Gospel-Centered Mom

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(I received this book from Blogging For Books.  All thoughts are my own.).

Books for moms can be such helpful reads.  Believe me, go look at any bookstore and there are plenty to choose from.  For me, books on motherhood can be a source of mentoring or it can just be fluff that I don’t glean much from.

I would put Gospel-Centered Mom right in the middle.  I was hoping that it would be more, that I would find it to be one of the best mom books out there, but it fell short of that.

I did think that Brooke, who is a mother of boys like I am, gave plenty of real life and she didn’t sugar coat motherhood for anyone.

She gave good ideas to help when times get “hard to handle”.

I think for me it was more personal story, almost like a memoir.  I want more Gospel truth, less personal story.  Or some kind of balance there.  And for me it wasn’t balanced enough.  Though, what she said in the way of Gospel was spot on.  She wasn’t saying that we should always seek a break in parenting and she wasn’t saying that we can do it all.  She was saying that we need Jesus.  And so do our kids!


As Kingfisher’s Catch Fire

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Some preachers have a way of writing that gets deep into your soul and changes the way you read Scripture or understand Scripture.

There have been multiple pastors for me over the years, both personally and from afar, who have done that for me.  Who have made my eyes be more open to the truth and life of God’s Word.

Eugene Peterson is one of them.  And his new book, a collection of sorts of his writings/sermons, has caused me to think on certain passages in a new way.  I am still reading his new book, As Kingfisher’s Catch Fire, and will continue to do so.

As with the Message, I don’t read it as my main Bible version, and neither will I used these sermons as my main source of commentary.  But, I love how he brings new things to light in the reading of Scripture.

You will be challenged if you read this book.  You may not agree with everything he says, but as you process, take all to the Word and with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for this book and Russell Moore for recommending it.

Just Mercy

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When I was in high school I remember reading John Grisham books – like devouring them.  I read all of this earlier work and still really enjoy him as an author.

Just Mercy reminds me much of Grisham’s work: rivoting, makes you want to keep reading, personal, you get to know the characters.  Bryan Stevenson does an excellent work of drawing you in to his world and not just letting you sit on the sidelines.  And this is, unlike most of Grisham’s work, a true story

This book will grip you in many ways and open your eyes to life in the south, life for those who need justice (which, by the way, is all of us).  And will allow you to see Christ’s redemption for you in a new way as well.

Thank you Blogging for Books for a chance to read this book.  All opinions are my own.

Is the Bible Good for Women (a review)

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People who name the titles of books need to have a marketing degree.  There would be several ways you could market this book by Wendy Alsup, but I don’t think any would be as catchy without being condescending as this one.

Is the Bible Good for Women?  Well, we would say of course it is.  The author uses her upbringing and her theological worldview to answer so many questions that women especially have about the Bible.  She wants to help her readers develop a Jesus (gospel) view of Scripture.

In her book she covers everything from Creation, submission, the Fall, how Jesus models “women’s issues” and how Paul advised the new church to work in regards to women, and everything in between.  She engages hew audience, which could both be women who grew up in the church and are solid conservative women, or these women who are reading her book could be feminist believers (or unbelievers).

She overs her topics well, and always points to Jesus.  So, whether you agree with her completely or not, it is up to you.  But, I do think this book would be a good start in the topic of women and the church.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for the book.  All opinions are my own.  amazon

Nothing to Prove (a review)

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Every single week, there is one specific area where I feel like I have to prove something.  Don’t we all – you may have more than one area, but I know specifically there is one area.  Sometimes there are more, but always this one.

And this doesn’t communicate to my heart that I am loved.

When we always feel like we have to compare or measure up – or we feel that we will never master or hit the mark – we feel unwelcomed and insignificant.

In Jennie Allen’s new book Nothing to Prove, she knocks it out of the park with creative prose on Bible stories, the highlight and masterful connection of the Gospel in every chapter, and you can tell she loves women.

Yall, this girl understands the gospel and loves women.  You need to read this book.  I even loaned it out and already want it back to re-read all of it – and underline more of it.  It will be a yearly re-read for sure.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this book. All opinions are my own.

Enjoying Life

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Many times life just seems to stop in between Christmas and New Years.  People take vacations, couples sit by fires, being warmed by the flame and the glow.  People slow down from shopping and in turn spend more time with family, on vacation, playing with new Christmas presents, or indulging in sweets or fun activities.

God is such a gracious God to give us a time in the calendar that work slows down and friends and parties and time to chill increases.

My friend Trillia Newbell, author of Fear and Faith (one of the best books I’ve read in the past 2 years), has written a new book that will help you make sense of what to do with all this free time, how to enjoy everything that is at your disposal, not feel shame in enjoying it, and how to be grateful for all these gifts.

I often feel that in some religious circles, it is just not ok to have leisure time.  To not be working (outside of one day a week for a rest day).  Many will say that watching tv is a waste of time, exercise or the arts is only good for functional reasons (and you can’t really enjoy them).  Enjoyment is severely underrated – yet God gave us everything for our good and His glory.  So, why shouldn’t we enjoy it.

Trillia takes on many different good things in life – and seeks to show us how we can not only have them for function – but also for enjoyment.  And in enjoying these good gifts – that actually brings God great(er) glory!

“We must not take ourselves so seriously that we forget the wonder, we forget to delight, we forget the joy of living, and most important, to forget the God who gives it all to us.”  Oh how I love this quote, and I think Trillia rightly sums up her book this way.  

Some of the areas she invites us into for a closer look are work, relationships, marriage, food, art, nature.  We need to think about our work as enjoyment and not task driven or a punishment.  My husband has just finished a great book that Trillia also recommends on this subject.  Relationships.  With this – I think its ok to just enjoy one another without turning everything into a heavy religious, discipleship, sin conversation.  Yes, those are needed.  But, what is often missing in my world is good friends just to enjoy tacos, guac, pancakes, coffee and good conversation about life.  Food is the hard one for me as enjoyment can lead to indulgence which is sin for me.  Art – all types of music and art can lead to glory for the Creator of music.  And nature – same way – I love to be outside just because the colors or sometimes even the gray is gorgeous and soothing and invigorating (and my boys can run off energy).

So, going into the New Year, maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions can be to enjoy the great gifts of God that He has given you.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this book (and Trillia of course for her thoughts).  All opinions are my own.

Love, Henri

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Each of us is on a spiritual journey.  Whether you consider yourself a Christian or another religion, all of us are on a journey that takes us outside of ourselves.  Journeys are important.  I believe that Jesus is the only true way to God – who created each of us and has a perfect wonderful overwhelming plan for our lives.

Part of my journey was in college where I was introduced to the writings and ministry of Henri Nouwen.  My youth ministries professor and friend had us read many of his books and they were very insightful and spiritual.

Now, 20+ years later, I’m still enjoying Nouwen’s writings. I’m sure all of us would have different opinions on his writings, his life, and his beliefs…but I do know that he ministered to people out of his own brokenness and the healing that he found in his relationship with God.

Love, Henri is a collection of his correspondence over many decades of his life.  I love the biographical nature of each heading – knowing where he lived his life and people’s lives that he helped…but mostly I loved how he intersected life and his beliefs in God into every breath.  He hurt. He loved.  He ministered.  He traveled.  He needed people.  He needed God.

I hope you will pick up this book, read the letters, as if Henri was writing to you.  And be encouraged.

And that is one reason I love snail mail – the opportunity to encourage others.  And have the ministry that you do live beyond yourself.

Thanks Blogging for Books for this book.  All opinions are my own.

Victuals: a review

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I love Southern cuisine.  Currently, in my freezer, I have a bag of purple hull peas.  I mean, yes.  My Granny’s most famous recipes were her chicken and rice and corned beef hash.

A friend of mine once said that you aren’t truly a southern cook unless you have a jar of bacon grease in your fridge.  I actually used to – but butter is super good, too.

Victuals is a book that not only tells the history of Southern cuisine, the food that hales from each region, and people who have made it famous, but also it shares delicious recipes that were developed and perfected in Southern kitchens.

If you love history and a readable cookbook, this one will be for you!

Now, on to that bacon grease!

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this book and all opinions are my own.

Finding Lovely

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Finding Lovely

Happy Friday everyone.

I love just giving you a quick glance into our little world – and what things actually make me giddy.  I love holding my littles hands (when I’m doing it for fun, not for discipline because they ran away), I love friends who are great accountability partners and share their lives with me, I love celebrating friends who excel in their hobbies, I love sticking my feet in the sand at a beach.

Here are some lovelies around the internet that might make you Friday just a bit brighter, too.

If you love Alaska, love adventure, love a story of a father and daughter taking risks, learning about each other, and all the emotions that go with it – you will love James Campbell’s new book Braving It.  Parenting isn’t easy.  And the Alaska wilderness with a teenager isn’t easy.  But, this story holds truths about love and the nature of relationships that most will find compelling.

Trying to fit in more salads on our table – so this post was not only pretty but also inspiring.

I love Pinch of Yum food and also this post: about soaking up summer in all of its glory.  Summer looks different than I thought it would with kids and a working husband.  My mister always reminds me to change my expectations.

This has summer written all over it: and I want to eat it right now!  Maybe I’ll make some rosemary olive bread this wknd

Thanks to Blogging for Books for Braving It – all opinions are my own




Love That Boy: a review

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You certainly need to find people you can trust to recommend books to you – and when you do, always read them!

Not many books make me laugh, cry, and challenge me on almost every parenting area.  And also one that makes me re-place my hope in God because I know this parenting journey is tough and I can’t do it on my own. Love That Boy is a must read!

I love history and the American presidency, so when I knew that was a backdrop to this parenting book, I knew it would be a winner.  And it didn’t disappoint.

You don’t have to have children with special needs in order to gain insight into your children through this book.  But, every parent will gain insight into themselves, their children, and even their parents.  They will be able to see how other parents parent through new lenses.  You will learn what is important to you in how you raise your kids – even if you didn’t know it in the first place.

The only sad thing about this book: there was no hint of Christ.  And even though I can’t save my children, I can’t make them place their hope in God – I can aim for that end.  I can show them the gospel.  And I do believe, if I didn’t have that hope – then this book and the whole parenting journey would be incredibly futile and depressing.

Thanks Blogging for Books – incredible choice!