Friday, July 27, 2012

Where are you?

I'm over at Wives of Faith today talking about being directionally challenged and God, who is most certainly not!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green

My review is at the end. away the paperback review copy of this book! Look for instructions after my review.
**Winner: Kim, comment #5!** Thank you!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wedded to War
• River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2012)
Jocelyn Green


Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.


When war erupted, she gave up a life of privilege for a life of significance.
Tending to the army's sick and wounded meant leading a life her mother does not understand and giving up a handsome and approved suitor. Yet Charlotte chooses a life of service over privilege, just as her childhood friend had done when he became a military doctor. She soon discovers that she's combatting more than just the rebellion by becoming a nurse. Will the two men who love her simply stand by and watch as she fights her own battles? Or will their desire for her wage war on her desire to serve God?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey's letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured. This is the first in the series "Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War," a collection of novels that highlights the crucial contributions made by women during times of war.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Wedded to War, go HERE.

Pattie's Review:

Let me preface this by saying that I've been privileged to work with Jocelyn on both Faith Deployed...Again  and on the Wives of Faith blog (to which she's an occasional contributor), as well as an unnamed third project that, well, can't be named yet. So I signed up for this blog tour knowing it would be hard for me to remain impartial--and I expected a great story as Jocelyn is an excellent writer.

I was not disappointed.

This is the kind of historical fiction I like--full of facts and details, but not boring. A love story but not the kind that's all-encompassing and overpowering and too romance-y. Plus, it's about the Civil War, which I've had a bit of a crush on since fifth grade. It reminds me just a little bit of a more realistic version of Gone With the Wind.

Two favorite characters: Edward, based on the first hospital chaplain in the US (and since my husband is a trained hospital chaplain, I could vicariously relate to many of the struggles he faces); and of course our main gal, Charlotte, who seems to me to be a bit of a mixture of Gone With the Wind's Melanie and Scarlett (the best of both of them, minus the "Tomorrow is another day" procrastination).

Overall, I highly recommend this novel, and I'm looking very much forward to the rest of the series.

Special thanks to the publisher for offering this book for free on Kindle at the beginning of July. The paperback arrived as I was finishing the novel in time for this blog tour.

Which means...I am giving the paperback away! Please leave a comment telling me why you'd like to receive this book, and I'll use to choose the recipient. Available to residents within the 50 states, please. Deadline is 31 July 2012, 5 p.m. ADT (which is 8 p.m. CDT).

Odds of winning are based on the number of eligible entries, and I'll be paying media rate postage myself for a book that was donated to me from the publisher for review. No hidden agenda, just wanting to share the literary love. Book will take awhile to ship from Alaska

Friday, July 20, 2012


ENOUGH--at Lisa Jo formerly Gypsy Mama

The first thing that came to mind was the praise song:

All of You is more than enough for 
All of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with your Love
And all I have in You
Is more than enough...

Talking about God being more than enough to meet our need, satisfy the longings of our hearts.

I often feel like I don't do enough, am not woman enough or strong enough, to DO this thing called life. To live my life, to be who I am--military ministry wife, mother, teacher, friend, ministry team leader for more than one team. Writer, editor, maybe even a speaker someday.

I don't measure up to whatever ideal is in my head. And that's enough to drive me crazy.

When will I be enough?

I won't. I can't.

Not alone.

But with God, I am. He made me to be enough, but only if I allow Him access to my heart and life and the vessel I am in Him.

What an amazing thought. Revolutionary.

Now, to let it be enough to satisfy that longing in my heart to do more, be more, strive for more.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Treasure in Jars of Clay

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7
  Not too long ago, my girls and I needed something fun to do on another dreary day in this cooler-than-usual Alaskan July. I had just injured myself {a story for another day!}, so anything related to walking around was a bad idea. I'd gotten a Groupon for a local paint-your-own-pottery shop, so we took the coupon to the store, got instructions from the lady in the shop, chose our items, and began working on painting our unfinished pieces. ...

Come read the rest of what I wrote over at the Wives of Faith blog today.

Almost Amish

My review is at the end. Enjoy!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Almost Amish
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Kathryn Cushman


Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy, but all her life she knew that she wanted to write a novel “some day”. For her, “some day” came in 2003, when she started writing and never looked back.

Her first two manuscripts remain firmly ensconced in the back of her closet (the dust bunnies tell her they really are terrific!). Her third attempt became her first published novel.

A Promise to Remember and Leaving Yesterday were both finalists for the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, and Waiting for Daybreak was a finalist in Women’s Fiction for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

On the homefront, she has been married to the wonderful and handsome Lee for nearly twenty-five years now, and their two daughters are currently braving the worlds of high school and college.

They’ve lived in Santa Barbara for over twenty years. It’s a beautiful place and Kathryn feel blessed to be there (although a seventy degree Christmas still leaves her dreaming of a white one—or at least a colder one!)

When she's not writing or reading or braving seventy degree holidays, you’ll find her trying her best to keep up with her daughters in their various theater, softball, dance, and filled-with-activity lives.


Proving the Simple Life Isn't So Simple After All

Overcommitted and overwhelmed, Julie Charlton is at the breaking point. She knows she should feel blessed as a mother and wife--but she just feels exhausted. And then, the miraculous happens. Her sister-in-law Susan, a Martha Stewart-in-training, lands the chance to participate in a reality TV series about trying to live like the Amish and needs another family to join her. It's just the break Julie needs.

But the summer adventure in simple living soon proves anything but simple. With the camera watching every move, Susan's drive for perfection feels a lot like what they left behind, while Julie suddenly finds herself needing to stand up for slowing down. Whether it's cooking, cleaning, or dressing differently, each new Amish challenge raises new complications...and soon each woman learns unexpected lessons about herself and her family.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Almost Amish, go HERE.

Pattie's Review:

The recent plethora of Amish fiction has been, to say the least, not my favorite thing going for Christian fiction today. I'm sure if you wanted to search, you would find a few Amish books among my book reviews, as in the past I've enjoyed them. However, during my most recent foray to the Inspirational Fiction section of the Anchorage Barnes and Noble, it seemed to me that about every other cover had a kapped heroine and either "Amish" or "Plain" in the title somewhere. Frankly, it's a bit much for me now.

So why am I reviewing this book? Simple. It's not Amish fiction. It's about a fictional "reality" show, about stressed-out moms and overbooked teens. It's about two women, both of whom desire to make a difference in the world--one through her work, one by simplicity in life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and found myself relating to aspects of both Susan and Julie. I'm learning how I can use my gifts to make a difference in the world, to say "no" to good things in order to make room for the better things God would have me do, and to enjoy my children whenever I can.

I do think fans of Amish fiction will enjoy this novel too, as it references many aspects of several Amish cultures, and the "reality" show does try to be authentic in its challenges. However, if you're like me and feel like you're tired of it and want something different, this is for you as well.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Photo a Day 8-12

Day 8: Lunch

"The Elvis" sandwich with fries at the City Diner in Anchorage - Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon

Day 9: Big

Our "big" snow this winter

Day 10: Favorite Color

Blue sky!

Day 11: Letter

My "letter" to deployed spouses--we can be God Strong!
(Photo of the book God Strong by Sara Horn, Zondervan 2010)

Day 12: Texture

Cotton Candy at the USO concert with Gary Sinise and the Lieutenant Dan Band

Monday, July 09, 2012

Photo Day 7

a day late :)
Day 7: Garden: The plant that came back from the dead in the front yard :)

Friday, July 06, 2012

Photo Day 6

Day 6: Chair
This is my very favorite chair. We bought it in 1999 and I love it. It's a faded mauve, very soft, and comfortable as all get out.

5 Minute Friday: Story

Story--at Lisa Jo formerly Gypsy Mama

"You are the author of your own life story." I'm not sure who said that (and I'd be wasting my whole five-minutes if I looked it up), but it's only partly true. GOD is the author of creation, and HE writes His story through me.

The photo I included above is the first page of a spiritual journaling project I started three summers ago. I have just a few blank pages left, and I think it's fitting that I'll finish the book close to the third anniversary of when I started it in August 2009.

It's a journal with a lot of Bible verses, and a lot of thoughts about the Bible, and prayers I've written to God about applying His word to my life.

It's HIS story, told through my pen.

I'm so grateful for His word. I'm not always faithful to read it as I should, but when I meet Him at my desk or on my bed, with His word and my heart open, He meets me there and speaks to my heart.

Thank you, Lord, for being so faithful to me, this broken and tired and empty vessel. Use me as You would see fit. I love you.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Photo a Day 5

Day 5: On the Floor

I need to get back to my knitting projects :)

Photo a Day 4

Day 4: FUN

Looking forward to starting this book soon!

We Can Do Hard Things

My friend Cheryl contacted me not long ago about a project she wanted to do that ties in with a book we both read and really loved: Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister.

This book deals with tackling hard things head-on, but with both joy and grace too.

I am happy - and yes, a little nervous - about joining my friends in this new blog: We Can Do Hard Things. Happy to do a fun project with my friends Cheryl, Holly, Lorri, and Cheri, of course. But nervous? Nervous because I've had a couple of tough years of change, with more in the very near future. Nervous because I know God is growing me through it all and yeah, sometimes that is scary!

But I hope you'll follow the journey with me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Independence Day

Celebrating Independence Day, our first in Alaska, and our fourth apart.
Thank you to my Chaplain Husband for his service, hard work, dedication, and love
for God, for the men and women who serve so selflessly, 
for his family, and for his country.

God bless America.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Photo Day 3

Day 3: Best Part of Your Day

As of 4:30 p.m. my favorite thing was painting pottery with my girls. Here's mine:

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Review: The Dinner List

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle My rating: 4 of 5 stars I heard about this novel last month. It sounded great, because who hasn't m...