Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Happy Anniversary to My Dear Husband

Happy anniversary to the best husband ever!  In two years, we've lived in 3 places, traveled all over the United States and Philippines, gave our first child back to God, and fallen more in love every single day. Thanks for the adventures, the memories, the French Press coffee every morning, and all the chocolate. Thank you for the chicken nugget runs at midnight, random Bass Pro excursions, and the walks over Walnut Street Bridge. Thank you for continuing for two years to teach me how football is played--I'll get it one of these years. You've supported my every dream. Thank you for reading my books, saving the characters from untimely deaths, and watching my makeup videos. These photos depict you so perfectly--always gently loving and protecting me. I love you, hunkules!

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

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Isaiah's Daughter -- Book Review

Y'all, I finally finished Isaiah's Daughter. Shameful, I know. I am on Mesu Andrew's street team and should have had this book read and reviewed before it released. However, I tend to linger over her books and really let the reality of what was occurring in Biblical times sink in. I prefer to think over God's grace and what it must have been like to live in the days before the Messiah appeared rather than rush through the book. Here is a fairly spoiler-free review.

Isaiah's Daughter (Prophets and Kings, #1)Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ages 16+.

From the synopsis: Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name--Zibah, delight of the Lord--thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet's home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah's lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah's favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.

I have long been a Mesu Andrews' fan. While this was not my favorite book of hers, I did enjoy it and had much of my studies on Hezekiah wonderfully refreshed by reading it from this point of view. There was much more childhood scenes and far less adult content in this particular book. While I liked the variation and could safely recommend it to most teens, I personally liked The Pharaoh's Daughter and In the Shadow of Jezebel better.

I resonated with Ishma's fears. Fear from horrible memories can and does take hold of one at the most unsettling, unwelcome times. I enjoyed her journey of overcoming fear. And, as someone who has miscarried, her miscarriages brought me to tears and I could keenly identify with her loss.

Hezi was a fascinating character. I would have liked more of his POV, but, as it was, the book centered more on Isaiah and Ishma.

I think lovers of Biblical and historical fiction will enjoy this book. It was a strong reminder of the obligation we have to both overcome our difficult pasts and train the next generation right for the glory of God.

View all my reviews

Have you read it? What were your thoughts? And what are you reading now? 
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Monday, February 5, 2018

Makeup Monday + Giveaway!

Y'all, it's Makeup Monday! And to celebrate, I have a giveaway! 

Isn't this shirt darling?! To enter, join my makeup group and follow the rules of entering! The winner gets this shirt in her size.

I've been BLOWN away by Epic mascara. This isn't even the 3D mascara--just the every day regular mascara. I'm LOVING it. Thanks to our serum, my eye lashes are growing, but they're still very light. So grateful for mascara that makes me look awake, especially these days. (Thanks to the flue and my own health problems, I've been running on little sleep and NO energy.)

Here, I was practicing with our Touch Liquid Mineral Foundation and and cream eye shadow (Faithful.)

Lastly, I was practicing my Valentine's look here. Being a Younique presenter has pushed me out of my comfort zones and taught me SO much about trying new things. This is one of the first times I've ever worn purple eyeshadow.

Wearing: Epic Mascara, Touch Liquid Mineral Foundation, Crushing On Your Kiss Lip Powder, Moodstruck Precision Brow Liner, Moodstruck Precision Eye Pencil, Moodstruck Pressed Shadow, Moodstruck Splurge Cream Eye Shadow.

If you've liked any of the products shown, reach out to me to get your own--or become a presenter yourself. It's a very simple process and is sooooooooo worth it. I was scared to chase my dream, but am so glad I took the leap. It's been amazing! 

What Product Would You Like To Try?

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Their Corner: Featuring Andrea Halliburton with Rivers of Mercy

Y'all, I hope you enjoyed Their Corner: Featuring Cassi Reyes with Choices. I was blessed by her story.

Today, we have my friend Andrea with Rivers of Mercy Orphanage. Enjoy!

You work with orphans in Mexico. Could you tell us a little bit about the organization?

Rivers of Mercy children's home is an orphanage in Anapra, Juarez, Mexico. It was founded in 2007 by Husband and wife Emmanuel and Kristin Robles. It has now grown into a home for 40+ children with the goal of teaching them the Love of Christ in a safe environment. As the ministry has grown, a school has also been added on our back piece of land. This school allows the ministry's teachers to tailor their classes to the children's learning levels and speeds as many of the children come to us having never been in school or with learning disabilities. 

Could you tell us a little bit about your calling in life? 

When I was younger, living in another country and being a "missionary" was never really what I felt called to. But after visiting in 2010, God made it very clear that Rivers of Mercy and caring for orphans was the path He had for me. I was so incredibly blessed growing up with two loving parents who were grounded in the word of God, and I truly believe we as christians are blessed to be a blessing. I feel that I have been tasked to share my blessing with the kids by sharing a little bit of Christ's love and grace with them as it was with me. How that calling plays out through my life, only the Lord knows, but I'm willing to watch it unfold in His timing and plan! 

What made you choose Rivers of Mercy? 

To be honest I am not sure the exact reason that this orphanage touched my heart, but in reading River's of Mercy's blog, looking at the pictures, remembering Kristin from when I was younger, and maybe to a degree the fact that there was danger and people told me not to, I felt strongly that this is where God wanted me to spend my fall for 2010. If God lays something on your heart it´s not our place to say no because of danger, fear, warnings from others, ect. I often tell people that when you see God moving in a place and see that place and those people being used for His glory, how can you not get involved? That's what sucked me in

Do you see yourself adopting one day?

I would love to! Currently I live at the orphanage and adoption isn't possible for me personally at the moment, but I'm open to the possibility when it's time ! And we all know that's in His timing not mine haha 

Anything you'd like us to know about you and your ministry?

Whew loaded question
I would like people to know that it's exhausting, draining, and some days flat out frustrating, like they all expect it is, but it's oh so wonderful! I can't imagine not working with and doing life with all these kids! To watch how our Heavenly Father moves in their hearts and in our hearts is such a privilege. I feel spoiled! It's not all hugs and giggles but it is such an amazing blessing!

Thank you for being with us, Andrea! 
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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Their Corner: Featuring Cassi Reyes with Choices

Y'all, there are some pretty fabulous ministries and people out there. I'm going to start featuring them on this blog and give y'all a glimpse into their lives. So many people are doing so much for the Lord and others. I know how easy it can be to grow discouraged in the ministry. It's my hope that featuring some of these stories will be an encouragement not only to my readers, but to those whose stories are featured. Their work does not go unseen. And, in the midst of troubling headlines and our own personal ups and downs in life, these people are a little glimmer of hope in the darkness. God is working.

Their Corner:
Featuring Cassi Reyes with Choices

Thank you for being with us on the blog, Cassi. Could you tell us a little bit about Choices?

Choices exists to educate, support and empower women and men facing unplanned pregnancies. We do this by offering pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, options counseling, parenting classes for men and women, post abortion counseling, and more.

What made you decide this ministry was for you?

I grew up at Choices. My mom worked there for 17 years of my life. She showed me that the fight for the sanctity of life take sacrifice, hard work, loyalty and dedication. When I turned 21 I knew I wanted to take this mission on personally. I felt passionately about it as I knew it was something God was calling me to do. I started training to become a volunteer client advocate in 2013. When I began counseling with these precious clients I had this sense of peace and purpose, and I knew I was doing what I was put on this earth to do. A few years later, I’m living my absolute dream of being on staff here.

What is the most important part of this ministry for you?

I think the most important part of the ministry is the fact that we are able to share the love of Jesus Christ with every client who comes through our doors. I believe that the only thing that will change someone’s heart forever is the radical, unconditional love of Jesus. That is what will take someone off of a path of self-destruction. We don’t want to be like the abortion clinics who say, “Come back soon.” We want to educate them, support them, and empower them to make better decisions in the future. We are able to share the gospel with our clients openly because we are 100% donor funded. We will never “cram religion down our clients throats.” But we always offer the opportunity for a spiritual discussion and/or prayer if they desire.

Is there anything you'd like us to know about Choices?

For anyone who does not know, Choices stands on the grounds of the former Chattanooga Women’s Clinic, which was the free-standing abortion clinic at the time. After a miraculous act of God in 1993, AAA Women’s Services (now, Choices) bought the Clinic, and immediately bulldozed the place that had seen the lives of thousands upon thousands of babies killed. Today, the National Memorial for the Unborn stands over the exact spot where the abortions were performed. It’s a beautiful place where plaques are placed to honor lives lost to abortion. And on the other side of the building, is Choices! Just a fun fact, that some may not know.

Thank you for being with us on the blog, Cassi!

If y'all are interested in volunteering with or donating to Choices, check out their website or Facebook page.

Until next time, y'all! 
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Monday, January 22, 2018

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Makeup Monday

Hey, y'all.

So I have been trying to figure out a way to incorporate my love for makeup into this blog along with everything else I write about (the natural homemaking, books, book reviews, spiritual subjects, interviews, and plain old life.) So I have decided to start a Makeup Monday.

Now, whether or not I am successful in sharing about makeup tips or products every Monday remains to be seen. 

But it is worth a shot.

Here's a quick 4 minute video I did on a eye shadow pallette that I really like and use. Why? Because it's a build-your-own pallette. YES. No more colors I hate and can't use. My video explains how it works.

I also have been experimenting with Moodstruck Epic Mascara this week. Wow is all I can say. I have tried just about every brand out there for years and this is definitely up there on the list of ones I love. I am super picky about mascara, so finding one is always kind of a victory for me. 

This is just one coat of mascara. I'm super happy--I was so afraid I might not love Younique's mascara, which would be devastating since I'm a presenter. (Hey, just 'cause I love a company doesn't mean that every single product they make is going to work for me, you know?! I'm not gonna pretend to like something if I don't.)

So as far as the Epic Mascara goes, I'm very satisfied. It's $1 cheaper than Better Than Sex mascara from Sephora and I get paid to wear it and/or get half price on it with some of the presenter perks (making it even cheaper for me.) It doesn't dry my eyes out or irritate them, lasts all day, doesn't smudge on my glasses, and only takes one coat. And it's clump free, a problem I tend to have with most mascaras. It also does not break off or damage my delicate lashes, again a problem I had with some other brands. 

This is the first time I've discovered a mascara I like as much or better than Better Than Sex(And it doesn't have a title that makes you mommas blush or my husband roll his eyes by what he calls "false advertising." Win, win. Here's to being more...Epic.)

Any other gals who use a build-your own pallette? What is your favorite mascara? Share in the comments!

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