Adorable Bedtime Story Giveaway!

Adorable Bedtime Story Giveaway!

I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is a captivating children’s book by Caroline B. Cooney, and Tim Warnes illustrates it. When my boys were young, I loved reading them bedtime stories! We spent hours reading our favorite books over and over. The kids loved it when I would vary my tone and inflection and make silly voices throughout the stories. We would laugh, snuggle and give night night kisses and hugs just before bed. Those were sweet times, and I have very fond memories.

Since my boys are all big now, and I don’t have grandkids yet, when I got the opportunity to review this adorable book, I knew exactly where to go! Across the street to my sweet neighbor’s house to share I’m going to give you a Bear Hug! Baby Piper loved looking at the pictures while her momma read to her. So cute!

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“I am going to give you a bear hug. A show you how much I care hug. A good night, Sleep tight, Way beyond compare hug.”

I love the lyrical way the words roll off your tongue as you read about all the different types of hugs given by the adorable animals in this book. The book is filled with sweet little lovable creatures wrapped up in a snuggly embrace. Check out the video below to get a glimpse of this charming bedtime story.

I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is the perfect book to snuggle up next to your favorite little person and read. Reading this book takes me back to my own childhood, to a time of butterfly kisses, and big bear hugs. This is the perfect little bedtime story. It is a sweet story, and it isn’t too long or too short, but just like Goldilocks, it is just right.

MOM AND BABY 1

I love  I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug! This cute book would make the perfect gift for any little person in your life! It is sure to become a bedtime favorite.

Leave a comment below if you would like to enter to win your very own copy!

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I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug (Zonderkidz, December 27, 2016) by Caroline B. Cooney and Illustrated by Tim Warner. Cooney is the bestselling author of 90 Young Adult novels in many genres, and her books have sold over 15 million copies (oh my goodness, yes!). I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is her first picture book and is based on a verse she wrote years ago for her children who are now grown.

Whether you are looking for a book to pop open and snuggle up with a little one in your life or to tuck in an Easter basket, I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is one adventure you don’t want to miss. The book’s clever use of different animals and ways to hug makes anyone who reads it just feel better about the gift we have to love on each other. It could even prompt more hugs in your household as you think of ways of how you express hugs and why you do so. You’ll read lines like:

“I’m going to give you a dog hug.
A knock over chairs,
Chase up the stairs,
And sleep like a log hug.”  

“I’m going to give you a duck hug.
A webbed feet,
Feathered seat,
Waddle through the muck hug.”

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

A Wife’s Secret to Happiness- #Wifestylin

The intense stress that comes from having a special needs child can put an incredible strain on even the healthiest of marriages. The difficulty in the day in and day out can be overwhelming. Some special needs people have a difficult time performing even the simplest of tasks such as dressing, toileting, and general self-care. Exhaustion sets in from lack of sleep and that can wreak havoc on any sane person, and a lot of times special kids barely sleep at all. The financial stress that comes from therapy not being covered, the endless doctor appointments, or because anything with a special needs price tag comes at an astronomical cost. The grief that comes from unmet expectations, the heartache that comes from comparing your child and their abilities, or sometimes the guilt alone from blaming yourself or your spouse is enough to tear a marriage apart.

Spiritual Confetti

 

My husband and I have experienced all of this and more, but things really came to a head in our marriage when our son was a baby. I was a weary young mom doing my best to make it from day to day. Our precious little man screamed at the top of his lungs all hours of the day and night and didn’t sleep at all for the first three years of his life. We were constantly in the doctor’s office and in and out of the hospital.

I don’t know about your husband, but my husband is a fixer. He can not stand it if there is something wrong with me or one of our children. Since he is a problem solver, he wants to fix things. However, there are some problems that man can not fix, no matter how hard he tries. This took a toll on my husband and thus took a toll on our marriage.

Things got really ugly between us. This wreaked all kinds of havoc in our personal lives and with each other. I will spare you all of the gory details, just know it was bad enough that I ended up in Lawyer’s office seeking counsel to get divorced. But God—God divinely entered into the midst of our pain and difficulty, and we took the “D” word off the table and choose to commit to each that no matter how bad things got that we would stick it out with God’s help.

 

 

Reduce Stress

We forgave one another and choose to love, not in our strength and might, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. In those moments, everything changed. Our circumstances with our son didn’t change, but our perspective on our situation changed. We faced our problems together with the strength of our mighty God to carry us through. Life didn’t become easy—there was no instant healing. In fact, the years that followed were much more stressful than the previous years. The difference was our relationship to each other and our reliance on the Lord.

Our marriage has been tried and tested and forged in the fire for nearly 25 years. My husband is my best friend and He loves me like Christ loves the church. Through the years, we chose to love one another and submit to Christ, and his plan for our marriage. We now have an incredible relationship. My husband is the biblical leader of our home, and I have embraced my calling of biblical womanhood.

Jen Weaver

These same principles that have guided our marriage are discussed in Jen Weaver’s book, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness. I love this book! From the sparkly cover to Jen’s modern interpretation of the Bible to practical wisdom this book offers to women, Jen has such a great conversational style that you feel like you are sitting across the table from one another sharing your hearts over a cup of coffee.

There are eleven chapters in the book, and each chapter highlights a particular blessing God wants to provide to in your marriage and a conflicting “wifestyle.” A wifestyle is a habit or way in which our routines as wives either attract or reject God’s divine provision. Each chapter contains a wifestyle or a real life story used for practical application.The first blessing is the blessing of three strands, which is taken from Ecclesiastes 4:12:

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken -Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV

 

Cord of Three Strands

This principle takes the heart of two people and binds them together with God to make a marriage that is not easily broken. It is the supernatural strength that comes from the Holy Spirit being alive and active in our marriage that I spoke of earlier.

Jen does a great job of handling some difficult subjects that come up within a context of marriage from leaving and cleaving and becoming one, to submission, to the beautiful gift of sex. In the chapter on the blessing of unity, Jen uses a great analogy of dancing to talk about submission in marriage.

A tango cannot have two leads, and our Marriage instructor, our third strand, calls us to submit to our husbands that we may have unity in our relationships and live in concert with his spirit. -Jen Weaver

 

More Than Enough

There is bonus material to delve deeper into each subject that is available online. This book is a must read for young women preparing for marriage, as well as married women. I wish I would have read something like this before I got married, it would have made the first few years of marriage a lot easier. Jen Weaver nails the secret to happiness in marriage through receiving, honoring and celebrating God’s role for you in your marriage.

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

Leave a comment below with your best piece of marriage advice below, to be entered to win a copy of A Wife’s Secret to Happiness. 

Jen

Jen is married to her best friend Jared and mom to their adorable toddler, Dillon. Jen is an author, marketing professional, Bible study teacher, conference speaker, and a host for The Declare Conference – a blogging conference in Dallas, Texas. She is passionate about sharing strengths with others through her stories of humor and hope.

A Wife’s Secret to Happiness(Leafwood, March 2017) is already receiving rave reviews from Jim Daily, President of Focus on the Family, Associate Senior Pastor Pastor of Gateway Church, Allan Kelsey, Author of Breaking Busy, Ali Worthington, Author of A Mary Like Me, Andy Lee, and many more! www.TheJenWeaver.com

 


alongside

Life can be so complicated and unpredictable. Today has been one of those days for me. My day started off with three MRIs: one for my brain, one for my neck and one for my back. My dear sweet husband took the morning off from work to hold my hand, comfort me, and pray for me because he knows that I am claustrophobic and that MRIs cause me great anxiety! Today was one of those days when I just needed my husband’s presence. As I went further into the MRI tube, he held my leg, and just knowing he was there brought me tremendous comfort. While sitting in the waiting room before my MRI and filling out my paperwork, I realized that today is February 13, my mom’s birthday. If my mom were still alive today, she would have turned 77!

We think we have to do something, but presence is a powerful action of its own. – Sarah Beckman

I have been thinking a lot about my mom lately. She died a few years ago after she was taken off of life support just days after Christmas. Family relations and emotions were all running high. Many friends called, texted and offered support. Whenever anyone offered to help I would simply ask for prayer. I would say that I was alright when in reality I wasn’t.

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In trying times, people tend to say they are okay and don’t need anything, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I will never forget the loving kindness of a friend who offered to stop by the hospital to bring food, and she would not take no for an answer. Not only did she bring me food, but she also took the time to listen to me. We prayed, we sang, and she sat with me as the Lord called my mom home. Her presence at that moment in my life was powerful and it is a gift that I will forever cherish.

How do we walk alongside someone in the midst of trying circumstances?

There’s a unique opportunity to love our neighbor when they experience a time of trial in their life. – Sarah Beckman

We all experience difficult trials in life, and we know people close to us that suffer hardships. How do we love and care for others well in their crisis?  The answer to this question is the purpose of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial. This must-read book is an invaluable resource for walking alongside those in need.

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This book is filled with questions to consider. It offers practical ways to love people through the storms of life and will help you figure out the best way to respond to the individual’s needs. You will learn to know your place in relationship to the person in need, and what you should do accordingly. It will also give a good understanding of possible needs and how people may be feeling, including general guidelines to consider and questions to help prepare for the journey ahead.

Part 2 of the book is dedicated to taking action. Know when to go, and when to pray. When I went to the hospital to give birth to my son whose heart had stopped beating in my womb, my sweet friends wanted to come to the hospital. While having my friends at the hospital that day was a kind gesture, what I needed most was time to grieve alone with my family. There is a chapter dedicated to respecting the person’s journey and includes information on privacy and dignity, and other chapters offer specific help, including being present, showing love through food, listening well and much more.

Finally, the book concludes with chapters on special circumstances, including: messy situations, when faith isn’t shared, when you’ve been there, when someone is aging, and terminal illness. In the appendix, there are scriptures for loving your neighbor which are divided into categories and a list of websites, books, and other helpful resources like meal coordination and online fundraising.

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For more information visit Sarah Beckman’s website.

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

I have one autographed copy of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial to give away! 

From now until February 28th, leave a comment below with either a way that you have come alongside someone in need or how someone has blessed you in a difficult time, to be eligible to win. Also, if you enjoyed reading this blog post please share with a friend.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

This week’s Linkups:

 

Creative Ways to Engage with God!

  Where are my creative peeps?

You know who you are! My right-brained people who just need to create. Our Heavenly Father is the original creative! In the beginning, God created the heavens and filled the earth with such Majestic beauty! Even the Heavens declare the glory of God!

We do not serve an in-the-box one-size-fits-all God.

So why not communicate with God in creative ways? 

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God is always ready to connect with us, and we have access to throne room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can boldly approach the throne at any time, no matter where we are! No longer do we need a High Preist to offer sacrifices or atone for our sins. Jesus is our mediator and great High Priest. Have you ever thought about communicating with God through your art or another innovative way?

You have got to get a copy of Creative Ways to Engage With God: Designed to Pray!

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Creative Ways to Engage With God – Designed to Pray is not your typical prayer book! This little gem is filled with both wisdom and fun ingenious ways to connect with God in a visually stunning way.  Creative Ways to Engage With God takes you on an eight-week journey that includes quotes, Scriptures, reflection questions, prayers, and songs. Whether you are new to prayer, have been praying for years, or just want to infuse new life into your prayer time, this book is for you, especially if you appreciate both art AND the importance of prayer!

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Explore, Play, Pray

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

This week one lucky person will win a copy of this inspirational prayer book! There are two easy ways to be eligible to win your very own copy of Creative Ways to Engage With God – Designed to Pray:

  1. If you are new to my blog – Follow MistyPhillip to enter to win
  2. If you are a current MistyPhillip subscriber – Comment on your favorite way to engage with God!

Kelly O’Dell Stanley books were featured at the book tables of the Belong Tour, a spin-off of Women of Faith events. Learn more about Kelly O’Dell Stanley.

 

Move Toward the Mess

Move Toward the Mess

I love God’s timing! It amazes me the things that only He can orchestrate. When you answer the call to follow Jesus, you just never know where you may end up. Following Jesus is definitely not boring! During the Wednesday evening service this week, my pastor talked about how when God calls you, He will most likely call you to a place that is out of your comfort zone. God will never call you to mediocrity. If God called you to something that was easy for you, then you wouldn’t need Him, or have to rely on Him. Hmm… Interesting. Hold on to that thought.

I just finished reading the book Move Toward the Mess: The Ultimate Fix for a Boring Christian Life (David C. Cook 2016) by John Hambrick. Little did I know that the timing this book would correspond with a day I won’t soon forget.

img_0864Last fall, my Ladies Bible Study group wanted to do some kind of service project together. Today was our appointed day to volunteer at a local soup kitchen by the name of Fishes and Loaves. This soup kitchen feeds 200-400 hungry people in downtown Houston six days a week.

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As we pulled up to the to the building, there is already a huge line of people waiting to be fed. For some of these people, this may be the only meal that they eat today. It is a cold day here in Houston, and the temperatures are in the 40’s and 50’s, and it is damp and overcast. Most of the men and women we served, live under the bridge near the kitchen on the east side of downtown Houston.

Our group today consisted of mostly men, and a few women. The people thanked us and said God bless you for serving food to us. However, one woman in particular caught my attention, and it struck a cord with me. She came in with a black eye, and I wondered what she endured to get her to this place. Life on the streets is messy.

The Houston food bank along with other generous sponsors help provide the food. Our family donates money to the Houston Food bank every year, but today I locked eyes with the hungry men and women of Houston and I will never be the same.

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Magnificat Houses is the umbrella organization over Fishes and Loaves that serves some one the neediest people in the inner city of Houston. It has been serving the mentally ill, homeless and disadvantaged since 1968. Magnificat house provides hope, food, shelter, half-way houses and rehabilitative services to people in the Houston area. It is completly led by volunteers, and operates by donation. Visit Magnificat Houses to learn more about this incredible organization.

Julie Batsche at Fishes and Loaves was our tour guide for the day. Our group served along side some of the most joy filled people that I have ever seen, their countannce radiates Jesus! We began with a tour of the facility, the chaplin shared the history of the organization, and we started with prayer. Today we served fresh salad, and gumbo made by Cedrick Broussard the cook, and his assistant, along with a roll, crackers and dessert to 205 people.

fullsizeoutput_1852The murals on the wall were painted by one of the homeless men who used to come the shelter many years ago. Below is a depiction of the miracle of the fishes and loaves from the gospels that the kitchen is named after. The workers here today see this miracle played out before their very own eyes, because God provides daily for Loaves and Fishes to feed the hungry.

fullsizeoutput_1855Our world is full of lost and hurting people who desperately need to know the love of Christ. In Move Toward the Mess, John Hambrick challenges American Christians who are bored sitting in the pews each Sunday, to get up and follow Jesus into the mess to minister to the lost and hurting in the world. I found this book to be both challenging and exciting.

In the first part of the book, John provides several examples of people that live their lives right smack in the middle of the mess, and in the second half of the book, he outlines practical ways for us to move toward the mess. There is a nice flow from chapter to chapter, and each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions that would make this an excellent book for individual study or small group discussion.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Move toward the Mess:

What gives Paul peace in the middle of the mess is God’s outrageous, unconditional forgiveness.-John Hambrick

Move toward the mess is a love story.  It is the ultimate love story of a mighty Savior who came to earth to bind up the brokenhearted, wipe every tear away, save the lost, and lavish his amazing grace on us.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”U46xi” via=”yes” ]Jesus is on the move today are you willing to answer the call and move toward the mess?[/ctt]

There are lots of different ways to move toward the mess. Last Spring when our community experienced devasting flooding we mobilized hundreds of church members into the community to help flood victims. You can read about how we moved toward the mess in The Church Has Left the Building. It is time for the church to leave the building, and move toward the mess.

I love the message of this book, and would love its message to go viral! Share this post on social media for a chance to win your very own copy of Move Toward the Mess between now and January 15th!

John Hambrick is no stranger to the mess. He is the Director of Starting Point and Staff Development at Buckhead Church in Atlanta, GA – one of the North Point Community Church campuses in Atlanta that bestselling author Andy Stanley founded. John has served in other churches as an associate pastor and pastor. He has also been a staff member for Young Life and was one of the chaplains at Kings College, University of London. John and his wife, Patty, have two children and reside in Atlanta, Georgia.

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.