Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pulling Back the Shades (of Grey) + GIVEAWAY


When I was asked to review the book Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery, my first thought was no, that doesn't even apply to me or the Christian women who will be reading my review, and it's not really a topic I want on my blog, right?
But then I recalled a previous conversation with a friend about the book nearly a year ago. She is a Christian and was reading the books. I also remembered seeing a Facebook status where a Christian friend had recommended the book to another Christian friend. Upon further investigation, I discovered that the statistics show that among all American adults who reading Fifty Shades of Grey, one in five were Christians.
My heart sank as I realized this truly was an issue, even among Christian women, and one that needs to be addressed no matter how awkward or uncomfortable that may be.
Although I began reading this book with a "this isn't for me" perspective, I was amazed by how insightful it was, and how challenging it was in my own life. This is a book, not just for women who struggle with erotica, but for all women who want to gain a better understanding of the desires God has given us and how to appropriately fulfill them.
Pulling Back the Shades is a book every woman should read, whether you struggle with sexual sin or not. The book not only exposes Fifty Shades of Grey for the danger that it is, but it also encourages Christian women to take action against Satan's attack on our lives and in our friend's lives!
To start off the book, Slattery and Gresh do a great job of explaining why women, yes, even Christian women are reading these books. "Women aren't just drawn into books like Fifty Shades of Grey  for the entertainment value. Erotica strategically and masterfully pulls you in by exploiting what your heart secretly longs for." Pulling Back the Shades challenges you to find what the deeper issue is rather than allowing these books to temporarily feed your longings. 
I am passionate about this particular subject because I believe Satan is using these books to destroy not just women, but our marriages, our families and our homes by offering a false sense of fulfillment that will ultimately lead to a greater feeling of discontentment. I loved the way Slattery and Gresh gracefully and lovingly address every area of this issue, reminding us that we "will never reach contentment reading something that is intended to make you long for more".
What makes this issue worse is that these books are portrayed as reality when they, in fact, are not. "Erotica twists and distorts the results of making immoral and foolish choices. In the real world, our actions have consequences." In addition, "Erotica makes it seem normal for us (women) to be abused, but it's not normal." And it's not ok, either. 
Pulling Back the Shades also addresses the excuse that reading erotica can "wake up your libido, helping you to become the lover you want to be to your husband".  That lie is refuted not only with scripture but also with a good dose of reality and reasoning.  "If you read Fifty Shades and then invest in a relationship that is built around sexual sadism, you will not end up in a loving, caring, committed marriage."

Slattery and Gresh do not shy away from the fact that reading erotica is sin. Yes, sin.

Matthew 5:27-28 says, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
"This includes sexual fantasy, pornography, online relationships and YES, erotica...stop flirting with anything that causes you to think, lust, or fantasize about a man other than your husband."
The book then goes on to discuss not only the danger that comes with the sin, but the joy that can come when we experience intimacy the way God intended it. 
Slattery and Gresh hit the nail on the head when it comes to the topic of Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm so glad they wrote Pulling Back the Shades and have generously offered an extra copy for me to give away to one of you, my readers! If you are a Christian woman who has read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, is reading it, or is curious about doing so, please read this book first and weigh the consequences. Even if you have no desire to read the trilogy, I highly recommend this book as a way to educate yourself on how to help your fellow women who are being deceived. 
"It was for our freedom that Jesus died! Our entire being-including our sexuality-should be an expression of God's redeeming love."
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In addition to this great book, you should check out Passion Pursuit-What Kind of Love Are You Making by the same author on a similar topic. It was a great study that will benefit you in your personal life as well as your marriage! 
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mommy Moments #90


Hey mamas!
Welcome back for another great week of Mommy Moments Link Ups! Thank you for linking up and for spreading the word last week! We had almost 80 links last week which is awesome! I loved reading all of your great posts!

Motherhood has its seriousness and frustration as well as its laughs. That's why we are here. Life is much easier when traveled with companions! So mamas, let's join together in the spirit of motherhood and share our moments together. We want to hear the happy, sad, tough, terrible, hilarious moments that make being a mother the best job in the world!


 The top viewed link this week belongs to Heather from Dandelions Picked and her post Our Birth Story!  I always love birth stories and this one is quite the story! 
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We also have a very special guest host for the next several link ups. Pamela is sponsoring The Life Of Faith for the next 2 months and is also excited to be a part of the Mommy Moments Link Up during that time. Please welcome Pamela from Macdonald's Playland!



Alrighty, now it's time to get to know your hosts!

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The Not Quite Military Wife
 The Not Quite Military Wife


Beautiful Family Affairs

Now, link up your post!
Post can include anything related to mommy-hood, children, homemaking, pregnancy etc. If you aren't a mom yet, feel free to link up your preparation for motherhood, your journey as you try to conceive, or even a post that would be encouraging to the other moms in the party!

You would be our extra special favorite if you add the Mommy Moments button to your post or blog so everyone knows where you are linking up!

Then, explore some of the other posts in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends! 

Please, pretty please, we'd love it if you would tweet or share the link up on Facebook so we can all make even more friends!


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<div align="center"><a href="http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com//search/label/mommymoments" title="The Life Of Faith"><img src="http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k537/faithkonrath/8be806cb-71a5-4eaf-aba2-ca2abb33f8db.jpg" alt="The Life Of Faith" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

P.S. We will be having a new guest host every week! Want to be a guest host of the Mommy Moments Blog Hop? Send Faith a message at farmprincess14{at}gmail{dot}com. We would love to have you!


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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie


If you ask my hubby what his favorite dinner I make is, his answer would be my Chicken Pot Pie. I have used several variations of this recipe over the past few years, but have finally found a way to make it that we love! I hate using "cream of" soups, so I found a way to make my own, pretty easily! I'm happy to share this recipe with you and I hope you love it as much as we do!

The first thing you need is an adorable little helper like this one! She is an essential ingredient :)

Check out those perfect little chub hands. I can't handle the cuteness! 

Ok, I'm really going to give you the recipe now!

Chicken Pot Pie
-1 bag (about 12 oz) of frozen peas, carrots, beans...whatever frozen veggies you like.
-1/3 cup coconut oil or butter
-1/3 cup flour
-1/4 cup chopped onion
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 3/4 cups of chicken broth 
-2/3 cup milk
-2-3 cups of chicken (depending on how meaty you like it)
1 refrigerated pie crust

In a saucepan melt the coconut oil or butter. Then stir in the onions to saute them for like a minute. Add the flour, salt and pepper and stir until the mixture is bubbley. Then stir in the broth and the milk. 
Heat the mixture until it has been boiling for at least one minute then remove it from the heat and add the veggies and chicken.
I just use the refrigerated pie crust. I would make my own crust, but let's be honest, ain't nobody got time for that right?
I place one of the crusts on the bottom and the other on the top. I know you already knew that, but somebody out there didn't, so that was for them! I like to sprinkle a little cracked pepper over the sauce and veggies just for some pzazz.
Cut slits in the top for ventilation and bake at 425 for about 30 minutes or until top is browned!
Yum! There's not much better than a freshly baked pot pie!
If you try this recipe out and love it as much as we do, let me know. And then bring me the leftovers so I can enjoy it with you:)
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

15 month update!

My, how time flies, and so much faster when you're having fun. Fun is exactly what we've been having this past month with our hilarious, chatter-box, giggly 14 month old. This is definitely the best age! 
Happy 15 months sweet pea! 
You are growing up too fast, and that's a fact. I am constantly surprised by what you are able to do and say! I'm not ready for you not to be a baby anymore but I'm so thankful that you still like to cuddle! You have also become quite the comedian. You know how to get your mom and dad rolling, that's for sure.
Don't act so shocked!

Eating:
You finally started to drink milk...a little. After doing a little research on cows milk, I've decided to give you almond milk instead, and you are actually drinking it! You love every fruit we've given you but veggies are proving to be a bit more complicated. Green beans and broccoli are your favorites so far! Now that you have molars, I'm excited for you to try even more varieties!

Teething:
Speaking of teething, you've been busy doing a lot of that! You finally have all four of your one year old molars and I want to throw a party! Those few weeks of molar teething was terrible for both of us but we survived! You have 12 teeth so far and I think that's enough for now. We need a break from the pain! Thank God for Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets  and Baby Orajel Naturals Teething Pain Relief . They have gotten us this far!
Check out these beautiful pearly whites!

Sleeping: 
You are sleeping through the night!! FINALLY!!! Can I get a round of applause please? For the first time in 14 months, I have been able to sleep through the night, and let me tell you, it is amazing. When you wake up in the morning, you start to fuss a bit and when either of us comes to get you, you have to grab your paci, blanket and whatever animal you were sleeping with. You don't leave your crib without them. It's serious business people.
You go to bed at 8 and get up about 6:45.
You nap at 9 and 2.
After about a year of sleepless nights, you are turning out to be a good sleeper after all!

Potty Training:
I can't believe this is even a section in your update. That was not in my plan whatsoever. But ever since I put the potty chair in our bathroom, you pee in it almost every time I put you on it. The other day, you pooped twice in the potty and I went a whole day without having to change a dirty diaper. I could get used to that, just saying! I know it will be a while before you are fully potty trained, but I'm still very proud of you!

Memories:
My favorite memory from this month is how you pray. We have prayed with you almost every night since you were born as well as before meals. We want you to understand how much our relationship with the Lord means to us. About a month ago, you started saying something every time we would finish praying. It sounded like "beean". As it's gotten more clear lately, we figured out you are saying "amen". You say it every time anyone finishes praying, even at church! It's adorable. Lately you have been coming up to me with your hand out and saying "pay" because you want me to pray with you. It makes my heart happy to know that even though you don't understand what we are doing yet, you still love talking to Jesus. I hope that love only grows as you get older! 
The best thing from this month has got to be the way you smile. You cheese up the biggest grin you can muster. It shows across your whole face and makes everyone happy!
video

As you can see from the video, you also learned the word "no". Yep. That's been fun.
This month we got the chance to go meet baby Declan! You absolutely adore babies, hint hint to mom and dad right? Here you are keeping an eye on baby Declan.

I'm so happy that my best friend is now a mama too, and a great one at that! Here we are with our babies as you give Declan another big hug!

You have had quite the imagination lately. Sometimes you start picking "things" off the floor and handing them to us but there's really nothing there. It's pretty funny to watch! If we hold out our open hand to you, you pretend to take something out of it and eat it. When dad is playing the guitar, you pretend to take something from the strings and then you run over and throw "it" in the trash. We are thoroughly confused by your behavior, but I'm glad you like to pretend!
You had a lot of fun having your uncle Abe over one evening for a bonfire! He's one of your favorites, and we love him too!
 Spring is FINALLY here! Can I get an Amen? It's finally been nice enough outside to take some trips to the park and some walks around our yard. Being outside just makes everyone happier! You have had a blast playing at the park and going for walks with your amazing daddy! Seeing the two of you together always makes me smile.

We also got to go to the zoo a few times this month as the weather warmed up! You love seeing the animals but you hate being in your stroller. I let you walk for most of the time last time we went. It was slow going, but you did great! I love spending my days with you.



Talking:
You are now talking in phrases which is absolutely adorable! You can say help me please, bye dada/mama/baby, hi dada/mama/baby, all done, what's that, love baby!

video
I can't even keep track of all the words you are saying these days. There's got to be 50+. Your favorites are: mama, dada, baby, bath, no, yes, bye bye, hi, this, that, play, eat, please, drink, socks, zipper, outside, tree, dog, woof woof, meow, whoo, moo, bird, fish, heart, circle, happy...

Here's a short video of you saying happy, one of your favorite words! It's very fitting for your personality!

video


You have also gotten good at saying your favorite's names: Grandpa, Grandma, Abuela, Abe, Asher, Grace, Kruz, Declan (granted they aren't sound perfect, but you do a good job!)
You love hanging out with your friends!


One of your favorite things to do is talk on the phone...or on anything for that matter. A few days ago I had taken your diaper off for you to use the potty (hooray!) and you picked up your diaper, thank God it was clean, and put it up to your ear saying "elloo?" If that didn't make me laugh, I don't know what could! I thank God for your hilarious creativity!
video

This month has been a whirlwind of playing outside, learning to mimic the birds, eating dirt, gardening with mom...or ungardening, and just enjoying the beautiful sunshine. We love watching you discover new things and just seeing the look of wonder and excitement on your face. You are such a happy and loving toddler! You love giving kisses and hugs, and we love getting them from you! We pray that you never lose your joy for life and your love for those around you. You are so special to us and we love you very much!
Love, mom and dad
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mommy Moments #89

Hey mamas!
Welcome back for another great week of Mommy Moments Link Ups! Thank you for linking up and for spreading the word last week! We had over 75 links last week which is awesome! I loved reading all of your great posts!

Motherhood has its seriousness and frustration as well as its laughs. That's why we are here. Life is much easier when traveled with companions! So mamas, let's join together in the spirit of motherhood and share our moments together. We want to hear the happy, sad, tough, terrible, hilarious moments that make being a mother the best job in the world!


 The top viewed link this week belongs to Amy from Wife Hat, Mom Hat and her post We're So Excited We Can't Hide It! I bet you can guess what they are excited about!
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We also have a very special guest host for the next several link ups. Pamela is sponsoring The Life Of Faith for the next 2 months and is also excited to be a part of the Mommy Moments Link Up during that time. Please welcome Pamela from Macdonald's Playland! Pamela just gave birth to her baby boy this past week and we are so happy and excited for her!



Alrighty, now it's time to get to know your hosts!

Photobucket


The Not Quite Military Wife
 The Not Quite Military Wife


Beautiful Family Affairs

Now, link up your post!
Post can include anything related to mommy-hood, children, homemaking, pregnancy etc. If you aren't a mom yet, feel free to link up your preparation for motherhood, your journey as you try to conceive, or even a post that would be encouraging to the other moms in the party!

You would be our extra special favorite if you add the Mommy Moments button to your post or blog so everyone knows where you are linking up!

Then, explore some of the other posts in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends! 

Please, pretty please, we'd love it if you would tweet or share the link up on Facebook so we can all make even more friends!

The Life Of Faith
<div align="center"><a href="http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com//search/label/baby" title="The Life Of Faith"><img src="http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k537/faithkonrath/mommymomentsbutton.jpg" alt="The Life Of Faith" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

P.S. We will be having a new guest host every week! Want to be a guest host of the Mommy Moments Blog Hop? Send Faith a message at farmprincess14{at}gmail{dot}com. We would love to have you!


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Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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