Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Great Daily Devotional Geared at Children

I was given a free copy of the book Bedtime Devotions with Jesus: My Daily Devotional for Kids by Johnny Hunt through the Book Look Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review.

This book is great for young children. My 8-year-old daughter likes to read it with us each night. We haven't really discussed the versus a lot each time, but sometimes she and I will have discussions about what they mean in her life. Her little brothers saw that we were reading this book with her and wanted to join in as well. There are colorful illustrations on the pages that capture the interest of your children and each day's devotional is short so it's easy to fit it in before bedtime. As my daughter gets older, I think we will incorporate more into it. For example, we may actually go to her Bible and read the versus surrounding that devotional verse to put it more into context. We may encourage her to share her thoughts on the verse and how it applies to her life. We may also share our thoughts about how it applies to our lives. She also could memorize some of the verses that are discussed in the devotional as they are generally only a sentence or two long. There are so many different things you can do with this devotional for kids. It is a great conversation starter and a great way to introduce application of the Bible to the lives of children. If you are looking to expand your children's knowledge and application of the Bible, this is a great start.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review: Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller

When I got the chance to review this book, I was going through a bit of a struggle with my daughter. We had given her chores to do, but she wasn't doing them consistently without being reminded. I thought that a book like this could help me get her to do that. As I read the book, I discovered that this book is more about helping your child find her conscience and listen to it so that she is motivated to do what needs to be done. As I read this book, I understood that my eight-year-old daughter may not quite be there yet, but there are things I can do to help her get there. Though I don't think I will take all the advice in this book, there are some good points. For example, parenting requires strategy. This is so true. You must think about what you are going to do before you do it, think about what you are going to say before you say it. You must think about how your children are watching everything you do and you are setting an example for them with everything you do and say. The chapters that I really like in this book have to do with spiritual development in your child. I read to my daughter from the Bible when I can, I take her to church, we talk about things that happen in the perspective of our being Christians. But I still feel that I need to do more. The chapters in Part 2 of this book explore how to expose your child to faith by practicing faith in your home. They explore how to help lead a child to Christ, how to talk about the Holy Spirit with your child, and how to help your child connect with the Bible. If you struggle in any of these areas, this book might help to give you some ideas of what to do.

As a little addendum to this post, though, I have to think about something the pastor of my church said regarding parenting books and magazines. Essentially, she said why do we need all these parenting books? Are we not good enough? All these books tell us is that we are not good enough? Will we ever be good enough? My answer is, no. But who are these experts to tell me what to do for my own child? They write these words down without ever having met my child or my family. So I am convicted. I have decided that I am not going to rely on the "experts" anymore for advice about parenting my child. The only experts I need are myself, my husband, and the Holy Spirit. I will be guided about what is right when it comes to parenting my child, and only I know that for sure.

So...no more reviews of parenting books from this blogger...I'll be going a different route.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

An Adorable Bible for Little Ones!

I received the book Tiny Bear's Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Igor Oleynikov by Zondervan Publishers for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review.

I had already reviewed a similar Bible book by different authors, Little Bunny's Bible and my kids sure loved it! So I decided to take this opportunity to check out Tiny Bear's Bible. My boys loved this book.

The smiling, soft bear captures a toddler's attention right away! My 15 month-old, who is learning more and more words, saw the book and immediately said, "BEAR!" I told my 2 1/2 year old that since the bunny book was his, the bear book was for his brother. We sat down and read this book probably four times in one evening. The illustrations are so cute and each Bible story ends with a reminder for Tiny Bear about what this means for him and how this story shows God's love for him. For example, the story of "God Keeps Moses Safe" reminds Tiny Bear that "just like Baby Moses, we are always in God's care - He will love us and keep us - now and always, Tiny Bear!" The rhymes are cute and they sum up the stories well. Some of them are even a little humorous. My husband had a good chuckle when "The giant laughed - and then fell dead" after David said he would fight him.

This book contains several Bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments. The stories included are God Makes the Whole Wide World, God Promises to Rescue Noah, God Keeps Moses Safe, David Fights a Horrible Giant, God Protects Daniel in the Lions' Den, Jesus is Born, Jesus Stops a Scary Storm, The Lord's Prayer, The Friend of Sinners, and God Makes Jesus Alive Again. These story choices are a good summary for a very young child to learn more about God. I liked this book even better than Little Bunny's Bible and I definitely recommend it for your toddler!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Review: The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs by John C. Maxwell

When I had the opportunity to review the book The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs by John C. Maxwell, I thought this was a great book for my husband who is working to move up in the managerial world. So, I let him read it and in a little twist he is providing his honest review in exchange for this free book from Book Look Bloggers. So here is a review from Mr. B. :)

I found many helpful things in this book. Some of the helpful insights that Maxwell provided were:
- Don't manage your time, manage your life. Maxwell writes about how you can't make more time. There's only 24 hours in the day and the best thing is to try to make the most of your time as a leader. Many people try to say things like, "I need to make time" or "I need to find the time", but these things are not possible because you still have the same tasks you need to do. It's more about taking the time to do the things you need to do.
- Maxwell writes that people who manage themselves poorly undervalue themselves by doing what others want them to do. They put too much time into what other people think are important and not enough time and effort into what they think is valuable and important. This jives with me because of my own job where I am told that what I think is important isn't and I need to do something else. My time is wasted in many cases because I'm not as effective as I could be.
- Maxwell adds that people also ruin their effectiveness by doing unimportant things. He gives a rating for things you need to do based on terms of importance and urgency that is very helpful to follow.
- Maxwell says that people reduce their potential by doing things without coaching or training and basically just flounder through whatever it is they are doing. They aren't able to do things as well as they could if they would simply ask for help. They say you don't have to reinvent the wheel. If someone else knows a fast and effective way of doing something, why not just take their lead and make it work for you? They also say Rome wasn't built in a day so take your time to do what you need to do, don't rush into it.
- Another key insight that I really liked was Maxwell's saying, "Don't send your ducks to eagle school." This basically means that each person was made a different way. Some people work better in groups, some as individuals. Don't try to give people things that they aren't good at. Challenge them, but not to do something that they just can't do. If you try to do something that you just can't do and you fail, give it up and do something that you can do and do it well.

In closing, there were 26 lessons in this book and above I only showcased a few. I'm sure that for leaders of all types they would read this book and find something that works for them and would help them to build themselves as better leaders. I endorse this book and challenge other leaders to learn and take from it what they can back to their organizations and I can almost guarantee that it would make the effectiveness higher and help those in the organization to be more likely to reach their potential.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Craft - Fingerpaint Flowers

When I looked up at the art wall and saw snowmen, turkeys, and Christmas trees, I knew it was time to do a spring time craft.
For this simple craft, I just drew some stems with green markers and then let the boys go at it with the finger paints. This was Little K's first time really finger painting on his own. He ate the paints at first (don't worry, they are non-toxic of course!) but realized they did not taste too great and continued painting. T-Rex must cover the paper with paint. You almost can't tell that his are flowers any more, but that's ok! I love how they turned out and it was so quick and easy!

T-Rex's painting:

Little K's painting:

I would love to see crafts that you've done with your little ones! Feel free to share them in the comments!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lessons I've Learned From My Mother

It's been a while since I've done a "Lessons I've Learned..." post. My mother just turned 60 on Friday, and we had a big surprise party for her. Though her silly family tried to make it a joke, my sister had put out slips of paper and they were to write something they loved about my mom. It was "60 reasons to love her". I thought this was a nice idea, and it got me thinking about lessons I've learned from my mother.
So, the next installment in my series..."Lessons I've Learned From My Mother". Love you, Mom!

- Always have faith. It may sound cliche, but if God brought you to it, He'll bring you through it.

- Know how to have fun and laugh. It's important to be able to let loose sometimes!

- Every once in a while, some retail therapy is nice. Just don't overdo it.

- You are never too old for hugs from Mom!

- You may not be the best of friends with your children when they are young (especially when they are teenagers!), but you are still their mom. They still love you!

- It's very important to take some time for yourself once in a while. Whether that means that retail therapy or taking an hour at church every week to be alone with God, it's vital.

- Always be there for your kids. They may be grown up, but they will always be your babies.

Thanks for being there for me, Mom!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Review: What Am I Supposed to Do with My Life?: God's Will Demystified

It's a question that we have probably all asked ourselves at some point in our lives. "What am I supposed to do with my life?" If we are Christians, we will also often ask "What is God's will for my life?" Author Johnnie Moore approaches these questions in his book What Am I Supposed to Do with My Live?: God's Will Demystified. Johnnie explains that God's will should not be difficult for us to find. In fact, we should not have to search for God's will at all. God's will is more about becoming who we are supposed to be. God fashioned us to do something, to have a purpose. God's will is this purpose. In his book, Johnnie addresses how our own will is at war with God's will, why "waiting on God" is not helpful in finding God's will for us, how to make decisions when presented with different paths, making a commitment and pursuing our dreams. Johnnie's book explores what the Bible says about God's will for us and confirms very much so what the pastor at my church has been teaching for years, as Johnnie Moore says, "The will of God is more about who you are than where you are or what you do. You don't find it, you become it."

I received this book for free from the Book Look Bloggers program (Thomas Nelson Publishers) in exchange for my honest review.