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

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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.”


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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

The Memory House (2019): An I Read with Audra Blog Tour + Giveaway

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About the Book

unnamed (11)When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that, either.

Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share.

Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.

Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.

Click here to read an excerpt!

Click HERE to order your copy.

About the Author

unnamed (12)Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner. Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie. Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews. A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically. A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

For more information, visit www.rachelhauck.comFacebook (@rachelhauck)Twitter (@RachelHauck) and Instagram (@rachelhauck).

My Thoughts

I adore Rachel Hauck’s novels. They are extremely well written, and filled with characters who worm their way deeply into the reader’s heart. The Memory House is no exception for it is a story I won’t soon forget. The hope and happiness the reader feels by the end of this novel alone makes The Memory House a 2019 must-read!

Beck Holiday and Everleigh Callahan are two of the best female characters I’ve ever read. Both women are faced with horribly terrible moments that change their lives forever. They both get stuck for a time in the depressed, angry, and scared zone of the grieving process, and are not sure how to get out. They both almost become forever-lost zombies merely existing in their day-to-day lives. Following Beck and Everleigh as they traverse their grief, as they come to points of clarity, and as they eventually come to the peace that can only come after surrendering it all to Jesus gave me such a sense of comfort and hope. Even though this story tackles some serious pain and suffering, and even though throughout most of the book my heart was in pain for these two beautiful, damaged women, I am walking away from The Memory House blessed.

PhotoCollage_20190413_173255098.jpgI have never had more in common with fictional characters than I did with Beck and Everleigh. Beck is a young woman who lost her beloved father unexpectedly. Everleigh is a young woman who lost her beloved husband unexpectedly. Two and a half months ago, on January 23, I lost my dad unexpectedly. In the blink of an eye he was gone. I admit that I am not OK. I feel like my heart is hemorrhaging, and I can’t breathe. All I want to do is wrap my precious mother up in bubble wrap and put her in my pocket so I can safeguard her. I feel like life is out of control, and I don’t know how to fix anything. Everleigh mentions, in a very low moment, that “disasters had lasting effects. Ripples that ran through a person’s soul and mind, leaving marks no one could see.” Truer words have never been spoken! When will the ripples in my life, in my mom’s life, calm down? When will we be able to catch out breaths? How do we make it through?

Well, we will make it through with God. The notion that God is a good Father is repeated throughout this novel. I love this message, but it took me a moment to realize that this is the whole point of the story. To know that God is a good Father is the only way to get the ripples to calm down. Through the pain and suffering of this earth, we must realize that God is a good Father, and a good Father never hides from His hurting kids. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God’s plan for His kids is one of hope, and Psalm 34:18 assures us that God is close to those who are brokenhearted. As Beck and Everleigh realize God’s hope and closeness, and that He is the ultimate good Father, I couldn’t help but be filled with the same assurances. God is a good Dad. He will see me and my mom through this rough time. He will get us through the hurt and the fear and the drowning sadness because He is our good Father.

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck is an amazing story, one that I truly needed to read. Sharing in Beck’s and Everleigh’s journeys as they went through their stages of grief and healing was not only cathartic for me, but it really blessed me and leaves me with a sense of hope for my own healing. I highly, highly recommend this novel. I definitely believe this is a must read for 2019.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Audra Jennings at I Read With Audra and through NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


GIVEAWAY

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Who I Am with You (2018): An I Read With Audra Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

unnamed (7)For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination.

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have broken their hearts, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.

Who I Am with You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

Who I Am with You is the first book in Robin’s new A Legacy of Faith series.

Click HERE to order your copy.

Click HERE to read and excerpt.

About the Author

unnamed (8).jpgRobin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 75 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Robin is an ACFW Carol Award winner and an eight-time finalist and has won two RITA Awards and been a finalist eleven times. Her numerous other awards include the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. She is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

For more information, visit:

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My Thoughts

One of the coolest ideas in this novel is the notion of leaving a Bible legacy. I am a BIG annotator. My Bible is covered in highlights, notes, ideas, and random in-the-moment prayers. I believe with my whole heart that God wants a real relationship with me, so He meets me where I am through His Word. I meet Him back through my prayers and annotations. Opening my Bible to be present in the Lord is as close as I can get on this earth to Yeshua. For me, it’s a very real experience. But I have to admit that I have never considered what my Bible could do for my progeny. After I die, will anyone open my Bible and read through God’s Word and my notes? Will something I have penned in the margins help a future great-granddaughter or son? Could I be a seed planter even after my death? It’s a truly remarkable thought that my study and relationship with God today could reach into the future and spark change and/or encouragement. I very much enjoyed watching as Jessica comes to some really good understanding of God and life as she goes through her great-grandfather’s much loved, highly annotated Bible. This idea has definitely left me putting a little more thought and effort into my Bible study annotations and prayers.

In Who I Am with You Jessica and Ridley are a little more mature than the average Christian fiction hero and heroine as they are in their early-mid 30s. Both Jessica and Ridley have experienced a great deal of life at the start of this novel, and their faith has been tested. When something seriously bad happens to Jessica, she temporarily closes herself from God and her community. To me, Jessica’s reactions are completely realistic and understandable. After a reasonable amount of time, Jessica starts to open back up to both God and her friends. She is able to do this because she has a mature foundation in God. Jessica knows that to get back to herself she needs to get back to God. In Ridley’s case, his foundation is so strong in God to begin with that he never lashes out at God. He’s upset and distrustful of people, but he’s so mature in his faith that he knows who to be mad at. I appreciate this maturity from both Jessica and Ridley because it makes their actions and thought patterns seem so real; and, ultimately, I am able to buy into their friendship and romance. Instead of raging hormones, Jessica and Ridley’s romance is real and sweet, and it feels like it has a good chance of lasting a lifetime.

I love the discussion of forgiveness that weaves its way throughout Who I Am with You. Each main character in this novel is betrayed in a pretty horrific manner. As the injured party, I believe each character has the right to be severely hurt and angry, yet each character longs for forgiveness. While each character deals with forgiveness in his/her own way and time, they all do forgive. What I love the most is how they each came to a place of forgiveness. No human is strong enough to forgive on his/her own. We need God to help us get to the place of real forgiveness. Each character eventually brings his/her desire to forgive to God. They talk to Him about how hard it is to forgive, they discuss their hurt, pain, and inability to trust. They admit they want to forgive, but aren’t sure how to do it. By going to God, each character finds success in being able to forgive, and they are healed of their hurts and disillusionments. I found the illustrations of each character taking his/her issues to God a great reminder of how I need to act every time I find myself in a hurting place.

Who I Am with You is a great read. I found the writing to be fast-paced, the plot to be thoroughly engaging, and the characters to be realistic and endearing. I am going to miss my time with Jessica and Ridley. If you are looking for a really good, heartwarming contemporary romance with thought-provoking themes then I highly recommend Who I Am with You.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Audra Jennings at I Read With Audra and through NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Giveaway

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