Posted in Books, REVIEW

Book Review: Atlas Girl by Emily Wierenga

And then at thirteen, when I was dying on the hospital bed and the nurses said I was a miracle, I finally saw him.

I saw God for who he was – a Savior who wasn’t a minister with a wrinkled forehead stuck in his office [her dad], who wasn’t a mother who had never been affirmed growing up, who wasn’t the church with all of its rules.

He grace.  And I began to believe with more than my mind, because I wanted to live. 

Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look page 48 by Emily T. Wierenga

 About the Book
Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it.

Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I have followed Emily’s blog for many years now, so I was thrilled to get her book to review.  And, I was not disappointed. This memoir brings about all emotions . . . those of compassion and understanding, to gripping your heart for the unknown that Emily writes of.  I really like how Emily’s book brings you through her childhood – to heart commitment of never returning home – and then God changes that, and with it brings so much healing.  I find this so true in life – when we say “I will never do such and such” God often has other plans.

I found this book to be like I am  reading through someone’s journal – skipping around, and then coming back to fill in the gaps.  Her words are raw and real – writing things that we wish we could say at times, giving hope, truly found in Jesus.  I highly recommend reading Atlas Girl.


 Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look was provided courtesy of Baker Books,
in exchange for my written, honest review of this Book.

Posted in REVIEW

Another Drawing & FREE Partylite Scents!


efore I share with you the other special Kristen is offering, I want to tell you about how well her church cares for her.  It’s been neat to watch various things they have done, but most recently,  two Saturdays in a row.  Kristen has a wood burning furnace.  It may have been “easier” to take up a collection to buy wood for her, but instead, two Saturdays in a row, many men of the church have gone over to her house and cut trees, slit them, and put into wood piles for her.  Her boys have been involved – and what a learning opportunity for him – not only a skill, but  to reach out and care for the widow.  What a blessing for their family that will keep giving all winter long.  

Don’t these pictures speak volumes?!?!?



If you missed it yesterday on my blog, Kristen is a Partylite Consultant.  She has a drawing for a 24-Piece Advent Tealight Sampler ($25 value)  just for signing up for the Partylite Preferred at (No purchase necessary).  Kristen is also offering with a sign-up, in a welcome email, a coupon code for a FREE Dozen Tealights as a thank you from her!  And for the future, you receive 20% back in FREE credit on anything you purchase and exclusive special offers on your birthday and throughout the year as a preferred member.  

Now with a purchase, Kristen has another special offer.  With the purchase of any warmer, you get to choose 3 FREE melts of your choice!!!!  There’s such a wide variety of warmers that you can find some for gifts for so many special people in your life.  I know one of my daughters would love the Sage Owl Scentglow® Warmer.  And yes, you could even find one for your son’s stinky college dorm room – Touchdown ScentGlow® Warmer!  The Change O Style ScentGlow® Warmer intrigues me – it has three interchangeable panels: snowflakes, scrolls, birds and also has a hidden LED light that gives off a welcoming glow.


THEN, there’s the decision of what 3 FREE melts you want!  Oh dear!  There’s SO many options, because of of them go well mixing them when melting them!  See here how you can Invent your Scent!  What a great way to try some out!

And my friend has ONE ADDITIONAL DRAWING, for those that do purchase a warmer – a drawing for a $25 Gift Certificate!  Pretty neat!  Imagine, you buy one warmer and can get another one well over half off!  Woot Woot!  (I like the owl warmer too!)

Be sure to read yesterday’s post  so you can get entered in the first drawing and even get extra entries for sharing the blog post!  In a few days I will have another reminder and also share about one more of Partylite’s products.  The entries for the drawings must be completed by November 30th.

Posted in REVIEW

Inspire Me Monday: Meet my friend, Kristen PLUS a GIVEAWAY!


hat’s Inspiring YOU This Week?
Here’s What’s Inspiring Me . . . 

                   ~ ~ ~


My friend, Kristen, came over to visit with me a week ago. I have known her for over twenty years.  She first babysat for our oldest five children when they were very young. She is a woman that I see real joy in ~ Jesus shining through, despite what she has gone through.  About a year and a half ago, after a family reunion, her family was in a serious van accident, which included Kristen, her three young children and her husband.  Her husband died shortly after the accident. Her children went through a long rehabilitation time. Though some side affects from the accident, the main one has been adjusting to being a single mom, and the family learning to live without their dad and husband.  God has not failed them and provided for them in so many ways. 

WarmerwarmerI know Kristen still has lonely times, missing her best friend and the love of her life, yet, I see how she has not let it continue to pull her down and depends on God to fill the void.  She continues to be a stay-at-home mom for her children, being involved as much as she possibly can with her children in school, 4H and various other things. One way she has found the means to make ends meet is by being a Partylite Consultant. Kristen gifted me with this Amaretto Swirl Scentglow® Warmer and not only am I enjoying the Ginger Pumpkin / French Vanilla Scent, but I love the soft glow, like a nightlight with the warmer. The scents are not real strong, so it does not overwhelm, especially for those that do not like strong scents!  The neat thing is Kristen is offering several specials for my readers!  

First, go to and click the “Create An Account” at the top.  Once you get to that page, check off “JOIN PARTYLITE PREFERRED”. There are several reasons why you should and there is NO PURCHASE NECESSARY! First, Kristen is personally offering with a sign-up, in a welcome email, a coupon code for a FREE Dozen Tealights as a thank you from her!  And for the future, you receive 20% back in FREE credit on anything you purchase and exclusive special offers on your birthday and throughout the year as a preferred member.  

calendarAND there’s more!!  With those that sign-up for the Partylite Preferred, Kristen is going to put all the names into a drawing, and December 1st will draw one name to win this 24-Piece Advent Tealight Sampler – a $25 value.

SHARE THIS BLOG POST (copy & paste this shortlink: ) on your Facebook or Blog and receive an extra entry for the Advent Tealight Sampler and leave a note in the comment section.  If one of your friends signs up for the preferred membership leave an ADDITIONAL note in the comments with this blog post, with the person’s name for another entry!

Tomorrow I will share some more about the wonderful electric warmers and a special she has for my readers with this.  In the meantime, be sure to sign up TODAY for the Preferred Membership!  

Posted in REVIEW

AbeyoMarqz Clothing – vibrant, colorful, eccentric & eclectic styles


think my younger girls are missing all we were doing last year with wedding planning for two weddings (for twin girls), just five months apart.  They tell me they are in the mood for new fancy dresses and jewelry, and I need to look at the AbeyoMarqz catalog on line.  “Well, I am not sure if we can do this right now“, I tell them, “but I will look.”

blogOf course, mom’s idea of fancy and what I’d choose for them to wear is quite a bit different than what they want to wear.   They want the (too) short skirts . . . I am thankful that leggings are in and helps with the modesty.  The AbeyoMarqz clothing is very vibrant, colorful, eccentric, and eclectic styles, which includes mixing textile textures and mixing prints with solids.  My teens and young adult daughters are definitely drawn to this style.  

As we were looking around I found a bracelet I really liked and it’s reasonably priced ($24).  It’s a wide pearl and diamond-look bracelet that’s adjustable.  It looks classy (a mom kind of classy!) It could easily be dressed up for a wedding or even worn very casually.  

ringI also found a unique ring – it’s an attached two finger ring.  I had never seen one of these before and then one of my girls told me that I am way behind and these have been “in” for awhile!  This ring is only $10 and would make a great gift.  

blogAbeyoMarqz has quite a bit of variety on their webpage for all different styles and tastes. I also greatly appreciate they are taking an active role to “Kick Cancer in the Butt”.

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©Writing Canvas

Posted in Family, REVIEW

Review: Liquid Health Energy & Stress Supplement


specially after last year with our two daughter’s weddings, then hitting fifty two months ago, I am feeling my age.  I do not have the best back/spine and am also dealing with Lupus and  Fibroymyalgia, so many times my energy level is quite low.  I get going on various health and exercise routines but the exercise can wear me out and put me in so much pain in my back and hips, I give up.  Yet, I’ve got to do something.  A few months ago I had the opportunity to introduce Liquid Health Vitamins here on my blog, and so I checked more into these vitamins and decided to give them a try. The company offered to give me a couple bottles in exchange for a honest review.  I will be sharing them in several different posts. 

I cannot say that I am running a mile and all my pain is gone (I wish!) but I do notice some encouraging changes.  I am starting out with Liquid Health Energy & Stress Supplement.  I do have more energy and I do notice if I take it too late at night, I cannot fall asleep!  For quite some time, if I’d sit down in the afternoon in a cozy corner of our couch, I’d fall asleep.  I’ve not been doing that nearly as much.  There is an abundance of B Vitamins in this, which helps convert carbohydrates into energy along with helping with stress. There’s also Eleuthero which comes from a shrub grown in Siberia, China, Korea, and Japan and also known as Siberian ginseng, helps us deal with and manage stress.  There’s numerous other items in this, which you can read here, but these are the main ones I knew I needed to help me.

LOOK!  Long nails!The thing I’ve noticed, that I can actually see the difference with is my nails are stronger and growing longer without being brittle and breaking. My nails have almost always been short – (had to wear fake ones for my three kid’s weddings!)  I wish I had take a picture of my fingers BEFORE starting to take Liquid Health Energy & Stress Supplement.  

I am sure the longer I can take this, along with making other lifestyle changes, it will be helping me out in other areas as well.  

Posted in Book Reviews 2013, Books, REVIEW

Book Review: The Promise by Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley


few months ago I shared a book review for  The Dance, by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley which was the first book of “The Restoration Series, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  So I was quite delighted when I was given the opportunity to read the second book in the series, The Promise, also by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley.  I certainly was not disappointed!  

bookIn this story, Tom Anderson loses his job, and does not tell his wife . . . for five months!  He continues with his normal schedule by leaving for work each day and coming home at the same time each evening.  His wife, Jean, senses something is going on.  She cannot figure out why her  husband is so concerned about finances, when he has a good job.  He even wants her to clip coupons!  But she has a secret of her own, and does not know how to tell him.  Their communication is definitely broken.   I imagine many readers will be able to relate to this couple.

Tom’s parents,  Marilyn and Jim (the couple whom the book, The Dance is about) are on their second honeymoon in Italy.  I especially appreciated their new communications skills and how they learned to love each other in a new way and how later in the story, Jim takes responsibility for some of the things he taught his son in the wrong way.    

The Promise is definitely a heart-felt, realistic story that encompasses real family and marriage trials that can lead to healing, forgiveness, restoration within a marriage and family,  all coming  from God.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series!


 The Promise  is available at your favorite bookseller from Revell,
a division of Baker Publishing Group.

A free copy of this book was provided to me for my personal, truthful and unaltered review.

Posted in Information Article, REVIEW, Wedding

Wedding Receptions & Ballrooms in Grand Rapids, MI


ith having married off three of our children, two last summer and one the summer before,  we are often asked about things we did research on, such as the best place for wedding receptions in Grand Rapids Michigan.

pictureBeing the ages of our kids, including some of the kids I have babysat for, it seems we are attending a lot of weddings.  One that stands out the most in my mind is the beautiful reception for one of the girls I used to babysit for.  It was a very elegant sit-down dinner and the atmosphere was beautiful.  The part that stands out the most in my mind, is before dinner began, the wedding party was introduced from the above balcony and as they came down the stairs.  It was just gorgeous. I am sure the bride especially loved her special entry to begin the reception with her new husband, being introduced as Mr. and Mrs.  It really was the perfect place for a wedding reception, and one of the best ballrooms in Grand Rapids.

I have only been to that specific ballroom one time, however I know our local high schools have had proms and homecoming dances at it as well.  It would also be an ideal place for corporate events in Grand Rapids Michigan with the ability to divide up the ballroom into separate areas.

It definitely is a place to consider for special events.