Saturday, December 27, 2014

Praying for Boys Review

As a mother of two boys, I love learning new ways to pray for my boys and encourage them. Brooke Mcglothlin does a wonderful job of relating to mothers of boys and providing an incredible resource for how to pray for our sons. She is funny and relevant and gives great wisdom from the Bible.

Different sections include topics such as wisdom, pride, honor, purity, peace, and patience. I highly recommend his book to mothers, fathers, grandparents, and anyone who works with boys and wants to see them grow in the knowledge of the Lord. It's a great resource and an engaging read!

I received this book for free from Bethany House. These opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions Review

Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions is an incredible read! It is broken down into different sections based on common topics that children of all ages ask about Christianity. I love that each topic is broken down into age appropriate responses.

This book is a great resource for churches and families. I have talked with my 3 year old son about topics in this book and my husband has used it in his role as elementary director at our church. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a clear and easy to share book on hard questions. The authors do a great job of not glossing over the fact that there are very real and difficult issues that we face in this life, but each topic brings the reader back to the Bible and to Christ.

I received this book for free from Bethany House. These opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Rare Bird

I almost didn't want to read this book because of the very fear that Anna Whiston-Donaldson verbalized in the first pages of this incredibly sad and real and hopeful account of her son's death. It's so true that as mothers we shy away from stories of loss about children because we have our own irrational fear that simply by reading about it, it can allow it to happen to us. But Whiston-Donaldson takes these fears head on and reminds us in the most real way that God is still good and He can be trusted even in the most horrific of times. The author's writing style is engaging and authentic. I found myself unable to put Rare Bird down and read it all in one night. I highly recommend this book to anyone suffering a loss of a loved one, or even someone like myself, just a reminder that God is there even in our most low and trying times.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

940 Saturdays

I loved this little book! It's a wonderful way to number your days with your children. When I realized I only have 940 Saturdays with them, it really put things into perspective. 940 Saturdays is set up primarily as a journal with lined pages for each Saturday. But, the second part of the book is an incredible resource full of ideas on how to spend your Saturdays. It is broken down into age groups and categories that contain awesome ideas for you to do with your children from birth to teens. 

It is a great way to encourage family time, especially if you keep in mind to use it as a tool and not to be overwhelmed by the number of pages or ideas. Use it as an encouragement and way to look back over the years with your children and the fun you have had together as a family. 

I highly recommend 940 Saturdays to all parents. Get your copy today!

I received this book for free from Blogging For Books. My opinions are my own. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The BTC Old Fashioned Grocery Cookbook

The cover alone drew me to "The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook." It is beautifully drawn and a cookbook you would be proud to pass down to members of your family. I loved this cookbook! It read like part memoir and part sneak-peak into my grandmother's recipe box. My grandfather couldn't put the book down and that should tell you something! 

The pictures are fabulous and the stories are delightful, but let's be honest--it's the recipes that really shine. I read the entire cookbook from cover to cover. I loved learning the story of how The BTC came to be and how each person became involved.

I can't wait to make the recipes! There are so many options from salads to appetizers to main courses to breakfast to dessert. Take your pick! 

You can't go wrong with ordering this cookbook! I highly recommend it for any Southerner looking to put a new spin on old favorites. 

I received this book for free from Blogging For Books. The opinions are my own. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Simplify--A Must Read

I loved this book! It came at very stressful point in my life and I needed the perspective to step back and simplify what my husband, my family, and I were doing. Each chapter is broken down into manageable actions and steps. I felt like it was a breath of fresh air to my overwhelmed lifestyle. The reflection questions were incredible and led to amazing discussions between my husband and I. Simplify helped us identify the areas we were not giving over to the Lord and helped us to see the changes we wanted to make in our lives to make more room for Him. This book even helped us make the very difficult decision to change jobs into something we felt better fit our family as a whole.

I found myself dog-earing every page and wanting to tell everyone all of the tidbits I had been learning. It is a very freeing read and I highly recommend Simplify to everyone! It covers topics that range from work to finances to forgiveness to peace to relationships to seasons of life and true satisfaction. Pastor Hybels writes in an engaging and straight-forwad way that makes you want to keep reading and learn more. My walk with Christ was deepened as a result of reading this book because it helped me to slow down and truly evaluate how I am using my time.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers. These opinions are my own.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Raising Boys by Design Review

Raising Boys By Design by Gregory Jantz and Michael Gurian caught my eye because it combined science and Christianity in the discussion of raising sons. I'm really intrigued by the how and why behind brain development and loved that one of the authors was writing from a Christian perspective. 

The authors do a great job of detailing the different stages of development and how you can help them succeed in watch one. Like other reviews, I would agree that it is a slow read, but very informative. I got the most out of their HERO model. A HERO is one who values honor, enterprise, responsibility, and originality. Jantz and Gurian say, "This unique resource combines the latest research in brain science with timeless truths from the Bible to reveal the deepest needs shared by every boy of faith while also leading you to fresh insights for honoring the unique personality, talents, and God-given design of your son in particular."

I would recommend this book to all parents, teachers, children and youth workers. It's a very thorough resource for someone who wants to know scientifically why boys act the way they do and Raising Boys By Design gives them a blueprint for raising boys in a biblically sound way. 

*I received this book for free from WaterBrooks Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.*

My Time With Grandma Storybook

My Time with Grandma Storybook by Phil Smouse and illustrated by Ela Jarzabek is wonderful! I chose this book to stay at my parents' house so my boys could read Bible stories with them.

This book is beautifully illustrated with Bible stories that are just the right length for preschoolers. Each story has a verse (A love note from God) and a cute little message from Grandma (A love note from Grandma).  My boys loved how personalized the book is and I love that they are introduced to Biblical truths in a way that their young minds can understand.

I highly recommend this book to all grandparents and parents of children age 1-5. It's a wonderful, cute, and Biblically accurate way to teach your children truths about the Word of God.

Restless by Jennie Allen


Run, don't walk to get this book! 

Jennie Allen is an incredible author with a real pulse on the questions and longings of our generation. This is my second book of her's to read and each time I find myself asking, "How does she know exactly what I am thinking?" Allen is very relatable and authentic and that translates into a book that will draw you in and help you to realize your God-given dreams and talents and how to use them for His glory.

She asks her readers, "What would happen if God got bigger than your fear and insecurity, and you spent the rest of your life running without reservation after his purposes for you?" Get ready for an interactive read full of contemplation, journaling, and dreaming. Each chapter has space for writing and reflecting on what you have learned. 

Restless has been very influential in my life. It has helped me to realize that God has put dreams and passions in my life for a reason. I loved being able to journal and process what all was discussed. 

I highly recommend this book for anyone (even though the book is geared towards women) age 18-45. It would be a great book to study and go through with a friend, mentor, or small group. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ministering to Problem People in Your Church by Marshall Shelley

Ministering to Problem People in Your Church:  What to Do With Well-Intentioned Dragons  by Marshall Shelley is a must-read! I can't recommend this book highly enough for pastors, church staff, parachurch ministry leaders, and even church members. Marshall Shelley takes the reader through real-life stories of pastors facing problems with troublesome members of their churches and "helps you go beyond just tolerating problem people to limiting their damage and showing them God's love. You'll discover effective strategies to turn dissidents into disciples."

This book is incredibly well-written and very engaging. I learned so many things about pastors, church members, and myself. It gave me so many opportunities to pray for my pastor and check my own heart to see if I had any of the tendencies of the people mentioned in this book.

Ministering to Problem People in Your Church does a wonderful job of connecting pastors to the 21st century. Multiple times it references different ways to interact through email, the internet, and text messaging. I appreciated that Shelley gives very practical and specific tips in a number of areas.

I highly recommend this book to all pastors and church leadership. It would be an invaluable resource to a new pastor or someone transitioning to a new church. I even recommend it for a regular church member. It will give you new insight into how to pray more specifically for your church, pastor, and elders.

This book was given to me for free by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hands Free Mama Book Review

Aptly titled, Hands Free Mama:  A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters, Rachel Macy Stafford challenges, encourages, and shows us how to become the parents and people we long to be. In a world over saturated with smart phones, computers, TVs, and the never-ending pressure to do all and be all, Hands Free Mama is a breath of fresh air for the person who wants to make a change. 

I loved this book and picked it up at exactly the right time. I realized I was spending entirely too much time on my phone and not enough time enjoying the simple pleasures of being a stay at home mom. As a stay at home mom, time is both a blessing and a curse. You have unlimited amounts of it and sometimes the temptation to zone out with media can be a struggle. Rachel Macy Stafford writes from her own experiences as someone who realized she was missing out on the important things in life. Each chapter includes time to reflect and opportunities to put the information into action. In one example, she says, "Making a concerted effort to offer my full attention when greeting my loved ones was a turning point in my journey. I found that it didn't take much effort to set aside my distractions when reuniting with my child or spouse after a separation, yet the impact was immeasurable (p. 90)."

I recommend Hands Free Mama to everyone, not just mothers. It is a timely read for so much of our society today. So whether you are a teenager or an empty-nester, I think this book is a must read. I love that the author isn't saying throw away your phones or TVs, but encourages us all to be more intentional with the time that we have. I have been challenged to become a better wife, mother, and Christian as a result of reading Hands Free Mama. It's given me the push I was looking for to limit the things that were distracting me truly living the life I wanted for myself and my family.

*I received this book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.*