Quotable: On making changes to your home—and your life

Thoughts for your Monday and this week

“Living spaces need to evolve; when we don’t make changes to suit new circumstances, life can feel harder. Allowing your home to be ‘deliberately unfinished’ is a step toward a happier, better life at home. It allows you to design for how you really live right now—as well as for the life you can imagine.”

from the IKEA 2019 catalog, referring to the IKEA Life at Home report

– Diane

Quotable: On getting to know others well

Thoughts for your Monday and this week

“When I was at Seattle Pacific College, we had a student body of about 500. As student-body president, I determined to learn the name of every person on that campus. And I did. I didn’t like the pastors who didn’t know my name. ‘Hey, you,’ they would say and never bother to get acquainted.

“I remember one of my teachers in the English department. I was writing a column for the student newspaper, and I began with a careless reference to the poet Chaucer. My professor called me in and said, ‘Eugene, have you ever read Chaucer?’ I said, ‘No.’ And she pulled a book off the shelf, put it in my hand, and said, ‘You start reading this and don’t come back until you’ve finished it.’ Well, I had no idea that Chaucer was such an interesting person!

“That stuck with me. Don’t think you understand someone just because you know about them.”

Eugene Peterson in an interview in Christianity Today, November 27, 2018
Eugene Peterson Wanted to Know Your Name

– Diane

My Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Valentine’s Day will be here soon, and that special day plus the debut of a new book seems like the perfect pairing for a giveaway, right?

I am ever grateful to everyone who buys and gifts and shares about my books! Every purchase and every personal note, email, social media comment, and review encourages me and reminds me who I write for—you, your children, and your grandchildren.

Thank you for loving God’s Word and appreciating my efforts to help you know and love Him more.

And thank you for making it possible for me to keep doing what I love—creating books to make God’s wonders known to the next generation.

So to celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14 and the release of Stop-and-Go Devotional: 52 Devotions for Busy Families on February 12, I think it’s definitely time for a giveaway!

Stop-and-Go Devotions: 52 Devotions for Busy Families. Each devotion features a short, active Bible story, questions to think and talk about, a simple, fun activity, a Bible verse, and a prayer. If you use the elements of one devotion at different times throughout one week, you’ll have enough devotional material to last all year!

Everything you see in the photo at the top of this post will arrive at the home of one lucky winner in time for your own Valentine’s Day activities.

The giveaway starts now and ends at 11:59 EST on Sunday, February 3. Just comment “I’d love to win” below this post and you’ll be entered. (Entries limited to US and Canada.) I’ll announce the winner on Monday, February 4.

– Diane

Quotable: On the “Goldilocks Effect” of reading picture books to children

Thoughts for your Monday and this week

“As with the first bowl of porridge that Goldilocks finds in the house of the Three Bears, the sound of the storytelling voice on its own seemed to be ‘too cold’ to get the children’s brain networks to fully engage.

“Like the second bowl that Goldilocks samples, animation of the sort that children might see on a TV screen or tablet was ‘too hot.’ There is just too much going on, too quickly, for the children to be able to participate in what they were seeing. Small children’s brains have no difficulty registering bright, fast-moving images, as experience teaches and MRI scanning confirms, but the giddy shock and awe of animation doesn’t give them time to exercise their deeper cognitive faculties.

“Just as Goldilocks sighs with relief when she takes a spoonful from the third bowl of porridge
and finds that it is ‘just right,’ so a small child can relax into the experience of being read a
picture book.”

Meghan Cox Gurdon in the Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2019
“The Secret Power of the Children’s Picture Book”

– Diane

Quotable: On the habit of Bible reading

Thoughts for your Monday and this week

“Every day, in the ordinary routine of reading your Bible, you’re still eating. You’re coming to the table, asking the Lord to sustain you and nourish you through His Word. You’re coming to the Gospels, looking to see the Savior again and again. This is an ordinary routine, yes, but ordinary routines can change your life.”

Trevin Wax at LifewayVoices.com, December 3, 2018
“Routine Bible Reading Can Change Your Life”

– Diane

Quotable: On loving God with our minds

Thoughts for your Monday and this week

Women have an intellect that is intended to love God. That means we should be thinkers. 

“The way that I try to explain this is to say, ‘The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.’ So we must first know what is true about God before we can truly say that we love Him. . . . 

“And the more that we see His nature and character expand and bloom through the study of the Scriptures, the more we come to love Him for who He proclaims Himself to be.” 

Jen Wilkin at Lifeway Voices, October 11, 2018
from her Bible study 1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ

– Diane

Quotable: On the impact of your life

Thoughts for your Monday and this week

“One day in glory, . . . God will pull back the curtain and, in a way far greater than George Bailey’s experience, allow us to see the lives touched through words and actions we’d long since forgotten. . . .

“So in the meantime, just live. Live well! Live as compassionately and selflessly as possible. Trust God for the results. Trust God that he will use your life day by day to benefit others and bring glory to him. One day it will all be clear.”

Dick Alexander in “Christmas at the Movies: It’s a Wonderful Life”
Christian Standard, December 2018

– Diane

Grandparents, a Day for You—to Pray!

Whenever I start missing my grandchildren, I say a prayer for them.

This Sunday, September 9, is National Grandparents Day—and the Grandparents’ Day of Prayer, sponsored by the Christian Grandparenting Network and the Legacy Coalition.

Children and grandparents both benefit from spending time together:

A grandparent’s unconditional love and encouragement help buffer a child against the inevitable challenges and disappointments that come with growing up.

And research points to longer life for grandparents who spend time caring for their grandchildren.

But even if distance or circumstances keep you apart, don’t relinquish your most important role as a grandparent—pray!

Pray for protection from physical and emotional harm.

Pray for growth in character, discernment, and knowledge of right and wrong.

Pray for God to guide their dating, marriage, and career decisions. Pray for their future spouses.

Pray for your grandchildren’s parents to look to God to know how to love and raise these precious children for Him.

Pray for your grandchildren to know Jesus as their Savior and to desire to serve Him every day.

Want to know more about Grandparents Day of Prayer? Check out the Christian Grandparenting Network and the Legacy Coalition. Both groups have tons of resources to help you be the best grandparent you can be—this Sunday as you pray, and every day!

This little guy has grown—he started preschool today!

– Diane

Giveaway Time!

Launch day for I AM: The Names of God for Little Ones is getting close—Tuesday, June 26—so it’s time to start celebrating with a giveaway!

I’ll be choosing five different winners at random.

Three will receive a signed copy of the new book.

One will receive a set of all three I AM booksI AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God, the I AM Devotional, and the new book for toddlers and preschoolers.

And one winner will receive a copy of the new book plus this set of 6 laminated placemats made by Shutterfly based on content from book!

My grandsons loved theirs!

To enter, just comment “I’d like to win” below this post between now and Tuesday night. Entries will close at 11:59 EDT Tuesday night, June 26. I’ll announce the winners on Wednesday, June 27, on my Facebook page, Diane Stortz Books. Open to residents of continental US and Canada only.

Thanks for helping me send the newest I AM book out into the world!

– Diane

Introducing a New Book to the “I AM” Series

No toddlers were bribed in the making of this blog post, I promise!

This adorable little guy saw my new book and needed to investigate. He noticed the bright colors and ALL THAT GLITTER on the cover right away.

He’s my youngest grandson, 20 months old, the perfect age to begin teaching little ones some of the names of God found in the Bible.

God’s names tell us who He is and what He does. I chose twelve to focus on in this book for toddlers and preschoolers. A SHORT Bible story, accompanied by a Bible verse and a short prayer, make the meaning of the name known to little ones in an age-appropriate way.

God All-Powerful
God Who Saves
The Lord Will Provide
The Lord Who Heals
Son of God
Good Shepherd
King of Kings

As children discover the meaning of each name, they begin to understand God’s character and His love for them!

The book releases June 26 but you can preorder now if you’d like. I’ve posted a sampler from the inside of the book along with links for finding local stores and online retailers here. You can download coloring pages based on the book there too!

The book is an 8×8-inch board book with a padded cover and rounded corners. And glitter on the cover—did I mention All. The. Glitter?!?!

To celebrate this new release, I’ll be doing giveaways all month long here on my blog AND at the launch party on June 30! So watch for more posts and my newsletter with all the details.

Not on my newsletter list yet? Use the box at the top left to sign up.

(And if you’re local, I’d love to see you at the party!)

– Diane


You CAN Read the Bible in a Year … Here’s How!