Saturday, June 29, 2024

June Book Recommendations

To my great delight, I recently found a whole stack of books on sale for $1 or less! I still read more ebooks than paperbacks, but it’s fun to hold an actual book in my hands sometimes. Here are some of my favorite book recommendations for summer reading. I hope you’ll enjoy them as well! 


Fiction – 

Picture Perfect (Weddings by Design Book #1) by Janice Thompson (KU)

This is a fun, lighthearted romance about two wedding photographers. Hannah feels like she’s in competition with fellow photographer Drew. Of course, sparks fly, and Hannah eventually realizes partnership is better than competition. Hannah’s character is also Irish, and the story is filled with humor and her family’s crazy antics and traditions. This is one of my favorite novels by Janice Thompson. If you’re looking for an easy-going, humorous, clean, Christian fiction book, you’ll enjoy this one! 


Non-Fiction – 

The “Do What You Can” Plan – 21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better by Holley Gerth 

I so appreciate the approach of this book! It’s not easy to set and reach goals when life is crazy or during particularly busy seasons. This book helps us think smaller and take little steps forward one day at a time. This results in progress and helps us feel encouraged about what we can do, instead of focusing on what we can’t do. This is a great book to reread often and follow the little steps for whatever area we’d like to experience progress in. 


Children’s – 

Hippocephalus: A tale of hippo hope for kids facing medical challenges by Beka Burns 

This book is a great resource for families who have children with medical needs. It’s sweet and fun to read, while explaining in kid-friendly language about medical procedures and doctor’s appointments. It’s a somewhat long book, so it’s better to be read in installments than all at once. If you know a family whose child has medical needs, I hope you’ll pass along this book to them!  


(KU – available in Kindle Unlimited)


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Living with All My Heart

I’m excited to announce that my friend Kati and I recently published a new children’s book!

The idea for this book came after I’d been reading in the Psalms, and I noticed the same phrase used often.


“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart….” (Psalm 9:1)

“I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart….” (Psalm 86:12)

“I seek you with all my heart….” (Psalm 119:10)

“Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.” (Psalm 119:34)

I started thinking about this idea of living with “all my heart.” Of course, I want to live that way! Of course, I can’t do it. 

When questioned, Jesus answered that the greatest commandment in the law is to love God with all your heart (and all your soul, mind, and strength). (Mark 12:30) However, Jesus didn’t say, “So, go do it.” Jesus knew that as sinful human beings, it’s impossible for us to keep this commandment. If we could love God with all our heart, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to come as our Savior. Praise God, Jesus did come and He fulfilled the law. He loved God and He loved others perfectly.


Now, since we do have Him as our Savior, and we do have the Holy Spirit living in us, we can grow in this way of living wholeheartedly day by day, (though still imperfectly). I think the key to this kind of life is explained in 1 John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.”


God’s love for me is perfect. It is unlimited. It is powerful. It is eternal.


The more I understand and experience God’s love for me, the more my heart responds with love for Him, and the more I live out of love instead of selfishness or self-reliance. Understanding God’s love for me more and more leads me to loving God more and more. It leads to living more with “all my heart.” That’s how I want to live. 


We hope that our new book encourages children and helps them understand this simple truth – that they can live each day with all their heart, as the last line of the book says,

“Because my heavenly Father loves me always with all His heart.”