Hey, It's Jade!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lord, Have Mercy, a book review

Lord, Have Mercy: Help and hope for moms on their last nerve, written by Ellen Miller is a 90-Day devotional broken into 5 topical sections: Renew My Spirit, On My Soul, Get Me Out of this Mess, Help Me Be Good and As I Raise These Kids.  Each of these sections offers daily readings spanning just two or three-pages (perfect for moms of littles and/or working moms), plus Scripture Readings and a thoughtful prayer from the author over the reader.  The pages of this book offer insight and encouragement from Ellen's own experiences as a busy, working mom of two now-grown children. 

What I enjoyed about the book is that it was designed in such a way that I truly could read it quickly, get the "meat" of her topic, attach it to a scripture focus (not just a nice sentiment) and continue with my day feeling better about my job as mom.  She doesn't overly story-tell, if you know what I mean... she gets to the point, and I'm all for that in a daily reader! Her experiences and anecdotes are relatable to most moms, be it stay-at-home, working, single, divorced, remarried, having littles or grandchildren - she covers it all. I would recommend this to pretty much any mom who is able to scrape just a few minutes out of her day to spend being encouraged and reassured that she can make it through this season of motherhood, one day at a time.

Read the first chapter of this book here.
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Waking Up Slowly, a book review

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, a book review

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, a book review

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.