Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Mother Letters

Image result for the mother letters

Sometimes motherhood can be really isolating. Especially when you first became a mom. Suddenly life is completely different than friends who didn't have kids. Life is blow-out diapers, trying to cut paper-thin fingernails and middle of the night feedings. If, by some miracle, you find nice mom friends it can be hard to find time to be together. You can't leave the house because somebody is sick, you can barely start a conversation because somebody is crying or needs to potty. It starts to feel like you're the only one with all these insane problems. Sometimes what you really need to know is that you're not alone.

The Mother Letters is a compilation of letters from numerous mamas that encourage and uplift. It is one big book of "me to." The book began as a project taken upon by Seth Haines for his wife Amber. He noticed the need for encouragement in his wife's life after having three babies in three years. He collected letters from moms all over the world to present to her as a gift. Later they chose some of those very letters to be included in the book.

Each letter is just a few pages, making it easy reading even in the busiest times. I have enjoyed picking it up every so often and reading the letters slowly. Because of the variety of authors there are many different writing styles, family situations and struggles. I think that the book holds encouragement for any mom. There is a lot of wisdom contained with the pages of this book!

If I could say anything to the other moms out there it would be this--
Dear mother, you will never feel like you are doing enough. Somebody is always going to want more, one more story, one more snack, one more trip to the potty, one more sip of water. You can stretch yourself thin and then thinner. You can give in and give all you have, but somebody is always going to need more. 
And it will leave you feeling like you are not mom enough. Not wife enough. 
And in the end sometimes you're not.
But you have a God who is big enough.
He can handle your cares and your problems. He can give you the strength for the day and a hope for tomorrow. He can give you a peace about the things you cannot do and the ability to do the rest.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”Mathew 11 28-30

received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.     

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Baby Wren and the Great Gift

Sally Lloyd-Jones is one of my absolute favorite children's book authors. She is the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible, a beloved book in our home. I was very excited to see her new release, Baby Wren and the Great Gift. This book did not disappoint and has quickly become a favorite of mine and the kids.

Baby wren lives high in a canyon. She watches the marvelous things that the other animals do and wonders, why can't I do that? Baby wren just isn't sure that she can do anything special. Then, inspired by a beautiful sunset she sings a song of thankfulness and finds her own special talent.

The first time I read this book, the page where she sees the sunset that inspires her song made me a almost tear up.

"and what she saw couldn't fit inside her
it bumped into her heart
it dazzled her eyes
it pushed on her throat
the tiny trembling bird
with all her might
by herself
a song."

Have you ever looked at a sunset, or the ocean or something in creation and just been totally at a loss? It really does bump into your heart and push on your throat and makes you cry "thank you Jesus!" Our family loves to hike into this little valley in the mountains. Every time we leave the dense forest and step out high above the beautiful valley it just reminds me again what an amazing creator we have.

Anyways, back to the book. The message here may not be super clear to young children the first read through. It isn't a story that hits you over the head with it's meaning. Personally, I appreciate that about the book. It might take some parental guidance to connect the dots here- baby wren had her own special talent, a special gift that God gave her- just like you were made special and designed with a purpose by God. This is not beyond my five-year old. In fact, we enjoyed talking about some of the ways God made him special and different.

The book is written in such a lyrical way that it is a pleasure to read. The illustrations are really special and fit the book perfectly. They were done by the talented Jen Corace. The book is really lovely just to look at and I often find my children doing just that. I love spotting them cozy in a chair dreaming away while they take in the details of a beautiful book.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.