Shelter of the Most High Book Review

I sure love a good book!

I love reading so much and like all kinds of books but really enjoy historical fiction.   So, when I found that author Connilyn Cossette had the second book in her 'Cities of Refuge' series I jumped at the chance to read it.  I had already read the first book 'Light on a Hill' and really loved how I was transported to ancient Old Testament biblical lands and fell in love with the rich characters and wonderful storyline. I felt transported to the ancient lands of the bible and became friends with Moriyah and Eitan.



Book two 'Shelter of the Most High' We open in ancient Sicily. A wild and windswept place set on the gorgeous azure Mediterranean Sea. The teenage Sofea, the high priest's daughter and her reluctant cousin swimming in the blue depths of the sea, exploring caves along this mystic shoreline. While they are there their village is being attacked by pirates. The girls are kidnapped and taken off to sea with no hope of rescue. They find themselves in a foreign land with not a friend in the world and no one that speaks their language. Follow these young girls as they learn how to make a new life, try to fit into a new culture and discover the one true God. 
There are murder plots to be uncovered, there is redemption and love.  

It is a really good book.  Don't miss this one! They do play off one another but it can be read as a stand-alone book if you want to but I would recommend them both. 


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How To Make Your Own Garden Soil

I don't think there is anything better than working in the garden with the sun on your skin and the breeze teasing your hair as you care for tender shoots of plants. Or that accomplished feeling you get when you stand back and look at what you've accomplished, or that feeling of knowing where the food on your table came from, what went on it and just how fresh it is. 


Gardening has been a family thing at the Cottage, I grew up watching my grandmother tenderly care for her beloved roses and working in the yard with my mom and dad. Every spare second of summer is spent outside (usually barefoot) working in our many different gardens, I love the smell and the peacefulness of working out there. Watching the early morning sunlight spill over the back pasture and touch the brilliant sunflower petals and caress the dew on the tomatoes. The bees quietly buzzing between squash flowers, and rainbows dancing through the spray from the hose. 


 Over the years for one reason or another, that morphed into using raised beds you can read about how to make them HERE and check out our whole raised bed garden HERE

Whether you're new at gardening or a seasoned pro garden soil is always going to be important, when we first moved into Rosevine Cottage we had a massive garden at the back of the yard.

The Soil Mixture

1/3 Vermiculite
1/3 Peat Moss
1/3 Composted Manure

Mix well (we mix it in a wheelbarrow) and add to box. Make sure you fill it well to give the roots of your garden plenty of room to grow.


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Creamy Garlic Scallops

Buttery, creamy, garlic deliciousness! We served our scallops over a bed of rice and served it with fresh parsley on top.


Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 1/4 Pounds Scallops
2  Tablespoons Butter
4-5 Large Cloves Of Garlic Minced
Salt and Pepper To Taste
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine or Broth
1 Cup Cream
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Parsley and Parmesan to Garnish


Directions:


1. If scallops are frozen, thaw in cold water (about 30 minutes). Thoroughly pat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

2. Heat oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot and sizzling. Add the scallops in a single layer without overcrowding the pan.

3. Fry for 2-3 minutes until a golden crust forms underneath, then flip and repeat. (Crisp, lightly browned and cooked through.) Remove from Skillet and transfer to a plate.

4. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet, scraping up any browned bits left over from the scallops. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.

5. Pour in wine (or broth) and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes or until the wine has reduced by half. Add cream and lemon juice and allow to simmer until slightly thickened.

6. Remove pan from heat and add scallops back in to warm through.

7. Serve over rice, pasta, garlic bread or steamed vegetables and garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.


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Wrestling With God

Deserts of pain, of regret, and loss, often this is where we find ourselves in a wrestling match with God, desperate to understand, afraid to keep walking. This is the place we must decide whether or not to continue living behind a wall or to step out into our calling. We can't remain in our calling and still be barricaded in the comfort of our fortresses so we can't feel the pain when it comes, or endure the storms that will rise. Here is where we must wrestle over the gates, we must hold them fast or throw them wide and step into the place we belong.



Out of our biggest discomfort is where our calling and the world's need will meet. It's scary, it's uncomfortable to leave the familiar and follow God's call. It's risky; It can be painful, it requires us coming face to face with the things we want to hide and letting the world see it and then pointing to God. This place makes us come face to face with the scars and the things that have held us in bondage. It requires us to sacrifice everything that is keeping us from God's call, to lay down anything that drives a wedge between Him and us, everything that keeps us sitting on the bench satisfied with the familiar and sitting them at the foot of the cross. Because you know what? Someone is waiting for you to obey and step into your calling because they need what you have. They need you! But we spend so much time wrestling with God, saying I'm not good enough, I'm scared, I can't do that, He didn't ask if you were qualified, He asked for you.

Out of our biggest discomfort is where our calling and the world's need will meet.

What is holding you in bondage? Is it words that someone spoke over you? Words that declared you "worthless" or "insignificant"? Is it something you don't like about yourself? The way you look? The way you sound? Have these things become shackles keeping you in your fortress? Or maybe its the fear of messing up. Of looking like a fool, or worse yet making Him look bad. Is it that you don't feel qualified? Maybe you tried, and it didn't go the way you'd hoped, and now you're afraid to try again. And so you find yourself pitching your tent in the wasteland, content to let others — content to live out of this broken place, shackled by fear and regret and wrestling with God.

I'm not good enough. Who I am I to go? What qualifies me? What gives me the right? I don't have the words. I don't know what to say. God, I don't speak well. Why would they listen to me? God, have you seen me lately? I don't even have a slingshot and some stones. I'm nobody. It all kind of boils down to I'm not significant enough for you to use... I'm not good enough. The bible is stuffed full of people who weren't good enough, but He used them anyway.


To follow God, to step into our calling requires we step out of all that is familiar and comfortable. Where He wants to take you, the boat doesn't go. So you have to get out and leave everything that is holding you back. God doesn't call us to be comfortable, He calls us out onto the water, into the wastelands, into the risky, hard places so that we can grow. So that we have no choice but to abandon the boat, abandon others expectations, It's here that we throw away the weight of what others will say, what others will think. It doesn't matter! It doesn't matter because you aren't following them. We've got to walk through the wasteland so that some things we've allowed to grow and take over in our lives will wither beneath the heat.

We can let fear shackle us to the familiar, like a ball and chain keeping us from our purpose. We can stay in a place we've gotten so used to, or we can let Him break those chains and let them fall away. You hold the key, your God is a chain breaker, and He is ready and willing to break those chains. Stop wrestling with God and let Him breakthrough them, you do not have to stay in this dry season. We can choose, to serve comfort, or to serve our King. We can take everything that we've claimed as the truth about us, we can take every reason that we hold up as an explanation of why He can't use us and nail to the cross. Those things are not who you are; those things are keeping you from being who you were made to be. Perhaps this is the most beautiful offering we can give... stripping away the things that we have claimed, the things that have prevented us from flinging ourselves into His waiting arms and nailing them to Calvary.

We can take everything that we've claimed as the truth about us, we can take every reason that we hold up as an explanation of why He can't use us and nail to the cross. Those things are not who you are; those things are keeping you from being who you were made to be.

No name that has been spoken over you has any power because His name is bigger. No issue, no impediment, no fear can overshadow what He is going to do through you.

God, I am not good enough, but you are glorified in my weakness, so I am coming. I am following anyway. I don't want to sit in the boat when you are out on the water. I don't want to serve comfort when you are calling me to the wasteland. I don't want to live behind the walls I've built. I don't want to live in fear anymore, I want you.

God doesn't call the equipped. He doesn't bring in the qualified- He provides for the ones He calls. If we were came equipped for our purpose, then we wouldn't need Him. We could do it in our own power. Your authority doesn't come from you, it comes from the one your with. If God can use a donkey what makes you think He can't use you? (Numbers 22:21-39) Donkeys aren't even supposed to talk. If God can use a rock for Jacob, and bush for Moses what makes you so unusable?

God doesn't call the equipped. He doesn't bring in the qualified- He provides for the ones He calls. If we were came equipped for our purpose, then we wouldn't need Him. We could do it in our own power. Your authority doesn't come from you, it comes from the one your with.

When we first started doing Coffee At Rosevine Cottage, I literally wanted to swallow my tongue. I HATE talking; seriously if you get me to answer the phone, it is a miracle. I don't like being in the spotlight so doing videos is so far outside my comfort zone. The whole month leading up to our first episode I wrestled with God over them, Blogging, that was my comfort zone, I can sit and write behind the safety of my laptop with my coffee and red lipstick but doing a video requires you step into the focal point. Your no longer just a faceless person behind a screen. It's scary. It means coming face to face with things I don't like about myself and facing my insecurities.

But you know what? If even one person is impacted by it, all of the discomforts are worth it, but even if no one sees it still worth it because at the heart of all of it you didn't do it for them, you did it for Him.

Are you ready to abandon comfort and risk it? Ready to take that word, that issue, that reason you can't and nail it to the cross?


He doesn't call you what the world calls you because He's already seen the end of your story, He already knows the impact of your calling. Stop wrestling with God and step out confidently. He didn't call someone else to this place, He called you. Which means He will see you through, He will provide the way. He will be enough. He was enough in every storm, He will be enough now. He brought you through every wasteland, every dry season, every stormy sea, He's poured you out and filled you back up, He's washed away every name that tried to claim you, He's overrun everything that tried to keep you from Him for a reason. Someone somewhere needs what you've learned on this journey, what He's taught you and they are waiting for you.


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Gorgeous Spring Farmhouse Decor

Despite the fact that cold weather returns to our state tomorrow, the tulips are poking above the soil, and the daffodils are almost ready to bloom which means I am dreaming of spring sticking around. So I thought I would put together a roundup of my favorite pieces from Antique Farmhouse to bring that touch of spring into your home decor! 

Decorating, Cottage Style, Farmhouse Style, Easter

Just scroll through and click on the pictures and it will take you to the product page where you can purchase each item. This article contains affiliate links, affiliate links cost you nothing extra but help us to keep bringing you great articles, and beautiful decor.



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