Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Reviews

Summer is here and that means lazy days by the pool and cool evenings lounging outside! Well, maybe for the slim .0001% of you that does. Even though my summer isn't set to involve a nice tan and a lounge chair, I'm still aiming to keep my mind active by reading as much as I can. 

I've just finished the following books this month and thought I'd pass on some thoughts for you to consider if you're looking for a summer read.

The Five Love Languages of Children - Gary Chapman
From Christian Book Distributors: 

"Does your child speak a different language? Sometimes they wager for your attention, and other times they ignore you completely. Sometimes they are filled with gratitude and affection, and other times they seem totally indifferent. Attitude. Behavior. Development. Everything depends on the love relationship between you and your child. When children feel loved, they do their best. But how can you make sure your child feels loved? Since 1992, Dr. Gary Chapman's best-selling book The Five Love Languages has helped more than 300,000 couples develop stronger, more fulfilling relationships by teaching them to speak each others love language. Each child, too, expresses and receives love through one of five different communication styles. And your love language may be totally different from that of your child. While you are doing all you can to show your child love, he may be hearing it as something completely opposite. Discover your child's primary language and learn what you can do to effectively convey unconditional feelings of respect, affection, and commitment that will resonate in your child's emotions and behavior."

My Take:

I've read the original The Five Love Languages several times over the past 10 years and have found it valuable in helping me understand how to demonstrate love to the people I care about deeply. (Although, if I'm being honest, I'm still not entirely sure what my own love language is!)

Now that I'm a mom of three precious but "wow-I'm-tired-and-sometimes-frustrated-with-you" kids, I thought it was important to learn how to come to their level and show them, in specific ways that they resonate with, just how much I love them.

Each child is different and each love language requires a different approach. The thing is, I only have one shot at this whole parenting thing and I want to do it right. My number one goal is for them to know, love, and serve Jesus. After that, I want them to know that I love them unconditionally and am committed to showing them and telling them that each and every day.

If you too are a parent, this is a must-read.

Surrender: The Heart God Controls - Nancy Leigh DeMoss
From Christian Book Distributors: 

"If you've been fighting a losing spiritual battle, it's time to give up. Bow the knee. Wave the white flag. And turn yourself over to the King of kings. The truth is, your salvation,your initial 'surrender' to Christ,was just the starting point. You will never know real joy, real peace, real success until you learn what it means to live a fully surrendered life,to continually say 'no' to self and 'yes' to God.Choosing the pathway to full surrender will transform your perspective, set fire to your soul, revolutionize your life, and give the spiritual victory you have sought for so long."

My take: 

I worry about my husband. I'm nervous for my kids. I grip my calendar. In short, I seem to cling to things that aren't really even mine to begin with. I want control of what God has generously given to me on loan.
Page 34 - "... one of the megathemes that emerges repeatedly in Scripture is that our battles here on earth are merely a reflection of a cosmic war between the Kingdom of God and all other kingdoms. That is true whether we are talking about kids squabbling on a playground, embattled parents and teens, estranged mates in a divorce court, warring desires within our own hearts, power struggles in the church, or nations at war.
"This bigger war - the real war - begins in the opening pages of God's Word and continues unabated, gaining in intensity, almost to the final page. It is, in essence, a battle for control."
Surrender isn't a one-time act. It's not a do-it-and-I'm-done thing. Surrender is bits and pieces of my time, talent, and treasure every single day. 
Page 97 - "We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking a $1,000 bill and laying it on the table - 'Here's my life, Lord. I'm giving it all.'
"But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $1,000 for quarters. We go through life putting 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid's troubles instead of saying, 'Get lost.' Go to a committee meeting. Give up a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home.
Usually giving our life to Christ isn't glorious. It's done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at a time."
Carolina Cousins Series - Michael Phillips
From Christian Book Distributors:

"CAROLINA COUSINS: The Civil War may be over, but the dangers continue. Two southern women with big dreams work to keep the family plantation running after the Civil War with the help of two uncles and a group of former slaves who have become dear friends. Amid the challenges and struggles, the two young women find inner strength, deeper faith, the beauty of unlikely friendships.and maybe even love. Rich with the deep spiritual insights bestselling author Michael Phillips is known for, this new series is one you won't want to miss."

My take: 

It's no secret I don't generally read fiction. But, being in the mood for something that didn't require heavy thinking and something I could read in small spurts, this set was perfect. And besides, I really like American history. 

Really though, between you and me, I got caught up in actually thinking I was the lead character and found myself imagining what I would have said or what I would have done in various situations during the book. 

My, oh my, maybe fiction isn't that bad after all.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah-
    Someone gave me the Nancy Leigh Demoss book in a series...Brokenness, Surrender, Holiness. Seriously one of the hardest but best books I've ever read...hard b/c it was so convicting!!! Soooo good!