Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Beautiful Wife Study

There was a time when author Sandy Ralya’s marriage was in trouble. She needed help but she was afraid to ask for it. At the time, she didn’t know that hundreds of other wives were struggling with the same issues she was. Though Sandy eventually sought guidance from godly mentors and Christian counselors, other women remain silent. Many churches lack ministries and resources to reach out and help these women.
The Beautiful Wife uses these inspiring stories along with biblical principles to guide and encourage any wife looking for God's best in her marriage. The Beautiful Wife answers serious questions women have about their roles as wives. Discussing everything from romance and money to beauty, communication, and sex, Sandy challenges women to open up and share their journeys so that together they can see God's plan for their marriages. "It is my passion to help women discover God's heart for their marriage, just as the other women helped me," writes Sandy. "When women share with each other the details of their journeys with God as wives, it's a beautiful thing indeed." The Beautiful Wife has two companion resources - Prayer Journal and Mentor's Guide.

The Beautiful Wife: Focused on Christ, Fulfilled in Marriage came with a mentor's guide and a journal. So not only is this for personal use, but can be used in group studies as well. This book does not speak of physical beauty. This is to enrich marriages around the globe. I like the fact that the author, Sandy Ralya, first tells us to turn to God. We know we should be doing this in every aspect of our life. Sometimes we are turning to Him for everything except our marriage! 
I loved every chapter I read, but the one about romance really stuck with me. I even quoted the part about us not being our husbands' mother as my Facebook status once. 

I will forever remember TRACE

Trust instead of control
Respect instead of demean
Appreciate instead of criticize
Confer confidence instead of doubt
Expose vulnerability instead of defensiveness

This book covers everything from thoughts on sex to managing money. This is a great help book for women for our marriages. It has changed the way I think about a lot of things, including my hubby.

I am so glad this set included a Prayer Journal....very important! Every chapter in the book coincides with the prayer journal. It helps to really get involved with your reading. Also helps to  get us in the Word of God and more active in our prayer life concerning our marriage. 

The Mentor's Guide is only necessary when completing this study in a group session. It will be a great help! Each chapter starts with a prayer, an introduction to the lesson, and then discussion preparations.There are a couple more sections that keep you involved with your group and lessons as well.

If you are interested in purchasing this book please go here and get it for a great price at

I received this book from Kregel Publications for the purpose of my honest review and blog tour.

About The Author

Sandy Ralya is the founder and director of Beautiful Womanhood and speaks to hundreds of women each year at MOPS groups, women’s retreats, and church leadership conferences across the country and in Canada. Sandy and her husband, Tom, have been married since 1980 and have three grown children and and growing number of grandchildren. Sandy bases her ministry near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Celebrate with Sandy by entering her Kindle Touch Giveaway and coming to her "Beautiful Womanhood" Facebook Party {3/8}!

One beautiful winner will receive:
  • A Brand new Kindle Touch with Wi-Fi
  • The Beautiful Wife By Sandy Ralya
  • The Beautiful Wife Prayer Journal and Mentor's Guide
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/7/12. Winner will be announced at Sandy's "Beautiful Womanhood" Facebook Party on 3/8. Sandy will be hosting an evening of chat, laughter and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, prayer journals and a live chat with Sandy for your Bible study or small group!

So grab your copy of The Beautiful Wife and join Sandy and friends on the evening of March 8th for an evening of fun.
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on March 8th!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Promise Me This- A Review

We say we would lay down our life for loved ones as Jesus did for us. Would you do it for your friend? Maybe someone you've only met just months before? Owen was someone who was the image of Christ on earth. He dreams of fulfilling his father's dream and moving him and his sister to live with their aunt and uncle on American soil.
He proceeded to put his sister in a boarding school while he made his way to America to start a new life and make his family's gardens profitable. Owen was a master gardener like his father and had created many new flowers to take to America with him. Once they had enough money he would immediately send for his sister. Annie did not like that plan, but she went along with it. Weeks before Owen was to leave he came upon a young man, Michael, sleeping under a tarp that was meant for the flower beds. The boy was startled, hungry, and dirty but Owen was very friendly. He shared his lunch and hired him to help. They became very good friends.
Michael was orphaned as a young lad and had been abused his whole childhood by his drunk uncle. He and his little sister were eventually sold to two different men. He can never forget his little sister screaming for him as she was carried off by a stranger. Michael didn't know what love was, or that he could actually have a friend who cared about him. Owen was a gift from God, although Michael doesn't realize that until later.
It came time for Michael to leave on the "unsinkable" Titanic. Owen worked it out with the garden owner that Michael would take his place. Michael was beaten by his uncle the previous night with his drunk friends throwing in a kick or two. That morning he found a boarding pass in the gutter and did what he could to look the part of the pass information. IT WORKED! He was aboard the Titanic.
We all know what happened to that beautiful and majestic ship. Let me just tell you, keep those tissues nearby while reading this book.
Annie goes through quite the ordeal after she learns about her brother's fate. She was in need of much healing and deliverance from her bitterness and hatred. She was turning into her Aunt Eleanor and that was not something she wanted.
This is such a great story of God's provision. Life might not be awesome and joyous all the time, but that doesn't mean God has abandoned us! We have hope in Jesus. Throughout the story the main characters strengthen their relationship with God. I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction. Although this could have very well been the story of someone's life back then. Just when you think you have things figured out something else happens. Cathy Gohlke can really write a great story. Hate, loss, bitterness, hopelessness, doubt, sacrifice, happiness, love, forgiveness, and's all in this book. I wanted to read this book for the historical factor, but got so much more out of it.


Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award–winning author of "William Henry is a Fine Name" and "I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires," which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award and was listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008. 

Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, make their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Elkton, Maryland.

If you would like to find out more about Cathy and her awesome books please check out her website.

"Like" her on Facebook as well!

I received this book from Tyndale Publishers for my honest review.