Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: 40 Days of Decrease

I pretend that Alicia and I are on first name basis because her real life BFF is a good friend of mine. I have heard her speak numerous times and always walk away amazed and full, like after a truly wonderful Thanksgiving meal. 

40 Days of Decrease is no different from any of her other books, as far as quality of content. It is packed full of wise words, beautiful word pictures and deeply rooted thoughts. She is a heavy hitter with a gentle heart. I am reading 40 Days for the second time and finding it as helpful and insightful as I did the first time. This will be on my repeated-readings shelf. 

40 Days of Decrease, a different kind of hunger, a different kind of fast is a meaningful experience with a Lenten fast, although it can be used at any point in our calendar year. Instead of fasting our favorite drinks, tv shows, or tasty chocolates, Alicia asks us to fast different kinds of things like neat and tidy faith, artificial light, regret and other things that cause blockages to our faith. She gets real with fasting. Each day’s reading includes a short teaching and little reflection point, then an explanation of the fast for the day. She also gives deep history of Lenten practices and places to journal as you read each day. 

I would recommend this book to anyone desiring to learn about fasting and Lent, but also to those who’ve become complacent about a temporary surrender of self in order to hear from God. And I would especially recommend this book to my friend who was looking forward to her New Year’s 40 Day fast so she could drop a few pounds. But that’s another story. 




I was given a free copy of 40 Days of Decrease in exchange for an honest review....but because I love Alicia so much and I love support my friends in ministry, I’m going to drop a gift card to Starbucks in the mail to her. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review; The Naturalist by Darrin Lunde

I snagged a copy of a book on Theodore Roosevelt because I thought my husband would enjoy reading it. But, I started reading it one sunny afternoon- prior to all these late April, chilly, rainy days- and found it highly interesting. 

The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History by Darrin Lunde is about the boyhood explorations of Roosevelt and how they highly impacted his career. Everything from his desire to please his outdoorsy-type father, to his issues with asthma and his interest in cataloguing small animals and birds all intertwined to become his life passions. He devoted his adult life to proving naturalists were true biologists, protecting animals that were on the verge of extinction and providing lasting specimens for which could Americans learn. The Naturalist gives a great account of his life and how he accomplished the many goals he dreamed of meeting. 

As someone who isn’t too political, I enjoyed the bit of information Lunde included about Roosevelt’s presidency. It was just enough to see how his interest in America’s natural resources influenced his ideals as president. Mid-way through the book, I watched PBS’s documentary about the National Parks (by Ken Burns) and was excited to see how much of the history of the Parks I already knew from reading this book.  

Lunde did a fine job explaining the dichotomy Roosevelt faced as he was a hunter and a naturalist. He worked to create rules of hunting as a true sportsman rather than a blood-thirsty hobby. 





I was given a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinions. Thanks Blogging for Books! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

handmade

I never thought I'd enjoy sewing clothes for myself. I am usually a "quick project" type person, but lately I have been changing it up a bit. I am finding that I can make things that fit better and look nicer with less money than if I found the same item in a store. As they've worn out, it's been a fun challenge to replace my store bought items with handmade things. It takes a bit of forethought, but I am slowly (read: only once or twice) beginning to think ahead on what I'll need in the upcoming weeks or months (a professional looking outfit for a work/ministry meeting or a dress for Easter Sunday, for example) and attempting to making it myself.

When I saw a call for pattern testing for a knit cardigan, I got a little excited and applied. Surprisingly, I was accepted and sent the pattern to test and had a fun time making myself a cute cardigan. You can find the link to the pattern for sale here....and you MIGHT just see a little picture of your's truly! =0) The designer is also offering a little coupon if you purchase it soon.