Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Year 35

How do I describe year 35?

It's been a whirlwind of a year. This year we have bought a house, spent weeks getting settled and accustomed to a new place, I've school 4 children officially and started 6 recently, I've found out I am a mom to 9 children, I've learned how to really make real food as Jim transitioned to a full time job that has him gone until 7:30 pm four days a week, I've grown in the knowledge of the goodness of the Lord and watched as He has answered prayers in so many areas of life. And that's just a brief overview.

Normally I have so much to say, but this year words seem to escape me!

God continues to change and mold me into His image as I constantly fail to be the woman I desire to be. But every failure leads to more growth and more knowing the deep love of the Savior! By His grace I'm becoming more like Jesus as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and worker. By His grace I'm learning to own my sin and seek to live in His strength and power through the Holy Spirit living in me.

I'm learning what is important and how to evaluate each moment according to the priorities that God has given to me. I'm seeking what it means to be a worer at home both in my home and using my home for work. He is really reminding me about my call to write and working towards getting my other blogs going and getting my book published. But not at the expense of my family. How much I have to learn in all of it, but I'm learning one step at a time.

This year my birthday was full of life. And by life I mean everyday things: sick babies, a quick grocery store run, a doctor's appointment, Jim needing to go to a meeting. But it was a beautiful and wonderful day as I got to snuggle with my babies and do what was needed to care for my family to the glory of God, because that is what life is about! Even on your birthday.

What a blessing to have another year and I pray I have many more in this amazing life God has given me in part of His story! Father, thank You for making me a part of Your story and Kingdom. Continue to teach me how to live my part in it to Your glory!

Even in the chaos, Jim and Lillian made some delicious THM lemon cupcakes for my birthday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Tales of Robin Hood

Book two for the Tim Challies Reading Challenge is Tales of Robin Hood from the Uborn Library of Fantasy and Adventure, illustrated by Ron Tiner. I'm using this book for the 13 book section as a book for children or teens.

I absoluetly loved Tales of Robin Hood! I was laughing, crying and in the midst of this intense story! I now want to read the original book. I have been familiar with the story of Robin Hood, but reading it was completely different. I loved the intrigue, intense battles and the clear fight of good vs evil. While I don't agree with everything that Robin and his men do, it is a brilliently writen story and I would love to read it again.

The kids seem to enjoy it as well and it was great for talking through truths of Scripture and life.

5 stars for this book!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Tablets of Ararat

Though I started this book last year, I'm counting it for my first book completed in 2019 for at least one reading challenge.

The Tablets of Ararat was given to me by my dear friend Kimberly, who has gone home to be with the Lord. I'm using it as a book a friend recommends on Tim Challies challenge this year.

The Tablets of Ararat  by C.J. Illinik was not at all I expected! While the story of Noah is briefly mentioned at the beginning, this book is a historical fiction that follows many people throughout history and how they came into contact with artifacts left by Noah after the flood.

I would call it an adventure with strange twists and turns that leaves you scratching your head until the end. However, this book is not fast paced. Moments in the book are high intensity but for the most part it gradually moves along until all the pieces fall into place.

It's hard to describe this book without giving too much away, but if you enjoy a good historical fiction, I would give this book a go. It's also fun to hear a speculation of what could have happened had artifacts from the ark survived. On the whole it's pretty clean, which is also an added bonus. But it's also realistic. It doesn't try to pretty up the world in any way, which I appreciate.

It is easy to read and most of the chapters are short, which also helps with the pace.

I'd give this read a 3.5 stars on the whole.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

More Reading Challenges

Two years ago I strove to do 3 reading challenges during a very challenging year and, while I did still read a lot, I didn't keep up with the challenges well at all. Last year all challenges were off. As much as I wanted to do them, I didn't have my books to commit.

Now I'm back in my own home and have all my books back at my disposal! So along with the Classics Challenge I shared yesterday, I'm looking at three other challenges to fill in during the year!

Now before you call me crazy, I do read a decent amount with my kids as part of our school time and I really want to read to learn as well as for fun. I also want to read all these books I've invested in over the years! Will I read every book in every challenge? Not likely, but I like having different lists to work off of to inspire my next read. Therefore, I may use one book on a couple of list, especially since one has 104 books on the most extensive challenge! The whole thing is just to get back into the discipline of reading again. Reading Scripture, reading for growth, reading with my kids and Jim and reading for inspiration to get back to my passion for writing. It's time to get back to it!

The three other challenges are these:

Tim Challies 2019 reading challenge. His list ranges from 13 to 104 books for the year. Jim, James and I are all working off this list. It was fun watching James pick his books for this challenge. He already started The Fellowship of the Ring for one of his categories! And this is outside of any school reading for him. He is aiming for the 104 level! So fun watching him grow in his excitement and love of reading.

2019 Reading Challenge for Women with Jami Balmet of Young Wife's Guide. I'm not sure if I will read the recommended books or just books in those categories. Her husband also does one for men that Jim is looking at and may do some of.

The 2019 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge is the last one. I've never looked at hers before, but I'm a little excited about the different categories.

I'm excited to get to reading and share what I'm reading. Just reading with the kids the last couple of days has been super fun.

So what are you reading this year?

Friday, January 4, 2019

Back to the Classics Challenge 2019

After missing the Back to the Classics Challenge last year and not completing the challenge in 2017, I'm super excited to jump into the Back to the Classics Challenge for 2019! Recently I've really missed reading on all levels, but I've not read a classic for over a year and I'm looking forward to stimulating my creative juices and enjoying some great reads.

I will admit, I may need some help with some of the categories as she has added some categories that I'm not sure what to read. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Here are this year's categories:

1. 19th Century Classic
2. 20th Century Classic
3. Classic by a Woman Author
4. Classic in Translation
5. Classic Comic Novel
6. Classic Tragic Novel
7. Very Long Classic (500 pages or more)
8. Classic Novella (shorter than 250 pages)
9. Classic from the Americas (includes Caribbean) set in or written by someone in one of these areas
10. Classic from Africa, Asia or Oceania (includes Australia) set in or written by someone in one of these countries
11. Classic from a Place You've Lived set there or author from there
12. Classic Play

I have many classics that will fall into a few of these categories and some that I don't know where they would fit, so I may have to adjust and read something different.

Classics I have that I'd like to read:
Pilgrim's Progress
Wife No. 19
A Shakespeare play I haven't read yet like Taming of the Shrew
What I haven't read of G.K. Chesterton (I have his complete works)
A Canticle for Leibowitz
This Hideous Strength
Sherlock Holmes

I also know I have several others I've picked up for free on Kindle, so I have options there I need to look at. If you have any recommendations for the categories above, I'd love to hear them!

Here's to another year of classics along with all that God has for me in this year.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Welcome 2019!

I'm still in awe (shock!) that it's year 2019 AD. This blog has been far more silent than I intended the last two years, but being in a state of constant transition for two years has been taxing and wearing to say the least. But as challenging as it has been, I really can't complain. God has been faithful through it all and He has brought us through stronger in faith and more ready to do those things He has called us to do.

It's been two years since I last shared my goals for the year and as I look at them I see how we have grown in all of the areas we desired to grow in. Some we met the specific goals stated and others we did not, but found alternatives that worked. With that, we also failed miserably in some areas, but in all of it we have learned and grown so much.

I only did one evaluation post in 2017, which shows the type of year it was. And it's been that way ever sense then until now. But by God's grace, we are now in a new home, Jim has a new full time job that is mostly consistent in days and times and we're finding our new normal in this season.

So with that I'm feeling the need and desire to reevaluate life again and set goals.

But this year, I'm evaluating and planning differently. I liked the way I did it before. It was nice, neat and very easy to check off my list to say if I succeeded or failed. While there is nothing wrong with this, and there are many things preferable about it especially for my personality, the last two years have taught me that this is very limiting and when things go completely off plan it's easy to feel like a complete and utter failure when you're not.

No success is isn't measured by some list of meager goals we put on ourselves. Success is measured by living out the life God has for us to live. That is what the last two years have taught me and so much more.

Yes, I want to read my Bible for at least 10 minutes everyday. But God doesn't love me more if I do. If I have done the tasks He has given me that day through the power of His Spirit in me, it's a good day.

This year is the first time I've chosen a word for the year. As I reflected over the past two years and prayed for God to show me what it is He wants for me there was one word that was abundantly clear:


There are many things that God has asked me to do, called me to, projects I've started with His leading and have not seen through. Whether from uncontrollable circumstances or fear and laziness, (usually the latter) I have not completed tasks that He has given me in many areas of my life. So this year is a year of completion.

Yes many of the goals I made shared in 2017 still stand, but I want to accomplish them in light of the bigger goal of living the life God has for me for His Kingdom and His Glory. Whether completeing small everyday chores or reaching major objectives and dreams that He is giving to me, it is all for Him and by His strength living in me.

Welcome 2019! I can't wait to see what God does with you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

6 Year Old Gabriel

This year has been a whilwind and Gabriel turning 6 this year is unbelievable! He was our first baby born in our house in Louisville and it was such an amazing birth. He came in his own way and he continues to walk in his own way.

Gabriel is such a fun and spirited boy. His name means "Mighty Man of God" and he is quite mighty in spirit. He is always learning, seeking investigating. He is a determined boy and full of spunk and life. But even with all that might of character, he is a sensative soul that loves people and life. He is emotional but not overly so. He knows what he is and he will not say differently. Gabriel's mind is always set and he is clear in what that is. This is such an amazing quality in such a young boy.

It has been such a blessing to see God working in this mighty boy. God named this child so clearly and we pray regularly that God would take that might and turn it for God's glory. We are beginning to see that in Gabriel, which is such a blessing. He tells us of the things of God and talks Scripture with the family. He tells us what God does and says. How we see the might Holy Spirit working in his life! We pray that he will be saved soon!

Along with the things of God, Gabriel enjoys all types of learning. Workbooks are his idea of fun. He also enjoys puzzles, reading, good food and a good movie or educational tv show. He is also beginning to really enjoy the kitchen. Recently he has been doing parts of meals including peeling, mixing, pouring and putting things in the oven! He loves to eat! (most things that is) And he will tell you exactly what he wants.

We cannot express enough gratitude to God for this young man. He adds so much to our family and I'm so grateful that God gave him to us!

Father, please continue to work on Gabriel's heart. Please save him by Your grace and show him the way everlasting. Let him be mighty for You and you alone! You are so gracious and merciful. Thank you for Gabriel's life and letting him be a part of the Manor family. He is such an amazing boy and by your grace he will be all that You created him to be. In Jesus Name, Amen!