Tag Archives: #Giveaway

Walking The Path We Are Given

I don’t remember when I first heard the story of Rory and Joey Feek, but once I found their blog This Life I Live, I knew these were people with an incredible story to tell.

If you read anything that Rory has posted you will know without a doubt that he loved his wife. Theirs seemed like that timeless love we all hope for. And yet they found themselves walking a path they didn’t see coming.

In the new documentary movie, To Joey, With Love, we are given a glimpse into their real-life, day to day as they journey into parenthood and then an unexpected cancer diagnosis.

Not realizing the significance of his decision, Rory decided to start capturing their life on film as they waited for the arrival of their daughter. Soon after her birth they discover that their daughter has Down Syndrome. Unexpected yes, but they knew this was the path they were walking on and they trusted God through all of it.

Being a new mom can be difficult enough, but at her 12-week check-up, Joey receives some devastating news.  Cancer.

I can’t imagine the fear she must have felt, and yet Rory and Joey walked this path with hope and trust in God’s plan. The new media caught wind of what they were dealing with and soon their story had spread like a wildfire.

People all over the world were praying for Joey and reading Rory’s blogs. We all hoped for a miracle. But sometimes those miracles don’t come in the way we would hope or expect.

As was true with this story.

While the outcome wasn’t as so many prayed for….it doesn’t mean that God wasn’t there. The love Rory and Joey had for one another inspired others. The faith they had encouraged the weak. Their choice to celebrate the joys in the journey remind us all that even when it is dark, blessings abound.

To Joey, With Love was a beautiful, intimate film and I was a bawling, hot mess once I finished it. It is available for purchase on December 20th but I have a free copy to give away to one of my readers!! Just leave a comment below and you will be entered to win!

For more information about this new movie, watch the trailer below (Email subscribers click here to view)

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Thank you to the Icon Media Group for the opportunity to view and review this movie in advance of its release.

All pictures and media found on the To Joey With Love website.

Bible Journaling – Illustrated Faith

Journaling Bible

My husband bought me an ESV Journaling Bible for Christmas in 2014. I have loved having the space to take notes when I am at church. So often I can’t remember all the nuggets of wisdom that my pastor has to offer each week and by writing it down I can go back and look through it at a later date and remember.

When I got the bible I did some research about the best pens, highlighters etc. that I should use on the delicate pages. Searching unearthed (at least for me) the new trend of people illustrating their faith in the pages of their bible.

The work that these artists are doing is so incredible, I had to share a few of my favorites:

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Beautiful work by Tiffany Zajas. Simple, yet that tangible reminder to bloom where you are planted.

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Jaime was featured over at the Illustrated Faith website and I love that she uses stickers, colored pencils, washi tape and her own {amazing} handwriting to make this page her own!

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And finally this from Bekah, also featured at Illustrated Faith has used watercolors and paper cutouts to add whimsy to her page.

I will be honest with you when I started seeing all these beautiful pictures I was a little overwhelmed. I am more of a paint by numbers kind of girl and my handwriting leaves much to be desired. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to create something so beautiful in my own bible.

And then I heard about the Illustrated Faith line from Dayspring.

Initially I purchased some stickers, I thought that it would be a place to start. Then when I had the opportunity to review a full Illustrated Faith kit, I jumped at the chance!

The kit arrived and was packed so pretty. I received the Blessings or Lessons Illustrated Faith set.

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Here were the Items in the kit:

    • 1 devotional booklet (14 devotionals)
    • 1 stamp pad
    • 1 clear stamp collection with 1 sheet of cut outs enclosed
    • 1 roll of washi tape
    • 1 package of 3 Scripture sharables
    • 1 sticker
    • 1 bow clip

I love that the kit came with a devotional, I hadn’t expected that! Each month a new kit is available and has just enough to get a novice like myself started.

I decided to start by just placing the Scripture sharables in my bible where the verses are found. This way I have them with me and can share them as an opportunity arises.

I tried a couple of the stamps out, but they do recommend that you use an acrylic block to fix the stamps to before you use them. I didn’t have a block so I tried to wing it. One of the stamps slipped a little when I was taking it off the page. The block would have prevented that…so it is on my list of things to purchase.

Illustrated Faith 6I told you I am a novice at this, but it is fun! I want to get some colored pencils and maybe color around the stamp featured above. There are endless possibilities really with what you can do with just 1 kit!

I am even more excited to start using the sticker sets that I purchased but was afraid to try. Maybe this brings me back to those days when we decorated the covers of our notebooks with NKOB stickers and pictures (maybe that was just me, ha!)…it was fun to create then and I guess I had forgotten how something like this is fulfilling for a creative’s soul!

If you haven’t ever tried this form of creative journaling…maybe now is the time to start!!

For more information about the woman who designed this incredible collection see the video below! Email subscribers click here.

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I was sent the Illustrated Faith kit in exchange for my honest review but even more exciting is that the lovely people at Dayspring have a kit to send to one of my readers! I am telling you that you want this!! To enter leave a comment sharing your favorite item from the Dayspring site or tell me if you have done any Bible Journaling yourself. Share this post on FB or Twitter for additional entries, just leave me a comment saying what you have done! 🙂

I will pick a winner on June 13th!

Photo Credit: Kit picture compliments of Dayspring

Searching for Answers – Wildflower DVD Giveaway

Wildflower DVD

There is a large part of my childhood that I don’t have any memories of. I know that we took a special family vacation every summer, I remember playing kick-the-can at night in the summer with our neighbor friends, riding bikes around and around the circle and going to the pool for family swim. But the majority of my most vivid memories are ones that felt significant to me. Things that shaped the way that I have processed life even as an adult.

Being embarrassed in first grade because I got a huge black eye when I fell and hit the bike rack at school. Sadness at not being good enough to be invited to the boy-girl party that was the talk of 6th grade. Disappointment when I didn’t get picked for the cheer leading team…

Many of the things I do remember seemed to reinforce the idea that I didn’t measure up. I wasn’t good enough. I have been processing through that a lot lately, trying to determine what was truth and what were lies. And I have been praying that I would remember more.

There are things locked up inside of me, that likely hold a key to why I am the way I am. Why I think the way I do, and react the way I do. It is frustrating when you are seeking for understanding and yet God isn’t revealing the lost memories.

Aren’t we all in some way searching for answers about who we are?

In the new movie Wildflower, Chloe is a young girl who also has a “lost” past. She starts to have dreams that seem to be a premonition to a future event that might take place…until she discovers that it is a long locked away memory of something she witnessed as a young girl.

Desperate for answers she seeks help from a young man who is struggling himself. Together they discover hope in finding answers and freedom from darkness in their past.

I enjoyed this movie and the reminder that we are not ever alone. Sometimes the path to finding freedom is a difficult one, but God is present through it all and the healing and hope that comes from the process are worth the difficult journey.

You can pre-order Wildflower over at Amazon, or watch the trailer here.

I was given a copy of the movie to review from Icon Media in exchange for my honest review. And as an added bonus they sent me an additional DVD that I can give away to one of my readers! It isn’t even available to purchase until April 5th – so this is an advance copy!

So for a chance to win the DVD please just leave a comment below! I will pick a winner on Thursday the 24th and have the winner’s copy in the mail on Friday!

It’s Time to Break Busy

Breaking-Busy-Book.-Crazy-Busy-Instagram.-Alli-Worthington(pp_w890_h890)

It is the most common answer when someone asks how we are doing…

We are Busy.

Always busy.

Sometimes I think that I wear busy like a badge of honor. Being busy must indicate that my days are filled with important things and that must make me valuable right?!

When I am focused on preforming, on being someone that matters in this world, I loose my focus on what’s really important.

Alli Worthington talks about this busy cycle in her new book Breaking Busy. (Available tomorrow January 26th!!) She says “Crazy busy is a life without peace. It’s marked by decisions made for the approval of the world, not the approval of God. It’s filled with what we think we “should” do, what we think will make others happy, and we think being a good person (or good girl) looks like. All this busyness, in the end, keeps us out of reach of the life we were created to live.”

How is it that this has become my life?

I recognize the need for peace in my life but yet I can’t stop my need to seek perfection. As if it is ever even available!

Alli shares some signs to help you determine if you are too busy. Things like an inability to control your emotions, or lack of self care. Check and check.

So here’s the raw and ugly truth.

When I spend every waking moment filling my life with way too much, seeking the approval of man over the love of God…I find myself bitter, overwhelmed and quite frankly out of control.

How can we see God’s purpose in our lives, and recognize the gifts He gave us?

Alli says “I have learned that God plants gifts in us and provides opportunities throughout our lives to fulfill our life’s purpose. But we have to break the cycle of busy in our lives if we are going to have enough room to discover God’s plan – our destiny.”

So what’s an overachiever, can’t say no, trying to measure up kind of girl like myself supposed to do?

First, and I am learning this painfully slow…I have to start saying no. Not to everything, but I am trying to be prayerful about the things I say yes to. The places I spend my time, and those commitments that take me away from my family.

It isn’t easy at times, and I struggle even more in our business trying to find that balance between keeping our clients happy and having a manageable schedule. But if we want to enjoy life even a little, finding that balance is necessary for all of us!

Second, I am seeking God for direction in all things. I don’t do this well all the time either but I am trying. I stepped down from the worship team at church in October. I miss it more than I thought I would and part of me really wants to go back. But I have been praying about it and asking God to make it clear if or when that should happen. I haven’t felt His leading and so I am staying where I am.

I want my participation in leading worship to be all for His glory and not to bolster my self esteem. Right now I think it would be more about me than Him…so some continued heart work will need to happen until I am in the best place to honor God with my voice.

And finally I am investing in things that will be best for my emotional/spiritual/mental health. I typically have not been good about taking responsibility for my actions and behaviors. When my emotions get out of control I hurt people. I didn’t want to admit that I needed some help, but I did.

So recently I have been meeting with a counselor. A Christian counselor who is helping me to see what makes me, me and why I think/act the way I do. I am discovering more about who I am, the lies that I have believed for way too long, and what my identity in Christ really is.

It isn’t necessarily convenient to meet with him each week and takes several hours out of my morning because it is over an hour drive to see him. But the time is well spent when my emotional, spiritual and mental health are improving.

Sometimes it is necessary in our busy lives to carve time out to take care of ourselves isn’t it?!

You see, the enemy wants nothing more than to keep us stuck on the merry-go-round of busy. In that place where we are doing too much, we don’t have time for God and really don’t have time to seek out His plans for our lives!

Alli writes this, “Keeping us busy trying to prove our worth is the easiest way to keep us from the life that God created us to live because it makes us think that our worth is based on what we do, instead of who God is.”

Isn’t that some powerful truth?!

This book came at the perfect time for me. I needed the truths that Ali shares in her book. I needed to be challenged and encouraged and this book does just that. I received a copy of her book as a part of her launch team but even more fun is that I have a copy to give away to one of you!!

So if you want to win, please leave a comment telling me one area of your life you would like to be less busy. Additional entries can be received by sharing this post on social media. Leave a comment for each share! I will choose a winner on Friday January 29th!

No Longer a Captive

Captive-WeAreProducts-1

Sometimes life can be too much can’t it?

One wrong choice, a medical diagnosis that feels without hope, the loss of a loved one or a revelation from the past that seems unbearable.

I don’t know about you but when I find myself in those fear-filled moments of uncertainty it is often a crossroads moment. Am I going to trust God, seek His purpose despite the pain or run from it, try to control in my own way and let fear overwhelm?

I have found myself again and again running from the difficult. I recognize my weakness sure, but I also fear the refining of letting go and trusting God….so I avoid the hard work of change until I reach that breaking point.

I would love to tell you that I am one of those people that runs toward God the moment the hard comes. So often after a trial I find myself overwhelmed at how God’s hand got me through…but it is always in hindsight. I write about how faithful He is, how we should trust Him. But somewhere along the way I forget, I get comfortable with the routine of my patterns of behavior and I stop fighting to see His purpose in ALL things.

You see, my own thoughts hold me captive more than anything else in my life.

Lies that I am not good enough, that my sins can’t and shouldn’t be forgiven…that God couldn’t really love a girl like me, someone who can’t get off of the merry-go-round of mistake making.

If I were writing to you I would tell you that is crazy. Of course you are forgiven, your sins were nailed on that cross with Christ and you can walk today in freedom. No longer a captive, but  free.

I believe it fully for you, but if I am being honest…I haven’t really believed it for myself.

I haven’t walked in the freedom that I write about here. And I really don’t know how.

Typing those words make me feel like a fraud. Sharing messages about hope and redemption but living bound by chains…

I want to live authentically, to share the good and the bad…and then believe in God’s promises for myself. I read His Word in John 10:10  where it says, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.We all want an abundant life don’t we? And the enemy wants nothing more than to keep us as captives.

But if I seek God and His purpose in ALL things. If I press into Him in the good times and the bad…I think I will find the freedom that I am so desperate for.

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Captive is a movie based on the true story of Ashley Smith and Brian Nichols. Two people that found themselves caught up in life. Believing that they could each control their own circumstances when life dealt them a raw deal, and yet finding themselves out of control.

When their lives intersect it seems as though there couldn’t possibly be purpose in the difficult….but some truths from a book, The Purpose Driven Life, bring clarity and hope even when all seemed lost.

Captive-Character

How would they each choose to respond when everything was on the line? In their own “crossroads moment” what would they do?

I’d love to tell you more but I don’t want to give it all away! You are going to have to watch it yourself to find out!

I was given a copy of the movie for free from #FlyBy promotions and asked to watch it and review it. It is a powerful movie and one that begs the question…does God have a purpose in everything?

I am excited because the wonderful people at #FlyBy have a copy of Captive to send to one of my readers! To enter leave a comment sharing the last movie that you watched! Share this post via social media for additional chances to win. Leave another comment for each share! I will choose a winner on Friday January 22nd.

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For more information check out their official website, their Facebook page and Twitter!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
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