Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lord, I Give You This Day

I'm reading through "Lord, I Give You This Day" by Kay Arthur and really enjoying it. It is my first thing to read of Kay Arthur's outside of Precepts. There are 366 short devotions that will help you become "equipped to greet each day with bold faith, confident in God's faithfulness, strength, and transforming grace."

I like her straightforward but authentic style of writing in each day. I loved that each devo could take me 5 minutes or less to read through. Each one left me feeling closer to the Lord with a Bible verse in my mind and a prayer to go along with the day's theme. I do wish they were slightly deeper in content, but it's really the perfect devotional to read first thing in the morning when you only have a few minutes to read and meditate on something. I also really liked that each day was for a specific date. I like knowing that if I skip a day, I can just turn right to whatever the next day's date is. 

I recommend this book to anyone wanting to give The Lord dedicated time, but for whatever reason may not have very much of that to set aside. You will leave each reading feeling refreshed and encouraged but also convicted. 

Freefall To Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning

Rebekah Lyons' new book, "Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life Of Meaning" is a memoir based on her life as she and her family make a big move from Atlanta to New York. It's filled with authentic glimpses into her battle with depression, anxiety, control, and the search for true meaning. It says, "But life looked radically different when her family relocated to the heart of Mew York City. She was forced to navigate a new normal with three kids, two toy poodles, and a minivan. Blindsided by crippling despair, Rebekah wrestled with bigger questions women often ask, Why am I here? Does life matter?" 

I enjoyed most of this book. It was fairly slow in some parts and the language is a little flowery, but overall I liked it! I think it would be a great book to read through with a friend or small group for a laid-back discussion. I think most young, stay at home moms like myself struggle with the questions about life that Rebekah brings to light. Talking about social media, she says, "These worlds are fun to create. They allow us to imagine a world that's a little brighter, fuller, shinier, fancier, and more fashionable than the ones we actually live in...These alternate realities fill our waking hours and give the impression that we are contributing to the world when deep down we feel unremarkable." 

I was also struck by something one of her friend's said. It was, "Many people discover their calling, but sometimes you still have to wait for it, and that can be quite difficult. But God taught us to wait and learn during that time. He helped me commit to joy and being present. He strengthened me to embrace the now." I think it can be overwhelming to know that you want to do something "great" for God and feel like you are "just" living life with little ones. This book gave me encouragement to be content with the now, but not to stop dreaming about what else the Lord has in store for me and my family once the hard, but amazing time of raising my little ones is over. 

I recommend this book to anywoman struggling with anxiety or the feeling of not truly grasping what it means to live life to the fullest. It's not just for moms or young people. I think it's a book for anyone wanting more of God and what He wants for their life. 

The Christian Parenting Handbook

I've been reading The Christian Parenting Handbook and it's great! Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller wrote the book and say you will learn how to: 
Identify character qualities to address problems
Build internal motivation
Use creativity to teach your kids spiritual truths

I love the way the book is set up with 50 short chapters on different parenting tips, common problems, and biblical truths. It's perfect to pick up and read whenever you have a free second. They offer real, practical, and biblical advice. I really appreciated the way the authors gave concrete examples and how to  implement them into your family. 

One of my favorite chapters is titled "Don't Practice In The Grocery Store-That's The Final Exam." It's all about what to do when your child acts out in public. They wisely suggest that you, "practice in the kitchen, bedroom, laundry room, and backyard. Children need to learn how to handle disappointment at home so they can accept a no answer in the checkout line. Kids who haven't learned how to accept correction at home without a bad attitude will miserably fail at the test when they have an audience."  

This is a great book for elementary to teen age parents. It is definitely geared to the older children, and while I really enjoyed reading all of the insight, I wish it had a few more chapters geared to parents of young toddlers. I highly recommend this book to all parents, though, because it is a quick, awesome, and packed read. You learn so many different things to try with your family and it has given me a new perspective on different areas of parenting.