Welcome

I fall into a crumpled mess on the threshold. With snowflakes swirling and the cold of relationships wrapped around me tightly like a scarf. The room was warm with fire and quiet and those little touches that showed great care. The world was entirely too much. Not enough (or any) sleep, so much noise, senseless violence and, where was my place in it all? I don’t want to be waking up each day and only thinking about survival.

I inched my way into the room, almost fearful of exchanging the weight of it all with the release of a crackling fire and a blanket. But He stood there, beckoning, with a mug of something steamy and a hug that held together all my broken pieces. And I wondered, how many times have I shunned His embrace, shunned his open-hearted, gracious welcome, because I try to do this life on my own?

I’m too weary today to say no or turn to Him merely as pretense, to make myself look good. I need all that He offers. I need the table. I need grace. I need the comfort. I need someone who sees.

And so I turn to an ancient book with stories that seem to rival the best tall tale. But in it I see hope and transformation and rest for my weary soul.

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This was written in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt, “welcome.” It’s a writing prompt for anyone to join in and write their response in just 5 minutes, no editing. Go visit Kate Motaung’s blog to read other entries.

Book Musing Link-up Mondays!

Welcome to:

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Book Musing Hosts

Mary @Maryandering Creatively

Blog/Facebook/Twitter/PinterestInstagram

Ashley @Circling the Story

Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram

 

Welcome to Week 4 of Book Musing Mondays: the Holiday Edition. I want to wish everyone Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I can’t believe 2014 is almost coming to an end can you?

Congratulations to Asheritah who blogs at One Thing Alone. Her post What’s On My Winter Bookshelf received the most clicks. She blogged about some great books. Be sure to check out her post.

What's on my winter bookshelf

We will make it worth your while if you linkup with us!  When you linkup, your hosts will promote your posts across their social media platforms. We will also pin your book-related images on our Book Musing Mondays’ Pinterest Board. Be sure to follow the board for great books reviews and giveaways by our Book Musing Mondays’ bloggers!

Follow Mary Hill’s board Book Musing Mondays Linkup on Pinterest.

We love to read family-friendly book reviews and posts about anything literacy related. For next week’s linkup on December 29th, we would love to read your New Year’s Resolutions for reading! What are your reading this holiday season? What do you look forward to reading in the New Year. What do you think will be the break out books for next year? Share your posts so we can put them on our To Read lists.

 


 

Now it is time to link up to the third Book Musing Mondays hop!

 

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Linkup Rules:

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
  2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
  3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. We love all kinds of literature and genres including family-friendly inspirational romances. We do not welcome anything with excessive sexual content or cursing.
  4. Be sure to visit at least two other bloggers’ posts and share comment love!  Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Follow your hosts and co-hosts on their social media.
  6. Tweet about the link up too!

 

Welcome to the fourth linkup for Book Musing Mondays. You may link up to three posts on book related topics or family literacy activities.

Add your link (Submissions close in 6d 21h 0m)

Monday Literacy link-up!

Welcome to:

Book Musing Mondays final (1)

Book Musing Hosts

Mary @Maryandering Creatively

Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram

Ashley @Circling the Story

Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram

 

We had a great second week with 20 posts linked up! Let’s continue improving! Please invite your friends and promote this hop! Two bloggers tied for top post last week with the most clicks!  First up was Carole Jarvis for her review of The Christmas Cat on her The Power of Words blog.  Next up for most clicks was Joanne Viola’s book review post on Juana Mikels’ Choosing Him All Over Again. Congratulations! Remember next week your post could be featured for the most clicks; so, be sure to link up!

 

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The goal behind this hop is to promote family-friendly literature and activites. We welcome all book related posts such as book reviews or discussion of great activities to do with your family in relation to the books that you have read. Any genre is welcome. Just remember to feature family-friendly books. We reserve the right to remove posts to books with excessive vulgar language or sexual content.

To celebrate the kickoff of this hop, we partnered with two great book bloggers to give away five awesome books!  Our book giveaway partners and the books they are giving away are:

 

Welcome! Melissa from My Recent Favorite Books.  Her giveaway book is a wonderful family-friendly romance!

Melissa’s social media sites are : Facebook, Twitter,  Pinterest, Google+ and Bloglovin.

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This heart-warming story is being made into Hallmark Movie!

Plot Summary:  Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help twenty-four-year-old Addie Folsom get her life back on track—and, if the right moment strikes, help her find love. Read more about this book at Debbie Macomber’s site.

 

 

 

 

CaroleProfileAlso joining us is Carole from the Power of Words. You can follow Carole on Pinterest, Twitter,  and Facebook. She will be giving away the book which she reviewed on her blog here :

Summary:

An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn’t be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad  planned. He’s sure she’ll love it. What’s more romantic than Christmas in Paris?

Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then—because  disasters strike in threes—an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts.

As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid’s marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.

Your hosts, Mary and Ashley are giving away these books:

 

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This small  book, 365 Pocket Prayers for Mother by Christian authors and mothers, Amie Carlson, Karen Hodge, and Erin Kelley Marshall, is packed with quick prayers tied into the Word of God that you can meditate on and let sink into your soul.  Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a copy of this book which I will mail to the winner. 🙂

You see more in my review of this book here.

A Donkeys Tale Win

This beautiful book by author R. Mitchell Scott was published by Ambassador International. The publisher provided me with a copy and will be sending a copy to our winner. You can read my review here!

 

Ashley is giving away this great cookbook.

 

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I am pleased to announce the winner of our Great Holiday Book Giveaway! Congratulations Kay Moorhouse. Kay will soon receive this Christmas bonanza of fun books for her and her family to enjoy. Thank you to all those who participated in our giveawy.

We will have more great giveaways soon!


Now it is time to link up to the first Book Musings Monday hop!

 

Book Musing Mondays final (1)

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
  2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
  3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. We love all kinds of literature and genres including family-friendly inspirational romances. We do not welcome anything with excessive sexual content or cursing.
  4. Be sure to visit at least two other bloggers’ posts and share comment love!  Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Follow your hosts and co-hosts on their social media.
  6. Tweet about the link up too!

 [tweetthis]Come join the fun and link up your family-friendly book-related posts at Book Musing Mondays![/tweetthis]

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Linking up with these hops this week:

Inspire Me Mondays at Create with Joy,   Inspire Me Monday at Angie Ryg, Mama Moments Monday, Motivation Mondays, Good Morning Mondays

 

Five Minute Friday: Prepare

“Prepare” feels like a weight I can’t lift; full of To-Do lists and an endless round of stuff, of moving things back and forth and spending minutes, precious minutes, managing life, instead of living it.

I want to prepare in this Advent season, I do. But the type of preparation I want to do is the sort of heart preparation that looks like inadequacy, that feels like death, and means I’m motionless. With hands outstretched. Waiting. For His coming that will make sense of my days, make sense of my wandering, make sense of my anger at injustice and own wounded pride.

Preparation without the anxiety is such a gift. A beautiful moment to pause, to breathe, to remember who you are, why you’re here. And so I’m choosing to stop. To not worry about the mess and crumbs and the spills that I can get so side-tracked by. True preparation is pause, is reflection; for it’s there that we find not only who we are — as we move away from the bustle of the To-Do list — but we find Him. Humble, of no account, born in a no-name town. And there, there is peace.

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Five-minute Friday is a weekly writing prompt where you write for 5 minutes flat, no editing. Visit here to see some other link-ups on “prepare”!

Those numbers are people

I ride a roller coaster almost daily. Letting numbers define me — whether it’s on the scale or my blog stats as I check them constantly to see how many are reading, is the number growing, and do readers stick around to read more than one post. It’s exhausting and defeating and I know I want no part of that, and yet, I keep hitting refresh. What’s that Bible verse about the dogs returning to their own vomit? Yeah, lovely image.

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It’s time for a reboot.

But those numbers? They’re people. You guys have entrusted moments of your day to words that I type out with faltering hands. Words that offer refreshment, or ask questions or fumble gracelessly towards truth. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading.

Every number on there is a person. A real flesh-and-blood person that I might not even know personally. Someone who believes, like me, that stories matter. That your story matters. That together our stories can heal as we say the scary things out loud to one another.

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So, what is your story? What dreams are you dreaming? What are you hoping for this Advent season? What’s the big thing that you’re afraid to say because once it has a name, you have to acknowledge it? I’ve already spilled the beans over here, what about you?