The Life-Giving Parent

posted in: Books | 0

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.

Book Review: The Spill

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Do your kids love books?  Dogs? and Food?

Then this would be a great fun book to add to your summer reading list!

The Spill by Jaqueline Leigh is a fun story about being patient, listening to your mama, using manners, and sitting and enjoying the fun of a glass of milk!

I read it to my boys and they loved sneezing and looking at the milk and the dog.  And I loved it as a mother because there were such good manners: like please and thank you!

This would be good for an early reader with lovely illustrations, but also for a read-aloud – and you know how big I am about reading aloud to your kids!  Even in the summer.

This book comes out in June!  Be sure to get it!

Gospel-Centered Mom

posted in: Books | 0

(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!

 

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.

Seeds of Hope

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I’ve read a lot of fiction this year.  And mostly, I’m a non-fiction/biography person.  But this year has taken up a lot of mind space and heart space, so when the heart work is heavy, I want to get lost in a good story.  And if you choose the right fiction, you can still do heart work while reading an engaging story.

One of the genres I’ve been enjoying is Christian Amish Fiction.  And the latest one was Seeds of Hope.  I really enjoyed this.  Going back and forth from English world to Amish world, Barbara Cameron weaves a good story with yes, a predictable end, but there are twists and turns along the way that you wouldn’t expect.

One of the things I love about Amish fiction is entering into a world that I don’t know much about it – but is still real.  Dystopian books are very popular, but it is hard for me to get into those because they are so far from what is real now.  Amish living actually is right now, just not where I live.  So, it is interesting.  Not ideal where everything always works out, but just a bit of change from my norm, city-life.

Thanks to Litfuse for this title.  All opinions are my own.

The King’s Locket

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I’m always eager to get good books in my boys’ hands.  And for boys, I can’t anticipate that they will love Anne of Green Gables and Little Women.  Though they might.  And I will read those books to them (or have them watch the movie.)

But, as they get older, they probably would like stories that contained adventure, battles, journeys, animals, and heroic tales.

The King’s Locket I think would be really good for young boys, a short chapter book that is an analogy of the themes in the Gospel story.

The story of a family dwelling in perfection.

The Fall of someone who wanted everything for himself.

The adoption of those outside the family.

The betrayal and hurt of going outside the realm of good.

The rescue that the Prince had to engage in to defeat the sinful presence.

The welcoming home celebration.

And even the groaning of all creation under the weight of the sin that crept into everything.

I loved the conclusion of this book: adoption, wholeness, celebration, glory, beauty, friendship.  Just what the Heavenly Father anticipates for His adopted children.  These things we may not experience here, especially in their fullness, but we can anticipate.  And wait with eagerness.  And teach our kids how to anticipate well.

Thanks to Jacob for passing this book to me.  Your kids will like it – especially as a read aloud. It gives you opportunity to talk to your kids about biblical themes from a short chapter book filled with lovely illustrations.  It would be good for a family read aloud and would capture even young readers.

World View

posted in: Books, World Events | 0

Are you ever confused by everything you see on the news?  On your Facebook feed?  In the your Twitter feed?

Do you ever wonder how you are supposed to respond to all the happenings that take over everyone’s conversation?

New Growth Publishers and Marvin Olasky have put together a book of short writings that will help you know how to think with a Gospel-centered world view.  And there is nothing new under the sun.  So, while these essays will eventually not be headliners – the problems they talk about will just happen in a new way.  With new people.  In a new country or city.

Sin affects everything in our world.  And the entire world is groaning for the return of its Maker.  And Olasky helps us think rightly about the events happening in our world.  This is definitely one to read and discuss – or at least keep a journal on.  It is not a quick read – even though the articles are quite readable in length.  But, if you care about the world and how sin and the gospel impact our world, then you will want to read and digest the articles in here.

Thanks to Litfuse for this book.  All opinions are my own.

Unwrapping the Names of Jesus (Giveaway)

posted in: Books, Christmas | 2

We still have apple pie leftover from Thanksgiving yesterday, but already we are getting in the mood for Advent over here.  My mister is busy with other preparing for the Christmas cantata at our church and planning for the Christmas Eve services.

We’ve done our Black Friday shopping and stood in line with others – thankfully everyone was in a good mood as we stood in line buying our Christmas goodies!

But, even though I didn’t grow up with Advent (I’m Baptist by the way), I have come to appreciate it the last ten years.  It helps me slow down, focus on Jesus, think about the waiting period that happened in the world (both in the silence waiting for Jesus and the time we spend now waiting for his return), and plant meaningful traditions around my home and in my children even through the busy Christmas season.

My friend Asheriah Ciuciu has written a new book called Unwrapping the Names of Jesus.  This is a book that is short – not overwhelming – and focuses on 20 names of Jesus that you can study either by yourself or with your family.

Each day has Scripture, a prayer, application, prose, and Scriptures for further study.  The book also includes some information about why Advent – why celebrate it and what it is for or the intent of the church.  I’m glad that it is simple and asks questions.  We sometimes get so wrapped up in everything that we add our Advent study to the list of things we have to do instead of resting in just being with Jesus.

So, to help you start Advent, I’ve been given the opportunity to give a copy of Asheritah’s book away and with it comes this download that I did featuring all the names studied in the book.  PS: you can just click above and go buy your download, its only $5.

Thank you to SideDoor Comm and Moody Publishers for this book to giveaway!

To enter giveaway: share a Christmas or Advent tradition!  That’s all.