AUTHORS & Artists {Review and Giveaway}

It’s that time of the month again – the time when I review another great product from Mrs. Lorrie Flem at Eternal Encouragement!

This month it’s a neat little book called AUTHORS & Artists: Learning Character Through Writing. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my package – inside was a beautifully wrapped little book. This book was loving wrapped in pretty pink tissue paper and a simple tulle bow. I wish I had thought to take a picture because it was just such a sweet way to send a purchase.

But the other surprise was the size. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but inside that beautiful wrapping was a spiral-bound book that’s about 4″ x 5″ x 1″. This is a great size! It fits in your purse for Character Training On-the-Go. It’s also small enough to bring to the dinner table. This is great for anywhere, anytime!

As I looked through this book, I found all sorts of wonderful teaching and encouragement. I know this book was written for children, but I can also see benefits for adults too! Included are pages on Biblical Character Traits, The Commandments, and The Fruits of the Spirit. She also added pages for the holidays and the “author’s” birthday. There’s a space for the date at the bottom of each page, so this would make a great keepsake.

How does it work? Well, there’s a title at the top; such as Tattling or Listening, followed by several blank lines. To the right is a description of the trait, with some simple questions designed to stimulate the child’s thought process. The space for the date is at the bottom. I would recommend this book for stronger readers and writers; so perhaps ages 10 and up.

The only problem I had with this wonderful little book was that some of the descriptions were kind of long and the spiral holes went right through the text. It’s pretty simple to figure out; however, this could have been spaced a little better.

You can win a copy of this book, AUTHORS & Artists, as well as a copy of ARTISTS & Authors by going to the following posts on Lorrie’s blog:

AUTHORS & Artists

ARTISTS & Authors

Don’t forget to tell them you came from Behind the Scenes!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the Authors & Artists book in exchange for my honest review as a part of the Gabby Moms program. All opinions are my own.

The Other Day

I think I’ve figured out what bothered me the most about the other day ~ Intimacy.

For me, attending Mass is an intimate experience. I am there to praise and worship; to connect with Jesus and be filled by Him. It’s a special time to be shared; not an obligation.

So, attending Mass with a man who is technically “my husband” but who is actually living elsewhere and participating in an intimate relationship with another woman; is disconcerting to say the least. It should be a spiritually intimate experience; but it’s difficult to share any type of intimacy in this situation.

But this Mass was about love; ok, they all are. However, this one in particular was about Jesus’ love for His earthly mother. He loved her. He honored her. Mary’s life is one from which we can  learn a lot. She loved. She sat at the foot of the cross as her Son hung there dying. She held Him in her arms after He was taken down from that cross.

She prayed.

So I prayed. Admittedly, I prayed for my children and myself first. I know. I’m working on it. But I prayed for him too.

It was still a difficult experience; and I can’t say it actually helped at that moment. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t. God hears all prayers; so I know He heard mine. Praying for the person who has caused me so much pain was/is the right thing to do. It’s what Jesus Himself did. In fact, I borrowed His words:

Father forgive {him, he} knows not what {he} does.

I may never see the results of these prayers; but that’s not important. What’s important is that I pray them; and continue to pray them. For both of us. I believe it’s part of my path to forgiveness.

Please know that I don’t mention this  for my own glory. I am not seeking to be praised for my prayers for someone else.  The purpose behind me writing about my painful journey is twofold: to give God the glory and to help someone else who may find themselves in a similar situation. If my pain glorifies God; and possibly helps someone else, then it will be worth it.

Untitled – On Purpose

Today was a rough day. I didn’t blog about it, but I had a second foot surgery in six months a couple of weeks ago. I had gone back to the doctor wondering why I was still experiencing pain after February’s surgery. At first, the doc thought that the muscles and tendons were just taking a little longer than usual to heal. But then he felt it – another, relatively large, cyst. In fact, he ended up finding two more. He looked at me and said since it’s giving you so much pain, you know what we have to do… So I scheduled the surgery.

It was different this time. This time I had no illusions of any spousal support. He was gone and I was alone. With two children too young to care for themselves. Fortunately, my mother was able to come and help. I was even able to employ some of Lorrie’s Freezer meal techniques to ensure that there was some food in the freezer for those days she wasn’t able to be there. So, while not ideal, it was ok. God provided for my children and myself.

I was officially cleared to walk, with caution, on Monday. He told me I still had to take it easy so I didn’t overdue it; and so that the inside could continue to heal. I was also told that I could drive IF I could get a regular shoe on my foot. Well, I can’t do it yet without pain.

And that’s where today’s difficulties come in. Today is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary in the Catholic Church. I know that there are some non-Catholic Christians who believe that we, as Catholics, worship Mary; especially with feasts like today. However, it really is as simple as this… Jesus grew up here on earth with the same commandments we were given; and following those commandments He honored His mother. And so, we follow His example and honor her too. It’s honor, not worship. But I don’t want to argue that point with anyone. The point is that I wanted to attend Mass with my children on this day that is special to us.

We had the option of attending Mass on Tuesday evening at our usual church a half hour away from the house; or tonight at our church or the church down the street. Going back to my doc’s rule, I tried to get a shoe on my foot. It wouldn’t go on. I was frustrated. Then my ex called and wanted to see the kids on Wednesday evening. I told him about church and the shoe not fitting; and he surprisingly said he was willing to to take us all to Mass and spend a little time with the kids afterwards. I was surprised, but hesitant.

So, if I wanted to attend Mass, I had to be humble and accept his help. I told him I’d accept, but I didn’t say ‘thank you’ fast enough and he yelled at me for my lack of gratitude. I immediately regretted accepting; but I had already told Diva, and she LOVES going to church. I was not going to disappoint her.

We went tonight; and it was difficult. The priest mentioned turning to your spouse for support during his homily. And here I was sitting near a man who is legally my husband, but who I know is going ‘home’ to another woman. I couldn’t stop the tears. I tried to wipe them before LegoFan saw them, but I was too late. It’s amazing to me that he seems completely out of touch with his and other people’s feelings; yet he is completely in touch with mine. He always knows. Always.

Breaks. My. Heart.

After Mass, he told the children that he was going to get them dessert and we went to Rita’s. They began to enjoy their dessert, but he rushed them and told them they could finish at home. As were getting out of the car, he took the kids up to the door and unlocked it. As I was getting my purse, his phone beeped. I looked at the screen. It. Was. Her.

So… He takes us to church and out for dessert. A strange, unsettling feeling.

Jesus, thank you for your love, and the strength to walk through this difficult time. I know you are by my side.

Last Day for Back-to-School Event

August 10th is the last day to join in the Back-to-School event from NotebookingPages.com. While I must tell you that I am an affiliate for them, I want to tell you that I personally use their products. And I am so excited about the new Notebooking Publisher feature that all members get to use for no charge!

You see LegoFan HATES to write; and that may be putting it mildly. But even he is looking forward to using Notebooking Publisher to help him this year. We’ve tried it out already and it really helps him to focus on the content and not worry about the writing aspect. Debra explains this feature better than I can, so I’m going to let you watch her demonstrate it in this video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHisp1ujJ-E?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
Visit NotebookingPages.com to learn more about their memberships
and their new web-app, The Notebooking Publisher™

Again, August 10th is the last day of the sale, and after that the membership price is going to increase. So, if you’re even a little interested, this is the time to do it. Oh, and one more great thing? The new member price is going up, but the annual renewal price stays the same! Gotta love that!

Molly’s Country Living

I have just finished reading the August 2012 edition of Molly Green Magazine. Boy did it make me homesick for a country home where I used to live. The whole issue brought back memories of living the country life: gardening, raising animals, cooking from scratch, and more. But the authors are quick to point out that you don’t have to live on “a 20 acre patch of land” in order to learn these skills and put them into practice.

http://econobusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/TOS-Molly-8-12-HobbyFrm273.jpg

For example, one skill I learned about in this issue is lotion-making. LegoFan has some serious allergies which result in eczema on occasion. It’s important for us to use a lotion that is mild on his skin. The recipe Molly provides is one that would great for him and is so easy to make.

And there are many more like this. I appreciate the fact that Molly’s Magazine promotes and recognizes what’s important in life and in the family. This issue also includes an article from a young man, a budding entrepreneur, who says, “Working with my family has taught me important life skills.” Isn’t that what we want from our kids? How about from ourselves?

Molly’s August issue contains helpful information on a variety of topics, so that no matter what stage of life you find yourself in, you can find something of interest. There are articles on decor, cooking ~ with recipes, farming, gardening, seasonal purchases, and more. It’s a comprehensive issue that doesn’t jump all over the place. All the articles are linked together by the central theme of country living (worthwhile even if you don’t live in the country). I also like that the ads are simple, and kept to a minimum. With its small price tag, minimal advertising, and informative articles, Molly Green Magazine is one magazine I’d like to keep receiving!

* I received an advance copy in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase Molly Green Magazine individually each month; or you can become a member and receive twelve month’s worth.