All posts by laura

November book review to wrap up the month <3

As we end the month of November, I did read through and marked up this book by Anne Graham Lotz….some thoughts gleaned will be shared in a few lines down as I cover other books for the month.

This month I would like to say I completed the Jude study, but I still have a few sections to finish. It is in my stack and I definitely will complete it. It is one of the most powerful studies I have done.

I also skimmed a book I have read before called “Get Yourself Organized for Christmas” by Kathi Lipp available here

I like to skim through it every year about this time just to help me gain perspective on my essentials for the holidays – what really matters and how to cut down on the hype that drives some Christmas crazy that none of us need.

I also started a book written on the subject of being a watchman – it has a lot of prophetic language and as I read, I just sensed that this was not something I wanted to read. I am not sharing the title because it may be fine, but it also may not be so just know it is in a donate pile and I opted out of the investment of time at this time in my life.

Now for some thoughts on the book by Anne Graham Lotz.

First off, I was totally undone by some sides of her that I didn’t have a clue she had. She was honest about sharing her struggles with self and it made her relatable to me in a way I had not anticipated. I felt like she would understand my dark moments and would nod in agreement and yet encourage me to turn to Jesus to help me climb out of those seasons.

She’s a pretty spunky lady and she admits to some tendencies to be a bit rebellious. Not against God, mind you – but against religious hypocrisy and expectations that had nothing to do with God and every thing to do with man’s rules.

She is very frank about hurts she has received within the organized church and even to the point that she and her husband didn’t attend regular services for a year after one painful experience.

Please keep in mind, she never turned away from God but she admits that it was tempting during some hard seasons and she also offers some valuable insights into what it is like for those who do turn from God.

There was a lot about this book that gave me a different perspective and helped me develop compassion for those who have been wounded by those who are the ones who should be offering comfort. It also made me reflect on times I have hurt others.

The book parallels the experiences of Hagar with those of others, including Anne, who have felt abandoned by the faith they once followed. Sometimes I admit that for me this seemed thin as there were a few reaches to fit the story of Hagar to experiences people have with church hurts – but I realize she never uses her applications as if they are Scripture but more as if she is adding in some possibilities based on human nature.

The book also gave me a new perspective on Hagar, Sarah, Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael; as well as my own experiences when I have felt misunderstood by God’s people AND compassion for many I know who have scratched their heads and walked away.

Anne is very transparent in this book about her own struggles and hurts. Also she is honest about the times she has hurt others and how she handled that.

This definitely is a good read for all of us.

You can find it here

Tomorrow we will begin what I hope will be a unique approach to the annual countdown to Christmas. Would love to have you subscribe so you don’t miss a post <3

See you tomorrow!

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Reentering blog world with some pictures and a few words <3

I hope you all had a good week and a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We got to share the holiday meal with this crew and Zach’s family at his parent’s lovely home. We ate our fill and felt blessed to have been so richly provided for with all that God has given us.

Now we are looking ahead to Christmas and have started the process of decorating…

Rachel and I did a little shopping yesterday and I found this sweet tree at Marshalls to hang my grandma’s ornaments on and added some small mercury glass ones from the Growing Grounds.

I haven’t put her ornaments on a tree in years and this is making my heart kind of happy.

Tomorrow is our book review day to end the month and then I am working on a special Christmas Countdown 2021 for us to enjoy the 25 days of Christmas together.

So for today, here are some favorite memories from this past few days of family, food and friends….


f you are near a Trader Joe’s I highly recommend…

they are excellent with coffee, milk, hot chocolate and just air…seriously.


After a life time of me getting to do fun things while Dad had to work, the roles were switched and this guy…

got to road trip with the Fab 4 to visit Tia on her turf for Friday.

She took them to several places in the area where they could see birds and elk and all manner of wild life…which of course, they themselves probably qualify as a bit of wild life too…

Meanwhile, Zach and I kept the economy going…

working the Black Friday/Vaccine/Med madness of his world and mine.


On Saturday we supported some small businesses and headed over to Amish country…

Where parking lots have their own kind of challenges.

We shopped downtown Arthur and then headed over to Arcola, IL where we found our good friends…

Mike and Dorinda.

They opened the cutest shop in March and we did some serious Christmas shopping while we were there.

Local friends, you MUST make this a destination sometime soon..

They do not serve coffee but sell an amazing variety of bags along with teas and so many fun things for the home.

So there is a peek at what we were up to the past week.

Now it’s off to do the regular Monday chores as well as continue with trimming the house and working on the cards.

Hope you have a great day and I am looking forward to sharing a quick book review tomorrow and then counting down to Christmas Day with you <3

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Checking in before I check out for the week <3

We started the transition from Fall to Christmas a bit earlier than our usual post Thanksgiving timing.

With no one coming for the festivities, we figured it was good to take advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday to put up lights and extra time this weekend to start the tree process.

So today the pumpkins and fall trim are officially heading down to their brown tubs in the basement and the green ones will be hauled out to produce what Christmas will look like here at our house.

It is a full week with the holiday added to our usual duties and activities and I am planning to take a few days to focus on things that need to be done.

Unless something comes to me that I know needs to be said, I will be a bit silent here this week.

But I won’t be forgetful of you all.

I hope and pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, whatever it looks like for you this year.

I hope God holds your heart tight in places where it looks different than you thought it would.

I pray for a special grace to fall on you all as you move through this week of Thanksgiving and bidding fall farewell and moving into Christmas preparations.

May the Lord be with you and shine His face on you and be gracious to you. May you have safe travels whether you are going far or just a few houses away. May your memories of the past remind you of God’s faithfulness and your thoughts of the future be filled with His promises.

You are precious and you are deeply loved <3

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