The Joy Of Letting Go

 Did you know parents let go of their children every day, often in ways they don’t realize? Whether your kids are in kindergarten or college, learn how to prepare your hearts for your kids’ independence with Vicki Caruana’s The Joy of Letting Go. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

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The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World (David C. Cook, April 2017)

With readings of encouragement and inspirational quotes, this devotional helps parents prepare their hearts for their children’s independence, whether their kids are just starting kindergarten or graduating from college.

Parents let go of their children every day, even in ways they don’t realize. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

Learn more  and purchase a copy.


My Review

My children are 37, 33, 33 and 28. I was that person that, while teaching my children to be extremely self sufficient, I also was THAT MOM. You know the one.

My child was special! Amazing! Going to rule the world!! (Rolling eyes at myself here)

I also was going to do whatever it took to make that happen.

In doing that, I alienated all my kids and made their life more difficult. Not only were they not 100% prepared, no matter what I taught them, and me having nothing (so I thought) to hang my hat on, our lives became very complicated to say the least.

You raise your kids for the result, to leave your home and be out on their own.

You need to give them the self confidence that they can leave your home, and want to come back and more importantly are comfortable coming home to visit.

They want to come back, NOT because they need to, but because they want to.

God gives us resources to work through this season of our lives!
Vicki Caruana puts these resources together in a great devotional called “The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life In The Big World
“The, very best words we have from God are Phil 4:6-7- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”

SLAP ME UPSIDE THE HEAD WITH A 2X4!!!

There it is. The direction in which we should let our kids go.

From their first little steps, all the way to the college dorm (or first apartment and job etc.)

With prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving.

Oh, how I would live a do-over!!
1st. For the plain and simple reason that I would follow God’s command.
2nd. So that my children could see me and their childhood home in a different frame of mind. By reframing my whole “mother hen” attitude to a #spreadtheirwingsandwnjoytheirflight attitude, I would give my kids the best thing ever.

Truth that Jesus will protect them and truth that they would always find their way back home.

The verse I gave is one that Caruana uses with 52 devotionals to help parents understand that growing up and moving on (in most cases) isn’t optional, it is the way God intended life to be.

You can purchase The Joy of Letting Go  here at the bottom of the information http://litfusegroup.com/author/VCaruana


Dr. VicVCaruana-435ki Caruana is the author of 20 books and the blog Apples & Chalkdust—named after her bestselling book that has touched the lives of a million educators around the world. Caruana is one of four parenting experts on “Starting Points,” Focus on the Family’s parenting DVD series. Formerly a public school teacher and a homeschooling mom, Vicki is now an assistant professor of education at Mount Saint Mary College in New York. She lives with her station wagon loving husband, Chip, in Newburgh, New York and has two grown sons in Colorado Springs.

You can find Vicki at this blog  http://vickicaruana.blogspot.com.
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Cold-Case Christianity for Kids

 

At the crucial age between 8 and 12, many kids begin to wonder if Christianity and the Bible are true. Help your kids become truth-seeking detectives with the help of J. Warner and Susie Wallace’s Cold-Case Christianity for KidsDetective Wallace gets kids excited about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity. The book includes author illustrations and links to website where kids can download activities, fill in case notes, and earn a certificate of merit.


My Review

What a great resource for kids!  

Have you ever wondered why you believe what you do?

Cold Case Christianity takes you on a journey that teaches you how to look for the truth.  Look for the facts.  final-tfrlogo-darker-small

The Biblical truth that kids can find as they investigate God’s word is all there, in the collection of God’s Words.

With the cool resources like activity sheets, coloring pages.  Then accumulating it all up with graduation certificate at the end!!

Led by a real-life detective in a setting like a real-life discussion session over a cold case, Cold Case Christianity, takes you through the entire Bible and proof that God does existccc4kwebpromo1-300x227

God is great!!

http://litfusegroup.com/author/JWSWallace


Encourage your kids to investigate the case for Christianity on their own, by getting them the book at Cold Case Christianity For Kids.


About the authors:

 Warnerjwswallace-403 and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, Court TV and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of Cold-Case Christianity God’s Crime Scene and Forensic Faith. He has a master’s degree in theology and is the founder of ColdCaseChristianity.com

Susie has a master’s degree in speech pathology and co-writes (and edits) all the kids books in this series. J. Warner and Susie have four children and live in southern California.

You can keep up with J Warner and Susie at the following links as well as their website

http://coldcasechristianity.com/

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Experiencing God Through His Names|Giveaway

Everyone has an identity through their name.   God has many names.  In Experiencing God Through His Names | Sheryl Giesbrecht takes you on a journey, through 31 names of God.  This devotional teaches you about the way the names are related to how God presented Himself to us in the Bible.

Also how each name follows God’s character and His

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Names are more than groups of letters that represent a person or identify objects. Names are powerful. A person’s character and destiny can be influenced by his or her name. God’s attributes and personality support His unique and distinct names. If we comprehend the meanings of His titles, we can know God more intimately. In Experiencing God Through His Names, Sheryl Giesbrecht walks with you on an exciting journey to discover and absorb the truth about God’s character. In the next 31 days, God wants you to get to know Him.

Sheryl is celebrating the release of Experiencing God Through His Names by giving away ten copies of the book. Click here for details and to enter to win.

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Sheryl Giesbrecht

{MORE ABOUT SHERYL GIESBRECHT} Sheryl Giesbrecht has written three books, hundreds of articles, blogs, and columns. A nationally syndicated radio host, Sheryl is a sought after inspirational speaker who facilitates leadership training for thousands internationally. Find out more about Sheryl at http://www.FromAshesToBeauty.com.

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Don’t Go to Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight

DGTBA

click on the graphic above for the giveaway!

http://litfusegroup.com/author/ddearmond

Don’t Go to Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight (Abingdon Press, June 2016)

A practical handbook on how to fight better—together—for your marriage.

In every marriage, there is conflict. And with every conflict, there is a choice for resolution. Will you ignore the issue until it seemingly goes away? Or will you work together  find peace?

In Don’t Go to Bed Angry, Deb and Ron DeArmond give you permission to fight. Conflict isn’t the problem, after all; the real issue is how we deal with the conflict. Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can safeguard—and even strengthen—your relationship. Immensely practical features including worksheets and discussion questions make this a definitive go-to resource to help you start fighting—together—for your marriage.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/29tWUTj

My Review

as I read this book, I realized just how close to home it really was. This was a very hard read for me with all the problems we are having. from lack of communication, to the problem of communicating the wrong way, boy we have it all wrapped up in one big needy, horrible package. 

However, I learned a lot from the DeArmands; like the listening skills. while I had never really thought that much about it, God has gone before us and carved out a pathway of nonresistance for us we just have to take those first steps down that road, of being there in the moment for each other

some of the things I thought about were the following

 a)when you are with your spouse in what is deemed a relational moment – lose the screens (phones, TVs, tablets, computers etc) There is nothing more important other than a family emergency than that person right in front of you. There is nothing more disrespectful than to be with your spouse or significant other, yet not be there because you are so fixated on a screen. I mean, the LOVE of your LIFE is talking to you! Get Excited!

b) Lead into the conversation with prayer;preferably from the male spouse if he will; if he won’t, this is a great time to pray for him to become the leader of your home in all things.

c) always use respect. No name calling , no throwing in past actions and above all, if you have ever told them you forgive them over something, that should never be mentioned again

 

About the authors:

Deb DeArmond is an author, speaker, and coach with a focus on communication, relationships, and conflict resolution. Her writing explores marriage, parenting, in-law and extended family relationships. She is the author of Related By Chance, Family By Choice and I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last. Deb is the founder of Living-Write, where she coaches aspiring authors. She’s monthly columnist and feature writer for Lifeway’s Mature Living Magazine, and has published more than 120 articles online and in print publications.

Ron DeArmond has a hunArmandgry heart for the Word, and has studied the Bible for 45+ years. Ron’s call to serve men is evident in his previous ministry positions with Christian Men’s Network under Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole and Faithful Men Ministry. Ron is currently the Associate Pastor of men’s ministry at Catch the Fire/ DFW and has ministered around the world. The DeArmonds live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton

:::spoilers:::

Can Cassidy find a home and a cowboy to steal her heart? Find out in Debra Clopton’s Kissed by a Cowboy, book three in the A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series. Rancher Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness.

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Cassidy was looking for a home and a place to belong . . . not for a cowboy to steal her heart.

Having lived through her parents’ endless string of “matrimonial bliss gone wrong,” Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She’s been bucked off that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she’s inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt’s footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy . . . and single.

Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his shot at happiness. But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster . . . and that’s a challenge that Jarrod can’t pass up.

Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness.

Learn more and purchase a copy.


My Review

In book 3 of the Four Of Hearts Ranch Romance Series, We find that Aunt Roxie’s Great Niece, Cassidy comes home to Wishing Springs, Texas, after her divorce from Jack.  What she comes home too, is a house and barn full of clutter, a farm full of over ran fields and a garden full of weeds.  She knows this will take everything she has to rebuild and clean up the place.  Cassidy is okay with that.  After the passing of Aunt Roxie and her divorce, she needs something to keep her mind occupied and she has great expectations for the farm.  Cassidy has no plans to fall in love.  She has no plans to make herself a part of the community and no plans to get involved in anything but raising a Strawberry Farm.

God has many other plans for her.

While the Four of Heart Ranch is next door and Jarrod Monahan’s is busy running the ranch and taking care of pops; his two brothers are busy with their lives.  When Jarrod realizes that Cassidy has moved in next door.  He remembers how much he loved her before he left town. 

Cassidy remembers how much he hurt her before he left town.  Jarrod promised he would come back when he leaves for college but never does.  He gets hung up in a snow storm and that was before the days of cell phones and emails.  So Cassidy marries the first man who says he loves her.  That man, is everything wrong for her.

After God places them in each other’s way and the family helps them find each other again, they end up hurting each other again, only to realize that they are each other’s one true love

This book is NOT a stand alone book.  You could read it alone, but it would make a LOT more sense if you read it after reading the other two.  I dislike that in the book  As well as the fact that it is predictable.  It is the typical, boy meets girl, boy loves girl, boy loses girl, blah, blah.  You get the picture.  However, for me, there are just days you need to lose yourself in those kinds of books just for the entertainment value alone.  Escapism is a real reason to read any book!  As long as you come back 🙂

As all of Clopton’s books, I really liked this book.   While it was predictable, it was good!


 

{More About Debra Clopton} 

Debra CloptonDebra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra’s goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

You can keep up with Debra at the following links http://debraclopton.com.

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Come Empty: Pour Out Life’s Hurts and Receive God’s Healing Love

The question is not if you will get an invitation. The question is, will you come? Don’t miss Come Empty, a devotional for women by Saundra Dalton-Smith. The devotional guides you through fifty days of experiencing the fullness of God’s love and His ability to overcome life’s hurts. Each day, you will receive assurance of God’s presence in your difficult situations. Each devotion gives new vision and perspective when you’re hindered by emotional blind spots, and leads you to experience God’s peace and wholeness. When His invitation is accepted, He will set your captive mind and heart free to live fully by His grace.

 

You’re invited to take part in the five-day Come Empty challenge. Click the graphic below for details on the challenge and a prize pack giveaway Saundra is hosting.

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When a water vessel is filled with dirt and stones, it cannot be used to quench a thirst.

But, when this vessel is emptied, there is an opportunity to fill it until it overflows with fresh, cool, life-giving water. Come-Empty-242x384Water that quenches. Refreshes. Soothes.

Our souls are the same: filled with fear, doubt, and disappointment. Running over with unanswered prayers and lingering questions. When we empty the mess of our lives in the presence of God, we’re offered an invitation to come. An invitation that allows us to come empty – so that we can be filled until we overflow.

Come Empty: Pour Out Life’s Hurts and Receive God’s Healing Love guides you through fifty days of experiencing the fullness of God’s love and His ability to overcome life’s hurts. Each day, you will receive assurance of God’s presence in your difficult situations. Each devotion gives new vision and perspective when you’re hindered by emotional blind spots, and leads you to experience God’s peace and wholeness. When His invitation is accepted, He will set your captive mind and heart free to live fully by His grace. The question is not if you will get an invitation. The question is, will you come?

Learn more and purchase a copy.


 

My Review

Goodness

Where to start!

as I started this book, I will admit, I was thinking, oh wow, another, run of the mill devotional, saying the same old things, with the same old verses, using the same old context.  blah, blah, blah.

Boy was I in for a surprise! Dr Smith just totally knocks this one outta the park for me.  Having so many chronic conditions this devotional just fit right there for me.

The very first chapter, Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith speaks of how pain directly alters our life.  our daily walk literally and figuratively.  Our mood, our emotions, our mind, everything.

If you feel bad, you look bad, you are bad.  So you will be bad.

Therefore I am bad.

That vicious cycle you get in when you

1) not only have constant pain,

2) are depressed,

3)are just having a super rotten day

Smith gives you several ideas to cope with your daily walk with pain as well as coping with topical indexes of different issues you might feel on any given day like Difficult People, Fear, Envy, Regret, Stress, Suicide and Surgery and So many more topics.

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Go check out more about Come Empty here http://litfusegroup.com/author/sdaltonsmith


{More About Saundra Dalton-Smith}

 

Saundra Dalton-Smith

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a Board Certified internal medicine physician. She shares with audiences nationwide on the topics of eliminating limiting emotions, finding grace in difficult places, and experiencing personal renewal by drawing near to God. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in Women’s Day, Redbook, and First For Women magazine. She is the founder of I Choose My Best Life. Her other books include award-winning “Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves.”

You can keep up with Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith at the following links

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Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher | Blog Tour and Giveaway

Love at first sight isn’t always the case—especially in Robin Lee Hatcher’s new book, Keeper of the Stars, in A King’s Meadow Romance series. Still feeling the pain of Brad’s death, Penny and Trevor must learn that forgiveness is the only thing that can heal their hearts. And if they do forgive, something beautiful may rise from the ashes of heartbreak.

Celebrate the release of Keeper of the Stars with Robin by entering to win a Kindle Fire HD! Click the graphic below to enter. The winner will be announced on February 16 on Robin’s blog and social media. keeper of the stars - 400

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{More about Keeper of the Stars}

Keeper-of-the-Stars-smBecause it’s not always love at first sight!

When her mother died from pneumonia, Penny Cartwright was heartbroken. But now, after burying her younger brother just 12 years later, she is devastated. Anger, guilt, and sorrow cloud Penny’s mind, and the last thing she wants is to be reminded of her pain—but that’s exactly what happens when a stranger comes to town.

Trevor Reynolds has been chasing fame for more than a dozen years, but his musical career can’t get off the ground. While on the road, an accident kills his young drummer, Brad Cartwright. Trevor wasn’t behind the wheel, but he still blames himself… and so does Brad’s sister, Penny. Now Trevor finds himself in Kings Meadow, determined to follow through on his last promise to his friend.

Still feeling the pain of Brad’s death, Penny and Trevor must learn that forgiveness is the only thing that can heal their hearts. And if they do forgive, something beautiful may rise from the ashes of heartbreak.

Learn more and buy a copy. Plus read a sample chapter!


My Review

as I started reading this book, I knew I could relate to Penny’s anger.  That was what jumped out to me first.  There was no getting over that.  I saw myself, every time she would get angry over the funniest things.  I had a bunch of reflecting going on during this great read by Robin Hatcher!

Keeper of the Stars is about a family who lost their son, and brother Brad.  Brad was a musician by trade.  A drummer.  He was a great student, loved God and loved his father and his sister.

His father loved Brad and Penny.

When Brad left to follow his dream of playing in Nashville they all had some lost communications and some hurt feelings.  The band that Brad started playing for was Trevor Reynolds.

See how the Cartwright’s handle Trevor’s landing in their hometown of Kings Meadows after all the tragedy they have faced.  Can they use their faith and face everything or will the enemy win?  I know this book made me go back to my Bible several times to reread and just do a lot of reflecting about anger, trust and how God uses us in many ways even though we may not even realize it.

check out Keeper of the Stars at http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/keeper-stars-robin-lee-hatcher


 

{More About Robin Lee Hatcher}

Robin Lee Hatcher

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.

“Hatcher is able to unravel emotions within her characters so brilliantly that we sense the transformation taking place within ourselves.” —RT Book Reviews

“Hatcher fans will be left smiling and eagerly awaiting her next novel.” —CBA’s Retailers and Resources

You cann keep up with Hatcher at the following links

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