Category Archives: books

You’re Already Amazing – Book Review

“You are loved. You matter. You have so much to give the world and the hearts in it.”

Do you believe that?

With a lighthearted literary style, “You’re Already Amazing” reads like a heart-to-heart had over coffee with a close, knowledgeable, spiritually-wise friend.  I felt loved, cherished, inspired and encouraged.  I want to buy this book for every woman I know!

Holley’s book is full of amazing spiritual truth that are so important for women to hear over and over again.  Holley takes you on a personal journey of self-discovery with “You’re Already Amazing” with different questions and tools in each chapter to guide you to discovering who you really are — and to discovering that you are already amazing, just the way God created you.

Holley’s words echo what God has been teaching me since this past summer: I don’t have to be more or do more or be better or be someone else, but God’s grace is sufficient for me.

“I’m slowly learning it’s not about being perfect but about being perfectly loved.”

In this book, Holley has reminded me that the gospel message really IS good news: “Jesus says we can do all things through him — but he never says we have to do it all!”

What relief, what peace, what freedom we truly have when we abide in Jesus.  If you are a woman who struggles with knowing who you are, insecurity, perfectionism, people pleasing, or simply just don’t believe you are amazing then I recommend this book to you.  It’s time to quit forcing yourself into being someone else and embrace the unique and amazing person that God created YOU to be. As Holley says, “we’re amazing not because of who we are but because of who lives within us.”

Holley is writer for DaySpring, cofounder of (in)courage, counselor, life coach and an author of several books.  You can get to know Holley on her blog.  And, be sure to check out “You’re Already Amazing” on the (in)courage book club: Bloom.  I am looking forward to reading (or re-reading!) along with the book club myself.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group


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Real Marriage – Book Review

So, I finally finished “Real Marriage” by Mark and Grace Driscoll.  Apparently this Pastor Mark guy is kind of a well-known pastor — I’d never heard of him.  My husband and my brother-in-law started to fill me in a little bit, and I guess Pastor Mark is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church.  I guess some people also find him a bit controversial, but what “celebrity pastor” isn’t?  Anyway, for the sake of an unbiased review I did not research Pastor Mark any further and continued on reading “Real Marriage”.  And guess what, I quite liked it.

The book begins with testimonies from both Mark and his wife Grace, who co-authors the book with him.  I really appreciated their honesty and transparency and felt connected to them right away.  Mark and Grace shared openly about their lives, their sin, and their marriage which offers the reader a soft place to land.  Mark and Grace then move forward with the first part of the book, called “Marriage”, in which they discuss a number of different issues within marriage, the roles of men and women, respect, forgiveness and friendship.

The second part of the book is called “Sex” and discusses God’s design for sex, how men and women may view sex based on their life experiences (both good and bad), and pornography.  I found the chapters on abuse and pornography to be particularly difficult to read, but I 100% appreciate Mark and Grace’s honesty about both subjects and definitely feel like they are topics that need to be discussed and that we all need to be aware of.  At times, the chapters were disturbing to read, but very beneficial and I’m glad that I made my way through them.  There is also a chapter all about what is appropriate for a married couple to participate in within the marriage bed, which I think would be very good for any married couple to read or anyone who hopes to marry in the future.

The third part of the book is called, “The Last Day” and is a set of questions for couples to spend time pondering, journaling, then discussing together.  The questions are all about your life and your dreams and where you might see yourself in the near future so that you and your husband may work together as friends and allies and not fight one another as enemies.

I found that I agreed with a lot of the Driscoll’s views on marriage, and would recommend this book.

“Advanced Reader’s Copy of the book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson”. 


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The Voice New Testament – Review

Thomas Nelson Publishers and Ecclesia Bible Society have teamed up to retell the story of scripture through creating a “translation that was faithful and accurate to the original languages while at the same time beautiful and readable”.  The result of this collaboration is The Voice New Testament.

There are four main components that make The Voice unique: standard type (resembles what you might read in other translations such as NIV), italic type (additional text to clarify something that the original author or audience may have known, but that modern day folk may not), delineated material (similar to a footnote, but indented within the text instead of at the bottom of the page), and screenplay format (it is written in the style of a play).

I like this translation of the New Testament.  The narrative style flows beautifully and it is quite easy to read.  The language is modern but doesn’t go as far out as The Message translation.  I found that the italicized additional text really helped regular old Christians such as myself to understand parts of the story that would otherwise have been missed or required more in-depth study.  The screenplay format clarifies who is speaking and what is happening, and also really gives the text that smooth, narrative feel.   I would definitely recommend this bible to both first-time and long-time bible readers.

If you enjoy a new perspective on ancient texts, then you should definitely check out The Voice.  More information can be found on the website for The Voice.

New Testament has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson


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{w}hole – Book Review

I recently read the book {w}hole by Lisa Whittle — a book about all the holes we have in our lives and what we use to fill them.  I was very interested in reading this book as I know that I have tons of holes and have spent the majority of my life filling them up with lots of things other than God.  {w}hole is a fairly quick and easy read, made up of eight chapters touching on religion, roles and experiences.  Whittle writes her own experiences with transparency, which I fully appreciate in an author and any Christian.

Though I did feel a bit disconnected to the first portion of the book, which seemed to talk mostly to those who have grown up going to church and faking Christianity, I did appreciate when the book seemed to turn a corner and discuss our holes in a broader sense — in a way that I think more Christians than just those who grew up in church could relate to.

Whittle encourages us to take a honest look at our holes and wants to help us discover how to fill them with God’s presence — how our holes can be the very things that make us whole. If you’ve been feeling empty, and you’re looking for a different way to fill the holes in your life, you may find some encouragement in the right direction from this book.

Here is the trailer for the book:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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Jesus Calling – Book Review

A little while ago I received an opportunity to review Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  I took a look at the book on Amazon and decided it didn’t really seem like my thing, so I was going to turn the opportunity down until I overheard a fellow mom blogger on twitter say that her favourite thing that she got from Relevant ’10 was her “Jesus Calling” devotional book that she still used daily.  So I decided to check it out.

“Jesus Calling” is a daily devotional book written from Jesus point of view.  Each day has a short devotional accompanied by scripture, and the book is small enough that it is the perfect size to take with you anywhere.  The devotions are encouraging and will fill you with a peace as you go about your day.  I would say this book is for anyone who is looking for a warm, fuzzy pick me up to start their day with, and will likely be something that I will lean on when my third baby arrives in January.  Quick, encouraging, pre-planned devotionals — perfect for when you don’t have a ton of time for an in-depth study but don’t want to miss out on daily time with the Lord.

Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson

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Truth in the Tinsel – Advent Craft Book

Friends, I just wanted to quickly share with you what my children and I will be doing for Advent this year!  I received an advance copy of Amanda White’s (blogger at Oh, Amanda & Impress Your Kids) e-book “Truth in the Tinsel” and I am so excited to get started on Amanda’s daily crafts!

This e-book has 24 super cute craft ideas for each day leading up to Christmas, but more importantly, there is a scripture reading for each day that ties into the craft and promotes conversation among you and your children!  Truth in the Tinsel is also so well organized that Amanda gives you the full supply list, the daily supply list, and even alternative schedules if you aren’t able to do a craft each day of the month.  I took one look through Truth in the Tinsel and knew that this was definitely something that I wanted to do with my kids this year — you should definitely check it out too!

To get your own copy of Truth in the Tinsel please visit

I’m off to the Dollar Store to buy all my supplies today… hoping to make this advent calendar!




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Close Enough to Hear God Breathe – Book Review

I needed this book.  The title grabbed me instantly, as I imagined myself so close to my Father, my head against his chest, listening to Him draw in and exhale out.  There have been many times in my life where I have felt so overwhelmed and all I wanted in those moments was to crawl up on my mama’s lap and have her comfort me.  Now that I am an adult, that just seems silly, so I plow forward, telling myself to suck it up and keep going.  Many times I have even felt as though God shouldn’t be bothered with whatever it is that’s upsetting me, and that even He needs me to just be stronger and do what needs to be done.

In “Close Enough to Hear God Breathe“, author Greg Paul reminds me of the relationship that we have with God, that of Father and Child.  Through personal stories tied in with scripture and biblical stories, Paul reminds me that God loves me and thinks of me tenderly, just as (or even more-so!) I think of my own children.  Each of the ten chapters reminded me that God loves me and is there for me.  Each chapter invited me to climb up onto my Father’s lap, rest my head on his chest and listen to Him breathing.

A favourite chapter was chapter six, entitled “Hammer and Nails”.  Paul describes a time where he was renovating his house and his son, who was five-years-old, wanted to help.  Paul gave his son a hammer suitable for a child and let him pound nails into boards, while Paul himself worked on the renovation.  Paul’s son was so interested and so intent on his “work”, and while they weren’t exactly productive, it was such a pleasure for Paul to share these things with his son.  Paul goes on in the chapter to parallel this story to God letting us help Him with his work, and how we are like children compared to how God would do things.  This chapter opened my eyes to the importance of letting my children help with things, even if it takes longer, and imparting to them the grace that my own Father gives to me.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone out there looking for a more intimate relationship with their Father.

Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson.

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