A Baby for Christmas

*Re-blogged from Living on PB&J.

I will never forget my first taste of motherhood. 7 years ago, I was just a few weeks away from delivering my first baby. It was Christmas. I had decorated, and gotten my new little boy’s clothes ready. I had packed my hospital bag. Everything was ready!

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I sat in my sparkling-clean, shimmery, glittery, all-decked-out-for-Christmas, pre-children house, and pondered the Christmas story. I had heard it all my life, but somehow in 2007, it had new meaning.

I would sit in my rocking chair with my hand on my tummy, feeling my little boy kick and squirm. And I thought of Mary.

Mary was told that Jesus would be the king, that He would deliver His people. Joseph was told that He would save His people from their sins. But what did they really understand? The Bible doesn’t tell us all that Mary understood.

When baby Jesus was born, the shepherds came straight out of the field to worship her Son. Oh, Mary knew He was special, but they worshiped Him? She pondered all these things. She wondered, and she was amazed!

I wondered, as I felt my little boy inside me, if Mary knew her Son would have to be a sacrifice. I could not imagine being in her sandals. I even thought of God in a whole new light… as a Father. I could not imagine giving up my precious Son, even for good people, let alone murderers, thieves, and those who will never accept the free gift of salvation.

That Christmas, days away from meeting my firstborn son, I drew closer to my precious heavenly Father. What love, that He should give His firstborn, even His “only begotten” Son just for me!

Jackson. Born December 28, 2007:

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Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson

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This was a very sweet story. I didn’t realize it was Teen Fiction, but I still enjoyed it.

Micah has been writing her Amish penpal since 5th grade. However, he thinks Micah is a boy. Naturally. Now they are almost adults, and the secret has been kept all this time! The two had become very close, and had confided in each other through many years and many difficulties of their lives.

But now the time has come. The two are going to meet! How will Zack react when he finds out he has been writing to a girl all these years? What will his family say? As Micah gets to the Miller home, she pretends to be the boy they all thought Zack was writing. But of course, that can’t last long. Will they accept her? Can she continue her friendship with Zack?

As the story progresses, Zack tells Micah a secret of his own. The two cling to their friendship as life takes a huge turn!

This was a very cute book, and if I were a teenager, I would have liked it even more. Very good, moral, clean read.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman

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Meg is back from spending a year in Paris. It was good for her. She had spent her time with kind people who taught her to be beautiful inside, but also to look better on the outside too. No more the chubby, four-eyed, frumpy girl, she returns. Have things changed at home?

She is happy to be with her best friend Bram again. He had always been a big brother to her, but things are different now. Meg is grown up. She’s beautiful. As Bram sees Meg for the first time, he is completely shocked! She doesn’t look like that “little sister” anymore. What are these feelings?

As time goes on, the two begin to fall in love. But they know it can never be. Because of a dark secret of his past, Bram must marry another. But can his parents force him to marry someone he doesn’t love? Can there be a way out?

The bully from Meg’s past, suddenly comes back into her life, in much closer quarters that is comfortable. Has he changed? Maybe her future lies with Devin instead. Only time can tell, but there are almost definitely surprises where love is involved.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Messy Beautiful Love by Darlene Schacht

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In the very first chapter of this book, the author confesses to her husband that yes, she had an affair. Their marriage was broken, so she instantly had credibility to write about Messy Beautiful Love.

In each chapter of this book, I was completely convicted and encouraged at the same time. Darlene did a fabulous job getting back to the basics of marriage. Throughout each subject and area of marriage, she gets to the heart of the problem. And the solution is simple: be more like Christ. Does He keep score? No. He forgives. Does He try to get even? No. He wants best for the other person no matter what. (Note: the author does not suggest women should remain under abuse just to succeed in these areas.)

I have read quite a few marriage books during my 10 years of marriage, and this is one of the best ones on marriage in general. Not much is said about submission. Not too much attention is given to areas of intimacy, although both these things are touched on. She simply paints a picture of Christ and the church, and how our marriages should be a reflection.

Highly recommend!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Love Letters From God by Glenys Nellist

This is a very sweet collection of major Bible stories. They are well written and the artwork is beautiful. But the most precious part about this book is the little “love letters” at the end of each story.

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After we read about the life of someone in the Bible – Joseph, Jonah, or especially Jesus – there is a little flap to lift up and read God’s “letter” to us. My kids have enjoyed when I put their names at the beginning of that cute little “letter.” We explain to them that the Bible is really God’s letter to us, but the things we read in this book just put it in different words.

I think it helps them see the personal side of the Bible, and the gospel, that Jesus doesn’t just love the whole world, He loves me!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Prescription for Life by Dr Richard Furman

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As one who is always in pursuit of “skinnier” and “healthier,” I snatched up this title for information and inspiration. The author was a vascular surgeon for more than thirty years. During this time, he gathered information and made observations vital to the health of everyone.

He advises three areas essential for good health: 1. Losing and maintaining an ideal weight, 2. Eating low-fat, zero-cholesterol foods, 3. Exercising.

So many Americans suffer from, or even die of stroke or heart attack. Both are directly related to the health of the arteries. So often, doctors will prescribe a medication after a heart “episode,” but the root of the problem is still there. A lifestyle change has to be made! The three above steps will keep the arteries clean and smooth, and keep the heart pumping strong. The book is filled with stories from others who had heart problems. Some of them chose to change their eating and exercise habits. Some did not. So often, the quality of our health is left in our own hands. But as we see in this book, it takes commitment to eat healthy foods, and keep our bodies moving!

Great book, full of information and insight.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Deceived by Irene Hannon

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Kate Marshall is shopping. She is in the mall. She decides to head down the escalator. Across the rail, on the “up” side of the escalator, a word grabs her attention. A little boy with the same color as her son had. That word he is saying. They lock eyes for a split second. Could it be?

The past 3 years have been spent grieving, but Kate had felt she was moving on. But it’s all rushing back… the boat, the life jacket, the water, the police. Her husband and son gone. Although her son’s body had never been found, there was no way he could still be alive. Or could he?

Knowing she can’t rest until she does all she can do, she decided to hire a Private Investigator. Connor Sullivan is an ex-Secret Service agent, and very respectful and trustworthy. As he begins to dig in, the results are shocking.

I loved this book! It never stopped moving. It was so heartbreaking, and yet so full of hope! A great read!

I’m giving this book away, so if you’d like to win it, just leave a comment below!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door by Fretz and Barretta

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This is an adorable little children’s book. It is about a little boy Conrad, who goes to visit his uncle’s ranch. He things he is prepared with his Mega Ultimate Extreme First Aid Kit. He seems to get into trouble at every turn. You can just imagine all the things little boys can get into on a ranch!

Through it all, there’s the nosy little neighbor girl, Imogene. She likes to tell him how to do things, and to beat it all, that little girl is right most of the time. If only she could tell him before he gets into trouble.

In the end, Imogene needs a little help herself, and there comes Conrad, with his Mega Ultimate Extreme First Aid Kit!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Nowhere to Turn by Lynette Eason

Sometimes when you get a Christian suspense novel, it can be pretty predictable, and can even lack an original plot. Not so with this one! I could not put it down!

This is the morning! Dani is going to take her son and leave her abusive husband. She waits for him to leave for work and springs into action. Her brother-in-law abruptly stops by, throwing her off-guard. She heads to school for her deaf son, and runs for all she’s worth. Later that evening, safe in a motel, they see in the news that an FBI agent has been killed. Could it be her husband?

As she is released from her former life, she can make plans for a secure future, can’t she? But why do mysterious things keep happening? Who can she trust? 

Six months later, she finds herself in more danger than ever. Everywhere she turns, they are surprised by yet another person they thought to be loyal. She finally hires Adam Buchanan, of Operation Refuge to get to the bottom of her stalkers. Can this still be her husband’s fault?

I could not predict this book. Just when it seemed to be winding down, there were a couple more twists that I did NOT see coming! Five stars for this one!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick

Freed slave Letitia holds onto her papers as if they were her very life. But they can’t save her from everything.

Letitia has recently been freed by her owner before he died, but other members of his family can’t seem to get it through their heads. As they set out to head west, Letitia starts to make the journey with them, helping with the children while being fed and cared for on the journey. But she can’t bring herself to go, so she turns to the only man who treats her like a human being, Irishman Davey Carson. Davey and Letitia come to an arrangement, and he soon lets her know of his plans to head west also. Because a black woman, free or not, cannot be married, they say their vows before God, and head on a grand adventure!

As they travel, they experience friendship, heartbreak, joy, trial, hunger and plenty. 

As I read this novel, based on a true story, I was so heartbroken at all she had to endure. Sure, she was free. But some states still didn’t recognize blacks as anything other than property. This was an eye-opening story of tragedy, fighting for what is right, and faith that only God provides.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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