Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Intentional Parenting by Sissy Goff, David Thomas, & Melissa Travathan

I wanted to review this book because the sub title says "Autopilot is for planes."  And that sort of summed up my parenting at that moment.  I felt like I was parenting but not really getting to the heart of my child through daily interaction, conversation, and discipline.  I felt like I was on autopilot and I know that I was lacking joy in my parenting.

Intentional Parenting is written by three counselors who run a ministry called Daystar Counseling in Nashville, TN.  They share their experiences with children and parenting in their book to help the reader become a better, more informed parent.  They have found that most problems parents have with their children actually stem from the parent and their own actions. Each chapter is focused on a character quality that a parent should possess and together represent a complete well-balanced parent.  Each chapter also gives us practical advice on how to achieve that quality as well as examples from their own families and the families of those they counsel.  Once the parent corrects their own issues, they should expect to see their children's actions improve as well.

This book is very in-depth but really gets to the heart and soul of parenting.  In a society where good parenting legacies have been lost and children should be put on a pedestal instead of taught biblically how they should act, we parents need all the help we can get!  This book is full of great wisdom on how to be a well-balanced parent and raised well-balanced children!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for this honest review.

Stranded by Dani Pettrey

I read this book in a weekend!  And I loved it!  Stranded is the 3rd book in the Alaskan Courage series and I was hesitant to read it since I had only read Book 1 in this series, but not Book 2.  Despite having skipped a book in the series, I was happy to discover that one could read this book without having read any of the previous ones! 

Darcy St. James is a adventure writer...meaning she writes stories on adventures sports, etc.  This career choice came after leaving the investigative reporter job that she felt conflicted with her faith.  But when her college friend and former undercover colleague Abby, who is working undercover as a chef on the Destiny cruise ship, contacts her regarding a lead she's following on the ship, Darcy finds herself stepping on board the ship as a journalist covering all the adventure excursions and activities the ship has to offer. But also has plans to help her friend with the information Abby has...although Abby never shows up for their scheduled meeting so she can catch Darcy on her findings.  She finds out later that someone has gone overboard and that her friend had also decided to quit her job on the ship.  Darcy wonders if the two could be related, and even if they aren't, it's not like Abby to walk away from a case she is following.  Darcy knows something is up and starts asking questions in hopes of finding her friend but no one is giving they are hiding something.  Could it be Abby they are hiding?  Darcy is determined to find out.

Dani Pettrey's book Stranded is a book chock-full of faith and mystery.  Her writing style is easy to follow and puts you right into the midst of the story as it unfolds.  I can't wait to read more of her books!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for this honest review.

Willing To Walk On Water by Caroline Barnett

Willing To Walk On Water is a great book to read for anyone who is struggling with what God's calling is on their life.  Caroline shares her story of how she went from feeling fearful and unworthy to understanding God's call for her personally.  As she gave up her fears she came to realize that SHE was not the miracle worker, but GOD is.  Throughout this book Caroline shares countless stories of how God used her to reach out to others and allow God to touch their lives forever.  Caroline and her family are a part of The Dream Center, a volunteer-run outreach organization in Los Angeles, that supplies food and support to underpriviledged families.  In many underpriviledged families, when
social services are contacted because of one reason or another, the parent or parents is required to make certain changes and/or improvements in their home or lifestyle.  Usually these changes require skills or finances in order to make it happen, both of which these parents lack.  Sadly, when these requirements aren't met, often the children are removed from the home and the family is split apart.  And this happens in homes where the parents are loving and are doing the best they can or know how, but it's just not enough.  That's where The Dream Center comes in.  They not only help to supply them with the physical things needed, but they also help to give the sills and knowledge they need in order to improve their situation.  When this happens, not only are the parents forever grateful, they also are able to keep their children in their homes and their family together. 

This book is full of stories of how The Dream Center has used ordinary people like me and you, to help those in need.  If you are ever doubtful of God's ability to work through you, please read this book!  It is a great inspiration to those who feel not good enough or unworthy to be used!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for this honest review.

The Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis

I really enjoyed Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis and read it in just a few days!  This is the first of Beverly Lewis's books that I have read mainly because I live in the heart of Amish Country, Ohio and was not interested in reading about their daily lives in story form since I see them on nearly a daily basis.  However, this book intrigued me when I read that it was about an English girl who longed to become Amish.  I have often wondered if it were even possible for an English man or woman to join the Amish Community and whether or not they would ever be accepted if they were able to join.  That is precisely what this book is about.  Jenny Burns lives in Connecticut and has always been interested in the Plain People.  However, her family always made light of it until one day when Jenny tells them she is leaving and has sold all of her belongings...but doesn't tell them where she is going until a couple of weeks later.  Through a newfound Amish friend, Marnie, who she met at a Farmer's Market a few years ago, Jenny was given the opportunity to live with an Amish family and learn their ways.  She can get a first-hand look into Amish life and decide whether or not it is something she would like to pursue.  During those first few weeks she knows without a doubt that Hickory Hollow is the place for her!  Her family of course things she's crazy, and sometimes she wonders herself if she is, but it feels like home to her. 

Her hosts, Samuel and Rebecca Lapp, are gracious hosts and wonderful teachers, but Rebecca Lapp has a secret.  Jenny catches Rebecca doing something that is not accepted in the Community and she asks Jenny to keep it a secret from the bishop.  But later the bishop inquires as to whether she knows anything regarding it and Jenny is forced to decide.  Should she tell the bishop and ruin Rebecca or should she keep the secret and risk not being found worthy at The Proving, where the bishop decides if she possesses enough qualities to become Amish?  Jenny has a hard decision to make, but all the while she leans on God to help her through and to know what is best for her. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for this honest review.

Angels In The Fire by Dann Stadler

Dann and Tracey Stadler left Tracey's parent's house ready to celebrate their fourth anniversary.  Little did they know that on their way home their lives would be forever changed.  They were hit head-on by a drunk drive who was traveling the wrong way on I-95.  The wreck was tragic but that exactly when the miracles began. And an angel appeared to help free Tracey from the wreckage when no one else could and the car was engulfed in flames.  Tracey saw him and so did bystanders who were assisting with the rescue.  There was no denying he was there and had saved Tracey's life. 

Although Dann & Tracey were unsure of what their future would look like following their injuries, one thing they knew for sure; everything would be OK.  God had saved them and had a plan for them. 

Angels In The Fire chronicles The Stadler's life and the miracles that continued to take place long after that tragic day.  It is an encouraging story to someone who may be doubtful that God exists.  I really enjoyed this book!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.