Friday, May 01, 2015

On Shifting Sand - Book Review

Long before anyone would christen the Dust Bowl,
Nola Merrill senses the destruction.
She's been drying up bit by bit since the day her mother died,
leaving her with a father who withholds his affection
the way God keeps a grip on the Oklahoma rain.
A hasty marriage to Russ, a young preacher,
didn't bring the escape she desired.
Now, twelve years later with two children to raise,
new seeds of dissatisfaction take root.

When Jim, a long-lost friend from her husband's past,
takes refuge in their home, Nola slowly springs to life under his attentions
until their reckless encounters bring her to commit the ultimate betrayal of her marriage.
For months Nola withers in the wake of the shame she so desperately tries to bury,
burning to confess her sin but wondering whether Russ's love
will be strong enough to stand the test.

My Thoughts
Nola is thirsty, dried up, and hungry.
Oh, not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense.
She lives in the Dust Bowl, a place that has not seen rain in months
and in a manner of speaking Nola's spirit is just like the Dust Bowl-
dry. . .parched. . .dark. . .dead.
She does not realize that she is slowly dying inside 
because her hope is not founded on Jesus Christ.
Her father has verbally abused Nola all her life and no matter what she does 
she can never crawl her way up to his expectations.
He is like the dust storms that make their way through Oklahoma-
pain, heartache, and devastation is all that is reaped.
Nola meets Russ, a kind, gentle, loving man 
who offers her a way out from her father's bitter and hateful grip.
He asks for her hand in marriage and Nola takes the escape, 
but later finds herself unhappy and dissatisfied just like before.

Jim enters Nola's life at a time when she is at the end of her rope with life.
He sparks something inside of her and she is unable to resist-
oh, she tries, but her strength fails her and great ruin occurs. . .

True happiness and joy can only come from God the Father.
This is something Nola learns when she falls to the bottom of the pit-
the pit that is so deep and dark she wonders if there is even an escape.
On Shifting Sand is a beautiful story of God's forgiveness that is available to everyone
and finding joy, peace, and contentment in Christ alone.
You may wonder how a Christian author can write about a woman 
who commits this awful sin {adultry} against her husband 
in a manner that is edifying and godly-
I wondered the same thing, my friends :)
But then I read the book. . .
and Allison Pittman shares the story about a woman who is lost
and needs Jesus Christ - we all need Christ in our lives.
My friends, there is no sin that God cannot forgive
and there is no pit that is too deep that the Lord cannot rescue us from.
This is the hope and gift that Allison Pittman brings to light through the life of Nola.
She writes in a gentle, modest and touching manner.
You would think a book about this particular subject would be vulgar,
but it's not. . .
the pages are overflowing with the blessed redemption and forgiveness found in Jesus.
God offers each one of us His mercy and grace-
there is complete restoration found only in Him.

"He has forgiven you."
He says it s a fact proven thus far only to him.
"How do you know?"
"Because I have to have faith in His mercy.
It's what I know to be true, that sins confessed are forgiven.
And if I can't believe that He has forgiven you after your sincere confession,
what hope can I have that I myself will be forgiven?"
{ page 366 }

** I was given a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received. **
{ I would recommend this book for married women only }

* * * * * * * * * * * *

A question for Allison Pittman. . .

What inspired you to write On Shifting Sand?
This is always the hardest question to answer. 
I loved writing about the dynamics of marriage with my Sister Wife series. 
But then, a story of a marriage needs conflict,
and I’ve yet to see a CBA novel really tackle the idea of adultery 
in a way that showed it to be a conscientious, willful sin, 
disassociated from the circumstances of the marriage, or the relationship 
between the husband and wife. 
Too often, it was a backstory to justify a divorced character. 
Or it was a series of close calls, but never fully realized. 
I wanted to portray it as sin. 
Pure and simple, but unique in the fact that it reaches beyond the sinner, 
and carries with it a risk in confession. 
And then, I wanted to write a story that follows through a journey of restoration—
not simply coming back to Christ, but coming back to life. 
It took a bit for all the pieces to come together, 
and so many of them weren’t discovered until I was buried in the story.
More than any of my books, inspiration for this story came bit by bit.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Do-It-Yourself Centerpieces For The Spring Season

A little while ago I was contacted by
and they wondered if they could share a post with my readers.
Of course I said yes :)
I am very thankful for and their team - 
they did a beautiful job and I hope you enjoy their lovely ideas.

* * * * * * * * * *

Do-It-Yourself Centerpieces For The Spring Season
Now that Spring has finally sprung, 
it's time for all those seasonal precursors to the coming of summer. 
It’s the time of year for an organizational overhaul, for Spring cleaning 
and giving everything a freshening up, and of course for Spring decor. 
While there are a number of simple ways to incorporate a Spring look throughout your home, 
one of the areas where you can be creative and crafty is in making centerpieces 
for a dining room or other large table. 
Check out some of these great do-it-yourself centerpieces 
that will help you to bring Spring indoors this season.

Springtime Flowerpot

Via All You

This is a craft that’s doable by even the least artsy of us 
and will add a charm that’s both modern and somewhat rustic. 
You’ll need a flowerpot that’s about 4 to 5 inches in diameter—preferably white, 
but you can buy any color if you don’t mind painting it—as well as 4-inch blades of cut grass, 
a foam floral sphere, scissors, glue lines or some other similar adhesive, 
and one to two dozen daisies or another flower of your choice. 
The grass is attached to the bottom of the flowerpot exterior 
to look as though it’s growing up and around it. 
Soak the floral sphere in water, then drain and position snugly inside the flowerpot. 
Finally, trim flower stems to a little more than an inch and insert into the floral sphere 
so that the flowers hide the entire sphere. 
While the picture is shown with live grass and flowers, 
you could also use artificial greenery and flowers 
if you would prefer to create a centerpiece that can be reused next Spring.

Floating Fruit Centerpiece

If you’d prefer something that’s a little less crafty yet just as effective, 
you might try this lovely floating fruit centerpiece. 
In the picture above, three large glass vases were filled to varying heights with water 
and apples were added for a fresh and fun look. 
This is a simple and elegant centerpiece that achieves something of a still life look. 
You might also try putting a different colored set of apples into each vase 
to make this look a little more playful.

Sweet Peas and Cabbages

A variant of the traditional floral centerpiece, 
the sweet peas have rich purple tones that are perfectly matched and complemented by the cabbages.
To achieve this look, you simply hollow out a couple cabbages 
so they’ll hold a small Mason jar or another small cup, put some water in it for the flowers, 
and you’ve got a monochromatic purple centerpiece that pretty much screams Spring.

Citric Drama

One of the greatest things about the Spring season is the promise of fresh fruits, 
which can look very at home when paired together in a beautiful bowl as a centerpiece. 
To make it more compelling, you could pair shiny smooth objects 
such as lemons with smaller textured and dark objects like nuts to create a dynamic arrangement.
Using a glass pedestal bowl for added drama and incorporating a little greenery 
gives the centerpiece a finishing touch.
- Dane O'Leary -

For more design ideas and inspiration, head to

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Roses Of Inspiration Linkup #17

Welcome, lovely friends!
It's always a blessing to have you here at Roses of Inspiration
and I am truly grateful for the time you take to link up.
I am always excited to see what you have been up to,
but before we get this party started let's take a look at a few favorites from last week.

Roses of Inspiration Features. . .
If you were featured than please feel free to take the "I was featured" button.
Simply copy the HTML code and paste it onto your blog.

The Enchanting Rose

Please do not pin from my site!
Go to the original source and pin from there IF it is okay with the blog owner!

The most viewed link was Rose Vignettes
and her lovely list of favorite items right now.

. . . { Shabby Inspiration } . . .

shared a lovely shabby heart keepsake box - her eye for detail is stunning!

. . . { Wisdom Inspiration } . . .

shared a lovely and encouraging post about being beautiful just the way God made you.

shared a wonderful post about knowing the true value of time.

. . . { Recipe Inspiration } . . .

shared a delicious and refreshing recipe for cream puffs with strawberries - yum!

. . . { Tea Inspiration } . . .

showed us her exquisite tea room.
If you did not visit Penny than I would recommend heading over to see her charming place.

. . . { Lawn Decor Inspiration } . . .

shared her beautiful and bright shabby chairs.

. . . { DIY Inspiration } . . .

showed us how to make a delightful pitcher out of fabric.

If you are new to our party than here are the basics. . .

{ 1 }
You can link up anything that your heart desires. . .
crafting - recipes - encouragement
Scripture - devotionals - photography
healthy living - gardening - home living
sewing - crochet/knitting - fashion
beauty - tea time - home decor - etc

{ 2 }
You can linkup as many posts as you want
and they can be posts you have written today, last week, last month, or last year.

{ 3 }
There will be fun giveaways throughout the year.
I will simply add up the amount of people who participated in one of the link-ups,
write the numbers down on paper and draw the number of the winner.
So if you link-up more than one post you will have a greater chance of winning.
These giveaways will be random

so you never know which link-up I will choose for a giveaway.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Below is a button available for your sidebar
to let others know about Roses of Inspiration.

The Enchanting Rose

If you are new to linkup parties than please click here
to see how to share your blog post.

Please have fun, my friends!
I am always excited to see what you share 
and will be around to visit each one of your blogs throughout the week.
And speaking of visiting,
please take a few moments to visit at least two of the posts shared-

everyone loves visits and comments.
Have a lovely day!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cleanse Me

If we confess our sins, 
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- 1 John 1:9 -

Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, my Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.

I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word and make me pure within.
Fill me with fire where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.

Lord, take my life and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self, and pride;
I now surrender, Lord - in me abide.

O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival - start the work in me.
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.
- J. Edwin Orr -

"Cleanse Me" was written in 1936 after a stirring Easter convention 
in Ngaruawahia, New Zealand.
Fervent meetings sprang up throughout the city.
Inspired by this intense movement of the Holy Spirit,
Dr. Orr took time as he left New Zealand to write the verses of "Cleanse Me"
on the back of an envelope in the Post Office.
In following campaigns in Australia and other parts of the world,
Dr. Orr often used this hymn to encourage new spiritual awakenings.
His ceaseless prayer was that the people of God would be stirred to pray 
for yet another worldwide awakening.
{ From Amazing Grace by Kenneth W. Osbeck }

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness;
that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins,
and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.
- Psalm 51: 7 - 10 -

Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
- Psalm 139: 23, 24 -

Have a joyous and blessed Lord's Day!
Hugs to you, dear friends!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bee Mug And A Yo-Yo Cozy

Hello sweet friends!
It's a beeautiful day, isn't it? :)
Did you know that May Day will be here in a little over a week?
I know for May Day baskets of flowers are usually given
and left at the door {anonymously} for someone special to find.
Why not think outside of the box. . .
and give a little mug gift set with a pretty doily flower :)
Set this sweet mug at someones door for a delightful surprise.

The cheerful yellow mug is in the shape of a beehive
which is perfect for a bee theme gift.

I filled the mug with tissue paper
and then added Camomile, Honey and Vanilla Tea.
I also slipped in some Burt's Bees lip balm and lip shimmer.

I thought this saying "Be Yourself"
was perfect for the bee theme so I applied it to a white paper doily.

I attached a fabric-wrapped wire stem to the back of the doily
which created a sweet little flower :)

Here is the back of the doily. . .

Have you seen those pretty knitted/crocheted mug cozies?
Well, I think they are simply lovely, but . . . I can't knit. . . or crochet
so I made a mug cozy out of fabric yo-yo's.

I used eight fabric yo-yo's to create the cozy.

And added some snap buttons to attach the ends together.

A simple, thoughtful, and beeautiful gift for someone special :)

Enjoy your day and Be Yourself. . . you are lovely!

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Forgive me, sweet friends, for being absent from blogging this week.
My little one got the stomach flu on Tuesday and now I have it. . .
Lord-willing, I will be around to visit all of you soon,
I truly appreciate your visits and comments!
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