Frozen Slime

22 Apr Frozen Slime

A friend and her daughter came for a visit and we had so much fun! I loved being called Aunt Lolo all week and snuggling with little Laura, sneaking ice cream with her mom after Laura had been put to bed and talking serious and silly things over. We went to OMSI, the zoo (which will probably turn into a future post!), Toys-r-us, and the list went on. But, a  craft was also called for in the fun-scheme of this past week. And, with it needing to be easy, quick and inexpensive – we chose to make slime. Being all girls, why not make it Frozen Slime? We weren’t able to get the iridescent glitter that the recipe calls for, so we got purple and pink. I know little Laura loved it, and after having it sit overnight, it seemed like the slime and glitter decided to get along a little better , i.e. the glitter seemed to stand out a little more than when we first made it. So maybe our rendition would be called Princess Slime instead of Frozen Slime, but either way, it’s pretty, fun and the name is girly. =)

princessslime

here’s the recipe : Frozen Slime . It worked just like she says it will, which is always exciting for me when trying a new project! ha. Being the slightly-non-crafty-person that I am, I enjoy it when they turn out right (the first time), anyone with me?

All you need is a smidge of Borax, a good amount of Elmer’s glue, some glitter and warm water. We bought a plastic tablecloth to protect the table and of course, put an apron on Laura for further protection!

Here’s a bunch of pictures from the fun!

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Hospitality

6 Apr strivingforavirtuouslife

strivingforavirtuouslife

While looking up verses for this month’s installment, I was surprised at how many there were! Makes you figure, if it is mentioned so many times all throughout the Bible, it must be something important that we should be focusing on! To open our home to guests and strangers -all with the same manner – open, gracious, friendly. By sharing what we have – which is all a blessing from God – we please Him and bless others!

It is so very easy to let the daily things of life get in the way of sharing our home, sharing our Lord with others but I really want to focus on it more now that we have a home just made for entertaining in! Yes, we did it in our last home but being as small (and lacking a dining table!) as it was,  it was a bit tight! We have already had more guests here in the last 5 months than I would have thought and I love it!

Before my OH and I even got married, we discussed how we wanted to have a welcoming home. One where people felt comfortable coming to for fun, or as a place to escape the trials of life for a while. I feel like we are off to a good start on this.

If you would like, feel free to check out the other studies – Virtue , Hope   and faithfulness. There is no specific order for this study! A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

Hospitality –

  • The friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers
  • The quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, gracious way

synonyms – warmth, cordiality, geniality, friendliness

Prov 31: 20 “She reaches out to embrace the poor and opens her arms to the needy”

I always picture a loving, smiling woman stretching out her arms, and embracing the hurting one with tenderness and strength.

Rom. 12:13 “Share what you have with God’s people, and practice hospitality.”

1 Pet. 4:9-11 ” Welcome one another into your homes without grumbling. As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of God’s many-sided grace – . . . if someone serves, let him do so out of strength that God supplies; so that in everything God may be glorified through Yeshua the Messiah – to Him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.”

the words that stand out to me are ‘ without grumbling’. ‘out of strength’ and ‘God may be glorified’.  I tend to forget that welcoming people in to my home to rest, eat and talk with , is a unique way to glorify God! It is a way to show His unending, unconditional love for all of us.

Lev. 19:34 ” Rather, treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you – you are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am Adonai your God.”

Matt. 25:40 ” The King will say to them, “Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!”

Col. 3:23-24 “Whatever work you do, put yourself into it, as those who are serving not merely other people, but the Lord. Remember that as your reward, you will receive the inheritance from the Lord. You are slaving for the Lord, for the Messiah.”

Heb. 13:2 ” but don’t forget to be friendly to outsiders; for in so doing, some people, without knowing it, have entertained angels.”

A few examples of hospitality:

Gen 24:31 “Come on in!’ he said’ you whom Adonai has blessed! Why are you standing outside when I have made room in the house and prepared a place for the camels?”

I just love that not only did Lavan make room for Abraham’s servant, he made sure that his camels would be taken care of as well.

Acts 16:34 ” After that, he brought them up to his house and set food in front of them; and he and his entire household celebrated their having come to trust in God”

Job 31:32 ” No stranger had to sleep in the street; I kept my house open to the traveler.”

and here are a few more if you’d like to look them up!!

1 Tim.5:10

Titus 1:8

3 John 1: 5-8

I am reading the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery right now and how they term it is ‘having your latch-key out’ for so and so. Honestly, doing a google search doesn’t really help explain exactly what a latch key is, but i take it to mean that, for that person, the door to your home is never locked. If only we could have that philosophy these days, within reason of course, we are also to be smart in who we allow into our homes and lives.

And, as always, here are a few printables for you to put up about your house! (one for fancy printers, one for basic – like ours! )

svlhospitality

svlhospitality2

What are ways that you show hospitality? Is it something you feel is a strength in your own life? 

~Laura

Chronic Pain Link

2 Apr cropped-p1030263.jpg

I ran across something the other day, and I imagine that many of you have also seen this. I even shared it on my facebook page, I liked it so much!

But i wanted to share it on here real quick as well. I hope you don’t mind ;-)

Chronic Pain – A Letter to those who don’t have it

As a quick health update as well, the migraines insist on being severe, all day every day. I am still on medication for them, just to get through the day. (you do not  want to see me without them, trust me) I really do not like taking them, but for the time being, they are a necessity. My OH, family and friends that help me, even in the smallest of ways, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This has been the most difficult time of this chronic pain journey and I appreciate all the love you give.  I was able (thanks in full part to my parents and OH driving me halfway each) to get home to Bend for my 30th birthday and had a fabulous week there. Despite the pain, and the rain – i mean, I left the valley and went to the desert and it rains??? – I came away with several memories and a gorgeous black lace dress that only needs accessories to be ready for the big outing – Phantom of the Opera – in May!

I do hope you take the time to read the above letter – go ahead and open it and leave the page open until you have time to devote to it. It so accurately states everything I think and feel.

God bless you friends, and in case you are unaware – Passover (Pesach) begins tomorrow evening!

~Laura Starr

Book Review- March 2015

31 Mar

Short and sweet, friends, this will be short and sweet.

bkreviewmar2015

  • Happy Wives Club by Fawn Weaver –  One night, Fawn started a club to get women who love being married together and speak positively about marriage. Very quickly it spread like wildfire across the world – and Fawn traveled around it to speak with some of these women/couples in order to find the secrets of a great marriage. I have enjoyed reading this so far. I am reading it as a part of the Meaningful Marriage Study group that I am a part of on facebook. It is a light read and getting to ‘meet’ these couples has been a joy and through each couple something new stands out to me and makes me pause in contemplation. I very much recommend it! – we are nearing the end of this book, i am hoping to do a post here on SGL all about it when we do!!!
  • Torah Rediscovered by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz –  This book shows how Jews and non-Jewish believers can honor the Torah. And also how years of neglect and abuse have muddled the difficult issues in the Torah, and clarifies them.  You might recognize this title as I started reading it mid last year, but as I never finished it, I am halfway through it and it is such a well-written book, and written so that I can understand! ( i am sad that this one is still on my ‘currently reading’ list as i had fully intended on finishing it the beginning of this month….)
  • Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery (book 3) – Even though Anne didn’t want to grow up, she did of course. Her childhood friends were getting married and she was leaving Green Gables for four years of college. But, even through all the changes, her spirit never changed. I loved this book so much, the characters in each of this series are so much fun and come alive so charmingly well. I would love to be able to walk into their home ‘Patty’s Place’ for tea time.
  • Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery (book 4) – Having gotten a job – her first away from home – Anne quickly learned that the real struggle wasn’t in lessons but in dealing with the stubborn Pringle family. But, she is able to become the town’s confidante and champion, winning all with her lovable nature.  Ahhh, this series. I enjoy how each book puts Anne in new surroundings as captivating as the last. Her spirit remains undaunted and draws even the crustiest of the townspeople to her side of things.
  • Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery (book 5) – Anne’s true love has become a doctor in a small town on the Island. Finally able to be married and start their new life together, Anne makes new friends and, along the way – solving new problems. I am almost done with this one, and I cannot wait to see how it ends. I very likely will finish it this evening, what with my OH working.

I am so excited for 3 new books that have just been added to my ‘to-read’ list!! 2 of them were birthday presents from a dear friend and 1 is a book on writing that I just ordered on Amazon!!!  I did try to avoid any ‘spoilers’ for any of you who have not read the Anne series yet… as you can tell, I am sucked in to them completely right now. I am normally reading multiple novels at one time but I just can’t do it with this series!!!!

Huzzah for days spent lazily reading, while spring is blooming around me,

~Laura

What I’ve Been up To

20 Mar

Multnomah Falls and Mcmenamins Edgefield – we had some friends over for a weekend, and got to go exploring a bit with them!  Being a holiday, it was packed but the falls were so gorgeous and i can’t wait to go again!

2015-02-23 16.26.00

Our first lazy afternoon/evening in our front yard a few weeks ago. Commence working on the cars, on the grass, and if you’re lady – basking in the sunlight!

2015-02-26 17.16.48

My brand new mascara that I am loving so far! It is Tarte gifted Amazonian Clay Mascara that so far doesn’t bleed (or however you say it) onto my lower lids like all other mascaras have done. Thanks to a friend that has done makeup research, I am now benefiting from! The other fun makeup item I have gotten this new year is concealer,Nars brand.

what i've been up tosome seriously yummy lunch from Ya Hala – falafel wrap… mmmmm mmm good. (you know you take photos of your food too.)
whati'vebeenupto

How cute is this little honey pot? Thanks to Sur La Table (only the best kitchen store ever) I am now the proud owner of this little guy.

whati'vebeenupto

Dinner at Ya Hala with some fabulous friends!

whati'vebeenupto

My OH’s birthday cake the end of last month, I have plans to give you all the recipe so you can make your own delicious cacao cake that is gluten – dairy-chicken egg free! Plus, it has coffee in it… yes, it’s that amazing.

Until next time,

Laura

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Faithfulness

10 Mar strivingforavirtuouslife

strivingforavirtuouslife

I do hope you all are enjoying this study on growing wholesome virtues in our lives. What with all the things that we all wrote down at the beginning of the year – ‘lose weight. learn ____. read more. spend less. go back to college.’ whatever they were, I hope that growing in our faith at least made it in our mental list of dreams for this year. I want to be a woman of God in every role I have: a wife that treats her husband as God has called her to – with respect, submission and love – a friend that is compassionate and speaks truth into others’ lives, a sister that is there for her siblings whether it be a listening ear or encouragement that is needed, and a daughter that can now minister to her parents in love, respect and honor for all they have done for her. Looking back at February, I was able to note that I had ended the month much more hopeful than I had started it. The beginning of the month marked a time that I was really struggling mentally with this chronic illness that has stunted my life so much – and yet, is it not still a full life? I look around me at the people in my life and know that, despite not being able to accomplish all I would like to, I am a very blessed woman. And with that realization, came the reminder that He does indeed love me and want what is best for me. This pain that is slowly devastating my body does not diminish that in the slightest. By thinking these things, and a lot of daily prayer, I ended February with a great deal more hope in my heart than at the beginning.

If you would like, feel free to check out the first two studies – Virtue and Hope – and then check back in here! This month’s study will be a little different, because I want to focus on what faithfulness in our lives looks like and God’s faithfulness to us. A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

So please, grab your Bible and join me!

Faithful :

  • strict or thorough in the face of duty
  • true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc
  • steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant
  • reliable, trusted or believed
  • adhering or true to a fact, a standard or an original; accurate
  • full of faith, believing

Synonyms : ” True. Devoted. Staunch. Faithful, constant, loyal imply qualities of stability, devotion and dependability. Faithful implies long-continued and steadfast devotion to whatever one is bound to by pledge, duty or obligation. Constant suggests firmness and steadfastness in attachment. Loyal implies unswerving allegiance.”

1 Samuel 12:24 “Only fear Adonai and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; for think what great things He has done for you!” 

First, I want to clear up the word ‘fear‘ in this verse. It is not to be taken in the ‘scared’ sense of the word, but rather in the ‘reverential awe’ sense. So to re-word it ‘ Be in reverent awe of Adonai ‘ – for me, that makes what the writer is saying come alive more. Don’t be complacent toward Him, be in AWE of Him. Serve Him faithfully.  Serve Him loyally, constantly, steadily. Not as one willy-nilly, but as one who is full of faith in Adonai.

Prov. 3:3,5 ” Do not let grace and truth leave you – bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart… Trust Adonai with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding.”

What I get from this verse is to be intentional about keeping grace and truth in your life. Don’t ‘hope’ that they stay- for if you do that, they certainly won’t. What is around your neck cannot go far from you, and what you have written on your heart will stay as well – be sure that what God has spoken to you through His word will always be with you.

Heb. 10:23 “Let us continue holding fast to the hope we acknowledge, without wavering;  for the One who made the promise is trustworthy.”

Continue holding fast = faithfulness. Without wavering = Steady-constant-loyal. And what reason are we given for remaining faithful? Because our God, Adonai, is trustworthy. Want to know what the meaning of trustworthy is? Deserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable. Now, seeing some repetition to the meaning of faithful, I’d say trustworthy is close to saying the same thing as ‘He is faithful’. Knowing that someone is faithful to what he has promised, makes it a whole lot easier to carry out your part of the bargain, doesn’t it? Now, this is my example for this: you have plans to meet a friend for coffee say. But you’re tired, you’ve had a bad week and all you want to do is curl up on the couch and watch Pride and Prejudice. If your friend is one that you know will show up at the coffee shop when you planned, it is a lot easier to tell the couch to wait a few hours and go,  than it is if the friend is one that tends to not remember when you’ve made plans, or shows up an hour late. We all have at least one of those friends, so I’m sure you can relate to this example. Isn’t it amazing how with just knowing if the person is trustworthy, or faithful, to do what they said they would, your priorities can change? You might still be tired, but you know you will have a good time because you both have set aside this time to meet together. 

Deut. 6:5 -6 “And you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart.”

The word ‘faithfulness’ doesn’t show up in these verses, but it is so fully described. Love Him with all you are and all that you can be. The following verses show how they are to be in every aspect of your life – sitting, laying down, working, teaching your children, etc. Our commitment to Him is to pervade every aspect of our lives. I know that we’ve all heard ‘give everything to Him’, but how hard it truly is! For me, these past months, I have held onto my pain as a thing to grasp in my frustration. But giving it to Him is so sweet, so freeing. Even in my chronic illness, I will be faithful , constant, loyal to Him.

Here are some verses sharing how God is faithful to us:

Eph. 2:8 “For you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but God’s gift.”

Rom. 10:9 “that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be delivered.” 

I love what is required to be delivered. Trusting.  Plus, did you see any ‘but if you are a ___ you will not be delivered?’ no, i didn’t either. Whoever trusts in Him will be delivered. He will be saved. What wonderful love, and what faithfulness that He keeps His promise here.

1 John 1:9 “If we acknowledge our sins, then, since He is trustworthy and just, He will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing.”

Acknowledging our sin can be difficult – simply because of pride. Deep down, we all know what we have done wrong, what things we struggle with, but it’s admitting them – out loud or just inwardly to to Adonai – and asking for forgiveness, that is difficult. But how sweet the reward! He will forgive us and make us clean again. Hallelujah.

Psalms 119:89-90 “Your word continues forever, Adonai, firmly fixed in heaven; your faithfulness through all generations; you established the earth, and it stands.”

Psalm 91:4 ” He will cover you with his pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge;  His truth is a shield and protection.”

I like how these two verses go together – He is firmly fixed in heaven, and as such, His protection of us is a sure thing. There will be no ‘walking away’ or disappointing us. Ever. Adonai is the epitome of faithfulness.

2 Tim. 2:13 ” If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown himself.” 

Titus 3:4-6 “But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Deliverer was revealed, He delivered us. It was not on the ground of any righteous deeds we had done, but on the ground of His own mercy. He did it by means of the mikveh (bath/cleansing) of rebirth and the renewal brought about by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), whom He poured out on us generously through Yeshua the Messiah, our Deliverer.”

Hallelujah. Our God is faithful, He forgives us, He cleanses us and He gave us a helper as we travel along our path in this life. And coupled with that, He tells us how to live so that we may have full, blessed lives.

faithfulness-virtueseries

Above is a printable for you so you can have a simple reminder of His faithfulness.

Thank you so much for joining me in this series, blessings,

Laura

Book Review February 2015

2 Mar review feb2015

review feb2015

Book Review time again! I am deep in my current book, and so so glad that i have the whole series so that i don’t have to wait before starting the next one! Aside from having company twice this month (so fun!) I have been snuggled on the couch under one of my two favorite blankets, tea on the coffee table and Lady laying near me while I’m reading, reading, reading.

  • Torah Rediscovered by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz –  This book shows how Jews and non-Jewish believers can honor the Torah. And also how years of neglect and abuse have muddled the difficult issues in the Torah, and clarifies them.  You might recognize this title as I started reading it mid last year, but as I never finished it, I am halfway through it and it is such a well-written book, and written so that I can understand!
  • Happy Wives Club by Fawn Weaver –  One night, Fawn started a club to get women who love being married together and speak positively about marriage. Very quickly it spread like wildfire across the world – and Fawn traveled around it to speak with some of these women/couples in order to find the secrets of a great marriage. I have enjoyed reading this so far. I am reading it as a part of the Meaningful Marriage Study group that I am a part of on facebook. It is a light read and getting to ‘meet’ these couples has been a joy and through each couple something new stands out to me and makes me pause in contemplation. I very much recommend it!
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery  – Anne Shirley is an awkward, gangly redheaded orphan that is adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, siblings who live on the homestead, Green Gables, they grew up on. Anne is prone to get into more scrapes and adventures than any other youngster in Avonlea, which proves for an interesting time for all. As she meets her ‘bosom friend’ and a few enemies in her new life, she quickly steals your heart as she grows up. I have owned this series for years and years but have never made it halfway through this book before! I have no idea why. I have completely fallen in love with the way Montgomery writes.
  • Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery –  Anne has grown up to be a fashionable young lady of sixteen and has gotten a job to teach at the Avonlea school. But she is still the mischievous and spirited young girl that arrived on Prince Edward Island all those years ago, proving that she isn’t all that different from her students.

on the to-read list: Heal Your Headaches by David Buccholz ; The Complete Adventures of the Borrowers by Mary Norton and the rest of Anne series! Plus, I’ve added to my long term reading list some of your suggestions of past months, so watch for those reviews too!

Have you been able to start the year out with quality reading time? What book has surprised you or disappointed you? 

Striving For a Virtuous Life – Hope

9 Feb strivingforavirtuouslife

strivingforavirtuouslife

Welcome again to this monthly series that is all about focusing on growing virtues of a godly woman. Last month’s was on virtue and you can read it here. A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.  There, I think that covers it. So let’s dive right in!

Hope

  • the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
  • to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence
  • to believe, desire or trust
  • to place trust

Here are a few synonyms – expectancy, longing

1 Peter 1:3-6 “Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who, in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for you in heaven. Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time. Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials.”

My commentary (Jewish New Testament Commentary) shares the Greek word for ‘born again’ , that can also be rendered ‘born from above’. I really like this different wording of it, ‘born from above’. We all know we were born once from our mothers, but to be born from above gives me a mental image of that moment when my sins were forgiven. And then he reminds us that as we trust, we are protected forever. That protection does not mean that life will be easy-peasy, a ‘bowl full of cherries’  or whatever idiom you want to use. Our salvation does not come with a guarantee of everything going our way, in fact we are promised quite the opposite. But I do love the last sentence. “Rejoice in this….” We are to go through our sufferings rejoicing. Now, I can tell you that I have not been rejoicing lately. More like whimpering, honestly. But if I have this hope in His great mercy, in the inheritance – should I not be focusing instead on that?

Romans 5:2-5 “Also through him and on the ground of our trust, we have gained access to this grace in which we stand;  so let us boast about the hope of experiencing God’s glory. But not only that, let us also boast in our troubles; because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope; and this hope does not let us down, because God’s love for us has already been poured out in our hearts through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) who has been given to us.”

‘let us boast in our troubles’ – now, how many of us really think ‘yay!!! troubles! trials!’ ha, now that’s not really what he’s calling us to do, now is it? it’s changing our regular attitude of focusing on the difficulties, and instead on our Savior. For look at what we get as a result of relying on God  – endurance, character and hope!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “This is why we do not lose courage. Though our outer self is heading for decay, our inner self is being renewed daily. For our light and transient troubles are achieving for us an everlasting glory whose weight is beyond description. We concentrate not on what is seen but on what is not seen, since things seen are temporary, but things not seen are eternal.” 

I really love this verse. Go ahead and read the first two sentences again. Courage. Renewed daily.  Yes! Yes! I had to look up transient and here’s the meaning – lasting for a short time, impermanent. Keep your focus on what is eternal, on what truly matters, for on that there is an ‘everlasting glory’.

Psalms 3:2 – 6 “Adonai, how many enemies I have! How countless are those attacking me; how countless are those who say of me, ‘There is no salvation for him in God’. But you, Adonai, are a shield for me; you are my glory, you lift my head high. With my voice I call out to Adonai, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep, then wake up again, because Adonai sustains me.” 

He is our shield. Our glory. He lifts up our head and he answers us. He sustains us. He is the reason to have hope.

Here are 2 printables for you – let me know if they don’t work!

God bless,

Laura

virtuouslife#2

virtouslife#3

Book Review – January ’15

29 Jan bookreviewjan'15

bookreviewjan'15

Welcome to the first book review of 2015!!! How exciting!! On goodreads, I have a goal of reading 50 books this year. Seems quite reasonable to me, that’s only 4 books a month, right? Easy peasy. I mean, I’m currently reading 4 right now, with another one on the bottom of the stack to start whenever. My fellow book-lovers, that made perfect sense to you, I know it did.

Well, I’ll get right to the reviews!

  • Torah Rediscovered -by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz –  This book shows how Jews and non-Jewish believers can honor the Torah. And also how years of neglect and abuse have muddled the difficult issues in the Torah, and clarifies them.  You might recognize this title as I started reading it mid last year, but as I never finished it, I am starting it all over again and will finish it this time! It is such a well-written book, and written so that I can understand!
  • Happy Wives Club – by Fawn Weaver – One night, Fawn started a club to get women who love being married together and speak positively about marriage. Very quickly it spread like wildfire across the world – and Fawn traveled around it to speak with some of these women/couples in order to find the secrets of a great marriage. I have enjoyed reading this so far. I am reading it as a part of the Meaningful Marriage Study group that I am a part of on facebook. It is a light read and getting to ‘meet’ these couples has been a joy and through each couple something new stands out to me and makes me pause in contemplation. I very much recommend it!                                                    bookreviewjan2015
  • Wildwood Dancing -by Juliet Marillier – Jenica and her sisters and father live in the Transylvania woods, in Piscul Draculi – a castle that hides a portal to the Other Kingdom. Every month, with her sisters and pet frog, on the Full Moon, they go through the portal and dance the night away. But at home, in their world, everything is changing, and soon, events will bring their two worlds together and change everything. Forbidden love – Unswerving anger over an act of betrayal – an enchanted frog – and the ultimate test of trust. I mean, really, can you get any better than that in a story?? Sigh of contentment. A friend suggested this book to me years ago and I now read it a few (or several) times a year. I am pretty sure I’ve talked about it here on SGL before too. If you like a bit of magic and fantasy, this book is for you. (for those of you that are not sure, let me also say that I don’t read very much magic/fantasy but still love this one) Plus, my OH surprised me recently with a copy of my very own!

             bookreview-jan2015

  • Mrs. Mike – by Benedict and Nancy Freedman – A love story between a young Irish girl, Katherine Mary O’Fallon, new to the Canadian wild, and Sergeant Mike Flannigan of the Canadian Mounted police.  I am only a quarter of the way in, in this book so cannot give it a full recommendation yet. I can say that the opening is fantastic – it sucked me in quickly. It did lose me a little bit as it went on though, with a drunken right-hand man and some other random scenes that I can’t quite recall. But, i give it a tentative review so far. Check back next month for a full review! ( this was a Christmas gift from a friend, and you can see the packaging in the back of the photo, I didn’t waste any time starting it!)
  • Lousia May Alcott : Her Life, Letters and Journals – Edited by Ednah Dow Cheney – This book gives an intimate look at one of America’s most beloved authors.  It was originally published in 1889 (!!), just one year after her death. Combining her letters and journal entries with comments from a family friend (Cheney), shows how ‘faithfully and fully she performed whatever duties circumstances laid upon her’.  I really enjoyed this book, even though it took me over a month to complete it. I talked about it here and still recommend it for any young/older woman to read as motivation to keep at our tasks of loving and taking care of our families.

And for the book that’s on my list to start in the near-future – Heal Your Headache by David Buchholzm M.D. – this book has the “1-2-3 program for taking charge of your health”.  With answers to questions that nearly all headache sufferer asks, this book is a treasure-trove of information, based on ‘the breakthrough understanding that virtually all headaches are forms of migraine.’   “Step 1 – Avoid the Quick-Fix. Step 2 – Reduce Your Triggers. Step 3 – Raise Your Threshold” – I have owned this book for a few years now, after having been recommended to it for years by several doctors. While I have read bits and pieces of it, I haven’t ever read all of it. I highly recommend it to fellow headache/migraine sufferers from the bits I’ve read though.

Two boards for you to check out on my pinterest page – SGL (that way you’ll never miss a post if you don’t want an email!) and my quotes and books board!

Happy reading friends!

~Laura Starr

Taking a Step Back

25 Jan

After just having a little breakdown stemming from frustration and pain, I’ve come to a realization.

Chronic pain is kicking my butt. Going on 11 years now and while I know I have shared here on SGL about it, I try not to over-share. To be depressing and whatnot about the struggle I am going through – what’s slightly funny about that is that if we were to sit and talk, my health is something that comes up quite frequently. Shrug. Not sure what the difference is there, but there you go.

But, as I told a friend the other day, “I want my old self back, I want to be who I was that this pain has taken away.” Granted, I have learned a lot going through this. My faith is stronger. I have more of a ‘backbone’. I can empathize with people with other chronic illnesses. While I know there are other things that I have learned along this rock-strewn narrow dirt path, those are the main ones sticking out to me right now.

Sadly, the negatives are the ones echoing through my mind more lately. Hence the crying that just happened. I am so thankful for my sweet OH who knows how to comfort/console/encourage me all in a few words. I am so blessed. My Lord has kept His promise to me – so why is it so easy to get frustrated and beaten down?

Because I’m human. And all too aware of that fact.

This past week I had an open MRI and the people were amazing. If you’re in the Portland (oregon) area and need one, I highly suggest Open Advanced MRI in Gresham. They were professional and helped me through it so much. Due to faxing-issues and the weekend, I am still waiting on the results but have a phone consult scheduled with my doctor on Tuesday.

And what if it doesn’t show the reasons for this drastic decline in health? I don’t know. I am trying to leave that for when I have to worry about it.  I have been struggling with hope so much lately, and adding that seems needless.

Anyway, about that realization I spoke of earlier. What with these migraines limiting me so much lately, I am going to back off on blogging for a time. I am so very sad about this, but since I am only posting about once a week already, I am giving myself permission to do just that – post when I can.

I am trying to get into a career writing – yay! – and with that on top of my health, I think that taking pressure off of myself about SGL will improve….. wow, i can’t even get this sentence out. You all know what I’m trying to say though, right?  Even though the frequency of posting might not really change, the guilt/frustration will ease. So, while I’m sad about not being able to grow SGL in the way I had hoped right now (i had really wanted to get a giveaway set up for Valentine’s Day) , this is needed I think.

Please check out some of my past posts!! Share some of your favorite blogs with me. I get so excited every time you leave a comment – it just makes me happy that you took that time.

I will keep up the new series that I started, of course! I am loving it already and know the word for next month! (giggle-jump for -joy) and might even start working on it today for a-much-needed-encouragement!

Before I sign off, I want to brag on some dear friends who sent me the sweetest care package yesterday. Full of sweet surprises, I felt so very loved. Thank you so much!

~Laura Starr

Night Knitter

another knitting and sewing blog

knit the hell out

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Jane Austen's World

This Jane Austen blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.

Rachel Poli

I read. I write. I create.

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Night Knitter

another knitting and sewing blog

knit the hell out

More obsessed with each passing stitch.

A UK Fashion, Beauty & lifestyle blog

Lipstick and Lullabies

A Canadian Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Esther Ju*Lee

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff

Farmhouse38

A little bit of farm in the city.

chucksforchancho

Ideas worth crafting. Memories worth keeping.

ReFashionista

Change the way you think about fashion.

Emma in the Kitchen

...it's a seasonal affair

kheisen's Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Living, Cooking, and Baking

Jane Austen's World

This Jane Austen blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.

Rachel Poli

I read. I write. I create.

Sugar Cane Allergy

Living Safe in a Processed World

gf and me

Gluten Free Recipes & Tips

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