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Life Lately: Books, Movies, & Snacks

Hey, how are you doing? It's officially spring here in Quebec, but unofficially, we just had a snowstorm blow through! People outside the city, further west where my in-laws live, even lost power for a little awhile!

It only snowed on Thursday but there was a LOT of thick, pillowy snow- the kind kids have a blast in and adults spend hours plowing. Personally, I'm finding the still-remaining blanket of white and the big piles of it everywhere quite beautiful but that's because I'm home a lot. Snow is nice from inside.

If only we'd had this much snow on Christmas! There wasn't a single flake to be found on December 25th so this perhaps to make up for that.

Anyway, I was picking up my son's room this morning and wanted to share a couple of new books that have come into our dwelling. Since I'm at it, I'll share what I'm watching and a new snack that's taken me by surprise.

I've written about how we're a big devotional family. Time with Jesus every morning changes your life, guys. Especially if you're prone to waking up feeling nervous or stressed, even fifteen minutes, ten minutes praying and recentering on God's comforting promises just brings you into a state of calm.

When I hit the ground running too hard and miss it, I feel it. Even as I pray throughout the day, I feel it. The time is just grounding. It's re-rooting. It feeds my spirit and soothes my soul and I wanted my children to have that, too.

My kids have gone through many, many devotionals over the years and I've linked them in my shop. As you know, I earn on Amazon commissions, but I only share what I'm using or love.

My favorite devotional series for kids are the Gotta Have God books. I've purchased a ton of devos and these are the best hands down. There's space for writing, the vignettes are fun and relatable, there are age-appropriate activities- they're just so well done.

I don't love when devotionals don't have space for writing because they're harder for kids to lock into. Writing helps many kids, and adults, engage.

And when they have space for writing, your kids can look back over the years and see how they've changed, what was on their heart at that time in their lives, how God came through for them, etc.

My 10-year-old just finished the main age 10-12 Gotta Have God 52-week Devo, so I browsed to see what else was available in that age range. There are three others, but with only 100 devotionals in each book instead of 365. I prefer buying one for the whole year, but this works.

Here's the one he just finished:

Here's the one I got. I'm going out of order by starting with book 3 (because it was low in stock on Amazon), but it's a devotional rather than a novel, so it doesn't matter.

My 14year-old recently finished a devotional, too and I replaced it with 365 Days of Prayer for Teens. This page-a-day doesn't have space for writing which is a huge bummer, but the pieces look thoughtful.

It is harder for me to find devotionals for the 13-16 range. If your kids have a favorite, let me know! I find women's devotionals too mature for that age range and they don't address the specific issues of teenaged girls, but the 10-12 feel too young for them, too.

My 17 year-old has taken the reigns on her devotional life and bought her own study Bible to replace her children's Bible and books. At some point, they do take over.

Even if you're starting late- my oldest started her first devotional at around age 10- they develop their own relationship with God and routine if you lay out a framework. Your prayers for them do a LOT. A LOT. I can't emphasize that enough.

As I was trying to clear space on my kid's crazy desk, I saw an unfamiliar book and tried to remember when I bought it. I couldn't, which isn't altogether uncommon. I asked him and he said his oldest sister bought it for him. They both love Minecraft.

I flipped through and it looks like an awesome book. I popped it in the shop. If you have a little Minecraft builder in your house, they might enjoy it. It's not a devotional, as the sections are longer (this one was four pages), but it could function as one for the right kid. Or it could just be a book for afternoon reading or screen-free time.

On to what I'm watching! I do not like Netflix (can't get over Cuties), but we have it along with Disney Plus, but my favorite platform for movies is PureFlix. I always find something on there to build my faith while making me feel cozy. It feels like the Hallmark channel but with God.

Not every movie on there is religious. One of my family's favorites is Not Broken. It's about a girl with learning challenges who turns out to be a brilliant artist.

If you like cheesy Christmas or Amish movies, or even Bible documentaries, movies like The Case for the Faith and God's Not Dead, you'll love it.

There are really great kid's movies on there, too. I've reviewed a few of them in the past.

Right now, I'm in the middle of "Finding Faith." I chose it because it's about a writer who is facing a crisis of faith after losing someone in her life and other hardships. Her marriage is having a touch time and things are crazy at work.

On top of everything, she's a faith advice columnist who is on the verge or making it big. The movie is well produced and I can't wait to finish it once video games are off of the main screen in my house.

Finally, I have a snack hack to share. I have an enormous sweet tooth. I love gummy bears, dessert, Boba....sugar. But I know it's not great for me.

On Easter Sunday, I was in the only grocery store open in my town and saw this package of dates and got them. I love dates plain, in baked goods, and even in shakes. They're so sweet and have such a nice, soft texture that reminds me of the caramel in Snickers bars.

There's a fruit and nut stand in a market called Atwater in Montreal that has the best dates from all over the Middle East and north Africa. The best are from the Sahara region. They're not as chewy, but have the best flavor.

Anyway, I bought a big, round container of dates and each time I have a sugar craving, I've been having one. Not not only do they satisfy it, I've been craving less and less sugar. The change has been stark. But now I have a whole bunch of dates that I don't crave as much I did before.

Indio, California has a date festival every year to celebrate the date harvest and their website has a whole bunch of date recipes, so maybe I'll try some. I may cook some down to make date syrup for tea and oatmeal.

So if you have a sugar weakness, try dates. It might help you like it helped me! With peanut butter on them, they tase just like Reese's. Weird but true.

Last thing, I shared this verse with a friend who was having a bad day. Turns out is was one of her favorites. Maybe it'll help you.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

If you're having a bad day, tell Jesus. I love reading the book of John because so many of His words are in there and I feel His presence as I read His words. If you don't feel like reading, you can lay down and listen to it: The Gospel of John (

Then put on a PureFlix movie and get cozy. Jesus loves you. God is with you. It's gonna be ok. <3 I hope your day is sweeter than the sweetest dates.

love, Bunmi



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