Category: Books

How to Slow Down in a Busy World {a Book Review}

I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all just really busy.

It was predicted that our society would now be at the point where we would be working 20 hour work weeks and enjoying the extra time with our family and friends.

Turns out we’re working more hours than ever. And even for those who don’t work outside the home, they not only take care of their children all day, but are putting in long hours of work after kids are in bed to supplement the family income. See ya later free time- it was nice to know you!

Alli Worthingto feels the crunch. She’s an author, speaker, blogger, and Executive Director of Propel Women. She’s also a mom of 5 boys. *Gulp* (more…)

Review: Longing for Paris

 

Sarah Mae is a mom that many of us can relate to.

She loves her hubby and her kids like mad. But sometimes being around them all day, day in and day out, makes her feel like she’s GOING MAD! These are the times she dreams of heading to Paris and drink deep of all of the wonderful art, food, history and overall culture.

I think many of us have our “Paris” — a place or situation that has captured our curiosity, even maybe as early as our childhood– that we “go to” when life feels mundane. Australia. Disney World. The Mountains. The Beach. Some of us are super lucky that we get to GO to those places, but others of us are stuck only dreaming.

longing for paris (more…)

What We’re Reading (January 2016)

December flew by and I had no time to share our favorite fascinating books! Here it is, nearing the middle of January, and I’m FINALLY sitting down to finish this post.

The kids took a 2 week reading hiatus last month– Christmas was filled with a lot of non-reading fun like playing with cousins and overdosing themselves on screen time. Now that we’re back from all of the holiday festivities and almost into the full-swing of school, their reading appetite has increased!

Sometimes even the most avid readers need some time to miss reading. 😉

What We're Reading-2

 

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Book Review: Parable Treasury by Liz Curtis Higgs

parable treasury

The Parable Treasury (by Liz Curtis Higgs) is a compilation of 4 full-length books, one for each season of the year.

In each story, we’re given a life lesson, using examples from the changing seasons.

  • The Parable of the Lily tells a story of Easter forgiveness.
  • The Sunflower Parable uses harvest time to talk about how we can share God’s love with others.
  • The Pumpkin Patch Parable shows how God can make us new from the inside out.
  • Pine Tree Parable (which is my favorite) is a story about generosity.

Each of the stories includes verses of Scripture at the bottom, connecting each part of the story to a Scripture verse. While some of the verses work, others are a stretch. I get nervous about using Scripture in this way– pulling it out of context and relating it to something that is completely unrelated. For example, in the Pine Tree Parable, the text on the page says, “The next holiday season brought more neighbors to the farm. The perfect tree was taller than ever.” The Scripture at the bottom? “So the tree was taller than all the other trees in the field. Ezekiel 31:5” Do you know what happens just 5 verses later of that chapter? The wicked tree gets handed over to the enemies for its wickedness and pride, and the foreign nations cuts it down. Whoops! Pretty sure the editors should have thought that one through a little better.  🙂

Some may argue that these kinds of things won’t really matter. But I disagree. I think these types of elements of books teach kids to use the Scriptures to support what they want to support instead of looking at the true meaning of the passages. If our kids see this type of thing enough times, they may start thinking that by slapping a verse onto something, regardless of what it really means, will add God’s magic fairy dust to their lives. I want something much more for them than that.

Higgs has a gentle way of sharing wholesome stories that children who are interested in nature can relate to. While I really love the Pine Tree Parable story, I’m not as big of a fan as the other stories. They’re certainly winsome, but a little to wrapped up in a bow for my tastes.

Overall, I would not recommend this book. There are plenty of other good children’s books out there that don’t proof text with Scripture!

I received this book for free from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Every Little Thing (A Grown-Up Coloring Book Review)

I have always loved coloring.

Smurfs. Strawberry Shortcake. Lisa Franke. I even had a Vincent Van Gogh coloring book that I bought at the art museum in my early 20s when grown-up coloring books wasn’t even cool yet. #trendsetter

Every Little Thing Coloring Book

Every Little Thing is a fun new coloring book by Payton Cosell Turner, an acclaimed artist, designer, and owner of Flat Vernacular.

If you’re not into that industry, you probably have never heard of her. That’s totally fine. I hadn’t either.

The pages are kaleidoscope-patterned so it kinda feels like you’re coloring funky wallpaper. Lots of hand drawn animals and vegetation fill the pages, but they’re paired with funny objects. Alligators and radios. Cats with cell phones and calculators. Panda bears with pinwheels and gumball machines.

While I totally would not want this wall paper up in my house (sorry, Payton), I do like the uniqueness of it. And while it’s not my favorite coloring book out there, it fits a unique homegrown style.

 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for my honest opinion. 

 

What We’re Reading (November 2015)

November was a good month for us in finding book for the kids that they LOVE. Anaya has been getting to the age where she knows which books she loves, which books she doesn’t, and there is nothing we can do to influence her opinions. I love this growth in her reading skills, even if I don’t always love reading her strange books :).

Here are the books we’re reading this month!

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Blessed are those with the comfort of answers

blessedarethose

I used to think my spiritual maturity was directly related to the amount of answers I had.

It was junior high when I walked down a green-carpeted center aisle to say “I do” to Jesus. I had invited a lot of my friends that night to the youth night revival at my church, knowing they really needed Jesus. I got ‘im instead.

I’m a learner by nature, and so the Bible quickly became my primary textbook for life. I learned that it was the ultimate handbook, and by golly, I never knew a handbook or textbook that I couldn’t master. (more…)

My Personal Spiritual Formation Reading List

It’s here. The last day of #write31days. Whew. I have 11 months to recover :).

For real though, this process has been HARD, but I’m so thankful for a supportive husband who has let me sleep in late nearly everyday because I’ve been up until midnight nearly every night this month working and writing. I’ll be sure to return the sleeping-in favor to him as he soon begins his 2 week prelims. Whew.

For the last day of 31 Days of Soul Searching, I just wanted to take it easy and share a list of soul-forming books that are on my “If I ever get 2 weeks of uninterrupted reading time, these books are what I’d read” list.

In no particular order:

  1. Two Steps Forward
  2. The Gift of Being Yourself
  3. The Sacramental LIfe
  4. Simplicity
  5. Just Spirituality
  6. Life Together in Christ
  7. Margin
  8. Praying Upside Down
  9. Faithful: A Theology of Sex
  10. Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith
  11. Eternal Living
  12. The Inner Voice of Love 
  13. Sacred Parenting
  14. Spirit Led Parenting
  15. Undone
  16. Spirituality in the Mother Zone

What books about any area of spiritual formation are you looking forward to reading??

Review: Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith

 

Every evening over the past several weeks, I’ve spent the last 15-20 minutes of my night reading Sarah Bessey’s new book, Out of Sorts. To be honest, it’s been my “treat” that I look forward to at the end of the day for finishing my #write31days post. Because you all, this is hard work.

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It’s common knowledge that I’m a big fan of Sarah Bessey’s writing. My Practices of Mothering gave me the freedom and permission I needed to lean into gentle parenting. Jesus Feminist gave me the courage to take the next step in my blossoming egalitarian views. Out of Sorts gave me the companionship I needed to walk with confidence in this whole “sorting out” of my faith. (What can I say? I’m a needy person).  (more…)

Books to Read When Your Faith Feels Uncertain

Books to Read When Your Faith Feels Uncertain

 

Over the past 5-6 years, I’ve gone through a fairly significant shift in my faith. I’ll share about it in depth sometime later this month.

For now, I want to share some of the books that were helpful to me during this season. I know that I’m not the only one out there who has had big questions, felt deep uncertainty, or who has just gotten tired of the Christian hamster wheel.

When in these kinds of places, I tried to keep hold of a rhythm of Scripture reading, but that was often like taking an iron supplement (unpleasant but you know you gotta do it). I found great book companions along this path of my journey that helped me feel understood. These writers helped me to understand what was going on inside of me during a time when everything around me felt like it was shifting uncontrollably. (more…)