Saturday, March 22, 2014

Miss Brenda & The Loveladies Book Review

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307732177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307732170

About the book
This is a memoir written by Brenda Lovelady Spahn. A successful businesswoman who has everything she could ever want and then some she was quite surprised when faced with the threat of possibly spending prison time. Terrified and losing everything quickly she makes a plea to God to help her out of this situation. In her plea she promises God that she will do something to help others in a Christian manner if only He will spare her.
She is quite thrown for a loop when she finds herself creating a system that will help released women inmates get back on the track with life after prison. Not quite prepared for what she is about to face she finds herself quickly wondering what she got herself in to. Many of her friends and even family members strongly disagree with her choice of helping others, but Brenda stubbornly sticks with her decision knowing God has is right by her side in the matter.
She finds herself learning along with the ladies she is helping, and together they all come to deeper understanding of God and His Love. Instead of creating another of many half-way houses Brenda creates a whole way house, and with it builds it to something more than anyone could have imagined.

My Thoughts
I was first drawn to this book because it is a memoir, and I do enjoy learning about others. The fact that it also deals with helping others, and gives an insight into something very few of us know anything about (women's prisons) was an added perk.
While never being faced with any threat of prison time or anything of the sort I admit I learned quite a bit from this book. Like Brenda was at first I guess I always feel like inmates have the choices to make when they get out and should make the right ones. I've always felt like it is almost their own fault if they don't. But I didn't know half of the things that they have to face once being out of prison. If you ask me prisons have a poor set up sending the inmates back to where they came from or only giving them a few weeks in a half-way house which is not enough time to even begin to get their stuff back together. It's not even barely enough time to get a job and a first paycheck! It's just another example of how we should not judge others because unless we have walked in their shoes we know nothing about their struggles.
I was honestly blown away at Brenda, she is such a witty, strong, and honest person. I loved that about her immediately that she isn't like so many other people who just keep to themselves. I know she didn't expect to have much of a hand in her Lovelady House, but she kept her promise to God and fully immersed herself into it. I love that she didn't get swept away by anyone else's negative comments and stood strong with her ladies. Because of her strength and wonderful personality she gave these women trust, hope, and perseverance. I was extremely blown away and it warmed my heart to read this book.
I would definitely recommend this book to really all readers out there, especially Christian readers. It is just another example of God's love, and what we can accomplish with Him by our side. 
Brenda took a rather small organization that serviced only about 30-40 women at a time and built it to something that now services hundreds of women and children alike. 
Brenda applied all of her business intelligence into creating something that surpassed even her own wildest dreams.
This is truly an inspiring story and one I promise you won't soon forget. It's also a quick lesson in remembering never to judge others. You can feel God's hand in this story, and you can feel His love just coming off the pages. A wonderful book indeed!

This book is available in:   Print   Kindle   Nook

The Website for The Lovelady House > CLICK HERE

Disclaimer: I received  a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday 03/17/2014

Another week come and gone. I never get over how fast time flies.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all of you out there by the way! :)
I am dragging by this morning. I have been super busy these last couple of months and I think my body is finally rebelling against me. Me and hubby both got the stomach flu this last Tuesday and it had us both down for the count for a few days. It was sure rough going. Luckily the kids only got a touch of it when they had it and it didn't affect them nearly as bad. That was a huge relief. Needless to say that mixed with everything else going on has me drained!
Guess it's time to start Happy Homemaker Monday though, if you would like to join in with us feel free. Just head on over to Sandra's blog at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and add your Happy Homemaker Monday post (no other direct links) to her Mister Linky :) 

Photo Credit: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

As I look outside my window
It's a gloomy, chilly day. Everytime I think Spring has finally arrived I wake up to the next day being cold and gloomy again. Still I am enjoying the longer days. It seems like the days are longer which I'm okay with actually as time needs to slow down a bit. 

Right now I am
Sitting at the kitchen table waiting on our lunch casserole to come out of the oven.

Thinking and pondering
About some financial issues going on at the moment, and about our business we are trying to get launched. Me and hubby have finally taken the plunge to start our own small business. It's a seasonal business and last year we toyed with it a bit and it did so well that we are going to make it a yearly thing. There's a lot going into it though, and much more than we anticipated. It's caused us to be busy busy busy.

On my bedside table
My bible
Bible Promises book

On my TV this week
To Catch A Contractor
Chef Ramsey (can't even think of the show that's how tired I am lol)
Long Island Medium

Listening to
Right now nothing at all but the sound of my fingers hitting the keypad. I need to wake my little one up soon for lunch.

On the menu for this week
Monday- Irish Stew and Ciabatta Cheesey Bread
Tuesday- Lasagna & Freshly Baked Buttered Bread
Wednesday- Shrimp Scampi w/Linguini, Salad, Breadsticks
Thursday- Hot Dogs, Tater Tots, & Mac and Cheese
Friday- Chili & Cornbread
Saturday- Grilled Chicken, Fresh Steamed Green Beans, Rice Pilaf
Sunday- Pot Roast & Rolls

On my to-do list
Organizing the kids bedrooms
Cleaning up the playroom
Vacuuming floors
Sweeping and mopping kitchen and bathroom floors
Contact a few people regarding our business

Happening this week
Monday- nothing thank goodness
Tuesday- Playgroup for my youngest in the AM, Karate for my oldest in the PM, School Function after karate
Wednesday- tons of phone calls regarding our business and various events
Thursday- Karate for my oldest in the PM, go to the bank
Friday- errands and bills to go pay, taking the kids to the circus after school

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting, or creating
Sewing the kiddos some new throw blankets. :)

My simple pleasure
Drinking iced tea or lemonade on my balcony when the weather permits. It's so relaxing and usually we have a few birds come up and perch and visit for a couple of minutes.

Lesson learned this past week
Sometimes you have to just ignore things and move on. Not everyone is respectful of others and while it's sad, it's something we deal with almost on a daily basis. Maybe they have something going on in their own lives that make them bitter or unhappy or feel the need to be rude to others but all you can do is pray for them and remember their unhappiness is not your fault. Just keep focused on God, yourself, and your family.

Looking around the house
My youngest is napping in the living room and has almost every stuffed toy he has in there with him. haha It's quite the sight, but needs picking up once he wakes up so I can get the house back to some normalcy. There's still an abandoned card game on the coffee table in the living room from where the kids and I played Go Fish last night before bed. Some straightening up here and there.

From the camera
Forgive me, I have a new camera and I haven't charged it. I have got to be the world's worst picture taker. LOL
I will do my best to get some pictures in this week to share with everyone on Monday.

Prayer List
Family and friends

Bible verse/devotional
Ecclesiastes 3:13 
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday 03/10/2014

Good morning all! :) Happy to see everyone this morning! We made it past day one of Daylight Savings Time! lol    Every time we have to change our clocks forward an hour I usually have a lot of trouble with it, but surprisingly I did quite well yesterday. It was a smooth easy adjustment. We ended up going to bed an hour sooner (even though we didn't want to), and so waking up wasn't as hard knowing otherwise we would have lost an hour of sleep. And yesterday sped by extremely quickly. Today though I feel everything is back to normal and I do admit I like it staying daylight longer. The sunset seems to stick around longer too which is also beautiful. Anyway I'm going to get started on the Happy Homemaker Monday post now. If you want to join in head on over to Sandra's blog at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and link up with us all :)

Image Credit: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

As I look outside my window
It's a tad gloomy right now, but we aren't expecting rain so it's just cloudy. Hopefully the sun will show it's full beautiful self today. We are expected to get into the low 60s today which is awesome! But I did hear that there could be more snow on the way! No matter how often spring tries emerge, winter is always trying to push it back down. So I'll enjoy the nice weather while we have it.

Right now I am
Sitting at the kitchen table. I just finished a bowl of cereal. I've always been kind of a big kid when it comes to cereal and still enjoy the occasional bowl of fruit loops, pops, or cinnamon toast crunch. Usually now though I follow with a hot cup of coffee or tea. LOL

Thinking and pondering
About how grateful to God I am for all my blessings in my children and family. Truly they are the best blessings. The other day I had a private conversation with God. I had some stuff sitting heavily on my shoulders and I hadn't realized how long I had been carrying that weight around. I prayed and spoke to God and then I received good news and realized it was God that granted it. I am so thankful and I had been feeling so lost. I broke down in happy tears and thanked Him so much and I could feel all the weight just lift right away. It was amazing truly.

On my bedside table
All The Sweet Tomorrows by: Bertrice Small (it's in the Skye O'Malley series and a fantastic historical book filled with tons of adventure) 
My Bible 

On my TV tonight
I'll just put a few shows that I'll be watching this week. Usually we are never sure how our TV time will go. It all depends on the day.
This week:
  • Bones
  • Lizard Lick with the hubby
  • Mysteries at the Museum
  • Ramsey's Kitchen
  • Undercover Boss
  • Extreme Couponers
  • Extreme Cheapskates
  • House Hunters
  • Impractical Jokers

Listening to
My son watching Power Rangers in the living room. He loves that show. :)

On the menu for this week
Monday- Cheesey Meatless Spaghetti, Buttered Garlic Bread
Tuesday- Chili Cheese Dogs, Sweet Potato Fries
Wednesday- Salisbury Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Baby Carrots
Thursday- Pot Roast, Rolls
Friday- Southern Fried Chicken, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans
Saturday- Potato Bacon Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Sunday- Chicken & Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Rolls

On my to do list
  • Laundry
  • Mopping kitchen and bathrooms
  • Vacuuming rest of the house
  • Ironing
  • Clipping Coupons and making shopping lists

Happening this week
Kids have karate
Coupon shopping (something new I've really gotten in to)

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting, or creating
Actually I'm creating a coupon folder. I got into couponing after watching Extreme Couponers on TLC but I know that I have no need to be that extreme. However our first coupon shopping trip was last week and thanks to coupons we scored some fantastic deals and saved quite an amount of money. I was so excited about it, we had some new unexpected bills pop up we are trying to get paid off and every bit saved helps us right now. My two growing boys are like garbage disposals when it comes to food despite their young age. They have quite the appetite and still stay skinny as rails. LOL What I wouldn't give for that. But this week with coupons we ended up getting all we wanted PLUS more and even got to stock up on a few items and STILL managed to stay under budget! But it was really unorganized and took forever in the store because all my coupons kept getting mixed up so we were constantly having to stop and go through them time and again. So I'm getting them organized.

My simple pleasure
Listening to my children's laughter and seeing their sweet smiles. It warms my heart and just fills me with joy.

Lesson learned the past week
Something I'm constantly learning and shouldn't even forget: Always TRUST in God and have unwavering FAITH in Him because with Him nothing is impossible.

Looking around the house
The kids were playing in the living room before school and it looks like a bomb hit it. As soon as I'm done with this post I'm cleaning it all up and putting it back to rights. LOL
My youngest is playing cars and watching Power Rangers.
Other than that all is quiet and clean.

From the camera
Nothing this week, I know I said I would and now I have a camera so there really is no excuse other than I got caught up in everything else and didn't get any pictures taken.

Prayer list
Friends and family who all have some things going on in their lives right now. 
Our family as we are just starting to begin to have to get used to my hubby's new hectic work schedule. It doesn't include any days off except one a week which will be hard on all of us. He works far away and his commute is lengthy so that doesn't help matters at all either.

Bible Verse/Devotional
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

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