Wife, Mummy, Nurse: October 2016

31 October 2016

40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood #Book #Review

One of my favorite activities is to color in coloring books with my daughter, but I get tired of coloring in her Minions, Star Wars, and Sofia coloring books. Thankfully with the popularity of adult coloring books, I am often found coloring in mama's coloring book, while she colors in her coloring book. One recent coloring book I have been using is Sarah Humphrey's 40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood: Devotions and Coloring Book to Nourish Mom.
Nourishment for a mother's soul through 40 days of devotion and . . . doodling!
Wouldn't it be marvelous if mothering came with a concrete set of instructions---an easy recipe we could follow? Instead, motherhood challenges women to find their faith, their true selves, and their family through daily doses of trial and error. It is a brilliant and healing time of life that is full of joy, pain, and beauty with a small side of crisis (and humor). What mothers do not know, they learn. And through this lifelong process of learning, they nurture and care for the most precious gifts on earth: children. In a modern society where moms often have a full and busy plate, these 10 minute daily devotions focus on six key topics of motherhood:
-Self-acceptance-Self-care-Reconciling with grief, hope and expectations-Generosity-Presence-Forgiveness 
In addition to the devotions, these beautiful pages are adorned with handmade illustrations to help you refresh from long days or even occasional sleepless nights. So, grab your colors and a little quiet time for yourself while doodling at the kitchen table. You will be grateful you did!

My thoughts:
I was not too impressed with this book for two reasons.

1. It did not have a lot of meat in it. Yes, motherhood is tiring, but even when I've been in the stage of having a newborn, I appreciated having an intelligent conversation that did not only dwell on the fact of how tired I was. I also found myself disagreeing with some of the things in this "devotional" (read self help book). For example, "It is important to find the meaning of their names (husband/children) because this will show us how to encourage them, build them up, and feed them the best soul food" (p. 10). Really? We should be teaching our family of their identity in relation to Christ, not themselves. They are made in God's image. They are sinners, in need of God's grace. The idea that they will have obstacles in their lives because it goes against their name is hogwash.

Even if my daughter's name meant something completely different than Grace, she would still have the same sin patterns in her life. The name we give them is a name that an fallible human has given them.

Remind them that they are under the care of an all-seeing and all-knowing God. The only way I can I can feed them the best soul food is to know the meaning of their names. I'm sorry. How about reading the Word of God to them? Praying with and for them? Singing the Psalms? Listening to sermons? Having family worship? There are many more practical ways to show them their identity. Remind them of their place. They are a child of God.  There were more points that just left me shaking my head thinking, "Do not recommend this duhvotional.".

2. The pages were thin and my gel pens, markers, and sharpies often bled through the pages. Most adult coloring books have thicker pages, but the quality on this book was not great.
They only thing I liked about this book were the doodles; I was able to color in pages quickly in one sitting. 

In the end, I cannot and will not recommend this book.

I was sent a copy of 40 days to a joyful motherhood for the purpose of review
All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.

27 October 2016

Parenting #Book #Review

As soon as a woman announces that she is expecting a child, she is inundated with book suggestions. There are a plethora of parenting books ranging from What to Expect When Expecting books to Screamfree Parenting, but most of these books miss the Gospel. Parenting: 14 Gospel principles that can radically change your life by Paul David Tripp is like a breath of fresh air.

In the midst of moving after a husband starts a new job (which has been my life the last 8 weeks), folding laundry, and breaking up fights, many parents get lost. Feeling pressure to do everything “right” and raise up “good” children, it’s easy to lose sight of our ultimate purpose as parents in the quest for practical tips and guaranteed formulas.

In this life-giving book, Paul Tripp offers parents much more than a to-do list. Instead, he presents us with a big-picture view of God’s plan for us as parents. In an age where most parenting books are how to oriented (do ABC in order to get XYZ), Tripp emphasizes Gospel principles found in the Bible. Outlining fourteen foundational principles centered on the gospel, he shows that we need more than the latest parenting strategy or list of techniques. Rather, we need the rescuing grace of God—grace that has the power to shape how we view everything we do as parents. Freed from the burden of trying to manufacture life-change in our children’s hearts, we can embrace a grand perspective of parenting overflowing with vision, purpose, and joy.

My thoughts:  
I love this book. It is a breath of fresh air. So what are these 14 principles? Calling. Grace. Law. Inability. Identity. Process. Lost. Authority. Foolishness. Character. False Gods. Control. Rest. Mercy.

I will briefly write a few thoughts on my favorite chapter-Chapter 11: False Gods. (Because of Barb and Iain Duguid's Bible study and teaching, a little over 9 years ago I realized how I am guilty of worshiping things above God. So anytime I read in a book about how we are idol worshipers, I say, "Yes, I am. There are far too many times I prefer peace and comfort over God.") 

The principle behind this chapter is that I am "parenting a worshiper, so it's important to remember that what rules your child's heart will control his behavior." Tripp tells us that every parent needs to ask 3 questions: 1. Why do my children do the things they do? 2. How does change take place in children's hearts and lives? 3. How can I be a tool of change in the hearts and lives of my children? Every single thing that my child has said and done is rooted in worship. This longing in my children's hearts to worship is meant to drive them to God. God has given me the job of teaching and warning my children of their sin and God's salvation, of being an example, of disciplining and correcting, but I have no ability to deliver my two children from the natural idolatry in their hearts. My only hope for my children is in the grace of Jesus Christ. This does not mean that I am to wash my hands and give up; I am still obligated to teach and admonish them, as well as be honest with our own struggles. We are to model repentance and forgiveness. I am to examine myself-my heart and desires for idols. Have you gone to your child and asked his or her forgiveness for preferring ease, so you yelled at them? Do your children see you make excuses for actions? 

Great news!!! You have an opportunity to win this book for yourself. Just enter via Giveaway tools below.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

26 October 2016

Life Creative #Book #Review

Since I was a little girl, I loved creating with yarn, fabric, and words, but as I furthered my education, especially in high school and college, the creativity took a back burner to reading books and studying. I never forgot the love of creating. When I stopped working full time night shift when I was 9 months pregnant, I was looking for something to do. My knitting needles were once again picked up, and I was determined to: learn how to knit in a round and knit something more than a scarf. My daughter's first clothing item was completed about 2 days after my due date. My friends and acquaintances know how much I love to knit, and I am frequently asked or told, "How do you do it? I wish I had time for that." When I announced my pregnancy with my son, I was often told, "You won't be able to knit as much."

Is there room for creativity and children in a mother's life? Learn how to balance home, art, and family in Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart's new book, Life Creative. In this Pinterest age of handcrafted children’s parties, Instagram photos of beautifully decorated homes, and blogs filled with poetry and prose, it is clear that we are in the midst of a brand new artistic renaissance. Life Creative paints the stories of moms, just like you, who are fitting their inspired lives into the everyday, ordinary places of motherhood.

Join Wendy, Kelli, and other moms in celebrating the beauty of being a creative mom by entering to win the Called to Be Creative Giveaway (details below) and by attending their author chat party on October 27!


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking HERE

But hurry, the giveaway ends on 10/27. The winner will be announced at the Life Creative Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Wendy, Kelli, and other creative moms, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

My thoughts on Life Creative:

Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart write, "Every mom was created creative." It looks different with each mom. Some moms are gifted with paints and pastels, but others are able to created accessories and clothes with yarn or fabric. Other mothers are able to place vegetables into their toddler's meals so their child actually eats the meal. Others are able to decorate their homes without any difficulty.

Life Creative emphasizes the home. "Home is where everything starts." I need to make sure that my children's needs are met. I appreciate the authors' honesty when they write that sometimes our blessed little captors (AKA children) sometimes make mothers feel as if they are confined to home. This is often how I felt last year when we went from having 2 vehicles to 1, with a husband working on his dissertation. Thankfully this year I don't feel the confinement as much as last year. By being confined at home, God shows me that I am to be teaching my children (by God's grace) to become His disciples. I wish this book was written last year. It's great for the mother who is feeling stifled, especially the mother who has young children at home.

What if your creativity has taken a hiatus? Wendy and Kelli recommend journaling. Briefly jot down your ideas, so when you're able to be more creative you have something to look at for ideas. 'Journaling your inspiration is a gift. It says, "I trust that the future holds good thing."'

Currently, I'm knitting (or creating) my nephew a minion hat for Christmas. I need to finish weaving in the ends and sewing the eye onto the hat. 

What ways are you creative? What's on your needles? What are you currently reading? Linking up at Ginny's Yarn Along.

24 October 2016

Total Family Makeover #Book #Review

One of my earliest memories is the importance my mother placed on reading the Bible. When we were younger, she was a stay at home mom, but also subbed in various public schools in Iowa. When I woke up in the morning, I often found her sitting in the living room, on the couch, reading her Bible. Reading God's word was so important that it was the first thing she did when she woke up in the morning.

In Total family makeover, Melissa Spoelstra writes about 8 things that parents can be doing now to make disciples at home: spending time in prayer, reading God's Word, growing through mentoring, finding community in the church, serving others, taking time to rest, giving back to God, and sharing your faith. In each chapter, you will find two major sections: modeling and training. Melissa includes Scripture verses throughout this book to help emphasize the importance of the above practices.

My thoughts:

To be honest, I was a little uncertain when I signed up to receive this book. When I see a book that has a title that includes "8 practical steps to making disciples at home", I automatically become more hesitant to read it. I wondered, "Will she talk about God's grace and plan in her book? Or will she place all the responsibility on the parents?"

I loved how Melissa opened up the book by writing that our children are not our report cards. She wrote, when we use our children's behavior as our parenting measure rod, we: pass judgment on others when their children are not behaving like they should, going back and forth between pride and shame based on our children's behavior, and envying friends when we read (or hear) about their children's achievement.

In every single section, I was convicted of at least one or two things. For example, in chapter 1-spending time in prayer, Melissa wrote that we are to pray in faith and that nothing is too small for God. Last week when my daughter slammed her finger in the car door, I stupidly told her, "Your nail will probably fall off." She immediately started crying and said, "I don't want my nail to fall off. What if it doesn't grow back? Can we pray that my nail will stay?" I started laughing (to myself) and thought, "Silly girl. This is not that important." But to her, it was important. There was nothing wrong in her request, and I should have been more sympathetic to her plight. 

The good news is, I enjoyed reading this book. My above fears were unsubstantiated. There were many times Melissa wrote and reminded us to be patient, that God's timing is not our timing, and that we are to trust in God.

Check and see what others thought of this book here. What's your favorite Christian parenting book?
I was sent this book for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.

06 October 2016

FO: Newborn Hats

Earlier I wrote that one of my goals is to use up some of my stash yarn to knit baby hats. I have slowly been doing this. I decided to go through one skein at a time, finish it up, then start on another skein. I also decided that I will try to use 100% acrylic yarn. I'm hoping to donate these hats to a local hospital's NICU.

Out of the three additional hats I've completed, I have only used one pattern. The hat on the right is the baby pinwheel hat, found on Ravelry. I made a few modifications, but at this time, I cannot find the paper with the modifications listed. (Thanks to chaos and moving!) I used Wool-Ease Oxford grey, leftover from the Baby Sophisticate sweater I knit for my nephew.

The two other hats were knit with Red Heart Super saver grape fizz yarn, leftover from a skirt I knit for my daughter.

What's on your needles? Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

03 October 2016

"12 Little Days of Christmas" #Giveaway #LoveHallmark

Fall Fun Blogger Sign Up
Thank you for stopping by the Fall Fun giveaway hop hosted by The Anti-June Cleaver and Our Piece of Earth. Fall is officially here and it's time to celebrate!

We have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you a variety of prizes to make your fall fun! After you have entered a giveaway visit the linky at the bottom of each post to visit the other blogs for more great prizes.

We have 83 days until Christmas!! Yes, I am one of those people who are blasting Christmas songs before Halloween. Since I am so excited for Christmas, I will be giving away a Gold Miniature Display Tree and a 12 Little Days of Christmas set: Days 1-3.

The Anti-June Cleaver, Our Piece of Earth, and the rest of the bloggers participating in the Fall Fun giveaway hop are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.