Book Review : It’s not supposed to be this way

Holy cow! I love this book!! Lysa Terkeurst has opened up her heart and her story to everyone in It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way.

This is not just a story for the person who’s life is spiraling out of control. It’s not for the woman wondering WHY. It is for you. It was for me. It can speak to any heart open to hear a message from the Lord!!

I loved this book! I am reading it with a small group of friends and we meet to talk about each chapter. I have a habit of not finishing books when we go through them slowly though, so I just read this one until I was done. I loved each and every chapter. I underlined so many lines – sometimes I felt like underlining the whole page.

One of my favorite things about this book is the format. After each chapter Lysa puts together a discussion section, perfect for a group, or for an individual to dig into more meat. I loved this little section. It helped summarize the points of the chapter as well as gave a few questions to ponder.

One main point that really resonated with me was from chapter 1 : struggling with the distance between what I thought would be and what it is. There are so many areas in my life that I thought would be one way, and sometimes I struggle with it not being that way. She articulates this so well, and demonstrates that we need to run to Jesus when we struggle with this and rest in knowing His best is better for us than our idea of best.

The other main point, also from Chapter 1 was “if the enemy can isolate us he can influence us.” Such an important reminder to have people in your life that you can be open and vulnerable with. That when we feel alone we need to know we are not, and go to those people we trust and share our struggle. When we allow ourselves to be isolated the enemy can be the loudest voice in our head, and that is dangerous!!

This is my favorite book by Lysa Terkeurst, and one of my favorite life-devotion books. This book is one that if I could buy a hundred copies I would give everyone I run into one!


What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful? Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness. Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she’s also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability and honest humor, helps us to: 

  • Stop being pulled into the anxiety of disappointment by discovering how to better process unmet expectations and other painful situations.
  • Train ourselves to recognize the three strategies of the enemy so we can stand strong and persevere through unsettling relationships and uncertain outcomes.
  • Discover the secret of being steadfast and not panicking when God actually does give us more than we can handle.
  • Shift our suspicion that God is cruel or unfair to the biblical assurance that God is protecting and preparing us.
  • Know how to encourage a friend and help her navigate hard realities with real help from God’s truth.Whether we’re dealing with daily disappointments or life-altering loss, we can find unexpected strength as we learn what it is to wrestle well between our faith and our feelings. 


Book Review : Who I am with You

Sometimes books jump right in to a story. Other times they warm up slow and steady. I like both options.

Who I Am With You, by Robin Lee Hatcher, is the latter. The story builds slowly and sweetly with the two main characters, Jessica and Ridley. Both have trouble, hurt and betrayal in their past. As they work through healing they meet each other and open up to one another.

What I loved about this story is the genuine hurt they both face and how they overcome it. So often we are hurt by someone and we can choose one of two paths :guilt and blame for our selves or blame for the other person. I think there is a middle ground that so many of us rarely take where we assume responsibility for our own role and forgive the other for their role. This is what is played out in Ms. Hatcher’s book.

In this story, Jessica has walked away from the Lord despite her past relationship with him. Ridley however remains close to the Lord through his pain. However as the two become friends, they both help each other heal from their past. I loved watching how both of them inspire the other to surrender their pain.

This was a super sweet story, and while it is a romance, it is not a “romance” I honestly think my son would enjoy this story as the main male character was a strong character and likable and easy to relate to.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by Ms. Hatcher in the future!!

Read more about this story HERE

NOTE : I received a copy of Who I am With You in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review : Code of Valor

When looking for a good book do you prefer a fast paced thriller that will leave you wondering who is the good guy and who is the bad guy? If so, I have a book for you!

Code of Valor is Lynette Eason’s third book in the Blue Justice Series and it does not disappoint! We reconnect with the St. John Family who has been throughout this series in Oath of Honor and Code to Protect. (reviews HERE and HERE). I love the St. John family – they are a passionate family that, mostly, works together, all throughout the police force and in the local hospital. Their family unity reminds me of Blue Bloods – which is one of my favorite shows! I am a sucker for family meals!

Code of Valor focuses on Brady St. John who is on the police force and is a rescue diver. He comes to the rescue for Emily Chastain when one of the many bad guys kidnaps her and attempts to kill her. She is not sure why they are targeting her or what they think she knows. Emily is a criminal investigator for the bank and thinks she may be on to something suspicious going on at her bank.

This is a super fast paced story that keeps Emily and Brady on the run, while getting to know each other. Many of Brady’s siblings are brought into the fray through injuries (sister Ruthie at the hospital), Linc and Derek (brothers in law enforcement) as they all try to figure out what is going on and who is behind everything.

I love reading Ms. Eason’s books, they grab you and don’t let you go until the last page, and only then leave you waiting for the next book!! She writes about characters with more going on than you first think. Her characters are wrestling with who they are and where they have been, but the best part is that they are walking it out with the Lord, or on their way to finding him.

You could start the series with Code of Valor (book 3), but you will want to go back and check out 1 & 2 once you get into the story! The St. John family is awesome and watching them do life inspires me!

Note: I received a copy of Code of Valor in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review : We Hope for Better Things

I’m not sure that I have ever read a first novel before that was as brave and heart wrenching as We Hope for Better Things. Erin Bartels is the author who has written a story that will inspire you, break your heart and make you ponder life, all at the same time.

There are three women in this book, many generations apart, but all related. Three women trying to figure out who they are, what they value and what they are willing to stand for. Each face different issues as they embrace the life they have.

Elizabeth is the woman who the book centers around, as she is the current living character. When she finds herself without a job and questioning her future, an opportunity falls into her lap. She travels to visit her old Aunt Nora she’s never met before and is thrust into a new world largely revolving around the past. The third woman in this story is Mary who is living during the Civil War. All three women experience similar racial tensions despite the decades of years that separate them.

Erin Bartels has written a book that pulls back the curtain on some of ugly past of our country, but she clearly writes about so much of the good as well. With any book that is brave enough to jump into the subject of race wars, slavery and segregation, the reader is forced to reflect on their own views and whether those ideas line up with the way they are living.

The characters in Ms. Bartel’s book are amazing. The kind of women you want to sit down with and pepper with questions of your own. These women were full of strength, courage and even some foolishness. But all three loved hard and loved strong.

There is a strong element of redemption, especially for Nora, as parts of her past confront her near the end of the book, but the results are full of hope and better things. I was drawn in to their story from the first page, not only wanting to know what was going to happen with Elizabeth but wanting more from each era and character’s story.

This was a fantastic book. I highly recommend it – and I cannot wait to read anything else Erin Bartels puts on paper! I loved the details throughout that demonstrated more than just average research! She is a passionate, detail oriented writer that is quite gifted!

NOTE : I was offered a copy of We Hope for Better Things in exchange for an honest review.

More about We Hope for Better Things   


“In this powerful first novel . . . Bartels successfully weaves American history into a deeply moving story of heartbreak, long-held secrets, and the bonds of family.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request—that she look up a relative she didn’t know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos—seems like it isn’t worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.

At her great-aunt’s 150-year-old farmhouse, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.

Take an emotional journey through time—from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War—to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.

Book Review : A Bound Heart

One of my favorite things to do it read. Not just anything, but almost! I don’t know how long I have been able to review books, but I have loved being forced to make time to read, because honestly it would be so easy to get busy with other things that this would have to take a back seat, and that would break my heart!! Reading takes me to places I would never be able to really go. I meet people I would never know. And through these stories I get to experience so many emotions and feelings. I love reading!

I recently finished A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz, and I absolutely loved this story.

There were so many little details that captured my heart! The characters were so well thought out, deep and relatable, as well as lovable. Ms. Frantz somehow writes about people who face struggles but handle their lives with integrity and honor. I just loved getting to know Magnus and Lark and will miss their story now that it is over.

The setting is a coastal island with Scottish roots and English control, which was enchanting to learn about. The time frame is mid 1700’s. Every part of this story held my attention and kept me wanting more!

My favorite part of this story was Lark and her love of herbs and her dependance on them to offer healing to those around her. Lark is the stillroom mistress and a keeper of bees as well. In those roles she is the expert about herbal remedies. When the island doctor (who prefers to prescribe nothing more than laudlum for just about every situation) is unavailable, and even sometimes when he is, Lark is the go to for the local people when they need healing.

Laura Frantz is a new favorite on my list of authors! I love her style of writing, the depth of research that comes through her stories and her world view. All were woven throughout A Bound Heart and all make for a masterful story!

There is a sweet element of adoption in this story that is just delightful as well. When Lark becomes the caretaker of a tiny baby names Larkin, who favors her with his head of red-hair, we see even more of her character and integrity shine through. She is a woman I would love to know in real life, and her character is one I admire even if only made up! I loved her resilience and determination as well as her constant love of the Lord.

I highly recommend this amazing book!

NOTE : I received a copy of A Bound Heart ins exchange for an honest review.

More about A Bound Heart :

Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning–together.

Laura Frantz’s prose sparkles with authenticity and deep feeling as she digs into her own family history to share this breathless tale of love, exile, and courage in Colonial America.