The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls — An ‘I Read with Audra’ Blog Tour

Beautiful_CBG_1024x768_pink

Thanks so much for joining me on the tour for the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls from Zondervan.

TOUR DATES: DECEMBER 2-16

Click HERE for tour information at I Read with Audra.

About the Bible

Created especially for girls ages 8 to 12, this beautiful Bible provides ample space for young artists to express themselves through coloring and journaling.

Girls can get creative with the detailed, ready-to-color line art surrounding the hundreds of inspiring verses in the NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible for Girls. This Bible is a perfect gift for a special young girl in your life and will become a cherished keepsake full of personalized creative expressions of faith.
Features include:

  • Hundreds of verses illustrated in ready-to-color line art
  • Thicker white paper for enduring note-taking
  • Lined, wide margins for notes, reflections, and art
  • The complete text of the accurate, readable and clear New International Version (NIV)
  • Easy-to-read black-letter text in single-column format
  • Lays flat in your hand or on your desk
  • Ribbon marker
  • Beautifully designed Leathersoft-over-board cover featuring screen-printing and other cover embellishments
  • 8-point type size

Using the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV) text makes the Bible accessible and easy-to-read for kids. The NIV is the result of over 50 years of work by the Committee on Bible Translation, who oversee the efforts of many contributing scholars. Representing the spectrum of evangelicalism, the translators come from a wide range of denominations and various countries and continually review new research to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance, and authority. Every NIV Bible that is purchased helps Biblica translate and give Bibles to people in need around the world.

Click HERE to download fun coloring pages.

Click HERE to purchase a copy of this Bible today!

My Thoughts

My daughter has seen me read and annotate in my Bibles since she was born. When she was about three, I caught her “writing” all over one of her illustrated Bibles. It made my heart happy because I knew she was trying to be like mommy! When Bella turned 6, she asked for a “real” Bible, so my husband and I bought her a Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for girls. At 6, the Bible was still too advanced for her, but she loved to sit next to me while I was reading and annotating and work in hers. She has written and colored all over her book. All of this to say, my daughter and I have a lot of experience with this fantastic Bible for girls. Having one the past 18 months has been a real blessing to both me and Bella. She is working on creating a foundational relationship with God, and I am loving watching her “annotate” and color.

PROS — What Bella and I like the MOST

  • Tons of journaling space! If you write a lot of notes and thoughts and prayers in the side margins of your Bibles, this is a Bible for you.
  • Great coloring pages. Some are full-page coloring pages, and some are side-margin coloring spots. All coloring pages illustrate key Bible verses.
  • When there are notes at the bottom of a page, they are very helpful. As a mom, I like these notes because they help my daughter understand what she is reading a little better.
  • The text is easy to read. I am a fan of ESV translations, but that is way too difficult a translation for my almost-eight-year-old. The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls is perfect for her. I have Bella read to me, and so far, she hasn’t had any real struggles with the language in this text.

CONS — What Bella and I don’t like

  • We don’t have any CONS!

The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls is an excellent starter Bible for girls, and I highly recommend it. What an excellent gift to give to your daughter or granddaughter this Christmas!

“I received a copy of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls from Zondervan (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) for this review. This post is sponsored by Zondervan.”


GIVEAWAY

Christmas background. Traditional Christmas decoration with snow

Click the link below to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Bathsheba Battle (2019) — Author Interview, Part 2

PhotoCollage_20190928_163254876.jpg

About the Book

41Jf5PiwQvL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgBookThe Bathsheba Battle

Author: Natalie Chambers Snapp

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Genre: Christian Women’s Issues, Non-fiction

Has your life ever taken an unexpected turn, leaving you feeling hurt and stuck? In The Bathsheba Battle, Natalie Chambers Snapp helps women find healing and hope when things haven’t gone as they had planned. Bathsheba, typically misrepresented as an adulteress, is one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Despite an unexpected turn in her life, which resulted in tragic circumstances beyond her control, there are glimmers of hope in her story. By studying her life, readers will find healing from their own painful pasts and hope for living the free and full lives God intends.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Natalie Chambers Snapp is an author, blogger, and speaker known for her refreshing authenticity and practical approach to life and God’s Word. Not choosing to follow Jesus until the age of twenty-seven, she is passionate about sharing the grace, mercy, and truth of God’s love with others “regardless of your track record.” Her transparency and humor endear her to women of all ages.

Snapp is the author of the book Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to HaveBecoming Heart Sisters: A Bible Study on Authentic Friendships and The Bathsheba Battle: Finding Hope When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn. She has written for various blogs and online devotionals, including Proverbs 31.

Snapp lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband and their three children.

Website  ℘   Facebook  ℘   Twitter  ℘   Instagram

Author Interview

Q: Who did you write The Bathsheba Battle for? How did you intend the book to be used?

The Bathsheba Battle is written for anyone who has ever asked the question, “Why me, Lord? Why do I have to suffer through this?” It’s written for anyone whose life has not turned out the way they had planned. And it’s written for those who want to learn how to embrace suffering and humble themselves to the trying, but beautiful, reconstruction of it all. I intended this book to be used as a great encouragement – Bathsheba is an inspiration! Towards the end of David’s life, we see a woman who has grown in confidence, grace, and wisdom. Her deconstruction led to a very inspiring reconstruction but her complete story is often unknown!

Q: You dedicate a chapter to trauma. Why is it so important to understand what trauma is and its effects on us?

Trauma is often misunderstood. More of us experience what would be considered trauma than we actually realize. Trauma is anything that causes us to separate our lives into a “before and after.” For example, my life changed trajectory after my divorce and the death of my father. There was a “before Natalie” and an “after Natalie.” It is extremely important to get professional help after experiencing trauma as it will impact our physical, spiritual, and mental health if we don’t. I am a firm believer in seeking counseling, and in fact, I’m in the process of becoming a licensed counselor myself!

Q: What is unique to shame as an emotion? What does shame do to us, and how can we work to overcome it?

Shame is very, very sneaky! Oftentimes, we confuse guilt with shame, but there are times when guilt can be a positive thing. Guilt tells us we did something wrong and need to make it right while shame tells us we are a terrible person and aren’t worthy of anyone’s love or respect. Shame takes healthy guilt and allows it to penetrate the walls of our souls until they crumble into a heaping mess. Just because I make a mistake doesn’t mean I’m a terrible, awful person. However, shame will try to make us believe that lie.

The first step in overcoming shame is identifying it. The second step is refusing to be a prisoner of shame by having grace with yourself. So often, I find I can easily extend grace to other people, but I have a harder time doing so for myself. This is because we hear the voices of shame telling us we shouldn’t! There is nothing Biblical about living under these chains.

Q: What is righteous anger? Even when it is righteous, why do we need to let go of our anger as quickly as possible?

Righteous anger is anger directed at sin. For example, when Jesus turned the tables in Matthew 21, he was angry at their obvious sin. However, we also see Jesus let that anger go. If we hold on to righteous sin, we will become angry, legalistic, and so black-and-white that we turn others away from our faith.

Q: How do comparison and fear both rob our lives? How can we protect ourselves from letting that happen?

Comparison is rooted in fear. We often find ourselves comparing when we fear we are not enough. Understanding that we all carry a different load and God has entrusted you to be who you are and carry your specific load helps tremendously in the comparison trap.

Q: In what ways are grief and fear similar? What are some situations other than death that we grieve?

I actually am not sure I would say grief and fear are very similar. Grief is a natural and healthy price we pay for being willing to love. Perhaps, if we allow our grief to overtake our lives for too long, then it could be rooted in fear. However, for the most part, grief is a natural response to love. We can grieve the loss of a relationship we wished we had but don’t. We can grieve a life we thought we might live but don’t. And we can grieve the death of our dreams when it becomes apparent they won’t occur. The trick is to work through that grief and seek help so we don’t stay there and allow it to become fear.

Q: Self-care is so important, but why do we feel so guilty for taking care of ourselves?

It really is important, but we absolutely need to change this mindset of guilt! I think women often feel guilty about prioritizing self-care because we are natural caregivers. We often prioritize the needs of others at the expense of our own, or maybe that’s just me? I suspect it’s not, but it’s a hard habit to break.

Thankfully, I’ve seen a shift in the culture of women now cheering each other on to prioritize self-care more, whether it be through time with friends, going on a long walk, getting a massage, or simply just taking a nap. I’m trying to incorporate one act of self-care into each day, and let me tell you, it definitely makes me a better wife, mother, and person in general!

Q: What is the single most important thing you hope readers will learn from their study of The Bathsheba Battle?

I wrote The Bathsheba Battle because so many women approached me after speaking engagements to confide that they relate so much to Bathsheba. Yet, there is little out there on this remarkable woman of Scripture! My prayer is that those who are suffering will find hope in Bathsheba’s inspiring and remarkable story and choose to live as a survivor rather than a victim. I want others to see that they can emerge victoriously and will if they place their hope and trust in God—who is closer to them during our periods of suffering than we can even imagine. Most of all, I simply want others to find hope because hope is always present if we choose to see it.

I’m Waiting, God (2019) — Author Interview, Part 2

PhotoCollage_20190925_182807700.jpg

About the Book

9781501888625.jpgBookI’m Waiting, God

Author: Barb Roose

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Genre: Women’s Bible Study

Do you ever feel like God is taking too long to answer your prayers? Have you ever taken matters into your own hands, only to discover that you’ve made the situation worse?

Waiting on God challenges our faith when the bills are stacking up, our families are falling apart, or our dreams feel like they won’t come true. We know that God hears our prayers, but it’s hard when the clock is ticking yet He hasn’t shown us the answer.

In this four-week Bible study, Barb Roose invites us to explore the stories of women in the Bible who had to wait on God– women such as Hannah, Ruth, Martha, and the unnamed woman who suffered for over a decade with a painful medical condition. If you’ve felt anxious, angry, discouraged or depressed because God isn’t giving you what you want, their stories will breathe fresh hope and practical next steps in your life. As a reforming control lover, Barb mixes in her personal stories of learning how to wait for God during long seasons of unanswered prayers, family difficulties, and challenging times in ministry. Together we will discover that there is goodness and blessing to be found in times of waiting, including a closer relationship with God than we’ve ever dared to dream.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Barb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about connecting women to one another and to God helping them apply the truths of God’s Word to the practical realities and challenges they face as women in today’s culture.

Roose enjoys teaching and encouraging women at conferences and events across the country, as well as internationally, including national platforms such as the Aspire Women’s Events, She Speaks Conference, and the UMC Leadership Institute.

She is the author of the I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays, Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle and Beautiful Already: Reclaiming God’s Perspective on Beauty Bible studies and the books Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua and Enough Already: Winning Your Ugly Struggle with Beauty. Her writing has been featured in many magazines, and she also writes a regular blog at BarbRoose.com. She is the host of the bi-monthly “Better Together” podcast.

Roose lives in Toledo, Ohio, and is the proud mom of three adult daughters. Her perfect day includes sleeping in, taking a long walk outside, shopping for shoes and eating two big bowls of chocolate peanut ice cream.

Website  ♥   Facebook   ♥   Twitter   ♥   Instagram

Author Interview

Q: Which women from the Bible do you use as examples for women who grappled with unanswered prayers?

  • Hannah wondered if God loved her or had forgotten about her.
  • Ruth’s life took a tragic and unexpected turn.
  • The unnamed bleeding woman suffered for over a decade with an embarrassing medical condition.
  • Martha prayed, but God said “no” to her prayer.

Q: What would you say to encourage someone who feels as if God has forgotten her or doesn’t love her because her prayers have gone unanswered?

First, I would sit down with her and ask to give her a big hug. Living with unanswered prayer is hard—especially when we’re praying for good things like a baby, a spouse, a clean bill of health or for a struggling child to get back on track.

Rather than give advice or tell someone to “buck up,” I believe an overwhelmed, discouraged woman needs what Tim Keller calls “the ministry of presence.” When someone feels the pain of unanswered prayer, she doesn’t need advice, but rather listening, love, and reassurance.

Some of my favorite go-to encouraging statements when hanging out with a friend who is struggling are: “Tell me how you’re really doing,” “I know that you are doing the best that you can!” and “You are loved and you aren’t alone.”

Q: What are some of the reasons the Bible gives for God not answering prayers?

The Bible reveals numerous reasons God delays in answering our prayers. Some of those include:

  1. God might not answer because of our unforgiveness, secret sin, pride, or wrong motives.
  2. God wants to protect us from harm or heartache down the road.
  3. God is allowing more time to pass so that we’ll have the chance to see His power on display in our lives.
  4. God allows a delay to teach us to trust Him in the hard place and develop persistence in prayer.
  5. God may delay the answer to your prayer because He’s working in someone else’s life first.

Q: When an unexpected event throws life off course, what do you pray for when you don’t know what to pray?

A few years ago, my dad got sick. In just a few weeks, he’d lost more than 30 pounds off his athletic frame. A biopsy revealed advanced metastasized lung cancer and doctors told us that Dad only had a few days to live. At the time, I’d been on the road speaking and half-way through writing a new book, but the news that I was about to lose my beloved dad upended my entire life.

In devastating moments, I rely on praying God’s promises. In the hardest moments, I don’t know what to say, but God’s promises give me life and hope—even when I’m numb or not even sure if I can believe them in the moment.

In the study, I’ve included one of my favorite rituals, a tool that I call the “God-Morning/God-Night Technique” that’s gotten me through a lot of hard and heartbreaking days. Basically, I repeat five of God’s promises before I open my eyes and begin the day. By starting with a “God-morning,” with his promises, I can beat back the feelings of fear, uncertainty, and impatience by reminding myself that God is with me and for me no matter what I’ll face that day.

Q: How can we protect ourselves from bitterness during our wait?

In I’m Waiting, God, I explain bitterness like this: “Bitterness is the story that blames God for the pain in our past. Better is the story that believes God will be faithful in the future.”

Bitterness always begins small, but the more we repeat the stories of how God or others hurt or betrayed us, we begin to believe that is the story of our lives—and the story of our future. I watched my grandmother nearly die of bitterness after my grandfather’s affair when I was a little girl. She spent a lot of time in the hospital before finally confronting her bitterness and changing her story.

For me, gratitude is the antibiotic that kills any little bitter roots in my life. Each day of the I’m Waiting, God study features a gratitude exercise. Just taking a moment to reflect on God’s blessing not only kills little roots of disappointment, rejection or regret that could grow into bitterness but also uplifts our hearts and gives us joy, even as we’re waiting for God to answer our prayers.

Q: Is there ever a time to let a prayer go? How do you know when it’s the right time, after weeks, months, or maybe even years?

This is a hard question because there’s no easy answer to this question. On one hand, we’re instructed to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), but we also know that there is a starting and ending to all things (Ecclesiastes 3). The point of prayer is to authentically connect ourselves to God so that His Spirit can lead and guide us. However, as circumstances change, there are times when it is no longer safe, wise or life-giving for us to pursue certain situations.

For many years, I prayed for God to save my marriage. I’d made a commitment before God over 25 years before, and I believed God could do the impossible. I fasted and prayed for years for God to restore a relationship that addiction had destroyed. Even after I had to move out of my home because of the issues, I still kept believing and praying for restoration and healing.

It’s hard to pray for years when nothing seems to be happening. I received some great encouragement from a wise friend: “You pray until you sense God releasing you from that prayer.”

I continued to pray until I realized that it was no longer safe or wise for me to go back into that situation. I didn’t give up on God, nor did I stop believing in his almighty power. But I did realize that it was time to shift from praying for what I wanted to praying for God to help me let go and trust His plan for my future, even though it wasn’t what I wanted.

To help me let go of the pain, disappointment, and anger, I use a tool that I call my annual “funeral.” This is fully explained in the final week of the study, but it’s a tool to help me let go of my anger, disappointments, and fears. This funeral process helps me surrender my unanswered prayers to God so that my heart and hands are open for Him to bring new direction, opportunities, and blessings into my life.

Q: How is I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays, your new Bible study, set up to be used? What other resources are available?

As a Bible study teacher who loves creating experiences for women in every season of life, I’m excited that I’m Waiting, God is designed with a flexible format to fit everyone’s schedule. This is a four-week study, and each week offers three days of Bible study homework, plus two optional days for more personal reflection to be enjoyed as time or energy permits.

I believe that application is a key component of effective Bible study, so I’ve created weekly personal reflection exercises and practical tools. Additionally, each day’s study includes a daily gratitude exercise and lots of life-transforming scripture to set readers up to experience a-ha moments so they can see and experience God’s blessing, even as they’re waiting on God to answer their prayer.

For those who like video, there is a separate teaching DVD for each of the four weeks. Best of all, anyone can lead a group study because the facilitator’s guide is been included in the study workbook.

One more bonus! If readers would like additional encouragement, they can sign up for “The Patience Path,” a 30-day email devotional that I’ve created to go along with the study. To sign up, go to barbroose.com/patiencepath.

The Bathsheba Battle (2019) — Author Interview

PhotoCollage_20190928_163254876.jpg

About the Book

41Jf5PiwQvL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgBook: The Bathsheba Battle

Author: Natalie Chambers Snapp

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Genre: Christian Women’s Issues, Non-fiction

Has your life ever taken an unexpected turn, leaving you feeling hurt and stuck? In The Bathsheba Battle, Natalie Chambers Snapp helps women find healing and hope when things haven’t gone as they had planned. Bathsheba, typically misrepresented as an adulteress, is one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Despite an unexpected turn in her life, which resulted in tragic circumstances beyond her control, there are glimmers of hope in her story. By studying her life, readers will find healing from their own painful pasts and hope for living the free and full lives God intends.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Natalie Chambers Snapp is an author, blogger, and speaker known for her refreshing authenticity and practical approach to life and God’s Word. Not choosing to follow Jesus until the age of twenty-seven, she is passionate about sharing the grace, mercy, and truth of God’s love with others “regardless of your track record.” Her transparency and humor endear her to women of all ages.

Snapp is the author of the book Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to HaveBecoming Heart Sisters: A Bible Study on Authentic Friendships and The Bathsheba Battle: Finding Hope When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn. She has written for various blogs and online devotionals, including Proverbs 31.

Snapp lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband and their three children.

Website  ℘   Facebook  ℘   Twitter  ℘   Instagram

Author Interview

Q: You describe Bathsheba as one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. How is she typically misrepresented?

Bathsheba is often portrayed as the adulteress—as though she was a vixen with the intent to tempt David and hopefully, take her on as his wife. However, the fact remains that she was a victim of David’s own desires and paid a very dear price for his sin. Sadly, victims can sometimes be blamed and in the case of Bathsheba, that’s exactly what happened.

Q: What were some of the tragic circumstances that Bathsheba found herself in that were out of her control? How can we relate to her story today?

First of all, some commentaries claim Bathsheba was trying to entice David by bathing in the courtyard of her home. However, during the time in which Bathsheba lived, indoor plumbing didn’t exist! Therefore, most families had a basin in the courtyard for bathing purposes. When David saw her bathing, she was obeying the cleansing ritual required of women after monthly menstruation. She was not trying to entice David—she was simply following the rules of her culture! How would she even know David was going to be walking on his rooftop at the precise moment she was bathing?

When David saw Bathsheba, he was immediately impressed with her beauty and summoned her to his palace. During those days, when the king summoned you to the palace, you did not have a choice, you went. So off Bathsheba goes to meet David and once there, they have sex. We have no way of definitively knowing if David assaulted her, but she did go to his palace against her will. For that reason, we can speculate that was a likely possibility. Bathsheba became pregnant which is when things start to go off the rails!

David tries to hide his sin by summoning Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, one of his most valuable warriors, home from the war (which is where David was supposed to be as well). Once Uriah reaches the palace, David proceeds to feed him a large meal and encourages him to drink a lot of wine so he will go home and have sex with Bathsheba. Problem solved! He can then pass his child off as Uriah’s, and no one needs to know about his sin. However, David failed to consider the fact that Uriah was a man of honor and refused to visit his wife when his men were still waging a war. Instead, he slept on the front porch of the palace with the servants. David tried a second night to get Uriah to visit his wife, but Uriah refused.

At this point in the story, we can see how sin will take you further than you ever wanted to go. Instead of confessing and coming clean to everyone, David orders Uriah to the frontlines of the battle, and of course, he is killed. Now, Bathsheba was possibly raped by the king, pregnant, and her husband is dead. All these things were out of her control.

After Uriah’s death, David takes Bathsheba as his wife. However, the restitution of David’s sin is the life of the child Bathsheba was carrying. Soon after the birth of David and Bathsheba’s son, the infant died. We see Bathsheba as a grieving mother, another event out of her control.

I think so many people can relate to Bathsheba’s story because 1) suffering happens to all of us and 2) sometimes, our suffering is the result of someone else’s actions and choices. In no way should we remain victims, but I think Bathsheba’s story is God’s way of telling us that He sees us, understands our pain, and is the Ultimate Justifier.

Q:  Can you share about a hardship or disappointment in your own life that provided the inspiration to write The Bathsheba Battle?

Absolutely! When I was in my late twenties, I was married to a man with a drug problem, but I did not know it. As many who have loved addicts understand, there are often behaviors corresponding with addiction that are not healthy for a young marriage and therefore, we divorced. Two months after I filed for divorce, my father, who was in and out of my life due to his own addiction issues, passed away unexpectedly.

Life had definitely taken a very unexpected turn and was not at all going the way I had planned. It was a dark season, and yet also the very season in which I became a follower of Jesus. My deconstruction led to my reconstruction. I have been remarried for fifteen years and have three beautiful children; however, periods of suffering have also been peppered throughout those years as well. Suffering is often cyclical and that has been true of my life!

Q: Explain how transformation happens during renovation. Where does renovation take place?

It sounds so trite, and I’m not going to lie, there were times during my own periods of suffering when I just wanted to scream when people said this to me. But the fact remains when we are deconstructed by trauma and circumstances in or beyond our control, if we humble ourselves to the process, we will indeed emerge with greater wisdom and grace. Suffering is the great equalizer—it does not discriminate between gender, race, beliefs, or socioeconomic status. No one is immune. However, if we humble ourselves to the process, we will emerge with new eyes of strength and dignity.

Q: Do we always have the ability to choose how we respond to our situation? Why is this such a significant choice, especially when we must endure a consequence of someone else’s sin?

Yes, I believe we do. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we will respond. Living life as a victim will ultimately make you feel powerless, depressed, and distrustful of people. It will lead to a life of bitterness, resentment, and anger. On the other hand, when we respond to our trauma with a humble heart and a willingness to be molded by our suffering, we feel empowered, strong, and able to help others when their time of suffering emerges. When we choose to live as victims, we give others power over our lives. When we choose to live as survivors, we understand that we possess the power ourselves.

Q: How does your study on Bathsheba shift from part one of the book to part two?

In Part One, we discuss the byproducts of our suffering: fear, shame, anger, and comparison. In Part Two, we look at how to overcome these negative emotions and live empowered and with hope.

Q: What does Bathsheba’s story teach us about forgiveness?

We don’t really know about Bathsheba’s forgiveness process because it’s not discussed in the Bible. However, we do see her stand before David in 1 Kings 1 with an empowered and confident voice that exhibits love and respect towards her husband. Perhaps somewhere during the course of their marriage, Bathsheba made peace with her circumstances—she chose her response and not to live as a victim.

Not living as a victim involves forgiveness and yet, this does not mean she might not have felt like a victim for a while. It doesn’t mean that she didn’t feel shameful. And it doesn’t mean that she didn’t grieve the loss of the life she thought she might have. It does, however, indicate that she chose to keep moving forward without allowing her grief and shame to negatively impact who she ultimately became. A woman who is victorious over suffering is the most beautiful and inspiring to us all.

I’m Waiting, God (2019) — Author Interview

PhotoCollage_20190925_182807700.jpg

About the Book

9781501888625.jpgBookI’m Waiting, God

Author: Barb Roose

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Genre: Women’s Bible Study

Do you ever feel like God is taking too long to answer your prayers? Have you ever taken matters into your own hands, only to discover that you’ve made the situation worse?

Waiting on God challenges our faith when the bills are stacking up, our families are falling apart, or our dreams feel like they won’t come true. We know that God hears our prayers, but it’s hard when the clock is ticking yet He hasn’t shown us the answer.

In this four-week Bible study, Barb Roose invites us to explore the stories of women in the Bible who had to wait on God– women such as Hannah, Ruth, Martha, and the unnamed woman who suffered for over a decade with a painful medical condition. If you’ve felt anxious, angry, discouraged or depressed because God isn’t giving you what you want, their stories will breathe fresh hope and practical next steps in your life. As a reforming control lover, Barb mixes in her personal stories of learning how to wait for God during long seasons of unanswered prayers, family difficulties, and challenging times in ministry. Together we will discover that there is goodness and blessing to be found in times of waiting, including a closer relationship with God than we’ve ever dared to dream.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Barb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about connecting women to one another and to God helping them apply the truths of God’s Word to the practical realities and challenges they face as women in today’s culture.

Roose enjoys teaching and encouraging women at conferences and events across the country, as well as internationally, including national platforms such as the Aspire Women’s Events, She Speaks Conference, and the UMC Leadership Institute.

She is the author of the I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays, Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle and Beautiful Already: Reclaiming God’s Perspective on Beauty Bible studies and the books Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua and Enough Already: Winning Your Ugly Struggle with Beauty. Her writing has been featured in many magazines, and she also writes a regular blog at BarbRoose.com. She is the host of the bi-monthly “Better Together” podcast.

Roose lives in Toledo, Ohio, and is the proud mom of three adult daughters. Her perfect day includes sleeping in, taking a long walk outside, shopping for shoes and eating two big bowls of chocolate peanut ice cream.

Website  ♥   Facebook   ♥   Twitter   ♥   Instagram

Author Interview

Q: What is it about waiting that often reverts us back to toddler-like tantrums?

All my kids went through that crazy toddler phase when they would fall on the floor screaming when I didn’t let them have something they wanted. What always amazed me was that those little girls were so focused on the one thing they couldn’t have that they forgot everything they already had to enjoy.

Over the years, I’ve kicked up my own fuss when God hasn’t given me what I’ve wanted. There were times when I crossed my arms and pouted about not getting that bigger house, the job that would solve some financial issues, or why God hadn’t fixed the addiction issue that was breaking our hearts. I might not have thrown myself on the floor, but there were times when I didn’t want to pray or I’d withhold my worship because I felt like God was being unfair.

However, during some of my long seasons of unanswered prayers, I’ve learned how to halt my tantrum long enough to look around and see what God has already blessed me with. As I’ve learned to embrace a life of gratitude, God’s gifted me with a multitude of better blessings that have far exceeded anything that I could have ever asked for.

Q: An author writes about what she knows or needs to hear. Can you share an example of when you were waiting out God’s timing for what felt like forever?

For several years, I prayed for a full-time job to open up at the church where I worked part-time. I looked forward to paying the monthly bills without worrying if there’d be enough money to pay them.

Finally, I was offered a full-time job. However, the Great Recession devastated our automotive industry community. The loss of jobs led to reduced weekly giving at our church. In addition to some staff layoffs, my full-time position was postponed indefinitely. Disappointed, I was really angry with God. I was so tired of figuring out how to make ends meet month after month. After my big feelings calmed down, I kept trusting God to make ends meet and stayed faithful on my job.

Almost a year later, a different full-time job opened up for me – a promotion and a substantial pay raise. It was a better job than the one I’d gotten angry about losing the year before! While there were many years of sacrificing for what God was calling us to do, he took care of my family during those difficult days until times got better.

Q: We often blame our impatience on the fact we live in a world of technology where everything is at our fingertips, but as humans, haven’t we always had that problem?

We live in an “Insta-Everything” world that makes it possible for us to get what we want by the press of a button. Hungry? Order delivery from Postmates. Run out of toilet paper? Amazon can be a hero and deliver the next day.

Even though technology highlights how much we love speed, human nature has always been to get what we want, no matter the cost. The tension is that when we try to fix or force solutions, not only do we miss out on God’s best, but we often wreck our human relationships.

In Genesis, Abraham and Sarah live with an unanswered prayer for a child. Even though she knows what God has promised, Sarah tires of waiting and cooks up a scheme. Impatience does result in a baby—and broken relationships and a lot of bitter feelings, too.

I’ve been like Sarah and gotten impatient with God. However, I bear the Jesus-healed scars of my foolishness. I’ve learned this: When I try to push my way out of a waiting room, I will cause pain and problems in other people’s lives.

Q: What spiritual issues are usually being tested in us while we are in sitting in the waiting room of life?

Waiting room seasons of life challenge what we believe about God and how much fear and control are operating in our lives. Those long, frustrating days may prompt questions such as “Does God still love me?”, “Did I do something wrong?”, “Why is God answering their prayers, but not mine?” or “How long do I have to live like this, God?”

For more than a decade, our family felt the effects of a growing addiction issue. At first, I prayed, but my prayers were all about asking God to deal with the addiction because I wanted my happy, mostly pain-free and problem-free life back.

As the years went on, the effects of addiction began suffocating our daily lives. I stopped caring about getting my happy life back, I needed God’s power, presence and His peace to just help me get through the day, sometimes, even just the hour in front of me. Those last few years allowed me to discover there was nothing I needed more than God, even as I watched the once-lovely life I had fall apart and disappear. Yet, in God I found all that I needed.

Q: You write, “This journey looks more like a winding path instead of a formulaic three-step plan. Here’s the unique twist: your path to patience is paved right over the road of your unanswered prayers.” Can you talk about why there isn’t a formula?

There’s no formula for learning how to be patient, mainly because the human heart doesn’t respond to formulas. While there are formulas or strategies to bake cakes, build cars and even space travel, there is no formula that governs how a heart starts to love, begins to hate, moves toward God, or learns patience.

God knows our hearts need to experience certain situations, challenges and even heartache for us to learn how to trust his timeline for our lives. This means God is patient with us because part of our journey is learning we can’t fix people or force solutions in order to get what we want.

Unlike a plan, a winding path of learning to live on God’s timeline is more than just finding the fastest route from point A to point B. The winding path toward patience is a journey full of life-changing experiences, connections, and relationships that we encounter along the way that God uses to help our hearts look more like His.

Q: Sometimes God’s plans for us are so much better than anything we could have ever expected. What are some important things to remember moving forward after a blessing in disguise or a prayer answered in an unexpected way?

It’s really easy to forget God when life is good! This is why gratitude is so important because the more we give thanks to God, the more we continue to share his glory through our story. Often, after we finally get that thing that we’ve been praying for forever, we forget all of the lessons God taught us while we were waiting. Gratitude keeps us connected to those lessons and allows God’s better blessings to keep flowing through our lives.

Q: What final piece of encouragement would you give to those who may be in an intense period of waiting right now?

This is the encouragement that I share whenever I speak before an audience: Today, you are doing the best that you can! Keep holding on! God has more for you because God has put more in you!

Dear Grandchild, This is Me (2019) + Giveaway

PhotoCollage_20190825_084530210.jpg

About the Book

Dear GrandchildBook: Dear Grandchild, This Is Me

Author: WaterBrook

Cover and Interior Design: Danielle Deschenes

Genre: Inspirational, Journaling

Preserving a family legacy can feel like a daunting task, but this new keepsake journal makes it easy for grandparents to capture memories, wisdom, and stories in one beautiful package.

Being a grandparent is an incredibly rewarding experience. Dear Grandchild, This Is Me–designed for any grandmother or grandfather to complete–will allow grandparents to collect these priceless memories in one heartfelt keepsake.

Special Features:
*  Built-in envelopes to stash special, private letters for specific occasions in your grandchild’s future.
*  A sheet of adhesive photo corners to adhere photographs and special memories throughout.
*  Off-the-record questions to prompt fun stories.
*  A family tree to track your ancestry.
*  Space to share your favorite recipes or those passed through the generations.
*  A world map to showcase your travels.

Within these pages, you’ll find a place to answer questions that speak to a grandchild of any age from the simple questions about favorite things to deeper questions about childhood memories, identity, and faith. This book will be a tangible way to keep a loved one close at all times.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About WaterBrook

Everything Beautiful includes illustrations from nine artists, offering a variety of styles to suit the tastes of a wide audience. Featured illustrators include Holly Camp, Jennifer Tucker, Lisa Shirk, Ann-Margret Hovsepian, Katie Howe, Terra Cypher, Cari Logston, Jenny Stewart, and Laura Marshall.

Book Trailer

My Thoughts

What a fantastic gift to give your beloved grandchild!

Dear Grandchild, This Is Me is a love letter from grandparent to grandchild. Upon opening this book, the first thing a grandparent will be prompted to do is write an opening letter to their grandchild. Then, there are pages available to tell your story from birth to childhood, to the high school years and beyond. There is a fun page called “Off the Record” where grandparents are given prompts to choose from in order to leave a unique memory for their grandchild. In addition to these writing pages, there are plenty of quote pages that share beautiful and timely messages from both the Bible and wise historical figures. And, there are many, many pages to leave pictures.

My most favorite aspect of this book is the letter pockets. There are several pockets throughout the book titled different things: “When you are stepping into a new chapter of life,” “When you are making a new home,” “When you find yourself overwhelmed by a season of change,” and “When you need a special reminder of my love for you.” Imagine going through a rough spot or a change in life and wishing for the advice of your beloved grandparents. Now, you don’t have to imagine. With Dear Grandchild, This Is Me, grandchildren are given the opportunity to read their beloved grandparents’ words even if grandma and grandpa are no longer here on earth. Truly, I can think of no more special a gift than being able to read grandma and grandpa’s words of love and wisdom any time you need them!

I highly recommend this beautiful, thoughtful, special keepsake. What a brilliant gift to give to one’s grandchildren.

I received a copy of this journal in hardback form from the publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


GIVEAWAY

Dear Grandchild

I am giving away ONE (1) hardback copy of Dear Grandchild, This Is Me by WaterBrook. The giveaway begins today, 8-27-19 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Saturday, 8-31-19 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!

CONGRATS TO Cassandra D.!

You have won this giveaway. Thank you for participating. I appreciate your support!

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway and will be announced here on this page. For full giveaway disclosures and policies, click HERE.

Listening Prayer: Learning to Hear the Shepherd’s Voice (2013)

20300527Listening Prayer: Learning to Hear the Shepherd’s Voice (2013) by Joanne Hillman is a Christian Non-Fiction text published by WhiteFire Publishing. This non-fiction text comes in all forms including eBook, and is 165 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very busy five-year old at home, this book took me about one week to digest. This is not a book you want to go through quickly. There is a lot of good information to process, and I recommend taking the time to really read and understand the concept of Listening Prayer. I purchased a copy of this book to review from Amazon on June 21, 2018. I am not required to give a positive review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give Listening Prayer 5 STARS.

About the Book

Is God not hearing you…or are you not hearing Him? Listening Prayer is a Bible-based method of hearing God’s precious voice, so relationships can be healed and personal struggles overcome. The simple technique presented is so appealing that after the first few pages readers are eager to begin their own journal. Often people are afraid to ask, Father, what do You want me to know? Even more daunting is the question, Lord, what do You see when You look at me? Over and over, His answers bring tears to eyes and healing to hearts. Join author Joanne Hillman in an exploration of praying with a listening heart and a journal at hand, and see what the Lord may whisper.

Amazon     ♥     CBD     ♥     Goodreads


My Thoughts

As I mentioned in a recent FLF post, I have been struggling with prayer lately. I’ve had moments in my life where I felt like I had a handle on my prayer life, but in all honesty, as a whole I’m not really good at praying. I get flustered, my mind wanders, and often there is just SO much to pray about that I don’t even know where to begin. I feel overwhelmed by praying. Is there a right way? Is there a proper procedure? Is prayer different for everyone? Why does prayer seem to “work” one day, and then totally not the next? Should I feel something when I pray? How do I know God is listening? I feel pressured, and then, sadly, I give up.

CollageMaker_20180702_224451860.jpgIt has been a really rough time for me lately, and I crave prayer. I crave alone time with Jesus so much. But, I’ve noticed that in this rough time my brain is really fried. I feel like I need a little extra help, so I turned to Amazon in the hopes that I could find a prayer plan or prayer structure that might be right for me. I scanned through quite a few books, read through a lot of summaries, until I spotted Listening Prayer. I was initially intrigued by the Goodreads’s summary because of the very first question: Is God not hearing you…or are you not hearing Him? This question made me pause. Too many times, I cry out, “God, why are You not hearing me?” But maybe the fault is mine. Perhaps He is totally hearing me, but I am not listening for Him. I knew from this question that I had to get this book, and I am SO glad that I did.

Book Breakdown

This book is full of tons of information, but you may not need all of it in the moment you pick up the book. So, I want to give you a breakdown of the book so you know what to read as soon as you get the book. And, important to know, Hillman’s prayer strategy is one that incorporates the Bible (BIG time) and a prayer journal. I use a standard spiral notebook. You don’t need to get fancy.

How to Read the Chapters

  • Chapter 1 is a crucial chapter. This chapter breaks down what it means to learn to listen.
    • Best quote from this chapter — “We must remember that our obedience is essential. Like strong-willed lambs, if we wander away from the sound of our Shepherd’s voice, danger awaits us. If we cannot hear Him, perhaps we have failed to obey” (11). Just think about this for a moment. If we aren’t listening we can’t hear His direction. How many times have we unknowingly sinned because of our failure to listen?
  • Chapter 2 is another very important chapter. It sets up how to complete a listening prayer in your prayer journal. This chapter talks about supplies needed (very minimal), where to do your praying, what to write, etc.
  • Chapter 3 may be the most important chapter in this book. This chapter focuses on discerning between God’s actual voice and the voice you may be making up in your head so you can hear what you want to hear. This is a very important chapter that I recommend reading more than once.
    • Best quote from this chapter — “Immersing ourselves in God’s truths is our best weapon against both Satan’s voice and self-talk” (32).
  • Chapter 4 explains how to hear God’s voice as you read His word. Hillman points out that a person can be very knowledgeable about the Bible, but may have no real understanding. This can be a definite problem when it comes to things like listening prayer and walking right with God.
  • Chapter 5 deals with all the things that get in our way when we try to pray. This is a very important chapter to read and consider. It definitely made me conscious of the many things in my life that can affect my prayer time with God.
  • Chapter 6-18 focus on different prayer topics. The topics include: anger, fear, timidity, relationships, anxiety, and guilt, to name a few. I recommend reading chapters 6-18 as needed. You do not need to read through every chapter in order to begin your Listening Prayer journey.
  • Chapter 19 is a VERY important chapter. It deals with the fraud and doubt. It’s about gimmick prayers versus authenticity. It’s about learning how to spot fraudulent Christian claims versus real Biblical ones. And, it deals with those moments when you start to doubt. I found this chapter to be very encouraging, but also a good warning on true Biblical discernment.
  • Chapter 20 is about helping others learn how to follow the Listening Prayer model.

Overall, I have found great value in this book, and I highly recommend it. The principles are simple and very well explained. You do not need a degree in theology to read this book or practice the Listening Prayer model. All you really need is a heart ready to hear God’s voice. I pray you pick up a copy of this book and that it blesses you as much as it has me! God is so eager for you to hear His voice. Are you ready to hear what He is saying to you?!