Saturday, December 31, 2011

How does God speak?

There are many things that I continually pray for. Some are more earnest than others. Some are on my mind but I don't continually pray over them...but if they happen I would be ecstatic.

last night, I had the luxury of flipping through channels, as Wayne was at work. I stumbled upon 700 Club. If you are not familiar, it is a show that was playing on the Hallmark Channel. It has a Christian theme, and is more on the conservative side. they have a variety of things on the show...from authors, to music artist etc. I caught just the end, and they happened to be praying for specific things. I thought....goodness they are weird. But I was compelled to listen anyway. And suddenly the lady on there was praying for someone who had food allergies, and that God had healed them and that the person affected should just touch their throat and know that they can eat things they have not been able to eat. The weird thing is, I knew she was talking to me. But I quickly dismissed it and went to bed.

Well, today, we went out for lunch to Red Lobster before Wayne had to work. Ring in the new year a little early. I had a salad, for the first time in 20 years, it didn't affect my mouth or my throat...and it doesn't stop there. I had a banana today too....I am not kidding you  when I say that it has been nearly 20 years. I am still amazed and not even convinced myself that it is true. With each of my 5 pregnancies, my food allergies have gotten worse. All fresh fruits and veggies have affected me in some way. There are no docs that can give me an explanation. I have met only one other person with the same reaction that I have.

So, can God answer prayer after so many years....yes I believe HE does. I am still amazed, and know people will think I am crazy...but I will just eat a banana and know what HE has truly done!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Healing is a Choice: Steve Arterburn

Steve Arterburn is a well known author, one I have admired for many years. He has quite a few titles under his belt, all with great Biblical advice.

I was thrilled to be able to get a copy of this book, which is revised and updated. It includes a workbook after each chapter.

the book is broken up into 10 chapters. It is an easy to manage chunk that you will be able to stay focused for the duration of that chapter. My favorite chapter is four. It includes that lie that "time heals all wounds". Arturburn states that "time changes all wounds" and looking back at chapter 2 which states " what is true of the physical pain and the body is true for emotional pain and the soul" Time will change your wounds, which is usually negative. You do need to spend some time healing those old wounds, and it is ok to go and ask for help with this. God is the ultimate healer, but He also uses people to help us, as well as us to help others. There is just so much good stuff in this book, that you do need to read it for yourself. We all come from junk...we all need to work through it.

The workbook section...while I didn't do everything, I did glance through it, and will take the time to finish it at a later time. There is room to journal, and also a prayer at the end.

This book is for you if you think you've dealt with stuff, need to deal with stuff, or think you don't have anything to deal with...

I received this book from Thomas Nelson for the purpose of writing what i thought. I receive no compensation for any of the reviews from Thomas Nelson.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Baby's Little Bible: Pink Addition

I have had the honor of reviewing quite a few books. Kregel Productions have quite a few worth reading titles. And this little Bible does not disappoint.

I have a little niece that will be getting this little book for Christmas this year. It will be perfect for her. My Cousin (like my sister) has been waiting for far to long for her daughter, and this will be perfect their bedtime routine. I only wish I could see her open it, and read even just one story for her.

The pictures are just the right amount of color, big enough for little ones to look well. Enough detail on their faces as they recognize facial expressions. With children from hard places who do not understand a mad, sad, happy face, this will also help them.

The stories are short and to the point, and will help children get a grasp on so many of the important Bible stories in our midst. You could easily read two at night before bed, with enough time to discuss what the stories mean, how we are like the characters, how we are different.

This is a must have book for those looking for a good Baby's Bible. A great keepsake Bible, that is pink for girls, blue for boys.


I received this book from Kregel Productions...strictly for the purpose to review. I am not paid in any way for my review.


Recently, I caught up with someone who acted out towards me due to their lack of planning. I had to create a boundary, which to this day I have stuck with. This person is going through some challenges no doubt. I can take a lot of stuff, but not blaming me for their lack of planning.

This person apologized for their bahavior....then said the words that nulled and voided their apology....BUT...

But should not be used in an apology...I have done it, my kids do it, my spouse does it.

A gentle reminder when you ask for forgiveness, don't say the nasty 3 letter may as well pretend all is ok.

Monday, November 28, 2011



Waiting until the last minute
Waiting until the sun shines
Waiting until it is warmer
Waiting until it snows
Waiting until I am less tired.....

Waiting until there is a crises.....

Crises....that is what a new friend is feeling over her adopted child from another country. She waited until a crises was at hand, then sought in the form of permission to let go, let go of a boy that has a crises inside that he has not shared with anyone. To me this is unfair...she is very aware that she signed up for some tough stuff. Their family is hurting for sure. She is bitter. She is hurting. She has not recieved tools that will help her and her family out, and now she doesn't want the tools, she wants to put a boy through a disruption and more problems....

Don't wait until a crises happens. Call for help.....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Am I Stuck?

I just had the priveldge of viewing this new DVD based Bible study. I am an advid Beth Moore Bible study goer. So I was very excited to be able to take a peak at this study. Beth Moore's study tends to be around an hour long. Then usually homework 5 days a week that end up being around 25-45 minutes long. Beth Moore makes you dig in.  So when comparing the two, Jennie Allen is around 10 minutes of DVD time, and some talk time while in your study, with some homework involved. It is fun to see someone new. Jennie is open and honest. She has put off her mask, talked about real life. Her life. Her children, her struggles. The study takes you step by step through places you might find yourself STUCK. Jennie goes to places that mold her life, places that she shares her stories, her journey. She is authentic, a follower, having gone through stuff, to help us go through our stuff. She wants us to get into small groups and feel safe and share what is keeping us stuck. She even has little cards in the box for us to pick from and share from the question being asked. I think this is a good way to get women to open up. I think we do need to take off our masks and be real. We have much to fight for in the USA, and with the shorter DVD time, I think this opens up more time to discuss challenges we are all facing and be more authentic with each other. Which is what we need to do.
I recieved this DVD study from I am not paid to submit my reviews.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This weekend marks the 6-8th time I have attended a Women of Faith (WOF) conference. I am excited. This will be the 2nd year that Hope Blooms sponsored a weekend away. We have given over 10 scholarships. It is a pleasure to be able to bring women to such an event!  We get to hear some dynamic speakers, Sheila Walsh, Lucy Swindol, Angie Smith, hear Natalie Grant sing....Plus many more. We will be bringing a group again next. Will you join us?
Check back next week. I will recap on how things went!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Playing Hurt: Brian Goins

Playing Hurt: A Guy's Strategy for a Winning Marriage. Does your marriage need some nurture? Are you in a tough place that needs some fresh direction? This book is the man in your life. I recommend this easy read before you call it quits...and before your marriage is slipping away.

Guys your girl needs certain things from you. Brian uses real life examples and a history of helping couples say I do forever. The covenant you made between God and your wife is an important one.

Become the thermometer in your house...for example, set the tone. When your wife is sending you some cold vibes, reassure her how much you do love her. Set the tone for you home, and don't take her personally.

there is a wealth of information in this book that you can use. You can also see Brian at a weekend to remember event. Brian is obviously passionate about saving your marriage.

Off to give this book to my dear husband!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Stumbling Into Grace

Lisa Harper is a favorite to everyone. She has a witty sense of humor, makes the Bible come alive, and happens to be a Woman of Faith featured speaker. I first heard of Lisa about 3-4 years ago at a WOF conference. So to get an opportunity to read one of her books, I was thrilled. I have not gotten any of her books, and she has 8 others, but I do know that she is real; I know her books have to be a reflection of her personality.

The tag line on her book is:Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually clumsy woman. My husband can be clumsy by this intrigued me! I have to tell you Lisa does not disappoint. As I am sitting her trying to figure out what was my favorite chapter...I could hardly pick just one. They all bring home the real stuff that we all feel. When I sat down to start, I was really in the mood for a good fiction book. But I thought I would just see. I was immediately hooked. I love that we can all get a look inside someone else's life, laugh and know that is real.

Lisa also added discussion questions, and a place to journal thoughts. So doing this book with some girlfriends is an option.

Enjoy this book, in it's glory and realness. Lisa Harper does not disappoint!

I am not a paid reviewer from Thomas Nelson. I choose the books they send, and I read them, and share my opinion....I have found many good authors this way...check them out!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Promise of an Angel

The Promise of an Angel by Ruth Reid.

I started this book several times, but would never get past the first chapter. Once I sat down to truly read it, I had a hard time putting the book down. This book is simple, Amish, and a good summer/fall read.

Judith was an Amish girl who was in love with the wrong guy. Her family is hosting a barn raising, and her little brother falls. She is so sure that she sees an angel. And several times. But the drama starts when no one will believe her. In fact her family threatens to send her away to other family...which will in turn threaten to stop her true love from happening.

I liked this book for the simplicity of it. I think there are so many times we take for granted that we may have in fact witnessed an angel. This book brings a delight to it's readers.

If you are looking for a true good that your children can enjoy, I highly recommend this book.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson. I am not paid to publish my book reviews.

Friday, July 22, 2011

And the process begins

OK, so yesturday our process to adopt began. We went to Downey Side in Sauk Rapids to start our adoptiong process. This seems so sureal. We got tons of good information. Nicole, our case manager is calling about the girl we are hoping to bring into our home. Wayne has had the honor of meeting her...but as we found out, workers are not the best at updating the she may be placed in a permanent home by now. Her siblings have been put into a permanent home. But if that would fall through, we are open to having all three children here. I just hate to see siblings split up...but this also opens doors that makes me want to find another child to call ours. We shall see what God has in store.

We left armed with a stack of 8 pages of papers that ask us personal questions. Questions like, how did your parents raise you? How do you parent? etc...goodness gracious...things that you automatically do, and simply do not put any thought to. So I am am planning to start plugging away on it today. One foot in front of the other. Am thinking I should challenge Wayne to see who finishes first...Any bets on who it will be? I am compairing this to the 90+ hours it took me to finish Hope Blooms tax exempt paperwork for the IRS!

We also need to get 5 of us fingerprinted and pay 70$ for each for a background check.

Take a 16 hour class in September...which also happens to be a fundraiser weekend for Hope Blooms....oh the joys of needing to be double booked. But I think the rest of our stuff should be done by that date, so we are just having to finish our house. And we should be ready to bring a new person into our home...Could be as little as 60 days...Weird is the word of the day...

So amongst this business, we have a huge fundraiser for Aug 7th. Then we are hoping to have a Hope blooms building after that...I guess we will pray for cooler weather so Wayne and I can get busy! HA~

Friday, June 24, 2011

Is Adoption for the Marklowitz's?

Last May, my parents, Wayne and I piled into our car and drove 14 hours to Louisville Kentucky for the Orphan Summit. As always, the Summit is full of information that doesn't disappoint. We even had some time to do a little sight seeing...can you go to Louisville and not visit the plant of the Louisville slugger?
In the course of many speakers, breakout sessions etc....there was a theme going...if you raise the banner of adoption, you need to provide support services. It is essential to the success of adoption and foster care. My heart wants to start this process with Hope Blooms. There are to many kids in the US, in the WORLD actually that need good Christian homes. And as was often said, some poor mans wife starts with the adoption bug...and God always hooks him...
Fast forward to June, just a few weeks ago...through a chain of events, times are tough in the Marklowitz household. I NEED to find a job. But I have a peace about waiting on God's timing. I have been looking, and have applied at a few places. But doors have not opened. Wayne was feeling very frustrated about this process. On his way to work on a saturday, after a not so pleasant Friday night, he had the thoughts that we just need to stop doing Hope Blooms, it isn't going anywhere. Funds are not coming in, and Shannon needs to work. NOt volunteer anymore. He was ready to throw in the towel. But GOD...ooh how HE works. Fast forward 12 hours later, little Janessa (not her real name) Janessa is a 14 year old girl who was at a hospital needing to be transferred down to a psych unit..yes I said psych...this is a little girl who talked with my husband. Looked at the pictures on his phone, liked seeing his kids, loved seeing where we live. And said, "I want to come live with you." She doesn't belong where she see, at the Summit we have learned a method to help children from hard places. If you follow this model, that has been 100% effective, these kids will start healing. They will start learning how to be respectful. They will connect with you, and know that you won't let them starve anymore. You will give them a drink when they need it. You won't hurt them, hit them, touch them inapporprietly. They will know what a parent is, what a parent is suppose to do. What it feels like to live in a "normal" way. Their chemicals will balance out, and they will be able to learn....Yes, Janessa doesn't belong in a phsych unit. She belongs in a home that is equipped to take help her....God is working on equipping us, and if he can grab ahold of Wayne the way He did, I know He is working out all the details. Most of which I am waiting impatiently on...But as we wait, our house is getting finished, just little things that have been put off...Once we start the process it could go as fast as 1-2 months...Hard to believe that Wayne will be the Father of 6 I will then have 7!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

I have heard it said recently, welcome to the Egg are set in a line. Someone yells, Ready! Set! Gooooo! kids will then run and grab as many colorful eggs as they can. Well, we just recently had an Egg Hunt. The second year that Hope Blooms put it on. But as a family we have been doing it for a long time. We divide kids into age groups. the older you are, the harder you must look. Sort of like an amazing race. Kids have to look through woods, brush and watch out for trees.

This year, we added a wheel chair trail. We had some local boy scouts come out the beginning of April and help pound down a grassy and sandy trail for wheel chairs to maneuver around.

One mama said, "This is magical" Another mama asked me to not take her picture with her little one, because she was crying...My favorite part of the children a chance that normally are not given a chance to grab eggs...Aaron, who is wheelchair bound, Deaf and Blind, man his smile will be something I treasure forever~ He had so much fun grabing these eggs hanging from trees, and then would place them in his lap, and clap...He was having fun. He couldn't even eat the stuff in the eggs...but did that matter? He was able to participate....

Hope Blooms...a place for fun. A place for acceptance, a place for, yellow black or white....seeing, non seeing, hear or no hear...walk or no walk...we love you all.

Time With God for Fathers, Jack Countryman

I love devotional books. So to reveiw one made for dads...I jumped at the chance!

First, for a guy who doesn't like to read, this little book is ideal. There are verses at the top written out. then a SHORT devotional for them to read based on those verses. I think this is good for a guy on the go. The book isn't big, so for a traveler it is he perfect size. The devotions are short enough and to the point that anyone can read through and spend the rest of the day pondering over. Short little snipits of some very basic reminders for dads. The devotions are about, things that everyone needs to spend time remembering. When we are better people in Christ, we are better parents.

My husband, who doens't like to read...hard to pin him down ever~ enjoyed these short devotions. They are just long enough that he will take the time, and yet have enough input to make him think about what God would have him do as a man, as a father and husband.

This book not only has devotions, but in the back has a God listens to a fathers prayer when....section. In this has No one will listen and Bible verses for that. You are overwhelmed, Bible verses for that...and so on. So it is a good resource.

this book would also make a good coffee table book. Beautifully bound, it is sure to look good sitting out as a reminder to stay in the Word.

I am not a paid book reveiwer for Thomas Nelson. All thoughts come from my love of reading. and wanting to share good books with you~

The Final Summit

If you have never heard Andy Andrew's Speak, I highly suggest you make an effort to. Mr Andrew's is currently touring with Women of Faith, you will leave crying because of laughing so hard~ I recently was able to hear him speak in Nashville at a Women of Faith event. He was one of the highlights there.

When I had to opportunity to preview Andy Andrews new book ,The Final Summit I jumped at the chance. In Andy Andrews style..a story telling way to clue us in on essential principles to our everyday life, Andrews does not disappoint.

A chance encounter with "history's brightest minds" David Ponder, who you may have first read about in The Travelers Gift..also by Andrews, has to find solutions before his time runs out.

I found this book, as I do all Andy Andrews book engaging, riveting and a refreshing look at lifes uncertainties. This book will not disappoint you. As Dave Ramsey says, "Andy Andrews is a Life Wisperer" I have to say I agree.

I am not paid to write these reveiws, I honestly let you now what I think about each book from Thomas Nelson~ My love for books....honest answers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Shelter of God's Promises- Sheila Walsh

In a world that might drive you crazy if you let it. A world that is full of disappointments, broken promises, and blatant sin, Living in the Shelter of God's promises brings hope and redemption.

This book is a must read for those that need to hear God does promise to care for you. He promises the love you always.

In this book you will find scripture that shows us all the promises that God has for you. Provision, peace, confidence, love, grace, Hope, strength...This is all for you, a free gift from our Lord and Saviour. This is also something for you to share with others. In our fallen world, I see many people hurting. All these people want is someone to care. We cannot save these people, but we can show them who can.

Your life matters...As Jesus showed the Samaritan women, Walsh talks about confidence. Imagine, in your brokenness, Jesus appears on a path that you are on. He takes the time to place worth and confidence in a woman who had a shady past. We are all born in sin, we are sinful beings. But through God's redemtion, we are made new, and can be filled with confidence through Him.

If you need to know how God really feels about you, I highly reccomend this book!

I am not paid for me review. I recieve books from Thomas Nelson, and choose to reveiw these books.

Enjoy this and other great books from Sheila Walsh.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

OutLive Your Life

Out Live your life, by Max Lucado...Since reading this book, I have loaned out my copy, bought it for prize give aways, and given it as gifts. This book came to me at a point in my life that I really needed it.

Lucado outlines ways to become more. In the world we live in...a world that is self centered, TV says to do what is right for you. Things that are unhealthy for us are readily available on the Internet....Feed yourself first. Give your leftovers to those in need. Give your left overs to God. Lucado plainly tells us how to become a way that only Lucado can do.

This book is for everyone. You won't walk away feeling like you failed, but you will walk away challenged to do more. And when you do more for others, the blessings will come back. Go ahead, take the challenge!

I am not paid by Thomas Nelson for this review. I have done it on my own free will!
Enjoy Out Live your Life....Help your neighbor~!

Captivating: John and Staci Eldredge

Captivating....unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's soul...I read this book when it first came out. I was at a place of soul searching in my life. So when I had the opportunity to read through it again, I jumped at the chance. Although I have had it for quite some time, I finally have gotten to read through it, again.

This book goes through topics that each woman will someday, if not already, encounter. We all have a past, joys and sorrows included in our past. This book helps you look at each situation in your past, and figure out how to bring out the best of your past. We all need to use our past to grow in the future. Learn from our mistakes, and move on. When we are stuck in the muck, we are not the Captivating spirit our Savior wants us to be, nor are we Captivating to the world.

I highly recommend you reconcile with your past, and use that to move forward with your future...your destiny in where you should be!

I am not paid to review books by Thomas Nelson. I have written this out of my own free will!

Enjoy Captivating!
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About Me

Minnesota, United States
I am a wife, mother to five children, 2 cats, 3 dogs. Hoping to be a mother to more children someday through adopting waiting children in Minnesota.