Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year, everyone!!

May we each follow God this year, wherever He might lead. God is good!

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Girlfriends Guidebook - a book review

I was contacted about reviewing a new book by Marian Jordan titled The Girlfriends Guidebook, a book about "navigating female friendships." Since I got married, I haven't really maintained any female friendships. I did make and have kept several friends that were introduced through my husband. However, I don't currently have any close female friends. I was hoping this book would help with that.

I love the warning that is issued at the beginning of the book. In the introduction, the author warns that you should "please read this book for yourself... not for your girlfriends!" (2). It's too easy to read advice about any aspect of life and want to apply it to others. However, advice should first be applied to ourselves!

The goal of this book is to "examine friendship from the perspective of God's Word" (22). Looking over the book, it does fulfill that stated purpose. The Girlfriends Guidebook examines friendship and uses lots of Scripture texts to show what qualities a woman should provide in a friendship and what qualities to look for in a friend. Jordan states three reasons for friendship - companionship, sanctification, and service. She outlines each of these purposes and shows how these purposes are illustrated in Scripture. I thought each purpose was well illustrated and supported.

I think my favorite quote in the book is in chapter three. It states that "if the cry of our hearts for love and acceptance is not first realized in a relationship with Jesus Christ, then great disappointment awaits any woman who believes she'll find it in a friendship" (48). I think this quote is applicable to any aspect of life. If we do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we will be disappointed in anything we try to secure love and acceptance from.

After reading the book, I was left with one question - are girlfriends necessary to a married woman? Is there something that a close female friendship provides that a spouse does not? My husband is my best friend. Would developing a bosom female friendship provide something that I cannot or should not seek from my husband? I'm not sure.

Overall, I thought this was a very solid book. The tone is a bit girly for my taste, referring to Sex and the City, shopping, and boys. I'm not quite that girly and couldn't really relate to some of the author's illustrations but the book still resonated with me.

Thank you, PR by the Book and B&H, for allowing me to read and review this book. It was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

For another interesting review of this book, please visit Reading to Know.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

the virgin shall be with child,
and bear a Son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel,”
which is translated,
God with us

Matthew 1:23.

My favorite Christmas song:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Plans? What plans?

I had plans for this week. HA! They have been completely thrown out the window. There are a few things I still want to do this week but we'll see how much actually gets accomplished. Supposedly, my hubby will be working at a client all day on Friday so I should be able to be very productive.

Tonight... we are doing something crazy. We are going to the midnight showing of The Adventures of Tintin! Then, first thing tomorrow morning, we are doing a 90 minute yoga session. I'm sure we could have timed these two events better, but tonight is the theatre release and my husband has been looking forward to it for months. He grew up reading the Tintin comics and was really excited when he found out they were making a movie.

I hope I'm able to achieve some level of coherency tomorrow! I'm sure we'll be tired but it's worth it to make my hubby so happy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This week's memory text - Joshua

Last week flew by like a whirlwind. I'm way behind on last week's memory text but I'm adding another for this week. There's no reason I can't learn two!

This text really stood out to me in yesterday morning's Bible reading. I was feeling rather abandoned because my husband's work is taking up almost all of his time lately. But there was a message in this text just for me.

Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and of good courage;
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,
for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go
Joshua 1:9.

From the mouth of the Lord - Be strong. Be of good courage. Do not be afraid. Do not be dismayed. For the Lord your God is with you.

Even if things are hectic at work, though my husband is extremely busy with work and I feel lonely, God is with me. I can be strong and have courage. God is with me.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

This week's memory text - Deuteronomy 10:12

I haven't done a memory text in awhile. This week, I'm going to learn the same text in both English and Japanese.

And now, Israel,
what doth the LORD thy God require of thee,
but to fear the LORD thy God,
to walk in all his ways,
and to love him,
and to serve the LORD thy God
with all thy heart and with all thy soul

Deuteronomy 10:12


Some of the grammar for the Japanese text is a bit above my skill level. It might take me more than a week to learn it!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A month of nonfiction - week 1

In my last Nightstand post, I talked about how December is going to be a month of nonfiction reading. Now that week 1 is complete, I wanted to give a quick update.

Reading nothing but nonfiction is hard! Hubby and I like to read shortly before bed every night. At the end of the day, especially one where I've studied Japanese for an hour or two already, the last thing I want is heavy reading. I know not all nonfiction is heavy. It's just so much easier to curl up with a novel!

So far I've read:

Lost in Shangri-La

Vermeer: A View of Delft

Up next:

The Girlfriends Guidebook

Behind the Veils of Yemen

I've already started reading The Girlfriend's Guidebook. It's a review copy so I'll have a post about it here when I'm finished. Actually, both of the books next on my list are review copies. Someday I'll start reading the massive pile of books already stacked up in my spare bedroom!

Monday, December 5, 2011

D9P backing and the beginnings of a new quilt

Yesterday, hubby and I visited Joann's and picked up the backing for my double 9 patch quilt. I had such a hard time deciding what to use! Should I buy a solid or a print? Should it be a subtle print or something bold? Purple? Pink? Blue? Green? I looked at the walls of fabric and felt completely overwhelmed.

I found a simple floral print I liked, printed on a white background. However, I've been hesitant to use any white in my backings as I know it will get dirty very fast. I decided that since this quilt already contained fabric choices that were not... wonderful... I would just go for something simple: a light pink to offset the very bold top.

I'm not sure I made the best choice, but I've found I learn better by trial and error. If this doesn't work, then I will know better for my next quilt.

Over the weekend, while I waited until we had an opportunity to visit the fabric store, I started another quilt. I just couldn't help myself. Since high school, I've been wanting to make a denim quilt, one I saw on HGTV. I couldn't find the exact pattern, though I had printed it years ago. Who knows where those papers disappeared to! I'm still not sure exactly what pattern I'll use, but I decided to start prepping the fabric.
A bucketful of jeans

I've been saving jeans for years. Some of the jeans have holes in them; others I grew too fat or too skinny to wear. Now I only wear skirts so all of these jeans are going into my quilt. Who knows? Maybe I'll have enough denim for more than one quilt.

What I have cut so far

What still needs to be cut

While at Joann's, I found the perfect flannel backing for my denim quilt! Even better, it was 70% off! I bought the rest of the bolt.

There is still a ton of prep work to be done on the denim. I haven't cut squares out yet. I've only cut the useless parts of the jeans away from the usable fabric. Once I determine the size of my squares, I can actually begin cutting the blocks. First, though, I need to finish the double 9 patch quilt. I just needed something to keep myself busy while waiting to buy the backing fabric!

Happy quilting!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Double 9 Patch Quilt - Borders Added!

It's really late for me to be posting but I was so excited that I just couldn't wait until tomorrow.

I finished adding the borders to my quilt!!

I'll have to see about getting a better photo of the quilt, probably laid out on my living room floor. My photo accidentally cut off part of the blocks in the top corners! It's hard holding anything up in the air when you're in the middle of an intense workout program...

At the beginning, I wasn't sure I liked this quilt. It's a bit too bold for me. However, I had to work with the fabric the church gave me and then supplemented with a couple trips to Joann Fabric. The quilt is growing on me now. It still won't be my favorite, but at least I'm willing to admit now that I made it!

On Sunday, we're headed to Joann to buy backing for the quilt. Then I can start the sandwiching process and the quilting. I can't wait!