What Do Coffee and Control Have in Common?

by Sally Matheny

Coffee and Quiet Time Go Well Together
What do coffee and control have in common? It begins at Paige Snedeker's blog, "The Paige Project" where I'm guest blogging this week. I hope you'll go pop in and say hello to Paige, check out all the cool things she has to offer, and comment on the blog post, "Are We Packing In Too Much?"

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? I've felt that way before. Too many times. On Paige's blog, I share a true story about being overwhelmed, losing control, and learning a lesson the hard way.

Also, I'm hosting a giveaway on Paige's blog. Everyone who leaves a comment at the end of the blog post, on Paige's website, will have their name entered into a drawing.

The prize? A five-ounce bag of freshly roasted Ethiopian coffee from Paxville Coffee and a Women of Faith devotion book, Giving God Your Future. Woo hoo! Sounds like a great way to start your morning.

Paige and I appreciate you hopping over to Paige's website and checking it out. 😊


College Student: Be a Game-Changer & Beat the Need for “Adulting”

by Sally Matheny

College Student: Be a Game-Changer
When my children were preschoolers, they “beat” me in every game. I made sure they buzzed in answers before me, scored the most points, and reached the finish line first.

Why? Because I did not want them to be upset if they failed to win.

The same took place in other areas. Batches of backward letters were praised, rather, than reshaped. Misspoken words adored instead of corrected. Scored baskets enticed wild cheers at their first basketball games. We did not dare mention the refs overlooking some serious walking infractions.

Why? Because I, like many others, wanted my child to feel successful.

Eventually, we enforced playing games with integrity.  Corrections began to flow into all areas of my kids’ lives. Sometimes they did get upset. Angry outbursts, tears, and “I quit” attitudes emerged.

For the sake of peace, I almost wanted to slip back into letting them be right, even if they were wrong. Almost.

Which brings me to today’s topic. Have you heard of "adulting"? 


Book Review and Giveaway of HOPE GIRL by Wendy Dunham

by Sally Matheny

HOPE GIRL Book Review & Giveaway
Do you remember what it was like to be twelve years old? It’s not the easiest stage in life. Often times, tweens long for their lives to be different, be better.

The main character of Hope Girl, River Starling, zeroes in on several things she’d like to change.
It’s taken most of her life to find her biological parents, now River's number one goal is to reunite with them and become a family again. But it’s not going to be easy. Her mother has amnesia and her father is about to marry someone else!

River longs to talk with her best friend, but he’s gone. Just when she thinks things can’t get worse, she discovers she’s going to have to wear a back brace for a curved spine.  And her grandmother, the one who raised her, has moved to an assisted living facility.

River experiences one trial after another. Although usually persistent in nature, she begins to lose hope of her lifelong dream coming true.

Through a series of surprising events, her family and a new friend help River learn about forgiveness, acceptance, and courage.   

How does River find peace when she realizes  God’s plan is different than hers? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

I liked this Christian, paperback book published by Harvest House. Hope Girl, written by Wendy Dunham, is the sequel to her first book, My Name is River. You can read a review of it here.

Set in 1983, both stories are told from twelve-year-old River’s point of view, which delicately teeters between humorous and dramatically desperate.

The author did an excellent job pulling in characteristics you don’t often read about in middle-grade novels. In My Name is River there’s a boy with a paralyzed arm due to complications at birth. In Hope Girl, one of River’s friends, Carlos, deals with stares at his severe scarring from a fire. And River learns to cope with wearing a back brace to correct a curved spine.

I did not find the word handicapped in this book. While the author shares the difficult realities for these characters, she also conveys their strength, courage, and hope as they face life challenges. 

One reason Wendy Dunham expresses these challenges so exquisitely is because of her own life experiences. She serves children with special needs as a registered therapist. Plus, Dunham knows the discomfort of wearing a back brace because, like River, she also had to wear one.

Do you know a tweener who is longing for things to be different in her life? Perhaps struggling with physical appearance, family issues, or something that's out of their control?Why not surprise her with this book?

Here's your chance to win a copy of Hope Girl.? All you have to do is hop over to Wendy’s facebook author page. Let me know in the comments below after you visit her page, and I’ll put your name in the drawing.  A winner will be randomly selected on Saturday, August 12. 

If you don't win, Harvest House is hosting a 99-cent special on the e-book, Hope Girl, just through the month of August, over at Amazon.

CONGRATULATIONS TO SHANNON DILLARD of N.C.! You won! I'll be in touch with you about the delivery of your book. :) Thanks to all of you who participated. Stay tuned. There'll be another giveaway in a few weeks.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free in return for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255