Hi there! 💛 I hope you’re having a beautiful day. 🙂 I have decided to begin writing mini reviews of books again. Sharing why I enjoyed the books I’ve finished reading is an encouragement to me to keep reading, which is a good thing, since I have bookshelves full of books!
Hi there! I hope you’re having a beautiful Tuesday. ❤ Recently, I have been thinking about covering topics on my blog that haven’t appeared in my posts in weeks (even months, in some cases!). I like to keep a variety of focuses in my posts because otherwise, my content gets repetitive. 🙂 Ironically, I just began writing a story I’ve been slowly brainstorming for months! That’s why this post is going to be all about my new story! ❤
Now, I won’t be sharing too much, because that might distract me from the beginning stages of forming this story. However, I have created a simple questionnaire I came up with to better figure out for myself where this story is going – and it will give you guys a peek into what it’s all about, too! Let’s check this out.
About My New Story
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Setting: Tikal, Guatemala
Geared Audience: YA/Adult
Mood: Varies (adventurous, insightful, intense)
Main Characters: The family of Yik’in Chan K’awiil
Focus: The adventures of Atzi, Yik’in’s eldest [fictional] daughter
Projected Word Length: 40k
Moral: The love of family is greater than anything we may face.
The Inspiration For This Story
- My love for Guatemalan culture. When I first began reading about the ancient Mayans, I was captivated! Getting to learn more about the roots of the Guatemalan people is awesome.
- My interest in history in general! I can’t get over how interesting everything I learn about other cultures (usually the facts that most people don’t know) always is! Some of the things are sad, and others are even frightening, but as a whole, learning about how people survived (and thrived!) hundreds and hundreds of years ago is absolutely amazing.
Why I’m Writing This Story
I recently came to the realization that throughout all of human history, we are in great need of a loving Lord and Savior. Incorporating my faith and belief in Jesus Christ into my writing is exactly what I need (and am loving!) to do … because even though much of the focus of historical recounts are on politics, society, and the works of historical figures, I know that there were many people who trusted in the Lord, whether history wants to remember it or not.
By studying other time periods and spending time praying over how I may bring awareness to others’ faith in the Lord throughout history, this is my current mission in the world of writing.
So far, I have studied much of the European Middle Ages and am in the process of writing a story having to do with one of the first completed manuscripts of the Bible. As for my Mayan story? It will be focusing on the fact that even though the people of Tikal had a strong religious system, Yik’in’s family senses greater truth in the movings of the Holy Spirit over the rituals and practices of their gods.
I can’t wait to see where this mission will take me! I’m fully looking forward to studying other cultures, as well, and working on even more stories in the future. ❤
Thanks for reading! Once I’m ready to, I’ll be sharing an excerpt from my Tikal story (which doesn’t have a proper name yet). 🙂 I’m also considering writing a post containing the brilliant way I figured out how to properly outline story ideas that I have!
Hi there! Happy Tuesday to you. ❤ I hope you’re doing well! Earlier today, I finished reading the first book I’ve completed this month, and I’d really like to tell you guys all about it!
On one of my many browsing adventures on Amazon (haha), I came across some books I haven’t read yet by the pastor and author, Dr. Charles F. Stanley. His teaching has been a huge encouragement to me for years, which is why I ended up buying the book I’m talking about today: God Has a Plan for Your Life. Many of Dr. Stanley’s other books looked really great, as well, but I knew that this one was definitely the one the Lord would use to speak to my heart – and He truly did!
So, allow me to tell you why I ended up loving this book. ❤
1. It is the perfect length. At only 148 pages, I thought at first glance that it would be too short of a read, but I was wrong! It definitely packed a punch, and I’ve walked away from its ten quick chapters feeling beautifully different about my life.
2. Its focus is right where it should be. Everything Dr. Stanley wrote about is full of truth, and the basis of his advice is centered, as always, in the Holy Bible – which is absolutely true! I loved seeing what he had to say about the future of believers, because I long for the security of faith in a future of goodness for me and my family. I deeply struggle with that because of fear and anxiety filling my thoughts when it comes to what the Lord has for me. This book, I can confidently say, calmed my heart immensely. ❤
3. He stressed the importance of taking life one step at a time. When I’m constantly focused on figuring out what is to come, then I have completely thrown away the present! It’s an awful mistake, and one I didn’t realize I was making – until now. I am thankful for Dr. Stanley’s godly wisdom, for I have thought for too long that the best times of my life lie ahead. With that mindset, then where am I right now?
I desire to live beautifully right here, trusting the Lord to lead and guide me, showing me what to do next in His timing.
4. He reminds readers that waiting on the Lord is an essential aspect of our future. We live in a day and age where everyone is able to receive most, if not all, of what they want, in a very short amount of time. Because we’re used to everything being quick, it’s hard (for me especially) to remember just how perfect the Lord’s timing is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought before, If the Lord would just give me an answer to [this question], then I’ll know I’m doing the right thing. The truth is, the Lord doesn’t delay in telling us what we need to know – when the time is right, we will know in our hearts for sure! By putting our trust in Him, this leads me to my final point:
5. I have been reminded that when we trust in the Lord, we are right where we’re supposed to be in His will. I still have so much to learn, but by being open to seeing when I have faulty ways of viewing things in my life, I’m able to take so many steps forward! I hope and pray the same is true for you. There will be many quiet days in all of our lives, when we wonder if where we are is where we are supposed to be … and only through the peace that He gives us will we know that for certain. I now know that even in the most silent of moments of my existence, He is still good, and His plan for me is still very much there. ❤
Thank you for reading this quick review! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book, because I’m still slowly letting everything that it taught me to soak in. I’m truly looking forward to seeing where the Lord is leading me – I know that He will accomplish great things in my future!
Have I convinced YOU to read this book?
Let me know in the comments below!
Hi there, and Happy Tuesday to you! ❤ In yesterday’s post, I shared some of the things I recently purchased at one of my favorite thrift stores, which you can see for yourself here! For today’s post, I’d like to share a more in-depth reason for why one of the books I got, called ‘Too Small To Ignore,’ is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
I usually find myself giving books a high rating, not because it was an extremely well-written book, specifically – my ratings and reviews revolve around what the book taught me, how it made me feel, and the impact on me. That’s what defines a good book for me! And it has been a good while since I found a book that was able to affect me so deeply, and I know that this was the Lord’s doing. 🙂 It blesses me so much when He uses other resources to speak to my heart!
Before I begin, I’d like to share a bit about me: I’m the oldest sister of five kids (there are three girls and two boys), and since Samuel was about four years old (he’s 6 now), the Lord has been teaching me to love children. Being a nurturing, loving older sister is something I’m constantly working on, a work of art He is consistently pursing within me. As well as this, I also have a heart for other children (especially Guatemalan children!), and since I read the first few pages of ‘Too Small To Ignore,‘ the Lord has made it real to me how important it is to Him that I love children as He does.
Whether I’m caring for my younger siblings, or working with children around the world, and one day having little ones of my own – He is teaching me to love them as He does, and I find that absolutely beautiful. ❤
So, as you can tell by the title of this post, I am sharing with you today the seven reasons why I’m loving ‘Too Small To Ignore.’ It is a beautiful book, and at only a third of the way through it, I eagerly anticipate reading what the rest of its chapters beholds.
Let’s get right into this!
7 Reasons Why I’m Loving
‘Too Small To Ignore’
1. Its subtitle. These seven words remind me of the part in the 10th chapter of Mark when Jesus brings that group of children, one by one, up onto His lap and invokes a blessing upon them. This book stresses the importance of how great the love of our Lord is for the least among us, and why they truly matter the most!
2. The real love the author feels for children. The reader can see it in how Dr. Wess Stafford speaks of his childhood friends, his own children, and the countless others he has had the pleasure of being with – it is absolutely contagious!
3. The awareness it brings to readers just how much children matter. For years, I have known of how tenderly Jesus cared for the children His apostles thought would bother Him. It turned out that those men keeping the young ones back was what ended up bothering Him! Throughout my adolescent years, and into adulthood, as well, my love for children has gotten so much stronger – especially with the birth of my three youngest siblings – and I can’t wait to work with children on the mission field one day, too.
4. The author’s focus and his call to us to ‘rise up and teach the next generation.’ He stresses the importance of including young ones in our lives now, and of not waiting until their childhood is over to teach them the great work they can do for the kingdom of God. Just as Jesus said in Mark 10:14,
” … Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
5. Learning of the importance to teach young ones about the Lord. In this book, Stafford shared the staggering statistic that 9 out of 10 Christians accept Jesus into their heart before the age of 18.
If an individual is not open to knowing Him past this age, there is only a 23% chance that he or she ever will.
This is one of the biggest reasons why the Lord has such a huge heart for children – it is the time in their lives when, if given the opportunity to learn of Him, will be open to accepting Jesus into their hearts.
This fact gives me even greater reason to love little ones – it is the most important time in their lives to be told about the Lord!
6. The author’s tips and words of advice. Stafford has such a unique, sound way of encouraging others to love kids, and this aspect of the book especially has been helpful to me. I desire to be the best big sister and encouragement to young ones that I can be!
7. His encouragement to those of us with/around children to do right by them. He mentions in one chapter that uplifting a child through praise and attention just once can impact their entire lives!!! Words and actions make or break a person, and the positive influence of others is extremely important to little individuals. One smile, one statement of praise … that encouragement could stay with them for a very long time to come.
Thank you sooo much for reading!
I hope that you may be convinced not only to check out this book for yourself, but also to simply be more open to loving little ones … for to such belong the kingdom of the Lord. ❤ ❤ ❤
Hey guys! Happy Friday to all of you 🙂 ❤ When I woke up this morning, I knew that I wanted to share a Little Accomplishments-style post on my blog at some point today, because I love having a mini weekend celebration in this fashion … but then I realized …
I didn’t get much done last week!
I was rather disappointed, haha, but I also understood. My family and I have all been on the edge of our seats lately, as there were two different evenings we were sure my mom was going into labor, but then they didn’t end up being the real thing. I don’t mind that, and it was my fault I didn’t get my to do list in order sooner, haha. It was a bit of an off-week productively, but I’m not worried about it – it just gives me further ideas for the new week!
How about you? Did you get lots done this past week, or was your to do list in hibernation, too? I hope that whatever you did, you are happy that the weekend is here now. I certainly am! I intend on setting stronger goals for myself over the next seven days or so (as you’ll see below), which is why I wanted to do a reverse Little Accomplishments today. lol Instead of listing what I did, I’m listing what I’ll do!
I hope that you enjoy! ❤
Let’s celebrate each and every week – regardless of how productive we were!
Little To Do List
Over the next week, I plan to …
- finish reading ‘The Virginian.’ I meant to have finished it already, but then about a quarter of the way through the book, I met a few boring chapters, and it slowed my progress immensely, lol. Now that I’ve made it past that part, I’m back to laughing over the antics of the main character, how the narrator perceives them, and the friendships the Virginian shares with many of the other cowboys he meets out west. I’m about a week behind now on reading a book a week, but I know I’ll catch up at some point on this year’s reading journey.
- continue practicing writing with my new markers. With the Amazon gift card my parents gave me for Christmas, I bought some Crayola dual fine/brush tip markers for mysef, where one end of each marker has a tiny tip, and the other is a brush tip in a similar color. One is good for detail coloring, which I’ve been enjoying doing in my new coloring book, and the other is awesome for practicing calligraphy – something I’ve always wanted to do! When I make good progress with that, I’ll share some of what I’ve written with you guys.
- start reading ‘Hank and Jim.’ This book ended up taking forever for me to get from the library, haha, because it kept being checked out!! It’s this awesome biography written about the friendship between Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart, two actors whom I greatly admire. Hopefully, the novel will live up to all my expectations (which are only there in the first place because it took me over a month to get the book for myself, haha!), and I’ll let you know how I liked it in my next reading update post.
- clean my phone. I’ve been meaning to do this for about a week now lol, and all it consists of is cleaning the exterior, then going through apps and photos. Come on, Maggie! Get it done!
- bake and cook more. This to-do will actually something I must-do after my baby sister’s born, haha, because then my mom won’t have to stand as much and work in the kitchen and can instead take it easy after giving birth. As well as fixing dinners, I hope to make a dessert hopefully once a week. I made chocolate brownies on a whim this morning, and I am happy to say that they turned out great!
- continue studying the Lord’s Word. Something like this probably isn’t necessary to include on my list of things to do, because I automatically do it throughout the day, anyway. Still, I did want to include it to even more deeply remind myself to pay attention to what He’s teaching me, because I never cease to learn something new every time I’m open to the beauty and wisdom the His Word contains. ❤
- write more of what the Lord’s teaching me. As you saw in yesterday’s post, this is something I plan on doing as often as possible now. With the new notebook my dad bought for me, I can’t wait to get started!
- play more games with Samuel. With so much attention being given to Elizabeth and my mom, and pretty soon the new baby, too, I want to make sure that Samuel never feels left behind. He’s still a little kid, and I am now making a greater effort to include him in things I’m doing, whether that’s a game, a conversation, or a new recipe I’m trying out. He enjoyed playing out in the snow the last couple of days (it was the most snow he’s ever gotten to experience, actually!), as you can see in the photo below. So, whether we’re outside or we’re playing a game inside, I want him to look at me as his friend and sister, not just his eldest sibling. ❤
- enjoy the rest of January. I tend to not realize how easily we speed through a month until we’re suddenly in the last week of the month! Thankfully, that hasn’t happened to this month yet. However, this tendency shows how much I’m thinking too much about the future and reaching goals, instead of living in the present. We’re just over halfway through January now, and I intend on enjoying and savoring the last half. ❤
Thank you so much for reading! ❤ I hope that you’re having a beautiful day, and that next week will be beautiful for you, too. 🙂
Let me know in the comments below:
What are YOU up to next week?
Hey there, guys! I’m praying that your week has gotten off to a great start. 🙂 ❤ As some of you may have seen in another post, my main personal goal for this year is to simply read more. While I would love to apply this to my part in the blog community, as well (I could always read more blog posts, haha), this semi-resolution is a reminder for myself to read great literature. Whether that’s a work of fiction, a Shakespearean play, or a biography, I’m up to reading whatever I find at the library that interests me, granted that I make time out of my day for it.
In this post series, which may become a bi-weekly or monthly post that I share, I will be going over, put simply, what I have been recently reading! I have taken some lovely pictures of the books I’ve been enjoying, and I wanted to share them with you guys.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read any of these books yourself! ❤ Now, let’s check them out. 🙂
What I’m Reading This Week
Just Finished: Toss The Bouquet
This is a lovely wedding short story collection I found while browsing my favorite library at the beginning of this month. It was by absolute chance that I came across it, as I was pushing Elizabeth around in the stroller so that my mom could browse freely without Elizabeth crying. The title happened to catch my eye as I breezed past it in my task of keeping the stroller moving constantly, haha, so I turned back around and grabbed it, reading the summary as I went.
I don’t like to describe books in full detail, because my joy as a reader has been dampened many times by a too-thorough review or back cover, lol. However, I will say that if you would enjoy reading about weddings, this is the short story collection for you! The first story has great characters, the second one has a great plot, and the third has great characters and a great plot. I highly recommend it!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Reading Now: The Virginian by Owen Wister
GUYS. I accidentally found this book while browsing a library I don’t usually go to, and on a whim, without even knowing what it was about except that it looks like a western, I decided to give it a chance. I doubt I have ever been more delighted in a book before!
There have certainly been great novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading in the past, but since I knew not a thing of its plot or characters going into it, everything is a lovely surprise in The Virginian, and man, the humor of the author/narrator is extraordinary. It is so many genres wrapped into one novel, but the running theme is still certainly western.
This book is to me, as one of my favorite librarians calls it, a “lost classic” – why I’ve never heard of this novel, which was written in 1903, is beyond me. It is too good to be lost among other great books!
Current rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Honorable Mention: Under God
by Michael Tait and Toby Mac
Haha, I call this an ‘honorable mention’ because I’ve read the first multiple chapters, but have yet to really get into it. I have a funny relationship with learning about history, because while I love discovering new information and insight into the ways of the past, I have a harder time getting into the wording and focus than other areas of literature. Still, this one is worth mentioning, and I will make my way through it if it takes me a month, because the focus of this American history book is on how our country was formed on godly principles. It’s unlike any other book I’ve read, and I LOVE it. If this sounds interesting to you, it’s written really well. I’m definitely enjoying it!
Current Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Bookshelf Read Of The Month:
Poirot and Me by David Suchet
One of the side goals I have for this year is to read at least one book that I own once a month. This would help me to make my way through new reads or re-reads I’ve been putting off for the longest time, and would also encourage me to donate books I don’t enjoy anymore, haha! While I wouldn’t consider myself a book collector, there are definitely titles I’ve kept on my shelf longer than others would deem necessary. Still, with this encouragement, I hope to have read every book that I own, because it’s rather pointless to have so many books in my room still unread. xD
As you saw in the picture, Poirot and Me is the book I’ve chosen for January. If I really don’t like it, I’ll pick another book to read, but I’ll give it another shot.
Thank you so much for reading! I enjoyed compiling these books, as reading has become a hobby of mine again over the past month, which is so wonderful. 🙂 If you’ve decided to read more this year, as well, you’ll have to let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments below!
Happy blogging – and reading!
Hey there, and happy Monday! ❤ I’m praying that your new week will get off to a wonderful start. 🙂 I just finished reading my first book of 2018 this morning! That’s one down, about 51 left to go, haha. Reading one a week (or thereabouts) should be interesting! I’ll share a post about what I’ve been reading at some point, but for today, I’ll be talking about a classic book I absolutely love!
I’ve written a few posts like this so far, covering Hamlet and also The Hobbit. For this masterpiece spotlight (unofficial title, haha) I’m very happy to tell you all about my love for The Great Gatsby! If you enjoyed reading this novel as much as I did, you’ll certainly enjoy this post. xxx Happy reading!
10 Reasons Why I Love The Great Gatsby
1. East Egg and West Egg. These are the fictional towns, which are a short distance apart, where the main characters live. The ones who don’t live in either of those areas, are always visiting these rich couples / individuals, whether they show up at their parties uninvited, or they come over for afternoon tea. I learned just recently that “egg” was a term used in the 1920’s to describe rich folk – very fitting for the settings of this novel.
2. Gatsby’s parties. As seen above, I mentioned that parties were held in these towns, and the main ones mentioned in the book were carried out at Jay Gatsby’s extravagant home. Everyone is dancing, eating, drinking, swimming, and having a jolly good time – they definitely sounded like fun! I love reading these segments, and watching them on movie renditions, as well. You can just picture the women in flappers and the men in their best suits, dancing and talking the night away.
3. All of the main characters. It’s so easy to enjoy a book when you can warm up to the main people the story’s about! The only one I didn’t particularly like (but she was alright) is Jordan Baker, the [sort of] love interest of Nick Carraway. Her character is aloof, and her presence in various scenes is unknown to me.
4. The relationships and intertwining friendships. These two characters are related, and those two are past lovers. That guy’s actually interested in that woman, not the one you think he should be, and that lady seems to be a friend of everyone …. Needless to say, there are so many connections, past and present, that everyone blends somewhat and the friendship circle is pretty complete. Oh, if only they could show love toward who deserved it … the characters would be happier.
5. Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby’s extravagant homes. The descriptions F. Scott Fitzgerald gave are just fantastic! Gatsby’s is the perfect place for holding parties, a massive home to waste the hours away in, exploring its rooms and being treated to the endless delicacies. The Buchanans’ seems more like a summer home, which could be quite right, as they are just up the hill from a lake …
6. The juxtaposition of these two ways of life. The wealth in East Egg that has no source, and the extravagance in West Egg, just across the lake … as well as Nick’s shack, which is the next yard over from Gatsby’s mansion. Throughout the novel, one is constantly aware of the author bringing to light the minute differences of these towns, and of the people who reside in them.
7. The green light. Only a reader who loved this novel enough to remember details like this will understand. Can you picture Gatsby, standing at the end of his dock, hands slowly fidgeting in the pockets of his richly-textured pants as he zones out across the water? The only object his eyes have to focus on in the early morning fog is a faint green light, one that ebbs and flows amid the dense air, its pulse matching that of his own. The light he watches is a reminder to him of a love from the past, one which once was, one that he wishes could simply be again … (I should write Gatsby fanfiction, honestly)
8. Gatsby’s yellow car. At first glance, to reader and character alike, it is a gorgeous, unique automobile … but what is obviously just a mode of transportation soon reveals itself to be the unsuspecting victim of a much different matter.
9. The use of language. The whimsy way in which the characters talk, as well as their bluntness and aloft state of being, is a perfect blend of fictional personalities and wonder.
10. The narrator. That would be Nick Carraway, another unsuspecting victim, who is unintentionally around for many important scenes in the lives of his neighbors and new friends.
Thank you sooo much for reading! ❤ I loved writing this, as this book is absolutely fantastic. Its imagery, plot, and characters are extremely likeable. I’d happily read this masterpiece over and over again!
Let me know in the comments below:
Do YOU love The Great Gatsby?