Friday, January 13, 2017

Review of the Week: "Love love love!"


I promise I didn't pay this lady. (Although someone did send her a free book . . . but still. ;)

It absolutely tickles me and gives me added purpose in life (no, seriously.) when I read reviews like this. Someone--and not just anyone--some precious, growing, searching girl is reading this devotional and learning from it and loving it. If that isn't my ultimate goal as an author, I don't know what is.

Okay, enough blubbering. Read it for yourself (Amazon).




Love love love!
By Jane Maritz

I received this product for free in exchange for a review. This is one of my favorite review products ever! I keep wanting to steal it for myself! Seriously, it’s absolutely perfect for the desires I have for my kid at this point in her life, where she’s starting to imagine the future and her role in it.

Sectors include:
I’ve Got Big Plans for YOU!
I’ve Given YOU a Purpose
I Don’t Do Things Small
There’s Nothing YOU Can’t Do!
Find That ONE Thing
What I Created YOU To Do

Focus. Kids are born self-centered. I’ve been trying to fight it, but it’s natural. This devotional/journal taps into that self-centeredness, making it appealing to kids, and uses it to shift the focus to the power of God and what He can do in you and through you.

Bible-Rich. Each day’s devotional includes a Bible verse or story, and the focus is on that Bible reference. Both the devotional and journal invite the child to contemplate what God is saying to her through that passage.

Illustrations. Love love love. Everything about both the devotional and journal is just visually appealing. The devotional is full color, while the journal is muted to allow the child to add the color. It compels the child to spend longer thinking through the Bible passage.

Journal. You absolutely need the journal to go along with the devotional. This is my favorite part! The very first page is perfect for my daughter, who is all into secrets and locks on diaries at this point, with a request: “…if I don’t know you are looking at at my journal, put it down and go get your own. Please. And thank you.” Verses are repeated from the devotional, with awesome illustrations that invite the child to draw, doodle, contemplate, and think through how the verses are relevant to her.

This is an absolutely terrific, hopefully life-changing gift for the tweens in your life!


So, don't take it from me--take it from this awesome mama. If you're looking for a devo for the new year or anytime at all, give The Plans I Have for You Devotional a try. And pick up the journal too!

Friday, December 16, 2016

My gift to you: FREE printables!

If you're looking for that special gift to last a lifetime, the Faith, Hope, Love Devotional may just be it.

Of course, I didn't realize that until after the book was published. I had given the book to a friend, and she later told me that she was doing the devotionals with her grandkids. She would read the devotionals, fill in the blanks with them, and date each entry, labeled with the child's name. That's when I realized that this wasn't just a devotional; this is a keepsake. 

Imagine your little one coming back as an adult and reading his thoughts on faith, hope, and love from decades ago--and then sharing them with his own child. What a priceless gift! (Wish that had been my idea! ;)

So just to give you a sampling, you can have these free printables--one from each subject of faith, hope, and love. In the book, they're actually presented as a two-page spread on thick paper, perfect for writing, but you'll get the idea.


(sample spread from Faith, Hope, Love)


Even if your shopping is done, print these little devotionals and spend some time discussing faith, hope, and love--these three things that remain, that last forever--with your little ones.

<<<Click here for your free printables. And enjoy!>>>






Saturday, December 10, 2016

Jesus Calling Giveaway!

If you happened to miss it, I'm up on the Jesus Calling blog and podcast this week! (Pinch me!) We talk about my journey from childhood to children's author, as well as the importance of the Bible and the written word. Give it a listen!

And what better way to celebrate than by giving away a book?! But this isn't just any book: this is the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible. You get the full text of the NKJV with the Jesus Calling Devotional inserts throughout.

I've written before about how life-changing it is to start your day with the Bible, a devotional, and prayer, and this one book gives you everything you need in a sturdy, padded hardcover ($40 retail). Just add prayer. 

To enter your name in the drawing, simply post a comment below. Easy peasy. 

We'll end the contest next Saturday, December 17th, so that I can get this gorgeous Bible shipped out in order to arrive by Christmas!

But most of all, please check out the Jesus Calling blog. There is so much inspiration there, a wonderful way to lift your day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NEW RELEASE!!! The Faith, Hope, Love Devotional

Now available!

In August, we released the sweetest little trio of board books you ever did see: How Far Is Faith?, How High Is Hope?, and How Big Is Love?

And today, we release the grand finale (drumroll, please): the Faith, Hope, Love Devotional

This chunky little padded hardcover (6x7 inches, 224 pages) contains 100 devotions for parents (and grandparents and aunts and uncles and babysitters and teachers) and children to share together. There are 33 devotions each on faith, hope, and love, with the 100th speaking to the everlasting importance of "these three things."

Of course, "these three things" are taken from 1 Corinthians 13:13. "Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." I've said it once, but it bears repeating. If these are the three things that "remain," that last forever, then these are the three things that we should impart upon our children first and foremost, early and often. 

I hope, I pray, that I have given you four little tools to do just that. 



The board books introduce these three concepts with simple, concrete comparisons, answering the questions of a curious little one. And the devotional dives in deeper, exploring each topic of faith, hope, and love from thirty-three different Bible-based angles (whew!), with questions and lines for writing that prompt the little one to respond in his or her own words (with the writing help of an adult).

(Click on the pages to enlarge & read.)

As an added bonus (that I realized in retrospect!), the completed Faith, Hope, Love Devotional will be a precious keepsake for those children to look back on and see just how far their walk of faith, hope, and love has carried them--a legacy that they can eventually pass down to their own children. 

(Click on the pages to enlarge & read.)
And maybe, just maybe, what I only realized in retrospect was God's plan all along: to make this more than a book by creating a legacy, a legacy that will last long after the pages of this little book has turned to dust. 

A legacy that remains . . .

That lasts forever . . .

These three things. 








Friday, September 23, 2016

Review of the Week: How to Be the Favorite!


This recent review of Thank You, God, for Mommy made me laugh. 

"Got this for my niece.....am now favorite Uncle!"

Whatever works, man. Whatever works. :)




Saturday, August 20, 2016

HOW TO HELP Louisiana Flood Victims

(via Facebook post by Gabriel Saint)
I have watched helplessly as the photos rolled through my Facebook feed of the Louisiana flood. My "Aunt" Janice (really my mom's first cousin), Uncle Bill, and cousins are all right in the middle of it. 

All of their houses, thankfully, were spared, but I know this is only because God needs them to get to work. My Aunt Janice manages missions (trips to Honduras every year with BMDMI),Uncle Bill is a pastor, Ashley is a fierce organizer, Ashley's husband cooks vats of delicious jambalaya, and Travis is a member of the "Cajun Navy." Together, this family is a powerful force to be deployed in the face of disaster--and now, even more so, as they drive down the streets to their full homes and see the entire lifelong belongings of their neighbors and friends, generations of families (it's a close-knit, generational community), lining the sides of the roads. Houses are being gutted. Some will be refilled with the help of insurance. Many will not. Regardless, all, right now, are suffering, and most have nothing.

Cutting to the chase, this is how Aunt Janice says you can best help:
  • Sporicidin/Shockwave: This is what she said they need most right now. This kills the mold and fungus now growing in the homes. Ashley said in the background, "They're trying to gut, but need Shockwave to stop the mold." Please let that sink in.
  • Plastic tubs: To store what belongings they have left 
  • Trash bags: For cleanup, storage, etc.
  • Pine-Sol/washing detergent: EVERYTHING that is salvageable and washable is getting washed. Aunt Janice says it has to be washed in Pine-Sol first . . . in the few available washing machines.
  • Hygiene products: Stores have been wiped out. They need soap, shampoo, toilet paper, feminine products, you name it. (Thank God for the toilet paper in your dry house right now.)
  • Money: I truly believe that the most efficient way to help, especially when you're not sure how, is to put money in the hands of the people who do. I'm sending directly to Aunt Janice (you can too). But you'll get a tax-deductible receipt if you donate to:
    • Colyell Baptist Church, 19524 LA HWY 42, Livingston, LA 70754 and note that it is to be designated for the flood victims.
  • Of course, prayer: Pray that God comforts those suffering, gives supernatural strength and stamina to those helping, and supplies the needs of His people as He always has. But remember, too, that He often calls us as His hands and feet to do the same. 
Getting it there: 
  • As soon as I finish this post, I am shipping Sporicidin directly to my aunt's address. Email me if you want to do the same. You can also ship to the church's address above, and it'll get distributed as needed.
  • My mom and Gary (bonus dad :) are driving down Thursday. If you're local, email me, and I will be tickled to collect any supplies from you. I will need to get them by Wednesday.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Review of the Week: "Simple Story, Big Message"


In case you didn't know, an entire series of mine launched this month: How Far Is Faith?, How High Is Hope?, and How Big Is Love?. AND the Faith, Hope, Love Devotional will release in November!


Soo, not only have I just sent TRIPLETS out into this big world, these triplets are also a little different from my usual babies. Instead of rhyming stanzas, they're a series of sweet, simple questions between a parent and child, attempting to tackle some of the most abstract concepts on the planet, and yet concepts that the Bible says are THE "three things" that "last forever" (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT). 

No pressure, right?!


Now I wait. It's like the period of time between the boom of fireworks and the light that sprays across the sky. It's that moment when you hold your breath and expect the spectacular--and pray it's not a dud. Except it's much longer, more like our triplet analogy, more like sending kids into the world and just praying the world is good to them, that they flourish and are understood.

And then you see it: someone, somewhere who appreciates your babies, the first gorgeous spray of light across the sky. 

(Yes, that's what those black and white electronic words mean to us, dear readers.)

So, thank you, thank you, for these kind words (from Amazon): 


Simple Story, Big MessageAugust 6, 2016
This review is from: How Big Is Love? (padded board book) (Faith, Hope, Love) (Board book)
How Big Is Love? is a padded board book that is perfect for small children. I loved the message of this book—that nothing (!!!) is bigger or more anything than God's love! What a great message to read to and with babies and young children.

The language is simple enough for toddlers, yet succinctly tells a bigger story. The illustrations are whimsical. And the construction of the book is perfect for little hands (thick pages definitely won't tear easily).

This is one of the best children's books that I've read recently, and I'll be watching for the rest of the series! [5 stars]