The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts












The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts is the latest book I’ve received from Litfuse for reviewing.

And it’s almost hard to put this book into words.

There are lots of books speaking about getting through hard times from pastors and such, who have walked with people, that sometimes seem like they offer solutions that are just don’t really help, that just seem too easy and too shallow.

And there are lots of books from survivors… those on the other side of the darkness…. that are great for encouragement that there can be healing.

This book is neither.

Kara writes about her life in her struggle with cancer and dealing with the fact that she may well die from it… from in the middle of the struggle. From right in the center of the hard. From a place where she openly writes that she may not live to see the book published… and where she has to accept that there is a likelihood that her husband and young children will be carrying on with their lives without her, and bearing the hard of their loss.

There are no cheap easy answers here… nor are there any false hopes. There’s no pretending that it’s easy…. or that faith and tears can’t coexist.

It’s real, honest, and open… and I pretty much guarantee tears.

And though my very hard place is completely different from her very hard place… I find it comforting to have the honesty and the openness… when so many seem to want to close the doors and hide the hard places from view.

But Kara also shares the peace… that she is able to trust that whatever happens in her story, whether she lives or whatever she dies, that the story is good and beautiful. That there will be grace covering the story and those left behind even if things do not turn out as she wishes.

It’s something that I know logically… but that’s frequently something I don’t always feel with my hard place. But it is truth. God is good, and the story will be the good story… always.

Though my circumstances for tears are very different…. there’s a part that really stood out to me….

“We talked about how tears were beautiful. That though the hard may come and our hearts may be broken, that brokenness isn’t bad. The tears are evidence of our love for one another. They did not stop that day, and they will not stop in the days to come. But tears are a gift, not something to withhold or bottle up – they are the essence of the best of life. The love here, now, today has grown our hearts, and makes the parting of our hearts suffocating and hard at best. But our tears will be treasured, kept, and stored in heaven.”


Having just finished reading the book, I don’t have the information yet that will go below this when I post it… and I’m somewhat scared to click over and see as to whether or not her comments about possibly not being here to see the book published ended up being her story or not. I don’t want to see the harder path chosen in her story any more than I want it chosen in mine.

But with both of us… if that’s the path the story takes, it will still be the beautiful one.



About the Book:

A young mother battling cancer invites readers to embrace grace in every season of life.

Kara Tippetts knows the mundane but rich days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow.and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer.

In The Hardest Peace, she invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. As the thousands of readers of her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.


You can purchase your own copy at Mundane Faithfulness.

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About the Author:
Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and lead a church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cancer is only part of Kara’s story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality.
Find Kara online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Kara Tippetts‘ brave and touching book, The Hardest Peace is launching with a blogger challenge. Celebrate with Kara by joining the #HardestPeace conversation and share how you are finding grace in the midst of the everyday and in life’s hard moments.

The Hardest Peace, Kara Tippetts

Share your stories of everyday grace in the midst of life’s difficulties and enter to win a #HardestPeace prize pack:

  • A book club pack (10 copies of The Hardest Peace for you and your small group!)
  • A handcrafted candle
  • Journal
  • Custom Etsy The Hardest Peace print and coffee mug

To enter to win, simply blog about your #HardestPeace story and then submit the link to your post via the link-up (or see link in the Rafflecopter below). Plus stop by others’ stories to leave encouragement and offer prayers as we all travel the journey of life together and discover that the hardest peace is often the most fulfilling peace. Then follow Kara online (via the Rafflcopter) for additional entries into the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ragged Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Ragged Hope by Cynthia Ruchti is the latest book I’ve received from Litfuse for reviewing.

The book is a great resource book, and good just for general reading as well. Each chapter has a real life story of someone’s struggles, then follows with practical help on how to change your perspective if needed if you relate to similar struggles, and how best to relate to someone else who is currently going through those struggles.

It’s very hands on and practical.. none of the pat answers and “in a perfect world” answers that books of this sort sometimes get filled with.

Book Info
About Ragged Hope: “What a beautiful book ! So readable, the pages practically turned themselves.  Ragged Hope is filled with stories; written for those who are weary, worn and wounded. It offers each of us exactly that-hope that God can do a mighty work even with those of us who carry the ugliest of scars.”
 — Debbie Macomber, #1 NYT bestselling author
Where do we find hope when it’s clouded by the ashes of other people’s choices? 
What do you do when your life is affected by someone else’s choices? Where is God when you are doing everything right yet, because of someone else, everything is wrong? This insightful and hope-giving guide will comfort, support, and encourage you through whatever situation you must face.
Cynthia Ruchti, who has walked this road herself and has spoken to hundreds of people through her radio show, assures readers that God is ever present and offers unwavering love. There is hope, grace, and a future in every situation-even (and especially) those we did not cause but now live. Vetted by professional counselors and caregivers, this is the one guide you need to thrive no matter what you are facing.
Purchase a copy:
Meet Cynthia: Cynthia Ruchti has more than three decades of radio broadcast experience with “Heartbeat of the Home” radio and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.
Find Cynthia on the Web at


Blog tour Landing page:


Cynthia Ruchti  is celebrating the release of Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (Abingdon Press) with a $200 Visa Cash Card “Hope” Giveaway and Facebook Party!


One winner will receive:

  • A $200 Visa Cash Card
  • Ragged Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st.

Winner will be announced at the Ragged Hope Author Chat Part on August 1st. Connect with Cynthia for an evening of encouragement, laughter, and more! Cynthia will also share an exclusive look at her next project and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.


So grab your copy of Ragged Hope and join Cynthia on the evening of August 1st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayHope to see you on the 1st!

Signs, Wonders, and a Baptist Preacher by Chad Norris

Signs, Wonders , and a Baptist Preacher is the latest book that I’ve received from Chosen Books for reviewing.

The book tells Chad’s story and struggles, as he starts off from a typical conservative viewpoint… and finds himself more and more wanting to see things like Jesus did in this world. As he asks, the more things begin happening.

The book seems to aim to convince the reader from a more conservative background that seeing supernatural really is possible. He tries to ease into this gently, openly admitting at times that these are things he normally would have thought of as crazy.

Towards the end of the book, he does get a bit more into the hows… with encouragement to try praying for someone and see what happens.

Chad’s story is interesting to read, and it’s good to see that God can always use even anxious and normal people in big ways and supernatural things.

Chosen books page for the book

Amazon page for the book

Get Back Up by Sheryl Giesbrecht

\Get Back Up
Get Back Up by Sheryl Giesbrecht is the latest book I’ve received from Litfuse for reviewing.

The book focuses on dealing with the times in life where we get knocked down, giving advice as to some strategies to help minimize the damage and felt the recovery along.

The advice itself is good, but I think the most helpful part is simply how open Sheryl is about her own struggles. She tells stories from her own life, even when painful. This makes it easy to relate to her, and also gives a more fleshed out example… instead of just giving answers that sound good but are difficult to really apply to your own life.

The one caution I would give is that you should probably take the time to read the chapter summaries at the start of the book. If you tend to gloss over them like I did, you’ll get thrown a few surprises in some of the last chapters as Sheryl’s story unfolds. Which I suppose is actually a good thing that they caught me offguard, as it shows how into her story I was that the twists and turns threw me curveballs. But if you’d like a bit of a heads up, don’t just skip the intro stuff before chapter 1.

ABOUT THE BOOKTrusting God When Life Knocks You Down

Life is not always easy or fair for the follower of Christ. Yet, Sheryl Giesbrecht has learned, from the depths of past pain, it is possible to be raised up. It is possible to heal. Most importantly, it is possible to exchange hurt for hope. In her inspirational new book, Get Back Up: Trusting God When Life Knocks You Down, Sheryl tells her own story. She uses scripture to tell the stories of so many other Biblical figures who stumbled before they could be helped up. Sheryl’s message is one of hope. Trusting God in the midst of a life turned upside down is essential to survival. Without Him, life would not be worth living. Climbing out of the pits of despair would be impossible. Yes, with God to lean on, finding hope is possible. Healing is possible. God is capable of taking our losses and mistakes and turning them into something remarkably beautiful. Won’t you let Him?

Purchase a copy here.



“Exchanging hurt for hope” is Sheryl Giesbrecht’s focus. She loves to share how God rearranges loss, bitterness, and mistakes, and turns them into something remarkably beautiful.


Blog tour

When God Makes Lemonade

When God Makes Lemonade created by Don Jacobson is the latest book I’ve received from Thomas Nelson for reviewing.

This is a really sweet book. It’s a collection of true short stories, most of which are just a few pages, from a wide variety of writers.

The one thing that all of the stories have in common is that in each one, God turned something bad into something that worked into good in the big picture.

The stories really vary as to the circumstances… but a lot of them are really major life events like injuries and accidents. But in each one, there is a silver lining that puts the traumatic event into perspective.

It’s an encouraging book, and I’m glad to see mention at the end that they are working to make this the first of a series.

The only negative I can say about this book is that after a bit, knowing the theme… you start to get a sense of doom in the start of each story. Because you know, something is going to happen. But every time, a rainbow follows.

Thomas Nelson page for the book

Amazon page for the book

Lead Your Family Like Jesus

Lead Your Family Like Jesus is the latest book that I’ve received from Litfuse for reviewing.

The book divides the topic into four areas… making changes in your thinking, your heart, your actions, and your habits.

Honestly, I was not the biggest fan of the book… but I think I’m not exactly the type of person they were targeting. To me, a lot of the book is basically applying leadership principles from the business world into your family life. That probably appeals a lot more to people who are more into business management and leadership types of worlds.

A lot of the book focuses mostly on the leader themselves, and offers a lot of life improvement things like prayer and quiet times and keeping your ego in check and your focus on God.

On the more practical side, they offer suggestions such as writing a specific vision statement for your family’s direction and then weighing each decision as to whether or not it is in line with that vision… viewing child responsibilities differently based on whether they are at a novice, apprentice, or journeyman level.. and treating discipline more like job evaluations with performance planning, day to day coaching, and performance evaluations.

I suppose to some extent, households do run like businesses in some degrees.  So it may be more helpful to some. It just wasn’t quite the approach that matched well with me.


 Book Info
More about Lead Your Family Like Jesus:

Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of Families

(Focus on the Family/Tyndale) – Does your family need a five-star general at the helm? A psychologist? A referee? Ken Blanchard, best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus, points to a better role model: the Son of God. Joined by veteran parents and authors Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer, renowned business mentor Blanchard shows how every family member benefits when parents take the reins as servant-leaders. Moms and dads will see themselves in a whole new light-as life-changers who get their example, strength, and joy from following Jesus at home. This user-friendly book’s practical principles and personal stories mark the path to a truly Christ-centered family, where integrity, love, grace, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness make all the difference.
Link to buy the book:
Meet the Authors:
Bestselling author of more than 30 novels, nine nonfiction books, and more than three hundred articles for national publications; 2003 “Writer of the Year” at the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference; popular blog writer, speaker, and radio host
Learn more about Tricia at
Leadership expert and author of over 50 books, including the New York Times bestseller, The One-Minute Manager; cofounder of Lead Like Jesus; and coauthor of Lead Like Jesus; Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time 
Learn more about Ken at
A human resource and industrial relations manager in corporate America for 36 years with Xerox Corporation and U.S. Steel, co- founder of Lead Like Jesus; co-author of five books, including The Servant Leaderand Leadership by the Book with Bill Hybels.
Learn more about Phil at

Head over here to grab a bunch of Lead Your Family Like Jesus goodies! 
Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Fun Activities for the Family with Tricia Goyer
Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Fun Activities for the Family with Tricia Goyer



Blog Tour link

Dancing Upon Barren Land by Lesli Westfall

Dancing Upon Barren Ground by Lesli Westfall is the latest book I’ve received for reviewing.

The book addresses the struggle with infertility, beginning with a few short, almost devotional length chapters about approaching the situation with prayer, followed by a section of prayers that make up the bulk of the book, and ending with some insights from the author that come from her own journey.

The book in general is great, very straightforward and not a lot of fluff or attempts to minimize. But the prayer section itself is an awesome resource for someone struggling.

Each prayer addresses a specific issue that might be coming up in the person’s life, including difficulties with baby related holidays, jealousy, and issues over a past abortion among many many others that are very well targeted and well suited to the situation, and in common conversational language that isn’t going to feel too cliche to someone hurting.

It then gives a good number of verses backing up the prayer, giving it strong backing and guiding the reader back to the word for their source.

The book is a quick read, but a really strong resource for someone facing infertility issues.

Blog tour:

 Book Info

About Dancing Upon Barren Land

When experiencing infertility, the unexpected happens. Your feelings about yourself and your relationship with others and your belief in God are confused and complicated. Dancing Upon Barren Land – Prayer, Scripture Reflections, and Hope for Infertility is a helpful companion for those dark, lonely days.

*Specific Prayers Topics and Supporting Scripture
*Helpful Truths to Living Life While You Wait
*Supporting Ideas for Family Members or Friends
*Resource Aid for Ministry Leader
Link to buy the book:
Meet Lesli:  

Lesli is no stranger to infertility. She has experienced all the range of emotions, the prodding of doctors, and the stinging disappointments. Yet through it all she’s found significance offering hope and inspiration to the wounded heart of the barren soul. Through her own experience and those shared from others, an online ministry was created Dancing Upon Barren Land ~ Spiritual Nourishment for the Infertility Road. Now she speaks to women around the world through the website and leads locals support groups too, along with providing a resource through this book. Lesli enjoys life. She loves spending time with her husband, Larry, her man of faith and live-in comedian. She loves spending time with her family and friends, and traveling, especially road trips. Most of all, her passion is sharing God’s love and teaching the Bible to women, inspiring beleif there’s healing for the grief of infertility and sorrow from loss, and there is joy in the journey while we wait.

Find out more about Lesli at