Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Letters

So much for keeping up with a daily blog post in 2016. January? Gosh. I've been slacking. I've also been itching to get back to writing so here we are....




A few years ago my husband and I began sponsoring a child via Compassion International. We chose a little girl from Indonesia named Putri. I was slack in writing at first, but then I began sending letters as often as I could along with small gifts to simply remind her that we were praying for her, we believed in her, and we loved her. And I truly did do all of those things.


The photo on the left was on Putri's packet we picked up at the concert - our initial view of her. The one on the right was the last updated photo I had received. 

Sadly, after more than four years of sponsoring Putri, we were notified last fall that she was no longer attending the project and thus was dropped. We were asked if we wanted to sponsor another child. We agreed to sponsor a new little girl from Indonesia. Her name is Hesti. 


 I thought that was the end of it and I began writing to Hesti to begin to know her better. However, out of the blue today I received a final letter from Putri and it about broke my heart.



Dear Sister Lisa Berry,
Greetings. Hello, Sister Lisa Berry. how are you? I am fine. Sister Lisa, this is my final letter because starting this month I'm no longer at the project because the project activity is at the same time with my school activity. Thank you for all your financial support and prayers all this time. I pray that God will protect and bless you. I hope you could sponsor other children who need support. Because in Indonesia there are many children who need help. Please pray for my schooling and my family. I send my love to all your family, Sister Lisa.
God bless. 
Putri

I so wish I could tell her how much she is loved and that we have already begun to sponsor another little one in Indonesia.

So for anyone who thinks their support doesn't really matter or that writing to your child doesn't really matter, please know that it does!

"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are
blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom
prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, 
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry
and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in,
or needing clothes and clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?

"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one
of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, 
you did for me.'"

Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV)


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

{Review} I Hope You Dance by Beth Moran


I Hope You Dance by Beth Moran is one of those books that you pick up to read and find yourself unable to put down. It follows the story of Ruth who just wanted to marry the boy-next-door but life got in the way.  Ruth leaves her hometown with a broken heart only to return fifteen years later at rock bottom - and a broken life. 

After the death of her partner, she returns home with her fourteen year old daughter to face the fact that she is living with her parents. She is depressed and doesn't want to face life anymore until her over-bearing mother makes her. Ruth must also deal with the relationship, or lack thereof, she has with her father, try to help her daughter work through her grief over the loss of her father, and face all the people she knew when she was growing up. Needless to say, things are rough.

Moran does a fantastic job adding in wonderful plot twists and creating characters a reader cares about. I have to say, I literally gasped aloud at one point near the end when Ruth...well, no spoilers, but trust me, it was a thrilling moment in the book!

I also found it very interesting to read a book by a British author set in the UK. Culturally things are different and it made it fun to read. I only had to look up a couple things since I just didn't understand the references. For me, that made the book that much more enjoyable.

Overall, I highly really enjoyed I Hope You Dance and would recommend reading it.




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Old Mother Hubbard


I do not have the same problem as Old Mother Hubbard. In fact, I have the opposite problem! Today I went to buy groceries. I hadn't been for a couple of weeks - at least nothing more than a quick trip to the local grocery store. Today I headed in to town and planned to stock up and stock up I did!

However, once I brought it all home, I realized that I had no room to put it away! Do you remember the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? My version today might look like this:

If you give a mom a grocery list,
She's going to add to it.
If she adds to it, 
She's not going to have any room to put it away.

Or something like that.


When I arrived home I had my boys haul everything inside and then I set to work. I can't remember the last time my fridge had been cleaned out but I tackled that today - while my groceries waited patiently to be put away.

Let's just say I not only did I tackle the fridge but some cupboards as well. And let's just say that quite a bit of what was in my cupboards and fridge was chucked due to vastly overdue expiration labels.

However, my little pantry cupboard will be taken on tomorrow. Why? I simply ran out of time. I spent the afternoon shopping and then cleaning and purging expired food. By the time I was ready to tackle the pantry so I could put all of what you see above away - because it certainly isn't going to fit in that pantry right now! - I had to leave to take my son to karate. And then teach kickboxing. And the come home to make dinner and spend time with my family. See, just like the story said...if you give a mom a grocery list...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Reading List


It's a new year full of possibilities. Did you make some resolutions? I'm determined to read more this year and I have started a list over at Goodreads to keep track. Some of the books will be hardcover/paperback books - you know - hard copies. Others, however, will be Kindle books.

Here is what is on my "to be read" list for 2016 so far.

  • A Dangerous Fortune* by Ken Follett. I read his Pillars of the Earth years ago and loved it. I'm hoping I'll enjoy this one as much.
  • The Gospel Truth by Caroline Pignat
  • The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up by Marie Kondo Yes, I'm jumping on the band-wagon and going to give this book a try. I have far too much stuff and much of it needs to go.
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis This has been on my "to be read" list for far too long. 
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte This was my absolute favorite book when I was a teenager and it's been that long since I've read it. It's high time I read it again just to see if it's still as good as I remember. 
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerlad There are a number of "classics" I haven't read and this is one.
  • Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings #1) by Lynn Austin (this is the one I'm currently reading) And if I start a series, I usually read all the books so this is going to add to my list since this is the first of a five book series.
I'm going to be continuing to do book reviews throughout the year as well so those will be added in also. I have one I'm reading now called I Hope You Dance by Beth Moran. My review for that will be posted in a couple of weeks. 


What should I add? Any favorites out there?


*I do not use affiliate links. This is just to make it easier to find the books on Amazon for anyone who wishes to find out more.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Writing Scripture

My mornings start with this view. Starting last month I began doing a daily scripture writing plan I saw floating around Facebook. I managed to write most days and the days I missed, I made up so I still wrote out 30 scriptures in my little sketch book. 

The blog I found the plan also has a plan for January. You can find it by clicking HERE. She includes scripture for each day of the month and they all take about ten minutes to copy out. 
I like to use a sketch book since it has thicker paper. I use a calligraphy pen to write the reference at the top of the page. Then I use a simple Crayola black marker to write it out. I try to read the whole thing first and then copy it. I end up reading the scripture three to four times as I go through it looking for things to highlight with my crayons and markers. 

Today I was very behind. Due to a busy weekend, I had not copied any scripture yet this year, so I spent time today getting caught up. 

Sometimes the scripture is a bit longer and I can't fit it on one page. That also means I end up with white space. I will then look back over the verses and see if I can find something that will tie it all together that I can easily draw. 
I like to think I'm a fabulous artist and, perhaps with lots of practice, I could be. Right now I keep things pretty simple. I can envision amazing drawings in my mind. I just can't get my fingers to cooperate. 
I am enjoying this practice daily as part of my quiet time. In fact, I'm liking it so much, I'm going to be adding it to my boy's school day. How do you spend time daily in God's word?