Tag Archive | book review

Sacred Ground/Sticky Floors Book Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

How Less Than Perfect Parents Can Raise (Kind of) Great Kids Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors by Jami Amerine
Eugene, OR – If one of your finest motherhood moments involves sitting in the back of a police cruiser with powdered doughnut on your face, being held for questioning for possession of narcotics, meet Jami Amerine, your new BFF.

Affectionally called the Lucille Ball of the Internet, Amerine, a mother of six  has often found herself in moments of motherhood mayhem like the police cruiser incident. It was in one of those moments when a text from a friend began to change her perspective on mothering. It took her eyes off the
mess and she began to focus on the sacred in each moment. “I’m sure the words ‘sacred ground’ conjure up some images for you and, most likely, they aren’t visions of where you are standing right now,” says Amerine. “If, like me, you’ve stepped on a Lego while barefoot, it can be difficult to wrap your
mind around the divine qualities of the path beneath your feet. But the place where you stand now, the place where you care for and lead those you love, is sacred ground.”

Amerine believes the essence of
parenting is less a laundry list of “how-to’s” or “three guarantees to raise perfect, God-fearing children,” and more a step by step trusting of a God who calls us daughters. Maybe you’re the mom, like Amerine, who sent her child to military school or watched a child walk away from the faith you worked so hard to instill. Or, maybe you’ve somehow bought into the parenting lie that it’s your fault when your kids make poor choices, do things you’ve never dreamed of, or choose to live with values far from your own.
In Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors, Amerine takes mothers of all ages inside the joyful chaos of motherhood, sharing
her adventures and mishaps and encouraging moms to let go of “perfect” parenting and find rest in the perfect
Parent.

While Amerine relates to women who feel they’ve messed up as a mom—believing they’ve failed their children,
their spouse, and their God—she offers hope and shares what she has discovered:
• The biggest parenting lie we often believe
• Why we need to seek the Bible and the wisdom of spiritual giants
• Why we can’t make our kids love Jesus
• How to rest in our identity as daughters of a perfect Father
• Why our belief in Jesus is the thermostat for our home
• How we need to let Jesus be Jesus for our children
“The sacred ground of my home, where my children will learn about Jesus Christ, where He dwells with us has
sticky floors,” says Amerine. “In my journey as mother, I have given up my dignity, my last French fry, and my
whole heart. I now believe this journey we’re on is not about being a perfect parent. It is about being parented by a
perfect Father. It is about uncovering and trusting that perfect Parent so you can parent with your messes and
flaws and be present for little human beings in want.”

Meet the Author

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Jami Amerine posts about Jesus, parenting, marriage, and the general chaos of life. She holds a master’s degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development.

She’s been featured on numerous occasions on foreverymom.com and several other syndicated sites
including Scary Mommy and Mamalode.

She’s also been featured on Fox News, Today Parenting, and Huffington Post.

Jami loves her husband and kids, is afraid of flying, addicted to Jesus, Facebook, blogging, and babies. She loves to travel and hang at her parents’ lake house outside of Houston. Her dad is her #1 fan. She has run the gamut in
trying to raise perfect humans and is proud to say… she failed. They are imperfectly wonderful! She is a Christian who tends to get snarky and is anti-Jesus fish bumper stickers because she is a lousy driver.

Jami and her husband, Justin, have six kids, are active in foster care advocacy and reform, and live in Texas.  Learn more about Jami at www.sacredgroundstickyfloors.com

Author’s Interview

1. Jami, you and your husband, Justin, have six children ranging from young adult to preschooler. Tell us a bit about your family.

Justin and I have been married for 26 years.  His cousin introduced us.  We have 4 biological children. Maggie is 23, she is married and runs an embroidery shop from her home. John is 20, he is our Marine. Luke, who wrote the afterword to my new book, just turned 19, he lives with us and works and studies yoga.  And then Sophie is 16, she is a junior in high school.  Then, we started all over with foster care and adoption.  We met Sam for the first time when he was 10 days old.  He is now six and in kindergarten.  Charlie, was three months old when we first met him.  He is now 4.  We have had some short-term foster placements and one very long one.  The long-term foster placement was with us for two years, she has been gone a year now.  We relocated to the North Houston area a year ago.  We are 5 minutes from my parents and sister.  My brother and his family live about 10 miles away.  We are very close to my family, not just in proximity.

2. You interact with women daily through your blog and ministry, particularly moms. What do you think are some of the biggest issues that moms are facing?

Well, there are health and marital struggles, as always.  But I think one of the biggest struggles Christian moms face is the truth of who they are in Christ.  We are daughters.  Our motherhood did not negate our birthright as daughters.   When our kids are failing, it is easy to let that burden define us.  I have come to a place in my walk where I recognize that my kids are wholly a part of me and wholly apart from me.  There are so many things I want for my children, protecting their innocence seems like the biggest hill to climb in this day and age.  But, I really believe God and what He says about me and my children.  We are righteous because of He who died.  When I parent or correct them from this place, the world seems a lot less hopeless.  

3. If you spend any time on Facebook or other social media, motherhood is often painted as this exhausting life that requires hiding in the bathroom and drinking copious amounts of wine just to make it through. It may get a laugh but why do you think our culture has this view of motherhood? Our culture may think it is funny, but I am a good mom.  The majority of my readers are good moms.  And you know what, I really like my kids.  They make me laugh.  I enjoy their company.  I am tired, sometimes I need a medicinal fix, but I am proud to say, I love my babies.  I want younger women to know that.  This is a great gig. 

4. You write that of all the lies you believed in the earlier years of parenting, the greatest was believing that your hard work could bring you peace. Can you explain more?  I really believed in what I call an if/then Jesus.  If I am perfect, then my kids won’t struggle.  And I worked tirelessly to be everything.  When they or I stumbled, I tucked tail and waited for the wrath.  Wrath that was resolved on Calvary.  Good things happen and bad things happen.  God remains.  I love this about Him.  

5. How do we let go of the hold we often have on our kids and let God parent us?  Believe Him.  Not just believe He exists, BELIEVE what He says about you.  You are His.  They are His.  We are their brothers and sisters in Christ.  He is just good.  We are totally in His care.  And so are they.  It takes practice… but this is my battle cry.  

6. What encouragement can you offer moms who are exhausted from trying to be the perfect parent?  You are perfected.  He chose you, specifically for these humans, who He knows and loves even more than you can fathom.  You do what you are best at, let Him fill in the gaps.  Pray without ceasing, and believe.  And never be afraid to ask, HELP MY UNBELIEF.  I know for a fact, He is totally cool with that request. 

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained.  Jami

Book Review

I enjoyed reading Sacred Ground Sticky Floors (How Less-Than-Perfect Parents Can Raise Kind of Great Kids.  Jami shares her ups and downs of parenting and is totally relatable. I appreciate her transparency in being a mother. I recommend your read her latest book. In fact…

Giveaway

Now it’s your turn to read Sacred Ground Sticky Floors as we’re giving away a FREE copy. I’d love to hear from other Moms and Dads seeking to raise their children with godly character. Simply comment below on how you train up your child(ren). Your name will then be placed in a drawing.

On November 12, 2018, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than November 19, 2018.

One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided. The winner must reside in the continental United States of America.

Blessings,  Rebecca

 

Loving Your Spouse Book Review

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When I was approached by Gary Chapman’s publicist about reviewing Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away, I was excited. I enjoyed reading his book The 5 Love Languages. Also, I had the honor to contribute a story in his book Love is a Verb

Dr. Chapman is the Director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants and shares his advice based on his 35+ years of experience counseling couples.

One simple tool I took away from reading his new book is looking at how my own thoughts, feelings, and actions impact my husband.

I highly recommend reading Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away.

Blessings, Rebecca

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About the Author

Gary Chapman-author, speaker and counselor-has a passion for helping people form lasting relationships. He travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio program airs on more than 400 stations.

For more information visit 5lovelanguages.com

About the Book

If you are struggling in a painfully difficult marriage, you’re not alone, and the story doesn’t have to end there. Gary Chapman will teach you how to:

  • Recognize and reject myths that hold you captive
  • Better understand your spouse’s behavior
  • Take responsibilty for your own thoughts, feelings, and actions
  • Make choices that can have a lasting, positive impact on you and your spouse

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this book review. Just passing along a good read.

Have you found a goood book about enjoying a healthy marriage?

Jesus Loves You Book Review

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When Kelsey of Book Publicity Services contacted me to review Jesus Loves You, I jumped at the chance. After all, it is the Christmas season which celebrates the birth of our Savior Jesus. It’s the perfect time to share His good news with your children.

ABOUT THE BOOK

God’s only son, Jesus, wants you to know that He loves you. He loves you more than you can ever imagine. He watches over you to make sure you are okay and knew you even before He created you. That’s how special you are to Him. Won’t you spend some time with Jesus today? Jesus Loves You is the 2017 winner of the CSPA Book of the Year for Children’s Gift Book.

REVIEW

Jesus Loves You is a delightful children’s book that explains how He walks with you through every stage of life from birth to taking care of aging parents. I recommend this book for you to read to your elementary school age children. Here is what others are saying about it:

“Jesus Loves You is a wonderful little book aimed at primary school age children… the message that Jesus loves you comes across clearly. This is an important message for every child. A lovely picture book that should be in every Sunday school class.” — ChristianBookaholic.com

“Heartwarming Christian storybook for children… this book is a perfect selection for story time… highly recommended.” —  Readers’ Favorite

“God’s only son is watching, and his message is one of love. That’s the foundation of Christian picture book Jesus Loves You… a simple message with large-size, colorful drawings… Kids receive confirmation that there is no step in life where Jesus is not ‘there’ beside them, bestowing love and support… Jesus Loves You is highly recommended as a ‘first primer’ introduction to Jesus for the very young.” — Midwest Book Review

GIVEAWAY!

Now it’s your turn to read Jesus Loves You as I am giving away my copy for FREE. I’d love to hear from other parents who are teaching their children that Jesus loves them. Simply comment below on how do you teach them. by 5:00pm PST on December 25, 2017. Your name will then be placed in a drawing. We will randomly select a winner.

The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than January 1, 2018. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address (in the continental US only) provided.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Blessings, Rebecca

 

Chicken Soup for the Soul Simply Happy Book Review

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When I was approached by Amy Newark’s publicist about reviewing Chicken Soup for the Soul Simply Happy, I was thrilled as I love their books.  The authors’ stories are encouraging and couldn’t wait to read the compilation of Amy’s experience as their Editor in Chief.

One simple tool I took away from reading her book is to smile more. It seems easy enough, but from where I grew up in East San Jose, it wasn’t a common to smile at people you walk by. In fact, most people would think you’re up to something. If you are not used to smiling a lot, try it…and let me know if you notice a change in yourself or others.

I highly recommend reading Simply Happy.

Blessings, Rebecca

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About the Author

Amy Newmark was a writer, speaker, Wall Street analyst and business executive in the worlds of finance and telecommunications for thirty years. Today she is publisher, editor-in-chief and coauthor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. By curating and editing inspirational true stories from ordinary people who have had extraordinary experiences, Amy has kept the twenty-two-year-old Chicken Soup for the Soul brand fresh and relevant, and still part of the social zeitgeist.

Amy graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University where she majored in Portuguese and minored in French. She wrote her thesis about popular, spoken-word poetry in Brazil, which involved traveling throughout Brazil and meeting with poets and writers to collect their stories. She is delighted to have come full circle in her writing career — from collecting poetry “from the people” in Brazil as a twenty-year-old to, three decades later, collecting stories and poems “from the people” for Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Amy has a national syndicated newspaper column and is a frequent radio and TV guest, passing along the real-life lessons and useful tips she has picked up from reading and editing thousands of Chicken Soup for the Soul stories.

She and her husband are the proud parents of four grown children and in her limited spare time, Amy enjoys visiting them, hiking, and reading books that she did not have to edit.

Follow her on Twitter @amynewmark and @chickensoupsoul.

About the Book

Amy distills advice and wisdom from her life and more than 20,000 Chicken Soup for hte Soul stories into this crash course on how to be happy. You’ll be entertained, energized and enlightened as you read about:

  • using gratitude to change your relationships
  • easy time management tips
  • using the power of no to make time for what matters
  • making a habit of stepping outside your comfort zone
  • changing your life forever through forgiveness
  • six easy steps to reduce stress and keep it away
  • why you need to eliminate toxic people from your life
  • why you should strive for excellence but not perfection
  • and many more life-changing tips you can implement instantly

You already have all the tools you need to lead a happy life. They’re inside you, just waiting to be used.

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this book review. Just passing along a good read.

Question:  What makes you happy?

Things I Wish I Knew Book Review and Giveaway

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When I was approached to review Gary Chapman’s latest book Things I Wish I Known Before Becoming Parents, I jumped at the opportunity.  I love his work, especially The 5 Love Languages. Also, I am a contributing writer for Love is a Verb. Plus, his latest collaboration with Shannon Warden is a perfect topic for my parenting blog.

About the Authors

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Gary Chapman is a counselor, the best selling author of The 5 Love Languages series, and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. He travels the world presenting semi ars, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations.

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Shannon Warden is an assistant teaching professor at Wake Forest University where she teaches in the graduate counseling program. She is also the director of counseling and director of women’s ministries at Triad Baptist Church in Kernsville, North Carolina.

About the Book

Gary shares what he wishes he and his wife had known before having kids. For example, children affect your time, money, marriage – and that’s just the beginning. With his trademark warmth, he offers practical advice on everything from potty training to the importance of apologizing to your child to keeping your marriage strong…all the while celebrating the great joy that children bring.

Review

I really enjoyed reading their book; especially Chapter 9 The Social Skills are as Important as the Academic Skills.  I am a preschool teacher and we spend the majority of our time teaching our students how to share and to say “please” and “thank you.” Gary confirms its importance, and I reinforce this positive behavior in my own home with my tween and teen children.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read Things I Wish I Known Before We Became Parents as we’re giving away a FREE copy. I’d love to hear from other Moms and Dads seeking to raise their children with godly character. Simply comment below on what you wish you knew before becoming a parent. Your name will then be placed in a drawing.

On November 5, 2016, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than November 10, 2016. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s ddress (within the continental Unites Stated) provided.

Blessings, Rebecca

Guest Blog by Melissa Spoelstra & Book Review

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About the Author

Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and addicted to the study of His word. She holds a BA in Bible theology and is the author of Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness and Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World.  Melissa lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her Pastor husband and four children.

About the Book

In Total Family Makeover, Melissa gives parents a way to build family discipleship. She offers a clear path by focusing on eight key habits of growth.

Review

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Total Family Makeover.  Usually I read a book and think “Oh man, I need to implement X amount of steps.” However, after reading Melissa’s book, I felt relieved as the 8 simple steps we do as a family. So, for me, it was a confirmation to keep going, and I walked away encouraged.  I highly recommend you pick up a copy for your family.

Disclaimer : No compensation was received for this review; just passing along a good read.

Please welcome Melissa!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Your kids are not your report card

A children’s ministry leader motioned for me to come to the back from my seat during the church service one Sunday.  She asked if I knew the parents of a certain child and wanted me to help her locate them.  Their daughter had been scratched in the face by another three year old in class and she needed to inform the parents.  She didn’t know the details or which child was the scratcher.  When we arrived at the classroom, I discovered that it had been my daughter that had done the scratching.  After profusely apologizing to the couple, I packed up my kids and scooted home as quickly as possible.  If I was getting a mom grade that day, it felt like an “F”.

Another time I sat in a school assembly where they awarded the citizen of the year to only one third-grader in the entire school.  When my son was chosen, I beamed.  Arriving home after being congratulated many times over, I felt like I an “A” parent.  (At least until one of the twins threw a tantrum.)

It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing our kids as our grade cards.  God calls us to train them, not to exasperate them, and to lovingly discipline them.  So when they obey that must mean we are succeeding and when they disobey we’ve missed the mark.  Right?

Wrong.  God modeled perfect parenting.  He walked in the garden in close relationship with Adam and Eve.  He clearly laid out instructions about which tree was off limits.  His kids still disobeyed even when God loved them perfectly.  He continues to discipline, instruct, and walk with His children.  However, He doesn’t grade Himself with our successes and failures.

When we begin to use the behavior of our children as our measure as a parent we will find:

  • We pass judgment on others when their children struggle rather than encouraging and praying for them.
  • We yo-yo between pride when our children are compliant and shame in times of rebellion.
  • We envy the social media posts of academic, athletic, and other achievements of our friend’s kids.

So what does God expect from us in regards to the training of our children?  We want them to develop character qualities like obedience, self-control, courage, and kindness.  God calls us to train them. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

God calls us as parents to do all that we can to teach our children about Him so that He can work in their lives.  Their character must flow out of a heart dependent on Jesus.  Rather than focus on our grade in the moment, we need to seek to be faithful to lead our kids to know and love God over the long haul.  Some of the best times to do this come during our children’s bad behavior.  We can teach them about God’s discipline, His grace, and His Gospel through the ups and downs of their choices.

Some of the best ways to training we can give them is:

  • Modeling what we want them to become. (If we want them to read the Bible and pray, they should see us doing it.)
  • Clearly communicating expectations and consequences. (Getting down on eye level and using few words so they don’t get confused.)
  • Consistently enforcing consequences. (Even when it feels like it isn’t working in the moment, I’ve seen it work over a decade with patient consistency.)
  • Admitting our own failures and asking their forgiveness. (Even though we are their God-given authority, we are also sinners who don’t always get it right.)
  • Making God our parenting audience of One so we care more about what He thinks about our kids behavior than the watching world.

So when I’m concerned about a disrespectful tone or a bad test score, I’m not gonna embrace a parenting F for the day.  Instead, I’ll pray for perspective and persistence to keep loving and parenting with complete dependence on the Holy Spirit to guide me through.  If I’m not modeling, communicating, consistent, or humble, then I need to repent and ask God for help in making a change.  Once I rest that I am obeying God to love and discipline my child, I’ll leave the results up to Him.  Thankfully He calls me to be faithful to Him, not to produce perfect children.  While we are instructed to train them and lead them to Jesus, our kids are not our grade card.

What steps do you take to disciple your children?

A Buss From Lafayette Blog Tour

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BeachBoundbooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the middle grade/young adult novel A Buss From Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen from April 11 – May 2, 2016.

About the Book
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Title: A Buss From Lafayette
Author: Dorothea Jensen
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Historical Fiction
Recommended Ages: 10-17
Number of Pages: 266
Publisher: BQB Publishing
Publication Date: April 22, 2016
Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Clara Hargraves lives on a farm in Hopkinton, a small New Hampshire town, during the early 19th century. She has a couple of big problems. First of all, she has a stepmother, Priscilla, who used to be her spinster schoolteacher aunt. Clara resents that her late mother’s older sister has not only married her father but is about to have a baby. To make matters worse, “Prissy Priscilla” keeps trying to make the rambunctious, clever, and witty Clara act like a proper young lady. Secondly, Clara has red hair, making her a target for teasing by a handsome older boy, Dickon Weeks, and by her pretty seventeen-year-old Dread Cousin Hetty. Clara, however, has a secret plan he hopes will change this. During the last week of June, 1825, Clara’s town is abuzz because the famous General Lafayette is about to visit their state during his farewell tour of America. In those eventful seven days, Clara learns a lot about her family, Hetty, Dickon, herself, and about Lafayette. She comes to understand the huge and vital role the young French aristocrat played in America’s Revolutionary War and to see that her problems might not be quite so terrible after all.
About the Author
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Dorothea Jensen, born in Boston, Massachusetts, grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois. She majored in English literature at Carleton College. After teaching high-school English and serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil, she earned a master s degree in education at the University of New Mexico. In 1989, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich published Dorothea s novel for young readers about the American Revolution, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm. In addition to other honors, it was named an International Reading Association Teacher s Choices Selection and is read in classrooms throughout the U.S. A Buss from Lafayette is set in the small New Hampshire town where Dorothea lives. Two things inspired her to write this story. First, was learning that Lafayette passed right by her house during his 1824-5 Triumphal Tour. Another was meeting a woman whose ancestor received a kiss from Lafayette. That buss, passed down through generations, eventually came to Dorothea. This sparked her interest in Lafayette s contributions to our struggle for independence. Dorothea also enjoys writing rhyming verse.She has written a series of award-winning illustrated modern Christmas stories in verse featuring Santa’s Izzy Elves.

For more information about Dorothea and her books, please visit  http://www.dorotheajensen.com/
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Review
A Buss from Lafayette is a delightful historical fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed going back in time and reliving a bit old-fashioned American history. Dorothea’s story has a nice balance of history, suspense, scandal, twists, scenery, and memorable characters. I recommend her book for all ages as it is a good read.
Blog Tour Giveaway
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize,
winner’s choice
Giveaway ends: May 2, 11:59 pm, 2016
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE
PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through
the Rafflecopter widget on Beach Bound Books Promotions site and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will varydepending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Dorothea Jensen and is
hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional
questions– feel free to send and email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.
Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book tour. Just passing along a good read.
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Better Together Book Review & Giveaway

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Jill Savage is an author and international speaker who helps moms be the best they can be. As the Founder and CEO of Hearts at Home, Jill has led thousands of moms to keep their priorities straight and their heart in tune with God. A mother of five, Jill is passionate about strengthening families. Jill and her leadership team at Hearts at Home bring encouragement to over 10,000 moms a year with their annual conferences. She is the author of 10 books, including her upcoming release Better Together(Moody), No More Perfect Kids, No More Perfect Moms, Living With Less So Your Family Has More, Real Moms…Real Jesus, and co-authored a book I recently reviewed with Dr. Todd  Cartmell called 8 Simple Tools to Raising Great Kids.

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Her latest book, Better Together, explores the notion that women are not designed to mother alone. We are designed to mother in relationship with other women who understand what a mom’s life is like. We’re also designed to mother in relationship with the God who created us. This book encourages every mother to find her mothering community, a place where she can both give and receive support in the many forms moms need. Beyond encouraging moms to be in community, Better Together teaches how to build a tribe and what to do together once you have one, such as learn together, help together, care together, share together, pray together, forgive together, and encourage together.

I love Jill’s new book! It made me reflect on my own relationships and how I can build them up and make them stronger. I especially love the fact her daughter, Anne McClane, co-wrote the book! Better Together is sprinkled with sound biblical advice from creating to cultivating friendships. My favorite chapter is Variety Is The Spice of Life where you can  assess your personality traits to help you better understand your mothering and friendships. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Blessings, Rebecca

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review. Just passing along a good read.

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read Better Together as we’re giving away one FREE copy of each. We’d love to hear from other Moms or Dads are building healthy friendships. Simply tell us about one way you connect with others. Your name will then be placed in our drawing.

On May 2, 2016, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must live in the continental US and supply his/her mailing address to us no later than May 9, 2016. One Free copy of each will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address (Continental US only) provided.

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Guest Blog Soraya Diase Coffelt, Review & Giveaway

As winter is winding down, I wanted to share with you a delightful series of children’s books I read from a native of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Her name is Soraya Diase Coffelt. She has a diverse background. Her delightful children’s books share both historical and biblical truth about our traditions.

Soraya graduated from Cornell Law School and returned home, where she established her private law office and, with her late husband Gordon Coffelt, developed a variety of commercial businesses and properties, including One Stop, the island’s first gas stations and convenience stores. She was  appointed as a judge of the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands in 1993 and she was the first female and Hispanic from St. Thomas to serve as a judge.  While she served as a judge, Soraya developed and then oversaw the V. I.   Moot Court Competition, an annual interscholastic competition for high school seniors that was sponsored by the Court and the V. I. Bar Association in commemoration of Law Day.  The competition celebrated its 21st year of success in 2015 and hundreds of students have competed with many winning college scholarships.

In 2012, Soraya established a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation –  As the Stars of the Sky Foundation, Inc. – to assist with the physical and spiritual needs of children, and especially promoting literacy.  All the proceeds from the sale of her books go to the Foundation.

In 2014, Soraya became a published children’s author and now has three books in her “Love Letters” book series: It’s Not About You Mr. Santa Claus – A Love Letter About the True Meaning of Christmas; It’s Not About You Mr. Pumpkin – A Love Letter About the True Meaning of Halloween; and It’s Not About You Mrs. Turkey – A Love Letter About the True Meaning of Thanksgiving.  She has also been a lay children’s minister for over 15 years.

Soraya has two sons who were born and raised on St. Thomas: Zachary, who followed his mother’s footsteps and is a lawyer; and James, who will be attending medical school. 

She has also participated on mission trips providing food, medicine, clothing and other necessary items to people in need in Honduras and the Amazon River Region of Peru. She frequently helps feed homeless and hungry people in the U. S. Virgin Islands and whenever she travels.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for the review of her books. Just passing along good reads.

Please welcome Soraya. ..

Blessings, Rebecca

soraya

One of the Most Important Ways to Show a Child Love

Many parents believe that showering their children with gifts is an important way to show their love.  In other words, buy them something.  We buy all sorts of electronic devices to entertain them, many of which drain our pocket books.  We buy expensive shoes and clothing as well.  While it is true that physical gifts are one way to show our love, I believe that a more wonderful way is spending time with our children.  Our time is free as it does not cost us anything, is irreplaceable, and is of unlimited value.

If you haven’t noticed, our children are constantly seeking our attention.  With our two sons, my late husband and I had special times just for them – primarily early in the morning and at night as we were putting them to bed.  Both those times were dedicated to reading to them.  Often, our sons would pick out their favorite books to read (or have read to them).  Other times, we had a new one to read.  It may have been a book about dinosaurs, or Star Wars, or taking baths – it didn’t matter what the subject was.  What was important was that we made this reading time very special for each of them.  Notice how I used the word “made” the time, because unless you purposefully set aside the time to do this, something else will usually steal this time away from you and them.

We made reading time enjoyable too.  We laughed, we changed our voices, we tickled – whatever we could do as adults to help our sons feel special and want to read, we did.  In fact, I still have some of their favorite books as keepsakes and fondly remember those days!  My sons are now in their 20s.  When they get married and have children, I’ll be reading those same books to my grandchildren.

Speaking about grandchildren – grandparents have such important roles in their grandchildren’s lives and can have life-long influences on them.   As a grandparent, showing your grandchildren love also involves your time.  And what better way to spend your time with them than in activities that involve reading.  What do you know about your family tree and the countries from where family members came, including you?  Help your grandchildren learn about their roots.  One way is to visit the public library with them and research books about the different countries.  Perhaps you have old letters from family members laying around.  Read these to them and help them to understand what it was like when you were growing up.  They will soon develop an appreciation of where they came from and who they are related to.

With the internet, there is a plethora of information available of activities that involve reading.  The goal should be to spend the time and develop the love of reading in your children and grandchildren that will be with them their entire lives.

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read It’s Not About You Mr. Pumpkin, It’s Not About You Mr. Turkey and It’s Not about You Mr. Santa as we’re giving away one FREE copy of each. We’d love to hear from other Moms and Dads seeking to raise their sons and daughters with godly character. Simply tell us about how share God’s truth with your little ones. Your name will then be placed in our drawing.

On April 4, 2016, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must live in the continental US and supply his/her mailing address to us no later than April 11, 2016. One Free copy of each will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.

Jesus Helps Me Book Review & Giveaway

jesus

Jesus Helps Me by Callie Grant offers four levels of exploration: a quoted Bible passage (John 12:44-47), supporting captions that relate the passage to a child’s life, thinking questions to personalize the experience, and colorful, full-page photographs. Also included is a tip section for parents on how to use the book with a baby, toddler, and child. Jesus Helps Me is a Learn book in the well-received Learn, Absorb & Praise™ Collection, which makes personal Bible studies accessible to young children.

The book is a Learn book in the well-received Learn, Absorb & Praise™ Collection, which makes personal Bible studies accessible to young children. Alongside adults, the series helps kids build a foundation for faith and a lifelong friendship with Jesus.

The release of Jesus Helps Me coincides with launch of the re-designed of the Knowing My God series, which now features an updated look and expanded content. Additional products supporting the line will follow, including Jesus Inspires Me: An Enriching Activity & Coloring Book (May 2, 2016) and the Knowing My God Series Gift Set, a slipcased set featuring all four current series titles (Oct. 1, 2016).

Graham Blanchard Inc. is passionate about providing the highest quality books and resources to promote a love of learning about God, in addition to supporting families with prayer and the shared experiences of other parents.Their books are distributed by Ingram/Spring Arbor, STL and Anchor Distributors. For more information please visit www.grahamblanchard.com.

I read it upon receipt and it is a delightful board book for young children. It’s pictures pop with color. I love that it is chalked full of scripture you can instill in your kids and grandkids.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Blessings, Rebecca

Callie

When Callie Grant had her daughter, she struggled to find books for her that shared the heart and mind of Jesus, while still keeping her little one excited about the story. Grant, with an extensive background in writing and educational publishing, decided to make the books she wanted her child to read – books about who God is and how we are made to be with him. To do so, Grant founded Graham Blanchard Inc., a publishing company that creates books and resources to support the spiritual development of children and their families.

Graham Blanchard books have been well received by trade publications and more than 100 websites and blogs written by Christian parents. In spring 2017 Graham Blanchard is launching its first program for grownups, The Newborn Promise Project. This will be a book and class offered to expecting and new parents through churches and small groups, to prepare parents for spiritually nurturing their new child. The program follows the May 2015 release of an e-book for parents, Spiritual Parenting in the First Five Years: God’s Plan for Early Childhood Christian Discipleship.

Prior to founding Graham Blanchard, Grant worked as a consultant in marketing, public relations and educational publishing for clients like DK, Scholastic, and Ask Jeeves. Grant has a degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee with minors in business and political science. A job with GTE’s defense division took her from Washington D.C. to Silicon Valley, where she lived for two decades working in political, nonprofit, and corporate sectors before transitioning full time into the educational publishing industry.

Grant began working on a masters in theology, but was happily detoured when she discovered she was expecting a child. Callie, her husband Michael and their 12-year-old daughter now live in Austin, Texas. Grant is active in her church and community and loves experiencing Austin’s beautiful outdoors, but her favorite place to be is curled up next to her daughter reading books together. Grant hopes the books Graham Blanchard produces will inspire other families to get cozy and read together about the love of Christ. Their books are distributed by Ingram/Spring Arbor, STL and Anchor Distributors.

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read Jesus Helps Me as we’re giving away one FREE copy. We’d love to hear from other Moms and Dads seeking to raise their sons and daughters with godly character. Simply tell us about how Jesus helps you or your little ones. Your name will then be placed in our drawing.

On March 21, 2016, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must live in the continental US and supply his/her mailing address to us no later than March 28, 2016. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.