Monday, December 3, 2012

Celebrate Christmas with Custom Cards and Support a Good Cause

Hello, everyone! I have missed being on Life as a Youth Minister's Wife! Sorry I have been neglecting you, but things have been busy in the Mustion House lately.

About a month ago, my husband (Jimmy) had weight loss surgery. This is an amazing tool to help him fight his life long battle with obesity. However, it is also a major life adjustment so 99% of my time has been devoted to helping Jimmy adjust and to making his whole surgery and recovery possible. If you would like to know more, please feel free to visit Jimmy Goes Gastric and read all about the procedure, the preparation, and what we have been up to post op!

With the other 1% of my time, I have been working on getting my own freelance graphic design business up and running. I am starting small with a website and selling some things on Etsy. In addition I have done some custom gifts for friends. I love it! It is relaxing and refreshing to be able to sit down and create something that I know someone else is going to love.

Plus, all the money I make from the cards is going toward paying Jimmy's surgery and hospital bills! So it's a great way to support a local minister and his family during the holiday season. If you are interested in seeing some of my printable Christmas Card designs, please visit Mustion Design on .

I hope you have a happy holiday season and a Merry Christmas!

Grace and Peace,


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quitter by Jon Acuff

Sample Quitter
Recently I read Quitter by Jon Acuff. As the subtitle suggests, Quitter is about helping you to jump from your day job to your dream job without killing your dream and your current funding in one fell swoop!

I admit that I first picked this book up not because I was interested in quitting my day job but because I had heard it so highly endorsed by Dave Ramsey. However, as I began to read Jon's personal story and his guidelines for making the transition between your day job and your dream job as smooth as possible I got hooked! Jon uses his own personal stories and experiences as a blogger turned writer and speaker to enliven his book and to breathe life and humor into what he is trying to tell you. But the core of the principle can be applied to any field or dream.

The part of the book that really had the greatest impact on me was when he said NOT to quit your day job. I know it's a shocker that the author of the book Quitter would write a chapter about NOT quitting your current job but it's true. I had never really considered that my day job could actually help my dream grow, but now I think that it totally can. You'll have to read the book to find out how Jon convinced me but believe me it's in there.

I highly recommend Quitter to anyone who has always had a bigger dream for their life than what they are currently living. Quitter will teach you practical steps to help make your dream become a reality.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pursuing the Dream

My life has been changing a lot lately. A year ago, we moved. Six month ago, I got a new full-time job. One month ago, We found out the date for Jimmy's Surgery. In a few days, one of my little sisters will be married!

All this change has got me thinking...Am I really doing/accomplishing the things that I want to in my life?

I believe that the answer is that I am on the right track. I love art--always have and always will. I never really considered it as a career choice until a few years ago. So my career is in a totally different field and I have missed out on years of honing my abilities but I am not going to let that stop me!

Instead I have decided to pursue the dream! I am setting tangible goals to help me move in the right direction. I know that accomplishing these goals will only make my dream stronger and more sustainable. I am seeking the advice of friends and family members, and I am spending time in Bible Study and prayer about my future. It's great to know that I am not in this alone!

One of the best things is that God can use graphic design and web design to bring people to himself--so I am still doing missions! There is a day that I could see a healthier, slimmer Jimmy and a more practiced Christiana moving to another country to be an event coordinator and a designer but also be working as missionaries to spread the gospel to a country that is normally closed.

When you are pursuing God's dream for your life then your possibilities are endless!

More Resources: Check out the Printable Christmas Card Special I am running to help support my dream.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jimmy Goes Gastric!

Hey, everyone! Sorry that it has been a while since I posted on here. The great news is that I have things that I will be sharing with you very soon!

Today I wanted to let you know that I have been behind here because I have been working really hard to establish Jimmy Goes Gastric, which is a blog about my husband's upcoming weight loss surgery. It is really exciting to finally be able to share with everyone what has been going on in our lives since last November or so. If you are interested in hearing about it then I encourage you to check it out.

Now that things are rolling over there I hope to be back to writing here more. That would be really great! I do know that I will have another book review for you by the end of the month as well as a few other things that I have rolling around in my brain right now.

All in all, thanks for your patience and thanks for reading all my nonsense here at Life as a Minister's Wife!

Grace and Peace,


Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review of "ALTARED: The true story of a SHE, a HE, and how they both got too worked up on about the WE"

"ALTARED: The true story of a SHE, a HE, and how they both got too worked up on about the WE" is non-traditional look at marriage in the Christian culture. The authors, Claire and Eli, willingly admit to their audience that this book is "raw" and based heavily on their own personal experiences. It is their look into the Christian view of marriage from their own personal perspectives.

If you were expecting this to be anything like a traditional Christian book on dating and marriage then I encourage you to never EVER read this book because it is in NO WAY a traditional view on marriage! In some ways the authors seem to look down upon and belittle the traditional standards of Christian dating and marriage. As you may have guessed from the title one of their major issues with the traditional viewpoint is the amount of emphasis that is placed on dating and marriage in the church. It goes to the point that it is almost past observation and into the realm of being blatantly offensive.

This book does challenge you to look at things in a way most Christians aren't normally challenged to but I would never recommend this book to someone who already struggles with the ideas of dating and marriage. Make no mistake that I agree that too much emphasis is placed on the fact that many Christians and churches seem to believe that all Christians have to get married, but that doesn't belittle the importance of marriage. There are times that I felt it was marriage--rather than the over focusing on marriage--that was questioned, but that's just my opinion.

However, Altared is a good reminder to churches and church staffs that you don't have to be married to be an effective Christian or an effective minister. I believe that was part of the original intent of this book and for that I applaud them. I simply ask that they present their case in a way that I feel more of an equal and less talked down to.

You can try Altared for yourself by reading Chapter One. This book was provided to me free of cost for review purposes by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One Step Closer to Financial Freedom

Today Jimmy and I are celebrating being one step closer to financial freedom! It was such an amazing feeling to make that final payment on one of our loans and to watch it disappear from our debt snowball list. I can honestly say that we would never have paid this debt off early if it hadn't been for Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University (FPU)!

I don't know about you but we we started living by the principles we learned in FPU five years ago this month. When we first started I honestly thought that budgeting would be too hard and it wouldn't work. I was wrong! Yes, there are times where we have done better at living by our budget than others and there are times that we have struggled because Jimmy is a spender and I am a saver and we have had different financial priorities. HOWEVER, we are ten million times better than we were five years ago.

For once I think that there is actually hope that we will eventually be debt free despite the huge amount of debt from Jimmy's school loans. I would listen to other Dave Ramsey fans tell their get out of debt stories and I would be happy for them but I would wonder why we are only about halfway to paying off our debt after five years and they paid there's off in two. This week I think that I figured it out--finally! Everyone is different! Duh! It really seems like a no brainer but it is true!

I can't let myself get discouraged and overwhelmed because they did it faster. They may not have had all the life set backs that we have and I definitely don't have the six figure income that a lot of the Dave Ramsey Channel on iHeart Radio callers have. It's no wonder that I can't compare their results to mine when we have made less than $35,000 for most of five years that we have been following Uncle Dave's program. We just have to be faithful to follow the principle set forth in the scripture and taught by Uncle Dave and we will eventually get there.

If you are looking for financial freedom you too can find it. It may take a while but it sure feels good when the little victories like paying off a loan comes down your pipe. You can do it and Dave Ramsey can help. For more information about Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University you can Find Dave on Facebook or visit Visit

"The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender." Proverbs 22:7

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall is about a young Mennonite woman (Annie) and a young Amish man (Aden) and their families. To the outsider looking in the Amish and Mennonite communities may look virtually the same, and they often make very good neighbors. However, some lines are drawn deep and are not meant to be crossed. Annie and Aden begin to discover just how hard it can be to navigate the dangerous waters between their faiths when they start to fall in love. Will their faith, love and families be able to weather the storm brought on by this forbidden love?

All I can say is that Cindy Woodsmall has done it again! She takes you into the lives of the Plain people and lets you see God from their perspective. The Scent of Cherry Blossoms is well written and will keep your interest until the very end. I also love that she brings in a couple of her characters from The Christmas Singing novella to make small appearances in the community. It makes life in Apple Ridge more real since Aden and Roman made an appearance in that book as well.

I highly recommend the Scent of Cherry Blossoms to all of Cindy Woodsmall's fans and to anyone else who is intrigued by the Amish and Mennonite faiths and communities. It is a wonderful addition to her other books, and a great short read (just under 200 pages). I am glad to add this book to my collection and I look forward to reading it again sometime.

Read Chapter One

I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Girl's Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs

I recently finished reading The Girl's Still Got It! by Liz Curtis Higgs. Let me tell you…if you are looking for a new perspective on the book of Ruth then you HAVE TO read this book! So many of the things that I have read about Ruth have been from a man's point of view that it is really refreshing to hear things from the viewpoint of a woman and not just any woman but a woman that knows how to tell a great story! I also recommend this book to those who have always wanted to take a deeper Biblical look into Ruth but can't stomach, understand or stay awake long enough to read a Bible commentary. Higgs brings Ruth to life in the way that only a storyteller can truly do while weaving in all the hours she has done so you end up with a deep and meaty study and hardly even recognize it!

Liz Curtis Higgs takes us down the road from Moab to Bethlehem and beyond one verse (and sometimes one phrase) at a time. Along the way she explains the Hebrew words used to tell the story. She also does her best to clue us into the cultural and political climate. Then at the end of each chapter she adds a "real life Ruth" story. These are short snippets of today's women who are living out their own Ruth stories.

I have to say that I really loved and enjoyed this book! That's saying something because I often struggle to get through non-fiction literature, but I WANTED to read more and more of this book. I initially picked up this book because I have read many of Higgs works of fiction, and I particularly love her two books that are based loosely around the stories of Ruth and Naomi (Here Burns My Candle and Mine is the Night). If you are a fan of her fiction then I highly recommend you read The Girl's Still Got It!

However, there was one major thing that I DIDN'T like about this book…the intro! In fact, I almost wrote the whole book off while I was reading the introduction chapter. It just came off as over the top, ridiculously airheaded giggling high school cheerleader. I know she's excited and she is trying to get her readers excited but it just didn't work for me. It didn't excite me to read the rest of the book and if I wasn't reviewing it I probably would have closed it and never picked it up again. SO definitely read the book but skip the introduction or at least keep in mind that the rest of the book is much better if you insist on reading the silly introduction.

Anyway, I will say it again, this book was an eye-opening read! Very insightful and jam packed full of facts. It will make you think and you might even see Ruth in a way that you never have before!

I received this book at no cost from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Life's Little Catastrophes

It's crazy how the littlest things can throw us for a major loop! For the past two months I have really, really been looking forward to going to my Grandma's house for the 4th of July. I haven't seen Grandma since she came up to surprise me for my birthday in December. Plus my Mom, Dad and sisters are going to be there too. So Jimmy and I have been saving money for gas and making our travel plans. Then on the way to and from church camp this week our minivan started smelling like gasoline. Let me tell you that there is nothing that will make you feel more ghetto than five teenagers telling you that your van smells like gas. I thought that it might be a cracked fuel line and we had someone look at our car. However, he didn't see any leaks and wasn't sure what was causing the problem. So I am back at work today and Jimmy texts me and tells me that another friend thinks that it's probably our fuel intake manifold thats leaking and it could cost us as much as $1,200 to fix it. I almost had a melt down!

#1 That's a lot of money that we don't have and #2 it's bound to mess up all of our plans! What a frustration!

Still there was no justification for the way that I reacted to this situation. Instead of going to God I decided to cry and let my frustrations and possible disappointments overwhelm me. First of all, if I had allowed God to help me handle this situation I would probably have realized right away that it may not cost us $1,200 to fix the van. I might also have had the foresight to realize that there is still a chance that we will be able to continue with our original 4th of July plans before I spent all my emotions crying it out.

Does it mean that since I have had these realizations that everything is definitely going to work out all nice and rosy--No--but it doesn't have to be something that I let defeat me. Instead I need to trust that God has plans that are bigger than mine (Prov. 16:9) and that He knows what He is doing (Jer. 29:11). Also He promises to give me the strength to handle it through Him (Phil. 4:13). I just need to trust Him (Prov. 3:5-6).

So if you could please pray that God will work this situation to His glory and His purpose and resolve our transportation issues quickly (since this is the only vehicle Jimmy can drive) I would greatly appreciate it!

Grace and Peace,


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

COMING SOON The Girl's Still Got It Review!

In a week or so I will be publishing my review of "The Girl's Still Got It" by Liz Curtis Higgs but until then enjoy the Righteous Ruth Rap performed by Higgs at a recent speaking event.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Lesson from Lost in Austen

I don't know about you but I really, really love Jane Austin's books! I have a hard time deciding whether Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility is my favorite. I have read them each several times I have watched the movie/mini-series countless times. Still I can't seem to get enough. It doesn't matter to me that I know what will happen in the end or that I can quote almost every single character--they're just great books!

Recently I discovered a movie that follows almost this exact same idea. It's called Lost in Austen. It's about a young woman called Amanda Price who is so consumed with her love with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice that she isn't satisfied with her life or relationships in modern day London. To her great astonishment Elizabeth Bennett literally stumbles into her flat one night through a magical doorway that conjoins the Bennett house to Amanda's flat. When Amanda goes through the doorway she is trapped in Elizabeth's world and Elizabeth is trapped in hers. To her delight and disbelief she finds herself smack dab in the middle of Pride and Prejudice.

However, things begin to go awry almost immediately. "Miss Price's" presence has misbalanced the story she knows and loves to well. As Amanda does everything in her power to fix the story and get things back on track she meets one obstacle after another. That's when it hit me…
Her efforts often went VERY wrong BECAUSE she thought she knew how the story was supposed to end up!

It made me think…Maybe that's why God doesn't tell us the ending in advance. We do enough damage trying to take things into our own hands when we aren't sure exactly what God has planned for us. How much more damage would we do if we knew the end that God had planned for us? Would we blunder around trying to make things happen before they were supposed to? Would be hurt and ruin some special moments in the lives of those we love and in ourselves to try to achieve the ultimate end?

I don't know about you but I am pretty sure that I would! Even when Amanda had the best possible intentions her meddling caused serious issues. I am sure that the same is true of me. Of course it's not like not knowing really makes things anything easier, but it does cause us to rely on faith instead of relying on ourselves. That's one HUGE plus to the way that God does things. Besides, He's God and I'm not. Who am I to question His M.O.?

It's funny the places where we can learn life's lessons. I hope this gives you a chance to stop and think as it did for me.

Grace and Peace,


Friday, May 11, 2012

Eye of the Sword by Kathryn Henley

Read Chapter 1

Eye of the Sword is the second book in the Angelaeon Circle by Karyn Henley. The Eye of Sword picks up shortly after the end of Breath of Angel and continues the stories of Trevin and Melaia.

The battle has been fought and Lord Reijus has been temporarily defeated but Camrithia is the weakest it has ever been. Her Comains (similar to medieval knights) have disappeared one by one leaving her defenseless and in the depths of despair. After his recent victories the king has decided that Trevin be appointed a Comain, and his first quest will be to seek out the whereabouts and/or fates of the king's other men. Meanwhile, Princess Melaia has her own quest to lay at Trevin's feet. She desperately needs his help in seeking the lost Kypara Harps which she believes will help her restore the stairway to Heaven and the Tree of Wisdom.

Trevin's quests are burdened with trials before they even begin when Prince Varic of Dregamoor (the King's known enemies) arrives to seek peace and Melaia's hand in marriage. Trevin doesn't trust Varic nor does he appreciate the competition for Melaia's affections, but how can he find out what Varic is really up to while he is roaming the countryside seeking lost Comains and harps? Will he be able to finish his quests and return to Redcliff before the King agrees to the marriage? Will he be able to expose Varic's ulterior motives for coming to Camrithia before it's too late?

I thoroughly enjoyed following Trevin on his quest to find himself as well as all the kingdom has lost. Eye of Sword is well written and engaging. It will keep your attention and surprise you again and again.

The hardest part of reading Eye of the Sword is comprehending the different character types, who they are, and how they relate to one another. Henley has created a whole new world in Camrithia, and it includes men, several different types/classes of angel, Nephili and many other creatures. When you are first introduced to these characters it can become a little overwhelming trying to keep them all straight. Eventually it gets easier but some people may find this a real hindrance and put the book down out of frustration. Let me tell you that they would be missing out!

If you love fantasy and adventure, you will probably find grasping a whole new world easy to overcome. I highly recommend this book to you. I even recommend this book to individuals who might initially shy away from it because it is written by a Christian author. Don't let this stop you from enjoying a great quest! Although Henley very loosely bases her ideas of angels and Nephili on some descriptions in the Bible that is where the religion and religious similarities end. She doesn't shove religion down your throat or write a half-baked allegory. Eye of the Sword is an excellently written book!

I look forward to reading further installments in the Angelaeon Circle!

I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.

Other Karyn Henley Books:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Have a Little Compassion

Last night, for the very first time, McCarthy had a concert! It was amazing! The night kicked off with Somewhere South of Perfect and ended with for King and Country.

Let me tell you...the music was amazing! The guys from the bands were super nice, but that wasn't really the only thing that made my night.

My husband, Jimmy, was the one who organized this whole concert so we were at the church all day getting ready. When I was helping the Compassion International Volunteers get their table set up I felt like one of those kids reached right out of their folder and grabbed me! Her name is Ela.

I don't know if you know this but when I was in college I majored in Intercultural Studies. As a part of that program they paired us up with another student (yeah, Alisha!) and they sent us out to live in another country for six months. During that time we lived with an indigenous family, learned as much of their language as we could, studied their ethnic group, and worked to give back and be a blessing.

Now you may be asking yourself how this all relates so let me get to that...

Ela lives in the same country--even the same "city" as Alisha and I lived. She shares the same family name as our family and she speaks the same language. Not only that but she also has the same birthday month as me, my husband, and one of our American friends we met while living there. Needless to say, I felt very connected at her. The more I learned about her the more I just wanted to cry. That's about the time that Jimmy walked up.

As I told Jimmy about this girl, he understood. Jimmy had been on the receiving end of all my emails during the six months that I lived in West Africa. He knew as much about my family as he possibly could, and without hesitation he decided that we HAD to sponsor Ela. So I am happy to tell you that Ela came home with us last night!

If you are interested in learning more about sponsoring a child, visit Compassion Internationals Website. There are children all over the world who really need your help! Don't miss your opportunity to be a blessing in their lives.


Monday, April 9, 2012

What I Learned from My New Job

Today I left Wal-Mart behind and I started a new job. It's always exciting and a little nerve wracking the first day at your new place. You don't quite feel fully comfortable and there are so many things that you couldn't possibly know that you feel overwhelmed. If you are anything like me you are probably worried about whether or not you dressed up enough or your co-workers will like you or possibly even if you will be able to actually do this job once you get into it. However, once you get in there and things get started you find out that you are doing good. Then it hits...

Information overload! You have met tons of people and "learned" lots of names. You have filled out about a billion tax and benefits forms. You have gotten your new name tag/ID badge. You have taken a tour of the building and you might even have gone through orientation. Just when you think your brain is mush and it can't possibly hold another fact--your boss either sits down with you or pairs you with someone to show you the ropes and they begin to ply you with even more information!

There are studies out there that say humans only retain about 30% of what they learn by hearing it alone. I don't know if those numbers are accurate or not but after starting a new learning experience today I could easily believe it. When my brain stopped hurting, I started thinking...

It's no wonder that God communicates with us in small, bite sized pieces. It should also come as no surprise that He often makes us wait for an answer instead of revealing His whole plan to us at once. If He did we would simply get the worst possible case of information overload in the whole world and on top of that we wouldn't even retain all of the plan! So maybe next time instead of complaining that God isn't giving me information fast enough I should stop and be thankful that He IS giving it to me in doses that I can handle.

I would love to hear your thoughts...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We All Need a Little Dirt

This year I feel like Spring Fever has really hit me! Never before in my adult life have I lived in an actual house and had space to do a lot of grown up things such as--mowing the yard OR starting a garden. HOWEVER, this year I DO LIVE IN A HOUSE!!! We are renting here in Saint Joseph but I was SO excited when I talked to the property manager and they said that we could have a small garden as long as we replant the grass again when we move.

Let me tell you...I'm excited! I went out and bought a seed starter just like the one above, and all my seeds and came home feeling like a real gardener. Well as my hubby would tell you my tiny garden starter didn't look like much. Even after I had expanded all the little soil pellets and planted my seeds it still looked pretty brown and dead but to me it was full of POTENTIAL.

Now that it has been a few days, I am beginning to see little baby seedlings sticking their heads out of the dirt. The planter still doesn't look like much but you can now tell that it is full of life. It reminds me about my own life. Sometimes things seem like a brown wasteland without much going on. It's during those times that I need to stop and realize that I am full of potential. I am empty and awaiting God--the gardener--to come and fill me up with life giving seeds of hope and joy and peace and to water it all down with His grace and mercy. Then in HIS time I will see new growth. It will start small but it's there nonetheless.

I look forward to sharing more pictures from my garden with you as it grows and changes. Maybe it will be a blessing to you too.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Christmas Singing

Recently, I read The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall. It is another of her great Amish books. As an outsider of the Amish way of life it always interests me to get glimpses into what it might be like to follow the auld ways.

The Christmas Singing follows the story of Maddie--affectionately known as Maddie Lane--who is a young, Amish woman who creates beautiful cakes and runs her own cake shop. However, disaster strikes Maddie Cakes and Maddie is forced to move back home to her parents' house while she rebuilds and re-evaluates things in her life. When Maddie returns home she also had to face the reason that she left--Gideon. Gideon is the man Maddie first loved and he broke her heart. We get the chance to see Maddie deal with forgiveness, pain, and so much more as she discovers the true motives behind what Gideon has done.

The Christmas Singing is filled with strong writing and beautiful imagery. Although the plot can be easy to anticipate at times it's predictability in no way detracts from the story itself. If you have enjoyed other Cindy Woodsmall books then you will not be disappointed with The Christmas Singing. It is an excellent read and should be enjoyed by anyone who likes a glimpse into the Amish way of life, love, and faith.

I was given a free copy of this book by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall

The Harvest of Grace is the third book in the Ada's House Series by Cindy Woodsmall. Although the primary story line in this book revolves around Sylvia and Aaron, Harvest of Grace also bring closure to the beloved characters from the previous two books.

Harvest of Grace is the story of Sylvia, a young Amish woman, who flees her family farm after making a mistake which she might never be able to forgive herself for. She seeks a new start and refuge on the failing dairy farm of Michael Blank. Michael desperately needs Sylvia's help and expertise to try to save his farm after his son, Aaron, left and his daughter died in a tragic accident.

Aaron has been gone from the homestead for many months. He was driven away by his hatred of farming, his drinking, and blaming himself for playing a role in his sister's death. Now that he has found new hope in being sober, he returns to make amends with his family and to offer them a fresh beginning in town.

The road before both Aaron and Sylvia is rough. They each fight their won struggles and battles with accepting grace and forgiveness--not to mention their competing goals for the farm. In the end they are able to show each other what God's grace is really all about.

The Harvest of Grace is excellently written and a perfect conclusion to the Ada's House Series. If you are a Cindy Woodsmall fan or just love reading about the Amish culture you won't be disappointed.

I received a free review copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Here Burns My Candle

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs is the first of two books which retell the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi. Both books are set in Scotland during the 1700s and both are amazing works of literature which will steal your heart.

Here Burns My Candle uses the framework of the Ruth and Naomi story--along with some creative license--to help you understand the back story of these two women who have nothing find everything through God. In addition, you get a glimpse into the struggles that Elizabeth (the Ruth character) has in coming to faith in God and leaving behind the old beliefs she grew up with as a child. Higgs also helps you to see things from Marjory's (Naomi's) perspective too. She was a women who had it all and left her home for the "greener grass" only to end up penniless and alone.

Higgs does a great job of helping you relate to her strong female characters. However, there are a few slow parts in the book that might have been shortened to keep up the overall pace. That being said Here Burns My Candle is still an excellent book with so many life lessons to be learned within its pages.

It is also successful in leaving you wanting more, which is the perfect lead in for its sequel--Here Burns My Candle.

I heartily recommend this book to Higgs fans and to those who love Biblical parallels/allegories. Here Burns My Candle will not disappoint!

I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Getting Back on Track

Today I was wondering...Why is it SO easy to get off track?

I guess it's just something about our human nature that makes us get distracted. In one of the old hymns it says "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love." How true is that? We are not just prone to wandering in our Christian walks but also in the day to day mundane things of our lives.

Back in September my husband and I moved to Saint Joseph, Missouri, to start a new ministry. Over the past couple of months things have been going absolutely great in the youth ministry. We are really holding tight and not straying from the path God has laid out before us. We even had a really fun event on Friday night that had a much bigger turn out than we expected.

However, we were sub-consciously allowing ourselves to wander in other areas. Since we moved our routine has been disturbed and the first things to go were eating healthy, exercising and living by our budget. We realized these things at different times. At the end of last year we took steps to try and get our budget back in order, but it wasn't until the last week or so that we have really been trying to find the path of eating right and exercising again.

The hard truth is that once you wander off the path it is SO hard to find your way back. I think this is for two reasons: #1 Laziness - you know how hard it was to get where you were before and how much work it is going to take to get back to that point and you are just to lazy to put forth the effort and/or #2 Excuses - Let's face's easier to make excuses and find other distractions to fill our time. If we aren't thinking about what we should be doing then we don't feel guilty about it.

So pray for me and for Jimmy as we try to get back on track. We will pray for you as well. We all have those things in our lives that we need to get back to. So this week ask yourself, do I want to? Because if you do then God is faithful to come alongside you and help you with the rest. You just have to ask.