Kids Reading: Inspire Bible For Girls

In August of this year, Tyndale released a new Inspire Bible for Girls ages 8 and up. This new Bible is a wonderful edition to the award-winning Inspire line, and I’ll be sharing my review on the blog today as well as a few pages I’ve illustrated in mine. Yes, this Bible is for girls of all ages, including us “big” girls. You can also watch my review on YouTube here.

To order your own Inspire Bible for Girls on Amazon, shop my affiliate link here. Choose from either Hardcover or Softcover.

Here is a brief description of this new Bible from the publisher: “Over 500 beautiful full and partial-page Scripture line-art illustrations to color are attractively displayed throughout the Bible. There are lots of pages with open space for creativity in the lightly-ruled, two-inch-wide margins. Girls can leave traces of their faith throughout their Bible for a unique treasure that will truly inspire! The 8.65-point font is larger and more readable than other coloring Bibles, and the high-quality white Bible paper makes it a great choice for creatively responding to God’s Word right on the pages of the Bible. Instill the joy and value of reading the Bible in young girls’ hearts so they can learn to connect with God and discover valuable truths from Scripture―and ultimately live it out in their lives!

Tyndale was kind enough to send me a copy of the softcover Inspire Bible for Girls to review. I did also purchase the hardcover version for myself because I loved the cover. Both covers have shimmery silver to it, but I felt like the hardcover had just an extra special touch with the etched designs and colorful endpapers. Both Bibles contain the exact same content, so it’s just a matter of personal preference when choosing a cover. The softcover also retails for slightly less, if budget is an issue.

In addition to the illustrations we’ve come to love in the Inspire Bibles, the Inspire Bible for Girls also includes lots of extra features. These extra features include: 300+ devotionals written by author Carolyn Larsen; 160+ journaling prompts; 64 key scripture verse pages new with illustrations; 64 fun facts list for each book of the Bible (1-3 John are listed together); topical index of devotionals as well as a special “Shine Brightly for Jesus” devotional plan.

As with the other Inspire Bibles, this one includes the full text of Scripture in the New Living Translation (NLT). This translation is dynamic and highly readable, making it a great option for young girls. Something new to this Bible is the addition of some color to the actual pages. There is some teal included throughout the Bible on the key verse illustration pages, the Old and New Testament Pages, the fun facts, devotionals, and journaling prompts. I like that they used color to help highlight these columns throughout to make them stand out and easier to find as you’re flipping through.

The introduction includes lots of information for studying and illustrating in your Bible, as well as some practice illustrations that are a great place for testing out supplies. In the back is an index of all the designed scripture verses and designed word art.

There are new illustrations on the inside covers and the dedication page. Again it was left blank like in the Inspire Praise bible to make it easier to personalize as you choose. This was the first page I illustrated in my new Bible the day after I received it. I used sparkle gel pens and Faber Castell big brush pens to color and write on the spread.

The next page I illustrated was this full page illustration in 2 Chronicles 20:20. I used watercolor pencils and light water to color this page. The thickness of the pages I would consider the same as the original Inspire Bible. The pages are listed as white, but they seem sort of cream to me still. I do think they are a lighter shade than the original Inspire Bible though.

Overall I am highly pleased with the newest Inspire Bible for Girls, and I love that it’s packed full of features. This would make a great Christmas gift for any young girl in your life. To order a copy of the Inspire Bible for Girls on Amazon, click here. To read other Inspire Bible reviews, visit my Bible Review page here.

You can purchase a special digital kit with tons of printables that coordinate with the Shine Brightly for Jesus devotional plan in the new Inspire Bible for Girls here. Created by Amber Bolton of @biblejournaling and the Inspire Bible Tour. There’s also a new Blessings Coloring Pages digital kit available here that pairs well with the Inspire Bibles, and includes 25 pages of prompts and original artwork to guide you through finding the blessings in your life.

Also, I’ll be having a giveaway this week on my Instagram! Check out @kountingsheepbiblejournaling for a chance to win a softcover Inspire Bible for Girls!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you make purchases through the link at no additional cost to you. I was sent a complimentary copy of the softcover Inspire Bible for Girls by Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to give a positive review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

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Kids Reading: Board Books

For the month of July, I thought it would be fun to share some resources for kids to encourage them to read this summer! First up I have 2 board books to share that are great for reading aloud with toddlers. I have 2 little girls who love books, and these board books have been a huge hit with them.

Counting Blessings by Eileen Spinelli and Illustrated by Lee Holland

The first book I want to share with you is called Counting Blessings. This sweet book features a cute bunny family. The mommy and daddy bunny are helping the baby bunny to count different blessings throughout the day. The first half of the book show 10 different blessings to count and then the second half of the book counts things outside in nature, without using numbers like the first half.

As a mom of two young children who love to read counting books, I really like the structure of this one to include actual numbers for part of it and then things that the child can count for the second part of it. The cover of the book is a padded cover and the pages are traditional board book material. This book is very sturdy for little hands, and so far our copy has been able to withstand two very rough toddlers. Another thing I like about this book is that it showcases simple blessings that would be more familiar to a young child, like crackers, good night kisses, books, songs, birds and trees. This loveable book is great for reading before bed with a simple rhyming scheme that makes it flow smoothly when reading.

Little One, God Made You Special by Amy Warren Hilliker and Illustrated by Polona Lovsin

The second board book I want to share is called Little One, God Made You Special. I was drawn to the title of this book for my girls because my husband and I try to emphasize a lot how God made us special. We want our girls to grow up knowing that they are made in God’s image and that they are a precious gift. This book helps to reinforce those truths with soft illustrations of animals and a sweet rhyme that points out the different parts of us that are perfectly made by God. The book opens and closes with the message that “God made you special, little one. There’s no one like you–no, no not one!”

My girls love to read this one and flip the pages. This board book has a traditional board book cover and pages, but they are on the thinner side. It will stand up to toddlers better than a regular book, but may not be as sturdy as other board books. The size is perfect for showing off the beautiful illustrations, which I think are a major highlight of this book. The book is written by Rick Warren’s daughter, Amy, and is inspired by themes from The Purpose Driven Life. I love that the theme of this book is very intentional, even for the youngest of readers.

Overall, I think both of these books are a great addition to a little one’s library. They are sure to become bedtime favorites. To purchase a copy of Counting Blessings on Amazon, click here. To purchase a copy of Little One, God Made You Special, click here. Stay tuned for more kid friendly recommendations!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you. I was sent a copy of both these books from the publisher through the Book Look Bloggers program. I was not required to give a positive review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

College Bound: Agenda Planner

For day 2 in my “College Bound” series, I want to share with you the newest agenda planner from Dayspring! For the first two years that I was in college, I went to a local community college to get my associates before transferring to a larger university. The front office would give out free spiral-bound planners to students every semester that would have events specific to the college as well as a monthly and weekly views to plan out classes and assignments. It had round stickers in the back with things like “finals” “due” and “project.” These planners were extremely helpful in helping me keep track of my work schedule, classes, assignments, projects, and finals. So it’s no surprise that I would highly recommend an agenda planner for those headed off to college!

To order your new 18-month agenda planner and other planner supplies from Dayspring, click here.

Even though I’m not in college anymore, I still find a planner useful for jotting down important dates and appointments, as well as using it for weekly scripture writing. Dayspring just released 5 new 18-month agenda planners. These planners start in July 2018 and go through December 2019. Because they start in the summer, it’s the perfect set up for a new college student starting in the Fall 2018. Each one is spiral bound with a gold spiral and has laminated front and back covers. Dayspring sent me the Illustrated Faith branded planner to review and share with my followers, but there are numerous covers and styles to choose from. Each planner is practical and functional, as well as beautifully designed and faith inspiring.

All the planners from Dayspring have the same basic layout. There is a monthly dashboard and a laminated tab attached for that specific month. Then the first 2-page spread is the monthly calendar view. Next, the month is broken down into weeks, with one week spanning a 2-page spread. There are lines for writing more in-depth notes to plan out more specific details. This is also the area where those who use it as a faith planner would write out scripture or other faith-related content.

At the back of the planner is a Notes section. There are a few lined pages, a few graph pages, and a few blank pages in this section. There are three pages of planner stickers that fit perfectly into the monthly calendars and are a great way to add colorful reminders for important events. Lastly there is a pocket in the back to store extra bits and pieces.

The Illustrated Faith branded planner is absolutely beautifully designed. The cover is my favorite color, purple! It has a geometric design and hand-brushed lettering that spells out “Just give me Jesus.” Some of the design is gold-leafed to make it shimmer. For each monthly dashboard, a unique verse and design determines the color and theme for that month. At the top of each page is a coordinating banner that matches for that month. Even if you don’t add any other illustrating to this planner, it is still faith inspiring. But I like that there is lots of room to add decorations and embellishments. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here to be notified when new Faith planning videos get added to my channel!

I highly recommend the Dayspring 18-month agenda planner for all your planning needs, whether you are in college or want to use it as a faith planner. You can order your own Dayspring planner as well as other fun planner supplies by clicking the affiliate link here. To order the Pilot Frixion erasable pens on Amazon as seen in the pictures, click here.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission when you purchase through the links at no additional cost to you. Dayspring sent me the Illustrated Faith planner in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

College Bound: CSB Worldview Study Bible [Review]

This week I’m going to be sharing a few things to consider giving to a recent grad who is now college bound! I know summer is often a time for vacations and relaxing, but it can also be a time of preparation for the next phase of life for many young adults. For Christian young adults, there’s nothing more important than a reliable study Bible, and I highly recommend the CSB Worldview Study Bible.

To order a copy of the CSB Worldview Study Bible leather touch cover on Amazon, click here.

Here is the description from the publisher: “The CSB Worldview Study Bible features extensive worldview study notes and articles by notable Christian scholars to help Christians better understand the grand narrative and flow of Scripture within the biblical framework from which we are called to view reality and make sense of life and the world. Guided by general editors David S. Dockery and Trevin K. Wax, this Bible is an invaluable resource and study tool that will help you to discuss, defend, and clearly share with others the truth, hope, and practical compatibility of Christianity in everyday life.”

This is my new favorite Bible, and it currently sits on my nightstand for easy access. Not only is the leather touch cover comfortable to hold in my lap while reading, but the size is great for every day use without being too bulky. The design on the interior is very subtle, with mainly gray shading to help offset the extra content. A few images that evoke a universe theme are included on the Old Testament and New Testament pages and the concordance cover page. I like that the design is neutral and not too distracting. The content and the text are the main focus.

The 130 worldview articles spread throughout the text are helpful for discerning relevant topics in our culture. Written by over 120 scholars, the topics span from the practical to the intellectual. Some article topics include creation, science, gender and sexuality, language, other religions, music and recreation, technology, church and state, a biblical work ethic, just to name a few.

The over 5,900 study notes also provide extra guidance when reading certain passages. The notes are offset in a light gray box at the bottom of each page. The scripture text is double column, with a cross-reference center column.

Each book of the Bible begins with a two page spread that includes book introduction and information, Worldview elements, and a timeline. The Worldview elements for each book are “Teachings about God,” “Teachings about Humanity,” and “Teachings about Salvation.” Having this common them throughout helps to tie a Christian Worldview together throughout all of Scripture.

The CSB Worldview Bible is thought-provoking for helping Christians form a biblical worldview. I highly recommend this Bible! It would make a great gift for a recent grad or great gift to self.

To order a copy in the Navy leather touch cover on Amazon, click here. For another great study Bible for young adults, see my review for the CSB Apologetics Study Bible here.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the links at no additional cost to you. B&H/Lifeway sent me a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

CSB Study Bible for Women [Review]

Lifeway was kind enough to send me a copy of the new CSB Study Bible For Women to review on my blog, so today I will be focusing on this beautiful new Bible. Make sure you read until the end of the post to find out how you can win a copy for yourself!

To order a copy of the CSB Study Bible for Women on Amazon, click here.

This new study Bible is an update of a previous version, The Study Bible for Women (HCSB), originally published in 2014. The same editor team of Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley are part of this updated 2018 version, which includes a new design, expanded concordance, and a new layout for the study content within the text. The text itself is the updated, highly readable and highly reliable Christian Standard Bible translation. This study Bible is written by women for women.

At the beginning of this Bible is an introduction and an article on how to study the Bible. I love that this article encourages women to study the text deeply for themselves, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God’s word, the resources included in this Bible as well as outside resources. This Bible isn’t about devotions and emotions, it’s about study God’s word to know him better. It gives lots of great suggestions about how to have personal Bible study and engage with the word of God.

The design and color palette in this Study Bible is feminine without being too “frilly.” The color scheme reminds me of the She Reads Truth Bible, which is done by the same publisher (read more about the She Reads Truth Bible here). The flowers adorn the top of the introductions to each book of the Bible, and the teal and coral colors are carried throughout to highlight word studies, Biblical Womanhood articles, and the Written on My Heart sections at the end of each book. The colors are subtle and visually appealing throughout the text.

Major female figures throughout the Bible are highlighted in Character Profiles. Other study features include Doctrine, charts and graphs, Word Studies, Biblical Womanhood articles that highlight different topics concerning women, Hard Questions, a features index, a large concordance, and maps in the back. The study notes included at the bottom of the scripture text help explain further the context and meaning, as well as helps to aid the reader to study further on their own.

One thing that I want to note about the content of the study material in this Bible is that the topics of womanhood, marriage, and motherhood are written from a strong complimentarian viewpoint. I took some time to read a few key passages and the corresponding notes and articles pertaining to these topics, and I found them to be more conservative. I felt it was worth mentioning for those who may hold different viewpoints, and as with any Bible or Bible study material, I always encourage you to read for yourself to decide if this is right for you.

Overall, I think the CSB Study Bible for Women is a great resource for women wanting to learn how to study the Bible deeper. It may not be the right Bible for every woman, so feel free to explore my other Bible reviews listed here. To order your own copy of the CSB Study Bible for Women on Amazon in the sand/turquoise hardcover as shown in the pictures, click here. To order the teal flowers LeatherTouch cover, click here.

I will be hosting a giveaway for this Bible on my Instagram @kountingsheepbiblejournaling starting after this post is published and running until Friday, May 25th at 11:59pm AZ time. Click here for more details on how to enter!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the links at no additional cost to you. Lifeway sent me a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

Less Hustle More Jesus

The topic of the newest Illustrated Faith kit, “Less Hustle More Jesus,” is very timely for me right now, since this will be my last kit review for the Illustrated Faith launch team. With my daughter’s recent autism diagnosis, I had to assess what things I could remove from my plate in order to lighten my load. I’m the type of person that wants to do all the things, and I often take on way more projects than I can handle. I decided that stepping down from the launch team would help me continue to journal and review products without being on a specific schedule. It can be hard to meet deadlines when the demands of caring for my daughter often prevent me from accomplishing tasks when I want to finish them. I am so grateful for the past year that I’ve been able to receive the kits from Dayspring in exchange for doing unboxing videos and reviews, and I look forward to continuing as a regular Dayspring affiliate. That means I will still be posting about my favorite products, creating process videos, and my affiliate links will still earn me a small commission when you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. The proceeds go towards both supporting my Bible journaling ministry and supporting my family. Thank you to my readers and followers for your continued support!

To order “Less Hustle More Jesus,” click here.

Now let’s talk about this adorable kit for May, “Less Hustle More Jesus.” If you find yourself in a similar season of burnout or feeling like you’re doing too much, then this kit is perfect for you. The 4 session cards focus on 4 different scripture passages that encourage you to focus more on resting in Jesus. The 4 journaling cards also have scripture that leads you to explore this theme further either on the card itself or in your bible. Most of the die cut pieces also have scripture references on the back, so this kit is just saturated with God’s word!

A big change to the kit this month is the return of a full size 4×6 stamp set! In lieu of washi tape, the stamp set is a double alphabet that includes both solid block letters and letter outlines to create layered lettering on your page. I really appreciate when the stamp set from a kit is versatile even after I’m finished going through the content of the kit. An alphabet stamp set is an essential staple in the Bible journaler’s stash, because it can be used over and over again.

3 heart tip ins, die cut pieces, and cardstock stickers, including wordfetti, help round out this kit. The fun design helps to lead you into celebrating how wonderful it is to just simply rest. It’s okay to play, and not let our lives be dominated by work, by the hustle of every day life. The bright colors and cheerful icons put a smile on my face, and I feel like this kit just really helps to lighten my mood every time I use it. I decided to use “Less Hustle More Jesus” with my 100 Days of Bible Promisesbook, and it’s been fun to see the different elements of the kit fit in with the different promises of the book.

My goal with this journaling kit is to use up every piece of it. I’ve gotten off to a good start with these 4 entries that I’ve already had the chance to work through in my book. For Day 15 after putting down some acrylic paint, I cut one of the heart tip-ins down a little bit to fit better into the space on the page, as well as cut out the section of Psalm 23 that was on one of the journaling cards. I used a die cut piece as my tab at the top of this page. I finished it off with some stamping and washi tape from my stash.

For my entry on Day 16, I wanted to use this cute vintage yellow bicycle from the first session card. I added some acrylic paint, marker, and pen marks to the page, then glued down the die cut and bicycle pieces, and then added some alphabet stickers to finish off my phrase. This washi tape from Documented Faith reminded me of bike tire tracks, so I thought it was the perfect way to finish off the page.

My Day 17 entry already had a lot of fun elements printed on the page, so I didn’t have to add much. I cut out the cake and fork from the journaling card, since this promise talked about God providing for us. I used the alphabet stamps from the kit to create the colorful layered letters. The washi tape from my stash was the perfect complement to the colors of this page. I finished it off with some stickers and journaling using my pink Illustrated Faith pen.

I jumped ahead a little bit in my book to find an entry that would pair better with the theme of this kit. Day 26 talks about finding strength in God by trusting him. I basically recreated my entry from Day 17 on this page by using the same techniques and elements. I like to recreate my own pages in my journaling because it helps me when either my creativity is low or I don’t have a lot of time to come up with something completely new.

I’m confident I’ll get at least 4 more entries out of this kit, if not more. The alphabet stamp set is truly my favorite part of this kit, and I’m so happy that I now have one like this in my stash. While I’m sad that there was no washi tape included with the kit this time, I have been surprised at how much washi I already had that complements this kit. The washi tape can be hit or miss for me in past kits, so I’m glad that the value of the kit went more towards a super versatile stamp set this time around.

If you would like to purchase your own “Less Hustle More Jesus” kit from Dayspring, click here. To purchase the 100 Days of Bible Promises book, click here.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you shop through the link at no additional cost to you. Dayspring sent me this kit in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and pictures contained in this post are my own.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: In Bloom Book

My third recommendation in this blog series for Mother’s Day Gift Ideas is the amazing book In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence by Kayla Aimee. I had the privilege of being on the launch team for this book back in February when it was released, and even though my review is a little late (better late than never, right?) I knew I just had to share this book for Mother’s Day. I seriously think every woman can benefit from reading this book! This post today is written more towards women, so I think this is a great gift to give to your fellow mom friends, soon-to-be moms, women who hope to be a mother someday, or even a gift-to-self this Mother’s Day.

To order In Bloom by Kayla Aimee on Amazon, click here.

In Bloom is part memoir of Kayla growing up in the 90s, part stories about navigating how to raise her daughter to be a confident woman of God, and part call to action to put aside insecurity once and for all to finally bloom into the confident woman God created you to be. This book not only was touching and witty, but it put into words many things I have felt myself, especially having grown up in the church in the 90s in a culture that viewed “biblical femininity” one way that I didn’t exactly feel like fit into.

To explain why this book spoke to me so much, I must explain a little bit about my background. My mom raised me to be a strong, outspoken/opinionated, independent woman, which seemed to be at odds with some of the teachings and cultures I was surrounded by in church while coming of age. I’ve had a lot of time in my adulthood to explore for myself what the Bible says and what it means to be a woman of God, and as I have shed some of the self-imposed misconceptions of my youth, I have seen God do a greater work in me than I would have planned for myself. If someone had told me 10 years ago that I’d be sharing my personal journaling publicly for everyone to see and read, I would have probably locked myself in my room and never come out (hello, introvert here). I am so grateful to now have a book like In Bloom to recommend to women who have felt insecure and need some encouragement for how to bloom into confidence, and hopefully do it a lot earlier in life than I did.

If you have ever felt out of place or that God got it wrong when he made you, then run to go read this book! Kayla writes: “When we imagine ourselves before and after, we think of the end of one thing and the beginning of another. But that’s where I think we get discouraged because we assume change means becoming someone completely different. Maybe we’re looking at change all wrong. It seems to me that if we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the beginning, then our renewing isn’t meant to keep changing us from one old thing to another totally new thing, over and over again. It’s meant to liberate us of our shame, enhancing our gifts and adorning us in grace” (page 142). Kayla’s writing in this book is so relatable and accessible, and I was flipping through chapter after chapter, not able to put it down. I think one of the biggest messages of this book other than confidence is that you don’t have to live in shame. What a liberating truth that God does not want us to live in our shame, but instead he wants us to be liberated through Christ to use our gifts and bear fruit!

This book is more than just a story. It’s a guide to help identify your sources of inadequacy and insecurity that have bombarded you throughout your life, and replace them with affirming truths from God’s word that you are accepted, loved, and filled with purpose. The text is saturated with biblical truth without being imposing and judgmental. Instead, In Bloom is a celebration of being a confident woman and embracing who God made you to be.

I enjoyed this book so much that I had to bring some of the lessons I learned into the margin of my Bible. I journaled this page in my Thrive Bible in Psalm 92:12-15 “But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”

I highly recommend this book, and I think it’s a great resource for helping to instill a culture of acceptance, confidence, and flourishing in the next generation of young women, especially as mothers raising daughters. To order your own copy of In Bloom for yourself or as a gift on Amazon, click here.

I’m also having a giveaway over on Instagram @kountingsheepbiblejournaling for a copy of In Bloom, as well as other goodies. Head on over to my account to enter to win a copy of this book!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: God’s Call to a Deeper Life

For Day 2 in my Mother’s Day Gift Ideas series, I’m going to share this sweet little book titled God’s Call to a Deeper Life by Nancy Taylor. This book is a 366 day devotional specifically for women to experience the word of God in a new way. When I read the description for this devotional, I was intrigued: “God is calling to your heart from every page of His Word. Can you hear His voice? Or does it sometimes feel like you’ve read it all before, and the words enter your mind but fail to permeate your soul? Get ready to experience Scripture in an entirely new way through these 366 devotions. Open your heart to God’s truth in a way that is clear, personal, and relevant to your life. Let these devotions bridge the gap between the eternal, unchanging words written in the Bible and your heart’s desire to connect with the One who cares most deeply for you.”

To order a copy of God’s Call to a Deeper Life on Amazon, click here.

The style and design of this book is very beautiful and feminine, with the pink and gold colors being carried throughout. It was designed with gift-giving in mind for women who love to use devotionals, especially daily ones. The writing style reminds me of that used for the daily devotionals included in the Thrive Bible (review here), even thought it’s a different author.

The devotionals themselves start with the date, a key passage of scripture to explore for that day, a paraphrase of the passage written by the author, and a section at the bottom of the page for reflection. I will admit that I typically like my devotionals to dig deeper into scripture than this type of book, but I appreciate what the author is trying to communicate by paraphrasing. She’s trying to help the reader experience the truths of God with fresh eyes. The author has specifically chosen those verses which are often all too well known, and tries to reinvigorate the reader’s experience with the text.

From a Bible journaling perspective, I think this book would make a great supplement to help guide you through a year of scripture to explore further with journaling. Since each entry is fairly brief, it leaves room for further exploration in your Bible. It makes a great guide for choosing a daily passage , as well as guiding the reader to further reflection.

I think this book would make a great gift for moms who may feel discouraged or disconnected from their daily devotional time, or have a busy life with a demanding schedule. God’s Call to a Deeper Life is the perfect little daily push to reconnect with God and the Bible, without being too overwhelming. You can order God’s Call to a Deeper Life as a gift for the mom in your life on Amazon here.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you when you purchase through the links. I received a copy of this book from Tyndale publishers in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: One Year Bible Expressions

I know sometimes it can be hard to shop for moms, especially ones who seem to have it all, so I will be doing a blog series all week long about some of my Mother’s Day gift ideas that you may not have thought of! My first recommendation is for the One Year Bible Expressions Journaling Bible. Tyndale was kind enough to send me this beautiful pink hardcover bible to share with my readers, and I was thrilled to receive it. I had wanted this bible back at the beginning of the year, since I’ve never used a One Year Bible before, but they were sold out at the time. If this Bible would be something that would interest your mom or wife, make sure to buy it now rather than waiting til December/January when it’s in high demand (hint, hint)!

To order the One Year Expressions Bible on Amazon, click here.

The reason why I recommend a journaling Bible, even for moms that aren’t necessarily interested in art journaling, is because it’s a personal gift that anyone can use! You can write notes or prayers in the margin, lightly color the illustrations, and just enjoy reading through this Bible. You don’t have to be an artist to use a journaling Bible. This Bible is both functional and beautiful.

What is a One Year Bible though? It’s a Bible that has the entire New Living Translation text divided into 365 daily readings that include a passage from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. By organizing the text in this way, it helps guide the reader through the entire Bible in one year in a format that is more conducive to a busy life, or for those who need the visual ease of having it organized this way instead of having to flip all over the place with a traditional bible and reading plan. Each section is dated from January 1st through December 31st.

This bible has 2 inch margins that are either lightly lined or contain a preprinted illustration. The pages are cream, the text is arranged double-column, and the page thickness is the same as the original teal cover Inspire Bible (read my review for the Inspire Bible here). In fact, the 100+ margin illustrations included with this bible are taken from the original Inspire Bible, so if you have used the Inspire before, they will look familiar to you. For me, I’m actually excited to see these images again, because I was only able to color a fraction of the illustrations in my Inspire Bible before it got too full and needed to be retired. This bible will give me an opportunity to color the images I missed the first time around.

The illustrations on the inside front and back cover are unique to this Bible, and the presentation page is absolutely beautiful! It would make a lovely gift for your mom or wife to color the presentation page and write a note to her. This would also be a great place to let children or grandchildren color for mom or grandma, creating a personal and special gift that she will cherish.

Also included in the front of the One Year Bible Expressionsis information about the New Living Translation, as well as optional ideas for how to use the reading plan of this bible and an alphabetical index of the books of the Bible. I liked that the publisher provided other reading ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of, should I want to read it differently. However I think the strength of this bible is that it’s already arranged for me to read straight through without having to find a reading plan and marking it off each day. The index is helpful for finding a specific passage, since this bible isn’t arranged in the traditional Old and New Testament format.

The hardcover is a soft touch cover with floral detail and etching. The endpapers are printed with a beautiful pink, green and teal floral print. The Bible also includes 2 ribbon bookmarks, which I absolutely love when publishers do this. It helps to have multiple bookmarks if you are reading different sections, or want to go back and reread a passage while still keeping your current place. The bookmarks match the colors of the pink and teal cover.

I did color one page of this Bible using gel pens, just to make sure the paper was the same as the Inspire Bible (it was). As with all gel pens, you do have to be careful to not color over the same spot too many times or it will bleed through. As long as you aren’t too heavy-handed with coloring, they do shadow but don’t bleed. Add a set of colored pencils and/or gel pens when giving as a gift (I recommend Crayola Twistable colored pencils here and Color-It gel pens here). I highly recommend this Bible, and I think it makes a great Mother’s Day gift!

Order the One Year Expressions Bible as a Mother’s Day gift on Amazon here.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you. Tyndale Publishers sent me this Bible in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and pictures contained in this post are my own.

Tis the Season for Advent Journaling

The newest Advent devotional kit is here! Advent is my favorite time of year for Bible journaling, and this little kit is packed with an explosion of color as you explore the reason for the season. To watch my unboxing video of the Advent kit, click here. To purchase the Advent kit from Dayspring, click here, but make sure you read to the end of this post for a Black Friday coupon code!

The style of this kit is such a cute vintage handmade vibe. Plus add in some cute Christmas mugs washi tape, and you can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit. The biggest difference to the kit this month is that the 8 cards all include devotional material. I do wish that there had been more scripture references included with the kit, because the devotionals only include 4 verses. However there are so many other resources for Advent studies this time of year, so having a simpler kit is appealing to supplement other studies or for those who want a simpler study in the rush of the holidays and not feel pressured to journal every day.

I’m happy to see that the stamp set has more smaller stamps this month to give you more options for stamping cuteness onto your page. However as with past months, I just wish there was more variety. There are two stars and 4 bows, so I would have liked to see maybe a little tree or a little ornament. But the great thing about the Advent kit is that it coordinates with the entire line of Illustrated Faith Advent products on Dayspring, and there is a stand-alone Advent stamp set with more stamps that would be a great add-on to use with this kit. The die cut pieces are a mix of blank vintage style ornaments and a few ornaments with words on them. It would be so cute to use some of the icons from the stamp set to embellish the blank ornaments.

If you watched my unboxing video, you would have seen that the devotional cards are the perfect size to fit into a traveler’s notebook. I’ve decided that I wanted to work in a traveler’s notebook in December so that I would have room for writing as well as adding in other sources and studies as I work through this season. Illustrated Faith has several blank traveler’s notebooks that you can pick up here when you grab your kit. I’ve been having fun getting it set up in anticipation of December as well as using a bunch of fun pieces from my stash in addition to the Advent kit to decorate my notebook.

I can’t wait to share more of my journey through Advent journaling this year! Make sure to subscribe to my blog to receive updates on when new posts go live. Feel free to leave a comment below on how you will be journaling or studying for Advent, I’d love to hear from you!

You can pick up the Advent kit here. And don’t forget to use code FRIDAY17 to save 30% off your entire sitewide purchase on Dayspring now through Sunday, 11/26.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Dayspring sent me the Advent kit in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained within this post are my own.