by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
I first saw this new member of the "Love and Respect" family while at a counseling conference. I knew then that I had to read this book! I am familiar with Love & Respect Ministries and have read the original "Love and Respect" which applies to marriage. I had high expectations for this book taylored to family life and I was not disappoitned!
Dr. Eggerichs comes alongside of parents to show them the crucial roles of love and respect when parenting our children. Dr. Eggerichs observes that children desire to feel loved by their parents above all else. He also affirms that parents desire to be respected by their children. Many of the problems between parent and child stem from one of these components missing in the relationship.
Dr. Eggerichs walks the reader through how this disconnect can put a family on what is callled "the crazy family cycle"! He encourages the parent to ask: 1) Is my child feeling unloved? 2) Am I feeling disrespected and 3) How will I parent God's way regardless? Dr. Eggerichs gently reminds parents that as the adults, we have the responsibility to approach our children with maturity. Once Dr. Eggerichs points out what the crazy family cycle looks like (and how it begins), he instructs the reader with how to replace it with an energizing cycle instead. He covers practical topics such as discipline, how to incorporate discipleship in parenting, praying for your children and gender appropriate parenting.
I loved this book! I immediately found myself implementing principles that I read about with my children. I greatly appreciate the transparency that the entire Eggerichs family shows through the pages. I love how the family agreed to use some of their own successes and failures to edify us all in the journey of parenting.
I would whole heartedly recommend this book for parents. I love that it can reach both the parent who is new to the Christian faith as well as those who have a long history of faith. Any parent will walk away feeling encouraged and equipped from reading this book!
*I received this book in exchange for my honest review as part of the BookLook Bloggers program. All opinions are entirely my own.
We strive to teach our children a number of character traits and values. There is nothing more rewarding then the moments we see that they get it, and in so doing, teach us as well! Two of these values are generosity and compassion. We want our children to see those hurting and in need and be moved with compassion like Jesus modeled to us in His time on earth. We try hard to model and teach our children what it means to manage your money and belongings well so that you are freed up to be generous.
I was deeply touched to see both of these values lived out in the last week with my 23 month old daughter (yes - even toddlers can grasp these concepts!).
Both of our children had received special helium baloons from their Grandma for Valentine's Day. At one point, Josiah came running out of his room in hysterics. He held a crumpled balloon in one hand. He tearfully explained that his balloon had gotten stuck in his ceiling fan and broke. Throughout his explanation, Ainsleigh stood next to him watching and listening. After Josiah finished telling his story, his little sister looked up at him and immediately handed her prized balloon to him. She then joyfully ran around the room cheering with excitement to be able to show compassion and generosity to her brother. It was very sweet and moving for me as a parent to witness. Ainsleigh did not hestiate. She did not stop herself out of selfishness. She did not regret her decision to be generous. She celebrated!
My 23 month old daughter ended up teaching me about compassion and generosity this week!
Raising Boys By Design by Gregory L Jantz and Michael Guiran is a must read for parents of boys! I know there are a lot of parenting books out there and among those several that pertain specifically to parenting boys. This book is in a category of it's own and worth picking up among the many choices out there.
Raising Boys By Design is written from two main perspectives based on the authors backgrounds and education. It emphasizes the neurobiology that contributes to your son's "boyness." It also emphasizes the Christian perspective of wanting to raise your son according to Biblical values. I personally have not found these two perspectives combined into one parenting book.
I was very enlightened by the chapter that explains the difference between the male brain and the female brain. It has really opened my eyes on how to best approach my son. I have greater understanding of what realistic expectations I should have with how I handle my son, communicate with him, and motivate him.
I particularly enjoyed the two chapters which delineate what a boy needs from a father and what a boy needs from a mother. I could see how this is already played out in my family's dynamics. I am able to better fulfill my role as a mother after seeing some of those traits labeled as unique to me as a mother.
A final unique benefit to this book is that it is up to date. Our sons face a culture of media everywhere they turn. I love that the authors take time to devote a chapter to how parents may best approach a son's use of media while having balance in their lives.
In conclusion - this is one of the best books I have read in a long time regarding parenting boys. I highly recommend picking up a copy to guide you as you face the task of raising your son!
*This book was provided to me by the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts in this review are my own!
I was very excited to hear about the release of Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll! We have greatly appreciated some of Mark Driscoll's previous writings. I was very eager to have an opportunity to hear from the combination of Mark and Grace together in this work.
I highly recommend having this book on your shelf! I was greatly edified by reading what the Driscoll's had to say about marriage. I also found myself being able to use this as a great tool to help others who came to me seeking help in their relationships and marriages.
I have read my fair share of marriage books (many written by pastors). Sometimes after reading this genre, the reader walks away feeling defeated and discouraged. How could you possibly every meet the standards of the perfect marriage presented in the pages? This is probably what I love most about Real Marriage! I was moved by the Driscoll's level of openness in the pages. They do not sugar coat relationship and marital issues. They present the raw honesty of what marriage between two sinners can look like. They share personal stories and lessons learned. This level of transparency left me encouraged and inspired. The Driscoll's manage to discuss delicate issues that many Christian books leave out all the while pointing the reader back to Biblical truths. I love that they are not afraid to tackle difficult topics with grace and truth.
I truly believe this book belongs in the library of all pastors and those providing marriage counseling. It is a resource you will use repeatedly - not to mention for your own personal edification!
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review as part of the Book Sneeze blogger review program. All opinions are my own.
I was so excited to have an opportunity to review Upside Down Prayers for Parents: Thirty-One Daring Devotions for Entrusting Your Child--and Yourself -- to God by Lisa Tawn Bergren. I had seen snippets of info about it on several websites I follow and was very interested in reading more!
Upside Down Prayers for Parents is a unique devotional book unlike any other I've seen. Each chapter focuses in on one specific prayer for your children. Bergren shares a short devotional from her personal life and parenting experiences, provides a theme scripture, and a written prayer. One of the hidden gems in this devotional is the discussion questions Bergren includes with each chapter. She provides a question to discuss with a younger child as well as an older child. This makes this devotional easy to apply whether you have young kids, older kids, or both!
My favorite part of this devotional book is that Bergren forces you to go outside of the traditional prayer mindset we can develop for our children. If you are looking for a book that focuses on superficial hopes and prayers for your kids such as - "keep them happy" and "never let them experience hurt" - then this is not the book for you. The emphasis on "daring" prayers in the book's subtitle is appropriate. I think another possible title could've been 31 Dangerous Prayers for Parents. Lisa Bergren takes a typical prayer we as parents often find ourselves praying and turns it upside down. I have to admit - I had to think twice and check my heart before actually praying some of these over my kids! Some examples of the prayers in this devotional are:
I pray you'll encounter battles - and find God is your greatest ally
I pray you'll know what it is to be lonely - and find intimacy with the One who is always beside you
I pray you'll be shattered - and allow God to build you up again
I pray you'll be farsighted - able to see where our God is leading us
See what I mean? Just rereading all these amazing prayers makes me want to reread the devotional all over again!
I highly recommend picking up a copy of Upside Down Prayers for Parents by Lisa Bergren. It will grow and challenge you personally as well as edify you as a parent. If you are searching for some deep meaningful ways to take your children before the Father, this is the perfect tool to help you!
**I received this book free as a part of the Blogging for Books program by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. The opinions stated above are 100% my own!
One comment that is repeated countless times when you become a parent is, "The time goes by so fast. Enjoy it!" I have not only found that this statement is true, but that I am now one of those repeating it to other parents!
It seems like just yesterday I brought home my first-born sweet and amazing baby boy. I blinked and last week he concluded Kindergarten! My children have taught me so much about living in the moment. My boss heard that Josiah's class would be having field day on the second to last day of school and she strongly encouraged me to take a few hours away from work to go. The deal was sealed when Josiah showed me the sweetest hopeful smile when I asked him if he would like me to come.
Last Wednesday, I hustled all morning to have my work caught up and went to Field Day for the afternoon. Josiah excitedly greeted me in the gym and being the extrovert he is, introduced me to all the kids in his group by name. Then we were off for a walk behind the school to the track! This was the moment that made the whole day worthwhile - Josiah grabbed my hand and held it the entire walk.
He held my hand.
My Mr. Independent since he was 1 year old...
My boy in front of all of his friends...
My active child who likes to run ahead rather than leisurely stroll...
Mr. Social Butterfly...
Yup - that one - he held my hand. *sigh*
I certainly didn't expect a reoccurence of these events on the walk back. I was pleasantly surprised when Josiah exclaimed, "Mom!" while holding his hand out for me to hold. Not only this, but seeing I was carrying a sweatshirt, he said, "Here Mom, hand me your sweatshirt to carry for you so you can hold my hand." So my little gentleman of a 6 year old carried my sweatshirt in one hand and willingly held my hand with his free hand. This is a moment I definitley lived in and will carry with me as long as I live!
He held my hand.
I've waited a long time to have a baby girl. One reason I was excited about a little girl is HAIR!!! This obssession only has grown in learning how to work with hair that is a very different texture than my own. It has become a hobby to seek out and find new hair products for my baby girl...and yes I spend more on her than I ever do for my own hair! I also love finding (and when there's time making) hair bows. This has lead to a containment problem. Hair accessories are everywhere! I searched for some ideas on pinterest and found the perfect DIY baby hair accessory holder! So, without further ado, here are the steps to make one for yourself...
Here are the supplies I started with: a basic picture frame, ribbon, spray paint, hooks, and decorative items such as buttons.
The first step is to measure for and screw in your hooks! I learned when searching for these at the craft store that they are called cup hooks. Makes total sense! I got out a tape measure and marked where to put these little guys in. One little tip that may help depending on your frame, is to go ahead and drill a small hole to get it started. After that, screwing these in is a piece of cake!
This is what it looks like when they are all in!
The next step is to spray paint the whole thing - hooks and all. Easy enough!
Isn't it so pretty already!?!
Next, you get out your selection of ribbon and decide on how you want to lay it out. I knew I would need a lot of space for all the clips and barrettes, so I decided on doing several rows of ribbon. If your are somewhat perfectionistic like myself, you may want to measure the spots where you will place the ribbon.
Now comes the real fun! Getting out your heavy duty stapler! Line up the ribbon (make sure it's facing the right direction!) and begin stapling until each ribbon is secure and taught!
This is what it should look like when you have all the ribbons stapled on.
You could just leave it as is, but I decided to add some little accents to mine. This was easy with the help of a hot glue gun, a wooden flower, and some pretty colored buttons.
Now you are ready to hang and attach/organize all your baby girl's hair accessories! I just love how it turned out!
I love how the color perfectly matches this pretty porcelain "February" birthday cake light!
One more close up for good measure (can you tell I'm proud?)...
Hope you found this step by step fun and helpful!
My head is spinning just thinking about the fact that our sweet little Ainsleigh Grace is already 11 months old! She will be one in less than a month - craziness! Her spunky personality becomes more obvious with each passing day. She is almost always happy. She is very people oriented like her big brother. She began "talking" just before Christmas and although she said "mama" first, "dada" is now her favorite word. She loves to bounce and is learning to stand independently. We just love her to pieces!
As you can see, Ainsleigh still loves her big brother. He can always make her smile! He loves her too and even told me so last week while we were playing in her room. *sigh*