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I’m Going To Give You A Bear Hug – Giveaway and Book Review

20 Apr

IMG_0562 copy

I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug  is a wonderful book written by best-selling author, Caroline B. Cooney

This book is based off of a verse Caroline wrote for her now grown children many years ago.  It’s a beautiful book to read for a bedtime story, and so beautifully illustrated.

A Mommy transforms into different animals to give hugs.

Here are a couple of lines out of the book:

“I’m going to give you a dog hug.
A knock over chairs,
Chase up the stairs,
And sleep like a log hug.”  

“I’m going to give you a duck hug.
A webbed feet,
Feathered seat,
Waddle through the muck hug.”

Aren’t they cute?  You can have a really playful interaction with your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew or just a friend’s child.

So many kinds of hugs,  From the Inside Cover:  “Whether it’s a big bear, gasp for air, knock over a chair hug or a wet and drippy, slimy fish hug—children will giggle their way through all the imaginative examples of how to hug. Cooney’s engaging rhymes encourage playful interaction between parent and child and ultimately help them wind down before they snuggle into bed and drift off to sleep. ”

Pop open this giggly, charming book and enjoy!

I’m giving away a copy of this book.  All you have to do is comment below by Monday, April 23.  U.S. participants only.

I received this book from the Blythe Daniel Agency for an honest review.


Bible Basics, A Baby Believer – Counting Primer – Giveaway and Review

19 Apr

Bible Basics Banner 2

I just finished enjoying and reading the Bible Basics Book – A Baby Believer – Counting Primer  by Danielle Hitchen.  This is a board book designed for babies and toddlers, but as I looked over it I see it could even be for any new believers no matter what age.

It’s so easy to read and understand.  It begins with God – I AM, explains the natures of Jesus, the trinity, gospels, Pentateuch, the days of creation, the I Ams of Jesus, the beatitudes, fruits of the Spirit, and the ten commandments.   I am not sure a toddler could understand all of this – but a small child just becoming a believer probably could, and it is a book that can grow with a toddler, and probably many adults reading this to them.

It’s a simple, beautiful book.   I loved the illustrations.  Loved the sturdiness of the book.  Love how it grows with a child from the simple things like numbers beginning with the number 1 and God and then it advances from there.

8 Beatitudes

You will enjoy how the babies in your life will learn to count and also Bible basics at the same time.  You’ll love how it includes scriptures,  words from hymns, and even some writings from the early church.

I can’t wait to read this book to my toddler grandsons, and new grand babies that were born this month.

I have one to giveaway.  Just comment below who in your life you would love to sit down with and read this book.  Giveaway is for U.S. only, and closes on Monday, April 23.

I received this book to give an honest review by the Blythe Daniel Agency.


The Broken Way – Review and Giveaway

17 Nov


I’m so, so excited to be able to giveaway an early Christmas gift just for you – A copy of Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way AND the DVD and Study Guide.

You can enter by commenting “Who doesn’t have five-minutes to be the gift” on this post, or post it in a comment on my Facebook Page – Blogger Loves The King or both.   You have until December 12th to enter, and a winner will be drawn on December 13th.

I am being honest here.  When I first opened this book it seemed like it was going to be a hard read the first few pages.  I found before I left the first chapter that it was going to tug at my heart, and it will yours too.  The significance of the title makes more and more sense as you read through each word.  With many tears I have to admit it has been one of my most favorite books ever.  It’s one I will treasure and know I will pick up again and again because there is so much inside it to savor and take to heart.

Your brokenness.  What do you do with it?  What do you do with one broken heart?  Ann is so bold in this book sharing her brokenness, and as I read  I was shocked as she shared with her readers the pain of being a cutter.  She shares all she has done to leave it behind.  She asks, “What in God’s holy name do you do when it feels like you’re broken and cut up, and love has failed, and you’ve failed, and you feel like Somebody’s love has failed you?”

How do you live with one broken heart?  Ann’s answer is “you give it away.”

As I read through that first chapter about her brokenness, I thought back to my own brokenness.  We all have some point in our lives where we are broken, and she reminds us we are all guaranteed suffering.  She asks:

 “How do we live with our broken hearts?”

“How do we live knowing our Lord died with a broken heart?”

“How do we live knowing what He went through for us?”

 “Was His heart broken when He asked the Father why He had forsaken Him?  Surely it was.”

Ann shares all this in just the first chapter of the book – but there’s more – so much MORE, and each chapter is woven with so much truth.

I love the personal real-life stories in this book and some  will bring you to tears, or they did me:

  • The Wheat Story – Her husband shared with her this beautiful story of how the wheat breaks from the seed, the soil breaks to give crops, the sky breaks to give rain, the wheat breaks to give bread, and the bread a feast.  Isn’t that like us?  He reminds her to not be afraid of broken things.
  • Christ in communionThis is the one and only command Christ gave to do continually over and over again.  This is the practice He gave for us to practice our faith, to practice again and again.  In remembrance of Him.  Continuously do this at the sink, at the stove, at the street corner, at the setting of the sun and at it’s rising again, and never stop continuously doing this.

“This is how you live with one broken heart:  you give it away.  This is how you enter into the wholeness of koinnonia – communion.”

“Your broken heart is only healed by a oneness with Him.”


                  After reading Ann’s communion story, you’ll never take communion again in the way.  Such a story of pure worship.

  • God-Alzheimer’s. – Ann shares about rolling over and burying her head and how she could forget the face of God and even that her name was Beloved and how she could get God-Alzheimer’s.  What a beautiful way to talk about being depressed and anxiety!
  • Pen and Ink Cross on Wrist – She reaches for a pen each day in the same way she reached for a pen to write about and count a thousand ways that He loves her.  She draws a cross on her scarred wrist every single day to remind her to live “cruciform”, and so that she remembers to love others daily.  Her wrist that was once a place on her body etched with cutting pain is  now each day  a wrist etched with a cross.  It is a daily reminder for her to continuously remember Him and to make Him present as she remembers herself and the world.

Cruciform as described by Ann is to “Become cruciform.  Like a cross. Transform.”  To become cruciform, to let your life become shaped like a cross, is to become more fully human – and most fully like Christ – then this is the work most urgent, most needed.”

“Your one broken heart always splits God’s heart in two.  You never cry alone.”


  • Breaking Time In Two – “you have only one decision every day:  how will you use your time?”  Ann shares about standing and just listening to a clock, about the size of our buckets of time, and how many days do we actually get?  How many days do you and I get to live?  I loved her analogy of time being a vapor and though we can reach our hands out it will run through just like water and fall like dew and be gone soon.  What a metaphor of time!
  • Blue Mason Jar Full of Kernels– When the calendar changed to a new year, Ann’s daughter asked her how many days we get to live.  Ann takes a blue jar in her hands and describes to  her daughter about our lives – our time on Earth.   She measures four cups of wheat kernels and pours them and shares with her daughter that is 25,550 days.  25,550 days would equal seventy years if that’s what we get.  I found myself calculating my days and what is gone, what is left, and what am I doing with my remaining days.

“Live everyday like your terminal.  Because you are.  Live every day like your soul’s eternal.  Because it is .”


I think most of us know Ann from her book One Thousand Gifts, but what I didn’t know was that book was written five years ago during a time  she didn’t know how to love or feel.  Through her actions described in that book she says she has changed “into a woman who’s embraced a love so large its broken her heart in a 1,000 aching places.”

One thing I have learned from Ann is about giving.  I celebrated my birthday this year in gift-blitzing my community and several nearby ones – 66 gifts in fact (actually hundreds), and I continued after my birthday taking cookies to our police department.  She reminds us again in this book about giving and this:

“For God so loved that He gave…..”

“Christ gives the gifts to us, and then – He within us, indwelling us – He gives the gifts through us to a beautiful and aching world.”

“Every small gift of grace creates a love quake that has no logical end.  It will go to the ends of the earth and change the world and then it will break through time and run on into eternity.”

“Who doesn’t have five-minutes to become a GIFT?”

“Is there any word more powerful than giving?  Thanksgiving.  Forgiving.  Care-giving.  Life-giving.  Everything that matters in living comes down to giving.”

I love to-do lists or for me recently it’s been goals for the month which keep it simpler.  As Ann was scrubbing the scum from the tub left by her husband’s dirt from working in the fields, she reminds us that “to-do lists can become “to-love lists”, and then “time to serve, time to touch, time to give”, and “continuously make the ever-present Christ present.”

Page after page of love, encouragement, truth, and the simple joys and things of life.  She talks about marriage, children, friends, death, children leaving for college, if-onlys, suffering, being brave in a bigger way than the hard thing, pouring out your bucket, to-do lists, feelings, and oh so, so much more.

Ann reminds us that those wounds we carry can be openings for the beauty that is within us, and our weaknesses can be a container for God’s glory.

“Pouring myself out in abundance of Him to be filled back up by Him.”

You can find the image below here.  Empty your bucket.  #BeTheGift


“Experiencing the whole world will not fill your bucket like experiencing giving yourself, and find the meaning that will fill your soul.”

“Who needs a bucket-list?  Empty, poured out buckets are actually the fullest buckets.”

I hope you will consider buying Ann’s book.  It would make a beautiful Christmas gift for you and others.

Find out more at

Read the first chapter free here.

All quotation marks indicate beautiful quotes which touched my heart in this book.  Honestly, every single page touched my heart.



10 Nov


FINALLY, this is my last post for the #write31day challenge and I am only a week behind.  Actually I am ten days behind, but who is counting.  Meeeeee.  I am so relieved to get this behind me.

Today I have a big surprise.  I will also be revealing the winner of the Jennifer Rothschild book 66 Ways God Loves You.   If only I could give everyone of you one I would.  This book is just precious, and again, I highly recommend it for a great Christmas present.

Thank you to each one who visits my blog.  Thank you to each of you who responded here and on Facebook.


The winner is Lisa Burgess at LisaNotes.  Congratulations Lisa.





26 Oct

I love to read and I stay busy with housework, on-line Bible studies, substitute teaching, yard work, blogging and playing with grandkids but today I am home.

I am off, the television is off, my shoes are off  and my 21-month old grandson is napping.

I hurried through my ironing  and hurried through vacuuming yesterday, and then propped up my feet to continue reading this beautiful book cover to cover.

I finished the book this afternoon,  got up to fix a glass of tea with some wonderful lemon on this unusual warm Texas day before someone wakes up, and writing a bit about this beautiful book about God’s love story to us.


Jennifer has taken all sixty-six, 66 books of the Bible and shares with us in every single book how God loves each one of us.  I could not put it down and finished it in two sittings.  Really, I am usually reading a book for weeks at a time, and some of them that are not Bible studies may take me a month or longer trudging along on my treadmill for twenty minutes at a time.

Each chapter Jennifer shares a beautiful teaching on the message of that particular book as well as a simple takeaway that brings that message as something to bless your heart and something easy to remember.  It’s a way as the front of the book says to, “Experience God’s Love for You in Every Book of the Bible.”

Here are just a few of the chapter titles:

  • In Genesis God Fashions Me With His Hands  – “God used His hand, His touch, to craft us – the crowning jewel of all His handiwork.” Jennifer Rothschild
  • In Judges God Shows Mercy in Spite of My Repeated Failures – “The King of kings loves you and gives you mercy and faithful love.  He does it when you least deserve or expect it.”  Jennifer Rothschild
  • In Job God Sustains Me In My Suffering – “Possibly the oldest book in the Bible, the book of Job – every page of it – is stained by tears.  It tells one of our oldest stories – we all suffer, and suffering hurts.”  Jennifer Rothschild
  • In Malachi God Pours Out His Blessings On Me – “God’s blessing pours out of His heart of love for you.  Even when you talk back like an ungrateful child, God holds back His anger and gives you kindness instead.  “‘I have always loved you,’ says the LORD” Malachi 1.2 NLT”  Jennifer Rothschild
  • In Philippians God Gives Me Joy – “Joy is a seed God plants in the hearts of His children so the sweet assurance of His presence will blossom in our lives.”  Jennifer Rothschild

If that doesn’t give you goose bumps I don’t know what will.  Imagine the other sixty chapter titles.  They are all good!  Sixty-six chapters, two pages each, easy to read and all in one incredible message.  From Genesis to Revelation Jennifer shares how special we are go God.  It’s a beautiful book inside and outside.  Uplifting, inspiring, and fun!

This is the cover and it’s as beautiful inside!  Some of the flowers on the outside are foiled.  Inside each page has flower designs too.  It’s just simply so cute.


Here are just a couple of ways of how I felt God’s love through the book and you will too :

  • A beautiful, meaningful story of how He fashioned me when it said I am the crowning jewel of His handiwork.  Yes I knew I was His handiwork and His masterpiece, but I’ve never read that I was the crowning jewel of His handiwork.
  • Knowing Him and making Him known was a church slogan for us for years, but this book just brought so much beauty to that.  Jennifer said that “Jesus said, “Whoever practices and teaches these command will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19).  You have been given the magnificent purpose of living out the words of Jesus and sharing them with others.  Thank God for giving you the highest purpose-knowing and loving Him and making Him known”.  That right there is what it is all about, and it is what we need in this country and our real purpose to love Him so much we make Him known.
  • I loved being reminded of all the many different ways that God loves me as I read each and every page.

This book isn’t a Bible study, but if you have never read the Bible, and even if you are a scholar, it is so simple and easy to read and  will help you understand a little about what each chapter of the Bible shares about love and what that chapter is about.

Experience His love in sixty-six beautiful loving ways. HE.LOVES.YOU.

This book would make a perfect gift for a birthday, a shut-in, someone in the hospital,  or with Christmas coming up you might want to pick some up for stocking stuffers.


I am giving away one copy of this wonderful book to one of my readers.  Everyone that comments below or on my Blogger Loves The King  or personal Facebook page on this blog post from now until next Tuesday, November 1 will be eligible to win.  I will print out your comments, put them in a bowl and one of my grandsons will be drawing. I will announce the winner next week in my last #31 day writing.


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