The Garden by Kari Jobe CD Review

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by Heather Bock

Read to the end for a giveaway of this cd!

In “The Garden,” the first track on the cd of the same name, Jobe starts by singing about how she was about to give up, desperate for peace. I first listened to her sing this song today, and when I heard her sing the next line, “Then I saw the garden,” goose bumps ran down my arms. Tears began to fall as I continued to listen.

I don’t know if I would have had the same reaction if I hadn’t known the story behind this song. You see, Jobe and her sister Kris were pregnant at the same time, excited to share the experience together. Then, seven and a half months into her pregnancy, Kris gave birth to a stillborn daughter, James Ivy. Jobe was also heartbroken by this and couldn’t seem to find peace in the tragedy. After Jobe’s son was born, her heart was heavy for her sister.

The Jobes had moved into a new home and had a garden in the back, but they didn’t know what had been planted there, and they didn’t take the time to explore it. Soon after she had given birth, she saw that it was coming back to life with the spring, and she went back to see what was there. That was when she discovered ivy, her niece’s namesake, growing thick in an archway. She was reminded of the resilience of ivy in the harshest of climates and moved by the fact that the ivy had been planted years before, but God used it in her life at the moment she needed it.

She said, “I just started to realize, ‘God, You’re moving in a way that is different than what I asked for, but You are moving.’ He’s at work and doing things we can’t see.” It was the start of healing for her: “Something in my spirit started to rustle. Life was coming back. What felt dead in my heart was starting to wake up. It was like I’d been in this place of being numb in my walk with the Lord, but something just started blooming in my heart.” So she wrote the song “The Garden” and some of the other songs that are now on this cd.

My own niece, Makena Lani, was a stillborn at nine months. I wrote here about the way God gave us hope in the midst of the very same tragedy. God is so good to answer our cry of pain and comfort us when we need it so badly.

The other songs on this cd have beautiful words as well, words echoing my own cry for the Holy Spirit to come and fill us, like in “Fall Afresh,” “Heal Our Land,” “Here As in Heaven,” and “Let Your Glory Fall.” “Speak to Me” is almost a whispered prayer for God to make His voice be heard in our hearts. “The Cause of Christ” convicts me, renews my desire for His name to be honored above my own.

Although I tend toward more upbeat music like that of Toby Mac or Rend Collective, I was blessed by the beauty of the sound and words of Kari Jobe’s music, and I hope you will be, too.

You can stream the music of this cd here, and you can buy her music here.

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Book Giveaway Winner

I meant to announce the winner of the book giveaway for Parenting with Grace and Truth by Dan Seaborn yesterday, but it was a crazy day hosting my son’s birthday party and attending a wedding afterwards. Therefore, I’m announcing the winner today! The winner is Patti Casey! Congratulations!!

The Garden by Kari Jobe CD Giveaway

I know a lot of people enjoy and are blessed by Kari Jobe’s music, so I am excited I get to give away one copy of her new cd for free! To enter the drawing, subscribe to my blog:

  • Click the button “follow” in the above right column under my picture and type in your email address.

To earn more entries, or if you’re already following my blog,

  • Share this book review post via social media. Each share to a different social media venue earns you one entry (up to three).
  • Let me know in a comment where you’ve shared.
  • Notify me of your name.

Giveaways are open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada only.

I will announce the winner next Saturday, so look for it! Thank you!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

The Joy of the Lord is your Strength

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by Heather Bock

The people of Israel waited with bated breath to hear Ezra read the book of the law of Moses to them. These were the people who had recently chosen to come out of captivity when they were given the opportunity by King Artaxerxes of Persia, an extremely Continue reading

Trusting through Praise

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Praising is choosing to trust God. This was made very clear to me as I worked through this excellent devotional, The 30 Day Praise Challenge for Parents by Becky Harling. In fact, this lesson is one of the main messages this author hopes other parents will grasp when they praise God, a lesson that she herself learned while praising. She says that “praising God isn’t just some glib hallelujah when finances are prospering, your health is flourishing, and your family is thriving. Praising God is an intentional declaration by faith that exalts God above your life circumstances” (16-17).

Honestly, even though I read her words in the introduction, by the time I had gotten through a few days of this devotional, I had forgotten that this was a lesson the author hoped I would learn. However, I learned it through the praise anyway. If you work through a book that prescribes specific different prayers for your children each day, eventually you’re going to be confronted with a prayer that’s hard to pray, and you’ll have to choose whether to trust God and pray it or not.

Each day of this devotional starts with a relevant Bible verse, followed by an invitation written as a letter from God to the reader. This is followed by verse references from which Harling pulled these words. She doesn’t ask the reader to read the verses, but I found it helpful to do so. Next, she guides the reader to praise God for an aspect of His character. Then she gives two or three worship songs to find on YouTube related to this character trait. A written prayer for the reader’s children on the same topic follows along with more Scripture references. Finally, she encourages journal writing with specific questions to help deepen introspection on the topic.

Some days didn’t apply specifically to my children at the time, but I was able to pray for their future whenever that occurred. Day 19, for example, focused on doubts our children might have. My children are young and haven’t expressed any serious doubts yet, but it was good to pray for the day that probably will come. Other days focused on areas for which it was easy for me to trust God to provide and areas I wanted His help, like Day 10, which included prayers for strength when I’m weary.

Some days, however, took faith to worship Him. In particular, Day 24, “your child’s longings,” had some prayers that were hard for me to pray, especially, “I thank You that as a human parent I am unable to fulfill every hunger of her heart” (pg. 133). It was hard for me to thank Him for that. I want to fulfill every longing that my children have. It’s hard for me to accept I can’t, but not only that, it’s good I can’t. Praising Him for satisfying my children where I’ve fallen short took faith I had to choose.

Most of the days I loved the music she chose and was thankful to have someone to lead me in beautiful worship music. I didn’t always fully enjoy the songs chosen, and it’s always easier for me to worship when I already know the song, but I tried to focus on the lyrics on the few days I had unfamiliar or unappealing music, a topic I just wrote about last week.

The end of the book is filled with “Scripture to praise God for His work in your child’s life,” which I think will be incredibly helpful for my future prayers. She also had other chapters that didn’t apply to me particularly, but I felt would be helpful for others: chapters with praises during grief over the death of a child, through disagreement with a spouse over parenting, for children of parents in ministry, adopted children, and children of divorce.

All in all, I found this to be a great addition to my quiet times and a book I can use again and again over my years of raising children to challenge and liven my daily prayer time.