Birthday Bash! Giveaway #4- Heaven is Here | Occasionally Crafty: Birthday Bash! Giveaway #4- Heaven is Here

Thursday, May 10

Birthday Bash! Giveaway #4- Heaven is Here

It's my bloggy birthday, and my real-life birthday is coming up soon!  Let's celebrate!

Each day this week, I have a giveaway for you, as well as a fun, birthday-themed post.  !  The theme of my giveaways this week is "My Favorite Things"!   I have not been compensated in any way for featuring these shops or products-- I am just thrilled you get to share them with me, and I hope they become some of your "favorite things!"

My first love is reading.  I learned to read at age 3 and have never turned back.  I will read anything.  In a typical day, you can find me reading the morning newspaper, browsing blogs and online articles, devouring Newsweek magazine (or one of many others!), and reading a real-life book or an e-book on my Kindle.  

It's a source of some amusement to my family that the world around me doesn't exist while I am reading.  I will be completely engrossed in a book or article, when someone will shout "VALERIE!".  When I look up in confusion, the person inevitably says "I've called your name three times!"  (or more).

I'm a really fast reader.  As in, read Harry Potter in a few hours fast.  Unfortunately, I am also a cheapskate  frugal.  Since I read books so fast, I hate to pay for them because after those few hours of bliss, then what?  That folks, is the main reason I love my Kindle.  Books are cheap or free, so I can once again feed my addiction.  

So, yes, I read a lot.  And recently, I read a book that I absolutely LOVED, and I want to pass it on to you.  I will give one of you your very own copy of my new favorite book- Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson.

  Do you read NieNie?  I do, and have for many years.  In case you don't know her story, here's a summary, courtesy of

Stephanie Nielson began sharing her life in 2005 on, drawing readers in with her warmth and candor. She quickly attracted a loyal following that was captivated by the upbeat mother happily raising her young children, madly in love with her husband, Christian (Mr. Nielson to her readers), and filled with gratitude for her blessed life.
However, everything changed in an instant on a sunny day in August 2008, when Stephanie and Christian were in a horrific plane crash. Christian was burned over 40 percent of his body, and Stephanie was on the brink of death, with burns over 80 percent of her body. She would remain in a coma for four months.
In the aftermath of this harrowing tragedy, Stephanie maintained a stunning sense of humor, optimism, and resilience. She has since shared this strength of spirit with others through her blog, in magazine features, and on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Now, in this moving memoir, Stephanie tells the full, extraordinary story of her unlikely recovery and the incredible love behind it—from a riveting account of the crash to all that followed in its wake. 
What emerges from the wreckage of a tragic accident is a unique perspective on joy, beauty, and overcoming adversity that is as gripping as it is inspirational. Heaven Is Here is a poignant reminder of how faith and family, love and community can bolster us, sustain us, and quite literally, in some cases, save us.

Back to me, now.  Stephanie lived in Arizona, and is a member of my church, so even though I don't know her personally, I have always felt a kinship with her.  It's been amazing to watch her journey back from literally the brink of death.  The book is amazing, delving into her thoughts and experiences- some I've not heard before, even though I faithfully read her blog.  It is an inspiring book, but be warned- have some tissues nearby.  You'll need them!  

One of the reasons this book inspired me is because I am someone who lives with chronic pain, and an uncertainty about my long-term health.  The pain I endure is nothing to what she has, and will, overcome.  Remembering her determination and patience gives me strength to do the same on my worst days.

However, the thing I loved most about the book is that it reminds me to treasure every moment with my children. After I read this book, I found myself pushing them on the swing, when before I would have been worried about getting dinner ready.  I snuggled my middle child, who thinks he is too old for snuggling, when I would usually get mad at him for leaning on me all. the.  time.    I let my oldest child sleep in my bed for a little bit when she was scared, even though we've always had a strict "no kids in bed" policy in our house.  I treasure my children and want them to know that unquestionably, should anything ever happen to me.

If you'd like to win a copy of this book, simply use the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to enter the other giveaways, too.  All are open until midnight on Sunday, May 13th.
They can be found here.

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  1. Great giveaway! I really want to read her book!!!!!

  2. I am inspired by anyone who displays such faith and perseverance in the face of their trials!

  3. I love that she chooses to take care of her kids! I am always inspired by mothers like her!

  4. I found NieNie a few weeks ago and read through the blog for a few days. Such an inspiration!! I would love to read her book.
    My mom is an inspiration to me. My dad disappeared when I was 4 and she was left to raise 4 kids (3 older brothers and myself) by herself on a very limited income. But she never gave up. She worked hard supporting us, as well as being a great example in fulfilling her church callings. Now with 2 kids of my own, I don't know how she did it all by herself.

  5. I am inspired by people that excel.

  6. I LOVED this book! I've only been following her blog for maybe a year.. But it was so inspiring and heartwarming to read through her story in its entirety. I found myself in tears and smiling all at one time. Just loved it. Happy Birthday to you sweet lady! Hope it's a great one!


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