Book Review & Recommendation, When Parenting isn’t Perfect

When Parenting isn’t Perfect

By Jim Daly

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Well if your a Focus on the Family listener then you know anything by Jim Daly is a sure win!  His encouraging spirit come out once again in this great book about God filling the gap.

We are not going to be perfect 100% of the time and Jim gives us permission to let that worry go.  To shake off the pride and allow our feet to touch the ground.  He says its going to be ok, just keep loving your kids and working as a team with your spouse and pray.

I was encouraged to let go of the illusion that you an control your kids and instead focus on guiding them and teaching them to understand responsibility.  They have minds and a will of their own and your needs for control over who your kids will become or how they behave can’t get in the way of Grace.  Keep building a foundation of acceptance and love and lots of grace and do overs.  For both parents and kids.

I will read it again once my kids are per-teens.  It was bit other ahead of where I am right now but gave me lots of good things to chew on as I lay the foundation for years to come.

Completely recommend this book!  Especially for those of you with teens and tweens!  Its a great call to let go of your worries as far as the statue quo is concerned.  That just because conditions might not be perfect in your life you can still be a great parent.  Wether you feel your limitations, to fully bless your child is because of a lack of funds, time, energy, wholeness in your marriage, what ever your sad story might be…  God is still working out His good will for your children through you, or despite of you.

Super Book, Read it!!

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Book Review & Recommendation: the Unhurried Homeschooler

The Unhurried Homeschooler                                                                                                             By. Durenda Wilson

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I will admit the first couple of pages didn’t impress me.  I kinda thought this woman must ware a head covering and not have much value in her children pursuing post-secondary education…

But then as I continued I realized that her philosophy was really everything I have been holding onto as my mantra.  Just what we all cling to when our baby docent crawl or talk right when their tiny peers start to.  We tell ourselves that every baby develops at its own rate and thats just fine.

So Durenda remains us, that just because its time to start school the standard dose not suddenly change.  Your kids have their own unique learning trajectory.  As moms and home educators we can’t lose sight of that.  So don’t get in a hurry to race through to the end.  It will come in due time.

She shared how her family starts those early elementary years focusing on the basics and focusing on the responsibilities of life as a contributing member of the family.  So that her kids can grow to be contributing members of society weather they pursue higher education or not. (FYI, her grown kids are in collage now so I totally read her all wrong)

I loved this book in the end and have been added her suggestion to my families schedule and sequence already. I see my kids embracing their new structure and responsibilities in our home as students of home life and home school as well!

Its a super short and easy read and one I will re-read to be reminded of why I wanted to homeschool in the first place.  To avoid the pressure to press through the little years before they are ready to really glean what they need for the years to come.

Book Review & Recommendation: The Life Giving Home By Sally & Sarah Clarkson

The Life Giving Home                                                                                                                       By. Sally & Sarah Clarkson

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Written by 2 woman, deeply committed to the home!  I love the input by both mother and daughter and also that they broke the chapters into months.  That totally made sense to me.  It just felt like a woman’s brain, figuring out how to break down, into manageable chunks, all the things we long to create and celebrate in our homes throughout the year.

Lots of creative ideas of celebration of home and the importance of family.  The reminder that you can’t just expect your family to bond as a loving committed unit.  You need to put your heart and hands into breathing life into our home to weave the love and traditions and intention into you long to see in your family.

Super inspiring with out making me feel like I’m out of my depth.  Nothing seemed too hard or elaborate to me.  Just little nudges towards inspiration and intention with my hubby and children.

A great read for the mom who is looking for ideas to bring life into her home!

I listend to a audio version wile I did house work and cooked.  But also purchased a hard copy so I can go through and hi-light the specific traditions and ideas that stood out to me.  That way I can find them with the flip of a page when Im ready to implement a little magic into each season of the year, and each celebration of our family life!

Book review: Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace By. Sarah Mackenzie

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What an encouraging read! A weight has been lifted, Sarah reminds us that Gods has got this.  He has prevision even for my little home-school.  She wrights with grace and humility and gentle words, that we are not what is going to determine our children destiny.  That is Christ and we are to simply bring our gifts of love and offerings of time.  God will fill the gaps so we can stop stressing about or failings and get to the fun of teaching with peace and prayer in our hearts.

If you are normal, and worry if you have anouf to fulfill this huge task of schooling from home, then you must read this book.  I feel 10 pounds lighter having been reminded to leave my expectations at the foot of the greatest teacher of all time.  I am reminded that He loves my kids even more them I do.  So in the spaces that I struggle to fill, He is there with prevision and love and I am not alone.

This task of homeschooling is not mine alone but Christ has given me all I need and He will do the rest.

Teaching From Rest is a short book packed with so much encouragement right from the life of Christ.  Pick up a copy and read it before you lose one more night of sleep over all the things that steal your rest.  You will be blessed and so will your kiddies!

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Also Check out Sarah Mackenzie’s Blog and Join the Read-Aloud-Revival.  You will find lots of great encouragement and ideas to add to your homeschool! https://amongstlovelythings.com

Book Review: Loving the Little Years by. Rachel Jankovic

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This is the perfect gift for any mom with littles at home!!  It is super short, so if you are a mom with kiddies running underfoot, there is a real chance you might actually get through it.  More a collection short essays, each chapter was packed full of tips, tricks and wise Godly encouragement for moms in the trenches!

I just finished it and have already tried out a few of her ideas and can see my kids responding to the conversation we are having around the topics of discipline, kindness, and controlling our emotions.  I plan to read it again right away. Thats how much great information was packing in this perfectly concise book for moms like you and me!

If you are a mom of littles or if you know a mom buy this book. It is a game changer!!  She is real about the struggle but firm about the rooting in faith it requires to do this mom thing with grace and calm.  I felt like the whole vibe of the book was a deep cleansing breath and my mind is more clear to deal with the sour cream that secretly got dipped into in the fridge door, or the planters that seem to keep up rooting themselves.

Whether is a sibling squabble, or my own ridiculous expectations of myself. Rachel has a wise word of calm, to move past each little rain shower, so you don’t get left standing out in a thunder storm.  She knows how you feel, right around 4:40 when your trying to get dinner on the go, your pre schooler wants to take on a complex art project and the baby is boy-cotting wearing a diaper.  This stuff works and Rachel has your back!

Book Review: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

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Amazing!!!  Will read it again for sure.  Or I should clarify; listen to it again.

This book spoke my heart and soul, and everything I long to offer my children.  It took me back to my own childhood and my dad first fostering that relationship with the forest near our house.  He would take my brother and I on magical outings to adventure playgrounds and picking berries on the edges of farmers fields.  We would fill buckets and our bellies and mom would bake pies from our spoils!

We would walk along the Fraser River and throw handfuls of tiny rocks, for what felt like hours. Mesmerized by the sparkle it would make on the water.  I was given great freedom to ride my horse up behind our hobby farm where I would often see black bears and deer.  I had a view of the whole valley and could watch summer storms coming from miles away.

The little girl down the road and I spent hours “down the gully” at the end out our country road.  Clambering down the sandy banks into a whole different world of sun filter light, streaming through the trees. We would carry our shoes and cross the creek till we found our latest hid out and would build forts and have hours of unsupervised play wile we swatted bugs and collected rocks.  Later in life we would be each others back packing partners as we hiked the “West Coast Trail” and even up to Alaska to climb the “Golden Staircase”.

My work has taken me into some wild mountains and my farming roots have kept me close to the Land and the Dirt we have come from.

Who would I be without my connection to Nature and the Creator who has meant for me to dwell within it?

Richard Louv, (though not speaking from a Specifically Christian Perspective) Is asking that very question.

“What will happen to future generations and to the environment if we as parents fail to foster a love for the natural world in our Childerns hearts and minds?”

Time in nature is deeply important to Child development and Richard give essay upon essay as to how and why we need to be allowing our children to explore, experience, touch, see, smell, and play in nature.

I Love this book!!! I would recommend it to anyone looking for encouragement to get their kids out in nature. Or if you are looking for some practical advice on how to do that, in our ever changing world, where cation is king.  It affirms everything I was already feeling in my heart.  I purchased it on audio and would suggest that, as some portions were slightly dry.  (only because they didn’t really address the life stage I am in currently)  But still beneficial to listen to wile I cooked supper or washed the floors.

Seriously get this book and get your kids outside!! They will push their own limits and lear there own capabilitite and limitation.  It will stimulate their senses and help them to understand their value as a first fruit of Gods creation.

To be Spiritual is to be Amazed, and to be in Nature is amazing.  I always feel close to my Creator when I connect with His creation and it is my prayer that I will be able to offer that same opportunity to my children as well. This book gave me great advice, as to how I can put this dream into action!

Book Review & Recommendation

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Present over Perfect By. Shauna Niequist

A wonderful collection of short essays about simplifying life, with the intention of returning to your roots.  Rediscover the woman you were when life was simple and your passions were building and your vision was clear.  The woman who knew what she was doing for her future and for the kingdom of God.

It was a easy ready and felt refreshing like a morning breeze off a cool lake.  It felt uplifting and relevant, as Shauna bore all. in her confession of seeking worthing in pleasing others and struggling to balance love, life, work and motherhood.

Shauna is a city dweller with a metro pace to getting life done.  I can’t relate to the hustle of the city or the push of book deadlines.  I don’t have a consuming job outside the home. But what spoke to me was the “need to be perceived as the girl who could always come through for you”  Im a “get S*** done” kinda girl myself.  I hate to say no, and easily over commit myself.  With the best of intentions that cause my little family to receive the leftover and rung out portions of me.

It is a encouragement to declutter your priorities, in your heart first, and then your mind. So you can get to making space in your marriage, your home, your job, and your friendship to connect with the further you may have lost track of. Somewhere along the way in the business of reaching for our dreams we can push what we really are longing for aside in the hustle to walk through all the open doors and even some closed ones.

Shauna extends a invitation to look honestly at all your hard work and really consider what your saying yes to.  Because every yes has a resounding no somewhere in your life.  Its a chance to chase the Dreams of your Youth, wile retaining the maturity of your present outlook.  Just clearing away the clutter and breathing deep.

Because frantic isn’t on the menu.  Its to be Present with the people in your now, so they can see your hope for the future.

If “balancing your priorities” or “enjoying the moment” is a struggle for you.  If you worry “you are missing your best years with the business of life”. Then I recommend Present over Perfect!