Though My Heart Is Worn

Tenth Avenue North said it so beautifully in their song 'Worn' (video included at the bottom of this post); Life can be so painfully difficult sometimes, and I can attest to this personally.

Though I dearly love my new home and all of my wonderful new found friends here in the Queen City, life has become decidedly more of a struggle. I miss my family everyday (an hour and a half may not seem like much, but it's been very hard being more than twenty-or-so minutes away from my wonderfully supportive mother), starting a new job has absolutely presented challenges and the uncertainty of income that comes with being a server has done a number on my nerves on more than one occasion. Not to mention the anxiety that accompanies being a somewhat socially awkward introvert trying to make new friends in a big city (I know, I know, but Charlotte just feels so darn ginormous to this small town gal!).
Through all of this, and fighting a few spiritual battles in the process, I've been worn down to almost nothing it seems.

As a young girl, like any other blossoming little lady, I struggled intensely with self-worth and image. I never felt as though I was as beautiful or charming as I should be. I was never enough in my own eyes. My heart took a number of beatings through faded friendships and crumbled "relationships." I always dealt with it in my own way - by feeling sorry for myself and shutting myself off. It hasn't been until recently that I realized the purpose and truth of it all: God just wants me to know that He is enough. That He alone can hold me when I feel so broken and so far beyond reach.

His love is ever present, and He will never abandon us, especially when we need Him. Which, lets face it, really is all the time. I wish I had more words to describe the warmth welling up in my heart as I realize this, but I believe God has intended for this post to be short and sweet.

So I leave you with the promise from God to always hold your heart, always love you with the intensity of countless suns, and never leave your side even when you reject Him.

"Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your Presence? If I go up to the Heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast."
- Psalm 139: 7-10

Rest In His Perfect Love

So much love to you all, and always hold onto hope.


Wishing On Willows

Katie Ganshert

{Book Review}

Title: Wishing On Willows

Author: Katie Ganshert
Genre: Fiction - Christian Romance
My Rating: 5

Synopsis: Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?

(From the publisher) "A three-year old son, a struggling cafe, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Cafe in small town Peaks, Iowa, she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pours, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.

So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her cafe and a vital town ministry are located, she isn't about to let go without a fight.

As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won't give up so easily. His family's business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin's gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.

With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances."

What I Loved: Katie Ganshert is one of my absolute favorite authors, because I simply adore her down-to-earth and raw style of writing.
I was quite fond of the electrically witty chemistry between Robin and Ian. Robin is determined not to let him into her heart and her town, but he always seems to find a way to work his way in.
The characters were so believable with the way they interacted with one another, and the inner thoughts of each person provided in the book were incredibly realistic.

What I Wasn't So Fond Of: There was literally nothing that I didn't love about this book!

About The Author
(From the author): I’m a slightly-frazzled, ever-inquisitive Midwest gal who’s passionate about Jesus, my family, writing, and all things romance, which is exactly what I write. Stories about flawed, broken characters who find faith and fall in love. When I’m not plotting ways to get my hero and heroine to cross paths, I enjoy watching movies with my hunk of a husband, playing make-believe with my wild-child of a son, hanging out with the crazy but lovable junior high students at my church, and chatting with my girlfriends at Panera®. I could talk books all day and am often spotted around town pushing a stroller, walking my dog, and reading—all at the same time.

*author bio taken from


*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Got (God) Questions? pt.2

"If God Is So Loving, Why

Does He Allow Evil & Suffering?"

Allow me to present an interesting new perspective on this question.
What do you propose God should do about the evil and suffering?
Stop it, of course.
But if God were to stop {destroy} all evil, wouldn't that also mean our demise? To end all evil, God would have to stop every act that causes suffering and grief. Which would mean He would have to put an end to all of our evil actions. No matter how "big" or "small" they may seem.
Haven't our actions hurt numerous people throughout the course of our lives?
We are wicked creatures by our very nature.
The harsh reality of it is that God has not destroyed evil because He would have to destroy us.
Whether or not we realize it, we are being shown incredible mercy.

The Bible speaks of a day when all evil and suffering will be put to and end (2 Peter 3:7-13), but until that day, we must use the suffering to glorify God.
I don't know about you, but I've never come closer to God than I have been at times of suffering and grief in my life. That's not to say that is the only time I have felt close to Him, but I certainly felt an extra comfort and personal intimacy throughout those times that have stuck with me. I can't imagine where I would be now if I hadn't endured those trials. I would have never grown to understand God and develop my relationship with Him the way that I have.
Friends, don't lose heart, God is using your pain for something far greater than you can imagine.

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." -C.S. Lewis

*This blog post is based on readings from pgs. 27-28 in Charlie H. Campbell's "One Minute Answers To Skeptics"*


Dear Future Husband...

I don't think I know a single girl that has never drifted off into a daydream in which she meets the love of her life and is swept off of her feet in the love story of the century. I'm no exception.
I'm a hopelessly romantic person. But I like to think that I've come to understand the reality of love. There is no perfect person. Anywhere. Ever.
*But* that doesn't mean that there isn't someone out there who's strengths can carry your weaknesses perfectly.
I've abandoned my search for perfection and begun the wait for my heart's complement.
But in the meantime, I'm preparing myself.

You see, I want to be ready. I want to sweep my future honey off of his feet just as high and swiftly as he will sweep me off mine. I want my heart to find completeness in joy and love *before* it meets his heart.
I want...*Warning* Clichés Ahead!! *Warning*... be so completely wrapped up in love with my Savior, that my future fella will have to seek Him out to find me.
I told you it was cliché!
But it's true.
How can we ever love someone the way they were meant to be loved if we haven't even been supplied with that same love that we so desperately want to give?
"...Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7

So in order to remind myself to become the woman that I would want him (whoever "he" is) to love, I thought I would make a small list of promises. Promises to him, to myself, and to God to be a woman worthy of love. (And let me tell you, that is a tall order)

I promise to always center my heart and life around God.
I promise to be patient...With others and with myself.
I promise to pray with him every single morning and night.
I promise that this weak heart will find it's strength in Christ.
I promise to let love flow like a river.
I promise to be understanding and forgiving; just as my Savior is.
I promise to never stop joyfully serving others.
I promise to be strong in spirit.
I promise to fill every room with my awfully loud laughter.
I promise to be kind.
I promise I will fall short, but I know my God will break my fall and put me back on my feet.

I can't wait to one day experience the love of a husband, but for now and always, I will rest in the loving arms of my Savior.

"Love Song For A Savior" - Jars Of Clay


Wildflowers From Winter

Katie Ganshert

{Book Review}

Title: Wildflowers From Winter
Author: Katie Ganshert
Genre: Fiction - Christian Romance
Pages: 320
My Rating: 5

Synopsis: Like the winter, grief has a season. Life returns with the spring.

(From the publisher) "A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn, has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.
Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.
For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?"

What I Loved: I loved how raw and real this book was. I was in tears within the first few chapters. Katie Ganshert is most certainly not afraid to expose the gritty reality of life's not-so-glamorous tendencies. It's amazing to know that this is a debut novel! Ganshert writes like a seasoned pro. Her characters didn't seem like characters at all, but rather real people going through real trials with more than real emotional struggles. She has an amazing knack for detail and descriptiveness. I will absolutely be reading any and all other books published by this gem of an author.

What I Wasn't So Fond Of: The only thing that left me wanting more was the ending. (If you've read any of my other reviews, then you know I'm a tough critic on endings. I always want more.) But *then* I went to Katie's webpage to do a little more studying up before I wrote my review, and to my most pleasant surprise, Mrs. Ganshert has an entire page of "bonus features" related to the novel. This would include in-depth profiles for three of the main characters, a wonderfully light-hearted interview with two of the MCs, a continuation of the ending (*gasp* what?? I was immediately in love. I had to write that in bold and italics because I can't even contain my excitement!), fun facts, real-life stories and inspirations and much, much, much more! Any doubts that I'd previously had about this novel immediately melted away and were replaced with excitement and eagerness to read more from this incredible author!

I couldn't be happier with my reading experience, and I absolutely look forward to reading more from Katie Ganshert!

About The Author
(From the author): I’m a slightly-frazzled, ever-inquisitive Midwest gal who’s passionate about Jesus, my family, writing, and all things romance, which is exactly what I write. Stories about flawed, broken characters who find faith and fall in love. When I’m not plotting ways to get my hero and heroine to cross paths, I enjoy watching movies with my hunk of a husband, playing make-believe with my wild-child of a son, hanging out with the crazy but lovable junior high students at my church, and chatting with my girlfriends at Panera®. I could talk books all day and am often spotted around town pushing a stroller, walking my dog, and reading—all at the same time.

*author bio taken from


*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Let's Talk Tattoos

Don't worry, I'm not going to get into the specifics of what the Bible says about tattoos and whether or not we, as Christians, are allowed to have them.
However, I myself have one! In fact, it has a wonderfully deep and personal meaning to me. So that, ladies and gentlemen, is what this blog post will be all about.

When someone finds out that I have a tattoo, the first question they ask me is "Did it hurt?" to which I respond, "Yes, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting!"
The second question is usually, "What does it mean?" or "Why did you decide to get a moon?"

So why don't I start off by showing you the verse that inspired the ink:
In picture form of course! (Because pictures are more fun for everyone)

Now let me provide for you the wonderful insight that my study Bible has to offer on this particular verse:

" 'The darkness can never extinguish it (has not overcome it)' means the darkness of evil never has and never will overcome God's light. Jesus Christ is the Creator of life, and His life brings light to humankind. In His light, we see ourselves as we really are (sinners in need of a Savior). When we follow Jesus, the true Light, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin. He lights the path ahead of us so we can see how to live. He removes the darkness of sin from our lives." (on John 1:5 in the Life Application Study Bible NLT)

So what does all of that mean to me? And even still, why a moon? Doesn't the moon represent darkness and nighttime?
Absolutely not.
To me, the moon represents the light shining in the darkness. The ever-so-slight gleaning of light that gives beauty and hope to a world covered by a blanket of hopelessness and tragedy.
In short, my moon represents my God. It represents His ever-present hope and shelter in my life. Even when I've turned my back on him completely.
I've walked through portions of my life that I sometimes wish I could re-write. But God carried me through it all. No matter how dark my life became, He was always there shining His light of love and hope into my world.
I can't express how thankful I am that He is a patient God!

Not only that, but my moon also represents my connection and personal relationship with God.
If you know me well, then you know that I absolutely love anything to do with outer space and stars (planets too!) and how beautiful the sky is at night when it's painted with little twinkling lights.
If you have ever had a conversation with me about any of these things, then I probably spoke this sentence to you: "When I look up at the sky at night, and I see the vastness of it all and the beauty of the Heavens, I can't help but feel an instant and powerful connection with God."
It's like in that moment, I feel at peace. I know that my Savior is standing right there with me admiring His creation.
It almost brings me to tears.
If you have the time, I absolutely recommend checking out this video of a wonderful speaker by the name of Louie Giglio entitled "How Great Is Our God"

P.S. It's about stars!

I wish that I had more to write, or more beautiful words to use to describe what I already have to you, but hopefully what I have written will give you some idea of what my tattoo means to me. And just exactly why I love it so much.

So in the mean time, why don't you check out a few of these pictures and let yourself be amazed by God's creation!

P.S. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what do they mean to you?
Leave your response in the comment section below!


No Condemnation

(R.E.S.P.E.C.T)<--In My Best Aretha

Franklin Voice

This post may get mixed reviews. I may make some people slightly uncomfortable, but in the words of Gianna Jessen, "I wasn't put here to make people comfortable. I was put here so that I could shake things up a bit."

I try not to get overly-involved in political matters because nothing seems to stir up hatred and anger like talking politics does. I will happily share my views and beliefs (both political and non-political [my faith] ) with anyone who asks, and I believe that we are called to spread the good news of Christ (Mark 16:15), but it breaks my heart to see believers cutting down other people because of their difference in beliefs. I'm not talking religion here, I'm talking politics. That's right, I'm dipping my toes in this boiling hot pit of political lava. But hey, God saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace, so what do I really need to be afraid of? (Daniel 3:19-29)
I'll be honest with you, I don't fully agree with many of the standards of left-wing libertarianism (i.e. abortion), but I also don't agree with what seems to often accompany right-wing conservatism (i.e. slandering & belittling). It seems that often, right-wing conservatives spend much of their time defending their beliefs by way of belittling and talking down to others instead of embracing what they believe. (Titus 3:9)
Christians: We are called to love...unconditionally. That means we are supposed to share God's love with the "liberals," the "conservatives," the "independents," and even those who don't bother with politics. Jesus himself said "Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." John 13:34-35

I've seen self-proclaimed Christians post pictures and statuses on Facebook and various other places on the internet all but screeching out their hatred for anyone who doesn't share their views.

Just because the Constitution declares separation of church and state doesn't mean our hearts have to.

We shouldn't separate Christ from anything in our lives. Even our political views. Politics are a dangerous thing; they're a breeding ground for hatred and contempt; so we should tread lightly and keep our eyes fixed on God. After all, He is the only true ruler. "...I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.Matthew 28:18
No matter who our current president or "ruler" is, we can't forget who is really in control. Not Obama, not Congress, not even the IRS (though they seem to be controlling my paychecks pretty well :P). But remember what I said earlier about being called to love everyone? You wanna take a little guess at who that includes? Thaaaat's riiiight...That includes Obama, Congress, and even *gasp* the folks over at the IRS.
"Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God's servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God's servants, sent for the purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but to keep a clear conscience.
Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority." Romans 13:1-7
If we feel that someone isn't doing their God-appointed job correctly, then instead of spending our time trash-talking them, we should spend time in prayer; asking God to provide wisdom and direction to the ones that hold earthly positions of authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

It's okay to disagree. We're human, and we won't all always agree on everything, but one thing that we can do is treat each other with the loving kindness and respect that God has graciously given us.

"Respect everyone, and love your brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect The King."

*I hope that I haven't offended anyone with this post. That was not my intention.
My sole intention was to allow God to open the eyes of others and myself through the words that I believe He has spoken to my heart.*


Undeserved & Unreserved

(How He Loves)

The other day, my roommate and I were talking about life and God and where we fit in in His grand scheme of things; and she brought up an interesting point...She looked at me, and she said, "You know, when something bad happens to me, I think 'God must be punishing me for doing this or for doing that,' and I forget that God actually loves me."
Her words hit me pretty hard because I have the same problem. I often find myself falling into the mindset of 'if I mess up, God is going to be mad at me.' But if I put all of my eggs into the self-righteous basket, then I'm missing the big message; the message that Jesus himself came to the world to share: God's love and grace are undeserved and unreserved. There's nothing that we can do to deserve His love (We would only fall discouragingly short if we tried), and there is nothing that we can do to make Him love us any more or less than He does.
His love is fierce, it's overwhelming, and it's forgiving.
One of my favorite songs, How He Loves (originally written and performed by John Mark McMillan) captures the immensity of God's awe-inspiring love wonderfully.

*Note: This video contains graphic violent content*

After watching those clips combined with that song, I was weak in the knees and had tears welling up in my eyes. Sometimes I tell people that God's love makes me want to laugh and cry uncontrollably at the same time. This video does that for me. There's just something about seeing Christ's sacrifice played out in front of my very eyes that puts it all into perspective for me, and then I realize how much He truly loves us; how He loves me.

v. To give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.
n. A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another.

We don't often tie the words 'love' and 'surrender' together, but it's as if they were created for each other. We have to surrender to the love of Christ to fully experience it. I learned this particular lesson the hard way (I don't think any other methods of learning have ever worked for me). I tried so hard to be worthy of God's love, and I kept coming up short. Not just by a little, but by light years. And finally, after 20+ years of trying, I'm just starting to realize that God's love isn't something that we earn or work for, it's something that we surrender to.

It doesn't matter how beaten down you are, or how lost you think you might be, God loves you! I really can't express enough how exciting that is. If I could stand on top of a mountain, with the world as my audience, and shout, "He loves us! He loves you! His love is never ending!" I would. I literally feel no shame for my faith. I want the whole world to know how He loves.


Clouds//Robin Jones Gunn

{Book Review}

Title: Clouds
Author: Robin Jones Gunn
Genre: Fiction - Contemporary Women
Pages: 288
My Rating: 4

Synopsis: She remembers their childhood with longing, and their parting with regret.

(From the publisher) "This bestselling former Palisades release is book five in the new Glenbrooke series by award-winning author Robin Jones Gunn. Shelly Graham has moved home to Seattle, where she's flooded with memories of her high school sweetheart, who took off for Europe after they broke up. But when Shelly travels to Germany, she suddenly runs into the former boyfriend who has filled her thoughts. Learning that Jonathan is engaged, Shelly hides her feelings for him. After returning home, however, she must face these feelings, especially after her path crosses Jonathan's yet again. Only this time, if they can find the strength to be honest, they just might discover what God has in store."

What I Loved: I loved the gentle yet powerful love displayed in this book not just in the love-interest aspect of the novel, but in Shelly's ever-growing relationship with God. Robin Jones Gunn sure does know how to intertwine God's love in with a great romantic love story. In this book, she finds a wonderful balance, and delves into the main character's relationship with God on a much deeper level than many of the previous books in the series.

What I Wasn't So Fond Of: I felt as though some parts seemed to drag on a bit too long, and I would have loved a bit more interaction between Shelly and Jonathan, especially closer to the end. Once again, my biggest complaint is the feeling of a rushed ending. I find that I've been left wanting a bit more at the end of each of the books in the Glenbrooke series. I wish the author would give the ending the detail that she gives to the rest of the book.

Rushed endings aside, Clouds is an exceptional read, and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking to experience the love of God tied into a complicated-yet-beautiful relationship between two childhood sweethearts.

About The Author
Robin Jones Gunn is the best selling Christian author of over 82 books including several series aimed at teen girls as well as Christian fiction for older women and a few non-fiction books. Her books have sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide.
In addition to teen fiction, Robin is known for her women's Christian romance series "Glenbrooke" and the "Sisterchicks" series.

*author bio taken from Wikipedia

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

When Will The Peace Come?

A friend of mine recently posted a heartfelt/heart wrenching question on Facebook that began with "At what point does the peace come?..." Her question really got me thinking. At what point does the peace come? The simplest answer to that question is this: When we allow it.
I know as well as anyone how it feels to be restless and uneasy; to be anxious and beaten down by life's seemingly inescapable stresses. We allow ourselves to buy into the lies that we can't be happy right now; that we have to achieve something or reach a certain point to attain the happiness that we desire. But the simple fact of the matter is that that is just not true. We have all the peace and happiness that we need right at the tips of our fingers. Isn't Christ the Prince of Peace? (Isaiah 9:6) All that we have to do is reach out to Him for comfort. For peace.
The catch is this: God knows what's best for us right now and always. Right? Right. So when we go to Him for comfort, instead of saying, "God, I'm miserable. I can't find peace, and I need it. I need you to give it to me, and this is what I need you to do to bring me peace," we need to say, "God, I have nowhere else to turn but to turn to you. I need peace, and I know that only you can give me true peace. Please calm my restless heart, and put my soul at peace with whatever your plan is for me. I know that you know best."
Did you notice the difference? Instead of begging and pleading with God to give us what we want because we just know that one thing or those many things will bring us the happiness that our hearts crave, we have to come to God with open hearts, willing to receive His peace along with His plan.
We all say that we trust God, but how many of us truly mean what we say? It's taken me a long time to allow my plans to melt away, making room for God's plans to shine through (and I still struggle with that immensely from time to time), but once I did, it was like a mountain was lifted off of my shoulders and I was no longer carrying the burden of my desires.
God loves us. Let Him show us His love through His plans. Then we will know peace.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:7


When The Flames Turn To Embers

The other day I was reading through a few different blogs just for fun, and I came across a post by Heirs With Christ entitled When Jesus Doesn't Dazzle. My heart fluttered a little when I read it because that's exactly how I've been feeling lately (By the way, you should really need to read that post. Rachel explains the numb-undazzled feeling much better than I do). I've been feeling numb and apathetic lately. I still read my Bible and pray everyday, yet my heart hasn't felt the blazing wildfire that it once did. There's no particular reason that comes to my mind to explain why this is; except that I haven't been keeping my focus on the light of the world, Jesus. I've filled my life with so many time consuming things that are completely meaningless without the one thing that I've been pushing to the side. I keep telling myself that one day, it'll all just come back to me; one day I'll feel the love and amazement that once set my soul on fire. But do you want to know something? You might want to take a screenshot of this, because I hate admitting it...I'm wrong. Life won't fix itself, problems won't sort themselves out, and a broken and bruised heart won't mend its own tattered flesh.
Something has to be done to let the enemy know that they cannot come like a thief in the night to take my heart from its rightful owner. I wear proudly, the seal of God upon my forehead (Ephesians 1:13). It cannot be removed. Just as I cannot be removed from the arms of my beloved Father (John 10:28-30).
I'm sure you've all at one time or another heard the expression that "God is a gentleman." It's true. He is the kindest, most lovingly patient gentleman that the universe has to offer. The depth of His patience knows no end (Romans 2:4). No matter how many times we turn from Him, He waits placidly (I imagine with a grin on his face) for us to realize that we've trapped ourselves, and the only way out is up. He calls out to us softly through the fog of sin that stands between us and Him. But our ears are muffled by our own hands. We refuse to hear our sins spoken aloud. He reaches out to lovingly touch our shoulder, but we've numbed ourselves to the touch of Christ. We won't allow ourselves to pay attention to the displays of grace before us. So God waits. After all, He knows when the time will be. He knows when the ice will melt from our hearts, and we will once again be set ablaze with His love.
It's the patience that is so incredible. God won't force Himself upon us. He gives us the choice. It's up to us to turn our hearts toward Him, and allow Him to wash the grime from our blackened hearts.
Something has to change within me. I have to make the decision to keep my eyes fixed on Him.
Don't give up on God. He will never give up on you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
I'm saying this not just for you, but for myself. I have to constantly remind myself that just because I don't feel dazzled by Christ, doesn't mean He no longer loves me, or that I'm hopeless. It just means my heart needs a change of direction, and my eyes need to focus not on the things of this earth, but on the things of Heaven (Colossians 3:1).

I will never leave you nor forsake you


Echoes//Robin Jones Gunn

{Book Review}

Title: Echoes
Author: Robin Jones Gunn
Genre: Fiction - Contemporary Women
Pages: 288
My Rating: 5

Synopsis: Will Lauren risk losing her a man she's never met?

In the third installment of the Glenbrooke Series, Lauren Phillips is a young woman in a cutthroat world. This doesn't exclude her relationship with her fiancé, Jeff, who is a serious businessman. Lauren loves Jeff, but doesn't understand why he can't enjoy life beyond work. As a result of Lauren's new take-risks-and-enjoy-life attitude, Jeff decides to call off his and Lauren's wedding and move to New York for a new job. Heartbroken, Lauren must learn to pick up the pieces and move on.
When her brother, Brad, brings her a new computer to keep in touch, she happens upon a new cyber-friend whom she only knows by the nickname "K.C."
She soon finds herself developing a deep friendship with her pen-pal; and finds that she might just learn something else: how to open her heart and love again.

What I Loved: If I'm being honest, I loved every single thing about this book. I loved the reality of the story, the depth of the characters, and the relationships formed throughout the book. Robin Jones Gunn certainly perfected her art of storytelling with this novel. I found this novel to be leaps and bounds better than the last one of hers that I read.
I truly enjoyed the way Ms. Gunn highlighted the importance of friendship in any relationship. How two souls intertwine and connect with words. It was a truly marvelously beautiful story.

What I Wasn't So Fond Of: The only thing that I didn't like about this book was that it had to end! Honestly. I can't think of a single thing that I would have liked to have been different. Maybe extending the end a bit if we're being nit-picky, but I enjoyed it the way it was☺

Overall, I was thrilled by the beautiful story of love and friendship in Robin Jones Gunn's novel Echoes, and I can only hope the rest of this series will live up to it!

About The Author
Robin Jones Gunn is the best selling Christian author of over 82 books including several series aimed at teen girls as well as Christian fiction for older women and a few non-fiction books. Her books have sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide.
In addition to teen fiction, Robin is known for her women's Christian romance series "Glenbrooke" and the "Sisterchicks" series.

*author bio taken from Wikipedia

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Hey Soul Sister...

Eeep! I'm so excited about today's blog-party topic! BEST FRIENDS!
If you know me, then you know that I'm practically attached at the hip to my best friend/roommate/soul sister Molli. To say that God made us to be each other's best friend is pretty accurate. I don't think I've ever had a friend that I could trust more than Molli. She has been there for me through thick and through thin, and I can't imagine my life without her as my best friend.

So if you couldn't already tell, this blog post is all about professing my sister-love for my bff.
And every good love story has a good beginning...

Molli and I met at a summer camp that we both worked at in the summer of 2011. It's crazy that we've only been friends for 2 years! You'd think we've known each other our entire lives! (I sure feel like we have)
Anywho...We were both cabin directors at South Mountain Christian Camp, so we spent every single day together for almost eight weeks. And boy was it fun!

Here's a little fun fact for you: Molli always says that she knew we were going to get along when she first met me because I had a nose ring. Because all of the cool kids have nose rings ;)

So we basically spent every second of our lives together for those eight-or-so weeks of camp, and after that we kept in touch regularly until she moved to NC from Florida!
After she moved here we were pretty much inseparable. So we decided, what the heck, let's get an apartment and be roomies!
So that's exactly what we did :)
And I seriously don't think I have another friend that could put up with being around me as much as she is, but I am so thankful that she does!

We pretty much have everything in common. We like the same music, movies, tv shows, books, activities, restaurants (notice I didn't just say food....she's picky ;P), and she shares my affinity for zombies...Which is pretty much great.

And she totally has the same sense of humor as me.


I may or may not have used that as an excuse to post funny pictures :)

We've pretty much planned our lives together. We want to move to the city, finish our schooling, start our careers, and open a café together.

Hopefully our future hubbies are welcoming of these plans ;)

She has been such an incredible encouragement to me, and a wonderful confidant. Not to mention she has a heart the size of Texas.
She challenges me to be the woman that God created me to be, and to put Him first in all things.
Basically, she makes my life ten thousand times easier and more enjoyable.

That's why I love her :)

Hey! Check out this awesome Taylor Swift song...It's kind of "our" song

And I'll leave you with some awesome BFF pictures :)

And one more thing before you go....
Check out this beautiful cover of "Hey Soul Sister" by MARILOU

That's all for now :)


Design in CSS by TemplateWorld and sponsored by SmashingMagazine
Blogger Template created by Deluxe Templates