If you’re needing a little happiness today…

Man, I do not know where the summer has gone!  But it surely has flown by, and now we are starting to look ahead to fall and an even busier schedule.  The good part about that is that I should have more time for writing, which I dearly miss right now.  I’m hopping on here this week though, in the middle of an Olympics watching marathon and a lot of work going on around here… because two very amazing books have just released!  I’ll be back another day to tell you about the other one, but today it’s all about happiness.

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The Happiness Dare, by Jennifer Dukes Lee, is nothing and everything I expected all in one beautiful cover and binding.  And to be honest, I haven’t even finished it yet because I’ve been taking my time, soaking in every word of this great book.  Throughout its pages, Lee explores the various happiness styles, encouraging readers to interact to discover their own happiness styles. These are: the Doer, the Relater, the Experiencer, the Giver, and the Thinker.  (Does this trigger any personal connections or thoughts already?) Once this is discovered, ways for discovering more happiness in your own life, warning flags to watch out for, and ways to build up those with other happiness styles are shared.

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Once readers discover their styles, more general but life changing principles are shared in this book.  Though found only because of Jesus, happiness is something that  we can have in spite of whatever circumstances we are currently facing.  This is something that has hit me hard lately, in a season of life that can be quite challenging and difficult – and why I’m taking my time to really soak in these truths!

I need this book right now, and I have a feeling that many of you reading this may too.  So be sure to pick up a copy of it today.  And finally, I’m excited to share that (in)Courage is starting up an online book club, if you are interested in going through this book with others.  Just go here to sign up!

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Happiness… it is attainable, even in this fallen messed up world.  It can be found, even in the most mundane or difficult settings.  Whether it’s a child’s laugh, a beautiful sunset, or just the fact that the car started today and got us everywhere we needed to go – it’s there for the taking.  We just need to have the courage to keep looking for it, with a heart that’s determined to seek and stay grateful.   Let’s do it!  Let’s all dig in and take the Happiness Dare today.

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Some good summer reads…

We are thick into summer, which really does seem to bring out some “lazy days” around here.  This is the time of year that I challenge my kids with summer reading programs, and I also immerse my own self in a ton of fiction of all different kinds.  Recently I had the chance to review two sweet inspirational fiction books that are new releases, just in time for some relaxing summer reading.

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I read All Summer Long, by Melody Carlson, in one day.  It was the perfect day to read, as Tropical Storm Collin came through and we were home lounging around.  This book is an easy read about a young woman named Tia, who leaves behind the comfortable but boring life she has known working at her uncle’s restaurant in Washington, for an exciting but intimidating adventure in San Francisco.

After a phone call from her aunt asking her to come and help transform an old luxury yacht into an upscale floating restaurant, Tia is faced with confronting her own fears and embracing a huge learning curve in this big commitment she’s agreed to.  Not only does she face the unfamiliar business and construction world with new courage, but she also walks alongside her aunt as she tries to help her husband journey through some health issues.   Furthermore, Tia runs into an old crush that she now seems to run into at every turn.

All Summer Long is the perfect summer read with an easy story line and a great ending.  In the process of reading about Tia’s choices and courage, readers may learn a thing or two about themselves as well, and look for adventure in their own summer days.

 

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The second book I reviewed is called Sea Rose Lane, by Irene Hannon.  It is the second book in a themed series about Hope Harbor, a quaint town where people seem to be able to get away from life’s business and healing always seems to take place.  In this book, a previously successful attorney named Eric Nash heads back to his childhood home, Hope Harbor, after being laid off.  Once there, he discovers that not only is the place where he grew up is being transformed into a bed and breakfast, but the architect in charge is a beautiful but mysterious woman named BJ Stevens.

Eric and BJ first clash on ideas about life and business, but after spending some time together, realize that maybe there is more to each of them than meets the eye.  Eric befriends a Cuban immigrant who is running out of hope, and BJ works to help Hope Harbor’s older residents from feeling lonely and forsaken.  As they each focus on areas where others need to see hope and healing occur, they both find some healing and new beginnings for themselves as well.

This was another easy and relaxing read that is perfect for long summer days.  Though the plot was quite simple, this book found me cheering for the hope that was springing up again in its characters.  This book would be a delightful addition to a summer reading list, and with it, give the reminder to readers that there’s always hope, even when it may seem hard to find.

I received these books from the blogger Revell Reads program in exchange for my honest opinion of these books.  

 

 

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Book Review… Brave Girls: Beautiful You

I am constantly trying to find ways to encourage my daughter to grow in her faith and let her relationship with God help her navigate the ups and downs of these transitional tween years.  So when I saw that there was a new devotional book out for tweens that will help them grow in knowledge and confidence as the beautiful girls they  are in Christ, I snatched it up quickly. This devotional book, Brave Girls: … {…Read More}

Book review – The Prophetess

Whew… it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?  If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you probably know that the silent periods on here are usually when God is doing a great work in my heart.  This time is no different.  I’ll try to find the words to share more soon, but for today, I’m back sharing about a book I recently had the chance to review and just finished over spring break. Have you … {…Read More}

A call to gratitude (and a book review)

My least favorite time of year, when it comes to parenting my kids, is when the toy catalogs come out.  Right around when the holiday decorations start being seen around town, our mailbox starts overflowing with its own décor – catalogs galore.  And not just any catalogs, but catalogs that appeal to little people with big eyes.  Eyes that are prone to see all that they don’t have, that their friends do. We are blessed … {…Read More}

Book Review – Called to Pray

I told you the other day that I’ve been convicted lately about prayer, so it should be no surprise to you that today I’m reviewing another book on prayer that I had recently the opportunity to read.  This book is not about how to pray, but instead chock full of stories of answered prayer, showing the incredible power of prayer. Called to Pray, by Linda Evans Shepherd, is an inspiring book full of stories of … {…Read More}

Book Review – Prayers that Changed History

Every once in awhile, the Lord connects somewhere I’m being challenged with a similar concept on a level my kids can relate to.  Lately, I’ve been convicted a lot about prayer… the importance of it, the power of it, and my need to do more of it.  I’ve been challenged to make prayer such a priority in my family that it becomes a habit my children see as vitally important in their own lives.  So when … {…Read More}

Thirsty

You’ve probably seen those little cartoons floating around Face book with the older style graphics in them of people saying various things like “Everyone’s talking about the holidays, and I’m just sitting over here wondering how to get through Halloween without eating all of my kids’ candy.”  Well, maybe that’s not quite it – just my take on it – but you get the idea. 🙂 So here we are in January again, after yet … {…Read More}

Book Review… Taming the To-Do List

Recently, I had the opportunity to read the new book Taming the To-Do List, by Glynnis Whitwer.  I must be honest and say that I put this book off for awhile when I got it in the mail to review.  I did want to read it eventually, but it seemed more practical to me when I was more interested in inspirational reads at the time. Boy, was I surprised when I started reading it.  I … {…Read More}

What We’re Reading… in November

I’m back with the “What We’re Reading” post – simply because I love reading and talking books with others!  I honestly can’t keep up with the weekly post though, and since I’m usually reading a few books at a time… it all works to update this just once a month.  So here’s what’s on my nightstand this month: And as for the kids’ read aloud… well, we just finished reading the Growly series, which they … {…Read More}