God Gave Us Family (Blogging-For-Books)

God Gave Us FamilyMy “Kid’s Ministry” library is a bit bigger now. Over at Blogging for Books, I was graciously offered and given a copy of “God Gave Us Family” by Lisa Tawn Bergren (with David Hohn as the book’s artist). This isn’t the first time I have come across Bergren’s work, as I have reviewed several of her books. Her children’s books are my favorite from my collection.

God Gave Us Family does not disappoint, my  friends. Through this book, we are able to teach our children that it is God who has lovingly given us our families. Some times, our family just doesn’t look like other families. . . . but, it’s okay. Our great God has given us a family. The beautiful thing is acknowledging God has given us these beautiful, annoying, much loved people to be inside our family. He will even bring in others who aren’t related to us, but have become our family. This shows the goodness of God.

This is a beautiful story about one family in particular, but looks at how Little Pup views his own family – and the families around him. Our family life can look so different in comparison to that of others, yet it is still a gift sent directly from God.

The artwork in this book is absolutely amazing! Hohn and Bergren are a great team, where both of their talents are orchestrated – making this beautiful book! I absolutely adore this cute book and definitely recommend it to others.

Be sure to pick up a copy for the little ones in your life! This is a beautiful book, that can help us point our children and loved ones to the One who has made them and our families. Right now on Amazon, you can receive this hardcover for under $9.50!

Below you can find other reviews of Bergren’s books.

In Him,

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the “Blogging for Books” book review bloggers 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.

 

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Update On Me|New Project

Hey friends!

I am still hanging in there. It’s Tuesday, and our last week of 1 Timothy. Even though, it hasn’t gone as well as I anticipated, I don’t regret doing our study. We are finally doing our beloved 1-2 Timothy study. I have wanted to do it for soo long, and the road blocks make me really appreciate the days – when writing and Bible study time comes very easily.

I am still working through “my mess” (of depression). But, I am trying to be more plant based – to speed things along. I “spilled the beans” on tonight’s Lent post. Yesterday, I was very depressed again and I just. . . got to work. I had to do something, sooo I started working on a new project, that I am desperately waiting to get my hands on. So, it should be, at least, Stacey ready in a few days. It is on the Psalms, which is really where I need to be. This doesn’t affect our journey through 2 Timothy, not any more than the depression already has. I just wanted to share a bit of my heart. Please pray for me, as I go through this season.

Memory Verse

This week, our memory verse is. . .

“Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can’t carry anything out (1 Tim. 6:6-7, WEB).”

For Those Interested:

Here is Tonight’s Lent Post –

Meets Me in My Brokenness – Lent 2018

When I Am Not Okay (Part Two)

Hey friends!

I am still here, navigating these interesting waters of depression. I haven’t really been writing much this week (even still). But, I have been trying to read our daily Scriptures. I come to you today – with a different Scripture in mind.

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, “Where is your God?” I remember this as I pour out my heart: how I walked with many, leading the festive procession to the house of God, with joyful and thankful shouts. Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God (Ps. 42:1-5, CSB).

Observation: The psalmist acknowledged he was severely depressed in verse 6, but he remembered how God met him before. Friends, let’s keep trying to seek the Lord God in the midst of our trials. Let’s remember how He has been faithful to us!

Taking Action: Let’s allow our great Lord to meet us where we are, even though it isn’t anywhere fun! It isn’t about how much effort we put in, but it’s about leading our broken souls to Jesus who is our great Restorer! Let’s just continue to try and draw nearer. The Lord will meet us there, even when we aren’t so sure.

I wanted to share some ideas about how I fight through depression.

Here We Go!

Turn on praise music (this is my favorite playlist right now).

Go for a physical walk with our Lord Jesus. Just walk and talk, friend.

Be willing to do better than me, and journal through your thoughts – fearlessly (and if someone finds your notes, so be it).

Sit in the quiet, and look for God’s presence in the storm (and I hope you notice He is in the storm with you). He can give us His peace, even during hard times. Choose to believe Him for this, friend.

Take hold of our great God’s promises (“He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5),” for example).

Allow someone else to read the Bible to you. Maybe, have a friend come over and read to you. Perhaps, just allow the Bible app of your choice to read to you.

This might be more obvious for some, but limit your social media time. If you do use it during times of depression, watch where you scroll. Try scrolling through Desiring God or The Gospel Coalition instead.

This is probably my number one thing I do:

Watch some YouTube videos to draw you nearer to the Lord. Or listen to a Christian podcast (Podbean is my “go to” podcast app).

You are not alone, my friend. Let’s continue to make this journey together, as we draw nearer to the Lord – even when trials come our way. Hang in there, and keep looking to our Lord Jesus!

In Him,

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When I Am Not Okay

Do you ever look someone in the eye, say your good, and then realize you aren’t as good as you just said? That was my experience tonight at my small group.

Today was a considerably good day on a physical level. I even made it to Bible study tonight, and so when others asked how I was – the answer immediately came off as “oh, I am doing great today!”

As Bible study progressed, I remembered. I remembered that I have been plagued with depression all week long. I remembered that I have felt alone and found it hard to do simple tasks, because of it. I sat there, listening as they spoke tenderly, and awaited coming home. The Lord’s mighty hand held me together, as I sat there, because I just felt some of the weight that accompanies depression.

My Struggle –

All week long, it has been a struggle to reach for my Bible and journal. I had been doing so well on getting my daily reading of 1 Timothy and have enjoyed it so very much. This week, it was a hard week and so I am behind. I am behind on reading, but in sharing my heart with you all too.

Depression is just something that is hard. For this week, in particular, I have found myself just crying. For roughly two days, I just cried and cried. Which isn’t something you would typically find in my character.

Where Am I Turning?

My hope remains in our Lord Jesus Christ. My morning habits include turning on praise music and attempting to read my Bible. I may not journal, but if I can just read a verse – then I have something to meditate on throughout the day as I am resting or feeling motivated enough to clean.

The cloud of depression has days, where it is paralyzing and nothing gets done. Maybe, not even the simple act of turning on praise music. But even so, the Lord God Almighty is with me in the struggle.

No Shame –

Friends, I hope you are all doing well. But maybe, you are finding yourself in a depression fog too. The only (and best) advice I can give you is – to do whatever is necessary to draw nearer and nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ.

One more note, because I deeply care. If you continue to struggle with depression without relief, consider making an appointment with your family doctor. Depression can be very hard, and we all deserve support. We need to have a support system of others who help us fight it!

Also there are treatments out there, that might be able to help you. There is no shame in depression or seeking help from a medical professional. I have had to do it in the past – myself.

Honestly, there is soo much more to say on the topic of depression and I hope to address more of it in the coming weeks – but for now I want to just encourage you to keep drawing nearer to the Lord. Keep diving into the book of 1 Timothy. We will be starting 2 Timothy soon. Maybe, I will be caught by then.

God bless you, my friends!

Still seeking Him,

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Let Your Progress Be Known {POTF}

Hey friends!!

It is really late, but here is this week’s “focus” verse.

Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all (1 Tim. 4:15, CSB).

The purposes of God need to be thoroughly fastened in our heart and mind, and we must give our time and attention to them. Matters of importance do not come automatically (Jack Hayford, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible).

Also: I have started a place to share thoughts on Lent readings. No guarantee I can stay  caught up on the reading plan I am doing, but it is a nice way to prepare my heart for Easter. So if that is something that interests you, feel free to check it out or share with others. The topic for this reading plan is “Restored”.

Our great God is our Awesome Restorer!! There is nothing too big for the Lord to restore, my friends.