Friday, December 29, 2017

Overtaken by Grace by Debbie Milam - Book Review

Of all the books available on Bookcrash, this was the one I most wanted to read, and the main reason I signed up for the program. More grace is always a good thing. 

As the saying goes, God works in mysterious ways. Little did I know that by the time the book arrived, a core family member would be in the intensive care unit (ICU) and I would be too sick to be able to travel, even though there was a good chance my beloved family member might not survive. Debbie Milam's Overtaken by Grace: How Intimacy with God Brings Hope, Healing, and Miracles provided exactly the support I needed during that difficult time. I loved her liberal use of scripture and her heartfelt prayers.

It's a very slim book, totaling 115 pages, and it didn't have any big original thoughts that I noticed. But what it did deliver is Debbie's beautiful way of speaking about core Biblical truths and life lessons in touching, heartfelt ways. Debbie's love for the Lord and her readers was evident and I felt like she was a friend helping me through this difficult time.

Some of the sections, such as coping with teenagers, didn't apply to my life but I read the whole book and do feel like I got something out of each part.

God did grant a miracle and my family member, while not completely healed, is still alive and able to live independently, something some of his doctors did not think would be possible. I'm still not up for travel but the need is less urgent.

Normally, once I finish a Christian book, I pass it on to my mother, who runs an informal free Christian lending library. But I'm going to keep Overtaken by Grace. I love the personal inscription she so kindly wrote for me and I know I'm going to want to reference it in the future, especially for the prayers.

My only criticism of the book is that Debbie only vaguely alludes to her challenges and doesn't get deeply personal and specific until more than halfway through the book (if I remember correctly, around page 65). I would have liked to know what kind of things she had dealt with much earlier in the book. But, even before she got specific, I could tell that she was someone I'd certainly like to get to know. I love her heart for God and her unique way of expressing His truths.

I would definitely recommend this book for any Christian or anyone open to Christianity. 

May God continue to bless Debbie Milam, and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
Refocus book review: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/08/refocus-living-life-that-reflects-gods.html
Life Lessons book review: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/04/life-lessons-for-women-7-essential.html
Disciplines of a godly woman: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/07/disciplines-of-godly-woman-book-review.html
Authentic relationships: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/07/disciplines-of-godly-woman-book-review.html

Disclosure:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am not currently nor have I been in the past, an Amazon affiliate. I am considering applying to be an affiliate in the future and will post a notice when/if that happens. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas! Includes Update and Blessings.

Red and white camellia flower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2017

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Merry Christmas to you and yours! I wanted to share my Instagram photo but couldn't get the link to work here. It did work on my relatively new Facebook "writer" page. So if you follow me on either of those places you can see our 2018 Christmas card. But I do like the Christmas-y camellia flower featured in this post and hope you do to.

May this Christmas bring you renewed faith, pure joy, and the sure knowledge that Jesus loves you! If this is a painful time of the year for you, I pray that you will draw near to God and He will comfort you with His peace that passes understanding.

I haven't been blogging much this year but I have been praying a lot. I feel like God is leading me to start my own webpage but until I'm sure of what He wants me to do there I'll keep posting here. In the New Year I plan to share some of the things I'm considering and I will welcome your input.

May God's peace be upon you, light fill your soul and blessings be with you!

Related posts:
Christmas blessings: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-blessings.html
Longwood Christmas: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-at-longwood-gardens.html
Cute Christmas cat: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-cat-santa-and-reindeer.html

Friday, August 4, 2017

First Chicken Soup for the Soul Story Published!


Exciting news! Chicken Soup for the Soul bought one of my stories and it is in the book pictured above (The Dog Really Did That?)! The book officially launches on August 8, 2017 but is available for pre-order now on Amazon.

I haven't used Twitter in ages but if I can figure out how to get in to the launch party mentioned in the photo above, I hope to see you there!

May God bless you!

Related posts:
Our kittens when tiny: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2016/05/braveheart-and-sandman-our-new-kittens.html
Cute wrestling kittens: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2016/08/cute-kittens-wrestle-and-surrender.html
Our elderly cat: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/07/black-cat-pink-tongue-cuteness-photos.html
 
Direct link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Chicken-Soup-Soul-Miracles-Mischief/dp/1611599695/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501874271&sr=8-1&keywords=the+dog+really+did+that

Disclaimer: I am one of the authors in the book and will be paid a flat fee for my story. I don't get any additional monies for books sold. The Amazon link in this article is not an affiliate link.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Blog Break - Spring 2017

Happy tidy Tuesday! The Great Clutter Purge of 2017 continues, albeit slowly. I had before and after photos for you of a little clutter busting progress but my husband doesn't want me to share household photos anymore. As much as I love sharing here, I love him more so must respect his wishes.

Unfortunately, my health has been especially challenging lately so I've decided to take the rest of spring off from the blog... and maybe longer. But as I'm able I'll still keep my Facebook page updated with archive posts and other blogger's interesting posts.

May God bless you and those you love!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Quick and Easy Tea Nook Clutter Busting

Tidied tea nook: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2017
Happy tidy Tuesday and Spring! The Great Clutter Purge of 2017 continues with a quick flat surface area / kitchen counter clutter busting project.

We have tea almost every day but this little tea nook to the left of our range is a clutter magnet. The above photo is an "after" clutter busting image. It includes one thing that wasn't in the "before" photo below. Can you spot it?
"Before" cluttered tea nook: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2017
This "before" photo shows a much messier tea nook. Most of this stuff isn't clutter in the sense that we don't use it but it is clutter in the sense that it doesn't belong there.
"After" uncluttered tea nook: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2017
So I removed everything from the area, cleaned the empty space, put the out of place things where they belonged and then returned the things that did belong.

Then I noticed the cup hook with nothing on it. I searched for and found the missing oven mitt and hung it back up (see the topmost image - that was the extra item not present in the "before" photo).  I like the tidied tea nook much better this way.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

Related posts:
Quick Kitchen Counter Organizing: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/03/14-minute-kitchen-counter-clutter.html
Microwave Area Clutter Busting: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/03/8-minute-microwave-and-cut-flower.html
Organized Utensil Drawer: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/07/my-simplifying-home-8-week-journey-week_21.html

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Green Orchid Photos and Haiku Poems

Irish Blessing Plaque: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2017
Happy St. Patrick's Day and floral Friday! The plaque in the photo above has this Irish blessing:

"May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall gently upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand"

This plaque hangs, year round, in our bedroom. I am a wee bit Irish, after all.
Green Orchid "cymbodium goeringii" : Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2017
I thought green orchids would be perfect for this St. Patrick's day post. The photos were taken at the U.S. National Arboretum in their Bonsai Museum. It's a great place to visit, any time of the year.
Green orchids rising: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2017
Back to St. Patrick's day. While praying and walking today, God gave me these two haiku poems.

St. Patrick's Day Haiku Poem I:
Saint Patrick was real!
He spread the gospel message
and loved our Lord God!

St. Patrick's Day Haiku Poem II:
He used shamrock leaves
to explain the Trinity:
Father, Son, Spirit.

Saint Patrick was a devoted Christian and I'm glad to celebrate his life by wearing green but I think loving God and serving others honor him best. 
Green orchids in pretty pot: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2017
The photo above is an overview of the green "cymbodium goeringii" orchids in their pretty pot. When I first saw the pot, I thought it was a pot of grass! But when I looked more closely I could see the orchid flowers.

Kittens love an unmade bed: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2017
Just in case you wondered what our kittens were doing on St. Patrick's day - they were relaxing. Every time I went to make the bed, a cat was on it. It's late afternoon and I still haven't made the bed,  but the day isn't over. But their kittenhood almost is - they will be a year old a week from today!

May God bless you and all you love!

How do you celebrate Saint Patrick's Day? 

Related posts:
My Favorite Funny Cat St. Patrick's Post: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/03/hilarious-happy-st-patricks-day-cat.html
More funny Irish cat photos: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/03/funny-st-patricks-day-photos-of-moose.html
Cute cats wearing the green: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/03/funny-st-patricks-day-cat-photos.html

Note:
This is not a sponsored or paid post. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

First Day of Spring Home Blessing Prayer Party (Online)

Photo source: Facebook theme
It's almost officially spring! You are cordially invited to celebrate with me via my online First Day of Spring Home Blessing Prayer Party! It will be held on Facebook on Monday, March 20th from 11 am to 7 pm Eastern time.

I envision us celebrating the first day of spring together with lots of praying for each other and our homes, and actual home blessing activities. This means not just sitting at the computer but getting up and doing some good in our homes (acts of kindness, cleaning, organizing, clutter busting, tidying etc.)! Home blessing prayers, prayer requests, home blessing tips and before / after photos are welcome!

I pray this will be an event that uplifts, encourages and blesses all who participate.

May God bless you and all who join!

Related posts: 
12 Spring Celebration Ideas: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/03/happy-spring-haiku-poems-and-12.html
Daffodils, Pansies and Cyclamen: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/03/daffodil-pansy-and-cyclamen-flower.html
Spring Flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2016/02/first-flowers-of-spring-2016.html

Notes:
Full event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1830213920577559/
Not a sponsored or affiliate post; all opinions are my own.