No Fear in Perfect Love

As I scroll through my social media accounts, I start feeling anxiety, frustration, and total disgust. In fact, a simple search of anxiety and social media brings up article after article describing the different types of anxiety and mental health problems that come from looking at our accounts over and over. Why is that? I mean, social media is not a nice place. It started out as a way to connect with far away loved ones, old high-school friends, and to see what your ex is up to and if you are still cooler than the person he is with now….Well, maybe that’s not what it was intended for. Who knows 🤷

The point is, it’s really none of those things now. It has become a source of shouting opinions the loudest, making others feel stupid for their opinions, and a breeding ground of fear over the things happening in this world. Is this at all healthy? I think that we can all agree that it is not. Probably each of us has been viciously assaulted by a post we thought as simple and witty while others couldn’t wait to make us feel shamed for our “insensitivity” or “lack of social awareness”.

“We need a new president!” “We need social justice!” “We need equality!” “We need freedom to make choices for ourselves!” “I need! I need! I need!” So many posts about equality and fairness for each person, yet there is no love behind it? There is judgement if we disagree on any point? There is cruelty and no compassion for those that make a mistake in your eyes?

What happened to giving others room to grow? Time to change? Freedom to have their own opinions? Love hopes all things. Love is patient. Love does not easily take offense. What about those things?

While social media is a breeding ground of fear and shame, many are disoriented and completely disillusioned in life. Everything looks bleak and hopeless. So, where does that leave us? Those of us that claim to have a God that protects us. We claim to have a God that brings us joy? We have a God that says to be anxious for NOTHING. Is that what others are seeing? How can we achieve that in our relationship with Him?

In fact, God goes as far as to say that there is no fear in love. It says that fear involves punishment and that if we fear, we are not perfected in love. What is He trying to tell us?

As always, it’s a matter of our hearts. Are we actually trusting Him? Do we trust that He created us and wants the very best for us? Of course, His best for us and what we think is best, may very well be different! God deserves glory in everything. So, do our lives of comfort and having every need met make us feel as if we need Him? Not usually. It’s all about the lens we are looking through as we live our lives.

Do I wish to bring Him glory in every, single thing that happens in my life? When I’m in pain, how do I bring Him glory? When my car breaks down, how do I bring Him glory? Is my first thought, “Poor me! I can’t deal with this right now!” Or, is my first thought, “God, what do you wish me to do in this situation? Wisdom, please.”

You know, I read the most amazing book a few years back and it’s completely stuck with me. Muslim women are very difficult to talk to because, often times, they are only allowed to speak with those whom their husbands have given them permission to speak to. Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh put their lives on the line to live in Iran and witness to these women. It proved to be almost impossible due to having no access. After some time, they were put in the worst of prisons. Raw sewage, rodents, bad food (if any). Their response? “Thank you, Lord! You have given us unprecedented and total access to share You with these women!” Because they didn’t think of themselves and ask God why He would have done such a thing to them when they were so faithful, the ministry they had was unfounded! They looked at it as the biggest opportunity to speak to these women, completely undeterred! They had a captive audience instead of seeing themselves as captives.

Can you even imagine how much glory they brought to God? Can you imagine their welcome when they get to Heaven and see Him and how proud He is of them? What a beautiful moment! What blessings!!!

It sounds scary to us to think of being in a situation like that. However, the truth is that we don’t have what we need to handle it because God hasn’t put us in that position. He gives us what we need to handle in our lives only when it is time. I might feel overwhelmed by a big day coming up. Does it help me to stay up all night worried? No. I don’t have what I need to get through it yet because it’s not here yet.

We can rest in the fact that we have a loving God that delights in us! He says, “indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” He is always with us through all things.

Yes, the world is a mess. Yes, we could be headed to persecution. Yes, we are turning away from God in our country. Yes, yes, yes. Does this cause me concern? I certainly don’t like it! Does it cause me anxiety? No. Not anymore. I know that God is truly in control. He has proved to me over and over again that He will provide for me what I need when I need it. He has showed me numerous times how He holds me through the difficulties. My only question?

How can I bring Him glory in all of it?

Hearts Entwined: The Love Knot

by Karen Witemeyer51l747pg64L._SY346_

Ok, so this whole book isn’t officially by Karen Witemeyer, but this review is specific to The Love Knot. Just to specify, the other authors that contributed are absolutely recommended by me as well. ❤

51+6E5Az98LKaren is one of the ladies that really got me into reading. I’m a huge fan and have always enjoyed her writing. In this novella, we once again visit the all ladies colony of Harper’s Station, Texas. (You first read about this in No Other Will Do.) Claire is living in Harper’s Station when she receives a cryptic letter from her sister telling her to go to the train station to pick up something important. When she arrives, she realizes quickly that her whole life is about to change.

What’s not to love about this story? It’s well written and a beautiful story. Please be sure to pick up a copy! Also, read the others novellas included. I promise you will love these ladies if Turn of the Century West is your thing. If it’s not, it might soon be!

You can also learn a little more about Karen in our fun face-off. She’s amazing! 🙂

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Karen Witemeyer

!

 

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

by Julie Klassen

The much awaited, new series by Julie Klassen is finally here! Well, it was here before Christmas, but I have been a bit behind…

If you have read much Klassen, you will want to know that this book is significantly different than her others. All of her books have basically stood alone while this one is absolutely part of a series. The book didn’t really end at the end of the book. That being said, it was a great read. Her writing style has really deepened and grown since her debut novel, The Lady of Milkweed Manor.

Overall, I felt it was very well written. There were a lot of people to keep up with instead of the average handful you have in a novel. The point of view would switch from character to character rapidly and I would find myself confused at times trying to remember which person it was. I believe that it was just preparing the reader for the following volumes to come. So, if you don’t have severe brain trauma as I seem to have, you should be just fine! I definitely recommend this book (and anything by Julie!). She is a truly gifted writer!!!

Thanks so much for this read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

— Check out my fun face-offs with the awesome Julie Klassen!

PicCollage(4)      julie klassen


Who thinks we should do a giveaway???????

 

Head on over and enter to win. Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Don’t Miss This!

Just a quick note to let you know that a Laura Frantz book is SUPER CHEAP right now! You don’t want to miss this!!

And if you haven’t read anything by her, you have not lived…Head over to Amazon and pick up this book!

Also, if you would like to see our fun Face-Off, you can check it out here:

05tBhCtvLmnZ0SWiNj7hjRMe91PrJy-b3FkUipNq9URfnD2FWR2zAJvAZIzWGkBp_h4G3mI6bsQ3GHZYX60bkrU1JBTmfUZKFFvw9KBugbPOWCkhwoVm4eTARAr-_sfDY87JsoHMdF8nIH6FOZCMllHRSmV1WxQasnRFVqPgLfOyawLqba2NZpjo-zOXV7Y_00XXbUFfXA7O9u5Bo9-QGyuSWYn6VuCtB
Laura Frantz

The Reluctant Duchess

by Roseanna M. White

Another fabulous read from Roseanna M. White. In this book, she continues on with the characters from The Lost Heiress. The Duke of Nottingham is back and as brilliant as ever!! As he seeks God’s will at every turn, he is surprised by what God asks him to do next…

What a great book. It captures the good and the bad of the ton during the Edwardian era. It’s beautifully written and the characters have so much depth. God is so intertwined with this storyline that there wasn’t anywhere that had to stop to include Him. That’s so rare in a story and it’s VERY appreciated. No token prayer here and there in this one!

I love that Roseanna is not scared to talk about heavy issues either. Women were property that had the purpose of providing their spouse with money (by way of a dowry) and an heir. They were easily taken advantage of and ruined for life. Speaking out about rape and bullying is much needed even now.

If you have not read the first book, you will need to. The story will be confusing without. It’s definitely not a stand-alone novel. I do highly recommend! All of you coming off of 6 seasons of Downton, this is your chance to get an Edwardian fix!!! Just click on the links below to get your copy:

Thanks so much for this great book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion! Here’s to many more!!

Be sure to check out my exciting face-off with Roseanna!

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Charity’s Cross

by MaryLu Tyndall

Before I get into anything, I need to say, GREAT HEROINE NAME! Woot Woot!

<– Check them out here!

Charity’s Cross is book four in the Charles Towne Belles series and it’s just as fabulous as the others! MaryLu is absolutely one of my favorite authors. Her books were some of the first I started reading in the Christian Fiction genre. Her stories are always fun stories full of pirates, passion and faith.

The book starts out saying, “Charity killed her husband.” and so began an adventurous story. As she is on the run after killing her husband in self defense, she meets a preacher named Elias. They travel together, under a set of strange circumstances, causing love to bloom. When he learns of her past, what will he do?

Always full of hard issues, deep faith and heart-stopping action. I love this author and her love for God. It spills over into her books in such a special way!! I highly recommend you picking up a copy!

Thank you, MaryLu, for this awesome book in exchange for my review! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

For more fun, check out my awesome review with this lovely lady!!!

How about a little Rachel Hauck this weekend?

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Here at aTransParentMom, we LOVE Rachel Hauck!!szcmi6enim0bd5lkfg-nvxedixt1ywbwiu-6n2p6xfu0ustjx4rouuz3kvdur3kxjux113ywt93okycjcvr-snfoab9coumvj3tvyng7kz3je_exigxiw50fimigysyw1bjr4vy425diqmpndfmpp4pphojweuhbwfeaf1tvsypfvploi8ljtotuip We had so much fun when she stopped by for a Face-Off last year. She’s a girl after my own heart (ie: she loves football!) Click on the pic to check out all the fun! —->

Right now, you can pick up her current USA Today Bestselling Novel, The Wedding Dress, for only $1.99!!!!

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Now, I know that’s insanely exciting news, but you don’t have to stop there! She has a few more great deals going on right now:

$1.99 ❤ ❤ ❤ .99¢

❤ $3.99 ❤

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Face-Off with Regina Jennings!!

authors20-427x640 I am SO happy to have Regina Jennings here today! What a lovely, lovely lady!!!!! She’s a homeschool mamma, avid traveler and a self-proclaimed “Redneck Bluestocking”. Love it!!

You may have seen one of my latest posts
about her new release, At Love’s Bidding. Be sure to check it out and grab a copy of this fun read!!! You won’t regret it.

Check out this cute pic of Regina in the outfit from her book, Caught in the Middle. I absolutely love this!! ❤ ❤

  You can check out a bunch of her awesome books here:

<– Only $1.99!!

Let’s do this!!!


The rules are simple. I ask Regina some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Most bizarre thing that happened on a mission trip?

Regina – We were going to a village in Mexico to have services at the farmhouse of some believers. Before we got there the missionary warned us about their dogs. They had aggressive dogs that might bite, so we were advised to stay away from them.

Of course the dogs were there at the truck just licking their chops and waiting for us to step out, but they behaved themselves. Still, I kept an eye on them as I trekked across the rough ground to the side of the house where we were having the service. Our host led us to a log bench next to a chain-link cage.

The cage was about five feet high and the size of a generous bedroom closet. It housed a rough shelter that could give you splinters just from looking at it.

“Great,” I thought. “I’m sitting next to the dog pen!” Then I see a guy sitting in the cage. He’s glaring at me, like he’s contemplating how it’d feel to chop me up with a rusty machete.

What was he doing inside the cage? Cleaning it? Then I see a shackle on his leg. What in the world? I waved the missionary over to me, too afraid to get up and leave. Turns out the man in the manacles was the son of the family we were visiting. He’d tried to kill them once, burned their house while they were sleeping, so now they have to keep him chained up for the safety of themselves and their neighbors. Likely he’s suffering from some sort of mental illness or possession, but this village family didn’t have any resources at their disposal, so they dealt with it the best they could. They cared for him, fed him, gave him clothing and tried to include him in their family life, all while keeping him chained up in a cage because he is too dangerous to let out.

After that, I wasn’t so concerned about the dogs.

Charity – 😯 Oh. My. Word. That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever heard!!! hahahahaha I have absolutely nothing to compare to that! I was thinking of how scary is was being driven around the Dominican Republic…Those people have no road rules and much road rage.

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— No comparison.

Charity 0 / Regina 1

2. As a “redneck bluestocking” and a homeschool mom, what is your favorite subject to teach (and your least!)?

Regina – I love teaching history and literature, and I chose our curriculum (Sonlight) because it is so rich in both. It seems every story connects to another story. Every reference brings up another interesting fact we can look up. Frequent referrals to the globe and our world history timeline book are required.

Ironically, what I hate to teach is reading. The mechanics of reading, the phonics and grammar, are so arbitrary, that it’s hard to get a feel for any consistent rule. Once I get a kid past that point, we celebrate.

Charity – I am a homeschool mamma too and, BOY, do we love our Sonlight curriculum! I have 3 boys and the teenage years are the best!!!!! I love all those subjects. I honestly can’t stand teaching kindergarten and the lower grades. Favorite subject is history. I’m such a history nerd and it’s so awesome that we live in the historic triangle. ❤ Least favorite is english mechanics. blah.

— Tie

Charity 1 / Regina 2

3. Have you ever been on a bucking bronco or a crazy bull?

Regina – I was on a horse with my husband and it gave a little buck. He landed on the saddle horn and got hurt. I was fine until he pushed me out of the saddle so he could regain his seat. That’s the truth, although he disputes my account. Either way I wasn’t as hurt as he was.

My only injury was on a donkey. I was helping my dad train a donkey and it got mad. It smashed my leg up against a pole fence leaving nice bruised-stripes on my leg. I didn’t go to the doctor because I was four months pregnant and thought I could do without the lecture.

Charity – Girl! You are crazy!!! haha. What in the world! I have not done either…but that could be because I am NOT an animal lover, thus I avoid them at all costs.

— Again, no comparison.

Charity 1 / Regina 3

4. Favorite BBQ on the grill recipe?

Regina – I eat a lot of Bar-B-Q, but I don’t grill. That’s my husband’s domain. Unless you are as big of a loser as I am in the kitchen, that question is an automatic win for you.

Charity – Hmm. Just look at the delightfulness of this picture and click on it for the recipe.

bangin-grilled-shrimp-skewers

— I’ll take it!!

Charity 2 / Regina 3

5. Would you have enjoyed living in the 1800’s? What would you have liked and hated?

Regina – When? Where? Am I rich or am I a servant or slave? C’mon, be more specific!!

I know I would like to live in a society that was more God-honoring and respectful. I would like to raise my kids in an environment that wasn’t as fraught with temptations and hostile to families, but as far as conveniences, I really enjoy having the time to write and pursue some of my own interests. If I was an average woman in the 1800s, spare time and access to books wouldn’t be readily available.

Charity – I have to agree with everything you said. I also wish women still wore pretty dresses!!!! I don’t care how many layers! So beautiful and ladylike.

— tie

Charity 3 / Regina 4

6. Awesome, obscure and totally useless talent that you have?

Regina – I can lick my nose. Yep. I guess it’s not totally useless, but it’s disgusting enough to render it close.

Charity – Ha! Nice. I can wave my pinky toe back and forth. Pretty cool… You’ll want to be sure to turn up the volume so you can hear me say, “Ew” at the end of this video.

— Tie

Charity 4 / Regina 5

7. What kind of food is your greatest weakness?

Regina – Dessert! I love ice cream, chocolate, cheesecake, cookies, brownies… I don’t eat a lot for supper, but I rarely skip dessert. Feel free to send me candy.

Charity – I always tell my kids to eat dessert first because you don’t want to get filled up on dinner and not have room for it!

I’m a candy love and CHIPS!!! Chips have to be my biggest weakness. I could live my life without chocolate and that would be just fine.

— Tie

Charity 5 / Regina 6

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Regina – We humans are a frail and fallible bunch. But instead of allowing us wallow in self-pity, God tells us the reason for His design. It’s because He wants no confusion over who gets the credit for our deeds (1 Cor. 1:26-29, 2 Cor. 4:7). So God is glorified through our weaknesses, but that’s kind of hard to strive for, isn’t it? Fortunately, I don’t have to work hard cultivating weaknesses. They appear way too frequently. But it’s so reassuring to remember that whenever I feel inadequate, whenever I know I’m at the end of my strength, my knowledge, my efforts, that is when I’m least likely to try to take credit for what God has done. When I’m trusting Him, submitting to Him, having faith that He is in control, that’s when I’ve seen His glory most clearly.

Charity – Love that. It’s beautiful. My sister and I were just talking about that today!!

— God wins!

Charity 5 / Regina 6

9. Do you garden?

Regina – Ha! I love gardens, beautiful landscapes, and welcoming lawns. In the spring I do my best. I plant flowers and I try to keep them alive, but the Oklahoma heat and droughts are determined to ruin my efforts. I don’t have much to show for my work.

As far as a real, producing garden, I hate vegetables, so what’s the point?

Charity – HA! Oh my gosh. That’s amazing. I actually love veggies…BUT, I have a total black thumb. I kill every plant I’ve ever had. Every. One.

— Another tie!

Charity 6 / Regina 7

10. Last item you returned to the store?

Regina – My daughter’s college textbook! It was such a rip-off. For $40 we rented the textbook and the access key for the online extras. When we tried to log into the online portion it said that the access key had already been used, but we could buy another access key for $94(!!!!) I called Amazon and they pointed out the fine print that says the access key might not work, never mind that the item is listed as “book and access key”. But they did let me return it for a refund- minus a hefty restocking fee that was almost half the purchase price.

Let me just say… textbook people, enough is enough. Now you’re putting in $100 access keys that can only be used once per student? Way to fleece our future!

Charity – Rant heard. I had no idea. That’s ridiculous, but good to know. My oldest starts college next year 😯 I will be watching them and their sneaky ways…

Last item I returned was a 49’ers shirt from Target. I ordered a Redskins shirt for my son and they sent me a 49’ers. Lame.

— Textbook drama

Final:

Charity 6 / Regina 8

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Regina–Question for you:

What is the weirdest thing you hoard?

Mine? Dryer lint and empty toilet paper rolls. I save those all year round, and then when winter comes, I stuff the dryer lint into the cardboard rolls and use them for fire starter for the fireplaces. Recycling Redneck style!

Charity – Wow! That is redneck style recycling!! haha. Love it! I am not sure what I hoard. I am a total organizer. Like, “Christmas is coming! What toys are you getting rid of to make room for the new?” Maybe skinny people clothes that I imagine I will actually wear again someday. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That’s a good one…By the time I fit in them, perhaps they’ll even be back in style.


Thank you, Regina! Such a blast. You are THE BEST! Custom-Balloon-design-tool

Who wants to win a book by this lovely lady? It’s easy! Just head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering to win At Love’s Bidding. (Remember how I gave it a GLOWING review just a few days back? Yep, it’s a good one!)

*All entries will be checked
**U.S. Residents Only (sorry! We do love the rest of you too!)

GOOD LUCK!!

At Love’s Bidding

by Regina Jennings

First of all, you know its going to be a great book when the cover is so beautiful! Secondly, it’s Regina Jennings! Come on!!

In this fun and offbeat story, Miranda Wimplegate is a proper Boston woman that heads out to the middle of nowhere to find a painting that was unintentionally sold at her auction house. Once she shows up in this little town, she is confused about who there would need or want such a fancy painting. While working with the local auction house, she is forced to spend her days with a scruffy backwoodsman, Wyatt Ballentine.

Of course, love blooms in the Ozarks 🙂 Another great story by Regina. Lots of fun, great characters, good pace and interesting storyline. I would highly recommend!

Thank you, Litfuse, Netgalley and Bethany House, for this great read. As always, this is my honest opinion! Here’s to many more!!

 

Save the Date!!

12231325_487359341436080_2040271048_nI don’t know if you guys realize this, but it is only 4 weeks until Hanukkah and 6 weeks until Christmas!!!

Our amazing Sydney, from the giveaways page, is now an Usborne rep and will be showing a bunch of her books to us. These are, seriously, the best children’s books out there. So, if you have any little ones in your life, come by and check it out!!

If you would like an invite, just shoot me a message at: aTransParentMom.com or at my facebook page.

Thank you all for your amazing support. The little things you are always doing for me mean more than you could ever know!! ❤

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