Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Raising Grateful Kids in and Entitled World

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life's Biggest Yes
by Kristen Welch

What can I say? I love this book. I love it's cover - how it looks. I love the format and how it feels in my hands. I love the mix of personal stories and practical tips. Most of all, I love the message.

"We live in a culture that is obsessed with the right to have what we want, whether we've earned it or not." 

If you believe in the concept of grace, then hopefully you understand that grace is two-fold. Grace is, first of all, getting what you don't deserve, and secondly, grace is not getting what you do deserve. Grace is the opposite of entitlement.

Kristen and her husband, Terrell, recognized the ugliness of entitlement that was rearing its head in their family and decided to call it out and wage war against it. Being grateful is an art that needs to be cultivated and nurtured daily, so that it can be practiced in all areas of our lives. Living gratefully is living counter-culturally, and it's increasingly difficult to practice in our current society.

"Society has shifted truth by bombarding us with an idea until its normalized. "
As I mentioned before, this book is full of personal stories in which Kristen shares what she and her husband have tried with their 3 children. It's also full of practical tips. Each chapter ends with a section called "Going Against the Flow" and includes ideas and suggestions for all ages: parents, toddlers/preschoolers, elementary, tweens/teens.

I've already implemented several ideas into our own family life. If you need encouragement in your own journey to raise grateful kids, or even in your own effort to be more grateful, then this book is for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for this review.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I Can Read - Ruth and Naomi

Although I've read several of the Zonderkidz I Can Read books with my kids, this was the first Adventure Bible story I have read. It is such a delight to hear my children practice their reading skills while also learning valuable stories from the Bible. 

I really enjoyed everything about this book - the story, the layout, the font size and the illustrations. I will definitely be adding more titles from this series to our personal library.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me by Lorilee Craker

I first discovered Anne Shirley when I was in my twenties, and this past year had the privilege of introducing both of my daughters to her delightful story. Generally, I enjoy reading memoirs and was excited to read this book. Especially after having revisited the story of Anne of Green Gables recently.

However, this was a book I just couldn't get into. I know that in order to appeal to a larger audience (i.e. those who perhaps haven't read Anne of Green Gables), the author needed to explain the story of Anne of Green Gables...but I found so much of the book to be just another retelling of the book, and that's just not my thing. I cannot help but think there must be a better way to relate personal experiences to the book's experiences without retelling the book. I found myself wanting more memoir and less book re-telling. 

Sadly this book did not live up to my expectations. I know others have thoroughly enjoyed it, so perhaps my dissatisfaction has more to do with the style of writing and less to do with the quality. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for this review.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lean on Me by Anne Marie Miller

In her newest book, Anne Marie Miller talks about finding community through being committed and vulnerable to others. Using her own desperate need for community, Ms. Miller walks the reader through what this looked like for her and how her community helped her heal and move through a very painful part of her life. 

We all need community, yet we often keep ourselves from finding true community by either holding back our vulnerability or our commitment. I enjoyed reading how Anne did this in her own life and how this can easily apply to my life.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell

This is the story of a girl and her love affair with food. As a little girl, there were no limits on what or how much Andie Mitchell could eat. She had no good role models when it came to eating to fuel one's body and would eat mindlessly throughout the day. As you can imagine, this lead to great weight gain and by the time she was twenty years old, Andie weighed 268 pounds.

When she read that number on the scale she was scared. She knew something had to change. Despite all her previous failed attempts to lose weight, Andie set out to do the impossible. To take charge of her eating and find balance in her life.

In the end, she lost 135 pounds and became a food blogger. I love that she found a way to continue to enjoy food - real food - and found a passion for sharing her story with others. I also enjoyed her honesty and her willingness to share the ups and downs of her journey.

This book was such an enjoyable read. I do wish the book had photos included as I think they often add so much to a memoir. I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for this review.

For more information about the book, go HERE. For more information about the author, go HERE.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Power of a Half Hour by Tommy Barnett

What can you do in a half hour? Read blogs? Check instagram or facebook? Eat lunch? Change your life?

The premise of this book is that by using our time wisely, we can make small investments (30 minutes at a time) to change our lives. As a violin teacher, I know the importance of daily practice - 30 minutes a day goes a long way in the development of musical skills (or any skill for that matter).

This book is written by a senior pastor of a very large, fast growing church in America. It's divided into seven parts and each part has its own focus. Within each part, Mr. Barnett outlines thirty different half hour principles that will help you live more intentionally. Whether you want to strengthen your faith, build your character, improve relationships or change the word, there are principles and ideas in this book that will help you do just that. With examples and stories, Mr. Barnett shares how these principles have affected his life and the lives of others he knows.

If you skip to the end of the book before reading through it, you will find all thirty personal action plans laid out with a reading assignment. He also outlines the half hour principle that corresponds to the chapter, personal inspiration and specific plan/action steps. There is also a small group study guide included.

It's true that we all have the same amount of time in any given day. Some of us use it wisely, and others waste it day after day. I was encouraged to spend relatively small amounts of time (30 mintes) and make a bigger impact with my life. Whether I use that time to teach a violin lesson, read a book aloud to my kids or study the Bible, these small investments will add up to a life well-lived.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.

for more information about the book, go HERE
for author bio, go HERE

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson

In her new book, Own Your Life, Sally Clarkson weaves personal stories and wisdom she's gain over the years to help us make our lives more intentional.

The book is divided and organized into five parts:
1. Barriers to Owning Your Life
2. Owning Your Vision
3. Giving God Control
4. Partnering With God
5. Loving Well

Each section has several chapters, and each chapter ends with specific steps you can take to begin own your life.

I found the book to be very encouraging and full of ideas and practical ways I can live more intentionally. I've been on an intentional living journey for the past several years and felt like this book added inspiration to what I'm already doing. And this was written in a way that I felt like I was sitting down with a cup of coffee or tea and listening to Sally speak. She writes with love and you can feel it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for this review.