Friday, August 12, 2022

3 new Christian children's books

The Dreamkeeper's Saga, book 2: The Prince and the Blight by Kathryn Butler*... I liked the first book of this series but I loved this one! This is where the rich gospel allegory really comes alive and starts to shine. At the same time, because of the allegorical nature, it also just reads like a good high fantasy novel that'll still interest and excite secular readers or Christian kids who are reluctant to try Christian fiction. This middle grade novel is ideal for those in the late Elementary School to Middle School range.

Stay This Way Forever by Linsey Davis... I love this precious book in which a mama is telling her children about all of the beautiful things that God has placed in the hearts of children, like childlike wonder and curiosity, and is telling her child to hold on to those things as they grow older or to stay this way forever. This book is so sweet and touching and I also really enjoyed the illustrations. I actually got this for $1 recently and I couldn't believe it! This is ideal for children agrees 3-7. 

You Can Shine So Bright by Jinger and Jeremy Cuomo*... This picture book is by Jinger Duggar and her husband. It's about the fruits of the spirit and I love the description and examples used to pain a picture for little ones. This is ideal for children agrees 3-7. 

* I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Lovable and loved


I was excited about this book (Mother by the Book by Jennifer Pepito) because it combines two of my favorite elements of life- motherhood + the literary world. Perfect! 

I know what the subtitle and back cover copy say but I still went into this book anticipating a collection of fresh-faced essays about read-alouds being so fun, a mama telling her children what wisdom they could glean from each story, and of course a few lists of favorite books for a specific subject. 

Instead I am being met with SO MUCH MORE. 

I'm not very far into this book yet at all but I am already seeing my heart and mind opened in so many beautiful ways. 

I, like so many people, have long struggled with feelings of being unloved. So many times I've been crushed, feeling like I love and care about a friend far more than she loves or cares about me. I'll feel like a person only sees one small portion of me and doesn't seem to be interested in getting to know the rest of me, or even like they're intentionally ignoring a portion of me because they don't like that part of me. I'm currently struggling with this in one specific relationship in my life and I read something this morning that was so powerful and was exactly what I needed to read! 

"When our core belief that we are unloved manifests, it causes us to drive people away, confirming that we are unloved. Our fearful behavior causes a tumultuous cycle of craziness that makes us alternately hard and needy as we try to grasp love." 

Gosh, yes. 

But then... 

"When you know you are loved, when you have overcome the fear that you aren't beloved, then you can love your children with the pure, joyful love of Jesus. You can be a safe place for them, and in the warmth of your love, they too can overcome fear." 

Maybe that one relationship will never be what I want it to be. It's pretty possible that I really do love and care about that person far more than they love and care about me. But that doesn't change how lovable I am. I was hand-designed on purpose by a God who loves me exactly as I am, who made me this way on purpose because He thought this would be a great way for a human to come together! 

I am lovable and I am loved. Regardless of, no matter what, always and forever. I can rest in that truth and use it to share that pure and joyful love with my children (and husband!) instead of dwelling on the sting of words said or unsaid from another. 

This is why I read. Somewhere deep inside me already knows this, logically. But I get distracted by a sink full of dishes and a hamper full of laundry, by an unexpected bill in the mail and a hole in somebody's favorite jeans, by a long to-do list and a missed call all mixed up with homeschool and dinner prep work and a few things I'd like to do just for fun. 

Sometimes our souls need to be reminded of a truth we've forgotten we know: I am lovable. I am loved. 

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Six great books that talk about cancer

The Baxter Family books by Karen Kingsbury (Contemporary Christian fiction) ... I always try to warn that this series isn't for everyone even though its an absolute favorite of mine so far. It can be very intense and emotional at times, heartwarming and joyful at other times. 

Beyond by Amber Van Linge (contemporary Christian fiction) ... This is a miracle story about a young teenage girl with a brain tumor and I loved getting to know her. The paragraphs are not set up in a traditional format but I didn't feel that it detracted from the story. 

The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip (Christian timeslip)* ... I just had the pleasure of reading this new release and I can't recommend it enough! Mrs. Kid's faith is such a beautiful thing to behold and the relationship she and Aidyn develop is so heartwarming. The bulk of the contemporary storyline takes place in Mrs. Kip's hospice home and the flashbacks show us the story of her life, mostly during the 1970s. 

The Hardest Peace (Christian nonfiction) ... This memoir was written by a wife and mother with terminal cancer. It was just as moving as it was painful. This is a HARD book to read but it was also a richly rewarding treasure trove for me. 

Strands of Truth (Christian suspense) ... This suspense/thriller was not focused on cancer- The main character finds her biological family through a DNA testing site and then finds many of the people in her life turning up dead, going missing, or dealing with mysterious circumstances that need to be uncovered- but you do see a supporting character going through cancer treatment. 

Undone by Michele Cushatt (Christian nonfiction) ... The author of this memoir shares a lot of her life but a big part is her tongue cancer story. I got so much out of this book! 

* I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, August 1, 2022

Bookish links, August 2022

A Buzzfeed quiz for bookworms... Which famous literary heroine are you? (I'm the second Mrs. DeWinter from Rebecca?!) 

This pretty bookshop puzzle 😍 

How these Christian fiction authors celebrate the completion of a novel 

4 tips for creating a realistic writing rhythm 

A few Christian fiction books with teacher main characters in honor of back-to-school month: Before I Called You Mine // The Dead Don't Dance // The Edge of Belonging // The Moonlight School 

So many great books on Tyndale's list of WWII fiction delights! 

13 scientifically-proven reasons you should read more books 

An easy guide to poetic terms 

I'm not much of a jewelry-wearer (and don't actually have pierced ears anymore!) But I can still appreciate when other people wear cute bookish jewelry 

I think I might be reading A Thousand Tomorrows soon so I can dive into the TV version on Pureflix when it's ready! 

Currently reading: Acts in my Bible // Irena's Children // The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip