Guest Blog Soraya Diase Coffelt, Review & Giveaway

As winter is winding down, I wanted to share with you a delightful series of children’s books I read from a native of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Her name is Soraya Diase Coffelt. She has a diverse background. Her delightful children’s books share both historical and biblical truth about our traditions.

Soraya graduated from Cornell Law School and returned home, where she established her private law office and, with her late husband Gordon Coffelt, developed a variety of commercial businesses and properties, including One Stop, the island’s first gas stations and convenience stores. She was  appointed as a judge of the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands in 1993 and she was the first female and Hispanic from St. Thomas to serve as a judge.  While she served as a judge, Soraya developed and then oversaw the V. I.   Moot Court Competition, an annual interscholastic competition for high school seniors that was sponsored by the Court and the V. I. Bar Association in commemoration of Law Day.  The competition celebrated its 21st year of success in 2015 and hundreds of students have competed with many winning college scholarships.

In 2012, Soraya established a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation –  As the Stars of the Sky Foundation, Inc. – to assist with the physical and spiritual needs of children, and especially promoting literacy.  All the proceeds from the sale of her books go to the Foundation.

In 2014, Soraya became a published children’s author and now has three books in her “Love Letters” book series: It’s Not About You Mr. Santa Claus – A Love Letter About the True Meaning of Christmas; It’s Not About You Mr. Pumpkin – A Love Letter About the True Meaning of Halloween; and It’s Not About You Mrs. Turkey – A Love Letter About the True Meaning of Thanksgiving.  She has also been a lay children’s minister for over 15 years.

Soraya has two sons who were born and raised on St. Thomas: Zachary, who followed his mother’s footsteps and is a lawyer; and James, who will be attending medical school. 

She has also participated on mission trips providing food, medicine, clothing and other necessary items to people in need in Honduras and the Amazon River Region of Peru. She frequently helps feed homeless and hungry people in the U. S. Virgin Islands and whenever she travels.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for the review of her books. Just passing along good reads.

Please welcome Soraya. ..

Blessings, Rebecca


One of the Most Important Ways to Show a Child Love

Many parents believe that showering their children with gifts is an important way to show their love.  In other words, buy them something.  We buy all sorts of electronic devices to entertain them, many of which drain our pocket books.  We buy expensive shoes and clothing as well.  While it is true that physical gifts are one way to show our love, I believe that a more wonderful way is spending time with our children.  Our time is free as it does not cost us anything, is irreplaceable, and is of unlimited value.

If you haven’t noticed, our children are constantly seeking our attention.  With our two sons, my late husband and I had special times just for them – primarily early in the morning and at night as we were putting them to bed.  Both those times were dedicated to reading to them.  Often, our sons would pick out their favorite books to read (or have read to them).  Other times, we had a new one to read.  It may have been a book about dinosaurs, or Star Wars, or taking baths – it didn’t matter what the subject was.  What was important was that we made this reading time very special for each of them.  Notice how I used the word “made” the time, because unless you purposefully set aside the time to do this, something else will usually steal this time away from you and them.

We made reading time enjoyable too.  We laughed, we changed our voices, we tickled – whatever we could do as adults to help our sons feel special and want to read, we did.  In fact, I still have some of their favorite books as keepsakes and fondly remember those days!  My sons are now in their 20s.  When they get married and have children, I’ll be reading those same books to my grandchildren.

Speaking about grandchildren – grandparents have such important roles in their grandchildren’s lives and can have life-long influences on them.   As a grandparent, showing your grandchildren love also involves your time.  And what better way to spend your time with them than in activities that involve reading.  What do you know about your family tree and the countries from where family members came, including you?  Help your grandchildren learn about their roots.  One way is to visit the public library with them and research books about the different countries.  Perhaps you have old letters from family members laying around.  Read these to them and help them to understand what it was like when you were growing up.  They will soon develop an appreciation of where they came from and who they are related to.

With the internet, there is a plethora of information available of activities that involve reading.  The goal should be to spend the time and develop the love of reading in your children and grandchildren that will be with them their entire lives.


Now it’s your turn to read It’s Not About You Mr. Pumpkin, It’s Not About You Mr. Turkey and It’s Not about You Mr. Santa as we’re giving away one FREE copy of each. We’d love to hear from other Moms and Dads seeking to raise their sons and daughters with godly character. Simply tell us about how share God’s truth with your little ones. Your name will then be placed in our drawing.

On April 4, 2016, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must live in the continental US and supply his/her mailing address to us no later than April 11, 2016. One Free copy of each will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.

Guest blog by Shannon Upton/Book Review


I was approached by fellow Blogs by Christian Women Author Shannon Upton to review her new book, Building Your House.

In it, Shannon incorporates organization with faith. She shares great practical advice to build your Christ-centered home and de-clutter physically and spiritually.

My favorite chapter is #10 where Shannon gently reminds us to walk in faithfulness. She sprinkles helpful suggestions throughout such as playing inspirational music, lighting a candle or hanging encouraging scripture on the wall.

As a result of reading Building Your House, I believe my home will look and feel more inviting, peaceful and less cluttered.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Shannon Upton is a Christian author, blogger, and speaker.  Her goal is to help women use a little organization to clear out  their spiritual clutter so they can make room for peace and joy! She’d love to serve you (and by extension, your children) through her two books; the second being Organizing You. Feel free to stop by  to discover great resources she has for you there. organizing

Please welcome Shannon!

Blessings, Rebecca



Intentional Influence

“Shannon, did you just call yourself ‘homely’? Don’t you ever say that again!”

When I was in seventh grade, my Sunday School teacher gave us lists of adjectives and asked us to circle the ones we thought applied to us. I knew that the lesson was on self-esteem, so I circled things like “smart,” “friendly,”…and “homely.”  At the time, I thought that “homely” simply meant “plain.”  It was the choice after “beautiful” and “pretty,” but before “ugly.”

What I remember about that moment isn’t how my teacher said that I was a very pretty girl (she had to say that, didn’t she?), but how shocked she was that I’d circled “homely” in the first place. She was downright offended on my behalf!

When I looked at her, I saw a woman who was very well-dressed and put-together. She obviously knew what it meant to be attractive… yet there she was saying that I was beautiful.  I was startled into a realization: I was a child of God and He would never want me to think of myself as “homely.”  Ever.

Today, I’m still under her influence. I have the habit of complimenting the appearance of others, admiring a pretty blouse, cool shoes, or a warm smile.  I even give a scripturally-based talk about how to organize your wardrobe!  It’s not that I think outward appearance is all that important, far from it.  But my Sunday School teacher taught me that God sees us as beautiful, and that’s how we should see ourselves.

How are you influencing your children through your outward example? We can tell our children wonderful things, but they see what they see. When your kids look at you, do they see…

Someone who’s tired and worn out, or someone who’s taking care of their body?

Someone who avoids time with God, or someone who loves to go to church and spend time in prayer?

Someone who’s overwhelmed and stressed, or someone who’s choosing to trust in God?

Our influence doesn’t come through our words, but how we’re intentionally living our lives. When our kids see that we know what it means to be a child of God, they’ll be able to hear our encouragement to follow Him.

This is the heart of my ministry! I help women use home and family organization, not to pursue perfection, but to live in Christ’s abundance.  When we intentionally live all in for Jesus, we’re building our homes and raising our families for God’s glory.  That influence will last for generations to come.



If you’d like to follow her, you can Like her Facebook page.

Now it’s your turn to own Building Your House as we’re giving away a FREE copy. I’d love to hear from you on how you build your home with your children. Simply share a family routine that has solved a clutter or spiritual issue in your home with us below. Your name will then be placed in a random drawing.

On December 26, 2015, we will select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than December 31, 2015. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided. Best wishes!