“It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside– but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond– only a glimpse– and heard a note of unearthly music.” 
~L.M. Montgomery from Emily of New Moon

December started out with ambitious stacks upon stacks of books. Days grew short, pages turned. I tucked in bookmarks, folded corners of pages, laid a lot of my reading to the side as we were drawn in to the presence of Advent. The waiting. Anticipation. The holy hush.

So I sit this week, reflect upon it all, pick up my books, turn the pages again, often pausing to daydream and ponder the treasures of memories tucked away in my heart.

I had the privilege of serving on three book launch teams this month, the first one, a Bible Study written and taught by Cindy Butema, titled, live full Walk Free.

“What if Paul’s extraordinary letter to the church in Corinth was written to believers living in modern day Las Vegas—or the ‘Sin City’ in our hearts?

Author, Bible teacher and speaker Cindy Bultema, whose own life has been touched by drugs, promiscuity and addiction, pulls back the curtain of time to unearth the riches of 1st Corinthians for us today, living in a shockingly similar culture of immorality, idolatry, and indulgence. With warmth, vibrancy, and lively insights into the ancient world, Bultema walks with us through scripture touching on themes of identity, unity, purpose, and purity. This study will equip you to live for God in a sin-soaked world and handle each situation with grace.

This Bible study book may be completed individually or with a small group, as well as alone or with the Live Full Walk Free DVD series.”

I highly recommend this study!

Straight out of the starting gate, this book had me! Julie’s story is one of death and loss, after her husband is tragically killed in an accident.

Julie tells her story with tenderness, gut wrenching honesty, raw sorrow, and authenticity.

Her story of redemption had me turning the pages faster than my eyes could read.

Whatever your loss may be, or if you are one who needs a bit of encouragement, pick up Julie Hunt’s I’m About to Get Up!  Soon to be released! 


Friends and readers be on the look out for Kelly Balarie’s soon to be released book Fear Fighting!   

Can I just tell you, the cover alone had me at “Hello,” on this book. Who is not struggling with fear?

“With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits

Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.

Fear Fighting was featured on The Today Show as Kathie Lee Gifford’s Favorite book!

God Came Near is one of two books my Sweet Man and I have been reading together for Advent.

We picked this book up a few years back. Through life interruptions we laid it aside. This year we picked it back to read aloud to one another as part of our morning quiet time. What a blessing this time is, not only to me, but to our marriage as well.

“Majesty in the midst of mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter.” ~Max Lucado


The 31 Days of Christmas, written by my beautiful friend, Susan Shipe .

After dinner has been shared, before the cleaning up, we pull out this beautiful book and read.

Susan’s words will draw you nearer to the Savior’s birth.

“This is God’s Son we are holding~His future will not be controlled by us~God’s plans won’t be our plans for this lad.

Mary, did you know your Baby Boy would one day…”


The Complete Emily Starr Trilogy is a great ebook deal at ninety-nine cents.

Beyond that, the Emily Trilogy is another delightful work by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

I have laughed, cried, and smiled ’till my mouth has nearly cracked open in delight.

You absolutely cannot go wrong with these books!

“It might be a nice world if nobody ever said a disagreeable thing, but it would be a dangerous one,” ~L.M. Montgomery 

Long Way Gone is the second book I have read since discovering Charles Martin, the first one, Unwritten.

Neither book disappoints!

I love his writing style, stories of redemption, and lyrical prose. I will be binge reading more of Charles Martin in 2017.

No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.” ~Charles Martin


Though her books are often recommended to me, this was my first foray in to Francine Rivers.

It wasn’t until Kaitlyn Bouchillon named The Atonement Child as one of the best books in 2016 that I waded in.

Look for more Francine Rivers on my bookshelf in 2017!

“God never promised life would be fair. He offered a simple choice: justice or grace.” ~Francine Rivers


Last, and certainly not least, my Audible book for this month was Jane Austin’s Emma. Audible books are delightful way to pass the time as I pedal the recumbent bike. The narrator, Juliet Stevenson, has the most delightful accent. Audible books make physical therapy seem less like therapy and more like fun!

Get a thirty day free trial of Audible membership below and listen to the Unabridged version of Emma, narrated by Juliet Stevenson.

“Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.” 
~Jane Austen from Emma 







I would love to hear what’s on your bookshelf! Comment below!

Also, I would be delighted to have you join me regularly! You can do that by signing up and have new posts delivered directly to your inbox. I promise not to smother you! Thank you! 

Gifts of Grace