Thursday, July 23, 2009

How to Choose a Children's Devotional Book

There are so many devotional books for children out there that it can be hard to decide which is best. I like a devotional book that is simple, attractive to children, and with relevant topics. What do I mean by relevant? Things that are:


1) Concrete. Children are not abstract thinkers. You need to tell them the facts straight, without using a lot of imagery and metaphors, until they are old enough to understand them.


2) Understandable. Topics should cover things that are realities in a child's life. If the kids are not in school yet, then books about bullying and homework may be above their heads. Think of your child and what they need to learn.


3) Biblical. Devotionals should teach truths about God. The focus should not be on self, but on the Lord. The truths should be true... know the background of the person who wrote the book.


4) Easy to use. Devotionals for young children should be attractive to both child and parent. Illustraions are good. Big, thin books are better... they are visually appealing and not overwhelming in content. Do it together. Enjoy it.


So, how about a recommendation? I like Small Talks about God, by Kenneth Taylor. Look through Amazon or Christianbook.com and see what you like. They often include views of the table of contents and sample chapters. Devotional times are important opportunities to connect with your kids on a social and spiritual level. Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Bananas in Pyjamas

Oh those bananas!
I could eat three or four a day,
but I'd rather play
with my bubbly babies
and say,
"hello?"

They make me giggle
the way the peals wiggle
through their shoulders
down to their toes
and they laugh
"hello?"

Oh those bananas!
making yellow streaks
up and down my halls
like mountain peaks
my monkeys shriek
"hello?!"

Jumping like summer
No need to be glummer
Yellow like sun
bananas and fun
gleefully squeaking
“hello!”

They drive me bananas
I love them bananas
in summer pyjamas
appealing...
and squealing
"hello!"

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy... 1 Timothy 6:17

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Anger, Depression and Christian Parenting

Which parent do you know who has never raised their voice to their child? Or lost it when one kept pushing their buttons? Which parent do you know who is happy all of the time? I say... it can't be done. However for many of us, anger and depression becomes the norm, rather than a once-in-a-while occurance, and affects our parenting in a negative way.

The Lord is willing to change us if we are willing to admit our powerlessness over sin. Sounds like I'm telling you to just give up doesn't it? Not at all. I'm suggesting that we stop trying to fix ourselves by our own willpower and let God fix us by His mighty power! This is the first step in any 12 step program. Why? Because it works.

If anger or depression has taken a foothold in your life, you no doubt have tried to change to no avail. You may do well for a while and then when you least expect it... bam! It's back again. The first step has to be that you admit that you are powerless over your tendancy to do the wrong thing, and turn your life over to the care and control of God.

Another saying in the 12 step world is this: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. So if you are struggling with anger or depression, why not try something new?

Celebrate Recovery is a Christian 12 step program for all kinds of hurts, habits and hangups... addictions, compulsive eating, eating disorders, fear, anger, depression, anxiety, etc. If you would like loving Christian support to overcome what is causing you distress, visit their website and find a group near you. It's practical and it works! Celebrate Recovery Canada can be found --> here.

I am also reading a very good book right now called Mind Over Mood. It is very practical and teaches how to overcome strong moods that are unwanted and distressing, by changing the way you think. I highly recommend it for anyone who may be struggling. It is helping me tremendously.

I hope these two resources can be of help to many. My own battle with depression has been a long and difficult one, and when I reached the end of myself, there I found God... waiting to walk the journey for me - with me in His arms. So I say, give it up! God is waiting to pick it up!

Prayers,
Rachel

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Writing a Book

I have been thinking lately of writing a book. I have two years worth of letters to a friend that I wrote during post-partum depression. It is a detailed record and first hand account of what I went through during this challenging time. There are evidences and footprints left by God at times through the journey, that have been miraculous in my sight and amazingly inspiring.

What do you think? Should I go for it?

:-) Rachel

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mothering Without Guilt

Think it's possible to be a mother without guilt? We all need encouragement from moms who have been there. This is the toughest, most stressful, challenging experience of my life. And I've hardly just begun! I found this bible study to really help me... A Mom's Ordinary Day: Mothering Without Guilt. I highly recommend it, and if you can find another mom in need, do it together!



I've also read Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Another great Read.



The final one on my list is one I just started... Motherhood: The Guilt That Keeps on Giving. I'll let you know how it turns out!



I find books invaluable to my parenting walk. What have you read that has been an encouragement to you? Let me know. Happy reading. I'm addicted to, and in love with, books. :-)

Rachel
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