Fix The Clutter Fix: The No-Fail, Stress-Free Guide to Organizing Your Home By Shannon Acheson

Clutter has been an ongoing challenge for me for many years.  I go from organized and cleansed back to clutter.  I am always looking for new ideas and help in digging out when I slip back into my old ways.  There have been a lot of books written on this subject and believe me I have read a lot of them.  So I was a bit skeptical but still hopeful this one might have some ways to help me approach the job that lay before me.  I was pleasantly surprised!

I liked that the author was a Christian.  As a believer myself and always want to approach every part of my life through the Bible. This is the first decluttering book I have seen that includes God in putting your home in order. To me that’s perfect as He is to be the center of our homes in every way.

Clutter is complicated because much of it has an emotional basis.  I love the way she makes her instructions so simple and clear.  It was like having her there beside me discussing many aspects involved in this huge task that I would have never thought of!  She covers every angle.  I learned so many new ideas and techniques I can apply to weeding out my belongings.  Instead of being overwhelmed I felt it was a task I could succeed at! Once you are done she has even more suggestions to keep your house from going backwards again. A very helpful book!

I received this book from Bethany House Nonfiction/Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions I have stated are my own.


Brain Washed: Overcome Toxic Thoughts and Take Back Control of Your Mind By Manny Arango

I am sure toxic thoughts are nothing new, but the world and media seem to give us a lot more material for them now!  It seems anxiety and fear generated by these harmful ruminations has reached epidemic proportions. 

I have my fair share of struggles with this too.  The Bible emphasizes the importance of renewing our minds and not accepting everything that pops into our heads.  It is truly our guideline to true peace and a healthy mind.  Yet sometimes in the midst of our suffering we find it hard to apply this wisdom. 

Through his own personal challenges in this area and sharing his private experiences, he helps the reader not only navigate their complicated thought life, but also apply what scripture teaches. The book was very thorough in addressing such a difficult problem.   I like that he had so many biblical references to guide me.  What impressed me the most about the book was how the author directed the reader achievable and concrete solutions to change their thinking.  This book was definitely written by someone who understands how hard conquering toxic thoughts is but has found victory over them!

I received this book from Bethany House Nonfiction/Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions I have stated are my own.

A Quilt for Christmas By Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson’s Christmas books have become a yearly tradition with me.  The holiday is not complete without reading her latest one.

Christmas is going to be hard for elderly Vera Swanson in more ways than one. She sold her family home with all the sweet memories and moved across the state of Oregon to be near her daughter and grandchildren. Shortly after her move, the family had to relocate to California. While her new condo was nice it didn’t hold a candle to her large home she had sold. The holiday there included lots of family, friends, Christmas baking and over the top Christmas decorations.  To add to her sadness, she didn’t know anyone nor could any of her family could make it home to celebrate.

Purposing to make the bests of things she decorated as best she could. While she was pondering over her dilemma, there was a knock at the door.  Her neighbor’s daughter was standing there frantic.  Her mother was sick and she needed help. Rushing over she finds the mother seriously ill.  Vera takes over and drives her to the hospital. 

This leaves her to care for 4 year old Fiona and her siblings when they return from school. The father is working out of state and cannot come home.   Fascinated by all the decorations the little girl explores condo.  She spots a handmade quilt is in awe.  She exclaims that it is exactly what her mother would want for Christmas.   She asks if Vera can make one for her and no amount of explaining the logistics of time and labor deters her.

Vera concedes and decides to advertise for other ladies to help.  The group that responds not only has never quilted but was as diverse in background and personality as you could ever imagine.   Suddenly her quite life is filled to the brim; teaching, quilting, and caring for 3 young children.

The story expresses the true spirit of Christmas in such a warm and loving way.  All the character’s involved moved past their heartaches and problems to truly give and care about others in need.  Vera gave not only gave of her time but of herself and in the process influenced others by her actions to do the same. The ripple effect she had on the other lives made me smile. We may all picture what our perfect Christmas looks like and we know it seldom is a reality.  Ms. Carlson shows that no matter how flawed our holiday appears, opening our hearts can make it better than we ever imagined.  After all Christmas is about giving.   A beautiful story.

I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions stated are my own.