Happy Leap Day 2016!
Here are some links I've been lovin'
The Illusion of Control
A great post by my friend and co-worker Zack over at Escape Escapism. It's so easy to believe that we're in control, until the fascade breaks.
You're Not David
"We often run to the hero of the story, because we too often think the bible is about us and our victory. But we're not the central figure. It's not about us. It's about Jesus. Jesus is the hero." Another great post over at Escape Escapism.
I Dream in Blue
A little local band I discovered from Lancaster, PA. Loving this song by them right now. If you like bluegrass, this is a band for you!
Redeeming the Time in a Season of "Ugh"
I'm not in one of these seasons, but super helpful to tuck away.
Fanny Crosby: Her Story, Her Song
I love that Revive Our Hearts is doing these new series on women of faith. And this one by Fanny Crosby is encouraging.
Let's be honest, it's difficult to remember all of things that we want to pray about. If we don't write down the things we want to pray about or for, they can get lost in the mush between our ears. That's why I use and love an app called Echo. It's a prayer app and it's pretty helpful and simple to use.
Echo is an easy and helpful tool to keep track of prayers. It's also helpful for staying focused on a specific prayer while praying. The website says, "Echo exists to help you pray." And it does just that.
If you want to learn more or download Echo, you can visit the website for the app here. It's available to download for iPhones and Androids. Download and get praying!
I've really been appreciating Tim Lane's marriage series based off of the book The Seven Principles For Making Marriages Work by John Gottman. I'm not even married yet, and these posts have been encouraging and insightful. Whether you're married or you want to be married one day, these are great nuggets to store in your brain arsenal.
Four Things to Help Overcome Gridlock in Your Marriage
Two Things You Need When You Disagree With Your Spouse
The Most Important Ingredient to Improve Your Marriage
Four Things That Could Be Hurting Your Marriage This Year
Four Pillars For a Lasting Marriage
As Tim Lane adds more posts, I'll add them to this list. My guess is that there will be seven since the book covers seven principles.
If I'm honest, I can often struggle when reading the Bible. I love reading the Good Book, and I often learn more about God while reading it, but I often struggle with understanding what I'm reading. This can lead to frustration and it can even lead to a discouragement that keeps me from wanting to dig deeper in a passage.
What I appreciate about Jen Wilkin's book, Women of the Word, is that she tackles this issue and many others. Many women feel similarly. They feel like the Bible is too difficult to read or understand. Not only that, but we can often read the Bible with the wrong perspective, thinking it's a self-help book for us when it's actually a book to teach us about God.
Wilkin begins the book by saying, "This is a book about equipping women through Bible study." It equips women in knowing how to read the Bible to know God more, because when we know God more, our love for Him grows as well. That's the primary focus of this book: equipping women to study the Bible to know God more and as a result, grow in our love for Him.
In order to encourage women in their study of the Bible, Wilkin goes through what she calls the Five P's of Sound Study:
Study with Purpose
Study with Perspective
Study with Patience
Study with Process
Study with Prayer
While it's a short read, it's very applicable. Wilkin goes through the Five P's and a Bible study method and then she takes a few pages to apply it through the book of James. I've been using the Bible study method that Wilkin uses since my freshman year of college, but her explanations and nuggets of wisdom gave me an encouraging and fresh perspective on Bible study. After reading each chapter, I found myself wanting to dig deeper into passages that I've found difficult to understand and comprehend.
My main take away from this book is that studying the Bible is supposed to stretch our understanding of God and help us grow in knowing Him more. Which means that it's okay if we struggle through understanding a passage or if it feels like we're just not getting it. Searching for understanding is part of the process of learning, and when we finally do get it, it's all the more satisfying. We learn more about God in the process and become women of the Word.
I don't normally read a lot of books like Money Making Mom i.e. books about frugal living and making money for your family (although I do read my fair share of deal blogs). However, I've been following Money Saving Mom for years, which is run by the same woman that wrote Money Saving Mom, Crystal Paine. So when Money Making Mom became available on Book Look Bloggers, I jumped at the chance to read it.
I don't know what I was expecting from this book: maybe ideas on how to create an income for a family, money making tips, how to grow a blog. What I found was even better. Crystal does go into details about how to make extra income for your family, and she gives ideas for businesses or things that you can do to make additional money. But that's not exactly the heart of her book.
The heart of Crystal's book is how to live intentionally with your finances and in thinking through ways to make additional income. She asks questions like: what are you passionate about, why do you want to make additional income, and how can you bloom where you're planted?
I didn't read this book with the mindset of wanting to make an additional income, but I gained so much from it. I especially appreciated the chapters that Crystal focused on giving and how our finances are a blessing that allows us to bless others. I was deeply challenged and encouraged by the stories to share to think through how I could bless even more people with the income that God has provided for me.
What makes this book even better is Crystal's honest stories from her own life and the lives of others as well. She shares her own struggles and failures, but she also shares encouraging stories about women and men that have used their finances to impact the lives of many.
I highly recommend this book for moms that are thinking through ways to make an additional income, but also for those that just want a read to help them think through what they're passionate about and how to live their life intentionally.
Shalom! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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She Laughs Without Fear