Grace Upon Grace pt. 5

Monday, September 22, 2014

* Hot weather. It has warmed back up over the last week or so and I have been loving it. There's still a crispness to the air, but I can sit outside and feel the sun on my skin again.

* The "Not my circus, not my monkeys" quote that's been going around. 

We usually host a HUGE get together in September, but I just knew that I wasn't going to be up for it this year. I apologized/declared my incompetence by sharing this quote with people. I've been saying it all weekend and even though a few people came I didn't play the hostess game this year.

It was wonderful. I needed the break.

* Conversations with strangers. I'm always up for a chat...Always. And I try to be safe about it, but I'm just going to talk to strangers.

I've met two people who interjected themselves into my conversation after listening to me say something to someone else (THAT'S a little creepy). As for a less creepy introduction, my Mom and I met an 84 year old man who came to America from Greece when he was 16. That is THE old country...In case you were wondering.

* My brother and sister. I can't emphasize enough how glad I am to be around for their teenage years. Teenagers have ALWAYS driven me a bit nuts, but I love them and I'm excited to watch them become passionate about things and pursue those passions as they get older.

* Time. I can't decide exactly how I feel about it, but fall always makes me get all nostalgic. I love looking back (well, on most of it anyway) and looking ahead.

Let's link up with JORDYN!!!

Nuggets of Gold

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"Wonder Working God" by Jared C. Wilson is a book to read slowly. If you're like me, you'll find yourself reading a chapter or two at a time and then spending several days going back over the key points.

Wilson is an excellent theologian. I have enjoyed reading his articles on the internet for quite some time, but this is my first time reading one of his books. He tends to be very true to the text so I was disappointed and surprised when I came across sections where he embellished Scripture by filling in the blanks and talking about what else MIGHT have been going on. I find it extremely unhelpful when people handle God's Word this way. Another thing that kept stopping me in my tracks were the places where Wilson used what I would describe as "juvenile" phrases to make a certain point. I'm sure many would find his style relatable, but I had to work very hard to get past it.

HOWEVER, every single time I would decide that this book just didn't pass muster, he would come right back around and share an application of Biblical truth that was spot on. I'd find myself highlighting a sentence or paragraph and making a note so that I can return to it later.

I have come to the conclusion that while this book did not meet my expectations or unpack the miracles of Jesus in a way that was particularly unique, it is not a book we should dismiss. Pick up your copy HERE and get ready to see how Jesus' miracles fit into God's big picture. You might even discover that many of them contain convicting lessons that will bring you to your knees.

Mr. Wilson, thank you for studying God's Word, taking the time to share what you've learned, and for being dedicated to the glory of our great God!

 * I was provided with a review copy of this book by Crossway. All thoughts are my own honest opinion.

Let's Talk: Search and Earn

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I remember when we were in school and every essay required a trip to the library to check out the Encyclopedias and to ask the librarian for help finding books on a certain topic. I loved collecting a stack of books, filling up a few index cards with the information I found in the Encyclopedia, and sitting down to brainstorm for my essay.

Just when I was mastering that process, my school got a computer lab and we were taught to use Encyclopedias to make sure the information we found on the internet was actually correct. I was so reluctant to do my searches online because of this "verify your websites" business.

Then all of a sudden, every time I would ask a question, the response would be, "I don't know...Why don't you Google it?"? I have a lot of questions. People are constantly asking if I've "googled it" yet.

My Mom (being one of the most technologically advanced people that I know and all) found out about Swagbucks when everyone else was still "googling it". Don't get me wrong, I love Google, but Swagbucks gives you REWARDS for searching.

I followed my Mom's advance and signed up for Swagbucks. It's just now dawning on me to share this little gem with you!

If you're not familiar with Swagbucks, it's simply a free search engine that rewards you for searching. Swagbucks also offers you opportunities to earn rewards by taking surveys, signing up for coupons, shopping online, playing games, and even watching short videos.

Here's a snippet from their own about page:

"Swagbucks is the Web's premier rewards and loyalty destination. Swagbucks allows web and mobile members to earn virtual currency (called Swag Bucks) for doing what they already do online every day- watching videos, searching the web, playing games, participating in market research and shopping online. Swag Bucks can then be redeemed for valuable rewards, including gift cards to the world's online and offline retailers. Since its launch in 2008, Swagbucks has awarded more than $45 million in real life rewards." 


You might be wondering what kinds of rewards they offer...Begin by signing up and claiming your rewards points. Once they have built up a bit, you will be able to exchange your points for gift cards to all kinds of stores: Amazon, Wal-Mart, Paypal, Target, Old Navy, Lowes, Nike, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Homegoods, and the list goes on and on.

Sign up HERE and get started on earning your rewards today.

Just so you know, when you sign up using any link found on this site, I'll get points.

When you invite your friends to sign up, you'll get points.

*Even though there are "affiliate links" throughout this post, Swagbucks did not ask me to write it . I use Swagbucks and I'm sharing it with you because I think you'll enjoy using it too! 

Etsy Swap

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

AMY and MEGAN are teaming up to host an Etsy Swap again! It's because of the swap they threw earlier this year that I signed up with Etsy and began browsing all of the wonderful shops. So far, I'm stuck on the zippered pouches, the prints, the greeting cards, the ceramics, and all of the stamps.

Let's take a look at some of my current favorites! 

I also really, really like these different stamps! I'm thinking some of my birthday money will be spent on a couple of them.


Which address label to you like better?
What are some of your most frequented Etsy shops? 

You have until September 19th to sign up for this swap, so click HERE if you're interested!

Fall Reading List

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I started making my fall reading list earlier this spring. Slowly but surely, it's been filling up with titles that I'm really looking forward to. I noticed that my historical fiction avoiding self didn't pick one single piece of contemporary fiction this fall. Here is my list of possibilities.

I'll add a few comments about each book after I'm finished with it. 

The titles in bold will be ones that I'm currently reading. 

Also note that each title is a link to the goodreads profile of each book! 

"The House Girl" Tara Conklin // ]I couldn't get enough of this novel! The story flashes between NYC in 2004 and Virginia in the mid-1800's. The times weave together perfectly. You learn what really matters and enjoy digging up history with the Lina (the "modern" woman) and you are reminded of the horrors of the past and the hope the Underground Railroad offered with Josephine (the woman from the past). If you're looking for a good novel that takes a bit of time to read, this is a book for you! (September 10, 2014)

"The Alchemy of Murder" Carol McCleary // I decided to check this book out from the library after seeing it on my friend Shauna's goodreads page this summer. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that it was set around Jack the Ripper and more specifically a detective posing as a prostitute. The cover looks great, the jacket made it sound wonderful, but I just didn't make it very far before I realized that this was NOT a book for me. (September 13, 2014)

"A Severed Wasp" Madeleine L'Engle


"Deceived" Irene Hannon // I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. You will be able to read my thoughts about it at the beginning of October. (September 21, 2014)

"The Wonder-Working God" Jared C. Wilson // Although this book did not live up to my expectations, it wasn't all bad. You can read my full review by clicking HERE. (September 21, 2014)

"The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield" Steven Lawson // This is an EXCELLENT book! Whitefield is one of my favorite "Georges" from history past and I never tire of hearing of his walk with God, his influence in the world, and the stories of God's faithfulness to him in his ministry.

Pick it up, be inspired, and learn about more about one of God's greatest tools. (September 10, 2014)

"An Autobiography" Agatha Christie
"Dispatches from the Front" Tim Keesee
"By Searching" Isobel Kuhn
"My Life in France" Julia Child

If you're looking for more book recommendations, check out these posts: