Girl Wash Your Face – Book Review

Hello Lovelies! I’ve got another book review for you and trust me, this is a book you do not want to pass up.

[I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion]

girlwashyourfaceI will admit that I was on the fence about this book. I had heard so many amazing things and nearly gotten a copy so many times and let me just say I will be purchasing my own physical copy of this book!

This book is AMAZING and something all women, both young and old, should read! Although it is more directed towards mothers and wives in some chapters, the takeaway can be for anyone. The way this book was written is for both married or single, old and young, as the chapters all have their own point. For example, I did start to read the chapters directed towards motherhood but found I just couldn’t relate so I skipped them but the nice thing about this book and some of the chapters is simply this: If it doesn’t apply to you it’s made in a way that you can either read it or just move on without missing crucial information or points!

Right from the start I knew this book was going to be amazing. How? Well I encountered a quote like this in the opening letter:

            “The truth? You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are. That’s the takeaway.”

I just love that! Getting right to the point before the book has officially started! The way Hollis has structured the book and the chapters is brilliant! I love the whole approach of ‘here is a struggle that I, and many other women, have but this is how to deal with it!’ and at the end of each chapter she provides ways that helped her or would have helped her in these moments in her life!

4stars

 

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Romanov by Nadine Brandes [ARC – Book Review]

romanovSummary:

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

My Review:

I realized that a part of forgiveness was accepting the things someone had done – and the pain that came with that – and moving on with love.” -Anastasia from Romanov

This book was AH-MAZING.

I’m someone who very rarely reads Historical Fiction aside from a few authors and Nadine Brandes is definitely now a part of this list. My issue with so many Historical Fiction books is that they often feel like I’m reading a history textbook, and this…this was NOT one of those books.

This story was crafted so beautifully, and the ending was beyond perfect. Throughout the whole story I was just in LOVE with the Romanov family. I loved their relationships and love for each other. I especially loved the relationship between Nastya and Alexei! It was beyond beautiful. And I love how the story focused more on the love and relationship between a family more than the love interest story line. I knew nothing about the real-life Romanov family going into this story and the whole time I was reading this book I was just rooting for them and my heart rejoiced and grieved with them and their situation over and over and over again. Their small moments of joy brought me joy and their moments of sadness broke me. I was so invested in this story of their amazing family. I love the strength and the voice Nadine brought to Nastya’s character. She was so easy to connect with and relate to. I love that despite everything Nastya and her family has been through, she is so strong and despite her pain and being faced with many difficult decisions she was never selfish. She always thought about her family and those around her.

Whether you read Historical Fiction on a regular basis or not I 100% recommend this book.

5stars

**NOTE: I was given this book (from NetGalley) in exchange for my honest review/opinion**

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One of those days

****** THIS IS AN OLD POST FROM MARCH 2018 AND IT WAS COMPLETE BUT I NEVER HIT PUBLISH FOR SOME REASON******

Today was one of those days where I was in an off mood and the LAST thing I wanted to do was attend Day of Prayer at school today… But I’m so glad I did (even though it  was mandatory and I didn’t have much choice)

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Day of prayer is something that occurs once per semester at my college and last semester I loved it. But this time I went into it with a pretty horrible attitude. I was mad because I had so much homework to do and a paper due the next day and the last thing I wanted to do was go sit in chapel all day.

Pretty horrible attitude am I right? But here I was CONVINCED it was going to be horrible and I was so stressed and angry that it’s actually quite embarrassing.

It was about halfway through the morning session and I was ANNOYED. I just wanted to get out of there and do homework but despite that I felt God tugging at my heart and so I, somewhat bitterly, picked up my journal and started to just write and vent my frustrations, telling God everything. The main one being that I was frustrated cause I felt like I didn’t have very many good friends around school or people that cared about me.  (not looking for sympathy I’m just saying it how it is. I was stressed and tired ) I was kind of bitterly just daring God to prove to me that I wasn’t alone.

You’d think by now I should have known better than to test or dare God because I find whenever I do that God kind of comes at me and proves me wrong. Sometimes I just picture Him with a smirk on His face kind of being like, “Did you really think I was just going to ignore you?” and today… well today was one of those moments.

Shortly upon finishing my prayer and journalling I had a friend come up to me and just hand me a note, say the words, “I just felt like I needed to give this to you.” and walked off after a moment or two of conversation. Shortly after this I had my boyfriend and a few other people I know bring me notes as well. Upon reading these notes, I found them to be ones of great encouragement and proving the opposite of how I was feeling. This was God proving to me that he has put people in my life to encourage me and be with me.

Just with this post I really want to encourage you to seek God. Go to God when you are happy or feeling fine but don’t forget to turn to him when you are angry, hurting or feeling lost. Because frankly, God never leaves you, even if you think He does. Or you think that He has forgotten about you. (And I know this isn’t easy as I struggle with this too but I hope you can find this whole thing encouraging in some way)

 

Finding Your Voice by Natalie Grant [Book Review]

**I was given this book on behalf of zondervan/booklook bloggers for my honest opinion.**

27840588.jpgIn a culture that praises blending in over standing out, productivity over purpose, and noise over truth, many women find their God-given voice compromised, quieted, or even mocked. We all long to live out our divinely designed passions and unique talents, yet too often it becomes so much easier in the face of opposition to stay silent altogether. What if God is calling you to so much more?

As a working mom, wife, artist, and abolitionist, Natalie Grant has struggled to live on purpose while battling the worldly demands of keeping up the appearance of perfection. Emerging from her own dark spiral of suffocating inadequacy, Natalie found fresh hope in the truth that God has already given women everything they need to live out their God-given identity, passions, and calling. Finding Your Voice offers the heart-rallying, life-giving truth that a woman’s voice is not an uncalled for interference to be silenced, but a gift to be used for God’s Kingdom purposes. In voice lessons as in life, a strong vocal identity requires us to first stand firm, breath deep, and finally, go for it—loud and clear.

With rich scriptural study and personal stories infusing every chapter, Finding Your Voice reveals how to discover your own unique talent, train it according to God’s Word, and start using it for the good of others—without guilt and apology.

 

I finally had the time recently to sit down and read this book and I was blown away by it. I didn’t really know what to expect going into it but found it to be so encouraging. This book really helped me focus on who God has made me to be and that I’m perfect the way I am because God created me. I really loved the fact that she shared her personal struggles throughout the book as well and backing up her personal stories, struggles, and statement with scripture. Natalie Grant being open and vulnerable and sharing her heart was something I really felt through the pages of this book and really helped it hit home for me as well. This book was also one that made me look at my current situation and ask myself questions. Questions about how I’m living my life and If I’m truly following God’s will and plan for my life.

No matter where you are in your walk with God I highly recommend reading this book as I feel that it contains something for everyone.

Rating: 5 Stars

Open the Eyes of My Heart

So recently I did a ‘How to’ post on how to survive a modular course in college, but today I wanted to talk about a more serious side of my Modular course where my eyes were really opened to God’s work in my life. This really impacted me when my eyes were opened to an absence in my life.

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So the week of February 28th/March I took a modular course called Hebrew Poetry and Wisdom and through it, God opened my mind and my heart to the realization that I didn’t and don’t know as much of the bible as I thought.

That hit me HARD.

I mean, in the first place, I’ve never really been someone who has boasted on their knowledge of the Bible and perfect relationship with God but I definitely thought I knew more than I did.

This course I took went over Old Testament Hebrew Poetry and Wisdom Literature (hence the name.) which were the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Songs of Solomon. Taking this course made me realize how little I knew in general but out of the five books of the Bible we looked at I have only for sure, as far as my memory serves me, read ONE of them to completion.

ONE. 

Up until coming to school I realized how much of the Bible had gone unread by myself. Even now there is still so much of the Old Testament I haven’t read and even more of the New.

With this realization I was left shocked. I, someone who grew up in a christian home and attending church regularly thought I knew all there is to know about God and the Bible but I was proved wrong.

Put in my place.
Hit in the face by my own lack of knowledge – my own ignorance to this fact.

From there I realized how much I’ve been missing these hints from God that I need to be spending more time with Him and in His word. That being at Bible College is going to teach me things bit if I don’t know God and what His word says, then what is the point?

I strongly encourage you to sit back and take time with God. Talk to Him. Ask Him to reveal to you what you know or don’t know. Grow in Him. Grow in His word. Run to Him with arms wide open and dive into His love -gain knowledge and understanding in Him.  It’s not always going to be easy and there may be days where it’s not going to be easy or you won’t want to take that time in your schedule to dive in God’s word (trust me, I know. I get that sometimes) but in the end I assure you it will be SO rewarding.

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Dear Body, I’m sorry

Dear Body,

I’m sorry for the way I treated you.

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I’m sorry that I hate you, that I blame you for the reason I hate myself. Why I can’t look at you in the mirror. I’m sorry for blaming you for my pain.

It’s not your fault, because for almost 21 years you’ve kept me going and kept me moving. Yes, sometimes I’m in pain and I don’t love you the way I should but it’s not your fault. You are doing what you do best. What you were designed and created to do and I have not been treating you kindly.

From here on out I’m going to try my best. I’m going to take care of you this time. This year is going to be a learning curve for me but I’m not going to treat you the way I have anymore…. Why?

Well, because you are beautiful, you keep me living, moving, and breathing.

You were designed perfectly and I’ve neglected you.

No longer am I going to look on you as my worst enemy when I look in the mirror.

I’m not going to shed tears anymore because I hate you… because I don’t.

I love you.

 

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How to Survive a Modular Course

For those of you who don’t know, Modular Courses are essentially a semester long college course condensed into five days of classes. So instead of taking a reading week break I decided I’d be one of the crazy people who would take one of these courses. Because I took one of these courses I wanted to make a list on how to survive one of these courses and get the most out of it!

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I also want to note two things before I start. 1) In regards to Mod courses, the one I took was easier in workload (assignment and reading wise) than most. and 2.) All professors teach different and approach mod courses differently so I will talk specifically about some things in my class that may not happen in your course should you take one.

NOW. With that said, lets start the post!

How to Survive a Mod Course in 7(ish) Steps

  1. Take time beforehand to do any prep work

It is SO important to make sure you do any required reading needed before classes start (if any) and any assignments that might be due the first day of classes. On top of that take a few minute to look over the course syllabus and familiarize yourself with what will be required of you in the course.

 

        1.5. But also be sure to take some downtime you are going to need before classes start.

This is also important. Give yourself time to do any preparation work, of course, but also take time to relax before your mod course if you can because if you are taking a mod it is a semesters amount of material in a week so that means LONG days in a classroom and lots of learning to be done. So don’t exhaust yourself before the course even begins!

 

2. Make sure you show up to class prepared!

Obviously you will need some pens or pencils as well as paper or a laptop to take notes (i personally find it better for me to focus if I’m writing my notes on paper) Though even if you do write notes on paper bring your laptop if your professor has made the powerpoint slides they will be using for the class available to you so you can follow along that way or if you are slower at writing it will be great to keep up with the slides and note taking while going at your own pace and not being too rushed either. This also is solely dependent on the class but you may also need to bring your bible with you. I attend a bible college and this course was specifically studying books of the bible so thats kind of important. Which leads to a quote from my roommate and her words of wisdom: “Bring your bible. Even if it’s not a biblical course, because you need to pray to Jesus to make it through.”

 

3. Bring Munchies and a Water-bottle

For my mod course we were in class from 8:30AM until 4-4:45PM daily (with a 1 hour lunch break) and I’m someone who loves her snacks so if you are like me make sure you bring something to munch on. The healthier the better but I mean whatever you want, go for it. But yes. Snacks and water are a must because its a long day.

 

3.5. Also coffee/tea and energy drinks will be your friend

On top of bringing water every morning to class I had either tea, coffee, or a red bull with me to keep me awake… which leads me to my next point.

 

4. SLEEP IS IMPORTANT

This is solely going to be a case of “do as I say, not as I do.” because honestly I was up until around 1-2AM each night this week watching Ouran High School Host Club so please don’t do that and PLEASE get sleep. Sleep is going to help you so much with being attentive and awake during your classes.

 

5. Dress Comfortably

I cannot stress this enough! You will be in a classroom ALL day and not moving much so dress comfortably.

 

6. Take Time to Study

I know, I know. I’m sure the last thing you want to do is study after being in a class all day but if your class was like mine where at the beginning of each class there was a quiz on the last day’s lecture then you are going to want to study for that quiz.

 

7. Have fun!

Think of it this way, the course only lasts a week and even though it might be a lot of work just have fun with it! Enjoy the opportunity to learn! I found that not allowing myself to stress over the course that I came to really enjoy the course and learn so many things I didn’t know before.

 

Let Me Tell You A Story

A story about a boy and a girl who fell in love almost 4 years ago.

Who lived 16 hours apart and quickly became best friends.

Who chose to give a long distance relationship a try.

Who have now been dating almost 2 years.

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Photo of me and my man taken by Marley Felicia Photography

So as you all know it’s Valentine’s day and because of that I want to share about how my boyfriend and I met and basically just use this opportunity to try and explain what an amazing human my boyfriend is. Basically it’s gonna be a lovey dovey post so if that isn’t your things then you can stop here.

Kolton and I met through online school in October 2014. We both bonded over our love for video games, more specifically Skyrim, which happened to be both our favourites. True nerd love right there. After that, we texted and/or video chatted every single day. Just talking and getting to know each other. It wasn’t until the early spring of 2015 when I told him I liked him, even though I liked him pretty soon after we started talking and at first he said he didn’t like me back but we still kept talking and getting to know each other and it wasn’t soon after that Kolton told me he liked me back.

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First time we met

The first time we ever met in person was at a conference in May 2015. I remember being so nervous to meet him worried we would meet in person and everything would go so wrong and he wouldn’t like me after that. But then he let me borrow a huge box of books so clearly it was love…Okay but book jokes aside it was scary to meet him! Cause I liked him so much and I was worried I wouldn’t be who he thought I was or I would make a fool of myself.  That following July he came to my house the first time and I was head over heels by this point and I knew I wanted to date him one day. Sometime after that I asked him to be my escort for grad in June 2016. I’m not sure when but I asked him anyways but in hindsight I was such a nervous wreck about it. I kept dropping NOT so subtle hints cause I was so scared to ask him. But the whole time he was patient and waited for me to actually say it. (In hindsight it was also a total embarassment…but in the end it got me a hot date for my grad/next few years of my life so its not all that bad) Up until my Grad in June 2016 we met up as often as we could, Kolton staying at my house with me and my family for a few days to a week at a time. We officially became a couple and started dating June 13th 2016 (after both his and my grad as we were each other’s escorts) and it’s been a beautiful and sometimes crazy and frustrating journey all the same.

Despite all insanity of every day I’m reminded why I love Kolton. 

Aside from the obvious that I find him extremely good looking, he is such a funny person. He always knows how to make me laugh and his pun game is on point. (Hello, we took a photo in a corn feild during our photoshoot because he said it would be a corny photo…)

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He has always been kind and caring – always so considerate of everyone and how they feel. Like, if you have met this guy you know what I mean. I have never met a more caring soul in my lifetime. He just genuinely cares for everyone he crosses paths with. And though I bug him about being too social (any introverts in the house?? or is it just me?) it’s really an admirable quality I wish I had.

He goes out of his way to help friends, family or myself when we need it withough batting an eye. I remember over Christmas break this year he knew my mum was going out and so he went outside and cleaned off her vehicle so it was ready for her to go. There has also been countless times he has made food for me just because or taken care of me when life has gotten tough or I’ve been sick.

21369506_837905106364039_6442237584558746585_nHe is my best friend and number one support. And despite my impatience and wanting to just get engaged/married already (I mean why wouldn’t I?) he always reminds me to be patient and to wait on God’s timing. Sometimes he annoys me so much because he keeps reminding me I need to be patient and wait on God for things and while it’s annoying as heck cause I just want to do what I want on my own time sometimes (I’ll admit to my impatience. I’m working on it) he ALWAYS points me back to God and reminds me to be patient and trust God with everything.

 

So yeah. This is our little story. Hope you enjoyed it and Happy Valentines Day everyone! I hope your day is filled with overwhelming amounts of joy and love you can carry with you for the rest of your life.

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I’ll Be Home For Christmas…

You can count on me. Please have snow and mistletoe and presents on the tree. I’ll be home for Christmas!

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So the reason for my being MIA is due to my being at college. (In case you didn’t know due to my forgetfulness to mention things or you are new and visiting the blog for the first time.) For some reason, I thought my first semester was going to be so chill and easy and…while it was easier than I had initially thought I’ve been so busy on a daily basis it’s not even close to funny. Penpals haven’t received responses (but they have not been forgotten), Bookstagram hasn’t had very much TLC, My blog has been abandoned and while I have been able to keep up with a bit of reading (textbooks aside) I still haven’t had much time for downtime.

Experiencing now, my first ever semester of college, I can look upon the semester with some stress, confusion, and frustration, I’m also really proud of myself. And no, not in the ‘oh wow I’m so amazing and better than everyone else!’ proud but just proud of my accomplishments and that I even made it this far. Because if you had asked me last year if I was going to college I may have said I was going to try as I was upgrading high school classes at the time but it’s still quite surreal that I’m even here right now and a week and a half away from going home for Christmas break! Being here at Bible College has been such an eye-opener for me and an amazing experience…well, amazing as long as we ignore and forget the caf food here is the worst. Caf food aside this college has been a huge experience for me with so many learning curves and trying new things to help me grow not only academically, but spiritually. One of those things was in my Spiritual Theology class where we had to spend 24hours fasting and in complete solitude. While it was something I’m not sure I’m too keen on doing on a regular basis it was still an amazing time and wonderful experience to be able to connect with God in a new way. And now I actually know from experience what it is like to be in prayer and fasting for 24 hours and spend one on one time with God in such an interesting and intimate way. ( I am hoping to write up a post or two over Christmas break about my classes and what I learned and more about what I’m planning to do here at school.) I’m actually quite sad my last day of that Spiritual Theology class is ending but I know that its time to move on to other classes and get other things done and just keep learning!

Within the next week and a half before heading home I have 3 final exams to complete and while I’m slightly nervous I know I can and will put my best work into studying and prep for these exams and make sure I’m ready to take them on and pass them. Despite that, these last few weeks the words from the Christmas song, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’ has been stuck in my head. This year especially has had that song as my #1 favorite because it’s true! I’ll be home for Christmas! Last year I spent Christmas in my apartment 6 hours away from my family. While I spend Christmas day with some relatives in the area I still missed my parents and siblings and grandparents. The homesickness was even worse when I got a phone call from my dad later in the morning on Christmas Day saying my Papa was rushed to the hospital due to having a stroke. It made Christmas so hard for me because I was scared I was going to lose my Papa. One of my best friends for these short 20 years of my life. I thank God every day, especially as Christmas nears, that my Papa has fully recovered and is still here with our family. But that makes me all the more anxious to be home this time for Christmas. To see my family and spend time with them, hug them a little longer, lose sleep staying up late to spend time with them, and just being home with the people who love me most even though I’m not home right now.

Merry (Early) Christmas Everyone! ❤