Talk About Jesus Tuesday: Practicing Hospitality

My husband and I reenacting an ancient Chinese wedding tradition

My husband and I reenacting an ancient Chinese wedding tradition showing hospitality

Have you ever been a stranger in a foreign land? Early in our marriage, my husband and I lived in Asia. Our oldest two children were born in Thailand. While challenging at times, this experience helped shape our family. We would not trade it for, well, all the tea in China.

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Giving and receiving hospitality was one key to making our foreign surroundings home. Even though we were the outsiders, we frequently extended invitations to others before they extended them to us. If they did not invite us back, we kept inviting. Through these experiences, some of our best friendships sprung up.

I was reminded of the importance of hospitality through Scripture this week.  As those of you following my Talk About Jesus Tuesdays series (published on or about the third Tuesday of each month) know, I picked the precious name Jesus to be my One Word focus for 2016. In keeping with that theme, I am focusing my Scripture reading on the Gospels. As I was reading Luke 14 this week, the importance of hospitality jumped out at me.

12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers[b] or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

I am challenged to look for those in need of hospitality who may not be able to  repay. In my current stage of life, this frequently centers around inviting children over and modeling a Christian home life regardless of return invitations or what other parents do for me in exchange.

This week our family was blessed by the advent of new neighbors with children similar in age to my daughter. Knowing nothing at all about them, my daughter eagerly accompanied me to deliver some homemade cupcakes. Baking for new neighbors (or others in need) is another great way of involving our children in hospitality.

Now it’s your turn! Talk About Jesus Tuesdays is for sharing Jesus’ love. Let’s talk about Jesus and lift Him up through the comments! Christians are invited to share their testimonies about Jesus and what they are learning about Him (including testimonies about hospitality). If you are not yet a Christian, we welcome you to ask questions about faith, including any struggles you’re having with belief.

However, I do have one ground rule. While you are free to express your doubts and struggles with faith so we can encourage you, please do so in a respectful manner. Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and I will delete any comments that are disrespectful.

Never miss an issue of Talk About Jesus Tuesdays. Subscribe to Forever Joyful using the tool in the upper right sidebar.

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Reasons for Summer Reading + Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup

The sun is hot, the pool is cool, and summer reading emphases for kids are in full swing. (If you’re still looking for cool kids’ reading programs with prizes, click here.) Water fun and books have always mixed well for me (except for that one time the baby actually threw his book in the pool), so in our home kids aren’t the only ones reading.

Five Reasons I Enjoy Summer Reading

  1. Beaches and fiction. Pools and fiction. The word FUN should suffice here.
  2. Summertime is a great time for me to learn new skills. Without the pressure of daily homeschooling my children, I have more time to pursue my own interests and learn to do something new through nonfiction.
  3. Reading sets a good example for my kids. When they see me reading, they internalize the message that reading is a lifelong pursuit.
  4. Summertime car trips provide the perfect opportunity for enjoying audio books as a family.
  5. Reading the Bible and other inspirational books draw me closer to Jesus.

What about you? Why do you like reading during the summer?


Now on to our weekly Literacy Musing Mondays linkup where we share posts about what inspires us in reading, writing, blogging, and homeschooling. We even share our written Bible devotions.

First, let’s

 

Meet Your Hosts (3)

 

Leslie@Forever Joyful
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Gayl@Words, Photos, and Art
Blog/Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter
Mary @Maryandering Creatively
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+
Tami @ThisMomsDelight (on summer break) 🙂
Blog/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus
 


Now let’s celebrate reading and learning.

Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!

Summer Birding: Artists and Audubon Centers

At Our Unschooling Journey
This unschooling mom takes us on a journey as she and her children explore a local bird sanctuary. This post is a fun and informative read.

My Favorite Post of the Week:

Midwest Ministry Update

By Rebekah at Ready to Be Offered

 DSC_0188 (2)Congratulations to Rebekah on her inspiring post “Midwest Ministry Update.” I was encouraged by her testimony of how she left her New England home of 33 years to follow God where He was leading. She has some pretty cool ideas for reminding herself of God’s faithfulness, too.

Remember to check out other hosts’ blogs to see which posts from last week were their favorites. Want to be the next to be featured! Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to linkup with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin our most clicked and featured posts to our Pinterest Board each week!

Follow Mary Hill’s board Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup on Pinterest.
 


Now, it is time to link up to the Literacy Musing Mondays hop! You will have until Saturdays at 12 p.m. now to link up! So come back often.:)

Literacy-Musing-Mondays- where we celebrate reading!

Linkup Rules:

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
  2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
  3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. Although we believe in the right for adults to read whatever they want to read, we prefer to read wholesome posts that feature literature that edify and uplift families. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. We love all kinds of literature and genres including family-friendly inspirational romances, fantasy, or science fiction. We do not welcome posts featuring books or writing with excessive violence, sexual content, or cursing. These posts will be deleted.
  4. We also want to be loving community by supporting one another. Please make a point to do this this week! Visit the two posts before yours and at least one other blogger’s post of your choice! I want to see lots of clicks on everyone’s posts. Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Follow your hosts and co-hosts on their social media.
  6. Tweet about the link up too.

[tweetthis]Come join the fun! Link up your family-friendly, book- or literacy-related posts at #LMMLinkup ![/tweetthis]

Let’s Celebrate Reading and Learning together this week at Literacy Musing Mondays!

Posted in Literacy Musing Mondays LInkup, Literature, Reviews | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Reading Saved Me

It’s happened before, and it just happened again. Reading catapulted me over the hurdle of life’s greatest recent parenting challenge.

Without a trusty stack of books about trucks and vehicles of every conceivable stripe, it is certain our family would have failed abysmally at our third round of potty training.

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Nothing besides his favorite books would corral my youngest little guy into the bathroom long enough to hone the invaluable skill of sitting on the potty.

Sometimes books are a parents’ best friend.

Top Ten Ways Reading (With Kids) Saved Me

  1. When sitting in waiting rooms hoping my kids will behave with decorum a few more minutes
  2. On long car trips when I’m pretty sure my tears will rush like wild water rapids if I hear “Are we there yet? again
  3. On sick days when the ill child is not able to engage in his normal, fun activities
  4. When teaching a specific moral lessonthrough vivid example
  5. When bringing history alive through a story
  6. When inspiring my children in their faith through biographies of Christian heroes
  7. When I just need them to sit still and entertain themselves
  8. When a simple trip to the library satisfies their craving for an outing
  9. When their eyes light up because they have learned how to do something by themselves through a book or article
  10. When they pick up the Bible

All these ways, except the last, have meaningful yet temporal benefit. Books may save my children from boredom or distract them from trouble, but the same problems will almost certainly rear their ugly heads in the future.

Thankfully, one book does have the power to eternally save my children. God’s Holy Word, the Bible, is marvelously unique because of its message of eternal salvation. Read it to yourself, read it with your children, and fall in love with the saving power of my best Friend, Jesus.

Please share in the comments about ways reading of any kind has been valuable in the lives of your children.

Posted in Literature, Parenting | 11 Comments

Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup + Bridging Summer Reading Gap

Welcome to the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup – your source for great summer reading and literacy-promoting ideas of all types. Studies indicate many students fall behind educationally during the summer. The good news is this can be avoided by planning strategic educational activities.

Quick Tips for Bridging the Summer Learning Gap

By Mary Hill

Great Resources-Bridging the Summer Learning Gap (6)

  • Visit your public library regularly. Public libraries have summer reading programs that offer incentives to encourage children to keep reading. Often these programs include prizes that they give children as incentives for reading a certain number of hours or books. Children and youth librarians also plan special events at the library geared toward children. If you work, often libraries have extended evening hours certain nights of the week. Be sure to check your library’s webpage for details on events and programs offered during the summer.
  • Seek online resources for help. The National Summer Learning Association has great tip sheets and resources. Be sure to check out their information on National Summer Learning Day which happens this Thursday. An organization near you may have great activities planned.
  • Use everyday activities as opportunities to practice math learning skills. When you go grocery shopping, let your child calculate how much you are spending on groceries. When cooking, let them measure out the ingredients to a recipe.
  • Encourage them to keep a summer journal writing down their memories and thoughts about the activities and fun things they did during the summer month.
  • Encourage them to use their computers for learning activities. Organizations create free sites full of fun games and learning ideas. Here are just a few:
  • This week Amazon has a great sale on the classic Summer Bridge Activity workbooks. (Affiliate link: if you use it to purchase, co-host Mary Hill will receive a small percentage that she uses to cover blogging expenses.)

What activities have you planned to bridge the summer reading gap for your children. Do you have any old posts with summer learning gap activities to share? Please link them or leave our ideas in the comments area. 🙂

 


Now on to our weekly Literacy Musing Monday’s linkup where we link up posts about what inspires you in reading, writing, blogging, and even share our written Bible devotions.

First, let’s

 

Meet Your Hosts (3)

 

Leslie@Forever Joyful
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Gayl@Words, Photos, and Art
Blog/Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter
Mary @Maryandering Creatively
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+
Tami @ThisMomsDelight
Blog/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus
 


Now let’s celebrate reading and learning.

Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!

10 Awesome Reasons for Reading Aloud to Your Kids Whatever Their Age

Reblog by Bette A. Stevens at 4WritersandReaders

Written by Sandra Bennett – Author

Bette shared with us a link to an article written by Sandra Bennett. This article lists some really important reasons to keep reading to our children all the way through to their teens. I so agree that it is important to instill a love of reading in our children. Don’t miss this post.

 

My Favorite Post of the Week:

Falling in Love with History: Tapestry of Grace Review

by Joy at Artful Homemaking

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Regardless of which schooling option you use, studying history with children or grandchildren is an enriching and fun activity. While I’ve never used the Tapestry of Grace curriculum, I was excited by many of the resources available. We are studying American history in our homeschool next year, and I cannot wait to integrate meaningful literature!

Remember to check out other hosts’ blogs to see which posts from last week were their favorites. Want to be the next to be featured! Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to linkup with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin our most clicked and featured posts to our Pinterest Board each week!

Follow the board Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup on Pinterest.
 


Now, it is time to link up to the Literacy Musing Mondays hop! You will have until Saturdays at 12 p.m. now to link up! So come back often.:)

Literacy-Musing-Mondays- where we celebrate reading!

Linkup Rules:

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
  2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
  3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. Although we believe in the right for adults to read whatever they want to read, we prefer to read wholesome posts that feature literature that edify and uplift families. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. We love all kinds of literature and genres including family-friendly inspirational romances, fantasy, or science fiction. We do not welcome posts featuring books or writing with excessive violence, sexual content, or cursing. These posts will be deleted.
  4. We also want to be loving community by supporting one another. Please make a point to do this this week! Visit the two posts before yours and at least one other blogger’s post of your choice! I want to see lots of clicks on everyone’s posts. Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Follow your hosts and co-hosts on their social media.
  6. Tweet about the link up too.

[tweetthis]Come join the fun! Link up your family-friendly, book- or literacy-related posts at #LMMLinkup ![/tweetthis]

Let’s Celebrate Reading and Learning together this week at Literacy Musing Mondays!


 

Posted in Literacy Musing Mondays LInkup, Literature, Reviews | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Final Friday Family Faves: June 2016

It’s officially summer, which means our family is officially at the pool everyday. (Swim team is our primary summer family activity.) While we love splashing in the water, sometimes it’s fun to curl up in the shade with a good book.

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Hunter (Daddy) discovered some great training tips in Runner’s World Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce and Scott Murr. Experienced coaches impart valuable advice for runners of all levels.

Leslie (Mommy) is better equipped for spiritual battle after reading Leighann McCoy‘s newest book Spiritual Warfare for Your Family. Check out my full review here.

Archie (8.5) was not in the slightest disappointed by The 52-Story Treehouse, the much-anticipated latest installment in Andy Griffith‘s 13-Story Treehouse Series. Brimming with clean humor, kids of all ages enjoy this fun chapter book that’s chocked full of hilarious illustrations.

Grace (6.5) has become a fan of Holly Webb‘s Animal Stories Collection series, the first book she discovered in the brand-new Little Free Library near our house. Timmy in Trouble is her favorite to date. These are nice, easy-to-read, slightly large print chapter books for blossoming readers.
Grant (2) unsurprisingly chose another tale about vehicles. I hardly ever see the little guy without at least one car clutched tightly in each hand. I lost count long ago of the number of times we have enjoyed the Disney Pixar book Tales from the Track together this June.

This post contains affiliate links to books we love. If you purchase the books, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Never miss a Final Friday Family Faves feature. Subscribe to Forever Joyful using the tool in the upper right sidebar. Then, share about your family’s favorite books in the comments.

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Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup: Read Aloud Routine

Welcome to the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup. I love sharing literacy ideas with each other, but I’m thrilled that today’s guest poster, Leah Courtney, shares valuable tips for increasing literacy in our own homes by incorporating read alouds into the family routine.

Four Simple Ways to Make Reading Aloud Part of Your Family Routine

By Leah Courtney

You probably know that reading to your children is important. You’ve heard the message from the time you were pregnant.

You know that reading to your babies and toddlers can encourage their interest in books and reading and can encourage them to become avid readers. You know that reading to your preschoolers can build their vocabulary and help them learn to recognize letters and words. You know that reading to your school-aged kids can continue to increase their vocabulary and their comprehension because you can read to them from books they can’t quite read for themselves yet. And you might even know that continuing to read to your older kids is a wonderful way to have awesome conversations about books they may not choose to pick up on their own.

You know all of this. But finding time to read to your kids every day sometimes seems overwhelming. Caught up in the day to day hustle and bustle- caring for kids, cleaning the house, cooking for the family, working either at home or away from home- you think it’s impossible to add one more thing you need to do. But reading to the kids doesn’t have to be a difficult or time consuming process. There are some simple ways that you can include reading with the kids in your daily activities.

Making time to read aloud to kids

Start small.

If you are trying to establish a time of reading to your kids and you try to begin with reading thirty minutes every day, chances are your efforts won’t succeed. Really little children don’t even have the attention span for long reading sessions and will probably do better starting with a short reading time.

Begin with the goal of ten minutes a day. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the kids- and you- will come to love your read aloud times. And chances are you’ll be spending more and more time as you go on.

Read at mealtime.

Want the kids to sit quietly at the table during lunch time? Read to them. This works best with kindergartners or older. By this time they’re past the age where you are cutting up food or feeding them. They’re eating independently. After everyone has their food and is settled at the table. Read to the family.

We’ve always enjoyed reading at lunch time. We’ll have a chapter book going, and I’ll read a chapter or two each day. It’s a great time to read when the kids are already doing something else. I’ve known families to include reading with dinnertime as well so that dads can be home and be a part of the read aloud time.

Read at bedtime.

This is often one of the best times to read to really little ones. Add reading to your bedtime routine. For small children, just read a short book or two. For older kids have a chapter book going and read a chapter each night. Reading at bedtime can help kids to settle in before time to go to sleep.

Make reading routine.

I’ve heard that it takes thirty days to create a lasting habit. With children, my experience is that some habits can be established much more quickly because many children appreciate and respond well to routines. If you can find ten minutes in your day to begin reading with your children every day, it will become a part of your routine.

Ten minutes in the morning as you start your day, ten minutes after lunch to help kids settle down and have some time to rest, ten minutes at bedtime as kids settle to sleep. If you can do it consistently, reading will become a part of your routine. Once reading is routine, the kids won’t let you skip it. I promise.

The routine of reading aloud with kids

Reading aloud with your children has so many benefits for the kids and for you. These simple ways can help you make reading aloud part of your family’s routine. How do you read aloud to your children? Please share your ideas on making reading aloud part of your daily routine in the comments’ area at the end of this post.

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Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. Her days are filled with being a mom, homemaker, and teacher. In her (very rare) free time, she enjoys blogging, reading, and reviewing books and curricula. These days she’s learning the joys of being a mom of teens. You can read about her family and homeschooling life at As We Walk Along the Road. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Be sure to visit Courtney post today for more information about literacy.


An important Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup announcement: We will take a break next week for the Fourth of July holiday. Enjoys fireworks and picnics as we celebrate our nation’s birthday. Don’t forget to thank God for our freedom and pray for the future.

 

Meet Your Hosts (3)

 

Leslie@Forever Joyful
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Gayl@Words, Photos, and Art
Blog/Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter
Mary @Maryandering Creatively
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+
Tami @ThisMomsDelight
Blog/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus
(Tami is taking a summer sabbatical from our linkup but still posting great pieces!)
 


Now let’s celebrate reading and learning by reviewing:

Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!

5 Picture Books That Make History Interesting Again

By Carolyn at House Full of Book Worms

5 Picture Books That Make History Interesting Again

Carolyn is a regular at the Literacy Musing Mondays. Her posts are always popular. I love her suggested titles in this post. You can count on finding many books to add to your To Be Read lists. Be sure to check it out!

My Favorite Post of the Week:

In-Home Day Camp Week 2: The Game Plan

By Nancy “Mimi” Taylor at Mimi and the Grands

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Any grandchild would be thrilled to be part of Mimi’s day camp! I have been totally bowled over by the effort this grandma puts into making her day camps fun and educational. Any parent or caregiver will benefit from her ideas!

Remember to check out other hosts’ blogs to see which posts from last week were their favorites. Want to be the next to be featured! Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to linkup with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin our most clicked and featured posts to our Pinterest Board each week!

Follow the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup on Pinterest.
 


Now, it is time to link up to the Literacy Musing Mondays hop! You will have until Saturdays at 12 p.m. now to link up! So come back often.:)

Literacy-Musing-Mondays- where we celebrate reading!

Linkup Rules:

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
  2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
  3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. Although we believe in the right for adults to read whatever they want to read, we prefer to read wholesome posts that feature literature that edify and uplift families. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. We love all kinds of literature and genres including family-friendly inspirational romances, fantasy, or science fiction. We do not welcome posts featuring books or writing with excessive violence, sexual content, or cursing. These posts will be deleted.
  4. We also want to be loving community by supporting one another. Please make a point to do this this week! Visit the two posts before yours and at least one other blogger’s post of your choice! I want to see lots of clicks on everyone’s posts. Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Follow your hosts and co-hosts on their social media.
  6. Tweet about the link up too.

[tweetthis]Come join the fun! Link up your family-friendly, book- or literacy-related posts at #LMMLinkup ![/tweetthis]

Let’s Celebrate Reading and Learning together this week at Literacy Musing Mondays!


Posted in Literacy Musing Mondays LInkup, Literature, Reviews | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Talk About Jesus Tuesdays: Christ Our Foundation

Let’s exalt Jesus together on this Talk About Jesus Tuesday! I love it when Scripture comes alive and am excited to share what Jesus has been teaching me through my Bible readings this week. Then, I want to hear from you!

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One of the first Sunday school songs I remember singing is “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock.” When I was a preschooler illustrating the falling rain by stretching up to my tippy toes then bending down to grab my toes, the talking cucumber and tomato crew of  the Veggie Tales clip did not yet exist, but the message of the song was clear. No foundation other than the Rock was suitable for building my life.

At least, I thought it was clear. As I was reading my Bible this week, I had an epiphany. I had never fully grasped the meaning of this song or Jesus’ parable in Luke 6:46-49, but I did have a start. I had the correct head knowledge that our foundation is Jesus Christ. First Corinthians 3:11 states, “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Nevertheless, I completely glossed over the part about building on the foundation.

Luke 6:46-49 (ESV)

46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.[c] 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Without a doubt, our foundation is Christ but we can only tap into the riches of His abundant stability by anchoring our lives on Him, which we do through obedience to His Word. I love how the  IVP commentary puts it, “Spiritual strength grows out of obeying the Lord Jesus. It is like fixing a foundation deep in the earth.”

Christ is our foundation, but He calls us – empowered by the Holy Spirit – to dig deep and build our lives.

In his sermon titled “A Solid Foundation,” Pastor Nick Scarpa fleshes out what it means to dig deep.

Not just church attendance, but service in and to the church
Not just faith, but deeds that reflect our faith
Not just reading the Bible, but discovering its truths
Not just fellowship, but strong heart-level relationships
Not lip service, but TRUE obedience to Christ as Lord

Christ gave His life for me. His foundation enables me to stand strong through the storms, but He calls me to dig deep through obedience.

This is my testimony. What’s yours? Please share what you are learning from Scripture in the comments. You may also share any questions you have about Jesus so we can learn and grow together.

Want a reminder to be a part of Talk About Jesus Tuesday next month? Subscribe to Forever Joyful using the tool in the upper right sidebar.

Posted in Blog Series, Holiness | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup +A Review of Spiritual Warfare for Your Family

Welcome back to another wonderful week at the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup where we share about the books that inspire us as well as all other types of literature.

One book has been particularly inspirational to me over the last few weeks. Leighann McCoy’s newest book, Spiritual Warfare for Your Family, has challenged me to rely upon God’s strength to be the mom God has called me to be and protect my children from spiritual attacks. Check out my review then link up your own reviews and other literacy-related posts.

 Spiritual Warfare for Your Family:

What You Need to Know to Protect Your Children

sp warefare

You Can Win the Battle on the Home Front!

The Enemy wants nothing more than to hurt you and those you love. But his power pales in comparison to God’s.

With warmth and wisdom, Leighann McCoy offers this practical guide to protecting your family from spiritual attack. In these pages you will learn what spiritual warfare is as it relates to your children and discover why you may be struggling to overcome the weapons of the Enemy. From there you’ll develop the offensive tactics to strike first through prayer and the knowledge of God’s Word.

Whatever stage your family is in–from babies to the teen years to enjoying your grandchildren–be empowered to recognize your own vulnerability and lean more heavily on God’s strength and wisdom. He has every tool you need to protect your loved ones.

Includes end-of-chapter questions for reflection or group use.

What I liked:

1. The book is not weird. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I was not certain what I was getting into by reading a book on spiritual warfare by an author I was not familiar with. I need not have worried. McCoy put me at ease by on the first page of the introduction when she clarified, “This is a book about hope. It’s a book about victory and success.” She was not looking for a demon on every corner but was serious about overcoming Satan’s very real attacks. Spiritual warfare is not pleasant, but it is real, and we should not avoid discussing it. This book helps.

2. McCoy moves logically from the theology of spiritual warfare to the practicalities of fighting the battles. Her book is broken into six sections that progress from a biblical definition of spiritual warfare to how parents can be victorious in the face of common challenges.

3. McCoy hits the nail on the head when she details the struggles modern families face. Over and over, I found myself saying, “Yes! I’ve seen that play out either in my own life or in the lives of my friends.”

4. Prayer and the power of God are exalted over method. Human strength and logic will fail, but our powerful God is unfailing.

What I disliked:

There is really nothing in this book I disliked. The appendices are online, and I would have preferred at least a few rough outlines of the appendix content included in the actual book because the topics are so relevant.

My Overall Star Rating: 5 Stars

**I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Now on to our weekly Literacy Musing Monday’s linkup:

 

Meet Your Hosts (3)

 

Leslie@Forever Joyful
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Gayl@Words, Photos, and Art
Blog/Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter
Mary @Maryandering Creatively
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+
Tami @ThisMomsDelight
Blog/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus
 


Now let’s celebrate reading and learning by reviewing:

Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!

The Book Nook At Create With Joy #19 Featuring Books Your Family Will Love

At Create With Joy

Book Nook at Create With Joy

This is a great linkup to participate in. This week the organizer is also inviting you to linkup your GoodReads profiles. She also featured great family books I want to read! I hope you will check out her post.

My Favorite Post of the Week:

Where’s Your Trust? Part 1

Trusting God in the Face of Fear

By Debbie Kitterman

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Debbie takes readers through the biblical story of Gideon to inspire them to listen to trust God in the midst of difficulty.

Remember to check out other hosts’ blogs to see which posts from last week were their favorites.Want to be the next to be featured! Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to linkup with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin our most clicked and featured posts to our Pinterest Board each week!

Follow our Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup on Pinterest.
 


Now, it is time to link up to the Literacy Musing Mondays hop! You will have until Saturdays at 12 p.m. now to link up! So come back often. :)

Literacy-Musing-Mondays- where we celebrate reading!

Linkup Rules:

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
  2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
  3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. Although we believe in the right for adults to read whatever they want to read, we prefer to read wholesome posts that feature literature that edify and uplift families. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. We love all kinds of literature and genres including family-friendly inspirational romances, fantasy, or science fiction. We do not welcome posts featuring books or writing with excessive violence, sexual content, or cursing. These posts will be deleted.
  4. We also want to be loving community by supporting one another. Please make a point to do this this week! Visit the two posts before yours and at least one other blogger’s post of your choice! I want to see lots of clicks on everyone’s posts. Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Follow your hosts and co-hosts on their social media.
  6. Tweet about the link up too.

[tweetthis]Come join the fun! Link up your family-friendly, book- or literacy-related posts at #LMMLinkup ![/tweetthis]

Let’s Celebrate Reading and Learning together this week at Literacy Musing Mondays!

 

Posted in Literacy Musing Mondays LInkup, Literature, Reviews | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Blogaversary Week: Best Blog Posts

It’s my BLOGAVERSARY and I’m gonna party!

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I’m also giving a HUGE shout-out to all my readers, followers, and subscribers.

THANK YOU!

To celebrate one year of blogging at Forever Joyful, I’m highlighting my top ten favorite posts. Hopefully, you will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Presented in reverse order:

#10

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The Shocking Kind of Literature Kids Love

While shocking, I’m actually glad my kids want to read this!

#9

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How Little House Books Tempt Me

I never thought something so wholesome could be problematic!

#8

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Rosco the Rascal in the Land of Snow: A Review

This post holds a special place in my heart because Rosco is the first book one of my children co-reviewed with me!

#7

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Talk About Jesus Tuesdays: God’s Protection and Christian Unity

Friend, God’s mercies are great and new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!

#6

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Forever Joyful Even When Your Child Is Sick

In our weakest moments, God is the source of our Forever Joy, and He loves our children more than we ever could.

#5

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Stop: Don’t Read That!

Hey, Mom, sometimes you just gotta say NO!

#4

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The Potty Humor Problem

The mere fact your kids find it funny does not make it appropriate!

#3

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The Number One Book People Are Talking About Right Now

Don’t worry! Hasn’t changed since I first wrote this post!

#2

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Why I Don’t Read to My Baby

Now that seems surprising, doesn’t it?

#1

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Gracie and the P.E. Disaster

It’s a favorite because I wrote it, and it feels like a part of me. Sign up for Forever Joyful by using the tool in the upper right sidebar to receive the entire story as a PDF to share with your daughters.

I want to celebrate YOU! Please leave links to favorite blog posts you have written in the comments. I’ll be sure to check them out. Share some blog love and visit links others are leaving, too!

Posted in Leslie's writing life, Lists | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Happy Blogaversary: Thanks to My Blogging Community

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This week marks my one-year blogaversary. That’s right! On June 12, 2015, I debuted my first blog post on Forever Joyful. Blogging has been a wild, crazy, and wonderful adventure that I would not trade even for a few more hours sleep!

Top Ten Reasons I Love Blogging

  1. Engaging with an online community with similar interests. The internet is chocked full of wonderful resources, and I love checking them out!
  2. Sharing about Jesus and testifying about His many mercies. (Participate in my Talk About Jesus Tuesdays series if you have not already.)
  3. Co-hosting the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup and gleaning from the treasure trove of literacy-related ideas readers share each week.
  4. Opportunities to practice writing and grow as a writer. My son’s teacher has given him some great tips for more vivid writing, and I am learning right alongside!
  5. Reading blogger’s favorite children’s book lists. Generally speaking, book lists are my Number One favorite type of blog post. My children have been so blessed through other people’s reading suggestions.
  6. Creating my own Top Five and Top Ten lists. Thinking through experiences and favorites to compile a list has been a fabulous way to help me organize my thoughts and reflect on lessons learned.
  7. Expanding my Internet know-how. Even though WordPress and Bluehost make blogging easy, I have still learned tons about blog design and creating on the internet I never knew that I never knew!
  8. Receiving the Liebster Award. Who doesn’t like some encouragement!
  9. Commenting on blog posts and receiving comments on my posts.
  10. Praying for my readers and other bloggers as they share various prayer needs. If you have a prayer request, please share it with me in the comments or through my About page.

What about you? Why do you love blogging?

Please help me celebrate my Blogaversary by signing up for my weekly newsletter using the tool in the upper right sidebar! You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Posted in Leslie's writing life, Lists | 6 Comments