Hannah – A Passionate Hope

Are you looking for something to read this weekend?  I may have just the book for you!

I know I’ve shared with you before how reading fiction is out of the box for me.  I love reading non-fiction and I can probably count on one hand how many fiction books I have on my shelf right now.

As a teen someone gave me a book called “Two From Galilee” by Marjorie Holmes.  I was new to the Christian reading world. I fell in love with the story of Mary and Joseph after reading this book.  Of course, I always loved the story form God’s Word, but, this book helped me to see how life was for Mary and Joseph and how the world was operating at that time.  It put everything in  perspective for me.

When I discovered the author, Jill Eileen Smith, I thought that I may have found another Marjorie Holmes type book.  I was thrilled that she wrote specifically about the women of the Bible in her stories.  I’ve always had a fascination for the women of the Bible.  I love reading and learning how God used all types of women in so many different ways to make a difference in the world.

Once I began reading,  A Passionate Hope, I had a hard time putting it down.  If you are like me, you might struggle with things in the Bible days such as men who had multiple wives, slaves, animal sacrifices and the wickedness of men and women.  This is what I love about reading this type of book; it helps me understand the culture in those days and it also shows me the consequences of practices that God warned us about.

I don’t want to spoil the story line for you, so I’m not going to give you details of the book.  I’ll try to share enough to hopefully entice you to get the book and read it for yourself.  If you do, I would love to hear your take on it.

When I read, I try my best to focus in on the lesson, whether it be fiction or non-fiction.  I learn from everything I read.  So many lessons to learn from women who walked many years ago.  I guess we could even think of them as our mentors.

While reading, A Passionate Hope, one main thought kept screaming out at me.

“Stop thinking life will be better if only it were different than what it is now.”  Hannah wanted a child so desperately from the moment she married.  Her every moment was filled with wanting a child so badly that she would do anything to have a child of her own.  She probably missed out on a whole lot of life by being miserable, jealous, bitter and dissatisfied each day. That dissatisfaction spilled over to her husband.

How thankful I am for a forgiving God, who is right there waiting for me to get my act together.  Even when we don’t trust or our faith starts wavering; He is right there waiting to walk through whatever it is that has been set for us to walk through.  We are stronger and our faith is stronger.

As I was reading, I thought of my own life.  What is it that I’m always worried about, always fretting about and playing over and over in my mind?

Have you ever had this thought?

“Well, God must not love me like I thought, because He isn’t answering my prayer just like I want Him to.”

Doubting God is the first big thing that will put you on a path of dissatisfaction.  When we are disatstistfied, we become ungrateful and we can lose our joy.  Once we lose our joy, we become bitter.

Oh me, I don’t want to be a bitter old joyless woman!  Yikes!  I have a feeling you don’t either.

God has a plan for our life, just like He had a plan for Hannah.  Let’s don’t spend our days fretting about what isn’t perfect.  We have so many blessings around us.  It’s time to count those blessings instead of count what we wish were different and always being dissatisfied with where God wants us at this time.  We can’t afford to miss the grand plan….it could be something as grand as changing the world as we know it or change the direction of your life or someone in your family.

I could tell you some crazy stories of some places I’ve been in the past 58 years.  Even when I’ve gone through some things and didn’t understand why….I did my best to put all my trust and faith in my God.  He saw me through, even when I thought my heart was going to break right in two.  Instead, I chose to learn some serious lessons that only made me stronger.

We all have a choice.

We can either listen to the voice of the enemy and think we are worthless or we can listen to what God has to say about us and become a Mighty Woman of Faith!

Just like Hannah…..

It’s a Giveaway!!!!

For every comment, your name will go into a drawing for a copy of the book, A Passionate Hope-Hannah’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith.

If you haven’t subscribed to my blog and you do so today, your name will go in a second time and you will double your chances of winning a copy of, A Passionate Hope-Hannah’s Story.  You may already be a subscriber and if you are, let me know and I’ll put your name in the drawing as well.


Help Me, Jesus! I have nothing to wear! – Book Review

I’m so excited to share with you a book review of a book that I have read before and I just finished reading it for the second time.


If you love fashion, you will love this book. If you don’t really enjoy reading or thinking about fashion, but you want to look your best at all times, you will love this book!


A little backstory…


When I was a teen, I loved fashion and read everything I could get my hands on. I made many of my own clothes, so I spent a lot of time looking at patterns and studying different styles. At one time I had wanted to attend a school called Bauder Fashion College. I dreamed of being a fashion designer. But, that dream was short lived, as there was no way I could have ever been able to afford to go to a special school such as that. Which all in all, it really wasn’t the Lord’s plan for my life anyway. It didn’t stop me from always staying on top of fashion. Granted, as a pastor’s wife of small churches, I was fortunate to have a couple of outfits to work with. Over the years, I did the best I could on our budget to dress my family and myself.


I had recently reserved a spot on a cruise for my mom and I to travel to the Caribbean. This was a cruise with a group called, Cruise Chics. It is a group of Christian women who travel together. While on the cruise there would be workshops on the subject of fashion with my favorite Image Stylist, Shari Braendel.


I came down with a horrible cold/flu and didn’t think I should chance getting on the ship with a terrible cough. While I was resting and blowing my nose, I decided to read Shari’s book again. The information is so good; I just had to share it with you.


Several years ago, I had bought a book called, “Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad” by Shari Braendel. I loved everything I read and called her up and asked her to come speak to the ladies of the church that I attended. She came and taught at a conference with our ladies. I loved it! She stayed in our home and what a treat she was. She was so much fun and such a godly woman. You can learn so much from women such as Shari.


Since that time, Shari’s book has been updated and the title has changed to, “Help Me, Jesus! I have nothing to wear!” I would encourage you to purchase this book and if you aren’t able to, hopefully, I can share enough to help you take a look at your fashion issues. I will just highlight her teachings and then if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to visit her site or maybe, just maybe, I can help out somehow. I will provide links to the various sites that will give you more information at the end of this post.


Are you ready? Here we go….


The first step is determining your body type. Shari has four categories that we will fit in. When you are in one of her workshops, Shari will ask you to think about where it is that you gain weight the most. For me, it’s my hips and thighs. Bummer…anyway, that makes me a D Body Type. If you gain in your tummy, you are a B body type. For those that gain up top, you are an O. For those that are evenly balanced and you gain evenly all over, you are an X. How easy is that! So, whatever you body type is, there are certain ways that you can dress that will balance you out so it doesn’t draw attention to those areas that you don’t want to “fluff” out. By the way, you don’t say “fat,” you use the word “fluff.” There are so many tips in this chapter; I’m thinking you need the book. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer.


Once you have your body type figured out and what styles look best on you, you will learn that you have certain colors that work best on you. In learning how to determine this, you go by your hair, skin and eye color. There are six color groups; Light, Deep, Soft, Clear, Warm and Cool. I am a Soft. Here is a sample of the color swatches that are “my colors.”



Isn’t this fun? If you want to know what you color code is, Shari has a quiz that you can take that will help you determine what that is. You can also order your own swatches. These are great to take shopping with you to help in picking the correct colors.


Accessories!!! My Favorite! You will find a chart that helps you in learning how to have just the right amount of accessories.


The next chapter deals with undergarments! After you read this, you will understand why the correct fitting of undergarments are so important. It will change your world.


Shari will share with you how important the correct hairstyle, skin care and makeup are.


You will love the chapter devoted to the topic of finding the correct jeans. If you love jeans like I do, you will appreciate this chapter!


Towards the end of the book, Shari will give you your marching orders to hit the mall. There is an art to shopping. You don’t want to be an impulse shopper! You want to be organized and shop on purpose. You will then have a closet full of clothes that you love and can wear.


The last chapter in the book deals with my very favorite; Modesty! Whew, is anyone else so tired of seeing private parts popping out everywhere? Shari shares from her heart in a gentle but straightforward way of why and how to be discreet in our dress, but yet fashionable. It is possible. You can be Miss Fashion and still be modest.   I’ll share an excerpt from Shari:

“Dressing modestly doesn’t mean being old fashioned and dressing puritan-like. What it does mean is having an attitude in dressing that reflects a respect for God, our self, and even the opposite sex. Yep, that’s it!”


One more:


“Modesty is learning how to take each style and make it respectful. Doing this will bring out the fashionista in all of you (and your daughters) by allowing you to be creative with your clothes.”


I hope that sparks a desire to dress in just your style of fashion and reflect who your Savior is at the same time. We didn’t even talk about the styles. You have a style personality and Shari has a name for each one. Can you guess which one you are? There is the Pure Natural, Classic Modern, Style Fashionista and the Creative Original. You will have fun finding which one you are!



Here are the links to the resources I mentioned:


Help Me, Jesus! I have nothing to wear! By Shari Braendel


Fashion Meets Faith (Shari’s site)


Analysis to determine your color code by Shari Braendel


Cruise Chics with Michele Harkins, Travel Agent

Linking my post up with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Coloring Through The Bible with Debbie Hannah Skinner

Debbie Hannah Skinner has published a coloring book called “Fear Fighting Scriptures.” This book has 31 coloring pages with 31 verses to meditate on as you color.

If you have read my last few blog posts, you know that I’m giving a copy of Debbie’s coloring book away.  All you have to do is leave a comment and I will then enter your name into a drawing.  I will be drawing the name on Friday, September 22, 2017. (so, if you want to enter, leave a comment today) If this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome and enjoy your visit!

If you don’t win your own personal copy of Fear Fighting Scriptures and are wanting to purchase one, click here to learn more.

I met Debbie in 2004 when I attended my very first writer’s conference in Oklahoma.  I was new to the idea of writing and I was between being very excited to learn what all I needed to know to begin writing and also very nervous as I was in the midst of some seasoned writers.  I remember Debbie as being very kind and friendly.  Many years later, I came across her name as being a painter who speaks to ladies groups.  I was so intrigued as she would paint as she spoke.  I knew that we had to have her at our church to speak to our ladies.  What a blessing it was to be around her for a couple of days and see her in action as she shared her story during a women’s conference and yes, she painted a picture and then gave it away to one of the attendees of the conference.


I do not have one bit of artistic talent in me.  I have a brother who paints amazing pictures and I also have a couple of sweet friends who paint.  I’m amazed at how someone can draw and paint pictures that you could actually frame and hang somewhere for people to look at.  My stick figures don’t even resemble a stick figure.  I guess I will be satisfied to admire my painting friends work instead.

I hope you will visit Debbie’s site and learn more about her.  She loves Jesus and spends her time sharing about what a difference He has made in her life.  Her sweet spirit will draw you in to learn more.

Debbie Hannah Skinner created these coloring pages for adults to help you find less stress in life and more rest in God’s Word.  An artist, Bible teacher, and author,  she helps people engage their hands in art to help focus their heart on God.  She’s a Southern girl living on the high plains of West Texas.  Learn more about Debbie’s ministry through words and painting at WisdominWatercolor.com