A Small Book about a Big Problem

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My husband asked me the other night if I ever thought I would say I struggle with anger.  Never. In a million years.

That is actually one of the ways I would describe my parenting – on my bad days (or my kids bad days).

And I love me some Ed Welch, a great counselor, very competent at getting to the heart of the problem.

This little book about Anger is hard to read because I find me one every page.  It takes less than a minute to read each devotional – but pray the Lord would allow it to stick for more than a minute.  I need to keep this book by my bed and read a short chapter each day.

I would encourage every single mom to pick this up.  And read it.  And allow the Spirit to soften your bent toward anger.  Like he is doing mine.  (And this isn’t a book big on application, but let the Spirit be your application writer.)

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

Lord Have Mercy

posted in: Books, mothering, parenting | 0

As mamas, we all need help – and having resources to help us in our journey with God, especially in the little years that can be so lonely, help tremendously.

Lord Have Mercy is a devotional written by Ellen Miller for moms – and it doesn’t matter what stage your kids are in.

I love how it is saturated with Scripture.  I love how they are short because you know that moms don’t have all the time in the world to do a quiet time.  I love it how it is practical and calls you to action.

But, I don’t really see that it is so much better than other Mom devotionals out there – or even devotionals in general.  I just didn’t strike me as a must read or must recommend.  It may be perfect for another mom, and it is saturated with the Word of God, but just a personal opinion.

Thanks Tyndale House for the book. All opinions are my own.

Lavish Hospitality 17

As a mom of two preschoolers, two things I think about the most of anything is my children’s safety and their eternal life.  One I can do something about and one I can only point them in the right direction.

Its funny, this week my 4 year old had 5 shots and 1 toe prick to draw some blood.  All routine for a 4 yo check up.  As I was holding his arms across his chest as they were sticking the needles in his thighs, I watched him scream over and over again.  I didn’t feel like I was providing much safety for him.  And after the pricks were over, he was calling for Daddy – all he wanted to do was go see Daddy.  To have Daddy hold him.

Now, if something happens when Daddy is around, then he calls out for me.  So the kid can’t make up his mind.

And now thinking back, I think of me, holding his arms down, covering his face to he couldn’t see the needles being put into his legs, closing my eyes in tears as he screamed, wondering if he would ever trust me again.

Isn’t that often how God is.  We are safely in his arms.  Being held in the palms of his hands, nothing can take us out of his grip.  But, how often does his face cover our screams?  How often do you think that God cries and longs for our hearts when we are hurting?

On this earth, I think we are to be “little Christs”.  So, we are to be Jesus with skin on.  Being hospitable to people may be holding them in their pain, letting them cry, catching their tears.  My husband often does this.  And I think of the safety I feel in his arms.  And it makes me long for the Savior – who will never hurt me but was hurt for me.  So that I may rest secure in Him.

Quote taken from a new book by Lavon Gray (thanks New Hope Publishers) Tuning Your Heart to Worship

New Bible Study Helps

posted in: Bible, Books | 0

If you are anything like me, sometimes you get in a rut with your time in the Word.  Maybe not, but I know I do.  If I always study the Word in the same way, I get stale (not the Word).

So, I thought I would highlight some new(er) Bible study helps. Maybe these will be new to you, maybe you will have tried them and love them.

KJV Know the Word Study Bible.  This is a new Bible from Thomas Nelson.  I grew u with KJV at my Christian school.  The verses that I have memorized over the years are a hybrid of KJV, ESV, NIV, NASB.  One thing I love about technology these days is to read the Bible in so many different translations – and the KJV is a good one.  This new Bible has topical study notes on subjects: the Trinity, Love, Covenant, Purpose, Church, etc.  These are helpful if you are doing a topical study in your Bible study.  There are helpful footnotes on the bottom margin so you can access it easily as you are reading.  This Bible has book introductions which are helpful if you are doing a read through the Bible, you are getting a brief synopsis and knowledge about the book before you read it. So, if you want a very neutral (not personality-driven study Bible) this new one is a good, basic one.

The Daily Grace Co.  Kristin produces Bible studies that I think are ideal for the beginner.

She Reads Truth – this is an easy app that you can have on your phone right when you wake up, get in the Word right away, or you can purchase their Bible studies.  Solid material.

What are some Bible study tools that you use?

Thanks Litfuse and Thomas Nelson for the KJV Bible.  All thoughts are my own.

Lavish Hospitality 6

posted in: 31days, Books, lavish hospitality | 0

One aspect of mothering is that it is life-giving.  And as women, I think we are naturally life-givers.  Maybe not all of us have biological children, but we are all made in the image of God, and being image bearers as females, I think we are life-givers.

You can be life-givers as a wife, mom, foster mom, adoptive mom, friend, neighbor, church member, business woman, daughter, granddaughter, caregiver, single, married, widowed, divorced.

Hospitality is life-giving as well.  We can be life-giving in our homes, our cars, our work, our church, our communities.  This may look like bringing a small gift to a neighbor who has just moved in or one who is going through a rough time (a gift card or something fresh from the oven or grocery store).  This may look like welcoming your kids’ friends over to your house every Friday night – or any night of the week – just so they have a loving place to hang out.  This may look like talking to the older women sitting around you in church, the ones you don’t know, the ones who look lonely.

Whatever hospitality looks like for you – bring life to someone else.

Book quote from Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman

Big and Little Coloring Devotional

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When we set up our new home in late this summer, I knew I wanted to have a creative area for my boys.  A place where they could have coloring books, playdough, markers, colored pencils, etc – just waiting to sit and get all their creative juices out!

Well, we set up a little Goodwill table that I found before we moved, and put some bins of creative tools around it – and they sit their every day.  I love it.  I love having pieces of paper all around the house with scribbles and drawings on them.

Another great tool I’ve found for my boys is the Big and Little Coloring Devotional.  I found out about this devo coloring book from my friend Sarah on her podcast with the author Rachel Swanson.  Then I got to be a part of the launch team.  So much fun!

It is a top flip coloring book, made for two people to be coloring at once.  So, I’ve been sitting across from my older, him coloring, me coloring.  And the neat thing about this particular coloring book is that it is based on Scripture.  So, one side will have a (younger age) coloring page with God’s truth on it, the other page will have a more detailed coloring page with a short devotional on it.  These devotionals are perfect for you to read, be encouraged, and it may be a jumping off point for you to share these truths with your child – AS. YOU. COLOR!

Such a great activity for you and your child to do together.  And Christmas is coming – its a perfect gift for any mom of littles you know – I would say even up to 10yo or so – girl or boy.  So, grab some colored pencils, crayons, or markers, and get coloring – and shepherding your soul – and your child’s!

Free of Me

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There is such a danger in the life of a believer in focusing too much on themselves. My husband reminded me of this by sharing with me the other day that if a person is depressed, if he genuinely focuses on others, then that will help with the depression.

Sharon Miller, in her book Free of Me, gets more to the heart of the Christian Life and some dangers we, especially as women, face.  In today’s society, we like to think about ourselves, boast in our social media, make the Christian life completely about ourselves.

The truth is that it isn’t.  It is about a bigger God then ourselves. He is the Creator and over all things – we are not in charge.  And when we learn this, life will be more about the glory of Christ.

Sharon tells her own story of self-preoccupation and then goes on to share truth about areas in our lives that we tend to focus too much on ourselves and how focusing on the truth of the Bible and God we can free ourselves of this damaging trend.

God isn’t about you.

Family isn’t about you.

Appearances aren’t about you.

Possessions aren’t about you.

Friendships aren’t about you.

Your “calling” isn’t about you.

Church isn’t about you.

Love how Sharon shares from her experience, the Scriptures, and a well-rounded theology and ministry depth, knowing God and knowing herself, and knowing other women – that life is more fulfilling when you focus on others more than yourself.  Your dreams aren’t big enough.  Sacrifice looks different when you get outside of yourself.

This is both a needed book for us as women, our families, our ministries, and churches.  And it is a convicting one for our hearts as well.  Thank you Sharon.

Counseling Under the Cross

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This October marks the 500th anniversary of what marks the beginning of the Reformation: the day when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door at Wittenberg.

New Growth Press and Bob Kellemen have offered a book that highlights some areas that can help all of us in our daily lives and for those of us in the business of Christian counseling, this book will help as well.

But, I would say, after knowing the personal help this book has given me, its encouragement, and its strength, that we all need to be in the business of counseling others with the Word of God – therefore, rightly, making all of us Christian counselors.

If we use the Word in our counseling, in our friendships, in our marriages, in our parenting, then we will have stronger and truer relationships because the Word of God is sufficient.  One of the marks of the Reformation was the 5 Solas – and one of them is Scripture Alone.  (I won’t go so far as to say that we don’t need any other kind of psychological help, but I do think the Word needs to be the base for all of our counseling.)

At first glance, I thought this book was out of my league.  But, then, as I sat with the table of contents, saw the method with which Bob tackled this topic, it was really quite user friendly and applicable.  He shares personal stories and letters of Luther to illustrate how he counseled with the Word of God alone – in these four areas: reconciliation, guidance, healing, and sustaining.  He broke up each one into the theology of Luther and then how Martin Luther put those theological ideas into practice with those he was in relationship with.

If you are looking for a new counseling book, or these topics (the 4 listed above) sound interesting to you, or you want to know more about the man and preacher and reformer, Martin Luther, then I really think this book will be helpful to you.

Thank you to Litfuse and New Growth Press for this book. All thoughts are my own.

 

The Bronte Plot

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I guess sometimes it is hard on your heart to read books about people who get to travel when you don’t get to do it anymore that often (and would really love to).

But, I really enjoyed the Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay.  Christian fiction without being sappy Christian-ese throughout the book.

A love of books and travel.

A family that has real problems – but not dismissing the problems but knowing that generational sin has an impact on us and what we do with it and its impact with shape our own lives.

Doubts with life and death.

And hope.  Hope is always fitting in a Christian fiction.  Not hope that all is going to work out perfectly.  But hope in a God who does all things well.  That’s of course where our hope lies.

I think my only thing I would do different in this book is not make the conclusion about 2 pages long.  I wanted a continuation of this book based on where it ended.  I would have liked that with her Dear Mr. Knightley too.  So, I guess that’s a good thing!  How about it Katherine Reay – sequels?

Gracelaced

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The kids wake you up all hours of the night.  Whether its night terrors, wet beds, loss of their stuffed animal, or maybe still night feedings.

You have an argument with your husband early in the morning that sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Your jeans don’t fit the way you want them to.

The car won’t start.

You burn the cookies.

You don’t love well.

You are anxious about meetings coming up in the coming day.

Whatever hits your world today, the Word of God is your hope.  Christ is your hope.

That’s why I think Gracelaced is a helpful book, no matter the season you are in.

If you are female – this book will meet you were you are.

Ruth is a watercolor and lettering artist, mom of lots of boys, wife, writer, believer.  I had the opportunity to meet her at the last TGCW conference.  Engaging in every way, in person and on the page.

She writes a devotional book for women that is full of truth – just overflowing with it. I know many women who don’t think they can understand deep theology.  Theology is just what you believe about God – the study of God.  And this book will help you grip tighter to your solid beliefs about God.

This book will help you rehearse the truth of the Word that your soul, your heart, and your mind, so desperately need!

And its pretty!

Other Gospel-rehearsing books for anyone to read:

The Gospel Primer

Cross-Centered Life

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