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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A YA comedic tragedy!

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing The Big Picture (NavPress Publishing Group April 15, 2008) by Jenny B. Jones

I so totally enjoyed this YA fiction book. It was a good balance of gritty/raw and LOL funny. I was impressed by the way Jones managed to be realistic about life's ugliness and messiness while showing that it's possible to trust God in all the circumstances life can throw at us. The book is the third in a series...but I hadn't read the first two. The book stood on it's own just fine. I will definitely be reading more from Jenny!

About the Book:Sometimes there’s a fine line between comedy and tragedy—and Katie Parker is walking it.

School is winding down for the summer but Katie Parker is having a bad day. After leaving the drive-in, where her imploding love life was the main attraction, Katie arrives home to a big surprise on the Scott's front porch. Her mother, Bobbie Ann Parker, a former convict and recovering addict, wants to take Katie away from her family, friends, and church. Now Katie's life will be changed by a series of dramatic choices as she struggles to understand what family and home really means.

Katie is forced to walk away from In Between, leaving behind a family who loves her, a town drive-in to save, and a boyfriend who suddenly can’t take his eyes off his ex. When the life her mother promised begins to sink faster than one of Maxine’s stuffed bras, Katie knows she needs to rely on God to keep it together. But where is he in all this? Can Katie survive a chaotic life with her mother—and one without the Scotts? And if God is there, will he come through before it’s too late?A Katie Parker Production series offers teen girls real-world fiction balanced by hope and humor. The The Big Picture helps us realize that the difficult chapters in our journey are only part of God's big story for our lives.

You can read the first chapter HERE

About the Author: Jenny B. Jones is the author of A Katie Parker Production series. The other books in the series are In Between and On The Loose. Though now an adult, she still relates to the trauma and drama of teen life. She is thrilled to see her writing dreams come true, as her previous claim to fame was singing the Star Spangled Banner at a mule-jumping championship. (The mules were greatly inspired.)

Jenny resides in Arkansas, where, as a teacher, she hangs out with teens on a regular basis.

Find out more about Jenny at her website: http://jennybjones.com/

Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh Meghan Rose...we love you!

Do you yearn for a Christian based fiction book geared for younger elementary children?

If so, then check out the Meghan Rose series!
My daughter and I really loved these books. She's a huge fan of the Junie B. Jones books and found the Meghan Rose books to be similar. Author Lori Z. Scott takes simple everyday little girl dilemma's and helps Meghan navigate her "tragedies" in the world. The books are written from a Biblical world view and so while they're funny and entertaining, they are also backing up what we teach at home and what she's learning in church. I love that. We read All Dressed Up and On Stage, we'll be ordering the rest!

This new series from Standard Publishing introduces Meghan Rose, the bounciest first-grader in the world! Young readers will share Meghan’s adventures, laugh, and learn important life lessons. Each title also includes a bonus section with discussion starters and fun activity ideas.

I am excited to welcome author Lori Z. Scott, joining us today to talk about the newest releases in her Meghan Rose series—Meghan Rose All Dressed Up and Meghan Rose Has a Secret.

Since 2000, Lori has published over fifty short stories, devotions, puzzles, poems, and articles for children, teens, and adults in publications such as Focus on Your Child, MOMSense Magazine, Spirit Led Writer, Pockets, and Devozine. She is the author of Busy Moms’ Devotions to Go and four Meghan Rose titles. In addition, Lori has contributed to over a dozen books including Real Moms, Cup of Comfort Book of Prayers, and 2007 Eppie Award winner InfiniteSpace, Infinite God.

A graduate of Wheaton College, Lori has worked with children for over twenty years, both as a teacher in the classroom and as a volunteer for local churches, museums, and schools. When she’s not busy driving her two children to various church, sporting, and artistic activities, she moonlights as a speaker for women’s groups and schools.

Lori, welcome. Thanks for taking time to be with us today.

My pleasure.

You often introduce yourself as first a mother, then a teacher, and finally a writer. Why is that?

I feel like being a mother is my highest calling in life. And that means I’m a caregiver, nurse, tutor, cheerleader, counselor, transportation expert, and nutritionist. Doing all those mommy things is a bit like filling a jar jam-packed with marbles. I pursue my own interests in the empty spaces around those marbles because being a mommy trumps all.

I call myself a teacher second because working with kids has been such a huge part of my life. Just as God gifts different people for different tasks, I feel like God has given me a special ability to understand and work with children. Or maybe I’m just not ready to give up playing and comics yet.

I call myself a writer last because I often feel like writing too much fun—and pays too little—to be a real job. But then again, writing is another interest in my life I have felt called to pursue. God blessed me there too. When I decided to start writing, my first submission won second place in a science fiction writing contest. My second submission won MOPS International story writing contest.

I guess what I want moms to realize is, it’s okay to put the mommy part of our lives first and to trust that God will still bless, fulfill, and lead us in other areas as well.

Why would parents like your series?

A good question—one that I have to answer from my own experience. When my daughter was in first grade, her teacher started reading the Junie B. Jones books in class. Since Meghan liked them, I picked up a few copies.

Well, I enjoyed the humor in those books, but had to edit out some of the grammar slips, name calling and attitudes. I thought there had to be an alternative choice—a book that was just as funny, but also had a good take-away value. I scoured the Christian bookstores. I couldn’t find any fiction for that age group, only devotional books and Bible stories.

When I asked about it, bookstore owners often commented that they wished they could offer such a book. In fact, they’d had numerous parents come to the store, all asking the same thing: Do you have a fiction book my young child will enjoy reading? And, like them, I walked away empty handed.

So I wrote the book I couldn’t find—a book for my daughter AND for all those other mothers just like me. I put in everything she wanted—an interesting story filled with giggles and characters worth rooting for—and everything I wanted—good moral values (but with nothing preachy about the story at all). And because I don’t believe I’m alone in those desires, I’m convinced other parents (AND THEIR KIDS!!!) will like the series too.

Why did you include discussion questions and activities at the end of each book?

That’s the teacher part of me flaring up big time! LOL. But seriously, how many times have you as a mother read a book and thought, “There’s a good lesson in here” but didn’t know how to draw your child into a discussion about it? I remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows with my daughter and wanting to talk about the tender topic of death that book touches on. Since I didn’t know where to start, I couldn’t fully take advantage of that teachable moment. (Instead we both just cried all the way through the last few chapters.)

That’s why I included questions for parents or teachers to use after they read the story, so they can capitalize on the book’s underlying message. (Although I hope people laugh through the last few chapters of Meghan Rose instead of cry!)

And the activities are all for the kids. They love extending the story experience by creating their own volcanoes or whatever. I also put a ton of other ideas for parents and kids on my website under the BLAM (Brilliant Little Activities to Make) link.

So each book has an underlying message? Tell us about that.

As I mentioned, I wanted the stories to do more than entertain. I wanted them to have takeaway value. Each book’s message is very subtle but still evident throughout the book. While Meghan Rose on Stage! talks about discovering your talents, it’s ultimately about friendship. Meghan Rose Has Ants in Her Pants explores the idea of patience—a difficult area for most kids to deal with. The newest two books—Meghan Rose All Dressed Up and Meghan Rose Has a Secret—address inner beauty and kind words. But again, none of it is preachy. It’s heavy on the humor and very, VERY light on the lesson…yet neither quality is lost on the child.

Are the books just for girls?

Not at all! One mother of two boys emailed me about how much her sons enjoyed reading them with her. She said they could hardly read for laughing so hard—they were all HOWLING!! The youngest one loved it so much he started sleeping with the first book under his pillow at night.
In fact, the comment I hear most from people who read the books is, “I laughed out loud.” The second comment I hear most often is about how much kids (and parents) like the discussion questions and activities. How can all that just be for girls?

Where do you get the inspiration for the humorous parts of the books?

Most of that comes from my upbringing. My dad was always coming up with puns and jokes. He made them up on the spot, and they were hilarious! I can’t tell you how many hours we spent laughing around the dinner table. I think dad influenced all my sisters. In fact, one of my sisters was part of an improvisational comedy team. (She’s also a pastor’s wife—it’s a fun combination.)
I also grew up on a steady diet of comic books. Peanuts and Garfield were my favorites, and later Calvin and Hobbes. And we’d also watch comedy on television, especially The Carol Brunette Show.

That said, some of my inspiration just comes from everyday life. My kids crack me up. They both have a great sense of humor.

The main character in the Meghan Rose series shares your daughter’s name. Why is that?
She was the foundational basis for the character. When I started the series, I needed someone likable, outrageous, clever, spunky, and sensitive all rolled into one. Well, that’s my Meghan. And since I originally wrote the books just for her, I simply used her name. You’ll also see the names of other people I’ve met, although the character they’re named for is totally fiction. Mrs. Arnold, for example, was the name of Meghan’s real first grade teacher. But she’s not like the Mrs. Arnold in the book.

Are any of the characters like you?

I think maybe there’s a little bit of me in all of them. Certainly a lot of me is reflected in the teacher, Mrs. Arnold. Then Ryan shows the jokester side of me, Kayla has the goofy side, Lynette has the rule-following, show-off side, and Meghan’s Mom has the practical side. The Meghan character herself is about 80 percent of the “real” Meghan, 10 percent of me and my creative musings, and 10 percent total fiction.

Do you ever visit schools to talk about the books?

Yes! I’ve visited several schools and talked about the steps a writer goes through to get from idea to published book. I’ve also shared ways to boost everyday creativity and develop writing ideas. All three presentations seem to fire up everyone, even the reluctant writers. Kids tell me that what they enjoy most about the time we spend together is learning my two-handed drawing trick and discovering how to write their own jokes.

As a teacher, I value school visits. I think it’s important to inspire and encourage all children…to help them see opportunities and possibilities. As a mom, I can’t help seeing my own children reflected in the faces I meet. That gives me extra incentive to make kids want to reach their dreams, whatever they might be.

Can you share one idea for mothers to help their children be more creative?

Sure. Hmmm. Hard to pick one. I guess one great idea is to encourage your children to be involved with artistic endeavors. That can include a whole variety of options, like drawing, painting, or making things out of shoe boxes. Children can listen to or dance to music. Or make their own music. They can dress up and put on a show for family or friends, or memorize a silly poem. And it should be fun, not work.

Where can readers learn more about you and the Meghan Rose books?

They can visit my web site. My award-winning illustrator, Stacy Curtis, designed it. It offers jokes, puzzles, and activities for kids and great ideas for teacher and parents (on Mrs. Arnold’s BLAM page). It also introduces the books and characters, provides links to book reviews, and gives ordering information. I posted a retold fairy tale reader’s theater that gives visitors a good feel for the style of humor found in the books in my Little Red Riding Hood reader's theater.
You can also purchase a copy of Meghan Rose on Stage!, Meghan Rose Has Ants in Her Pants, Meghan Rose All Dressed Up, andMeghan Rose Has a Secret by clicking on the titles here.

That sounds great. Well, thank you for your time!

Thank you for letting me visit with you.

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Name is Vera Gramble!

Seriously...what an awesome name for a character!

This week's CFBA pick is Athol Dickson's Winter Haven. It is on the top of my TBR (to be read) pile. The first chapter caught my interest immediately...I had to force myself to put it down and get back to work.

I'm always impressed with Mr. Dickson's unique story lines. I totally agree with the comparison to Flannery O'Connor. (my absolute favorite author of all time!) If you haven't read any of Athol's books you're missing out! :)

About Athol: Athol grew up studying art privately and in public school, then at the university level where he transitioned to architecture. He founded an architectural firm, then started writing in his spare time. One thing led to another over the years, and now he is a full time novelist.

Athol once sold his house and car and moved aboard a boat to cruise the northern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast of the USA. Athol lives in southern California with his wife, where he writes among the hummingbirds and palm trees, with the scent of flowers in the air.

Athol Dickson’s writing has been favorably compared to the work of Octavia Butler (Publisher’s Weekly), Daphne du Maurier (Cindy Crosby, FaithfulReader.com) and FlanneryO’Connor (The New York Times).

His They Shall See God was a Christy Award finalist and his River Rising was a Christy Award winner, selected as one of the Booklist Top Ten Christian Novels of 2006 and a finalist for Christianity Today's Best Novel of 2006.

Visit http://www.atholdickson.com/ for more information.

About the book: Boys who never age, giants lost in time, mist that never rises, questions never asked...on the most remote of islands off the coast of Maine, history haunts the present and Vera Gamble wrestles with a past that will not yield. Will she find refuge there, or will her ghosts prevail on...Winter Haven

Eleven years ago, Vera Gamble's brother left their house never to be seen again. Until the day Vera gets a phone call that his body has been found...washed ashore in the tiny island town of Winter Haven, Maine. His only surviving kin, Vera travels north to claim the body...and finds herself tumbling into a tangled mystery. Her brother hasn't aged a day since last she saw him.

Determined to uncover what happened in those lost years, Vera soon discovers there are other secrets lurking in this isolated town. But Winter Haven's murky past now seems bound to come to light as one woman seeks the undeniable and flooding light of truth.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Favorite Mom blog tour!

Margaret McSweeney's A Mother's Heart Knows is on tour this week!

Her book is a beautiful tribute to motherhood and mothers. Pop on over to her blog and check out the buzz!

You can win a copy by leaving a comment on this post!

Also, Margaret is hosting the "My Favorite Mom" spa basket contest during the tour. In honor of Mother's Day she would love to hear your favorite story about your mother (or someone who is like a mother to you). To enter the contest go here and share your story to win one of TWO fabulously scrumptious spa baskets! She'll be posting your stories (with your permission of course) on her blog.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I've been EXPELLED!

Well not really! But I did win 2 tickets from Jill Hart's contest over at Christian Work at Home Mom's, to see Ben Stein's movie, Expelled!

SUPER COOL...I'm so excited! I'll let you know what I think about the movie.

'cause I know you're dying to hear my thoughts...on everything!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Busy Mom...Are you one? Day 5

Here's more on Lisa's The Busy Mom's Devotional!

Lisa will be live on Blog Talk Radio's, MomCast Live on Tuesday...check her out! Details here.

Also, Lisa launched her own blog, The Busy Mom's Devo! Check it out: www.busymomsdevo.com

Sarah at Real Life
Having time with God's Word is one of the biggest challenges that has come with having children. The funny thing is that this is time I need it the most! When my toddler is covered in poop... and so is the bathroom..., my seven year old needs help with her homework, and I've just ruined my four year old's life because I won't let her wear a sundress in January, I NEED GOD'S GRACE!! Read the rest here.

Karla at Looking Towards Heaven
This is no watered-down devotional. It is designed to make you think and to help you focus on Him.One of the things that I love about it is that at the beginning of each session there is a spot titled Things on My Mind. Who of us doesn't have fifty gajillion things bumping around in our minds at any given moment. This is a place to write down those things - grocery lists, to-do lists... anything keeping you from being able to focus. Read the rest here.

Billie at Hearing the Music Amongst the Noise
Although, I don't always prioritize it, my heart's number one desire is to grow in my relationship with God. That is why Lisa Bergren's book The Busy Mom Devotional is the perfect devotional!

I really do not like superficial devotionals. Lisa does a really good job of giving you some realistic meat. She gives a passage of scriptures, a real life applicable story...and then a section to take the scriptures a step further. It's not superficial, it's applicable, and it only requires 10 minutes...which as a mom with young kiddos, can be a time achievable!

Read the rest here.

Melody at Slurping Life
The Busy Mom's Devotional, 10 Minutes A Week To A Life Of Devotion, truly provides busy moms a doable resource to begin reconnecting with their spiritual life. You may choose to read one devotional a day. You may choose to read one devotional per week taking time to return to the same devotional several times to complete your thoughts in order to reveal what God is saying to you. Either way, it works.

Lisa has written a devotional in a manageable format with relevant stories for busy moms. She captured me with devotional title number four..."Chocolate Intensity Prayer".
Read the rest here.

Revka at The Porch Light
I really like that Mrs. Bergren encourages women to just begin. While certainly not the final goal, 10 minutes a week spent with God is much better than none at all, and developing that little habit can easily lead to developing a daily habit. I know that I often feel guilty for not having devotions everyday; that guilt in turn leads to discouragement and the feeling that I shouldn't even bother because if I can't do it "the right way," it's no use doing it at all. God, however, isn't like that and doesn't wash His hands of us when we fail Him. He longs for us to spend time with Him and welcomes us whenever we come to Him.
Read the rest here.

Chris at Come To the Table
I found Lisa's writing refreshing. The BUSY Mom's devotional could be used in many different ways. I have a sweet friend who is a new believer. She would benefit from these short and yet rich devotions as she is learning and growing in Christ. I personally will put mine in my car and when I am waiting at the school, or in the orthodontist's office, or any of the many places I find myself waiting, this will be a wonderful and practical way for me to spend a few moments sitting at the feet of my Savior.

This book would make a wonderful Mother's Day gift or even a fun baby shower gift. To purchase the book or to learn more about Lisa you may go here.
Read the rest here.

Drea at Simple
I found it very refreshing and easy to read. I like devotionals that allow us to dig deeper into the scriptures.. yet give us a "illustration" to help us better apply things to ourselves. It helps me understand things better some days.I did wish this book was 365 devotionals.. rather than just 52 :-)I really like all of the ones Ive read so far... but this book is scheduled out to be "one devotional" a week... so 52 in the year.

Personally I dont think 1 time a week in study is enough. But like Lisa mentions in the book... we can honor Christ and spend time with Christ not only sitting down in prayer or reading devotionals/scripture... we honor Christ and grow closer to him through many things...
Serving Christ to me is a life style... and not just a structured "list" of things to do.

Even on those days that my children are sick...
I have a back ache...
my husbands busy working late...
and I have 5 loads of cloth diapers to do (HAHAH!)

I can still spend time in prayer during the laundry time...
during my time cooking (as long as a kid isnt stuck to my leg)...
as well as share Christ and the Word with my children throughout the day.
Read the rest here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Busy Mom...Are you one? Day 4

Here's more on Lisa's The Busy Mom's Devotional!

Mary at Owlhaven
Busy Mom’s Devotional– giveaway!!
I was given a copy of Lisa Bergren’s Busy Mom’s Devotional not long ago to review. This book is geared towards young moms who are having a hard time finding time for devotions. This book is actually set up to be done as one devotion PER WEEK, which should be totally doable for any mom. I liked that each chapter of the book included stories of Lisa’s life– she has three kids of her own– and I also liked that the chapter even included the Bible verses themselves, so that if you happen to not have a Bible nearby, you can still get your Bible time in. Read the rest here.

Cindy at Still His Girl
You Want To Win This Book
...I've found a devotional book that I actually LOVE! Lisa Bergren's The Busy Mom's Devotional is perfect for me. It isn't so intense that I can't do it in addition to other studies I may be doing, but it isn't so light that it doesn't make a difference in my day, either. And for those seasons where I can't get my rear in gear and do much of anything, this would be perfect.

Hmmm... know any "Busy Moms"?

Know any moms who aren't busy?

Me, neither.So this book is a gift in that she encourages just 10 minutes a week. Heck, I can do that when I'm hiding in the bathroom from my kids during my fairly regular weekly near-breakdown. Everyone can find 10 minutes a week. And truly, those 10 minutes can be POWERFUL.As soon as I saw the set-up of the book, I knew it was good. Organized in four "seasons" rather than dated, there is no guilt in falling behind, which is fabulous for this girl who carries around enough false guilt as it is.

I'm thinking I'd love to have Lisa over for lunch. Well, maybe that is an exaggeration because I would need to clean and cook in order to do that.

I'd love to go OUT to lunch with Lisa.

She is inspiring yet transparent, fun and thoughtful. Her book challenged me to try to find a devotional thought in my own day; something typical and normally easily overlooked that reflects God or teaches me something about His character. Read the rest here.

Lauren at Baseballs and Bows
The Busy Mom's Devotional
The Busy Mom's Devotional by Lisa Bergren is a great book to grab when you are feeling frazzled. Filled with 52 devotions inspired by Lisa's own experiences, this book is a wonderful resource when you need to center your thoughts on God.

Lisa suggests several ways to use this book, and I found the perfect use for myself. On many days, I am in the pick-up line at my son's school just long enough to read one section. By late afternoon, I am beginning to feel the wear and tear from the day, and this is a great way for me to refuel and concentrate on what really matters before the craziness begins again.
Read the rest here.

Whew...what a read!

CFBA book of the week is Melanie Well's My Soul to Keep. I laughed and I was scared! Such a strange (in a good way) combo!

You have to check out this book!

About Melanie: A native of the Texas panhandle and the child of musicians, Melanie Wells attended Southern Methodist University on a music scholarship (she's a fiddle player), and later completed graduate degrees in counseling psychology and Biblical studies at Our Lady of the Lake University and Dallas Theological Seminary.

She has taught at the graduate level at both OLLU and DTS, and has been in private practice as a counselor since 1992. She is the founder and director of LifeWorks counseling associates in Dallas, Texas, a collaborative community of creative therapists.

When the Day of Evil Comes is her first published work of fiction, and the first of a three-book series. The second work, The Soul Hunter was released in May, 2006. Melanie lives and writes in Dallas.

ABOUT THE BOOK: As nasty as I knew Peter Terry to be, I never expected him to start kidnapping kids. Much less a sweet, funny little boy with nothing to protect him but a few knock-kneed women, two rabbits and a staple gun…

It’s psychology professor Dylan Foster’s favorite day of the academic year…graduation day. And her little friend Christine Zocci’s sixth birthday. But the joyful summer afternoon goes south when a little boy is snatched from a neighborhood park, setting off a chain of events that seen to lead nowhere.The police are baffled, but Christine’s eerie connection with the kidnapped child sends Dylan on a chilling investigation of her own. Is the pasty, elusive stranger Peter Terry to blame? Exploding light bulbs, the deadly buzz of a Texas rattlesnake, and the vivid, disturbing dreams of a little girl are just pieces of a long trail of tantalizing clues leading Dylan in her dogged search for the truth.

Buy the book here

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Busy Mom...Are you one? Day 3

Here's more on Lisa's The Busy Mom's Devotional!

Heather at Life As We Know It
The BUSY Mom's Devotional
I was given the chance to review this book by Lisa T. Bergren and am so thankful for the opportunity. How many of you as moms feel that you simply cannot find the time to put one more thing in your day, week? You may or may not feel guilty for the time you spend or don't spend in the Word with the Lord. You must give this book a try. It's not meant to put a guilt trip on you nor does it place stress on you to begin and finish in a certain order. This book was written to give us as moms a few minutes to be alone with God. You can spend 10 minutes a day or a week. That's the beauty - it is on your pace and it's you with God!
Read the rest here.

Tricia at GenX Parenting
I have the privilege of sharing Lisa Bergren's The Busy Mom's Devotional with you. Lisa was one of the first writers to encourage me with my own writing. Last fall I shared about her fiction books and last week I talked about her super cool new family travel website.

But today I want to share about her AWESOME devotional. I love the way it beckons me with it's "hey, it's just 10 minutes", YES I have time for that! I also love that her devotions get into the meat right away. Last week I shared how I began my morning devotions...I wish I had Lisa's book then. Lisa will be launching http://www.busymomsdevo.com/ next month. So stay tuned for news about that.

Also, Lisa will be on Blog Talk Radio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stations/bc/momcast live on Tuesday (the 22nd) !
Read the rest here.

For the rest of the week's schedule go here!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Busy Mom...Are you one? Day 2

Here's more on Lisa's The Busy Mom's Devotional!

Cindy at Ponderings of the Heart
The Busy Mom's devotional - A Giveaway
I love this devotional because it promises NOT to make you feel guilty if you can't get to it everyday. And we all know that Satan does a good enough job of making us all feel guilty enough all on his own. Matter of fact - it is written in such a way that you do one devotional a week. It is divided into the seasons - Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. When I received it, I began reading at the end of Winter and moved right into Spring. Lisa's stories about her family will warm your heart and you will love how she relates it all so well to our spiritual journey with God.
Read the rest here.

Pam at Without Fear
Busy Mom's Devotional: A Review
Told you here I had a great opportunity to share with you this week! I just had the privilege to read a great devotional that any busy mom would be happy to add to her bookshelf, night stand, or bathroom basket. Here are four things that cause me to give this book a "hurrah"...
Read the rest here.

Jennifer at Snapshot
The Busy Mom's Devotional
When one says "Mom," does it ever need the adjective of "busy" to qualify it? Women today are often managing family, work, hobbies, housework, friends and other relationships, carpool, sports. . . . the list goes on and on.For me, staying tied in to my faith helps me balance all of these elements, and hopefully with a better attitude. Regular Bible study, prayer, and devotional thoughts of other moms in the trenches fuels my resolve.Lisa Bergen's The Busy Mom's Devotional fits the bill in so many areas:
Read the rest here.

Melody at Kids, Cakes, Dishes, and Laundry...in that order
"The Busy Mom's Devotional"...Deja Vu!
From the minute I opened the package I knew I was going to like Lisa. My package came straight from Lisa herself, and included a personal note written to ME, and it totally cracked me up! This wasn't some stuffy writer who was going to tell me how I should be doing my devotions...properly. This was a real woman who struggles with the same things I struggle with (ie. daily life with kids, a husband, and a "To Do" list that is out of control), and I liked her immediately!
Read the rest here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Busy Mom...Are you one?

Then check out today's stops on the blog tour for Lisa Bergren's The Busy Mom's Devotional!

Katrina at Callapidder Days
Book Giveaway: The Busy Mom's Devotional
I believe that in order to truly live a life of devotion, you need to be connecting with God daily (constantly!), ideally through prayer and studying His word. But I also know that there are times when that is a struggle: during those hazy first months with a newborn, the weeks when the kids keep getting one virus after another, etc. Books like The Busy Mom's Devotional are perfect for times like these. Every reading is appropriate for any day, any time, and each one points you toward God. (to read the rest go here)

Trish Berg at Books for Mom
The Busy Mom's Devotional
Lisa can show you how even 10 focused minutes each week can draw you closer to God, or as she calls it, God-ward. In less time than it takes to empty your e-mail inbox or drive your child to soccer, you can begin to develop a life of devotion to God one step at a time.

I LOVE this concept. I think as moms, we live with too much guilt. Guilt at no longer being a size 4. Guilt for losing our temper or not having supper ready on time. Guilt for not being the perfect wife, the perfect mom, or even for not knowing where that lost single sock went in the dryer.

We live on guilt. It feeds us, and creates a sense of insecurity and doubt about who we are.
(to read the rest go here)

Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee
Blog Tour for "The Busy Mom's Devotional: 10 Minutes a Week to a Life of Devotion" by Lisa Bergren
I liked that this book is arranged into four sections, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. Also, the author has a small place at the beginning of each devotional for the reader to jot down "Things on My Mind," so that the reader can let go of that list and devote herself to the insight at hand. There is also a section called, "What is God saying to me in this?" for the reader to jot down any thoughts about what she just read. "Making the scripture mine" is a place for the reader to make application, and "My prayer" encourages the reader to record her own prayers, notes, phrases, words, images, or whatever helps her express her response to the passage.

I began reading in the Spring section and thoroughly enjoyed Lisa's experiences in Italy with her young daughter. I found those pieces to be a breath of fresh air in the devotional genre. It was fun experiencing Italy vicariously through Lisa and her insights.
(to read the rest go here)

DeeDee at FiddleDeeDee
A Review, Giveaway, and a Confession
I received The Busy Mom’s Devotional, written by Lisa T. Bergren earlier this month. It sat by my computer, gathering dust. Along with some important correspondence that needed my attention. And a couple of corn chips.

In my defense, the book actually hid the corn chips, or they would not have been there long enough to get dusty.

And in the interest of full disclosure, the corn chips are no longer there. Feel free to come to your own conclusion.

I had lofty goals at the beginning of the month. My taxes would be completed on time, all thank you notes for Jensen’s birthday gifts (from March) would be written and mailed, and I would have read this devotional from cover to cover.

None of those things happened.

Therein lies the confession portion of this post.

This weekend, knowing the book tour was scheduled to begin, and I was up first, I finally picked up the book and cracked it open. After awhile, tears ran down my cheeks when I realized that Lisa T. Bergren wrote this book just for me.

I mean, she didn’t actually write “To DeeDee” in the acknowledgment or anything. But she might as well have. BTW, Lisa, in the next book you write for me, my name is spelled with two capitol D’s and it’s all together as one word. In case you were wondering.

First of all, let me address the title. The Busy Mom’s Devotional. Perfect. I mean, if you’re a mom, you’re busy. Unless you can afford a housekeeper, two nannies, and a personal chef.
(read the rest here)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bumper-Sticker Man

Check out his website! Looks like a MUST-READ! Lord, Save ME from ME!


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Blog tour for Busy Mom's Devotional!

Welcome to the blog tour for
Lisa Bergren's super fab Busy Mom's Devotional!

The tour begins April 14 and goes through the 19th.

About the book: Think it's impossible to have a spiritual life AND manage family life? There are many days that plainly feel like an exercise of survival. But living a life of devotion means seeing Christ in everything--from changing a diaper to a husband's tender kiss. Join Lisa for a year of "been there" devotions--readings from a mom who lives like you do, in the trenches, but strives to see Jesus beside her, through it all. Do just one devotional a day (or a week!), and you'll begin to see life with more depth and clairty than ever before. And be sure to register for Lisa's eNewsletter on the Contact page if you would like to receive some of Lisa's devotionals (and news/contests/etc) for free!

About Lisa: LISA T. BERGREN is the author of twenty-eight books that have sold many more than she ever believed. She writes a lot from the heart and in whatever category that currently interests her–from gift and children’s books to medieval fiction and Bible studies. She is a wife to Tim, an artist, and mother to three phenomenal children–Olivia, Emma and Jack. The Bergrens live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worship at Trinity Lutheran Church in Monument. For more specifics on Lisa, see her Web site at http://www.lisatawnbergren.com/.

Many of the blogs will be giving away copies of Lisa's book during the blog tour...and you can win a copy from Lisa too. Just sign up for her newsletter here and send her a quick email (lisa@bergrencreativegroup.com) with "I just enrolled" in the subject line. She'll be giving away three copies!

The book will be making stops on some outstanding blogs!
Check it out:

Katrina at Callapidder Days

Trish at Books for Moms

Linda at Second Cup of Coffee

DeeDee at Fiddle Dee Dee

Mindy at Ponderings of the Heart

Pam at Without Fear

Jennifer at Snapshot and Five Minutes for Mom

Melody at Kids, Cakes, Dishes, Laundry...in that order

Heather at The Little Sprouts

Tricia at GenX Parenting

Mary at Owl Haven

Cindy at STill His Girl

Lauren at Baseballs and Bows

Sarah at Real Life

Karla at Looking Towards Heaven

Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing

Billie at Hearing the Music Amongst the Noise

Melody at Slurping Life

Revka at The Porch Light

Chris at Come to the Table

Drea at Fina Drea