Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dreaming with God: A Bold Call to Step Out and Follow God's Lead by Sarah Beth Marr

35138430Dreaming with God: A Bold Call to Step Out and Follow God's Lead

by  Beth Marr
The world tells us that the way to make all our dreams come true is to set our own course and strive every day. But when it's all on us, we end up feeling exhausted, frustrated, and, disappointed when things don't turn out as we'd hoped. Have you ever wondered if there was a better way?

There is. God knows the desires of our hearts--he put them there. And he calls us to trust, to lean on him, and sometimes . . . to wait. Weaving together her unique perspective as a professional ballerina with profound truths drawn from Scripture and the life of faith, Sarah Beth Marr reminds us that we are not dreaming alone. If God has given us a dream, we can be sure that he will come alongside us as we work toward realizing it. Using her own story as a catalyst, Marr encourages women to surrender their plans to God, to stay in tempo with his Spirit, and to step into a deeper relationship with Christ. When they do, she says, they will be able to move confidently into the future, knowing that their dreams and God's desires are aligned in perfect harmony.

My Thoughts:
Dreaming with God is a breath of fresh air. This book had be grabbing my journal out and writing down all the thoughts that came to my mind as I was reading Sarah's words. I was praying and listening to the voice of God for His dream for my life and not my own. This book is captivating for every woman who wants to lean on their own understanding but longs to lean into their creators vision for their lives. As people who are broken because of the curse, we long for His plan and unity with Him. I love that this book helps you find purpose and meaning. This book is a source of great encouragement and will have you feeling more spiritually light. I love how Sarah weaves in advice and her own experience through dance to help the reader gently feel nudged by the spirit to the calling of God. This book is wonderful and a must read for different seasons of your life. I am keeping this one on the shelf. 
I highly recommend this book, especially to women going off to college or women in transition. It is a great source of strength and encouragement. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

About the Author:

Sarah Beth MarrSarah Beth Marr is a wife and mama whose passion is to encourage women in their journeys with the Lord through her writing, speaking, and teaching the Word. Sarah danced professionally for over fifteen years as a ballerina for Ballet Austin and Mejia Ballet International (formally known as Ballet Arlington.) Her dancing inspired her to begin a blog of devotionals for ballet dancers, which over time has evolved into a ministry of encouragement to women of all ages. Sarah’s first book, Dreaming with God – A Bold Call to Step Out and Follow God’s Lead releases in February of 2018 with Baker Books. 

Sarah loves to encourage women in their journeys with the Lord. She is passionate about bringing joy-filled, grace-filled, biblically-based messages to the hearts of women of all ages. Sarah teaches from her heart and her passion is to stir up women’s wonder of the Lord, to spur them on in their personal relationship with Him, to equip them with the Word, to inspire them to dream with God, and to send them out refreshed, encouraged, and inspired to lean into the grace of Jesus.

Friday, February 16, 2018

An Imperfect Woman: Letting Go of the Need to Have It All Together by Kim Hyland

35138431An Imperfect Woman: Letting Go of the Need to Have It All Together

Women are bombarded with ideas of perfection--and tips for how to achieve it--every day. From her work to her looks to her parenting, today's modern woman is expected to strive to be picture perfect in every way. As a result, calls for authenticity and imperfection are on the rise. Yet, deep down, most of us still want to achieve perfection. Why?

The desire to be perfect, says Kim Hyland, is actually a God-given urge. After all, we were made for Eden. But there is a difference between perfection and perfectionism, which is our attempt to achieve perfection on our own, by our own strength, and for our own purposes--the original temptation in the Garden. In this freeing book, Hyland offers women a stirring manifesto for acknowledging their limitations and embracing the perfection of God through his grace. This is a book for every woman who gives 110% and yet feels shame when one little thing goes wrong.

My Thoughts:
"An Imperfect Woman" is where God's grace and truth meets women in the point of their need. It is where we can say we are broken, we don't have to be perfect and we can lay it before the feet of Jesus. All of our failure, frustrations, and the things that don't make us whole, he invites us to bring to him, where He will make us complete. This book is like drinking coffee with a friend who is safe, warm and welcoming. I love the message of HOPE she brings for a person like me who is always striving in performance when Jesus never asked us to perform. This book was great for me and I will read it again. If you've ever struggled with perfectionism or anxiety, you will like this book alike, not because it's easy, but because the power of Christ in you, is at work and this book makes that message clear. This is a message that everyone woman needs to hear not just once, but in multiple seasons of their lives. I really connected with this book and found Biblical application. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

About the Author:
Kim Hyland Kim Hyland is a writer, a speaker, and the founder and host of Winsome, an annual retreat for women that celebrates authenticity, diversity, and truth. She is also the author of An Imperfect Woman: Letting Go of the Need To Have It All Together. Kim speaks at national retreats and conferences, where she encourages women by sharing her imperfect path and God’s perfect plans. Connect with Kim at her website

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul by Jenn Claiborne

35134103Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul

Jenne Claiborne grew up in Atlanta eating classic Soul Food--fluffy biscuits, smoky sausage, Nana's sweet potato pie--but thought she'd have to give all that up when she went vegan. As a chef, she instead spent years tweaking and experimenting to infuse plant-based, life-giving, glow-worthy foods with the flavor and depth that feeds the soul.

The result? Her first cookbook, SWEET POTATO SOUL, offering 100 vegan recipes that riff on Southern cooking in surprising and delicious ways, beautifully illustrated with full-color photography. Jenne revives the long tradition of using fresh, local ingredients creatively in dishes like Coconut Collard Salad and Fried Cauliflower Chicken. She improvises new flavors in Peach Date BBQ Jackfruit Sliders and Sweet Potato-Tahini Cookies. She celebrates the plant-based roots of the cuisine in Bootylicious Gumbo and savory-sweet Georgia Watermelon & Peach Salad. And she updates classics with Jalapeno Hush Puppies, and her favorite, Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls.

Along the way, Jenne explores the narratives surrounding iconic and beloved soul food recipes, as well as their innate nutritional benefits--you've heard that dandelion, mustard, and turnip greens, okra, and black eyed peas are nutrition superstars, but here's how to make them super tasty, too.

From decadent pound cakes and ginger-kissed fruit cobblers to smokey collard greens, amazing crabcakes and the most comforting sweet potato pie you'll ever taste, these better-than-the-original takes on crave-worthy dishes are good for your health, heart, and soul.

My Thoughts:
As a person who has had to switch my diet for autoimmune and a neurological situation, this book has been wonderful in giving me new ideas and inspiration for food. I love cookbooks that inspire me and getting me thinking outside of the book and that is exactly what "Sweet Potato Soul" does for me. I love that this book is based on a plant based diet, which is very helpful to me because I can eat most of it and this cookbook has simple, quick and easy recipes. I can make them in minutes. I love that it has southern flavors, but is so simple, which can be hard to find in a cookbook. This book is for anyone looking for healthy recipes or different ones. I give this book a 5/5 stars for its content, ease or recipes and variety .

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy #1) by Sarah Sundin

35069215The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy #1)

Sarah Sundin

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women's Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers' groups.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Can't Nothing Bring Me Down Chasing Myself in the Race Against Time By Ida Keeling with Anita Diggs

Can't Nothing Bring Me DownChasing Myself in the Race Against Time

By Ida Keeling with Anita Diggs 

Can’t Nothing Bring Me Down is the memoir of 101-year-old, world-record-holding runner Ida Keeling. Miss Ida, as she’s known throughout her Bronx community, isn’t your typical runner. Her fierce independence helped her through the Depression and the Civil Rights movement. But her greatest trials were yet to come.
Ida’s two sons were brutally murdered. Justice was never found. Ida felt like she didn’t have the strength to carry on and she couldn’t hope anymore. But encouraged by her daughter, Ida put on her first pair of running shoes at the age of sixty-seven and began to chase the paralyzing sorrow from her heart.
Running gave light and new energy to Ida, and since her first race nearly thirty-five years ago, she’s kept running and never looked back. Holding the world record for the fastest time in the 60-meter dash for the 95-99 age group, Ida isn’t slowing down. Now she gives us a clear picture of what it means to overcome obstacles.
Ida Keeling shares her inspirational story about growing up as a child of immigrants during the Depression and later raising four children as a single mother. She offers time-tested truths gathered from a lifetime of watching a nation change and from a life-long faith in Jesus. “Every night, I thank him for my many blessings, for his guidance, for his protection,” Ida says, “And every night he tells me, 'Miss Ida, you just keep on, because I ain't done with you yet."
My Thoughts:
"Can't Nothing Bring Me Down" is a great book about a Ida Keeling who is extremely brave. Running at 102, nothing will keep her down. She has been through some difficult things in her life and this memoir is a great testament to her faith, her life story and her determination to not give up on life. 
This book was a quick read. I read this book in less than two hours and found it to be quite inspiring. Ida shares about her childhood, her family and her children. This book will make you hold your children closer, it will inspire you to dream bigger and it will keep you moving forward in your life. I love that Ida is so real in this book. This is a book that isn't for the faint of heart, but for the person who can read real life style and be inspired by a woman who has turned lemons into lemonade. I truly enjoyed this book.