The Life-Giving Parent

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One thing that I’ve appreciated more (now that I am older – 41 – and have young kids) is older women.  Titus 2 instructs the older women to instruct, mentor, disciple, love on, help the younger women.

And in parenting, I think it is crucial.  Yes, we can learn from those younger than us, and even in the same boat as us, but it is so helpful to have older women in your life to pour into you and teach you.

I have a few moms of adult children that I learn from and listen to and hang on their words of encouragement.  I also have a few moms who are actually younger than me but have kids who are older than mine.  I want to know how they survived these little years!

Yes, women my age can have lots of wisdom.  And I want to listen to them and share with them and have community and friendship with them.

But I want older women to pour into my life and my home and my parenting.  That is one of the reasons I love Sally Clarkson.  She is in her 60s, all of her children are grown, and they still have a great relationship and love and serve Jesus.  God has blessed their parenting.  It is evident, not perfect, but evident.

The Life-Giving Parent, written with her husband, Clay, is so rich with biblical principle (taken mostly from the Proverbs), practical tips in living out these principles, and anecdotal stories of their parenting.  In some parenting books you just get the truths.  But, what I love in each of these chapters is humble lessons learned from years of practice and trusting in God’s Word.

Definitely a book I want to read time and time again – and continue marking it up.  I may not know Sally personally, but her books have mentored me over the years.

All thoughts are my own.  I was given this book by Tyndale Publishers and was asked for my honest opinion. #ad

Buried Secrets

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(This book was given to me by Gilead Publishing.  All opinions are my own.)

Something magical happens when you read a good Amish Christian fiction book (hint: a good one is harder to find than you think).  You pick it up and are transported to another world. One that sometimes you wish you could be in.

Barbara Cameron’s works are really sweet and good . I’ve enjoyed the Harvest of Hope series (this first book review is here) this is the second one in the series.  It can be stand alone, but it fits nicely in the second position too.

As I read this book, I thought of how much I could get done in my home and yard and with my boys if I didn’t have a cell phone, social media, or a TV.  If I didn’t reun out of the house all the time to run errands.  If I cooked most of my food at home.  At how many desserts I could eat (every day) and not gain weight if I was working as much physical labor around the house.

I didn’t like the fact the husband had died in this book (not a plot ruiner).  I don’t like the idea of either me or my husband dying and not seeing our boys grow up.  I’m a Highly Emotional Person when it comes to reading since I’ve had kids.  Not always fun.

Even though this book is predictable, she writes it in such a way as to keep you engaged and looking forward to the next series.

 

I Prayed For You

posted in: Books, parenting | 2

(This book review is sponsored by Tommy Nelson Mommies.  I was given this book and all opinions are my own.  Thanks Tommy Nelson!)

Praying for our children… it is one of the biggest privileges of a parent’s life…and the one I do the least.  There are days I’m so overwhelmed by the task of parenting my two boys, wondering how they will come to know the Savior, wondering how they will learn not to strive with their brother.

I can vividly remember mornings or nights, standing at my bathroom sink, tired…and thinking how I need to pray more because I can’t do this parenting thing on my own.

Then I let the cares of every day life – in the moment life – distract me from praying as fervently for them as I would like.

This cute bedtime story book  goes through many of the milestones in the years.  Giving us as moms ways to pray for our kids.  You can tie these into prayers from Scripture (and not just from a book) for your kids.  You can keep a journal of these prayers.

One way this book fell short was it ended with a parent’s prayer.  Where you could take it: Jesus is our Great High Priest.  He interceded for you even when I fail to pray for you as I should.  He is the one who prays for you every night and every day.  That is His job!

I have a I Prayed For You book to giveaway!  Would you like it? If so, just leave me a comment and tell me one prayer you like praying for your little one.

The Prayer Bible

posted in: Bible, Books | 1

Raise your hand if you have more than 10 Bibles in your house?  We do…and we’ve even purged so many!  What do you do with Bibles you don’t need/want anymore?

(This post is sponsored by Tommy Nelson. All thoughts are my own.)

Well, I have a new Bible to give to yall today.  Its called The Prayer Bible and Tommy Nelson put it out this Spring.  I think it is a good one for you to share with your school age son or daughter.  The cover is neutral so it can be for either a boy or a girl.  I know that is a secondary topic, but Bible covers are important! 🙂

It is a thicker Bible, but its hardback, so it would be durable.  I think it would be more for one your child could use as they learn to do their quiet time.  Maybe you could teach your child to have their quiet time in their room, and then discuss their thoughts and readings with them.  This Bible offers many devotionals and Q/A about prayer.  I’ve not read every single article, but they ones I read were really good and great for a school-age mind.  Especially as they are starting out in their faith (hopefully) and learning how to pray.

A good tool in this Bible is the Prayer Article Index in the front.  If your child is struggling with something in particular, they can read one of these articles.  I wish the articles were listed by topic and not by title, but they would always be good to read.  There is a verse topic index in the back. That’d be great if you are trying to teach your child what the Bible says about a variety of topics: like happiness, wisdom, and obedience.  You really want to get to a point with teaching your child to understand the Scriptures that you aren’t just pulling out a verse, but i know you don’t always have time for an expositional sermon when talking with your kids.

Come along side your kids when they are learning to read the Bible and to pray.  Its going to be a great adventure for your faith, their faith, and y’all’s relationship.

If you want this Bible, Tommy Nelson has one for you, just leave a comment on the blog to be entered.

The Saturday Night Supper Club

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Food.  Books.  Two of my loves of my life.  And this book is a great combination of both worlds.

Tyndale House sent me this book as part of their blog review program.  And the book by Carla Laureano is one of my favorite reads this year!

It is a fictional story of a chef, an essayist, and dinner parties.  Food and time together is a perfect setting for love to blossom.  I mean, my own relationship with my husband started over a 4 hour dinner.

I loved Carla’s characters, dialogue, setting in Colorado.  I had just read a book with a similar story line, but the romance without the sex in this Christian fiction was much better.

If you like food, dinner parties, and romance fiction, this is definitely the book for you.

This would be a perfect book to read with a book club.  Have dinner.  Drink some wine or just coffee…and talk about the book.  There are even discussion questions in the back of the book.  And her next one is due our next spring!  Can’t wait!

 

 

January Read Aloud Favorites

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One of our favorite times is sitting on the couch and reading together with our boys.  Mostly me, as we are killing time in the middle of the day, or waiting to go to school in the morning – we will pull out our pile from the library and read through some.

Here are our January favorites.  I hope you find some here that your children love as well.  Reading with your children bonds them to you, promotes snuggling, and engages their minds.

Waiting for Winter : I love the unique illustrations in this one.  And it builds so much anticipation for snow.  We live in the South, so every snow fall is greatly anticipated!

The Wish Tree – What you wish for may actually come true in new ways that you’d never thought of.  Helps kids think about other people other than themselves.

Blizzard

Pete the Cat Snow Daze (we love all Pete the Cat books)

Pug and Doug : Anything with dogs is a favorite of one of our boys.  If you find what interests your children, I guarantee they will read!

The Reverend Thomas’s False Teeth : This is one my husband read with our boys, they thought it was great.

Arthur’s Dream Boat : I love books that encourage imagination and creativity.

Too Many Chickens 

Emergency (Carry-Me) : I found this at Goodwill and we read it all month.  Frequent your local Goodwill – you will find some great books and chapter books for your kids.  I’ve collected almost 2 entire Little House sets just from Goodwill trips.

I hope by reading to them early, that when they learn to read, they will love to read.

Why Biographies Matter

posted in: Books | 2

My favorite genre of books is (well, besides cook books) memoir or biography.  I think they are important for so many reasons, but today I just want to tell you the most important one.

For believers, memoirs/biographies matter so future generations will know your life and what you believe.

In an age of social media, we often get so wrapped up in taking a pretty picture or engaging SEO stats, that we forget about what really matters.  This life is not all there is.  There is life after this life and that is eternal.  So, what we believe about Jesus and the Gospel in this life will determine (based on the grace of God) what our next life looks like.

Jessica Ronne, in her book, Sunlight Burning at Midnight, not only decided to tell her story, one mixed with pain and smiles, but decided to keep Jesus in it.  Since He is clearly the author of our stories, we need to know what He does in them.  What does His word say?  Where does He move us?  What does he bring to our lives that make us look directly at Him?

And what I’ve known now for the last 6 years is so true, in reading this book, and in living my life since those last 6 years: God is big enough to wrestle with us – when we bring to Him our questions, our misunderstandings, our unbelief.  As Aslan would say “draw near”.

Jessica is giving one of you readers a chance to win your own copy.  To enter: just tell me what memoir/biography is your favorite.

 

 

100 Favorite Bible Verses for Children

posted in: Books | 2

Our boys are 5 and 4.  And if there are a few things we’ve learned over the years it is that our boys are different…and our boys are always changing.

What works one day may not work the next and yeah, most of you will understand.

Some nights our evening family worship time (right before bed) works great. Other nights it is a complete disaster.  That doesn’t mean we give up.

It might mean we change things up a bit.

And this book right here has helped us change things up a bit.

In the morning, my mister gets up with the boys, get the older one off to school on the bus, then eats breakfast with the younger.  And this book has been a great addition to the breakfast table.  It shares a verse and a short devotion, perfect for his preschool attention span.

And you can use it in whatever way suits your family:

  1.  If you are homeschooling, you can trace the verse, have your kids journal this verse, memorize the verses, etc.
  2. You can write it on a home chalkboard for your kids to see throughout the day.
  3. You can read it together over a meal or at night.
  4. You can pray it over your children as they go to bed.
  5. You can journal these verses as their mama and give it to them when they are older for them to see how you prayed for them and how God answered.

However you choose to use it, know that it is the Word of God, and it is powerful to bring about change in your kids’ lives (and yours).

And you can win won from Tommy Nelson Mommies.  Just share with me which one of the above ways you would use if you had this book. I’d love to hear!

Thanks Tommy Nelson for this book and for the giveaway book.  All opinions are my own.

Books Read in 2017

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Well, this may be the first year that I’ve ever set a book reading goal – and surpassed it!

So, next year I’ve upped the number by just saying “I want to beat this year”.  I’ve got some reading goals for next year, but that’s for next year – so stay tuned.

Below are the books I read in 2017 and the ones with the talk are the ones I enjoyed the most.

What was your favorite you read in 2017?

What are you looking most forward to with reading in 2018?

The Magnolia Story

Nothing to Prove: This was my first Jennie Allen read and it was what I needed at the time I read it.  I thought it was great!

Magic of Motherhood

Martha Washington: An American Life: This was the first in my First Lady bio books.  I really loved how it focused on her and not her husband.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

You Are Free

A Letter from Lancaster County

Fools Rush In

Between Heaven and the Real World: Definitely my favorite of the year.  I sobbed all the way through it and I’m not allowed to mention SCC’s name in our home I don’t think for a while.  So good! I love biographies!

Dreamland Burning.  Another great one.  YA.  Injustice.  Racial terror.

Dear Mr. Knightley.  First of three I’ve read by her this year.  And I really enjoy her writing.  Weaving faith, romance, literature, travel.  This one was my favorite

Gracelaced

The Bronte Plot

Winter Kisses

A Change of Heart

Trusting Grace

Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

Seeds of Hope

Austen Escape

The King’s Locket

Hidden Christmas . Tim Keller.  Easy to read Tim Keller.  Fabulous look on Christmas.

Kinfolk Table.  I probably have notes on every page of this biographical compilation cookbook with stunning photography.

She Reads Truth.  If you need a book to encourage you in truth right where you need it, this is it.  But, word to the wise, don’t read it in public.  There were many chapters I sobbed reading it while on the bike at the gym.

Letters to Grief

Earth Psalms

Growing Up

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing.  I love this.  Its a re-read.  And I’ll probably re-read it every year.