Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Review of Waiting for Wonder by Marlo Schalesky for Litfuse Publicity

Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timeline, a new release by Christian author Marlo Schalesky, takes a unique look at waiting on God's timing. Let's be honest. How many of us are good at waiting? Through waiting for wonder, Marlo looks at the long wait Sarai had to endure while waiting for God's promise to be fulfilled. In Genesis 17:19, God promised that Sarai would bear a son to Abraham. This promise wasn't fulfilled until she was 90 years old! How was she able to endure such a long wait? Did she doubt God's promise? Did she wait patiently? Did she try to take matters into her own hands? Did she get discouraged? Did she grow weary?

While we are enduring trials, suffering, and in the midst of what can feel like a spiritual drought, waiting can seem like an impossible task because the situation is completely out of our control. Let's face the truth. None of us truly like letting go of our control over our lives. In unraveling Sarai's story for her readers, Marlo helps us learn the value in waiting. Waiting not only draws us closer to God but the true wonder is that in our waiting His glory is also revealed for all to see. We become a living testament to His works in us and through us. Marlo reminds us of this not only through Sarai's story but also through myriad other Biblical characters whose waiting served a far greater purpose than they could ever imagine: the blind beggar, the Samaritan woman at the well, King David, Noah, Daniel, Joseph, and Lazarus. He is the God of miracle. He is the God of you.

If you find yourself in a place of waiting or have ever wondered why God makes us wait, I recommend you read Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timeline by Marlo Schalesky.

You can pick up your copy of Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timeline at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble,,and Indie Bound.

Marlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of ten books, including “Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey Through the Life of Mary.” A regular speaker and columnist, she has also published nearly 1,000 articles in various Christian magazines, including “Focus on the Family,” “Today’s Christian Woman,” “In Touch,” and “Marriage Partnership.” Marlo lives with her husband, six young children, nine horses, two dogs, five cats, two parakeets, ten rabbits, two chinchillas, three hamsters, and a bunch of fish in a log home in Salinas, California. To learn more about Marlo, visit her author website. To learn about additional books written by Marlo, please take a moment to browse the books page on her author website. Marlo also provides hope and encouragement through her Reader Page on Facebook.

Don't forget to take a moment to enter the giveaway on the litfuse publicity site for your chance to win a copy of Marlo's new release Waiting for Wonder.

Waiting for Wonder Marlo Schalesky 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Delicious Recipe to Help Keep You Warm This Winter

The weather here in Pennsylvania has definitely turned frightful as the skies are now gray, snow flurries occasionally flutter through the sky, and the temperatures hover around freezing. BRRRRR!!! I'm getting cold just thinking about it!

It is unquestionably the perfect time of year to curl up in front of the fireplace with a bowl of warm soup and enjoy the twinkling of the lights on the Christmas tree as carols play softly in the background while you visit with family and friends.

I have a delicious recipe to share with you. It is my family's favorite soup. We often partake of it together each Christmas Eve. I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe for Zuppa Toscana as much as we do. May you and yours have a blessed Christmas season! - Kelly

Zuppa Toscana Recipe:

• 1 lb ground Italian sausage
• 1½ tsp crushed red peppers (or you can use a spice Italian sausage instead of adding the crushed red peppers)
• 1 large diced white onion
• 6 slices of crumbled bacon (I use 1 package of real bacon pieces instead)
• 2 tsp minced garlic
• 10 cups water
• 8 cubes of chicken bouillon
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes – best if sliced thin
• ¼ of a bunch of kale 

1. Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot.
2. Once sausage is browned add into the same pan the bacon, onions and garlic and sauté over low-medium heat for approximately 15 min. or until the onions are soft.
3. Add chicken bouillon and water to either a soup pot or slow cooker and heat until it starts to boil.
4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about 45 min.
5. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
6. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. (I usually forego the kale as my family doesn’t like it in their soup)
7. Serve and Enjoy!

Homeschool Review Crew Winter Cooking Inspiration 
#hsreviews #wintercooking #cooking

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Gifts of Listening and Compassion

Christmas is a time of joy with carols ringing out their familiar tunes, children bubbling with excitement, brightly wrapped presents stacked under the tree, colorful lights strung along houses and bushes, and people wishing one another a "Merry Christmas." What we might miss amidst all of the hustle and bustle are those individuals too who are not looking forward to Christmas.

Recently, my mother and I had the opportunity to talk with a cashier at a local store. He was pleasant, like always, but when we talked about Christmas a sadness came over him. He told us that since his wife's passing, he no longer bothers with decorating. He proceeded to tell us that Christmas was his wife's holiday as she would set up nine trees in their home each year and one tree would have real candles in honor of her German heritage. By the end of our conversation, he was smiling again. Sometimes, all it takes during this chaotic season is a willingness to listen. Genuine listening is a gift that costs us nothing but means so much to the receiver. 

Checking out of our hotel room recently, I noticed that the concierge was distracted but continued to smile. When she went to grab my receipt, she looked up at me and said, "I'm more exhausted than I realized. This isn't even the printer." I empathized and said, "Lack of sleep certainly can make our brains feel sluggish." She then proceeded to tell me she was working on her day off and couldn't remember when she last had a day off. Before leaving, I told her I sincerely hoped she had a good day and that she'd be able to get the good night's rest that her body needed. For the fist time, she gave me a genuine smile and thanked me. Sometimes, all it takes during this bustling season is a desire to show compassion. Genuine compassion and kindness is a gift that once again costs us nothing but means so much to the receiver and often brings joy and peace back to the giver in return.

We never know what the people who cross our paths may be enduring. They may be having a bad day after a series of unfortunate events, they may have recently lost their job, they may be having marital problems, they may have a loved one who is fighting a serious illness, they might be having financial difficulties, or they may have recently lost a loved one. Neither taking the time to listen nor taking a few moments to show compassion and kindness require more than our time. Yes, our schedules can become overflowing during the Christmas season but there is always time to listen, to show we care, to extend kindness to others, to be compassionate and not just at Christmastime but every day of the year. So don't get tangle up in the lights and tinsel this Christmas and miss out on the blessings that God intends to bestow. He sent His Son into this world as a tiny baby to show His immense love for us. What better gift could we give Him than to show His love to others by listening genuinely and having truly compassionate hearts.