A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotions That Meet You In Your Everyday Mess from the (in)courage community | Christian Life Review

A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotions That Meet You In Your Everyday Mess from the (in)courage community

Book review disclosure.

(in)courage community
Christian Life / Women's Issues

When the rush of regular life leaves you breathless by day’s end, this collection of everyday stories becomes the place where you can come as you are, and find yourself among friends. Friends who have been there. Friends who’ll lean in close and say, “Me too!” Through our stories the bonds of friendship deepen as we listen to each other, laugh with each other, and learn from each other. Because we’re better when we’re living this one beautiful life together.

With stories from 80 writers, these pages become the very place your soul can exhale, where you can:

· Connect with the hearts of women through stories that echo your own.
· Find beauty in the ordinary and sometimes messy moments of your everyday life.
· See your own stories as an offering of hope to those around you.
· Treasure the unseen ways God moves through even your most regular days.

With 365 readings, each day begins with a passage of Scripture, tells a story of everyday faith, and encourages you to take a moment to breathe with a simple but fun way to complete your day. So kick off your shoes and join us for a relaxing but special time, where friends come together and share the real stuff of everyday faith.

My Thoughts

I've said before that I'm not really a short daily devotional fan. I tend to prefer a more in-depth morning Bible study. But I'm always encouraged by the (in)courage community so I just couldn't resist taking a look at this new book.

The set up is simple. There's a short Scripture reading followed by an applicable story from one of the many (in)courage writers. Then it ends with a section called A Moment to Breathe. 

I've read through most of the readings and have enjoyed them. The women that contributed to this project shared from their hearts and their normal everyday lives. The stories could have been written by any one of us and that's part of the beauty of it. We all have more in common than not and it was nice to read about fellow sojourners and how they were able to face what was in front of them with grace while following Christ.

My favorite part was the ending section. Each day gave simple ways to put into action the core concept of the reading. When I say simple I mean simple. You don't need to run to the store for ingredients or supplies you just need to implement in small ways what you've just read.

This was an encouraging book for me personally but I also think it would be a nice gift for a young mother or a sweet woman that's going through a hard patch. The book itself is beautiful. It's a hardback but has a cloth-like cover and a ribbon to mark your place. I think I'm going to have to pick up a couple more to give as gifts.

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Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson | Christmas Book Review

Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

Book review disclosure.

Christmas Novella
Historical Romance

Although Amelia would be on the train only until tomorrow morning, she unpacked a few things with the goal of making Jimmy and herself as comfortable as possible. To her delight, this cozy sleeping car felt just right for the two of them. Not only that, but as the train began to move, Jimmy relaxed and settled in. Almost as if he were glad they were finally on their way. Maybe he instinctively knew that life was about to get better for them. Perhaps he would enjoy meeting his paternal grandparents. At the moment the train pulled out of the station, anything seemed possible.

She's determined to give her baby a better life.
Could a Christmas miracle make it possible?

Not long after she receives the news in 1944 that her baby's father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant's paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don't know that she--or their grandson--exists.

When Amelia discovers the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?

My Thoughts

The Christmas season just wouldn't seem complete without reading a Christmas novella from Melody Carlson. This year's offering is an historical romance set during WWII. The story is one that happened all too often during that time.

Amelia is working at the USO when she meets Navy pilot James and quickly falls in love. The two plan to marry but before they can go to the Justice of the Peace James has to ship out. Soon after James is MIA and presumed dead. And if things couldn't get worse Amelia discovers she's pregnant.

When the story begins we find Amelia struggling to provide for her and little Jimmy. She's a beautician but having a tiny baby isn't the easiest thing to juggle along with working. She's decided to head to Montana to possibly meet James' family and perhaps make a fresh start.

Poor Amelia sustains blow after blow until she ultimately can't stand back up again. She has agonizing decisions to make that force her to set aside her hopes and dreams and choose a selfless path.

As with all of Melody's stories this one tugged at the heartstrings and wound up being a lovely ending. (You can't have an awful ending for a Christmas story!) I'm once again impressed with her ability to pack so much into a small story without it feeling rushed. If you are a lover of Christmas stories treat yourself to this one. It would also make a wonderful little Christmas gift for someone that needs a little lift this time of year.

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Melody Carlson

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Blind Spot (Chesapeake Vaolor #3) by Dani Pettrey | Romantic Suspense Review

Blind Spot (Chesapeake Vaolor #3) by Dani Pettrey

Book review disclosure.

Chesapeake Valor #3
Romantic Suspense

The Wrath is Coming. 
But They Don't Know Where--Or When.

"The wrath is coming" were the final words that FBI agent Declan Grey heard the suicide bomber say. Now Declan is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after or when the threat will be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation's best clue leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw for assistance. She's sought justice for refugees and the displaced around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. As they work together to uncover the mounting threat, the tension between them also includes a spark she can't deny--and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything more can develop, they find themselves in a race against time to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives.

Read an excerpt.
Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

Usually the best book of the series is the first. The first book in this series, Cold Shot, was very good and the second book, Still Life, was good too but I think this third book is my favorite. I've been thinking about why and I have decided it is because I have come to know the characters better and the underlying story has developed to the point that I can't stand to put it down.

I'm a fan of Dani Pettrey's writing so I knew the suspense element would be good but I believe she's taken her talent for leaving the reader wondering what's next to a whole new level. There is a cliff-hanger at the end of this book that is almost not fair. When I turned that final page I couldn't believe she would torture us so! But of course that's the sign of a good writer's ability to keep the reader wanting more.

After reading Blind Spot I was wishing that I had the discipline to wait to start the series until it was entirely written. But of course I can't! The minute I know the book has been released I want it in my hands. If you enjoy a good dose of suspense sprinkled with some swoon-worthy romance then Dani Pettrey and this series particularly are worth your time. I can't wait for the next book and I think you'll feel the same way.

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Dani Pettrey
Photo Credit: © Michael Pettrey Photography

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