cannot. I have two copies available to giveaway of this excellent resource.  Leave me a comment regarding why you’d like to win on the blog and share this blog post with a friend in order to qualify for the giveaway.  Winner named on Wednesday 11/22/17.

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Bible Studies & Giveaways!

The recent Bible studies released through Women of Faith include 3 titles – Building Your Strengths, Praying with Power and Giving God your Future. Each study includes twelve weeks of lessons with easy to understand illustrations.  The questions for each lesson have you turning in your Bibles to find the answers and prompt deeper thought about each topic.  There are multiple insets throughout the book with a quote or verse highlighted for special focus. Each lesson also contains three smaller sections at the end helping to dig deeper into the topic for the week, how to meditate and pray, and a trinket to treasure – an object designed to help us remember the lesson.  The format is easy to follow and the consistency between the books make each one an easy transition to the next.  With forwards written by Patsy Clairmont and Thelma Wells, the name recognition give to each study should help it be very successful on shelves in bookstores.

Each lesson is fairly short.  The illustration/explanation is usually just the first page, most of the study relies on answering the questions which are firmly based in Scripture.  These studies will not take an enormous amount of time each day to complete and can be easily added to your ongoing Bible reading without creating too much additional work.  I appreciate so much that the majority of the questions in these studies leads you back to your Bible – the answers aren’t found in the book itself.  This is a feature that is a huge benefit I believe for encouraging actual study to take place in our Bibles.

Included in the back of the book is a leader guide, in case someone chose to do this study with a small group – no extra purchase is necessary.  It is extremely convenient, not to mention a great savings for those of us used to having to purchase an additional leader’s guide to conduct a study.

After having planned on reading Praying with Power first, I decided to sit down one afternoon and take a quick glance through on Building Your Strengths.  Instead of glancing through though, I stopped and did the study and read the book in its entirety.  This is a very practical guide to thinking through our strengths and how God can use them to further His kingdom.  Not just stopping with our own strength though the author does make sure to acknowledge the Divine Strength that we as children have access to in God our Father.  The practical application of all the chapters is an outward focus which I believe is an important one for us women as we can many times become consumed by the demands on our time and energy. I look forward to finishing all 3 of these studies in the days ahead.

From the foreword Building Your Strengths –
“If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes.” Corrie Ten Boom

IF you’d like a free copy of each of these three studies – you are in luck!  I’m giving away one set of these three books to one lucky winner!  Follow the instructions below – do all three things:

  1. Leave a comment on the blog by sharing which book you’d be most interested in reading.
  2. Like the Encouraging Women Today Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/encouragingwomen2day/
  3. Share this giveaway with others –either by sharing the links to the website encouragingwomentoday.com or the Facebook page link to this blog post.

Listen Love Repeat – other-centered living in a self-centered world!

Signing up to do a book review for author Karen Ehman is not a tough decision for me.  I knew that not too long ago I had read and done an online study group with the book Let. It. Go – How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith.  (in all honesty, I couldn’t help myself, I had to go back and see when that was.  The truth is it was almost 3 years ago – I purchased the book in January of 2013 – so in my world that equals not long ago. Insert giant eye roll!!)

Needless to say when the opportunity came up to review her book and post about it, I jumped.  Of course these last few weeks have been some of the most busiest of the year I think, and I’ve tried so hard to sit and read, but time hasn’t been there.  I enjoyed the snippets of chapters I had grabbed, but sitting and relaxing with a coffee and her book hadn’t happened yet – until this morning.

My list of things to do is still a mile long, and won’t get any shorter, but stopping to take an hour of my day to sit in the sunshine while it’s still here and enjoy the book was perfect.  This book is the perfect mix of step on your toes and encouragement.  Challenging and thought provoking, I find myself amazed at how much it goes hand in hand with other lessons I have been working on already.

Karen’s style is easy to read and she adds some really wonderful personal stories to drive her point home.  She’s also really clear about the fact that she and her family aren’t perfect, but they have been intentional in their lives to reach outward to others.  Karen gives practical advice even including recipes for how to bless others with what God has blessed us with whether that’s opening our homes to teenage boys, taking a friend out for coffee, baking goodies for the neighbor or celebrating the mailman.  She reminds us that all of us can be intentional about being Christ to others in our daily lives.

My favorite chapters were Chapter 1 regarding Heart Drops.  Listening when others share a personal detail and remembering it for later.  Sometimes a gift opportunity can be given and it’s more meaningful when it shows we remembered something they shared.  Her chapter on the Sick at Heart was also a great reminder on how to be present for those in their grief.  Sometimes it’s remembering that the holidays are most difficult for those who have loved and lost, and inviting them into our space so they won’t be lonely. Her last chapter on Scatter Kindness was another of my favorites as she reminded us that we can be kind no matter the circumstances.

Karen struck a wonderful balance between the principles she was giving, personal family experiences, Scripture and practical application making this a book I would very highly recommend to all my friends.  The addition of gift tags, Bible verse quotes, and other items is just an added bonus helping us as we seek to be more intentional in our hospitality.  Possible the greatest nugget was tucked in at the end when she encourages us to REPEAT.  Becoming consistent in the habit will create depth in existing relationships and cause in return to increase our outward focus on others.

The great news is that a Study Guide and DVD is also released to be used in a group setting.  I look forward to gathering some friends very soon to do this study together – I think it will be very refreshing for us to share our ideas as we journey together.

The OTHER great news is this! I have a free copy to give away! and thats not all (did you imagine a TV commercial just then? I hope so…that’s what I was going for) with the free copy of the book, I will also be able to give away a study guide and DVD – so that you can launch your own Study group too.  HOW FUN!  

So here’s the details of how to win your very own copies of Karen’s book and study.  Deadline is 11/24 @ midnight (yes I know it’s Thanksgiving that’s why I said midnight, by then the dishes will be done – am I right?)

  1. Share this blog post on your social media – twitter, google+, Facebook, etc.
  2. Like the Encouraging Women Today Facebook page – click here.  If you have already done that – thanks!  I appreciate you 🙂
  3. Leave me a comment here on the blog telling me one of your favorite Holiday traditions.  Since this is the season for Thanksgiving, Christmas and everything in between – share with me one of your favorites!
  4. LAST – comment below the post on the Encouraging Women Today Facebook page, or my personal page that you followed the steps above and want to be entered to win!

One random winner will be selected next Friday – November 25th (Black Friday – yay!)  I will let everyone know who win and that make arrangements with the winner to get your items to you!  Thank you to you all in advance for participating! 🙂

In full disclosure I have received in exchange for my review a copy of the book itself and the copy to give away.

 

Book Review & Giveaway!!

Oh! I am so excited to be doing a giveaway!  I received a book to read and review and post on my blog, and I never expected it to be such an encouragement to me! WOW!  So below you will see the review.  But keep reading! Because there you will see the giveaway info as well!  And a bonus!  Amy has a book club Breaking Up With Perfect that will start on August 1. Check out her website http://www.amycarroll.org to receive more info on the book club!  I’ve already signed up 🙂  You can also be added to the Facebook closed group page by clicking here

Breaking Up with Perfect by Amy Carroll

I just finished reading this book, and I am sitting here wondering how Amy crawled inside my head and wrote a story about my life.  Coming to grips with my propensity to perfection has been such a lifelong journey, and it wasn’t until after I was married I realized how very deeply entrenched my perfectionistic tendencies were.  Amy describes the Good Girl list so perfectly and I instantly identified with this idea.  What I was surprised by though, was the way she included the Never Good Enough girls.  I had never thought about this group of women in this way.  My heart has always longed to encourage and many times, the women I find myself encouraging could fall onto that list.  I had never connected the perfection problem for them as well since it’s looks different then the Good Girl list.

Her insights on friendships and dealing with conflict are needful and while I had assumed I had made such progress personally, she highlighted some needs I still have to deal with.

The added benefit of going deeper is such a nice bonus.  While my initial reading has been fairly quick, I am looking forward to going back and going deeper and using my highlighter throughout many of her pages.  Friends – if your perfectionism is keeping you from living a joy filled life, you need to take a look and consider what she has to say.

She writes not as someone who has all the answers, but someone who has been in our shoes, and still fights the battle.  She’s given it to God and she’s learned from her past mistakes and shares with us what she learned.

So here’s the deal – I have one free copy of Breaking Up with Perfect by Amy Carroll to give away to you my sweet readers and friends!

To be eligible for the giveaway I need you to do only 3 things:

#1 – like the Encouraging Women Today Facebook page here .  If you want to see what happens more regularly, you need to check the box under the like menu to see first, or to receive notifications, otherwise you might miss out on some good encouragement!

#2 – share either the link to this blog post, or the link to the Encouraging Women Today post on Twitter or Facebook or both

#3 – comment on the Facebook page that you have completed the steps. If you also want to comment here on the blog that’s wonderful too.. 🙂  All the comments help!

The winner will be chosen randomly from the people who tell me that they followed the steps!  Winner will be selected on Friday!

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