Book Review: Together: A Journey in Godly Marriage

Together: A Journey Of Godly Marriage (Christian Female Book 2) by [Coleman, Sarah]

I read “Make Yourself Amazing” and really enjoyed it, so I had high expectations for this book. I was especially interested in this one because it’s a short read and since having a baby, our marriage has changed, so I wanted to see if she addressed anything like that here. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations. It felt very scattered and unfocused. Coleman touched on things that I found interesting, such as an analogy between making sure you back up your technology and your marriage, but she didn’t go into any detail about how to back up your marriage, so it left me wondering why she brought it up. She also painted a very flowery, almost romance novel version of marriage. She married later in life (at 31), and I got married at 29, so I understand that it’s going to be different than it would be for younger people, but it makes marriage seem unrealistic. It’s easy to think marriage is the greatest thing in the world when you and your husband are on a road trip adventure across Australia; it’s another thing when you’ve been up and down all night with a baby and your husband tells you how tired he is the next day. That’s where the digging down deep comes in. That’s where your marriage is tested and refined. That’s where you have to be more Christlike and use every ounce of Christian discipline you have not to wring his neck.

Ahem.

I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, and I have been hesitant to post anything because I don’t like leaving negative reviews, but there was so much potential here. There were so many more things that Coleman could’ve delved into and developed in order to make this a broader, less romanticized view of marriage. Yes, a godly marriage is going to look different than a secular marriage, but reading this book makes me see how people think that if they’re not living this life then they must not have a godly marriage. At least that’s what I felt like a few times while reading this. All in all, I would say skip this one unless you’re looking to read a real life love story that may or may not encourage you in your own marriage.

Mama Needs A Do-Over Book Review

I recently received the opportunity to review Mama Needs a Do-Over by Lisa Pennington. Pennington, a blogger and the mother of nine (!!) children offers ten steps that mothers can use to reset themselves and their children when everyone is having a hard day.

Click on the picture to purchase your own copy!

I liked that her chapters were full of personal anecdotes and scriptural references. I’ll be honest; if I had nine children, I don’t know if I would have time to remember Scripture, much less quote it!

I also appreciated the exercises that she had in each chapter. It made going through the chapters much more interactive, plus I think it will make me more likely to remember and implement her strategies when my own future bundle of joy is pushing me to the edge!

I would recommend this book to any mother (or even many women) who are struggling with keeping it all together. Even though we only have a fur child until April, I could use some of the strategies now. Hopefully my scrambled egg brains can remember these techniques. Somehow I think if a mother of nine can do it, then so can I!

Disclosure the first: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Disclosure the second: The link above is an affiliate link. Purchasing the item with the link will provide money for diapers and superhero onesies.

Five Favorites: July 2015 (and a giveaway!)

Since my last two posts were a little heavy, I decided to start a new feature here on the old blog called Five Favorites. It’s a pretty self-explanatory feature, but just in case you’re feeling a little slow today, I’ll explain it. On the last Monday* of every month, I’ll list five things that I really liked during the previous month. Easy enough, right? 😉

*Or on the last Tuesday if my computer doesn’t cooperate on the last Monday…

Here are my inaugural five!

1. Old Navy linen-blend boyfriend tees

Picture of woman wearing bright pink shirt

Picture from Old Navy website

Old Navy’s quality is hit or miss, but I really like these shirts! Thanks to a birthday coupon and a sale, I have a few of these now. They’re thin but not too opaque, and I can wear them to work or on the weekends. Yay for versatility! They run a bit big, so they are great for when you are feeling a little fluffy, or when it’s a million degrees outside and you don’t want anything clinging to you.

 

2. Watermelon agua fresca

Picture of watermelon agua fresca picture

Yum! Link to the recipe below

I L-O-V-E watermelon and could eat it with every meal. Since I’m the only one in the house that eats it, it’s sometimes tough to eat all of it before it goes bad. After volunteering at an outdoor community event last weekend, I wanted to cool down but didn’t really feel like eating anything. I looked up recipes for watermelon drinks and found the a recipe on the Iowa Girl Eats website. I didn’t have any mint, and I didn’t strain mine at the end, but it was still delicious!

 

3. Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition

Two silhouettes running with the words Extreme Makeover Weightloss Edition written below them.

I’m working on getting healthier and losing weight. I’ve gained about 40 pounds since we got married just over two years ago, and I was already technically overweight then. Yikes!! Sometimes the weight loss process can be frustrating and tiresome. I’ve started watching Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition on Hulu as a bit of extra inspiration. Unlike other weight loss shows that will go unnamed, the people on EM don’t spend time on a “ranch” exercising for hours a day and severely restricting themselves. They live their real lives for the most part (they do spend some time away from home, but they’re not cut off from the outside world), and it’s a year-long process. It’s nice to see that it’s possible to make big changes even in the midst of real life. Did anyone see Pearls’ episode recently? She did an amazing job!

 

4. Fitbit Charge HR

Picture of a black Fitbit Charge HR tracker against a white background.

Picture from Fitbit website

I’ve been on the Fitbit bandwagon for a few years now, and this is the third one I have. Unlike the past two, it’s a wristband, rather than the type that clips on to your waistband. I think that is so much more convenient because it doubles as a watch also. We went ahead and got the version with the heart rate monitor, but I’ve got friends and family that have the version without it and enjoy it just as much. I really like participating in challenges with people I know. I haven’t won one yet, but my day is coming!

 

5. To The Sea by Callie Grant

Book cover with an ocean scene and a boy in the sand. The title of the book is in white letters at the top of the page.

Doesn’t that cover make you want to go to the beach immediately?

I received this book to review a while back and just had the opportunity to read through it. It’s a children’s board book and super short, so that tells you how scattered I’ve been lately! It’s a short story about a young boy’s trip to the beach. The publisher’s website categorizes it as “a Praise book which celebrates the soul-pleasing wonders of God that children experience everyday.” I love that description! It’s an easy read and beautifully illustrated. It also made me want to go to the beach, so does anyone want to contribute to a beach trip for us? 😉

The best thing about the book though is that I have a copy to give away! I won’t always have something to give away during my five favorites, so take advantage of this!

To enter, leave a comment below and tell me what one of your favorite childhood books was and how to contact you if you’re the winner. I’ll announce the winner back here next Monday, August 3. Good luck!

Book Review: #BEMORE by Sandi Krakowski

Did you know that the hashtag symbol is actually called an octothorpe? #Trivia (and thanks to Renee L. for teaching us about that way back in January. I knew it would come in handy someday!).

I’m a hashtag-a-holic (octothorpe-a-holic?), and I have even been known to use them while actually talking to someone (#Awkward #Whatever #IfJustinTimberlakeAndJimmyFallonCanDoItThenSoCanI), but when I saw this book with a hashtag in the title, I was a little leery of reading it. It turns out that Sandi is a Facebook marketing expert and wants readers to use the hashtag #BEMORE whenever they write about the book on social media. She even includes a short, “tweetable” quote at the end of each chapter that readers can share with their friends and followers.

Image from Sandi’s website, http://www.arealchange.com/bemore/

This would make a good devotional. The chapters are very short but they have a lot to them. Instead of reading this book straight through, it would be best to read one chapter a day and let everything sink in. It might make a good discussion group book, although with 77 secrets, groups would need to discuss more than one chapter per meeting!

Out of everything in the book, this quote on page 52 really stood out to me:

Keep your perspective most of the things we worry about are so big in our heads and then so, so tiny in reality.

Wow! How many times have we built things up in our heads only to have them turn out to be practically nothing?

I would recommend this book, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to read each day or week but want something thought-provoking. I will be donating this to my local library so all of you who are nearby, come check it out! (#Literally #LastOneIPromise)

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.