Words of Hope for Women

Words of hopeAuthor: Carolyn Larson

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Having hope in a world that is hard, fast and, at times, cruel can be difficult. Carolyn Larson puts a perfect tool in our hands to find hope when it can be most difficult.

Throughout our daily lives, it can be easy to let our discouragement become overwhelming. Pain from our past combined with the uncertainty of the future can be a bit too much for some to handle without the hope we can find in the Lord. God has no limits and if we will let ourselves hold true to that we will be blessed with all the glory he has writing to bestow upon us.

Each chapter within these pages provides little glimmers of hope in a hopeless world. The scripture starting the chapters can be all we need if we look close enough. Scripture has so much hope, even when we don’t want to admit it is there. There are more words of hope in the bible than hopelessness. Even the stories that start with someone in a hopeless situation end with them finding the hope God has in store for us. Words of Hope for Women is a book that will help everyday women struggling in everyday life situations see the good and prosperous future in store for them. I recommend this book to all those looking for an uplifting read that will help give them hope when they get discouraged.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

100 Words of Affirmation Your Wife Needs to Hear

wifeAuthor: Matt Jacobson

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jared Higgins

The absolute best book for any married couple to read, no matter if you have been married a year or fifty, it will remind you of the little things you can be thankful for in your spouse.

Inside each and every one of us, we have the ability to “Speak Life”, as TobyMac says or bring others down with our words. It is important to remember that the person we share our lives with should hear those words of life from us and often. How do you speak to your wife? Is it with love? How do your children hear you speak to their mother? These are all important questions that we need to ask ourselves as we go throughout our daily lives. She wants to know what you think, but she also wants to know what you think of her.

My wife and I have been married for over fifteen years and we work to grow our relationship every day. I read through this book and agreed with everything that it had, but I realized that I don’t actually say all of these things to her.  I hope that she knows them, but maybe she needs to hear them too.  We sat down and talked about several of the items and what importance they play emotionally. She goes above and beyond for our family, but I don’t’ always tell her.  It’s the little things that can have the biggest impact.

I enjoyed the way Matt Jacobson used little examples from his life to help readers see that he isn’t trying to prove he is better than anyone else, he is showing us that we can all do better and be better for each other and our spouses. So much wisdom and truth in the pages, this is a book that will need to be read again and again to help us remember how much we have to be grateful for in who we married.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed with are my own.

100 Words of Affirmation Your Husband Needs to Hear

HusbandAuthor: Lisa Jacobson

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The absolute best book for any married couple to read, no matter if you have been married a year or fifty, it will remind you of the little things you can be thankful for in your spouse.

Inside each and every one of us, we have the ability to “Speak Life”, as TobyMac says or bring others down with our words. It is important to remember that the person we share our lives with should hear those words of life from us and often. How do you speak to your husband? Is it with love? How do your children hear you speak to their father? These are all important questions that we need to ask ourselves as we go throughout our daily lives. How often do you actually tell your husband the little things that mean so much for him to hear from you?

I feel like I have a great relationship with my husband and as I read through this list I agreed with everything written within but realized I am seriously lacking on telling my husband many of them. I don’t know that I have ever told him I want to grow closer or thanked him for having my back. And even though he knows I trust his judgment I don’t think I have actually told him that in a very long time. My husband provides for us above and beyond but I don’t think to tell him he is a big success. So many little things that could make such a difference if we just think to tell the man in our lives these positive affirmations.

I love the way Lisa Jacobson used little examples from her life to help readers see that she isn’t trying to prove she is better than anyone else, she is showing us that we can all do better and be better for each other and our spouses. So much wisdom and truth in the pages, this is a book that will need to be read again and again to help us remember how much we have to be grateful for in who we married.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed with are my own.

Unruffled: Thriving in Chaos

UnruffledAuthor: Edie Melson & Rhonda Rhea

Publisher: Bold Vision Books

Release Date: September 24, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Edie Melson and Rhonda Rhea bring together a delightful combination of wit, charm and charisma to help us deal with the craziness in life that can cause us to become unruffled.

When life gets busy and stressful, we can find ourselves unruffled and squirming to make sense of our lives and all we have going on. The chaos can become overwhelming and we lose focus of the choice we have to rest and reset our focus on the One that can help us in these most difficult of times. Edie Melson and Rhonda Rhea bring about difficult topics that everyone can relate to and give readers tools to help cope with the hardships.

For me, one of the most helpful chapters was dealing with Smoothing the Emotional Ruffles. Edie Melson hit home with every sentence she wrote. Emotions, especially my own, can easily get the best of me and when I react to a situation based purely on emotion I become unruffled in the worst way. Each and every chapter helps to see that even in the chaos we encounter, we can find ways to thrive and grow to become the very best version of ourselves we can be. The personal examples both authors provide throughout the chapters help readers to see that these aren’t words on a page without experience and meaning behind them. These two ladies know what they are talking about and want us all to be able to thrive.

As the holiday season approaches, the chaos and unruffling will undoubtedly increase for a lot of us and it is nice to have a resource to turn to that will help get our mind where it needs to be so we can keep our heart where it should be as well. I recommend this book to everyone! It doesn’t matter if you are in chaos now, already been through it, or it might be coming your way, there is something here for everyone and every situation you might be facing.  Take heart and get ready to Thrive.

The Only Skill That Matters

Only Skill that Matters

Author: Jonathan A. Levi

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Release Date: August 27, 2019

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Learn the attributes to speed reading and retaining information.

 Jonathan Levi is known for the program SuperLearners, which is geared toward expanding memory and increasing reading speed.  The program has been very successful and isn’t focused on a specific subject, such as business, but is tailored toward the specific goal of the learner.  This could be learning a musical instrument, a new language, or even mathematics.  In Levi’s newest book, he describes the steps in the program to master this skill and explains the importance of each step.

 I’ve heard of the SuperLearners program but haven’t actually tried it out.  Reading this book gave the an inside look at the program and a shortened version of how to be successful.  I liked that Levi gave personal stories about why he was not initially successful with different personal endeavors and what he did differently to learn better.  There were several other personal stories of participants that include links to watch interviews.  The flow of the book was smooth, and paragraphs were broken up physically so that readers checking this out wouldn’t be intimated with less white space.  I like that he gives examples and references throughout so that readers can easily return to a section that they feel may need more attention.

 I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Reclaim Your Happy Space

Fix Her UpperAuthors: Rhonda Rhea & Beth Duewel

Series: Fix Her Upper

Publisher: Bold Vision Books

Release Date: June 27, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Sometimes we all need a little help finding our happy space when life tries to hide it from us. Rhonda Rhea and Beth Duewel deliver a wonderful guide to help readers reclaim the happy that many haven’t even realize is lost.

If we are to find our joy in the Lord, why do we feel so down at times? Is your life in need of a renovation to find your lost happy and restore the joy when it seems all is lost? These questions and many more are answered in a way that will bring a smile to readers faces and show how to live your very best life. We were not meant to survive, we are meant to thrive with the Lord beside us. The authors of the previous Fix Her Upper books bring a new installment that is sure to excite readers and bring back the lost Happy!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it is rather hard to be happy. Even when things are good, it can still be hard to believe it is okay to be happy. I absolutely loved the way this book showed me it was okay to be happy, we deserve to be happy. Our Father wants us to be Happy. Think about that for a minute, our Father in heaven truly wants us to be happy, that is the most wonderful thing of all. Rhonda describes it beautifully when she says, “It’s impossible to whine about the “robe of righteousness.” It’s borrowed from Christ. And though this whiny woman doesn’t deserve it, it fits perfectly.” We don’t deserve the mercy and goodness we receive, but we receive it nonetheless. Each chapter is laced with happy goodness and scripture that hits the point home that we have so many reasons to be happy. Along with scripture, both Rhonda and Beth deliver the message with such humor I found myself laughing out loud at times and praising God for the happy moments of reading these words and taking to heart what was written within. At times it really can be hard to be happy, life is tough and sometimes the darkness can seem overwhelming. During those times, we need to remember these resources we have at our fingertips to bring the happy back to the forefront. I recommend this book to everyone!  No matter what you are going through, look to this book to help you find something to be happy about and remember how much the Father loves us all.

Powerful Prayers for your Son

Power prayers

Authors: Rob & Joanna Teigen

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: April 16, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A wonderful tool for all parents of boys as they grow and go through the difficult times life will throw their way.

 As parents we always want to pray for our kids. Sometimes finding the right prayer can be difficult. Rob and Joanna Teigen write that even when we as parents don’t understand our son doesn’t mean God doesn’t understand what they are going through and what they need. This book offers prayers for many different situations and even stories from parents going through hard times, how they prayed for their kids and what God did to answer those prayers. Also included are sections that explain what is important for boys to learn as they grow and how parents can pray for the lives of their children

 I absolutely loved reading this book. I have two young boys and constantly want to pray the right things for them. In the day and age, we are living in a time when there is so much bad in the world that our kids are exposed to, we need to be on guard and pray constantly. I loved the areas with Prayer Stories that gave good examples of what some parents have gone through and how they prayed for their son and how God answered those prayers, even if it wasn’t exactly what they prayed for. Even when we don’t know the right words to pray for our children, if we will call out to God He will answer our prayers in the way He knows is right; it may not always be what we think is right but later if we look back we will see how right it truly is. Certain sections really resonated with me as I see my son going through those tough times and wonder if I am doing enough for him and want him to seek God and hope I am setting the right example.  The payers don’t have to be long, they are just enough to say what is on the heart, that we love our children and truly want what is best for them.  I recommend this book to parents of kids young and old.  We should never stop praying for our kids and can always use more resources to add to our arsenal for them.

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

The Healing Power of Essential Oils

Essential OilsAuthor: Eric Zielinski, D.C.

Publisher: Harmony

Release Date: March 13, 2018

Reviewer: Jennifer S. Roman

Dr. Zielinski wrote The Healing Power of Essential Oils as a way to demonstrate that people can use essential oils in conjunction with modern medicine, under a doctor’s care, or as a means of alternate therapy.  His book breaks down the various kinds of essential oils, how they are used, and different ailments or symptoms that can be treated using essential oils.  A Christian, licensed chiropractor, and public health clinical researcher, Dr. Z uses a variety of methods to introduce his readers to the use of essential oils.  He includes recipes, anecdotes, clinical research, and personal experience to demonstrate his endorsement of these gifts of nature.

Starting at the beginning, Dr. Z explains what essential oils are, their history of use through time, and how they are created.  He introduces the more common and useful oils and references several different sources of the oils themselves and the various accoutrements used with them.  He makes an effort to consider costs when recommending various items and will recommend oils that can be used for more than one purpose.

As the book progresses, each chapter explores either a particular oil or an area of treatment (weight loss, candida, women’s health) and how essential oils may be able to help.  He includes recipes for a variety of methods of use: ingestion, rubs and ointments, and inhalants.  Dr. Z continually cautions readers that not all remedies are one-size-fits-all, and encourages people to try small and then build up.  He also cautions that not every body will respond in the same way to treatment, so experimentation may be required.  Most importantly, Dr. Z lists cautions and side effects of various essential oils.  All put together, this is a good reference to get people started if they are interested in using essential oils.

Dr. Z’s language throughout the book is familiar and colloquial instead of clinical and difficult to read; even dilutions and medical terms are explained so that pretty much anyone can understand.  He throws in some Biblical reference from time to time to demonstrate how healing relates in a Biblical sense, but the book itself does not come across as pushing religion.

It’s hard to say if essential oils are really helpful in treating disease or infection, but Dr. Z’s many references to clinical studies certainly give credibility.  As someone who uses essential oils mostly for olfactory purposes, I was intrigued to find out what he had to say. I am convinced enough to try some of the recipes to see if they work, although I have not tried them yet.  I was a little disappointed that there was not a section on cleaning and using essential oils throughout the home, but overall, I was impressed with how much information was packed into the book. Anyone interested in trying out essential oils could benefit from this book, and it is written in a style that is clear and easy to understand.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

It Takes One to Tango

tangoAuthor: Winifred M. Reilly

Publisher: Touchstone Hardcover

Release Date: April 7, 2017

Reviewer: Jennifer S. Roman

Marriage counseling is something that people usually do together in hopes of resolving issues and “fixing” what is broken in the marriage.  It is often used to improve communication, clear the air, and foster honesty and intimacy.  Ms. Reilly doesn’t dispute most of this, but she does believe that just one person can make all the difference.

Contrary to what many couples and counselors believe, she purports that if just one person changes his or her attitude and reaction to how the other acts, it will ultimately improve the entire marriage.  She has many case studies to support her theory, and most meaningful to her is her own.  She is the first to admit that she and her husband have had numerous arguments that ended in at least one of them wanting divorce, and after numerous counseling sessions, they both realized that they did not want that.  Instead, they took baby steps to improve their marriage by improving themselves.  For example, she is chronically late.  Her husband gets steamed over that and says she is inconsiderate.  Instead of complaining about it, he just patiently waits.  This in turn encourages her to work on being more punctual.  Conversely, he is, in her opinion, sloppy.  Instead of yelling at her husband to pick up his dirty clothes, Ms. Reilly doesn’t say a word.  Her lack of complaining fosters a resolve in him to pick up after himself.  Sure, they slip back into their old ways now and again, but they find that it is much easier to get along when they individually work to make things better.

There are many good tips in the book explaining how changing one’s own reactions to a partner changes the entire relationship, and while I am not sold on all of them, most make sense.  Moreover, there are many techniques that would easily apply in other relationship situations besides a marriage.  Working relationships, friendships, even relationships among family members, can benefit from each party taking a step back and being more cognizant of how he or she reacts to another person or situation.  Not everything works for every situation, but many tips here can easily work in common interpersonal relationships.

Having been married for over 20 years myself, I thought my husband and I had things pretty well worked out.  However, as I read the book, I could easily apply some of Ms. Reilly’s suggestions to our common areas where we get stuck.  Once I realized that I needed to identify what I wanted in a calm and rational tone, or that he needed to stay calm when I called him out on something, it worked a lot better.  Anyone can certainly benefit from Ms. Reilly’s observations.

I highly recommend this book for people who are in challenging relationships but don’t want to give up on them.  They will certainly find, if they give it a chance, something that will help.  I will not reveal all the tips in the book, but there are many that will make sense and be effective if given a good attempt.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.