Learning to live beyond the Iphone Screen

It’s been a bit since I have really posted, summer comes and life gets busy. The church I attend and love has a huge mission and heart for the next generation and part of that calling comes in the form of summer camp. 5 beautifully crazy weeks of hosting Youth America camp on the main church campus. Camp season is a huge deal for us, people rearrange schedules, take vacation days, lose numerous hours of sleep to be able to serve. Members from across 5 campuses find ways to help out from security, media, worship, food prep, taking out the trash, no job is too small when it comes to camp and everyone takes part because they believe in seeing lives changed.

Most of the time during our evening camp services I hang out in the media booth, either because I am serving in some capacity or because I really enjoy watching the evening from the media booth. The past few nights I’ve found myself reaching for my phone to capture moments of the evening, and later on scrolling threw pictures to find just the right one to post in hopes that it receives a handful of likes. I’ve looked out over the crowd and see others doing the same thing (we have a hashtag, the pictures are easy to stalk)


I’ve realized though that while I spend time attempting to get a decent picture, waiting for the lights to move the right way (I’ve spent many hours in lighting booths, it’s a habit) but while I click away trying to capture these moments frozen in time, what is happening is that I am actually missing that moment. I’ve tuned out of the music, out of the worship, out of the message, to waste time posting images to social media or capture images to look back on.

How many times do we do this? Instead of enjoying where we are, taking in the moments, sitting back and soaking in a sunset are we sitting there camera poised in an attempt to capture the perfect picture. And as we sit there waiting for some form of proof to show that we are going places, attending camp, traveling the world, showing friends and family and perfect strangers that we are living life, that we are so caught up in what quote we will post with what image we end up missing out on living.

How much time do we spend behind our phones texting and instagraming, and social media-ing what are supposed to be these fantastic moments in our lives but at the same time are missing the fact and the wonder of standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon? Or that we are spending time with best friends making moments rather than catching them?

Don’t get me wrong, I love having pictures to look back on, to see the memories that have been made, but from now on I plan to take a few less pictures so I can enjoy being in a few more moments. Instead of watching camp happen, joining in worship with hundreds of teenagers. Instead of planning how to word the perfect status, turning the phone off for a little and later on calling or meeting up with those friends to tell them about the experience and going back to when pictures were exciting to share because they weren’t plastered all over the internet before you could share the story behind the image in person.

Here’s to a summer of diving deep into the moments of each day, adding to the story of my life and not from behind an iphone screen.



I’m Nobody: the Lost Pages By: Alex Marestaing

Caleb Reed is not your average 13 year old. In fact for years he has not left his house, afraid of the world around him and what could happen, Caleb remains locked inside doing the same thing everyday. Sticking to the routine he has always known, until one day letters begin to appear leading him out into the world where he was afraid to venture, but he is more afraid to not read the note. Caleb is ready to connect with someone and to find a friend.

I’m Nobody: The Lost Pages is a book that you have never seen before, the characters are rich and vibrant and go beyond the surface. The story will keep you guessing and glued to each page as you try to figure out who is sending the notes. This book is an easy read for all ages and will entertain readers of all ages.

When I first received this book I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it, and really wasn’t sold on the idea of reading it but as soon as I started I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one sitting!

I received this book complimentary from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Signed, Sealed, Delivered A Hallmark Original Series

Many of us remember watching Touched By An Angel growing up and now Martha Williamson, the creator of Touched By An Angel has created and executive produces Hallmarks latest original series Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a great new show that your family can enjoy. Signed, Sealed, Delivered follows four postal service workers whose job it is to discover where redirected packages and letters damaged were meant to go. Each of these letters/packages have the opportunity to change and make a difference in someone’s life.

This show is great for the entire family! Unlike the television shows we find on every other channel full of vulgarity, inappropriate for all ages, and lacking a good story line Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a show that embraces faith and each episode aims to make a difference in a characters life.

On top of a great show, the American Bible Society has also put together a seven-day Bible reading experience to dig deeper into the themes of each episode! Sign up today!

Make sure to check out the show on Hallmark Sundays at 8/7c.

Undetected By: Dee Henderson

Dee Henderson’s latest book Undetected is a great story! If you are a fan of the O’Malley Series or Uncommon Hero Series this book is reminiscent of those but goes a little deeper with the characters and story line. Henderson very obviously has done her research, you won’t just finish this book knowing you’ve read something fantastic but also with more knowledge about submarines and sonar.

Many people have read Henderson’s latest books hoping it is a repeat of the O’Malley Series, Undetected echoes the quality of the books but also shares the years of experience and growth that Henderson has made in her writing and shows her depth and commitment to research and making sure each story is accurate.

Although her stories have changed I love seeing a writer grow and develop her stories. I highly recommend this book.

I received this book complimentary from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Firstborn By: Lorie Ann Grover

Firstborn is a story you have not read before, the concept of a civilization that does not allow female firstborns and the only way they will live is to be declared male. Firstborn is an interesting take on the Young Adult Dystopian genre. Tia, born a female, is living the life of a male, preparing to do her part to help guard her city. She will be the first declared male to do so. As Tia struggles to fit in and do the job necessary she comes to realize that she can’t do what she knows to be right and at the same time is fighting getting old as a female declared male.

This was an interesting story that I had high hopes for, I really struggled through a good part of it because I felt a lot of things weren’t explained and sometimes completely ignored. Other times I felt the story was dragging on one end and rushing on the other. Some events that were thought to be significant go on like it was just a moment and not that important at all. I hope that a lot is clarified in the next book.


I received this book complimentary through the Book Look Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Meant to be Mine By: Becky Wade

A book tour hosted by Prism Book Tours.

Welcome to my tour stop for

Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade

Meant to Be Mine
(A Porter Family Novel #2)
by Becky Wade
Christian Romance
May 2014 by Bethany House Publishers

Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school—irresistible. When their paths cross again after college—still irresistible. This time, though, Ty seems to feel exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel.

The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia’s ready to be Ty’s wife, but Ty’s not ready to be her husband. He’s a professional bull rider, he lives on the road, and he’s long planned to settle down with the hometown girl he’s known since childhood.

Five and a half years pass. Celia’s buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty’s achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the eyes of the woman he couldn’t forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.

How much will Ty sacrifice to win back Celia’s trust and prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?

What I thought:

Becky Wade has quickly become one of my favorite authors, Meant to be Mine was hard to get into at the start but once you got into the story you could not put it down. Wade creates characters that aren’t perfect and have struggles and are believable. Through her characters she also tackles issues that we can all face day to day. Meant to be Mine follows the story of Celia and Ty, who had a quick Vegas wedding that was short lasted and 5 years later Ty searches for only to discover he is now a father.

Meant to be Mine has Celia discovering her faith in God and tackling the subject of forgiveness as well as what happens when we attempt to make someone else the center of our life rather than relying on God as our provider. If you are looking for a cute story full of witty banter and to sink your teeth into be sure to check out this book as well as Becky Wade’s other stories.


I received this book complimentary from the publisher through Prism Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository

About the Author

During her childhood in California, Becky Wade frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky’s passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market. Her CBA debut, My Stubborn Heart, was a finalist in both the RITA and INSPY awards. Undeniably Yours kicked off her Texas-set Porter Family series. Her newest contemporary romance, Meant to Be Mine, has just hit shelves!

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Prize #1: $50 Visa gift card and a paperback or ebook copy of Meant to Be Mine (open internationally)

Prize #2: 1 lb. of Starbucks coffee and signed copies of Undeniably Yours and Meant to Be Mine (US Only)

Prize #3: Box of See’s Chocolates and signed copies of Undeniably Yours and Meant to Be Mine (US Only)

May 4 – 18

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Come follow the tour!

May 5

Tressa’s Wishful Endings

I Am A Reader

Rina’s Reading

May 6

The Wonderings of One Person

JoJo’s Corner

Heidi Reads…

May 7


Kindle and Me



Little Lisa

May 8

Katie ‘ Clean Book Collection

Christy’s Cozy Corners

Tell Tale Book Reviews

The Written Adventure

Elle in Organic Shoes

Life Isn’t Always a Fairytale

May 9

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing

Reviews By Molly

Batch of Books

Getting Your Read On

Coffee Books and Me

May 11 – Grand Finale

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Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.

10% Happier

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing my Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works – A True Story.

We have all had those moments, where to much was going on in our lives, where the voice in our head drives us crazy with all we have to do, all we’ve decided to worry about and we are never sure when all that is happening will lead us to destruction because it is to much to handle. Dan Harris had just that experience; however, most of us when this breakdown comes does not happen on national television which was the case for Harris. While searching for a way to get a handle on things Dan Harris met with many people until discovering the benefits of meditation.

In 10% Happier, Harris shares with us his journey of breaking down on national television and finding meditation. This book isn’t a self-help book about meditation, it is not there to teach you how, it is more of Harris’s journey to discovering meditation and the benefits he has found that have been brought about. Harris takes time to share what meditation does on a medical side, as well as an emotional and physical side. This is a interesting book and to read about what Harris went through and can help others as they attempt to calm down their lives.

I received this book complimentary from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


“When lies are not confronted, callings are not fulfilled”

Crash the Chatterbox By: Steven Furtick

We all have those voices in our head, the voices that tell us lies, that warp what we know is true into something different. That voice has the ability to skew the knowledge and truth of God into something so that we think that we are not good enough, that God expects something He doesn’t. That voice distracts us throughout our day, it keeps us unfocused and leads us down a path full of lies.

In Steven Furtick’s latest book, Crash the Chatterbox, he addresses all the noise and clutter that goes through our heads and how our minds can take a truth and by adding a simple word or intonation we change the meaning completely that causes us to believe that we are not who God wants us to be. That we are not doing the things we are supposed to be.

Crash the Chatterbox is a great book that helps to share how you can stop the voices and clutter within your mind and focus on God’s voice and the truth He has for you. Instead of allowing the voices to fill your head with lies and distract you from where you should be headed you can focus on God’s truth and the plan he has for you.

I received this book complimentary from the publisher through the blogging for books program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, A Journey to Redemption

Hope Runs is the story of Claire and Sammy, both from different parts of the world and how they came to find one another and become a family. Claire an avid traveler from the States and Sammy a Kenyan boy growing up in an orphanage that Claire came across at the end of a year of travelling the world. Both from different backgrounds with different stories to tell but in the end their stories intertwined to turn them into family.  This is an inspirational book about the journey that Claire and Sammy took to finding one another and how their relationship grew. Sammy shares his story of growing up in Kenya and eventually traveling to the states to attend high school.

This book will inspire you to do something, that even if it is something simple it can change someones life. Something as basic as starting a running club can change how people see the world, and that instead of sitting on the side lines there are ways you can help make a difference.

I could not put this book down, Sammy and Claire’s story is beautiful and Sammy’s positive attitude on life will make you realize how much you take for granted and to reach for your dreams and to keep pushing forward.

I received this book complimentary from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


The Grace Course: Lesson 2: Innocent!


I hate that word. I may say it often, but I place expectations on myself on a regular basis. Expectations that I convince myself that my family has placed on me, that God has placed on me, that my employer has placed upon me.

Now some of these places due have expectations, after all you get hired to do a certain job and you are expected to do the tasks to make sure the work is done.

Your family has expectations but we allow our minds to take them overboard. I am a middle child, and although I live the farthest from home I feel that sometimes it is my job to fix and patch any problems that may be happening, or fill that middle child role as the ‘peacemaker’ and to not cause problems or conflict and go along with everything. It might be simple things, it doesn’t need to be as complex, just recently I’ve realized that since, out of my siblings, I am the only one without children, I feel like I am expected to go on vacations with my mom, now there is nothing wrong with a vacation with my mom but by doing so I’ve ignored seeing the places I’ve dreamed of seeing because I know it is not her thing.

I serve in church, if someone calls with a last minute paint job or task that needs done no matter how late I do everything I can to make sure I can help. If I am not able to serve that night I feel guilty that I am letting a leader down, my church down, and overall God down.

Currently I not only work for my church but I serve on the Creative team and in the Children’s ministry, on certain Sundays I am serving through all services feeling guilty that I am not sitting in service in learning but at the same time feeling guilty about asking for a night off of serving so that I can sit in service.

One of the things that hit me most in lesson 2 was the discussion on guilt and how guilt is not a feeling. “True guilt has nothing to do with feelings. It’s about hard facts.”

Now I know that we feel guilty about a lot larger things than what I’ve listed, that there are sins we feel guilty about, but I am trying to show you that guilt is not always about the big things, we feel guilty about minor things, things that we feel called to do, guilty because of missing church, not reading our Bible.

These are signs that our feelings are lying to us. That instead of trusting and believing the grace that we have been giving we are relying on our feelings and on works to be living up to God’s expectations.

However, God does not have a list of expectations for us.

He does not place guilt within us. Through Jesus’ death, He took all of our guilt to the cross. We have been forgiven, God, through Jesus, sees us as forgiven, as pure and clean. The guilt is unnecessary.

God’s grace isn’t only for the moments when we are reading our Bible or serving our community. Grace is for every moment of everyday, God doesn’t pick and choose when to offer us grace, He continually extends grace to us!


“God doesn’t want you to feel guilty when you’re not guilty! He wants you to rejoice! He wants to restore your joy in life. God loves you before you sin. God loves you after you sin. God even loves you in the midst of your sinning though He never loves the sin. God will never turn His hatred of sin into hatred for us.”

Grace leads us to living a righteous life.

There is no condemnation.


Romans 8:1-2

“Don’t So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.live up to God’s expectations”



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