2 more books (and a magazine).

Monday, December 15, 2014

This past month, I added two more books to my 2014 reading. (To see what else I read in 2014, visit this post.) Both books, not coincidentally, dealt with parenting and both came highly recommended by trusted friends. With a two-year-old who is not at all "terrible" but who tests most boundaries placed in front of him, I was looking for theologically rich parenting advice.
So here's my candid review of each:
1. Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson ☆☆
If you've read any of my book reviews in the past, you know that I love anything Elyse Fitzpatrick writes. I started out really loving this one and marking page after page of insight. By the end, though, I guess I didn't really feel "dazzled" by the love of Jesus as the subtitle purports. I know that the point of this book is not to give a set of rules or how-to's for every given disciplinary situation, but I found that by the end, I was exhausted by the authors' method of bringing Jesus into every disciplinary discussion with your kids. Reading through the different behavioral situations and the script (to be used very loosely), the lengthy gospel explanations felt as though they might really turn my kids off to drawing near to Jesus. While I absolutely believe that there is nothing "good" in me or my kids apart from Jesus, repeating that over and over to them every time they sin felt overwhelming to me. I feel sure that this is not the author's intention - but it's how I felt by the end of the book; a little beaten down, to be honest. Perhaps when my kids are a little older, I'll pick it back up.

On a positive note, the reminder that salvation is of the Lord and does not come to my kids because I'm a great (or terrible) mother was incredibly refreshing. Despite my very best attempts, their lives and hearts are in His hands. What freeing news!

2.Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman  
I picked this one up just after finishing Give Them Grace and was so refreshed. There are no parenting how-to's in this one. No scripts to follow. Really no advice. Just a thorough soaking in the good news of Jesus Christ and the beautiful calling of motherhood.

"Choosing to nurture and sustain life through the giving of your body, your livelihood, and your future flies in the face of our worldly society. Whenever mothers choose to give of themselves, it is evidence of God's preserving grace in our fallen world." (p. 44)

This quote, in particular, stuck out to me because I've experienced so much in the past couple years that the world does not value mothers. Our culture can't make sense of why a woman would give up so much in order to nurture her children. But Jesus does, and this book was such a sweet reminder of how he cares for me as a mom. Highly recommend.

Lastly, I received my copy of Deeply Rooted Magazine in the mail a couple days ago and cannot wait to dive in! I feel so honored to be a contributing writer in this issue. This would make such a great Christmas gift, or even ordering digital copies of all 4 issues would be a sweet gift to yourself!


  1. My thoughts on "Give Them Grace" were very similar so it's nice to know I'm not alone! I love Elyse Fitzpatrick as well and overall took a lot of good thoughts from that book but the scripts did seem a bit much.

  2. I have read both of those books and couldn't agree more! I love how Furman says, "God aims to glorify himself through our family, and we get to be carried along by his grace." With a daughter and now two little boys, I have recently read "Praying for Boys" by McGlothlin... I have found it to be such a wonderful and applicable book to read!

  3. I read your article in Deeply Rooted and it was fantastic. Congratulations and cheers to many more.

    Much love!

  4. I was wondering something....you do such can awesome job at staying up with reading. And I'm pretty positive you're busier than I am ;) Do you have any practical tips to getting your reading in?

  5. I'm SO glad you shared your thoughts on Give Them Grace. I love Elise Fitz, but also had such a hard time and felt so beaten down at the end of this book. I don't want to gospel to become 'commonplace' to my kids' ears, so it was such a struggle reading through the passages with the scripts. Cannot wait to check out Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full! Thanks for the recommendation!

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