Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Glory in the Ordinary Review

Today I am here to review Glory in the Ordinary, by Courtney Reissing.

Now, if you are anything like me, you may HATE housework.

One of the reasons I abhor housework is that it is so boring and repetitive.

Day in, day out.

All you are doing is the same dang thing, without much to show for it.

No. Change. Whatsoever.

In this book, Courtney carries the main theme that your average everyday housework is ultimately fulfilling the Glory of God. She discusses how the fall made work to be not fun with the curse, whereas before it was supposed to be a thing to enjoy.

She then goes on to explain how she believes heaven is the image of what this world was supposed to be like before the fall. We are not going to be sitting around playing harps when we cross over, according to Courtney. Instead, God is going to assign an eternal task for us that we will enjoy (instead of dread) doing immensely. Our work on earth, according to the author, is made to prepare us for the work we shall be doing in heaven.

Courtney then goes on to say that housework is designed to love the people who live in your home through serving them, which I liked. Lately, I have been struggling with the idea of showing, rather than telling love, and to realize that housework is one way in which one might be able to accomplish this baffled me.

One concept I liked (coming from the perspective of me being a history graduate) was how the author ended up connecting how housewives were viewed back in the '60s vs. how they are viewed today. Back in the '60s, "housewifery" was the premier calling for a woman, with the husband being the main breadwinner of the family. Now, people almost look down their noses at women who stay at home, rebuking them for being a setback to feminism. There has also been a shift in vocabulary, from being a housewife to being a "stay-at-home". A woman is judged for how well she raises her kids, and by how many activities she has crammed into their schedule that she has to shuttle them to and from. More and more women who have even aspired to have professional, successful careers often end up being stay-at-home-moms, according to what statistics are telling us.

A final point that made me smile was how we as women often expect ourselves to be "wonder women" and get everything done. As a matter of fact, if you talk with other women, their houses are very likely not all perfectly clean ever.

One thing that kind of bothered me about this book was how she framed the very idea of rest. Courtney claimed something we all know, that rest is not a sin because God rested. Yet, she also from my perspective had an idea of rest that, if you were not "resting" by doing a fun activity or having down time with your family, then it was basically a sin. This is implied with how she addressed the theme of housework as being an act of selflessly serving the family around you. If you are not "serving" your family by relaxing with them, I feel as though she implies that you should not be "resting" at all.

In some ways, I do see her point. We are supposed to be a communal species as human beings, striving for each others company. Yet, if you are an introvert like me, being around people, including your family, can absolutely EXAUST you sometimes. You need "alone time" to recharge, otherwise you and everyone else will most likely be suffering for it. There needs to be a balance. Relax with your family, then realize when you have to be alone to recharge.

Overall, I would like to give this book four out of five stars. While I did not agree with all her points, for the most part, Courtney has helped me to, at least start, shifting my perspective of housework. Pick up this book today at or at any Lifeway Christian store in your area!

Check out W2W ministres here!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Words and Candles

Words are important in life. A writer is perhaps someone who understands this better than most, with the most important group of words being, of course, the Word of God.

As I became somewhat of a candle addict after I received a candle for Christmas, I have been searching for just the right candle type that I can fall in love with. My search ended when my friend Ivy Rose opened a candle store over here on Etsy, called Bookburn Candles. What these candles are homemade soy candles with essential oils.

Now, I was a fan of essential oils before these candles. They have the power to help pick you up, motivate you, and relax. The three candle scents currently being sold through this shop help to do all three, while making excellent gifts for writers with each being connected to classic literary ideas and themes.

First, and my absolute favorite is the Glad Game. This candle is a mix of orange, frankincense, and peppermint essential oils. The theme of this candle originates from the Glad Game in Pollyanna, where you should always look for something to be glad about even in the middle of the direct set of circumstances. When you burn this candle, it offers a mixture of aromas that serve for a better pick me up than any cup of coffee could do for you.

Just a whiff of this candle will help you take the words of Paul to the Romans to heart.

Romans 15:3
 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Good Strong Words and writing. Need I say anything more? :D

My second favorite candle is Good Strong Words which draws inspiration from Jo, the sister and aspiring writer form Little Women. It is actually the one I am currently burning as I work on getting ahead with the two blogs I write for. It has a mixture of Cinnamon, Clove, and Orange It does its job as it blends together to create a strong, spicy, and citrusy scent that motivates you to get some writing done.

1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

Last, but most certainly not least, is Miss Lavender's garden. This is the perfect candle to burn, with its mixture of lavender, cedarwood, and jasmine scents, as you are winding down preparing for bed. It fills your room with a lovely, relaxing scent of flowers, similar to its inspiration in Anne of Green Gables.

Miss Lavender paired with a set of books I either want to read or re-read this year!

This candle will most certainly motivate you to dial it back, stopping to enjoy the small things in life, as it is described in the following passage of scripture.

Psalm 55:6
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.

So I would encourage you to head on over to the shop in the link posted above to check these candles out! They make excellent gifts for Easter, Mother's day, birthdays, or anytime in between!

Two of my favorite, as well as my friend Ivy's favorite ;), things; Home Free, paired with her Bookburn Candles!

Woman to Woman Ministries

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hello There

Old Man Pablo
Yeah, I felt like pulling an Obi-Wan from Revenge of the Sith. Anywho, just wanted to give you guys an update over the first couple months of the year!

A Beautiful Vintage photo of grandma

It has been rough, to be honest. First, I had to get over a cold that my brother was so nice to share (NOT!!!!!!), that knocked me off my feet for quite a bit. Then, Pablo, "my horse", passed away quite suddenly on New Years Day. It hit me hard. Just when I thought I had made my way out of the pit of depression and despair that hat dragged me down for most of the last summer, there I was back in it.

After that, my mom, who had to get radiation on her head since cancer has spread to her skull, started to lose her hair. It's is a bitter pill to swallow. I fear for her.I also fear for myself with all the health issues I have, some of which that are indirectly related to my mom's health issues.

Then, my "WONDERFUL" brother, had to be nice and share the cold that he had never really gotten over before he left on his trip to London With my AGAIN once he came back (yay...) :/

Now, one thing to note is that when I get sick, my immune system might as well be nonexistent, as I am sick for a WHILE. Around this time (the week before Valentine's day, to be exact). We received news that my grandma on my mom's side was not doing well at all. She ended up passing away on February 10th, and her funeral was Valentine's day. The hardest part about this was that I could barely visit her by her bed to keep watch with being sick, without fear of contaminating other residents in her retirement home.

So, it was pretty much right after I had started to accept one loss, I was sucker punched yet again with another, even BIGGER one...

Some days, or most days, I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve. When it comes to things like death, though, I realize that I internalize a lot.

It's been hard. I have not wanted to "people" in the weeks since my grandma's funeral, wanting very much to stick with my routine of going to work, and going home to watch my Olympic figure skating and Gonzaga Basketball as I struggled to process what was happening, as well as what had happened.

I am, to be quite frank and honest with you all, quite sick of all the curveballs being thrown in the way of me and my family.

I have had the tendency to look to God and say, "Get us the heck out of here!!! We have had enough of this storm!!!!!!!!! If you really loved us, you would let us have some 'calm' waters for once".

Could it be though, that we are too busy being distracted by all that weighs us down that we don't see it when we are in calm waters?

If only we could have A, B, and C work out. Then life would be calmer for us.

At least until the next two by four comes to smack you upside the head, because life just ain't all sunshine and roses!

With being the glass half empty person I am, It has been quite a long time since I felt like I have been in calm waters.

In reality, I have been blessed and am more fortunate than most people.

In other news, in the middle of this last week, I gave myself a kick back into gear, starting to take baby steps working back into the rhythm of accomplishing all the goals I had set for this new year. Which leads me to what I want for this blog.

I have decided to just give you guys the rest of my Christmas story I started, that I ended up being too sick to finish back at that time. You may be rolling your eyes at this, yet if I don't finish it SOON I am almost surely guaranteed to forget about it. It is still winter where I am living, which quite frankly has only made my depression worse. Christmas, Loki's shenanigans, and messing with my characters is something that makes me happy, though, so it is gonna be finished!

Then I am going to finish and post the rest of my "going back in time" Kennedy story I started, well, "back in time".

I have just felt the strong urge to finish things I have started in my writing. As many plot bunnies, I have running around in my head at the moment, they are going on the back burner until some of my other stories are done.

I want to eventually post this separate short story that sprouted out of my ongoing Ben and Chloe novel as well, about the acapella band's adventure at the Country Music Awards!

So, if things go as planned and yours truly can keep on top of things, hopefully, all these things will happen with this blog!

Yours truly,

the "Emster"

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Very Loki Christmas Party Part One

(A/n) Day ten of Faith's twelve days. Welcome to the start of this insane fic I wrote starring a combination of fan fiction characters and my own oc's. Enjoy!)

     The sisters had been the first to arrive, being ready and willing to help with the preparations, making Emily eternally grateful.
She had never hosted a Christmas party as big as this before.
Come to think of it, this was the first time she had ever hosted a Christmas party, period.
To think about all the different personalities she was going to be cramming into this Finnish resort (Armo and Adeline had been kind and gracious enough to offer up their property as a place for her to host the event) was more than a little nerve-wracking.
Not to mention some characters were going to be coming from the forties and some from different places and eras in the galaxy, thanks to Stark’s new time travel “toy”.
“Hey Em, where do ya want these!?” A high pitched, albeit still masculine voice laced with a drawl that came from the deep south called out as he entered.
Emily had to bite back her laughter at the shocked look of Jasmine and Victoria’s faces as Austin entered lugging three trees protected by garbage bags. One may wonder why such a sight would be so hilarious at first glance until they examined just how the trees just so happened to be tied.
Jasmine and Victoria, both homicide detectives in Washington DC for the other 363 days out of the year, looked mildly alarmed, but Emily was quick to reassure them.
“Set the trees right over in the corner, Austin. We still have yet to find the ornament boxes, but when we do,”
“Me n’ my siblings will take care of it,” Austin assured her with a smile.
Upon realizing appearances could be deceiving, Jasmine broke out into a grinned, thoroughly amused by the “prank”. Her sister was still eying the bags somewhat suspiciously, ready to “slap the cuffs” on this new strange young man the moment things started to head south.
“I have no idea what possessed the two of you to tie these trees up so that they looked like bodies, to begin with,” another young woman’s voice could be heard coming through the door complaining loudly.
“Come on, thith,” Sam protested. “You can’t tell me that it wath not funny”.
“We go from the middle of the trenches in Bastone, to this frozen wasteland,” Dixion grumbled, coming in and shaking wet snow from an army issue coat that looked very out of place in the year 2017.
“At least no one is shooting at us now, Dix,” a female voice attempted to console him.
“And trees were not exploding all around us, either,” a slightly younger male voice added.
Around this time, Armo and Adeline had rounded the corner, lugging with them the said boxes of Christmas ornaments Emily had been speaking about just moments earlier. They both halted in their tracks at the sight before them, too taken aback to say much else.
“Hey Chloe, where did ya go darlin’,” a deep voice that both Armo and Adeline recognized as none other than Ben Ross, bassman for the Country vocal group, for King and Country entered, glancing around and finally smiling as he spotted his petite blond wife, going over to give her a peck on the forehead despite the glare she shot at him.
“You are the one who hid my peppermint candle. Just fess up!” His wife demanded.
“I was protecting you from your pyromaniac tendencies,” Ben said, not missing a beat as he captured his wife in one of his trademark hugs from behind, resting his chin on her head, which Chloe secretly adored.
Jasmine and Victoria had, in the meantime, approached the entryway, curious to see what all the clamor was about.
Emily’s smile only grew bigger at the sight before her eyes.  Despite the fact that she was nowhere near ready for the festivities to start, the fact that about three-quarters of her intended company had arrived overjoyed her.
Though, admittedly, there were some complications that she had yet to truly work out. Like, how was she supposed to tell her World War Two paratroopers over there that they were in 2017, and that the war they had been fighting had been over for over 70 years?
She wished Stark would hurry up and bring her guests from the “future” with her. Everything would be made slightly easier for her if only she had a super soldier World War Two veteran whom she had forced to deal with being in the twenty-fourth century with star ships and the like.
Plus, he could possibly explain the whole concept of time travel so that it made more sense.
Then again, could anyone possibly explain time travel to that it could be comprehended?
Tony had told her it was supposed to be something similar to the Wardrobe in the Narnia books. When they left their own times, mostly by being transported while they were in the middle of their “routine” tasks of everyday life,  no second would pass in their world, while an infinite amount of time could pass in this “real” world.

     OK, Emily, focus. Time to welcome whose here. She took a deep, somewhat nervous and shaky breath in while stepping forward.
“Welcome one and all, to Emily’s character Christmas party of 2017!”
“Wait….” Jasmine spun around, narrowing her eyes at Emily suspiciously.
“Character Christmas party?” Daniel Summars, the younger of the three decked in World War Two garb, questioned.
“Yes,” Emily’s cheeks reddened, somewhat embarrassed by the trap she had stepped in to.
“Let’s just say, that my, ern, pen and my imagination brought you into being?”
“Wait…..” Chloe said, trailing off in confusion.
“Did not the good Lord himself do that?” Victoria finished what was on the younger woman’s mind.
“Well, yes in a matter of speaking. The good Lord game me the idea to make all of you”.
“Makes sense, to a point,” Adeline, who along with Armo, had been quiet up until now, said from the corner.
Ben was nodding along in agreement. “He gives us the minds to create other things. So we really are an indirect creation of Him, in a sense”.
Chloe rolled her eyes, both amused and slightly irritated that Ben would be so easily accepting of this. She looked at Armo and Adeline. “So, have you all gotten our rooms sorted out?” Out of everyone here, it was helpful to have at least a couple of familiar faces to look to with all the weird things happening.
“We do,” Armo stepped forward, his arms still loaded with boxes. “If you all will just line up at the desk, we will get all of this sorted out”.
Everyone assembled glanced around at each other and shrugged. They had all been invited to a Christmas party, after all. There was really no point in leaving before the festivities even had a chance to start.
Once everyone had gotten as settled as they could, they all met back in the common room of the lodge.
“So, looks like you were just in the middle of setting up,” Susan, the young female paratrooper, commented, glancing around at the trees propped in the corner and the boxes of decorations scattered every which way.
“Yeah,” Emily remarked ruefully, hiding a smirk as Ben was now playfully dangling a piece of fake mistletoe he had snatched up over Chole’s head, eyebrow quirked. Chloe made a huge show of pretending to be annoyed, before stretching up to give him a peck on the lips.
“Jaz and Tory here came early to help set up, but now that you all are here…”
“We can make it a communal effort,” Adeline, or Del, said with a smile, grabbing a box of outdoor Christmas lights as she nudged Armo.
“Come on, Hun. It’s gonna be dark soon. We had better light this place up so the remaining guests will know where to come”.
Armo took the box from his wife’s arms, being ever the gentleman, smiling from ear to ear. No one ever had to tell him twice to go spend some time outside.
“Wait, MORE people?” Jaz asked, holding the ladder for Austin -whom she had found to be attractive upon introductions earlier- as he was hanging the evergreen around the perimeter of the communal room.
“Yeah...only a few….” which, amounted to about six or seven, if Emily was doing the math right with the total number of people she invited. She kicked herself internally, not for the first time that day, for hosting this party to begin with. How she was going to manage to keep everyone straight was going to be a miracle.
Victoria sighed. She knew when someone was hiding something; after all, it came with her line of work. However, she was slowly starting to feel the Christmas spirit, despite her pessimistic outlook. So, she took Susan’s hand, being curious about the uniform, drawing her into the kitchen to help with the misappropriations.
“Never fear, people, the life of the party has arrived!” Emily was relived at the sound of the voice coming from the entryway of the lodge. The one person who had made a promise to her to help her co-host the party, had finally arrived. By the sound of the clamor in the passageway, Mr. Tony Stark was not alone, either.
“Tony! It’s about time you showed up!” Emily greeted the older man with a hug.
“Well, it took some time dragging these two from their Galaxy-class space liner in the 24th century,” Tony gestured to a familiar blond and brunette just behind him. “To be honest, put a man like me with tech like that, an you have a match made in heaven. I almost stayed, but, after all, I am a man of my word”.
The one and only Captain Steve Rodgers, clad in a red star fleet command uniform instead of his “typical” red, white, and blue garb that he had commonly worn in this era ; along with having been frozen one too many times to really be fazed the the concept of time travel, scoffed and shook his head incredulously at Tony’s last remark. Once the same Stark, always the same Stark. His gaze shifted until another familiar, yet older, uniform caught his eye worn by two gentleman -who had previously been “meticulusly” arranging the creche they found in a box on top of the piano- were now staring open-mouthed at him. Steve sighed, hanging his head and rubbing the tension from his neck. This was going to take a heck of a lot of explaining to two world war two “brothers”.
“Can you blame us?” Daisy asked, crossing her gauntlet-clad arms in front of her chest. She also was wearing the four pips on her collar recognizing her rank in star fleet as captain. Yet, instead of the blood red uniform that her husband wore, hers was jet black, accented by command red piping along the torso and down the legs.
When this Tony, which she had been under previous assumption that he was long dead, based on Steve's stories, had showed up on their ship saying that they had been invited to a Christmas party, Daisy Rodgers had been curious, yet reluctant to travel into the past. There was so much negative history surrounding this time period, yet the long-lost tradition of an ancient earth Christmas had always intrigued her.
“Quite frankly, if anyone could actually invent time-travel Tony, it would be you,” Steve remarked, though Daisy could hear regret in his voice as he looked to the two men dressed in World War Two uniforms.
Oh…. Daisy made the connection, glancing at Steve sympathetically. If his old buddy Tony now had the means of time travel, that meant….
She fought back a twinge of jealousy. Peggy had been so long ago for Steve now, practically two lifetimes ago if one went about ti with a “literal” perspective. He really would not revisit the past, would he?

Come back tomorrow for part two!

Friday, December 22, 2017

White Christmas with a Home Free Twist

Welcome to day nine of the Twelve Days of Christmas blog tour hosted by Faith! Today, we have anothe Home Free song for you to enjoy!

Thursday, December 21, 2017


If those of you stopping by from the Twelve Days of Christmas blog party have seen the Polar Express, then you have undoubtedly have heard of this song. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Mary Did You Know?

I have said before that I normally cannot stand Penatonix, but I love their Version of Mary Did you Know? Enjoy this as part of the Twelve Days of Christmas Tour hosted by Faith!