Monday, November 30, 2015

The Most Creative Years of My Life

I am not very creative when I am pregnant.

I realized this about myself several babies back. I've learned that my usual enthusiasm and passion for writing exponentially decreases in proportion to the size of my belly. It isn't just that I am more tired or busy, though I am sure those things factor in. It is more that I only have a certain amount of creative power stored up in my soul and that, without even being consciously aware of it, most of that power is being greedily channeled towards the little person growing inside of me. 

I know that after this baby is born and my soul is no longer focused on creating another human being, that all that creative power will flow into other channels, but right now the writer in me feels robbed. The part of me that needs and yearns to write, to create with words on the page, can't help but feel jealous. Jealous that the other part of me, the part the needs and yearns to create a new life, has the monopoly on my creative power. When I think about all the things I would like to be writing, and all the ideas that won't quite come together, I can't help but feel a bit resentful that my creativity is being sucked up by all these little people who monopolize my body, my time, and my energy. 

And then... I look at these four little people I have created with my body, nourished with my breasts, infused with my love, taught with my passion, and shaped with daily acts of charity and I realize that they are my masterpieces. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Names of Christ Advent Devotional {Giveaway!}

My friend Heidi at A Lively Hope put together this beautiful Names of Christ Advent Devotional. For each day leading up to Christmas she has created a stunning hand drawn ornament that corresponds to one of the names of Christ. Each day of advent you read a short excerpt of scripture that highlights a different name of Jesus Christ and then color and cut out the corresponding ornament to hang on your Christmas tree or another special place. She has also included discussion questions for each day to help you have a meaningful study of each of Christ's names.

Some of the names that are included in the devotional are: 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Strong Women from The Book of Mormon {Giveaway!}

Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding's book Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Courageous Women from the Bible. The book, which is designed for young children, featured more than a dozen women from the Old and New Testament. McArthur told me that they had hopes that Deseret Book would publish a second book on Women of the Book of Mormon. She said at first the editors at Deseret Book didn't think there were enough women to do another book. Yet, thanks in part to my blog, she said they were able to show them that there are more than plenty of women to write about in the Book of Mormon. I was thrilled when they emailed me earlier this year letting me know that the book was in the works and that it would be out by Christmas.

So it is with great excitement that I am sharing with you today Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Strong Women from The Book of Mormon!

The book follows the same basic layout and format as the first book did (you can see it in my first review). I really like how they put the emphasis on asking questions and "likening" these women to yourself. It is also wonderful to see the stories of so many Book of Mormon women told. I am sure that to most young girls (and even older women) that many of these women's stories will be unknown.

The art is similar to the first book with beautiful illustrations by Kathleen Peterson. Personally, I was excited about the art work because it is just about impossible to find images of many of the women in the Book of Mormon. No one has ever taken time to paint many of them, and so I was thrilled that Kathleen Peterson did several of the lesser known women.