Are You A Hot Mess?

Hot Mess Prayer Guide Pic



Well, hello friend! If you are here because you saw the title of this blog post and answered in the affirmative, I have GREAT news for you. First and foremost, I want to tell you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Next thing I need to share with you is this…I have got a great book for you whether you know for sure you are a Hot Mess, and need all the help you can get, or whether you secretly believe you are a Hot Mess, and keep it covered up real nice for everyone, but long for help.

Friend, I have got you covered either way, because today I have a book to share with you and a long overdue book review. So, do me a favor, will you? Go get your cuppa, and get comfortable because this book review has a bit of a backstory…


Jesus Invites Me by Callie Grant (Book Review)

As one who loves all books and also teaches Sunday School class to 1st and 2nd graders, I was happy to get my hands on a beautiful hard copy of Jesus Invites Me which is part of the Knowing My God series by Graham Blanchard Publishing.
This series is an excellent resource for sharing God’s word and will, right at home during read times. Beautiful full color photographs make on sturdy pages make this enjoyable for inquisitive eyes as well as curious, busy hands. There is something for everybody on these beautiful pages, based on Matthew 11:28-30: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. God’s words of scripture and photos invite children to come to Jesus and learn what it means to walk with Him. I love the way the book simply explains what a “yoke” is and what Jesus means when He uses these words. It helps that there is a picture, along with scripture and a simple but clear explanation.
Click to see the actual first pages here:
  Take a Peek.
I have to say these books would make a perfect gift for little ones from Infant to age 7.
I also had a sneak peek through PDF versions of both Jesus Saves Me and Jesus Shows Me.
I think the quality and content in all of these books is excellent and useful in the home as well as in a number of children’s settings. I would have loved to get these for my Girl when she was younger!

This Board Book publishing date is October 1, 2013.
Just in time for Fall Birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I highly recommend you also check out this faith based company and the other books available.
A very impressive endeavor and quality products that seek to make a difference.
Check out Author/Publisher Callie Grant and her team at Graham Blanchard (Children’s Books for Growing Up in God)

About the Publisher (from the website):
Graham Blanchard is based out of Austin, Texas and works with a growing team of writers, editors, 
illustrators, parents and pastors. The company is passionate about providing the highest quality books and resources to promote a love of learning about God, in addition to supporting families with prayer and the shared experiences of other parents. Graham Blanchard books are distributed by STL, Spring Arbor and Anchor Distributors. For more information please visit
I received this book from Shelton Interactive in return for a review. Opinions expressed are my own.
Reading List: Cozy Reading Spot

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Inspiring Summer Reading

I am looking forward to two R’s this Summer: reading and relaxing- on the beach, by the lake, in a hammock, at the park….anywhere OUTSIDE. Hooray for Summer! I am going to try and read the books that have remained, undeservedly, in the stack for far too long. This is my time, baby! Generally I am a non-fiction reader, so this book pile reflects (primarily) that tendency. But, I would love to lose myself in a fiction read if the right one happens along! Here’s my list. I would love to know what books will be in your Beach Bag this Summer! If you have a great fiction suggestion, let me know!
Breath of Life A journey into Origin & Purpose of Spirit, Soul, and Body by Marja Meijers
Chasing SilhouettesHow To Help A Loved One Battling An Eating Disorder by Emily Wierenga
Bless Back– Thank Those Who Shaped Your Life by Julie Saffrin
Your Beautiful Purpose– Discovering and Enjoying What God Can Do Through You by Susie Larson
The Open Window 8 Weeks To Creating An Extraordinary Life by Catherine Galasso-Vigorito
A Place To Belong– Out of Our Comfort Zone and Into God’s Adventure by Lisa Troyer
Reshaping It All – Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness by Candace Cameron Bure
30 Days To A Great Attitude by Deborah Smith Pegues
*Devotions for the Beach and Days You Wish You Were There By Thomas Nelson Publishing
The Green Series by Judy Christie (I read the first and loved it and have the rest of the series so I think I am longing to head back to Green This Summer!) Yes this is Fiction BTW.
The Two Trees (Book One of the Promise Series) by Robert Wetmore
Maybe one of these:
The Spotlight of Faith– Understanding What It Means To Walk WIth God by Bill Crowder
Hope Has It’s Reasons- The Search To Satisfy Our Deepest Longings by Rebecca Manley Pippert
Coming Home– The Soul’s Search for Intimacy With God by Joseph M. Stowell
Let God be God– Lifechanging Truths from the Book of Job by Ray C. Stedman
I won many of these through giveaways or gifts and look forward to catching up on some of the wonderful reading I have received! I bought a few. The last group I got for free at our church one Sunday, when they were left on the foyer table with a FREE sign on them (much to my joy and hubby’s dismay!). One can never have too many books is my philosophy.

So, do tell me what you are reading this Summer!

Linking with:
 Time Warp Wife
Women Living Well
My Daily Walk In His Grace
Rich Faith Rising (UNITE)

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Prayer Warrior Mom by Marla Alupoaicei (Book Review)

In Prayer Warrior Mom:Covering Your Kids With God’s Blessings and Protections, Marla Alupoaicei writes 15 Chapters to “…inspire you to establish a new habit of praying for your children with power, authority, gratitude and renewed faith.” While writing it she asked God to reveal some themes that would serve as a foundation for the writing of this book and she was led to Luke 4:18-19, which is the primary focus of her ministry: “to preach the gospel, to help heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to moms wounded by sin, to restore joy to your oppressed spirit, and to proclaim this year as a season of breakthrough prayer and intercession for your kids.” Colossians 3:23  affirms the ministry of motherhood and second theme for Prayer Warrior Moms in the making: the attitude of the mother with regard to her family. Philippians 2:14-16 undergirds all of what is said and done through us in our called roles of praying moms and highlights our humility. Lastly, God led Marla to 2 Corinthians 10:5 which serves as our “marching orders”, recognizing the spiritual battle at hand and yielding to our Commander- The Lord Jesus Christ.

I have read a lot of books on prayer, because if I can get one helpful tidbit that helps me be stronger in storming the gates victoriously for myself and others, especially those I love then I want to gain that truth. I have to say that this is one of the most useful books I have read for praying moms, yet.

Some of my favorite chapters were : Pray With Power and Authority, Fast for Spiritual Breakthrough, and Hold Your Children Loosely. Initially I wondered what this book could offer me that I had not already learned or read, but I found that Marla pinpointed specific areas I really needed to work on in my prayer life! Instead of feeling like I was reading another to do list, I found some fresh ideas and new inspiration. As a leader for a small Moms In Prayer group, I am always seeking resources to encourage my praying mom friends; I think this would be a wonderful book to work through for any praying moms groups. Truly she has fulfilled her above stated purpose in writing this book and sharing this ministry!

The breakdown of the book is perfect for partners or groups to go through together and is meant to encourage exactly that. With each chapter’s end there follows “Today’s Prayer” which is a beautifully  expressed, through scriptural prayer based on the presented topic. Suggested scriptures are included and the next part and called “The Sword of The Spirit”. Finally each chapter concludes with “Small Group Discussion Questions” which one could do in a journal if working through book on own or with a group. I read through the book once but want to go through with a group or partner in the near future.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson through their blogger program Booksneeze for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own. One note I should make is that I am very careful to choose books for review I am fairly confident I will like or are useful, due to my slower reading pace than many book reviewers. I hope you find my review (s) helpful!

I review for BookSneeze®

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I’m No Angel: From Victoria’s Secret Model to Role Model by Kylie Bisutti (Book Review)

In the book titled, I’m No Angel: From Victoria’s Secret Model to Role Model, Kylie Bisutti shares her journey from girl with a dream to the girl who pursued that dream and gained wings. Victoria’s Secret Angel wings to be more precise. Documenting her early days, desires and family life, we get a real life glimpse of one young girl’s desire for worldly gain and the impact of what it cost her along the way.

Kylie was a young girl who dreamed of being a Supermodel. Before she was of legal age she was able to live that dream, before she realized that she didn’t really want what she wanted anymore.
This well written, fast paced, hard to put  down book takes us along by the hand close up and personal into her experiences for better and worse. From New York to Thailand, Japan and back this then teen with the support of her family took her chances and aimed for Number One.

In 2009 Kylie, along with 9 other models, was chosen from among thousands to join in a reality type television campaign to compete for a coveted spot as Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

What I loved so much about this book was Kylie’s candid writing and openness. Reading this book is like listening to a very down to earth girl. The kind that you could see yourself chatting over coffee and   telling hard truths without feeling ashamed. Kylie does not hold back, or try to make herself out to be angelic. Instead she speaks to the center of idolatry of our day. The obsession with self, sex, body image and lust. She is not preachy but shares how God revealed to her over time, the flawed thinking she embraced and ultimately how she found freedom from it all. I have to say reading about the behind the scenes modeling world was disturbing and interesting! But the thread of redemption woven into this tale make for inspiring and authentic insights and moments. I loved that Kylie revealed the fact that God works in us apart from ourselves (I know that sounds weird but it’s true). Kylie could not turn from pursuing her dream, because she believed it was inexplicably wrapped up in God’s will for her. She was unable to hear His voice clearly at times while closing in on the prize. But in addition to the story of Kylie’s modeling aspirations, we have a beautiful love story as well! Mr. Bisutti is a hero to his wife and also the unsung hero of this story (Although Kylie does sing his praises!). I so appreciated the wisdom, patience and forbearance revealed in Kylie’s husband Mike’s example and actions. His example of prayer and support was a powerful testimony to God’s ways for me. I so relate to Kylie in pursuing her passion and not hearing God, but I so need the example of her husband in praying and persevering persistently while waiting for God’s intervention, which is exactly what he did! I found this to be one of the most inspiring aspects of the book. I see God’s beautiful handiwork exhibited wonderfully in this awesome testimony of real world Christian living and God’s amazing power! God meets us where we are and I love the way we get to see how God transforms and matures those who are His! This is so evident in Kylie’s story.

I also want to mention, Kylie doesn’t even really get into the Victoria’s Secret competition until Chapter 17, almost three quarters of the way through. Although it was a defining moment of epic proportions, I believe the stories leading up to the Angelic portion of her life are equally interesting and relevant. I just enjoyed this book immensely!

Great beach or vacation read. You won’t be able to put it down.

From the Publisher: 

In December 2011, 21-year-old Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel Kylie Bisutti stunned the fashion industry when she chose faith over fame and fortune and made the switch from supermodel to role model.

In I’m No Angel, Kylie shares her story—from her early years struggling to make it big in the cut-throat world of modeling, her “big break” winning the Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel competition, and the disillusionment and spiritual warfare that followed, to the moment she realized that she could no longer reconcile her career with her Christian beliefs, surrendered her life to God, and dedicated her life to preaching a message of modesty and inner beauty.

Along the way, Kylie talks about her personal struggles with inadequacy, low self-esteem, and her near-constant quest for approval in a world where you can never be thin enough, pretty enough, or sexy enough. She helps readers understand that true beauty lies within and that real fulfillment comes from knowing, loving, and serving Christ.

Read an Excerpt from I’m No Angel
I received this book for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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