Redeemed (5 Minute Friday-Imagine)


if your day was filled with moments of rest
even in the hastiest instant

when the toothpaste
squirts wrong
and the toilet paper back up
is out if reach
and someone left the roll
but for that one wretched piece that is really
not a piece at all

but instead of ranting
and growling

you smile
because life is too short to rant about toilet paper
and laundry
that never finds its way to the basket but
only the floor
and socks that don't match

if a smile played on your lips
and instead of everyone
having to get everything right
in your estimation,
there was grace enough
for each one
who crossed your path today
and they were challenged to smile back
still even if they didn't
you smile all the more
for the knowledge
of the joy
and peace
and confidence
of His perfect goodness
in you...
a sinner-

We are rockin' our words for 5 Minute Friday- Join us?

Five Minute Friday

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Holly Otten: Sexual Abuse Survivor - Tin Man Ministries w/Giveaway (Inspiring Women Series)

I met Holly Otten earlier this year after noticing a sign up in a local library for a Sexual Abuse Survivor Workshop. As a SA survivor myself and a Christian I was curious to find out more. After all it is a rare thing to see a workshop offered combining SA Survivors and Christianity. At least from where I am standing. There are plenty of resources out there but most are secular. That being said, my curiosity was piqued and I felt strongly drawn to seek out the ministry mentioned as hosting the workshop: Tin Man Ministries and it's leader Holly Otten.

After contacting Holly we set up a date to meet in a local cafe. It was truly a time marked out by the Lord and I was blessed to listen as she shared her story and also listened to mine. Holly has written two books:The Tin Man-The Voice of an Incest Survivor and hand in Hand. Both chronicle her healing journey and God's hand in it in unique ways. Holly gave me a copy of The Tin Man for reading and review when we met.  It has beautiful pictures, poetry and a few vignette type stories. In addition to these two books, she has created an 8 week Christ centered workshop called Healing Hearts.

Since our initial meeting we continue to keep in touch through e-mails and texts and I am in full support of her ministry and God's call on her life to follow His lead and bring healing and help to those who have been victimized by sexual abuse. I am looking forward to seeing many set free and healed through Holly's faithfulness and ministry to Christ. Holly is passionate about prayer and sensitive to the Spirit in all matters concerning ministry and life. Here is the latest addition to our Inspiring Women Series: Holly Otten

*On The Past:
Holly, you go by the title "Sexual Abuse Survivor" when did you realize that you needed healing from your past sexual abuse and how did it come to be ?

 I was at a Charismatic prayer meeting when the pastor of the church received a word of knowledge that God was healing someone who had been abused. It was then, at age 24, that God revealed to me that my father molested me as a child. That week I approached a friend who was also a Christian counselor and told her that I needed help in dealing with the abuse. I attended counseling sessions for two and a half years with the goal of having God heal my heart. And He did!

*On The Present:
Currently you are conducting workshops for sexual abuse survivors, can you describe what you believe is unique in your approach of attaining healing for participants?

 Prayer is a very important element in the workshops. That’s when God, the Master Healer and Gentle Surgeon moves in and heals hearts with His supernatural power! God reveals His mercy, His love and His power in these workshops.

   Why the name "Tin Man" ?

The Tin Man was willing to travel through valleys and treacherous forests to get himself a heart. I too went on a journey with the hope of getting a new heart. The Tin Man sought the wizard, I sought the Great Healer, Jesus Christ. In His great love for me, He healed my broken heart and made it new!
   Can you tell us a little about how the workshop itself works and what might happen there?

There are three parts to the workshop: teaching/sharing, group sharing and prayer ministry. The first part consists of a teaching based on a specific topic, such as the Father’s love. The second part entails the women being invited to share based on the topic of the evening. The third part entails prayer ministry, when my team of facilitators and I pray for each member.

*On The Future:
Where do you feel God is leading you in the days ahead with Tin Man Ministries?

I believe that I will be training other women who will have come through the workshop to lead in facilitating workshops of their own.

*On Sexual Abuse:
What do you believe/see as the biggest hindrance in an individual's ability to be set free from the shame, pain and impact of abuse?

People do not want to acknowledge their abuse. They prefer to act as if it did not happen in an attempt to not feel the feelings associated with the abuse. This is not good, because healing comes when we acknowledge our feelings. Without this healing, we are “crippled” emotionally. We are unable to have healthy relationships where we can give love and receive love freely and in the true sense of the word.

  What do you think is the church's role?

I feel that leaders of churches should put in place a person or people who can minister healing to survivors of sexual abuse. If they do not have members within their own church to take this role, then they should welcome speakers or ministries to their churches. Leaders of churches should be reminded that every 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of every 5 men are survivors of sexual abuse. If they were to calculate what those numbers mean in their own churches, they would see the magnitude of the problem. This large number represents a group of people who are broken and hurting, and they are therefore unable to be all that God calls them to be.

Holly's beautiful "New Life" painting.

*On Holly:

I love my family, which includes my very loving and supportive husband Steve and my three sons. I love to hike, garden, sing and dance. I also love to paint. 

*On Her Painting:

The name of this painting is “New Life.” The butterfly symbolizes a new beginning for the women who leave the workshop. Throughout the 8 week workshop, God takes away all the “ugly” things, such as pain, shame and resentment, and in the end, the women leave feeling beautiful, new and free… They are TRANSFORMED AND FREE just like the butterfly.

Giveaway: Holly has offered one reader a chance to win the print copy of her book, hand in Hand- A True Life Story! 

"With the help of her Savior, she has overcome the damaging affects of sexual abuse and neglect, a nervous breakdown, four miscarriages, and divorce. Holly Otten’s life is a testimony of the healing and transforming power of the living Christ! By surrendering every obstacle of her life to Christ and by claiming the promises found in God’s Word, she has received  healing of twenty years’ clinical depression, hypoglycemia, asthma, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, as well as the healing of her son’s mental illness." - Web Site Book Description

Thank you so much for taking the time to share, Holly- I look forward to all God has for this wonderful ministry! If you have any questions for Holly, please leave a comment! She will be stopping by as her schedule allows to answer. Visit her website and Facebook page. Holly's books are now available on Amazon

Tin Man Ministries
Healing Hearts
"I will give them a new heart and
put a new spirit in them." Ezekiel 36:46


Roses Like Kisses

I will lift my praise above everything to You, my God and King!
    I will continually bless Your name forever and always.
 My praise will never cease—
    I will praise You every day;
    I will lift up Your name forever.

The Eternal is great and deserves endless praise;
    His greatness knows no limit, recognizes no boundary.
    No one can measure or comprehend His magnificence.

 My lips will sing the praise of the Eternal.
    Let every creature join me and praise the holy name of God—forever and always!

Psalm 145:1-4, 21 The Voice Translation

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My Stacks Runneth Over (What's On Your Nightstand: May 2013)

I have been being a good little reader (ok, by my own standard!) lately.
I have bitten off more than I could chew for myself in terms of Reviews, since I am the slowest reader ever. BUT, I have been moving along through my pile (s). 
So many books so little time, right?
So here's what has made it to the nightstand and beyond!
14 is my lucky number this month!

I read my first book by Anne Lamott. I know, you are wondering to yourself.
I found her to be amazingly quotable. I wrote down two and a half pages of quotes in my journal from this book. Hmm. Will have to read more by her before I draw conclusions. But I did finish it in a week which is miraculous for me! Prompted by the library's deadline, of course! 

Because the fact is...I needed to have this book!
 I spent a Friday night pouring over this book after attending a giant Homeschool Conference!
This book was such a great help with soting through all of the information and compiling a lot of information from one of the best compilers/reviewers going.  

I was so excited to finally get to read and participate in Rene Swope's Online Bible Study. This book is so good, I actually read the last three chapters in one sitting. The timing was so good as I needed every reminder that Rene used from God's word for this season of my life. I thought it would be more of the same kind of bible chick stuff, but when a woman takes her heart and braves sharing it in a book, God has a way of taking her story and making it powerful, practical and encouraging. It has to be the Holy Spirit and His faithfulness. 

Again, with the seasons! Did you ever get nervous when everything you read starts to have a theme? Steve Reed does a great job of discussing "The Suffering Clause". Which is possibly exactly the opposite of some of those very popular best sellers which rave about God's blessing and prosperity.
A reality check and blessing. Read my review of Transformed by Tough Times.

The Tin Man - Voice of and Incest Survivor by Holly Otten, is a book which shares poetry, stories and artwork as a reflective look at Holly's journey of healing.
Read my Review of The Tin Man.

Have you read this wonderful book by Kylie Bisutti?It is fantastic. I loved reading Kylie'e story which really details more or less God's transforming power in work in the life of one beautifully redeemed young girl. A great book for young girls...of all ages! One detail I failed to mention in my review is that there is a 30 Day Beauty Makeover Devotion at the end of the book ( I read the ADvanced Readers Copy which did not include it. I also have the Hard Copy (which I gave to a reader) which includes that excellent biblical beauty makeover! Read my review of I'm No Angel- From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model.

I forced  firmly encouraged  my daughter to read this book as part of Homeschool reading.
Theology, reason, and logic mingle freely in this read.
I reviewed Reasons for Belief- check it out!

Homeschool mom's required reading this month. Payback! Brushing up, we are reading and working through the Constitution so I read this before including it in my additional required reading list for daughter!

Love this handy book of all our favorite RI restaurants.
Great details and historical bits. Or bites. 

So there I was in the waiting room at the Doctor office.
There it was Jan Brett's The Hat. It brought me right back to reading to my daughter
in 1st grade and reminded me how much I love this author's work, as well as children's books in general. Charming, sweet and exquisite artwork. Gift it to your favorite child. Or own inner child! 

I have read and continue to read many books on  prayer. So far I have to say...I am loving this one. I am behind in my review schedule, but  can only say  I am highlighting and making notes. Review to come soon! I was given Prayer Warrior Mom  as part of the Bloggers book program from Booksneeze for Purpose of Review. 

The Toy Story Trilogy recently won my daughter and me over, hands down!
We are loving it! Read my take on The Toy Trilogy by Emily Jenkins.

I am currently enjoying this with my morning (or afternoon or evening) devotions!
Read my Review of Prayers for a Woman's Soul by Julie Gillies!

I just started reading this book by Holly Otten on Kindle.
I have had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Holly, and she is one inspiring woman with a story to tell worth listening to! I will review it soon! Check out hand in Hand by Holly Otten

Join me on Goodreads:
Check out my books on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5995235-dawn

What's on your nightstand? 
A great place to find your next great read! 
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What's On Your Nightstand

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The Road Ahead (Soli Deo Gloria)

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
Isaiah 43:18

You know when God is trying to tell you something...
Friends, He always wants to tell us...something.
Let us listen well. 


You say, "Ask".
I am asking, Lord. 
You say, "Seek".
I'm seeking, Lord. 
You say, "Knock".
I'm knocking, Lord.


I listen and try to figure it out.
But then it seems unclear.
Yet, I know He is a faithful teacher,
a solid guide.
One who longs to hear.

So I start trying to hear Him better.
Until it is clear.
I look right and left
until the right path appears.

I read His Word.
I pray.
I look for those little gifts that speak multitudes...
like dew on a flower,
a brambly path.
A bird singing in the morning
or splashing in the bath.

I listen.
And seek.

And wonder if He heard.
I ask myself,
does he really care for
each and every bird?

Then a breeze gusts through my hair
and I suspect that it's absurd.

What's absurd you ask?
I'll tell you this today,
For you or I to tsk, tsk
and fret,
act with dismay.

For He hears, and cares
and speaks- 
masterfully weaves His plan,
and He holds the smallest feather
and frets not at our demands.

He longs to teach us in each moment
if we will at last,
listen to His whisper
and not dwell upon the past.

Focus on the road ahead, 
He has much more for you
both here and hereafter
With you He is not through.

Nor is my Lord, finished with me,
I'll take my chances on His grace
and all sufficiency,
and the hope of His embrace.

Let's fix our gaze on the horizon
He will meet us there
set our eyes toward the sun,
turn away from our fear.
Look toward the East
For His Feast, let's prepare.
We will be together
always in His perfect care.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, 
dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Soli Deo Gloria.
(For my SDG Sisters and Sisters in Christ everywhere, we are united in Him)



I'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model by Kylie Bisutti (Book Review)

In the book titled, I'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model, Kylie Bisutti shares her journey from girl with a dream to the girl who pursued that dream and gained wings. Victoria's Secret Angel wings to be more precise. Documenting her early days, desires and family life, we get a real life glimpse of one young girl's desire for worldly gain and the impact of what it cost her along the way.

Kylie was a young girl who dreamed of being a Supermodel. Before she was of legal age she was able to live that dream, before she realized that she didn't really want what she wanted anymore.
This well written, fast paced, hard to put  down book takes us along by the hand close up and personal into her experiences for better and worse. From New York to Thailand, Japan and back this then teen with the support of her family took her chances and aimed for Number One.

In 2009 Kylie, along with 9 other models, was chosen from among thousands to join in a reality type television campaign to compete for a coveted spot as Victoria's Secret Runway Angel in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

What I loved so much about this book was Kylie's candid writing and openness. Reading this book is like listening to a very down to earth girl. The kind that you could see yourself chatting over coffee and   telling hard truths without feeling ashamed. Kylie does not hold back, or try to make herself out to be angelic. Instead she speaks to the center of idolatry of our day. The obsession with self, sex, body image and lust. She is not preachy but shares how God revealed to her over time, the flawed thinking she embraced and ultimately how she found freedom from it all. I have to say reading about the behind the scenes modeling world was disturbing and interesting! But the thread of redemption woven into this tale make for inspiring and authentic insights and moments. I loved that Kylie revealed the fact that God works in us apart from ourselves (I know that sounds weird but it's true). Kylie could not turn from pursuing her dream, because she believed it was inexplicably wrapped up in God's will for her. She was unable to hear His voice clearly at times while closing in on the prize. But in addition to the story of Kylie's modeling aspirations, we have a beautiful love story as well! Mr. Bisutti is a hero to his wife and also the unsung hero of this story (Although Kylie does sing his praises!). I so appreciated the wisdom, patience and forbearance revealed in Kylie's husband Mike's example and actions. His example of prayer and support was a powerful testimony to God's ways for me. I so relate to Kylie in pursuing her passion and not hearing God, but I so need the example of her husband in praying and persevering persistently while waiting for God's intervention, which is exactly what he did! I found this to be one of the most inspiring aspects of the book. I see God's beautiful handiwork exhibited wonderfully in this awesome testimony of real world Christian living and God's amazing power! God meets us where we are and I love the way we get to see how God transforms and matures those who are His! This is so evident in Kylie's story.

I also want to mention, Kylie doesn't even really get into the Victoria's Secret competition until Chapter 17, almost three quarters of the way through. Although it was a defining moment of epic proportions, I believe the stories leading up to the Angelic portion of her life are equally interesting and relevant. I just enjoyed this book immensely!

Great beach or vacation read. You won't be able to put it down.

From the Publisher: 

In December 2011, 21-year-old Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel Kylie Bisutti stunned the fashion industry when she chose faith over fame and fortune and made the switch from supermodel to role model.

In I’m No Angel, Kylie shares her story—from her early years struggling to make it big in the cut-throat world of modeling, her “big break” winning the Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel competition, and the disillusionment and spiritual warfare that followed, to the moment she realized that she could no longer reconcile her career with her Christian beliefs, surrendered her life to God, and dedicated her life to preaching a message of modesty and inner beauty.

Along the way, Kylie talks about her personal struggles with inadequacy, low self-esteem, and her near-constant quest for approval in a world where you can never be thin enough, pretty enough, or sexy enough. She helps readers understand that true beauty lies within and that real fulfillment comes from knowing, loving, and serving Christ.

Read an Excerpt from I'm No Angel

I received this book for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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From Where I am Standing (5 Minute Friday: View)

I've been thinking a lot lately. Trying to keep things in perspective. Trying to take hold of the proper view on life, love, faith, trust. And Pixie Dust. I always have to add that part...because I'm longing for simpler days in the midst of these 7th grade challenges, that rise up like a dragon, breathing hell -fire and leaving me feeling small. And like not such a great mama. I'm just a mom who has no idea what she's doing and I am leaning hard on a mighty God because I have no. Other. Plan. I mean that seriously. Got nothing. No back up plan. No great mom history. No legacy of mamas who love God behind me. But a great God who loves me and this little family. So I look back and remember when she was small. Even then she wanted to rule the world. EVen then she wanted to be the boss. Be in control. Be pushing the stroller, not in it. Mama  needs to climb into that stroller and remember who is in control of all. And I do. Lord, help me. I do. But thanks for the daily reminders. Because I guess I need them.


Below is one of my favorite songs from one of my Girl's favorite Disney movies Peter Pan (Return to Neverland). It is called I'll Try by Jonatha Brooke. It is actually on my wedding favor CD. It's about 5 minutes, because she describes how the song came to be...I hope you will take a moment to listen.
It came to my memory as I wrote this morning.

Joining with Lisa Jo today!
Five Minute Friday

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The Toy Trilogy by Emily Jenkins (Joyful Adventures in Children's Books)

Recently while visiting the library, I noticed a book standing upright on a shelf as I passed by the children's section. As a lover of books, including children's books, I picked it up and looked through it, deciding to take it home. Having just recently read the Velveteen Rabbit with my 12 year old girl one afternoon (for the umpteenth time but not in a very long while), I thought perhaps we might enjoy reading this together. I knew it would be either a hit or an "epic" miss. To my delight and both our joy, we have been reading through with tears of laughter and utter enjoyment what is called the Toy Trilogy by Emily Jenkins.

Although this story and series is for the age range of 7-10, it is one of those magical and timeless stories that can be enjoyed by everyone and will be a treasured classic to be re-read again and again.
My daughter already made me re-read certain parts that were especially amusing!

The characters are memorable and distinct in their personalities. The adventures and experiences they have are entertaining and hilarious. These three best loved toys of a young girl share many misadventures and a few messy moments along the way as they live their daily lives. Rich in laugh out loud outbursts, flashbacks to elementary days and childhood memories lessons, I just can't say enough good stuff about these books except- Just read them. Recommended, in my opinion for children of ALL ages. Mother and Daughter give them a four thumbs up, and 5 stars for on the couch read aloud time!

Black and white pencil drawings accompany these adorable toy adventures by award winning illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky.

Below are the links to each of these books through Random House Kids where you can see the books for yourself with a handy gadget like the one below! Also if you click on the gadget below it will open in a larger screen so you can take a peek!

Toys Go Out
Toy Dance Party
Toys Come Home

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Coastal Rhode Island Beach Walk

Hey, let's walk today!
Narragansett Beach is different every single morning-
let's go!

You just walked with me and saw what I saw on my morning beach walk this past week May 16th, Thursday between 6:15 and 7:00 AM EST.

My partner and fellow stone gathering friend, Jen.
Her hand holds the little crab in the above photo! 

Happy Wednesday!

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