Surrender fear, loss, & Change with Julie Arduini

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Book Review: Brave Beauty by Lynn Cowell

Posted by Julie on September 25, 2017 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Book Review: Brave Beauty by Lynn Cowell

What will my life be like? Who will I be? Whether girls put these concerns into words or struggle anxiously with these thoughts, during this season of change, girls have questions. Sometimes these questions also come with fears and they need a safe place to process these fears. From Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and blogger, Lynn Cowell, comes Faithgirlz Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You. For girls 8-12, Brave Beauty brings tweens 100 courage-building moments to reflect on Scripture and find confidence in God, rather than in someone, some place, or some thing, as culture will all-too-soon tell them to. Lynn will also prepare girls to:

Overcome confidence-defeating thoughts and stand on who Jesus says she is.
Shape her self-worth on Christ and overcome the temptation base it on environmental factors.
Build a strong foundation to face the fickle and flippant opinions of others.
Find approval of herself even when she lacks the acceptance of others.
Find security by turning to Christ as she steps through the exciting, yet scary world of growing up
Formatted as theme-based mini chapters, these moments can be read as one-a-days, one-a-weeks, or at the reader’s own pace. Simple and empowering, Lynn’s voice is relatable and conversational, making it easy for girls to feel like they’re spending time with a friend. This inspirational read will be set as a gorgeously foil decorated hardcover, with beautifully formatted pages in line with the well-known and loved Faithgirlz look, and with an easy-reference index to look up any topic.

I had trouble reviewing BRAVE BEAUTY because I showed it to my daughter, she thumbed through it, took it to her room, and I had to take it back. It disappeared again. When I grabbed it again so I could read through and write this, she asked me to please hurry so she could have it, and keep it. I’ve done a lot of reviews for books for girls, and this is the first one she’s taken and not wanted to give back to me.

 

I’m not surprised. BRAVE BEAUTY tackles a subject girls are crying out to learn more about, and this book offers relatable information that is Bible based. With social media judging girls with a simple click of a keyboard, girls need to know they matter and are loved. That they are approved of as is. The author does a great job making the book feel like they are at a coffee shop sharing together. There is space to write. There are quizzes and prayers. Everything is about showing the girls who they are in Christ so they can stand in God confidence when the things of the world come at them.

 

The cover is attractive and it is just a breath of fresh air in the form of a book. I can’t give a higher recommendation than telling you my daughter has this on her nightstand. I definitely suggest you get a copy of BRAVE BEAUTY for the 8-12 girl in your life. (Our daughter is a little older with some comprehension delays, so I am finding this perfect for her.)

I received a copy of BRAVE BEAUTY from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

To purchase BRAVE BEAUTY, click HERE.

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MUSIC REVIEW: All In by Matthew West #Giveaway

Posted by Julie on September 21, 2017 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Music Review: All In by Matthew West

Matthew wrote his new album All In with the goal of encouraging himself and others to get up off the sidelines of their faith and really live it out – to go all in in your time with God, all in with your family, all in with your community, and all in battling your fears that may hold you back from becoming who God made you to be. Along that same theme, Matthew will be launching a 6-week All in Challenge on his social media starting 9/18, and each week Matthew will be challenging his fans to go all in in a different part of their lives. What does it look like when a heart that knows Jesus takes a step and holds nothing back? How can we go All In in the places that mean the most?

Social Corner:
Broken Things Music Video
Broken Things (story behind the song)
All In Lyric Video
All In (Story Behind The Song)

REVIEW:

Matthew West’s music is something I can recognize without a lot of notes or voice. He has a style musically I’ve come to know and certainly appreciate, and ALL IN maintains for the most part the sound you would associate with him.

Lyrically, it is much the same. When I think of his music, I think of songs that will play on K-Love with a pop like feel with lyrics that uplift and challenge. ALL IN keeps that consistency.

One song that felt a little different is “Amen.” The tempo and energy is a little out of the box, but a whole lot of fun. Other than that, “All In” is a positive challenge and “Mercy is a Song” was one of those a-ha moments. It really is true, and it was something I never thought of before. There are also personal songs and those that minister. My favorite is “Broken Things.”

All in all, there isn’t a whole lot outside of the box here, but that’s okay. I like what I’m getting when I hear Matthew West, and his “All In” message is one we all need to hear and live out. Whether he is new to you or not, I believe All In will be a wonderful listen for you.

Guess what? Propeller Consulting, LLC is offering one copy of All In to one US winner. Leave a comment on what Matthew West song has impacted you the most and I will choose a winner via random pick September 24.

“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 on the same blog, 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.

All In Buy Link

 

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Book Review: Finish by Jon Acuff

Posted by Julie on September 16, 2017 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Finish by Jon Acuff

ABOUT FINISH:

Year after year, readers pulled me aside at events and said, “I’ve never had a problem starting. I’ve started a million things, but I never finish them. Why can’t I finish?

According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s reso-lutions fail. You’ve practically got a better shot at getting into Juilliard to become a ballerina than you do at finishing your goals.

For years, I thought my problem was that I didn’t try hard enough. So I started getting up earlier. I drank enough energy drinks to kill a horse. I hired a life coach and ate more superfoods. Nothing worked, although I did develop a pretty nice eyelid tremor from all the caffeine. It was like my eye was waving at you, very, very quickly.

Then, while leading a thirty-day online course to help people work on their goals, I learned something surprising: The most effective exercises were not those that pushed people to work harder. The ones that got people to the finish line did just the opposite— they took the pressure off.

Why? Because the sneakiest obstacle to meeting your goals is not laziness, but perfectionism. We’re our own worst critics, and if it looks like we’re not going to do something right, we prefer not to do it at all. That’s why we’re most likely to quit on day two, “the day after perfect”—when our results almost always underper­form our aspirations.

The strategies in this book are counterintuitive and might feel like cheating. But they’re based on studies conducted by a university researcher with hundreds of participants. You might not guess that having more fun, eliminating your secret rules, and choosing something to bomb intentionally works. But the data says otherwise. People who have fun are 43 percent more successful! Imagine if your diet, guitar playing, or small business was 43 percent more suc­cessful just by following a few simple principles.

If you’re tired of being a chronic starter and want to become a consistent finisher, you have two options: You can continue to beat yourself up and try harder, since this time that will work. Or you can give yourself the gift of done.

I’m a Jon Acuff fan and really enjoy his work. When I heard about Finish, I was excited because that’s a problem not only do I run into, but I also hear it from people I work with/mentor/encourage. We have no problem starting, but finishing? A look in a craft room can tell you how real the problem is.

 

I loved Finish because it gave great strategies that are so simple you’ll be mad you didn’t think of it first. It’s also full of stories, stats, and anecdotes that Jon Acuff is known for. It’s motivational and humorous, practical and inspiring.

 

I finished the book a few weeks ago and I’m still going back to Will Smith. In the book it talks about financial challenges Will was having years ago and the simple technique he used to not only get out of that predicament, but keep him on the short list for big movies for 20 years. I won’t give it away, but it blew my mind.

There’s a lot of meat to Finish, yet, it’s a fast read. Don’t go too fast, or you’ll miss something, because there are a lot of takeaways you can and should apply to your life. I think this is a book you not only can start, but finish—and use as a practical tool in your life.

PURCHASE FINISH HERE

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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FREE ENGAGED eBook August 18 & 19

Posted by Julie on August 17, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

I know towards the end of summer, many people still have travel plans and a need for a good read.

I have on my tablet a load of books I want to read for enjoyment, not for writing or review, so my thought is perhaps that is your case, too.

Let’s add a FREE eBook to your collection, okay?

On Friday, August 18 and Saturday, August 19, ENGAGED will be a free eBook on Amazon. Make sure to double check as glitches sometimes happen, but after 3am Eastern on the 18th, you should be good to go.

About ENGAGED:

Trish Maxwell’s back in Speculator Falls with egg on her face and a lot of apologies to make. She left the mountain town for her dream job in New York City, only to come back unemployed. With no prospects, she works at her family’s department store and makes amends as she finds a new passion creating window displays for Adirondack businesses. She works hard and tries to convince the people of Speculator Falls she’s changed for the better.
As Trish pitches in with community events, she meets paramedic Wayne Peterson, the one man who doesn’t seem to judge her. She even makes friends with Jenna Regan, who helps Trish when people demand to know what’s next in Trish’s life. Living in New York City has been her goal, but the more she’s around Wayne and the Adirondack area, the more she’s drawn to revising her plans. Just when Trish thinks the plan for her life’s coming together, a second chance comes her way that could give her every career goal she’s ever wanted, but threaten to tear her and Wayne apart. Can Trish surrender fears about her future and discover God’s plan for her?

 

Although this is book 3 in a series, I believe you can read it as a standalone without confusion. However, if you would like to start from the beginning, ENTRUSTED is a free eRead at juliearduini.com, and ENTANGLED is available at a low cost. All books are available for print, AND I created a devotional ebook using the characters from this series as well as my surrender stories to help you in your surrender journey.

You can locate FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER here.

Feel free to spread the word to other readers. If you enjoy my books, reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are the best way. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon makes it visible. Thank you for considering Julie Arduini books for your summer!

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About 180 Encouragements

Posted by Julie on August 6, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

I hate problems. Trials. Adversity. Hardships. When I go to a meeting I’m the one blurting, “Let’s be part of the solution, not the problem.”

And that echoed through my mind most of my daughter’s 7th grade experience.

Let’s face it, middle school sucks. Yes, that’s a strong word. But it’s accurate, and I’m not taking it back. The academics are challenging. Self esteem and security are like the pennies at the mall that you place in that circle and it spins down the drain for charity. Friendships revolve like the doors, triple time if you are a girl. I’m not even talking about hard home lives, but that’s a reality as well.

I watched our daughter transform from a confident girl with a mega-watt smile to someone with her head down and eyes forecasting a vacant look. It is the age, I understand. But there was bullying that left even me speechless. She has health issues that have manifested into learning and the first half of her year was an uphill climb that felt just when she got momentum, someone took a shovel to her and knocked her down the hill.

It was devastating as a parent.

I have been praying for something that would make 8th grade a happier experience. We implemented a specific prayer that has already seen success.

  • We prayed for people who were not being a positive influence in her atmosphere to prosper somewhere else. And God answered pretty fast.

She has been praying for YEARS for a best friend. She knows that I have a friend that I have known since kindergarten. She has seen me through everything and was the one that told me about Jesus. We still see each other and close down restaurants when I am back in my hometown. And my daughter yearns for a friendship like that.

This month I’m pressing in to believe God for her prayers. To take things deeper and believe Him for things that to my eyes, seem impossible. If you have an impossible prayer, leave a comment or email me at juliearduini@juliearduini.com and I will pray.

But I felt like something was missing. Something hands on that wouldn’t just encourage our daughter, but others who need a lift and a smile. Enter 180 Encouragements.

This is a total God thing, because I’m not that smart and it popped in my head. There are around 180 days in a school year. It’s also a number that is about change. When someone has a change, you’ll hear that they did an 180. So let’s see some positive change with 180 encouragements.

I’m looking for 180 people to join the 180 Encouragements page. Our school year starts in late August, so I’m hoping each person would write ONE kind message that I can print out/copy/write out. She is going to decorate a box and we’ll put the messages in the box. Then, each school day she reads a message. I believe hearing from all of you, cheering her on, will make a difference.

But I’m not done.

I also want anyone on the page to feel free to take any of the messages for themselves. If they know someone who needs a boost, share it with them. Put it in a lunch box, book bag, bulletin board, bathroom mirror. Maybe YOU need the encouragement. Let’s all experience change.

I don’t know what this school year holds for us, but I know this,  God knows, and I’m going to be cheering her every step of the way.

TO JOIN 180 ENCOURAGEMENTS, CLICK HERE

 

 

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Stopping by with Interview Announcement

Posted by Julie on July 12, 2017 in About Me, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Happy July!

I’m stopping in to say hello and let you know that Melanie Snitker interviewed me at her blog, and I really enjoyed it. I’d love for you to check it out!



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