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Thursday, November 2, 2017

About the book:

Give your Christmas a makeover with this practical approach to help your family learn what it means to truly celebrate their Savior.
In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it's important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ's birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.
Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.
In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God's grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season.

About the author:
Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women's conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God's Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of the "First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree," "Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness," and "Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible" studies and "Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home" book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.
Find out more about Melissa at


I remember the days when I first got married. Each holiday we went to my husband’s parents house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. After each meal, we then had to drive to his aunts house for dessert. I felt like I was gonna burst at the seams. All I wanted to do was go home and forget the holidays. My family didn’t do anything for holidays so it was hard to watch my husband’s family all cheery and bright. I have learned over the years that holidays are only as good as you choose to make them.

I really enjoyed this devotional a lot. I loved the stories she shares and how encouraging it is to know that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. I think about the Norman Rockwell paintings. I will never have the perfect table setting, or the perfect family Christmas photo, but I do have a family that comes together each year to make memories. I thought the authors idea about praying for the family or individual who sent you a Christmas card was awesome. I usually put mine on the mantle when I get them and forget about them being there. Now I can pray for one of them each day and thank God for bringing special people into my life.

On day twenty she talks about patience. That is something I am still working on. It is a great reminder for me to learn to be more patient with others and to thank Him for His patience with me. Make sure you check out the Questions for Reflection and A Practical Approach after each chapter. I loved everything about this book and encourage you to grab a copy.

I received a copy of this book from LitFuse. The review is my own opinion

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Debra | 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
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Sunday, October 29, 2017


The book was mesmerizing and chocked full of history about France that kept my attention. There were times I think I was lost in the book but the author does a great job of bringing it all together at the end. What happens to Jessica at a concert was eerily close to something that happened just recently in the States. It was hard to read and I cried as I know many lost their lives that day. If only Jessica hadn’t given in and gone to the concert, things would have been so different for her.

The time she spent recovering was gripping and the trauma was hard to overcome. The author does a great job of detailing her recovery that leads her on an adventure that completely had me intrigued. What would you do if you found a document from a long time ago? Like Jessica, I would want to track down it’s origin and find out everything I could about it. The details of the Huguenot persecution was so hard to read and I could feel the pain and suffering of the people.

I really enjoyed when Jessica tracks down what the meaning of a piece of paper long forgotten means. To think that people suffered because of what they believed in was so heartbreaking. The story is well written and I was surprised at some of the twists the plot took. It is sure to keep you guessing. I love the way the story was filled with compassion and characters that I was able to connect with. What I loved the most about this book is the theme of being courageous , moving on and finding closure.

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.


The book is a wonderful setting where women get together to sew and fellowship. Each story is short but filled with so much emotion and a sense of family. I loved each one and didn’t want the stories to end. Amy knows how to put the right touches on a character to make them come to life. Readers feel like they are sitting in the ladies quilt circle listening to each other share their thoughts. I loved how characters from each story appear in the other stories to make a circle of sorts. They all are friends and share the good and the bad with each other. It is truly a Quilting Circle.

More Than Friendship

I loved this one because Clara Rose was genuine in her relationship with her best friend who happens to be a man. They have known each other forever . Obie is one of those guys you can’t help but like. He is always there to lend a hand and bring a smile to Clara Rose. What happens when Obie finds out that Clara Rose is getting married? Will he step aside and keep his feelings to himself? The story is chocked full of what ifs and trusting yourself. I loved how the author showed us that sometimes we do things thinking it will make us happy. We tend to rush into things without really thinking through how we feel. Don’t miss this lovely story of friendship and true love.

More Than A Promise

Mariana has just lost her husband and is trying to deal with what to do next. Her friends mean well, but sometimes you just need to be alone to grieve. Her friends at the Quilting Circle become concerned when Marianna faints. What secret is Marianna hiding from everyone? The news she gets from the doctor is quite a shock and now she has to have bed rest. How can she do all this on her own? The stress is dangerous for her health and her friends step in to help. I loved her friends and thought they were so supportive of Marianna. I thought her friend Rueben was such a great person. He was her husband’s best friend and I think he felt that he needed to step in and help her out. I cried when Rueben gave her a special gift. My heart went out to Marianna knowing that her road ahead would be hard at times but her trust in God was helping her cope. What I loved about this story is a decision that Marianna makes will have some people questioning her actions. Will Marianna find love again? Will her secret divide the community ? It is a great story about trust and finding happiness .

More Than A Marriage

Tess longs to have children with her husband Jacob. She feels lonely around her husband with him being on a cell phone all the time. I found it strange that he would have a phone but I guess with his work it was a needed item to have. The problem is Jacob spends more time on his phone than quality time with Tess. He seemed to be distracted a lot and Tess soon feels like she wants to go visit her family for awhile. How will Jacob take the news that Tess wants time away from him? When Tess sees how happy her friends are , she longs for the same in her marriage. This made me think that sometimes we run from our problems instead of staying and working them out. Will Tess realize she and Jacob need to communicate their feelings before it is to late? I love when Clara Rose tells Tess, “Don’t let pride get in the way of your marriage.” How many of us are guilty of staying mad because our pride gets the best of us? I really related to this story the most. I always thought things were greener on the other side. Guess what? They aren’t and I really had to swallow my pride and admit I was wrong. This story will give you hope and remind you that God and communication is the key to a good marriage .

I received this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.