Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Song GIVE-A-WAY!

I was recently asked to review a couple's devotional book. I'll be honest and say I wasn't too enthused about the prospect, seeing as the title, Awaken Love, and focus passage, Song of Solomon, left me to figure the book would basically just be focusing on how to "spice up your sex life". When the book got here and I saw chapter titles like, "Deepening Desire" and "Increasing Intimacy," I literally rolled my eyes and thought "here we go."


I was pleasantly surprised that 86-page, softcover book is truly a Christ-centered activity guide to drawing closer and learning to more closely cherish AND EXPRESS this, to your spouse, in so many different ways. Much of the interaction between Solomon and his bride-to-be are used to expound upon the love Jesus has for us His Bride, that in turn should lead us to desire to communicate deeper care to the person we share our lives with. As the subtitle indicates, this book is about the "journey to Awaken Love in marriage" and I so appreciate how the entire relationship is considered and focused on, rather than many marriage books that seem to focus primarily on the physical (and the emotional in order to better set up the physical).

Daily readings are really only a couple minutes long and suggested activities could often be accomplished in 5 minutes or less, but could help re-set thought patterns for a very long time to come. Not a bad time investment in the one you love! They are often the kinds of activities that could have much more time and thought poured into them over the course of the day, or week, or month, if you so desire. 

For example one suggestion is to take your spouse's name and create an acrostic of character traits about this person that are meaningful to you. Yes, there is great value if you fill in the blanks during a sliver of time, then share it with your husband/wife on your way out the door. And taking a few days to really contemplate and ask the Lord to help you remember and recognize meaningful characteristics in the one you married is great too. Maybe even do both, 2 different list with both the immediate thoughts and long-term meditations? (That "do both" idea is mine, not from the book, but you can see how the simple thoughts and suggestions there can feed your own creativity!)

I am pleased to share that I will be able to request a free copy of Awaken Love to be sent to one of my blog readers (US & Canada only). If you would like to be entered for a chance to win your own copy of Awaken Love, please leave your name and email address (so I may contact you if you win, to request your mailing address) in the comments here. For a second entry, please visit another one of my blogs, StrokeOfGrace.blogspot, and join that page through the Google Friend Connect (right hand sidebar) then come back to this post and leave a second comment, telling me that you did. Oh, and for every place (Twitter, Facebook, your own blog) you share this post, you can earn additional entries for each of those as well, just leave separate comments linking to where you did!

Drawing open until noon (Pacific) on Friday, December 5, 2014. Winner notified on Saturday, December 6. Winner must respond by noon on Monday, December 8, or alternate winner will be selected. 
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

The Song Couple’s Devotional is a 6-week book for couples that can help awaken love in their marriage. With daily relationship insights and prayer points drawn from the Song of Solomon, this devotional will help couples grow in their relationship with God and one another. 

Inspired by the Song of Solomon, The Song is both a full-length movie and resource for churches to explore God’s plan for relationships, love and marriage.

About the author:



Kyle Idleman is the Teaching Pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the fourth-largest church in America. Author of the award-winning and bestselling book, not a fan., and presenter of eight of City on a Hill’s curriculum series, he regularly speaks at conferences and events around the world. Kyle and his wife DesiRae have four children.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Scrambled

A little snippet from my rough draft of Harvesting Hope from Heartache

I've always struggled with how what the devil intends for our harm, God not only USES, but the Bible says, in Joseph's story, God actually INTENDS for our good. Then yesterday my 8-year-old was recounting when we had taken him out to a fancy, grill-at-your-table Japanese place earlier in the year. The chef asked him to "juggle" raw eggs, knowing full well what would happen. Had he tried to juggle them over my floor, he would have gotten in trouble. But when the chef instructed him to juggle them over his grill, the inevitable crash of scrambled eggs was clearly part of his skillful recipe for our meal. Yes, it is easy to question when all we can see is the midst of the mess! So glad God not only sees, but designs, the bigger picture! - (c) Jennifer Saake, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Give Away!

I would like to share one of the most exciting ways to discover the evidence for the Biblical Account of Creation – the Jonathan Park Creation Adventure Audio Series! My family and I have not only enjoyed this entertaining and educational resource, we have been equipped to defend the truth of creation! If you haven’t heard Jonathan Park, let me encourage you to experience one of these exciting audio adventures firsthand! Go to http://jonathanpark.com/try-it-free/ to listen to a free episode. Most importantly, the creators of Jonathan Park are giving away three sets of the entire Master Collection of ten (4-CD) albums – over 3,000 minutes of creation adventure! Good news – if you simply sign up using the link below, you will automatically be entered into this giveaway.


Use my special link to enter the giveaway - http://jonathanpark.com/giveaways/christmas-giveaway/?lucky=1836
I hope Jonathan Park Creation Adventures is as much of a blessing to your family as it has been to ours!
Blessings,

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Update

I actually started this post yesterday with the intent to share memories of my Heaven children. Then the school called about one of my blessings still on earth...


So what's been happening in my world? Well our living kid have all been in and out of school, taken turns with viruses and assorted bacterial infections. Our 6th grader was sent home twice within a week and has a virus AND Step right now!

If only that were the worst of it, but my mom was recently hospitalized with some sort of stroke-like event. She was just moved to a rehabilitation hospital last night so I'm heading out to spend a few hours with her this morning and coming home before our 3rd grader gets home so his sick sister doesn't have to be in charge!

Interestingly enough, my mom is now admitted to the very facility where I am hosting an open house on Saturday, in celebration that this month marks 3 years of my own stroke survival. (I was ready to cancel my part on Monday, but my parents encouraged me to keep it in the plans and a few friends are now stepping in for Mom to help me pull it off.) She will be able to attend as an in-house resident now.


I know I had two amazing products to tell you about last month, both the (in)Courage line of new letter blocks and a Bible storybook by David C. Cook. My apologies to both of these companies for telling them I would tell you how much I love their products (And I do! I won't endorse any product I don't personally love!) by certain deadlines, but failing to do so. I've decided that, other than the product reviews I do for stroke recovery and adaptation, my life is just too crazy for me to follow through on other commitments of this kind right now. (Received free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.)


Treasury of Bible Stories is, as it's name indicates, a true treasure. When I first saw the book I though it was just another colorful read-aloud for toddlers and preschoolers. Then my action-packed 3rd grader picked it up and is using as his after school reading practice. (He's half way through the 350+ pages for his second time already.) He loves the humor, rhyming patterns of words, and creative expression of the stories and bright pictures. It is so exciting to see him engaging with Bible stories and asking thought-provoking questions like I have never witnessed with any other of our many Bible story books. Maybe it was just a timing thing, that he discovered this collection of Bible stories at just the right time for his mind to embrace them in a new way, but the telling is quite clever and inviting, even to a nearly-9-year-old who has been in Sunday School nearly every week of his life. No, Kelly Pulley hasn't changed anything about the Story, just presented the details quite cleverly. I highly recommend this one to add to your collection!



With the LetterPress block I have a second opportunity to tell you about, since I really want to do my best to honor my commitment (and it is a really cool system): DaySpring and (in)courage are thrilled with the response to our new Letterpress Blocks Collection! You can “build your word” by dragging letters of different sizes to create the word or phrase of your choice. Then, easily add your word to cart and checkout at DaySpring.com. Pre-packaged kit words are also available for sale at DaySpring. Words Matter Letterpress Blocks- Build your Word! (affiliate link)




Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hop To It

My friend Gay Idle (Captive Heart), invited me to be a part of the fun "blog hop" going around my greater circle of blogging friends these past several months. I've actually already recently done this hop (I think of it sort of like a "chain letter" for bloggers, but rather than exchanging dish towels or post cards, we are exchanging blog introductions, new friendships) once over on my stroke blog but had so much fun I'm doing it again, updated answers, new friends to introduce. :) Gay and I met through (in)Courage (OK, technically, we still haven't "met" yet as in face-to-face) and become friends through Facebook. She is a sweet pastor's wife (interestingly, of a church launch project we helped sponsor several years ago!) who only lives about half an hour away from me. Her son is a stroke survivor.

So the 4 brief questions I've been asked to answer (and that I'm now asking my friends to answer within the next week, if possible are:
1) What am I writing or working on?
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3) Why do I write what I do?
4) How does my writing process look?


1) What am I writing or working on?
I believe most visitors here already know that my one "claim to fame" is the book Hannah's Hope: Seeking  God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage and Adoption Loss (book published by NavPress, 2005, ISBN-10: 1576836541; ISBN-13: 978-1576836545) . Hannah's Hope blog and Pintrest pages on infertilitymiscarriage / lossadoption. Facbook athttps://www.facebook.com/HannahsHopeBook

What you may not know is that I'm the registered owner of over 30 blogs, but some I don't keep current anymore, some I per-registered for names of probable future book projects, some are titles I know people to search for me by and just redirect to other active blogs, etc

You have already found your way here to InfertilityMom where I sporadically blog about daily life, motherhood after infertility and loss. My motherhood pin board probably best fits this audience. Homemaking too. :)

My current book project, closest to being ready to submit for publication, is a harvest-themed devotional study on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, especially in the face of trying times, working title Harvesting Hope from Heartache and the accompanyingHarvesting Hope blog and Harvesting Hopefruit of the Spirit , gardeningroses, and spiritual warfarePintrest pages. Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HarvestingHope


Stroke Of Grace, my unfolding stroke recovery journey blog, is my primary writing project these days. I hope to write an accompanying book if future years, next in the cue after Harvesting Hope. On Pintrest, there are several specifically related pages: stroke-related pictures and thoughts, why I'm homesick for Heaventherapy and exercise, my struggle to find purpose, thoughts on grace and glory and a great collection of brain images. Facbook athttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Stroke-of-Grace-by-Jennifer-Saake/339888582731687

A future book project, currently titled Given Me a Thorn,a study on the life of the Apostle Paul as comfort, encouragement and resources for living with chronic pain and/or illness, was originally the "next book" I had planned to work on after Hannah's Hope, but God has backburrner this project for several years, slipping more books into more urgent priority in my heart. I actually already have several large chunks of this mauscript already researched and written, so I st Pintrest pages at Natural Health and Chronic IllnessGluten FreeLatex Free, and Given Me a Thorn. Facbook athttps://www.facebook.com/GivenMeaThorn

A page I have let fall fallow since the strokes, I hope to revive again, InnerBeautyGirlz, tips and tricks (and even some give-aways) for outward beauty, but with an intentioaln focus on the heart and soul.  I have, however, really been building my Pintest page on this beauty this year, a reflection of my own struggles both physically and emotionally/mentally, to accept God's perspective on me in my brokenness. Facbook at https://www.facebook.com/innerbeautygirlz


2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My manuscript for Hannah's Hope was due to the publisher 10 years ago today! I had no idea then that I would even write another book at all, and once I realized that was God's call, never dreamed I would not have a second manuscript to a publisher yet. God's timing...


When I think of my current (pre-stroke) manuscripts in terms of the writing profession, it is taking SO LONG and I get really sad and discouraged. When I think of all I have accomplished in the past 2 1/2 years from the perspective of a brain stem stroke survivor who should not even be alive and what I do type is through very slow thought processing and single-handed typing, I'm honestly rather blown away by what God is working through me THIS FAST!

3) Why do I write what I do?

These are the issues, lessons, survival tools God has put in my own life. The circumstances could be totally different, but the God is faithful and unchanging. I "write what I know" but whatever the topic, the goal is to offer comfort and encouragement to others living through hard seasons of life, pointing them to the hope and help Christ has offered me!


4) How does my writing process look?
You will usually find me writing with a cup of tea (warm if it is chilly, otherwise, iced, no sugar, yes lemon) on the side table next to me. Here are several pictures from around my home to mentally picture the process.



Please allow me to introduce you to some friends now!

I have know Ruth J Leamy the longest. We have only met in person once (thanks to God allowing her car to break down near my hometown, so we had opportunity to meet for dinner), but have known each other online for well over ten years. My oldest is 14 1/2 and I actually think maybe we met before I ever got pregnant with him, but I know for sure it was at least by the time our 11 1/2 year old was a baby! She's a huge life and especially writing encouragement buddy and I'm so blessed God put this woman, who writes beautiful Bible studies every year, into my life. Please check her out at Read, Hear, See, Feel.

Amanda Francis Holland has only come into my life within the past few months through a precious sisterhood on Facebook, and already is such a blessing! When I asked her if she was interested in being featured for this blog hop, I learned she was about to post her own answers to these same four questions over at Grace In Our Moments and was still looking for her own third introduction, so we both decided to introduce each other this week. :) How fun. How perfect!

Looking for other bloggers interested in participating (this hop has been going for a while and most of my friends have already participated), I just was delighted to meet Debbie Templin Williams this week and discover her beautiful blog over at Blogger Loves The King, When I asked her to tell me about tell me a bit about herself, she shared, " I am retired from the government after 43 years and 11 months. I started online Bible studies with Proverbs 31 shortly after retirement and am a team leader for small groups. I will celebrate my 45th wedding anniversary this Saturday to my high-school sweetheart. I have two grown children and one grandson with another grandchild on the way. Our grandson turned one this week. He was born last August with a horrible disease called EB, but is doing well thanks to prayers all over the world and seems to have a lighter case. His mom and dad carry a gene so can't have more children and our daughter was experiencing infertility so we had given up hope of more grandchildren - God did a mighty work and that grandbaby is due in January 2015."

These are my three "official" blog hoppers that will be sharing their own writing thoughts with you soon, but just like my first time around, I have a few "honorable mentions" that I would like to share with you! Joesette Morris Huffman will delight you with her posts at both S.A.H.M. I Am! and Learning Curve. And two strokie friends who have no idea they will even be mentioned here (and are free to join the hop, or not, whatever they find least stressful) are Joanne Heim of The Simple Wife and Denise of The Lighthouse of Prayer and Just Me, Being Me. These ladies have no idea how much I love them!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Birds of a Feather

I'm super honored and excited to have an article featured (on the front page even!) over at The Laundry Moms today. Please check it out and read a little more about Our Flock!

http://www.thelaundrymoms.com/gods-lessons-to-me/
I'm super honored and excited to have an article featured (on the front page even!) over at The Laundry Moms today. Please check it out and read a little more about Our Flock!

http://www.thelaundrymoms.com/gods-lessons-to-me/
I'm super honored and excited to have an article featured (on the front page even!) over at The Laundry Moms today. Please check it out and read a little more about Our Flock!

http://www.thelaundrymoms.com/gods-lessons-to-me/

Monday, May 19, 2014

Please, Won't You Join Us?



My sweet friend, Shelly, and I are co-hosting another season of the (in)Courager email / Facebook group for women with chronic illnesses. If this describes you, we would so love to have you join us this semester at (in)Hope. But if you are not looking for a small chronic illness community, please check out any of the 70 other, free, safe, amazing, women-only communities over at (in)Courage, only accepting new member this week, and asking for a participation commitment just until July 4. It is so wonderful to exchange messages and ideas and love with a small group of ladies who really "get it" about the unique challenges of your life. there is a special group just quivering with joy to welcome you into their "family" this week. Won't you please, join us! #incouragers #inHope #inCourage

I talk about my week and our daughter more at http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-week.html :)