Monday, December 24, 2012

Review of 12 Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur

Let me start by saying that this is the first book I have read by John MacArthur, but I absolutely loved it and I am eager to read more of his work.

In "12 Unlikely Heroes" by John MacArthur, the author talks about 12 different unexpected heroes from the Bible and gives a small preview into each of their lives. The 12 listed are Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James, Mark and Onesimus.

Most of the heroes were well-known to me, while I had heard only tidbits about James and Onesimus before reading this book. I think the point that the author is trying to make is that God can use anybody. He does use kings, priests and prophets to complete his work, but he also uses ordinary people like you and I. Jonah ran from God before he pursued God's plan for his life. Samson disobeyed God multiple times, and finally made the right decision in  the final moments of his life. I think MacArthur gives us a glimpse of these characters to show us what can happen when we don't follow God's will. God had big plans for these heroes but they followed their own judgement instead of God's.

From the first chapter, I was hooked. MacArthur has a beautiful way of telling the stories of these famous and not-so-famous Bible characters. His writing is easy to understand and would be a great book to use in a Bible study or class. I rate is as 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Want a free book by Ted Dekker?

Yup, you heard that right! Ted Dekker is giving away copies of his newest book entitled "Identity" which is the first book in his 4 book series called Eyes Wide Open. It's super simple to get your free copy! Just visit Ted's page HERE to sign up! Ted Dekker's books never disappoint, so don't miss out on this! There's five days left to sign up!

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review of "Black" by Ted Dekker

Today I want to share a review on one of my all-time favorite books, and the beginning of a great series!

Black by Ted Dekker is just the first book in a series of four. These books were meant to be read in order: Black, Red and White. Green was written later and is meant to be both the beginning and ending of the story. I read Green last of all since I had already read the other three when it was released, and I'm happy that I read it in that order. It made perfect sense, but it's all a matter of preference.  

The star of this novel is Thomas Hunter, who suddenly finds himself living in two very different worlds. Our real world, and his "dream" world, although the dream world is just as real. In the real world, the entire world has just been exposed to a deadly virus that only Thomas can stop. In his "dream" world, Thomas is fighting evil Shataiki and learning to love like Elyon. 

In the beginning Thomas has no idea just how intertwined the two worlds really are.

Dekker weaves a beautiful story of love and betrayal in a timeless story about good versus evil. The story is so beautifully written and described that it sounds like poetry. There are multiple parallels in this story based on the Bible, with the first being that Elyon is God and the Shataiki are demons. Becoming a follower of Elyon is much like our becoming a follower of Christ, but much more graphic. Sin is so evident that it can be seen. 

I rate this book as 5 stars, and would not be surprised to see it as a classic among C.S. Lewis' classics one day. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

This ever frugal momma has found yet another homemade project!

Because I have had extensive food allergies since I was a young child, I keep a close watch of the spices, preservatives and ingredients that my family and I consume. One of my biggest pet peeves is reading an ingredient label, only to have it say "Spices"! Umm, hello? What spices? As an epi-pen carrier, I don't take any chances. If I don't know what it is, I don't eat it. If you hang out with me at all, you know I am constantly asking "What's in this?". :)

So I was thrilled when I figured out how easy it was to make my own taco seasoning! I found a great tutorial here at Heart, Hands, Home!

  • 1 cup minced dry onions
  • 1/2 Cup chili powder
  • 1/4 Cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 Cup cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp. red pepper flakes (optional, add if you like spicy)
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. 

Use 2-3 Tbsp. of seasoning per pound of meat. The recipe does not say to add water, but I always add about 1/4 Cup with my seasoning. Also, I added 1 1/2 Tbsp. of red pepper flakes to my mix, and it made it pretty spicy. Good, but spicy! I think next time I will add only 1/2 Tbsp. 

For this first batch, I bought all Meijer brand spices, and I'm not sure I saved much money at all. My plan for the next batch is to buy all of the seasonings at Sam's Club and see if there is a huge difference. Also, by buying at Sam's, I will end up with a much bigger batch. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Grab a button!

It's official! You can now grab a Loving Mommahood badge for your blog to link back to your favorite place on the web! ;) Check out our new badge on the right side of our page!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

His Needs, Her Needs

Considering our second wedding anniversary is one month from today, I thought I would share my review of one of my FAVORITE marriage books! :) (And trust me, I've read alot of them!)

His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard F. Harley Jr.

Honestly, this book should be required reading material for anyone even thinking about getting married. I'm not kidding. It's written for all stages of marriage. The author explains the five most important needs to each spouse in alternating chapters. An affair is much more likely to occur if those top five needs aren't being met, because often (sometimes even unintentionally) the spouse will look elsewhere in search of having those needs met.

The top five needs for wives are affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support and family commitment. The top five needs for husbands are sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support and admiration.

You may be thinking the "Attractive Spouse" chapter sounds shallow and demeaning. But it's not, I promise. The author is not saying that you need to look like a super model for your spouse. He is simply saying that you should show your husband how much you love him, and if that means wearing a pair of jeans instead of yoga pants, then try it! :) Trust me...since I became a mommy of two, my husband has seen more than his share of yoga pants, but if I am not completely exhausted by the time he gets home from work, I try to look nice for him. Your actions will speak volumes to him.

The last few chapters of the book are dedicated to couples struggling with an affair (past or presently), and how to overcome it.

My husband and I own this book and it has become our most common purchase for wedding gifts! I rate it at 5 stars!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Loving Mommahood's very first Give-away!

We are planning two Giveaways for the month of December! For the first one we will be giving away an animal hat (similar but not necessarily exact) to the picture below. The hats fit most dolls, including American Girl 18" dolls and the Bitty Baby dolls!

Our first giveaway will be Friday, December 14th and the winner will be announced at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, via Loving Mommahood!

How do you enter the contest? SIMPLE! Liking our Loving Mommahood Facebook Page will automatically give you one entry! We will give you an additional entry for each one of your Facebook friends that like Loving Mommahood's Facebook Page! Just make sure they message me letting me know who referred them! Happy Winning!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My story...

I've been wanting to write this piece for quite some time now, but to be honest, it's been the most challenging to write. It's one of those touchy subjects that I really hate to talk about at all, but I believe God uses trials for His glory. My purpose in writing this is to share what God has done in and through me these past 7 years, and that maybe my story will help someone else get to where God wants them to be. It's been the hardest 7 years of my life, but it's made me into the person God intended me to be even though it may not be the path He chose.

April 2004- I started dating this guy I met at church. To protect identities I will call him Joe. He was nice, friendly; he was a Christian and he asked me out on a date. June 2005- We got married.

I've gone back to those days and months time and time again and wondered if there was something I missed. Was there something I should have seen? I still can't answer that. He had said he was a Christian, but was he producing fruit? I'm not sure I'll ever know those answers. There is so much that happened in such a short time. I kept journals and wrote everything down. The good, the bad and everything in between.

The abuse began immediately after we got married. On our honeymoon in fact. Joe would hold me down, restrain me...he threatened to leave me in a parking lot and locked me out of our car. He said it was for my own good; that he was only helping me. It was a lie and I knew it. It happened over and over again. He would squeeze me so hard that I couldn't breath. I would leave him for a few days after that so he could cool down. He always begged me to come home and promised it would never happen again. And I listened to him.

Thanksgiving morning 2005, I found out I was pregnant with my beautiful baby girl Savannah. It wasn't much longer until the abuse became worse and he started hitting me. He spent a night in jail, and I had to call the police multiple times. On top of that, I found out that Joe had become addicted to internet pornography. He tried to hide it, and he even denied it for the longest time. In December 2006, I left him for good. I'm not sure if I ever would have done it if it weren't for my baby girl. I knew she deserved so much better than an abusive father, and I was never going to let him hurt her.

I told Joe that if he wanted me to come home, then he needed to get help. I wanted him to go to counseling for his anger issues and abuse, and to seek help for his addiction to pornography. He still felt that I was making a big deal out of nothing and that I was the one who needed to change. He told me maybe he wouldn't hit me so much if I would just show him a little respect.

So I moved back in with my parents. I can still remember how my heart felt like it was breaking into a million pieces. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. I was terrified for my daughter. If he had hit me, what would stop him from hitting her? How was I going to keep her safe if Joe refused to get help?

I never thought that I would ever actually meet my little girl face to face. Joe would call me literally 60 times in one day and leave threatening voicemails calling me all kinds of horrible names. We went to counseling together, which was a big mistake. In going together, Joe tried to pin a lot of the guilt from the abuse on me. The counselor we saw was a nice man, but clearly not experienced with dealing with domestic violence. So I began seeing an accountability partner to help me in my walk with God, and continued to attend Bible studies and church services at my church.

I waited for what seemed like forever. Two years passed and Joe was exactly the same as when I had left him, if not worse. He came to my parents house to see Savannah maybe once a month and for a half hour at a time, and he would fall asleep on the floor instead of playing with her. This was no life for my little girl. Joe still had angry outbursts and I did my best to keep her from seeing any of it. I also found out that during the 2 years I lived at my parents, Joe had been having affairs. It was time for one final act on my part in an attempt to get Joe to want to turn his life around. I filed for divorce.

I remember hearing "The Good Life" by Audio Adrenaline with tears rolling down my cheeks because it perfectly described me. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. I had lost everything but I had gained everything I will ever need.. It was just me and my little girl. Yes, I had amazing family and friends who stood behind me 100%, but in the end, there was nothing they could do for me except just to pray. They couldn't take the hurt away even though I know they were hurting for me. I know sometimes when we experience trials, it's so hard to trust God to get us through. But I did. I grew closer to God than I had ever been in my entire life.

I prayed every day for my little girl and her safety.There were days that I struggled with trusting God with all of my worrying. I had Bible verses written on 3 x 5 index cards and placed around my room as reminders. When I felt the worry creeping back in, I read those Bible verses out loud. Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." I prayed over and over again to God to keep Savannah safe.

A lot has happened since then. In the final stages of the divorce, I saw an amazing counselor to help me deal with the grief. She helped me put my life back together. I had the privilege of getting to know a very sweet and godly man named Aaron. We became best friends and he treated Savannah with such love and kindness. It was better than I could have ever dreamed. I am blessed to say that he is now my husband and we are approaching our second wedding anniversary. We have another baby girl, Scarlette who is 2 weeks shy of her first birthday.

And two months ago, our prayers were answered when Joe signed off his parental rights for my beautiful baby girl, Savannah and she is now legally Aaron's daughter. God answers prayer. My life is proof of this! There is so much that God has taught me these past 7 years. My prayer is that God will use me to help others who may have gone through the same circumstances.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Not too long ago I read a book by Tosca Lee entitled, "Havah". I was introduced to Tosca Lee's writings by a book that she and Ted Dekker wrote together (Forbidden). I was instantly a fan.

Havah is a tale spun about Eve in the garden of Eden. It contains a little bit of truth that we know from reading the Bible, but mostly just speculated fiction suggesting what might have happened. How many children did Adam and Eve have? Did they ever try to find their way back to the garden? I think so many people (myself included) have unintentionally looked at Eve as a horrible person who began the fall of mankind, when really she is no different than you or I. We are all guilty of the same thing. Sin. I do not believe that Tosca Lee is trying to make Eve out to be a heroine by any means, but it certainly makes you think about what it must have been like to be Eve.
I found it hard to put the book down once I began reading. I read many fast-paced, page-turning books (you know my favorite author is Ted Dekker) and this book was no exception. Tosca Lee is set to release "Iscariot" in February 2013 and I am eager to read that book as well. I am sure it will not disappoint. 

Recommended reading age: Teenager and up.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

75 Things I want my daughters to know

I recently read a post by lisajobaker entitled "100 Things I want to teach my daughter" and it inspired me to create my own list for my daughters. I began quite ambitiously and called it "100 Things I want my daughters to know" but working on it this week it is now:

75 Things I want my daughters to know

  1. No boy is worth your tears, because the one who is won’t make you cry. 

2. You don’t need to wear makeup to be beautiful. You are beautiful the way God made you!

3. Your daddy and I will always love you no matter what. Always.

4. Sometimes you just need a good cry, and that’s okay.

5Never be afraid to do the right thing. You won’t regret it.

6. Jesus is the best friend you will ever have. He’s always there to listen and He’ll pick you up when you fall. Learn to trust Him and give your heart completely to Him.

7I think we both know I am not a fashionista. You may have to recruit your Aunt Cassie in that department.

8. Get back up when you fail. Nothing worth having comes easily.

9.  I know this one is tough, and I’ll admit that sometimes I struggle with it too, but it really doesn’t matter what other people think about you as long as you know in your heart that you’re doing the right thing, and that you’re doing what God wants you to do.

10. You really can live happily ever after. It just doesn’t look like what you might expect.

11.  You taught me what unconditional love really is.

12.  If you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it.

13.  You can always come home.

14.  You will always be my little girl.

15.  When you hurt, I hurt too.

16.  My body will never look the same after having you and your sister, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

17.  You’re just as good as any boy. In sports, smarts or anything you put your mind to.

18.  Be a Proverbs 31 woman.

19.  Smart girls never finish last.

20.  Boys will come and go but girlfriends are forever. Don’t let a boy come between your friendship.

21.  Your sister will be your best ally in life. Stick together.

22.  The first time any guy cheats on you, treats you disrespectfully, or even THINKS about hurting you, will be the last time he ever sees you. Your daddy will make sure of that. Marry someone who treats you with respect, love and kindness and who loves God more than He loves you.

23.  You don’t need a boyfriend to make you feel good about yourself. You are beautiful and smart, and the right guy will come along when you are ready.

24.  They say girls often marry a guy just like their dad. You’ll love having a husband who loves to make you laugh and takes you to comic book conventions. ;)

25.  Don’t listen when the boys say you aren’t allowed to like superheroes. Where would the great Superman be without his Lois Lane? 

26.  It’s okay to disagree with people. Stand up for what you believe in.

27.  Being your mommy is the best job ever.

28.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. (I’m still learning this too.)

29.  As much as I try to teach you things, you’ve taught me so much about life and love.

30.  You are my favorite reason to lose sleep.

31.  Never let anyone steal your Joy. (Something I learned from your Great Grandma Cook.)

32.  I love you to the moon and back.

33.  If God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it.

34.  A man without God is a man you can live without.

35.  God’s timing is perfect. Never forget that.

36.  I’m not sure what fashion and trends will look like when you’re a teenager, but tights are not pants. Trust me on this.

37.  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you may go.” Joshua 1:9

38.  The book is always better.

39.  You are my favorite works of art.

40.  I’m sorry if you’ve inherited my thick hair that is impossible to curl. Someday you’ll learn to embrace it….or tolerate it. ;)

41.  Don’t do something just because everyone else is doing it. Do the right thing even if it means you’re doing it alone.

42.  You are my sunshine.

43.  “Her mouth speaks from that which fills her heart.” Luke 6:45

44.  You will never be too big for my lap.

45.  I love it when you giggle.

46.  You put the color inside of my world.

47.  Don’t be afraid to say sorry and admit your mistakes.

48.  Boys have cooties.

49.  It’s ok to have ice cream for breakfast sometimes.

50.  God is good. All the time.

51.  You will always be your daddy’s little girl.

52.  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

53.  You are never too old to play dress up.

54.  There is always something to be thankful for.

55.  If you need me, I’ll always be here. I don’t care if I’m sleeping, sick, or dealing with my own problems…I will always be here for you.

56.  Sometimes God doesn’t change your situation because He’s trying to change your heart.

57.  Live a life that you wouldn’t be ashamed to tell your dad and I about.

58.  Walk the road less traveled….and read Robert Frost

59.  Enjoy your childhood. There will be plenty of time for jobs, boyfriends and responsibilities.

60.  You aren’t allowed to date until you’re 30. Just kidding, ok maybe 18.

61.  Please choose your role models carefully.  I’m so happy that at this moment you have no idea who Katy Perry or Lady Gaga is.

62.  I will always be your biggest fan.

63.  I have no idea if Facebook will still be around when you’re teenagers, but I imagine there will be some sort of social networking. Please don’t facebook your problems. Face them head-on. Some adults still have yet to learn this.

64.  You will probably never use algebra in real life but you must learn it anyway.

65.  You are beautiful.

66.  Don’t try to be like someone else. God made you special and unique, and He has a purpose for you.

67.  You can tell me anything.

68.  You will never understand quite how much I love you until you have your own child.

69.  If you wait for the time to be perfect, it may never happen.

70.  Read books.

71.  You can’t control how other people act, but you can control how you respond.

72.  Always keep God at the center of everything you do and every choice you make.

73.  Tomorrow is a new day.

74.  You can’t change other people.

75.  It always seems impossible until it’s done.

To my daughters, Savannah and Scarlette. I love you.