life · notes · thoughts

A Piece of My Heart

In life’s journeys you meet a lot of people. Some people you forget right away or don’t remember very well or just plain lose touch with due to time and distance. It’s not your fault or even theirs. It just happens. But then, there are those special people. Those people that you don’t meet very often. But when you do meet … sometimes in the most unlikely of ways, … you know right away that they are special. Without even trying, they touch your heart in a way that others don’t. It’s like they were meant to be a part of your life and you a part of theirs. Time and distance don’t matter. You want to be there for them, even when you can’t. You want to do everything you can to help them, even when you can’t. You want the best for them, even if you can’t make it happen. You think about them. You pray for them. And you never forget them. When they move on in their travels, or you yours, … and so often way too soon for your liking … you know you’ve left a piece of your heart with them. Somewhere out there in the world a little of you is traveling around with them.

So to the South African fair workers I met this week, I left a piece of my heart with you. To the Pittsburg fair worker I met this week, I left a piece of my heart with you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so. Thank you for showing me that I can give more of myself, that my heart is bigger and plenty big enough to be shared. I love you guys!!

books · reviews

Review: Nourished

I’m a bit of a foodie, so this book was super appealing based on the front cover. And, I wasn’t disappointed with the food side of it. Lot’s of Mediterranean and authentic Mexican food recipes among others. What’s not to love about that? This book was basically a memoir of the author’s food & travel life. While I thought her writing ability and style was incredible, in fact just about the best I’ve read, the story was not. It wasn’t boring, but it also wasn’t incredibly interesting. It just seemed like a rather self-centered story of someone who had no clue about a lot of things in life. I’m just not attracted to those kinds of things. But, as I said earlier, the food aspect was great. The way Huber described the food was mouth-watering and made you want to get in the kitchen to try it for yourself. The recipes interspersed throughout looked delicious and easy to make. So, it was a win on the food side and a thumbs down on the memoir side.


Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging For Books program in exchange for this review.

books · reviews

Review | How to Set a Table

Well, this is a charming little book. It was quite different than I had expected, but I still love it all the same. From the front cover I had assumed that the inside would be very clean and minimal with vintage type drawings. But, it’s actually full color photographs and descriptions. Definitely more of a modern feel on the inside. It’s neatly arranged and covers pretty much any setting in which you’d entertain including The Dining Table, The Breakfast Bar, The Coffee Table, The Picnic Blanket, The Bistro Table, The Console, & The Serving Tray. The descriptions and suggestions are to-the-point and simple, so not a lot of wording in here. There is a resources page in the back and of course there are pages with descriptions for everything you would use in a place setting. Oh, and I should mention that the cover is covered in cloth … how quaint is that. I look forward to putting this book to good use someday when I have a home of my own to entertain from.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging For Books program in exchange for this review.

books · reviews

Review | A Charm of Goldfinches

Well, this is a cute book. It covers a whole slew of animals and what they are called in groups. Most of the terms I had never heard of before, so it’s certainly informative in that way. You’ll find the pictures on the right side of the page and a little write-up about the animal on the left. I didn’t find the write-ups all that fascinating or interesting … some I didn’t find useful at all … but, the simple, cute style fits with the book well. The watercolor pictures are the cutest ever. I’m keeping the book just because of that. They’re simply enjoyable to look at and the charming style makes it all the more attractive. This book will make a nice new addition to my shelf.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging For Books program in exchange for this review.

books · reviews

Review | Start Where You Are: Week-At-A-Glance Diary

This is a very nice little planner. It has everything I love; simplicity, beauty, minimalism, & gold (on the front cover). The design is fresh and clean with just a bit of color here and there. There are twelve pages of lovely watercolor quotes to brighten up the otherwise minimal design. I love that this planner can be started at any time. You simply fill in the day, month, year, and you’re good to go. There are pages to fill in monthly goals, important dates, & notes. And then there are pages where you write whatever you want to under the correct day of the week. There are several pages in the back to fill in contact’s info as well as birthdays.  Overall, a nice book to help you plan out your best year yet.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging For Books program in exchange for this review.

books · reviews

Review: The Road to Paradise

Well, this book… I decided to review it based upon the cover, which I found very appealing in an old vintage way. And, it was considered Christian fiction, so I thought I probably wouldn’t have to deal with anything “trashy”. But, it goes down as one of those books that I wish I hadn’t wasted my time reading. I found the plot to be incredibly boring, ridiculous, under-developed, and childish. The characters were sooo annoying too. You’ve got a stubborn, but weak can’t-get-over-the-accidental-death-of-his-father park ranger, the stubborn, hard-headed, foolish, allows herself to be victimized visiting single rich girl, & the abusive, my-way-or-the-highway fiance of before mentioned single girl. That combination was about enough to make me pull hair out while reading. Nothing was really believable nor was it something I could imagine in real life. I mean, people don’t really act like that do they? And, this was supposedly Christian reading … what’s with all the “passionate kissing, hugging, & imagining scenes”? Very disappointed in that. This is definitely not a book I recommend and I thoroughly regret reading it.


Muller On Building Your Faith

1. Carefully read the Word and meditate on it. Through reading the Word of God, and especially through meditation on it, the believer becomes acquainted with the nature and character of God. Besides God’s holiness and justice, he realizes what a kind, loving, gracious, merciful, mighty, wise, and faithful Father He is. Therefore, in poverty, affliction, death of  loved ones, difficulty in service, or financial need, he will rest on the ability of God to help him. He has learned from the Word that God is almighty in power, infinite in wisdom, and ready to help and deliver His people. Reading the Word of God, together with meditation on it, is an excellent way to strengthen faith.

2. We must maintain an upright heart and a good conscience and not knowingly and habitually indulge in things which are contrary to the mind of God. How can I possibly continue to act in faith if I grieve the Lord and detract from His glory and honor? All my confidence in God and all my leaning on Him in the hour of trial will be gone if I have a guilty conscience and yet continue in sin. If I cannot trust in God because of a guilty conscience, my faith is weakened.

With every fresh trial, faith either increases by trusting God and getting help, or it decreases by not trusting Him. A habit of self-dependence is either defeated or encouraged. If we trust in God, we do not trust ourselves, our fellowmen, circumstances, or in anything else. If we do trust in one or more of these, we do not trust in God.

3. If we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried. The more I am in a position to be tried in faith, the more I will have the opportunity of seeing God’s help and deliverance. Every fresh instance in which He helps and delivers me will increase my faith. The believer should not shrink from situations, positions, or circumstances in which his faith may be tried, but he should cheerfully embrace them as opportunities to see the hand of God stretched out in help and deliverance. Thus his faith will be strengthened.

4. The last important point for the strengthening of our faith is that we let God work for us and do not work a deliverance of our own. When a trial of faith comes, we are naturally inclined to distrust God and to trust in ourselves, in our friends, or in circumstances. We would rather work a deliverance of our own than simply look to God and wait for His help. But if we do not patiently wait for God’s help, or if we work a deliverance of our own, then at the next trial of our faith we will have the same problem. We will again be inclined to try and deliver ourselves. With every fresh trial, our faith will decrease. On the contrary, if we stand firm in order to see the salvation of God, trusting in Him alone, our faith will be increased. Every time we see the hand of God stretched out on our behalf in the hour of trial, our faith would be increased even more. God will prove His willingness to help and deliver at the perfect time.

-George Muller, The Autobiography of George Muller