Monday, August 29, 2016

The More of Less by Joshua Becker


Don’t Settle for More

Most of us know we own too much stuff. We feel the weight and burden of our clutter, and we tire of cleaning and managing and organizing.

While excess consumption leads to bigger houses, faster cars, fancier technology, and cluttered homes, it never brings happiness. Rather, it results in a desire for more. It redirects our greatest passions to things that can never fulfill. And it distracts us from the very life we wish we were living.

Live a better life with less.

In The More of Less, Joshua Becker, helps you….

• recognize the life-giving benefits of owning less
• realize how all the stuff you own is keeping you from pursuing your dreams
• craft a personal, practical approach to decluttering your home and life
• experience the joys of generosity
• learn why the best part of minimalism isn’t a clean house, it’s a full life

The beauty of minimalism isn’t in what it takes away. It’s in what it gives.

Make Room in Your Life for What You Really Want

My Thoughts:

The More of Less is a great place to start if you're thinking about minimalism or are curious about what it is. It explains what it's all about and why it's a great lifestyle choice. It gives some general instructions and challenges, and shows some real life success stories. It lets us know that all journeys are different and don't compare one to another. I still remember one of the first books on minimalism I read being super rude and judgmental towards those that didn't share the same lifestyle as the author. That approach rarely works with anything! This book, on the other hand, does an amazing job of offering grace to those of us, like me, that are very much imperfect on this journey.

For myself, I used this book as a bit of extra encouragement. Really, I'm more of a minimalist wanna-be. I want a simple life, only full of the beautiful things God has given us to enjoy, like His Word and nature, and things that we need and/or love. I also want my house full of great books! I've struggled through my attempt at minimalism for years. I've gotten rid of tons of things and cleared out storage spaces, and life IS getting simpler, but I'm not where I want to be just yet. My biggest struggle is the books, and the fact that I want a cute house. When I get the chance to trade out necessary items for cute ones I like more(through review items, most often), I typically do it. ;) I do tend to pass on the older items in the process, in my defense. All of that said, we really have came a long, long way since I first started this journey. It's taken us much longer than I'd have liked, but it's not from lack of effort. This book was a great little nudge in the right direction.

Definitely grab this book if you're wanting some extra encouragement to make your life simpler, or are curious what minimalism is all about.

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

God Made You Just Right by Jill Roman Lord, with illustrations by Amy Wummer


A bright and cheerful reminder that God made each of us special and unique

Here is a message that every parent will want to share with his or her child: "You're brilliantly created and there s no one else like you!" With easy-to-understand descriptions and simple, rhyming text, Jill Roman Lord shares the message that God created each of us in just the right way in a manner that even the youngest child will understand. Bright and engaging illustrations from Amy Wummer pair perfectly with the text and enhance the appeal of the book. Ages 2-5.

My Thoughts:

God Made You Just Right is a sweet book for little ones!

It's so hard being young these days. Of course, it has always been hard, as I know too well from my younger years. It seems like the bullying and the judgements are getting worse and worse, though, and it makes me sad. Children are having a tougher time being comfortable with who God made them to be, and I'd be lying if I didn't say the same about myself. It's a struggle, and I'm grateful for simple books like this to remind us that God made us just the way we are.

I want my children to know that God is with them, and He knew what He was doing when they were formed the way they are. I want them to find comfort in that fact, and I want to find comfort in that fact myself. People HURT us, and instead of insulting myself or them insulting themselves over qualities about ourselves that can't be changed, I want us to turn to God, and thank Him for His marvelous design, even when it doesn't seem so marvelous. ;)

"You may not be like other kids-
that's not your job to do.

But no one else can do the job
of being you like you!"

Of course, this book is really a cheerful, sweet book, since it doesn't even mention bullying or anything negative, nor have I discussed any of that with my children(in connection with this particular book). I want reading it to quietly give them the strength to turn to God. It's also great for the littlest people to just learn about body parts, and would make a great book for reading, with breaks for tickles and cuddles. (The book does deal more with body parts than "quirky" traits, like my social anxiety. Also, depending on the child you're reading to, you might want to change the words a bit. The overall message still perfectly applies to every child, but if the child doesn't have use of his/her legs, then you might not want to read how God gave them super strong legs to run and kick and play. The same goes for the other parts mentioned within the book.)

I like the simplicity, yet also beauty of this book so much that I'm putting it in my "Bible Class" bag for the 2 and 3 year old class I help my mama with. (We rotate 3 months on, 3 off, so I haven't tried it with them just yet.) I have read it to my children, though, and they enjoyed it. The story is lovely, and so are the illustrations. It's a great little book to add to the reading line-up.

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.

NKJV American Woman's Bible: Women, Godly Virtues, and the Making of America


Discover how biblical virtues in the powerful words and actions of extraordinary American women past and present have shaped our blessed American way of life. By their examples you can develop the same strength of biblical character in your own life. Whether you are a daughter, a mother or a grandmother, you will find this Bible an encouraging and powerful companion for daily living.

Features include: * New King James Version * Theme articles show how biblical virtues have shaped our nation * Biographies of influential American women highlight key points of their lives * Inspirational quotes by or about great women, famous and not well known * Introductions to each book of the Bible * Essays about biblical virtues embodied in women during key chapters of America's story * Ribbon marker * Presentation page for gift-giving

Part of the Signature Series line of Thomas Nelson Bibles

The New King James Version® - More than 60 million copies

My Thoughts:

I've came a long way since my younger days when it comes to history. I never cared about it in school, and my interest in it has only really came into existence in the past few years. I was so incredibly ignorant of so much, and I've made a fool of myself. I still am and I still do, but I'm making great effort to learn as much about history as I can now. My new interest in history is what made this Bible irresistible. I was too curious to not take a look.

Though this probably goes without saying, the American Woman's Bible isn't one that I'd recommend for every day use. Something more simple is more appropriate for that. Honestly, I'd have loved to have seen all the pages and quotes concerning women from history in a separate book, but it is still enjoyable within this form. It never hurts to have Bible verses so handy, no matter what the study is!

Within this Bible, there are pages about various women throughout history and quotes from them. Ruth Bell Graham, Angelina Grimke, Dale Evans Rogers, Harriet Ross Tubman, and Evangeline Booth are just a few of the women spotlighted. For me, there is a great mix of women I already know about and women I'd never heard of, which is great! I loved that in the introduction, Richard Lee, the general editor, makes it clear that the women included aren't being added to God's Word. He acknowledges God's wisdom in choosing the women that He did to be within His Word, and these particular ladies have simply did great things for our country.

Now to cover some of the basics. While most all of the pages have a very mild/muted red, white, and blue color theme, there are pages included that are thicker and full colored. These sets come in 2 pages, front and back(so 4 pages total per set). These include photographs and illustrations. The regular pages are on the thicker side, for a Bible. The print is readable, so not tiny. I have the hardcover edition, which also has a dust cover. If you take the dust cover off, the same design is on the Bible itself, too.

This is a great Bible to take a look at if you'd like to learn about many of the great ladies throughout American history. I've enjoyed it!

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tyndale Rewards

Have you signed up with Tyndale Rewards yet? If you haven't, now is a perfect time! They have a few awesome Bibles as rewards in the line-up for the next few weeks. It's super easy to earn points, and if you sign up today, you'll probably earn enough points to go ahead and order a book or Bible or audio book today. I've already got lots of awesome stuff from them, including the Inspire Bible and a set of Adventures in Odyssey audios.

**If you use my link RIGHT HERE to sign up, you'll get 25 extra points(and I'll get 10), so even if you don't use my link, use someone's and get those extra points! ;)

Friday, August 5, 2016

Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C. Martin


Young children live with awe and wonder as their daily companions. But as they grow, worries often crowd out wonder. Knowing this, how can parents strengthen their kids’ love for the world so it sticks around for the long haul?

Thankfully, parents have at their fingertips a miracle vaccine—one that can boost their kids' immunity to the world’s distractions. Well-chosen stories connect us with others, even those on the other side of the globe. Build your kids’ lives on a story-solid foundation and you’ll give them armor to shield themselves from the world’s cynicism. You’ll give them confidence to persevere in the face of life’s conflicts. You’ll give them a reservoir of compassion that spills over into a lifetime of love in action.

Give Your Child the World features inspiring stories, practical suggestions, and carefully curated reading lists of the best children’s literature for each area of the globe. Reading lists are organized by region, country, and age range (ages 4-12). Each listing includes a brief description of the book, its themes, and any content of which parents should be aware.

Parents can introduce their children to the world from the comfort of home by simply opening a book together. Give Your Child the World is poised to become a bestselling family reading treasury that promotes literacy, develops a global perspective, and strengthens family bonds while increasing faith and compassion.

My Thoughts:

A book about books? How could I resist?! ;)

Anyone that truly knows me knows that I love books, and do everything I can to pass that love onto my children. I also want my children to have a heart for those around the world, and Give Your Child the World is perfect for helping that goal to become a success. It's too easy to get stuck in our own little worlds, with our own little opinions, but there's so much more out there, and so many more people out there that needs to touch our hearts. Getting on a plane to find that isn't always possible, so I greatly appreciate this book!

Give Your Child the World is mostly about books, but the author does start it all out with some advice on how to open our days to other parts of the world. It's all kept short and sweet, but it has been so very encouraging and useful to me. It has already inspired a change in our homeschool days that I'm excited about. Also, as a mama that highly values the teaching methods of Charlotte Mason(though we do our own things in many ways), I love that these books are twaddle-free suggestions. I wanted to hug Jamie(you know, if I was a hugging type of person) for her advice concerning twaddle, though. She tries to encourage grace in the world of twaddle. I've witnessed entirely too much rudeness in connection with it lately from other mamas. (Dr. Seuss? Twaddle! Roald Dahl? Twaddle! Your child watches Disney movies? That offends me!) It has all only verified that I will always, Lord willing, have a bit of twaddle on my shelves! Even if I cringe a little on the inside when I read that Peppa Pig book or that Paw Patrol book....AGAIN, I know my children love them, and they're getting way more of the good stuff, too, so I don't worry too much. Her grace based approach just made me smile and like her even more, but I do greatly appreciate that the books listed in here are quality literature.

The lists are given based on countries, and divided by age groups. The index in the back makes it really easy on us. You can search by author, country, book title, and even time period. After each book title, you'll get the author's and illustrator's name, if applicable, along with what country it's connected with. There's a brief description of the book, too.

This is an amazingly valuable tool for any family, and I can highly recommend it! It's one of those special books that will get lots of love and use from us, Lord willing.

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.