Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Captive DVD Review + Giveaway


About the movie:
Based on a miraculous story about the power of faith, Captive is an "amazing, inspiring" drama about the spiritual collision of two lost souls, Brian Nichols (Golden Globe Nominee David Oyelowo), on the run from police and desperate to make contact with his newborn son, takes recently widowed mother Ashley Smith (Kata Mara) hostage in her own apartment.  Fearing for her life and desperately hoping to see her daughter again, she turns to Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life for guidance.  Ashley and her captor face a crossroads where they discover hope and light in the midst of despair in the moving film that Dick Rolfe, CEO, Dove Foundation hailed as "powerful." 

DVD Release Date: January 5, 2016
Runtime: 96 minutes
Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse) 
Captive is a compelling true story about a young widow (Ashley Smith)  held by her own prison of drugs and the loss of being the mother to her little girl and Brian Nichols, a man accused of rape and an escaped prisoner with 4 murders in his wake.  These two are thrown together in a thriller drama that shows the power of redemption.
One rainy night in Atlanta, GA, Brian Nichols grabs Ashley Smith outside of her apartment and holds her hostage for 7 hours.  In that time he takes the drugs she still has in her new apartment but she refuses.  She calmly tries to talk to him and eventually she ends up reading parts of the book The Purpose Driven Life to him.  They are two desperate people and Ashley saw how broken Brian was and he saw the hope that she had within her.  Both were imprisoned by their choices, yet, God chose to redeem them in miraculous ways. 
Ashley believes that God saved her that night in March 2005 and she has been drug free since.  Brian Nichols surrendered to the police without a fight and now is in prison for life without parole.  Both realized that light can shine through the darkness and this movie showed just how messy lives can be, but how no one is too far away from the God who saves. 
I really enjoyed this movie. It was powerful and thought provoking how God can use such broken people to come to him.  Although Brian is not "saved" he surrenders to the police which ultimately ends his flight peacefully.  There are a few drug scenes and some violence with gun shots and punching, but this drama was also full of hope and humanity that we all face things that imprison us and God can use any circumstance to bring us out of that pit.  This true story is worth watching. 
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
Captive on DVD
Open to valid addresses in US and Canada only.
Please see giveaway guidelines above.
Please fill out this FORM with the following information.
Name and Email 
Giveaway ends on January 25.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Connect Cards for Small Groups from Missional Women Review



 Creative Resource for Small Group Leaders: Deeper connections are critical to a Small Group and creating them is a formidable challenge. So here is a resource—creative ideas and content—to help your Small Group make those connections: Connecting with God, Connecting with Scripture, Connecting with the Mission, and Connecting with One Another.

Why Connect Cards?
Many times when a Bible study is over it can seem like getting into God's Word was great but the group didn't really connect with each other, didn't grow in a heart for prayer or for reaching the world for Christ.

Small groups provide an atmosphere where great growth can take place but it takes intentionality to think through how to help group members connect with God, each other and the Great Commission in a deep and meaningful way. The Connect Cards provide training, questions and ideas to ensure each of these elements are present each week to make not only a deep and meaningful group but also an influential one.

How it Works
The Connect Cards deck has four essential elements: Connect with Scripture (for the leader), Connect with God (prayer), Connect with Each Other (group interaction), and Connect with The Mission (ministry). Each week during your small group Bible Study, chose one card from each section. All four categories combined (depending on the size of your group) should about 30-45 minutes to your group time. If you are short on time, you can choose to go through one category at a time.


The Connect Cards are a collection of cards with specific themes and questions or reflections for connecting to God, others, mission and scripture.  There are 11 cards in each section.  Each card focuses on a specific aspect of the theme.  Included on the cards are questions, Bible references, web links, thoughts and many ways to connect to God and others.  These cards would work well in a small group to pick 2-4 during a Bible study time and dive into the activities.  These cards cover what might not come up in normal conversation, but what dedicated Christians should be discussing and researching in their Christian walk. 

Do you need a unique way to increase discussion and make meaningful conversations in your small group or Bible study?  Connect Cards might be a good resource for you.

Be sure to visit Missional Women for more information and to order. 

*I was given these cards for review purposes only.  All opinions are my own.*

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert Book Review

A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert is the third book in her Texas Gold series.  Faith Marin is a successful news anchor with her own show on the local TV station in Texas but hides a secret past that she doesn't want to expose ever.  Then she meets Geary and they become enchanted with each other. She even puts up with his overbearing and strange, but loving family.  But Faith and Geary have different interests and dreams and eventually they go their separate ways emotionally.  Then an accident happens and Faith is unable to accept that her life will forever be changed.  She and Geary must trust God with their pasts and future to be honest and give their marriage new life. 
This story had me hooked from the beginning.  The bounce between present and past was very tasteful and helped me to understand the story better and kept me guessing as to how the relationship between Faith and Geary changed.  The way they went from complete separation to healing and hope was quite a transformation.  This book kept me glued to my seat until the end. 
*I was given a complimentary copy of this book for review.  All opinions are my own. *

Friday, January 8, 2016

Favorite Books of 2015

Hi, I am a book reader!  I remember getting in trouble for reading books at school because I was supposed to be doing the classwork.  I also probably stayed up too late in high school and college reading.  But now, it's a struggle to read, especially books that I want to read.  I read A LOT to my kids.  But I am learning to find time to fit in reading for me and it's fun.  I started to track my reading on GoodReads this year and they have a nifty reading goal challenge.  I chose to read 24 books last year which was about 2 a month.  I did it! 

So here are 5 books that I read in 2015 and an extra one that I recommend:

See my short video HERE.

Books that I shared:

*Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson
Own Your Life

*Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

*Hoodwinked by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk

*Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

*Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin
Through Waters Deep

Bonus book: Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph
Women Living Well
Bible study that goes with this book from Biblical Homemaking.  Excellent!

I hope you can read some of these books this year if you haven't.  I can't wait to see what books I get to recommend next year.  If you want to see all the books I read, check out my GoodReads account.  As you can see it was tough just to choose 5 books to share. 

Also, I usually buy my books at Book Depository which sometimes has lower prices, but also FREE shipping all over the world.  I have found this company to be reliable and convenient.

What books did you read that you might recommend for me to read this year?  Thanks, Shonda

*I am an affiliate for Book Depository.  Any purchase you make is at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for your support.*

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Make Over Your Mornings SALE ends on January 8!! Don't Miss It!

The Makeover Your Mornings Course is now on SALE for only $9.

I am currently going through this course again because I feel that I need to refresh my intentional living strategies. 

Crystal walks you through each step.

Learn how to create order to your next day by doing a few things the night before.
Choose the BIG rocks first and make them a priority.
Break down your goals in bite sized pieces.
Make a reasonable to do list.
Make a morning routine and be consistent.
Be ok to fail at times.

I can't tell you how much better I feel when I have my day in order and I'm able to truly enjoy my family and my work.  This ecourse is the perfect jumpstart to making those things happen. 

Make Over Your Mornings is a 14 day ecourse with videos, a short reading, assignments and printables.  This takes about 15 min a day, but has huge benefits.

I really like how the printables actually get me to think about the most important parts of my time.  On Day 2 I wrote down 3 things that cause me stress in the morning and how to make them less stressful if I took the time to do them the night before!  How come I didn't think of that?

If you would like to take a quick peek, check out the free Day 1 link below.
I honestly thought I didn't need this course and that I was just fine, but after taking this course and doing it again, I see so much more than just good morning routine.  It's a lifestyle that makes my days worth getting up and living for. 

How about you?
You can get Day 1 for free!
And if you purchase the course and you are not satisfied there is a 30 day money back guarantee.
Take a look at Day 1 and decide if this would be a good fit for you.
SALE from December 26-January 8
Only $9

*I am an affiliate for this course and I am pleased to endorse it.  Any purchase you make is no extra cost to you.  Thanks for your support.*

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mexico: November 2015

Last November we had a family reunion in PV, Mexico with 27 family members.  Almost 10 years ago, my husband and I were at the same resort, but it looked much different then.  It was fun to go back and this time we had two kids!  It was so fun to watch the kids enjoy the water and my son learned to swim without water wings.  We ate a lot of good food and we had some fun adventures.  Here are a few pictures to share with you!

Can't wait to go back again!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Home Management Binder 2016

Last year I put together a homemaking binder and I used it a lot, but not as much as I think I will use it this year.  Here is my updated peek.  I probably will do more videos on different parts of my binder so you can see exactly how I use it. 

Video of my current Homemaking Binder for 2016.

Links to resources:

*Schedules and To-Do Lists

Speed Cleaning Checklist from Living Well Spending Less

Weekly Checklist for House Cleaning and Other Weekly Chores from Household Management 101

52 Weeks to an Organized Home from Home Storage Solutions 101

Delcutter Calendar from My Simpler Life


Intentional Living Checklist from Intentional by Grace

List PlanIt planning sheets

Mission Statements for Mom from Inspired to Action


52 Week Money Saving Challenge from Household Management 101

Bill Pay sheets from Grace Christian Homeschool

Month at a Glance from 30 Handmade Days


I used forms from Organizing Home Life

*Special Days

Special Day Planner made by Me!


I used forms from Organizing Home Life


Packing list from Inkwell Press


31 Days of Living Well Spending Zero from Living Well Spending Less

Planning 101 by Leigh Ann Dutton

Restart Planner by Elisa Pulliam

You can also follow the tutorial from Organizing Home Life to make your own notebook.

I hope this has been helpful for you to develop your own home management binder.  It is my goal this year to do some major decluttering and getting some systems in place for budget, menu planning and being focused on my goals.  I'm excited to see how God will help me be a better mom, wife and woman of God.  Blessings, Shonda