Thursday, May 9, 2019

Dear Daughters-Love Letters to the Next Generation {Book Review}

I absolutely love the encouragement I have gotten from Dear Daughters; Love Letters to the Next Generation. First of all, I’ve never been so moved & excited just by reading the forward of a book before! Sweet affirmation written by Hayley E. Morgan. And the words of Susie Davis within the first couple of chapters are encouraging and convicting. Turning 44 a couple of months ago and reading this is incredible—it’s reminding me of my role as a daughter of God and a mentor to others. Such great wisdom throughout the entire book!

My favorite thing about the way Susie Davis has written this book is her approach  towards encouragement. She completely embraces every mom, at every stage, and validates working moms, stay-at-home moms, moms juggling various roles, and any "mom combination" you can envision. Her writing style and her word choice are quite focused on inclusion, which is the best encouragement I believe any mom can receive! The chapters are short yet rich. Dear Daughters has a nice reading pace and is small enough to fit in a purse, diaper bag, carry-on, etc. And many times, the areas of my book I had highlighted were also written larger on a page--great way to 'flip through' the book again and again to get the reminders of how much God loves us and wants the best for us. Highly recommend!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.


Do you sometimes wonder what you’re supposed to be doing with your life? Do you wish you could find someone a little older who is walking just a few steps ahead who would give you some wisdom and remind you that God is still in control and that everything is going to be okay? Would you like a mentor in your life?
Susie Davis understands the importance of having and being a mentor. In Dear Daughters: Love Letters to the Next Generation, she will help you:
  • Understand God’s will for your life
  • Listen to God’s voice through your daily circumstances
  • Find contentment and peace right where you are
  • Foster friendship and deep connection with other women
No matter your season of life, Susie invites you to join her in pondering things that matter most. And she gently reassures you that you are not alone and that God is still in control.
Click here to read the introduction and chapter 1
Click here to view the sample note pages
Links to purchase

Susie Davis is an author, speaker and co-founder of Austin Christian Fellowship. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Will Davis, Jr., and they have 3 delightful young adult children (Will III, Emily, and Sara) who are all married and living their own beautiful life.
Susie’s podcast, Dear Daughters, is full of wisdom and joy, offering women young and old the kind of comfort and companionship they crave.
Aside from family and ministry, Susie is hopelessly addicted to horseback riding, McDonald’s coffee and pink geraniums. She loves bird watching, creek walking and connecting the dots between God and nature. Her favorites include cooking, gathering people at her big French farm table and asking deep questions.
Visit her website:
She is also active on Facebook (@davis.susie)Twitter (@susiedavis) and Instagram (@susiedavis).

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

'More for Mom' encourages the Soul {Book Review}

I have a confession--the past few months have been rough. Between the endless winter, my oldest prepping to graduate high school & begin nursing school, my second-born starting the process of enlisting in the Navy, and getting kid number 5 ready to start Kindergarten, life has been a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, no big moments are currently happening with the other 3 children, but sometimes I simply call the week a 'win' when I remember every dentist appointment, IEP meeting, speech evaluation, school picnic, graduation announcements, and a clean track uniform.

So, getting around to reading a book & then doing a book review has felt overwhelming. Rather than seeing More for Mom as a chance to rest and renew, I began by reading quick snippets in between kids' events. Thankfully, those snippets were enough to cause me to slow down and savor the book. I have definitely been running on an empty tank...and that is not good for my relationships with my husband, my kids, or with Christ. More for Mom isn't merely a 'to-do' list, but rather sweet reminders of what it is to put my life in balance as I seek to put Christ first. Kristin Funston is authentic, relatable, and a realist...some of her lines brought tears to my eyes, while others poured into my life with wise counsel and application to deepen my walk with Christ. I am so thankful for this book and Funston's fresh approach, and I will be recommending it to many friends.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.


With a passion for writing, Kristin Funston encourages women in a way that is relatable and
practical, with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to be a writer, Funston is a member and
employee of Hope Presbyterian Church and works as the Marriage and Family Coordinator and a
leader in the women’s ministry.
Convinced “balance” is a myth, Funston is also passionate about helping and encouraging women to
embrace their current season and experience God in the everyday. She shares her humor and writing
on motherhood on her blog and has been featured on multiple other blogs including The Better
Mom, City Moms Blog, TODAY Parenting, and Scary Mommy.
Funston has a master’s degree in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. A
mom to three girls and not-so-domestic wife to an entrepreneurial athlete, Funston and her family
live outside of Memphis, TN.
More for Mom is her first book.

Learn more at She is also active on Facebook (KristinDFunston)
and Instagram (@kfunston).

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Child Proof: Parenting by Faith, not Formula {Book Review}

Parenting by Faith not Formula by Julie Lowe is a fantastic book. Real life stories & examples of how to blend your family’s needs & individual personalities. Truth is taken straight from the Bible and applied in tangible ways. The ‘how-to’s, ‘why’s’ & additional reflection questions don’t intimidate you, but bring guidance, hope, and encouragement. This may be one of my favorite parenting books!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.

DESCRIPTION, via Newgrowth Press:

As a freedom-over-formula parenting book for moms, dads, and caregivers of all ages, Child Proof provides biblical insight and encouragement for readers who want to parent by faith. As an experienced counselor of children and families and an adoptive and foster mom applying the CCEF model of biblical change, Julie Lowe uses Scripture and biblical wisdom to teach caregivers how to know their children and specifically love them with the love of Christ. 
Every family is unique, which is why Child Proof explores the need for parents to cultivate personal and intimate care for their children as modeled in God’s individual, personal, and fatherly care to his children. This child-rearing book lays a foundation of parenting by faith and progresses by teaching readers how they can know their own kids well and raise them accordingly. By discussing particular issues moms and dads might have in family life, Lowe demonstrates how formulas aren’t the answer, and parenting with biblical wisdom is best for a proactive rather than reactive approach to parenting.
Through Lowe’s personal and professional experience, moms, dads, and caregivers,as well as those helping parents—pastors, counselors, youth workers, and churches—will discover gospel-centered application rather than formulas for the ideal family, equipping guardians to be experts at knowing their own children so they can know Scripture and live it out personally in their homes.
By establishing a mindset rather than a model or a step-by-step “how to” approach to parenting, Child Proof empowers readers to come up with their own blueprint for their families through a biblical framework.

Julie Lowe is a faculty member at CCEF. She holds an MA in counseling from Biblical Theological Seminary. She is a licensed professional counselor with over 18 years of counseling experience.  Julie is also a registered play therapist and has developed a play therapy office at CCEF to better serve families, teens and children Julie and her husband, Greg, have six children and serve as foster and adoptive parents.

Parenting First Aid: Hope for the Discouraged {Book Review}

Oh, parents, you’ll be SO thankful to have this book!! Whether you have a week-old baby, or are in the midst of the hard & heavy, @martymachowski nails it on the head with his look at grace-filled, prayer-based, relying-fully-on-Christ parenting. Bathed in scripture and real life, it’s a balm for this mama’s soul. Getting myself a journal, and going to read it again as its intended devotional layout.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.

Book Description Via New Growth Press:
In this uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for parents, best-selling children’s author Marty Machowski encourages parents in the midst of trials. Full of Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips moms and dads to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can’t. 
Parenting isn’t getting any easier, especially with the introduction of insta-porn on electronic devices, the ease of access to drugs, and the ever-increasing blurring of sexuality. This useful resource is for the weary and overwhelmed parents struggling with their children’s choices, and the culture that wars against their souls.
For families with small struggles or weighty parenting trials—such as children involved with drugs, sexual sin, and teenage rebellion—Parenting First Aid is full of personal, real testimonies of God’s faithfulness to those experiencing hardship.
The easy-to-use format provides encouragement to turn to  God in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.

Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for more than twenty years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the gospel-centered children’s ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

He is the author of The Gospel Story Bible, Long Story Short, Old Story New, The Gospel Story Curriculum, Prepare Him Room Advent Curriculum and Devotional, Wise Up Family Devotional and Curriculum, Listen Up Family Devotional and Curriculum, Dragon Seed, and The Ology.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

God Counts-Numbers in His Word and His Word {Book Review}

God Counts: Numbers in His Word and His World by Irene Sun is a delightful children's book! Unique in its approach, the book takes key Biblical truths and relates it back to a number. While you can consider it a counting book, it isn't remotely 'babyish'. Instead, the focus on a number allows deep theology to be presented in a way a child can grasp.

The book begins with the greatest truth; "One tells us that God is the first and the best." And the book (for what our part & our kids' part to learn) ends with infinity. Finally, the book ends with God counting....this page shows how personally God knows all that is within His world, and all that he knows about each of us. What a powerful way to display & teach of God's power and love!

My four-year old enjoyed reading back to me the number and what each one represented. By seeing how 9 tells us to be like God, and seeing what qualities Jesus has, she is essentially learning the Fruits of the Spirit!
We have enjoyed reading this book as a family, and I look forward to my kids becoming more independent in remembering what each number represents. Very sweet book, and I highly recommend it.

Click here to purchase a copy!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.

Monday, January 14, 2019

3 Books in Good News For Little Hearts Series {I Recommend Getting them All!}

Good News for Little Hearts is a new children's book series from New Growth Press. The books are beautifully illustrated, with bright pictures featuring family units that are animals. My younger children are 6, 4, and 4, and they were each very drawn to the pictures as well as the main characters!

Each book discusses a specific topic, which is seen very clearly on the cover of the books just above the title--I love this feature so much, and my one main criticisms of these hardcover books is if you take the dust jacket off (because young kids rarely keep it on the book!), you only see the picture of the main character and not the title or the key point. This criticism is merely based on my own personal preference, and in no way affects the true impact of the books!

Because these books flow so well together & essentially are the start of a series (I really hope there will be more!), I am going to provide info about each book all within this same blog post. Please note that each book is fully independent of the others, is a solid stand alone, and can be purchased so you can focus on just one of the key principles. At the same time, by reading each of them you get a broader sense of each animal family being part of a community, and that each child who is they key focus is likely friends with the other 2 main characters. I particularly like to look at them as a corroboration of Biblical principles and great elements of discussion. Each book contains what I could call a "Parent Help Section" that gives insight on how to help your children face anxiety, failure, and anger. The very last page of each book is a tear-out of 4 "Back Pocket Bible Verses" you can give to your child, put on the fridge, or read together! Tremendous resources to find at the back of a children's book!!

Zoe's Hiding Place (when you are anxious)

Zoe is a young mouse who lives with her parents and baby brother. She is a bit of a daydreamer, and doesn't always have great listening ears. She has not heard her teacher on a few occasions, and that led to her getting lost on a previous field trip. When Zoe realizes the class is going on another field trip, she is filled with worry & afraid she will become lost again. The reader gets to watch as Zoe prays, looks to her parents for guidance, and seeks comfort in the Bible verse her dad writes down for her.  Young children get to see how Zoe faces and overcomes a scary situation when she relies on the truth found within the word of God. Of the three books, Zoe's Hiding Place is my favorite.

Buster's Ears Trip Him Up (when you fail)

Buster is a young bunny who lives with his parents and his sister. Buster is always in a hurry! Buster is also quite confident in his abilities, and is quite proud of the fact he is the 'fastest bunny in the meadow'. Buster and his sister, Ivy, are preparing to go to camp. Just before they leave, Buster's dad hands him a piece of paper. Dad tells Buster he will know the right time to read the message.

Buster is extremely excited (and a bit too confident) about a race that will take place during camp. When the race doesn't go as Buster thought it would, he becomes upset. The reader gets the chance to see Ivy extend great kindness to Buster, and Papa's note provides encouragement at the perfect time. Buster displays wonderful examples of learning both patience and humility.

Jax's Tail Twitches (when you are angry)

Jax is a squirrel who lives in a tree with his mom, dad, brother & baby sister. Of the three books, this one contains the most family interaction, as the family is together throughout the whole book. In addition, the entire squirrel family has individual lessons that they are learning outside of just Jax being the focus. Ultimately, they come together as a family and pray for God to forgive and help each of them. It is a powerful moment of humility! Although the book touches on Jax dealing with anger, it also shows how the two brothers learn to get along, Dad realizing he was selfish in not sharing with a neighbor, and Mom blaming the family for a burned dinner that she had forgotten. The family not only works through their issues, but also experiences kindness, generosity and grace from the neighbors. This is a children's book that is packed with many truths and much depth.

Click each link to purchase the following books:

Zoe's Hiding Place

Buster's Ears Trip Him Up

Jax's Tail Twitches

God Made Me AND You: Celebrating God's Design for Ethnic Diversity {Book Review}

    Jesus-lovin’, Creation proclaiming mamas: GO BUY THIS BOOK. I don’t even care how old your kids are. Absolutely beautiful words & illustrations on how God made EVERY race. I just read it alone, then read it again, and then read it to my kids. 

    There is so much depth packed into a ‘simple’ children’s book. God Made Me and You teaches our kids to not tease & to embrace others.

    This book is a fantastic for home, Children's Ministry departments, private Christian schools, families who have adopted or are fostering, or for any child who needs that confirmation that God made each of us perfectly in his image. Just awesome.