Thursday, March 16, 2017
Waking Up Slowly: Spiritual lessons from my dog, my kids, critters, and other unexpected places, written by Dave Burchett, is a down-to-earth, extremely relatable look at the amazing things surrounding us that point us to God. The trouble is, for most of us, we are took busy, too distracted and too self-involved to even notice these things exist, let alone are trying to tell us something. Dave challenges us (and himself) to disconnect from our ever-constant digital devices and look around, spend some time soaking in, and waking up to, those glimpses of God's pure love and grace. In his delightful story-telling, Dave offers us anecdotes from his own experiences and challenges, ranging from working in a mostly secular career field to the trials and joys of being a grandpa. By the way, fellow Texans and baseball enthusiasts... Dave Burchett is the television coverage director for the Texas Rangers!
What I really enjoyed about this book was the way Dave feels like a friend, not someone lecturing or pointing the finger. He cheerfully admits that unplugging is hard for him, too (and that technology is necessary, so you can't just give it up completely). He offers scripture, biblical advice, real-life application and encouragement in each chapter, revolving around a variety of topics.
This book helped motivate me to log off of Facebook, put down the phone and step away from my computer more often in order to be more present with my kids. They are always vying for my attention, not just against each other, but also against my devices. They deserve my full and undivided attention, and not to have to compete with a piece technology. I see them growing before my eyes, developing and maturing into amazing people... I'd hate to miss that because of a glowing screen. Thanks for the gentle reminder, Dave!
I received a free copy of this title from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
The Beautiful Garden of Eden was written by Gary Bower and illustrated by Barbara Chotliner. Part of the Faith that God Built series, this lovely hardback book was crafted in the rhyming style of the popular poem "The House That Jack Built." It tells the story of a tree and it's forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve, a serpent and the curse that occurred as a result of disobedience. As it is made for children (targeted to 4-7 year olds), it is simple and not preachy, however the language is not dumbed down. Quite the opposite, in fact. I found myself having to define the words "upheaval" and "calamitous" to my 6-year-old. I appreciate that in a children's book!
The illustrations are bright, bold and truly draw in the children... my 17-month-old couldn't keep her hands off of it! While dealing with a difficult concept (the original sin), the rhyming scheme brings it across in a whimsical approach that kids will enjoy.
This is a great book for those kiddos who are well past the easy-reading versions of Bible Stories and ready for a little bit more of a challenge or simply something different on their bookshelf. Mr. Bower has just released another in this series, with two more expected in May 2017! See you more on those here.
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House in exchange for my honest opinion. This review is written in my own words.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Different: The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him
By Nathan Clarkson and Sally Clarkson
By Nathan Clarkson and Sally Clarkson
I will be honest and admit that about up until 6 months ago, I had only heard the name Sally Clarkson before. I had no idea who she was or what she was about. I recently joined a group of homeschool moms that meet together to discuss books, and found out that it was mostly books written or inspired by Sally Clarkson. Now, I am hooked and want to devour all of her work. What a delightful, insightful, inspiring woman! And so, when I heard she wrote a book with her son Nathan about growing up "outside-the-box," I knew this would be a great read for me. While my children are still young and not officially diagnosed with any of the labels heaped upon Nathan's sweet head, I relate so much to Sally's story of trying to figure out her son's ways as a youngster. Is it simply because he is energetic and opinionated? Is it something more? Is he being defiant or is he truly unable to control his impulses? I was bawling just a few pages into this book, hearing from both Nathan and Sally as they told their perspectives on always feeling different from their peers.
Nathan offers a wonderful insight that we often don't hear, the "troubled" child's side of the story. He paints a picture of what it's like to HAVE to wash your hands a specific amount of times before being able to sit down to dinner and not being able to sit through a church sermon while it seems everything inside you is going ninety-miles-an-hour in different directions. And Nathan's message is followed up by Sally's motherly tone, as she offers her experience in finding what works and what didn't work, what it was like dealing with these issues before they even had a common name and allowing grace in admitting that worked for them, may not work for all. As she says, it's not a how-to book, but merely a story that Nathan wanted to tell to help others who feel different. And that works on so many levels, from clinically diagnosed to those that just have an interesting 'quirk' or two. This book is a wonderful resource for parents or loved ones of those who are considered "outside-the-box."
I received a free digital copy of this book for review purposes through the Tyndale Blog Network. All opinions are my own.
Saturday, November 5, 2016
I don't know about you, but as the holiday season approaches, I tend to start getting reflective. About life, tradition, and yes... the reason for the season. I love doing special projects or readings with my kids to remind us all that it's NOT about the hustle and bustle, the gadgets or even the food, Christmastime is a holiday celebrated because of the birth of our Saviour, who came to save us all. It is often difficult, in these days of preparation, to be still, to be quiet, to reflect on what is true. So anything I find that will help us do just that, I'm willing to try! Enter All Is Bright: A devotional journey to color your way through Christmas. Yes, a coloring book AND devotional in one!
All is Bright combines the beauty of the season, the story of the birth of Christ and gorgeously detailed coloring pages. Adult coloring is huge right now, and this book is perfect for those enthusiasts who relieve stress and tension through their fine-tipped markers and want to continue that through out the holiday season. It contains 31 devotional passages (December 1-31), each laid out beside a beautiful illustration beckoning to be filled in: nativity scenes, candles, welcoming front doors, musical instruments, angels and so much more. What I really appreciate about this book is that it also contains some coloring pages in the back that are less detailed for younger children. My kids always want to color with me and sometimes my books are too difficult for them to justice to... but All Is Bright solves that problem! It also includes some pages of Conversation Starters to take the devotions even further with your family.
This book will make a great gift for the coloring fanatic in your life, or a wonderful way to lead up to Christmas and the New Year with your family as a unit to truly focus on the reason for the season.
All Is Bright is written by Nancy Guthrie, illustrated by Lizzie Preston. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review by Tyndale House Publishers.