Grateful

With thanksgiving on Thursday I thought it would be appropriate to share a few things I am thankful for today.
Family.
This is a very generic but also important one. You don’t value people until they have passed away. With the death of a family member this past year I have learned to voice my love and gratefulness for my family. Please take time to really tell the people around you how much you love them. If they don’t listen to you take there head in your hands, look them in the eye and restate how much you love them. If there is one thing I regret – it is never remembering one time when I really told my grand mom if loved her. Now I don’t have that opportunity any more.

Work.
I really love my job. I do. I love it. Is it absolutely irritating and exhausting sometimes? Absolutely! But through my job I get to call 37 little kiddos mine. They are my kids and I will impact them in the best way I possibly can. I love seeing them achieve their goals.

Struggles.
Now why in the world would anyone in their right mind be thankful for that?? Number 1. I’m probably not in my right mind. Number 2. I wouldn’t be who I am today without what I’ve gone through. Sure there are some things I really wish I could change. I don’t consider it a joyful thing that my grandma passed away, that I lost my best friend, or that my grandfather passed away last May. However, I’m thankful for the place that these struggles have brought me to in my life.

What are you thankful for?

      Jess xoxo

Book of the Month

Book List 2015Hello loves!
I decided that there were so many good Christian book I’ve been hearing about lately that I would do something a little different. I am also hoping this will help me along with my daily devotions. I will be ordering one Christian book a month! I will be starting in January with a new bible. Mine is falling apart and I would really like a more general one rather than the teen girl bible I have now. I also don’t like the NIV as much as I like ESV + NKJV. I made up my list today so here it is!

Book list

January

ESV Study Bible

January

“The ESV Study Bible was created to help you encounter the truth of God’s Word as a powerful, life-changing reality. To accomplish this, it combines the best evangelical scholarship with the text, which, as an “essentially literal” translation, is especially suited for Bible study. The ESV Study Bible contains two kinds of words. The first is the actual words of the Bible-the very Words of God to us. The second is the study notes, which are human words. The result is the most comprehensive study Bible ever published-with new notes, maps, illustrations, charts, timelines and articles-the equivalent of a 20-volume Bible study library.The purpose of the ESV Study Bible is to honor the Lord in terms of excellence, beauty, accuracy of content and design and to help you come to a deeper understanding of the Bible, the gospel and Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. To accomplish this goal, an extraordinary team was created, composed of 95 scholars and teachers from 9 countries and nearly 20 denominations-including 50 seminaries,colleges and universities. With pages for you to record marriages, births and deaths, the ESV Study Bible will be treasured for generations to come.”

February

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

February

“God is love.  Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love.  Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it?

It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe—the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor—loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not, we all know something’s wrong.

Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts—it’s falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.

Learn more about Crazy Love at http://www.crazylovebook.com”
March

Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman

March

” If someone asked, ‘Are you a fan of Jesus?’, how would you answer? You attend every movie featuring a certain actor, you know the stats of your sports hero, and you can recite lyrics from your favorite songs. In short, you’re a huge fan. But are you treating Jesus the same as the other people you admire? The truth is Jesus wants more than the church attendance, occasional prayer, and the ability to recite Scripture—the fan response. He’s looking for people who are actually willing to sacrifice in order to follow him. In this teen edition of Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman uses humor, personal stories, and biblical truth as he challenges you to look at what it means to call yourself a Christian and follow the radical call Jesus presents. So, will you be a fan, or a follower?”

April

The Power of a Praying Teen by Maggie Robins

April

Bestselling author Stormie Omartian raised teenagers to adulthood, and her mother’s heart for this age group (14- to 18-year-olds) gives her the perfect foundation for a book on prayer specifically targeting this exciting and challenging time of life.

Along with Scripture verses and true stories of teens in action, The Power of a Praying Teen addresses key issues young people face, including

  • purity
  • peer pressure
  • insecurity
  • body/self-image
  • friendships

Each segment of the book concludes with a prayer that teens can follow or use as a model for their own prayers. Easy-to-access chapters focus on what it means to be maturing in all areas of life, including talking to God in prayer.

Young men and women just on the cusp of growing up will find the compassion, help, direction, strength, and stability that comes with knowing and hearing from God in The Power of a Praying Teen.”

May

Made to Crave for Young Women by Lysa TerKeurst

May

What do you crave to make you happy?

… every day is filled with things we want and crave. Things that will make us feel good at least for a moment. But what happens when that moment is gone and the need returns?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting certain things, but God didn’t create us to rely on those things to make us happy. He created us to crave Him, and a happiness that lasts.

In this teen adaptation of the bestselling Made to Crave, the deep emotional, physical, and material cravings you face are explored—desires that can turn into spending too much, over- or under-eating, needing a boyfriend, or more.

Through real-life stories and support from people who have been where you are, you will also discover how to truly crave God and the love and comfort He wants us to have, and how craving heavenly things can make the earthly cravings easier to overcome.

You were made to crave more than this world has to offer.”

June

10 Things for Teen Girls by Katie Conner

June

he world is run by teen girls: parents of teen girls, teachers of teen girls, boys trying to date teen girls, feminists who want to empower teen girls, companies trying to sell things to teen girls, and people who have had it “up to here” with teen girls.   Chances are if you’re reading this, there is a young woman in your life for whom you desire the very best, and 10 Things for Teen Girls can help with that.
Based on student minister Kate Conner’s runaway blog post, this book answers a lot of important questions: Why should I follow my heart? Should I care what other people think of me? Why are boys only interested in my body? How do I handle my emotions? Am I beautiful? Am I enough?
Teen girls have already heard the typical shtick about how they need to dress modestly, or how they shouldn’t care what others think of them, but it doesn’t suffice. Rooted in biblical wisdom and interspersed with candid stories of the modern teenage experience, Conner’s imparts common (and all too uncommon) sense.”

July

Mean Girls: Facing Your Beauty Turned Beast by Hayley DiMarco

August

Every Teen Girls Little Pink Book by Cathy Bartel

September

The Circle Maker Student Edition by Mark Batterson

October

Graceful (for Young Women) : Letting Go of your Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman

October

“You know her–the good girl. She’s the reliable one who shows up every week at youth group wearing a purity ring and a smile. She gets good grades, makes the team, and doesn’t need to be told to come home on time. But deep down she is crushed by the weight of the responsibility to be the good one, the smart one, the one who never messes up.

With the same candor and gentle spirit she showed women in Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman now gives young women what they need to be free on the inside, no matter what’s going on outside. Through an honest look at the roles girls play, she helps them learn to stop trying and start trusting that the Jesus who came to save them also comes to live with them, right here and now.”

November

Enjoy the Silence by Maggie Robbins

November

“Deepen your experience with Scripture • Discover the power of God’s Word • Is the Bible speaking to you? • Learning to listen to Scripture • Listen to what God’s Word is saying to you People talk about the power of the Bible, but sometimes Scripture just looks like normal words. However, inside these thin, innocent-looking pages is the divine revelation of a God who wants you to hear him. Enjoy the Silenceis about the spiritual discipline of Lectio Divina. This ancient practice can help you develop an awareness of God’s presence and power found in the Bible. The book’s simple exercises take you through the process of reading Scripture, meditating on Scripture, listening to God through Scripture, and responding to Scripture. If you feel like you’ve been reading the Bible in the shallow end, it’s time to start scaling the cliffs and get ready to plunge headlong into the deep experience of God’s Word.”

December

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

December

“In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality, Mere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.”

I hope to write a review here and provide my favorite quotes from each book each month.

XOXO Jess