I just finished reading three great books over the last couple of weeks.
Fit To Burst by Rachel Jankovic. I love everything Rachel writes. She writes with such whit and ease. Her chapters are short, easy to read and full of biblical truth and wisdom. I always read her books so quickly because as soon as I finish a chapter I just want to get a glimpse at what the next one is about and don't realize I've been sucked in until I've completed another!
When Helping Hurts: how to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor...and yourself by: Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. This book has been very controversial in the Christian circles. I agree with many of the ideas and principals they are seeking to form around the poverty stricken people in the world, but I did find myself disagreeing with some specific things that I feel are God-given convictions for me. I certainly do not believe that the guidelines in this book are the ONLY ways of accomplishing ministry (sometimes ministry happens FAST and decisions have to be made quickly leaving no time to set up the "system" they believe is the best way to do things. I also don't believe that all "help" needs guidelines and prerequisites.), but this book has been a great resource for us over the past several weeks. Last month the Lord handed our family a life interruption. Josh met a homeless mother and daughter who were about to spend another night in their car. Josh called me and told me their situation and immediately God gave us both a peace about them coming to stay with us that night. Over the next 4 weeks we lived life together as they made our living room their home. We provided shelter, food, a loving family atmosphere (man was the accountability of ALWAYS having someone watching great for the patient tone of voice I'd been needing to work on with my kids) and the love of Christ as we walked alongside them to help find a solution for their situation. I'm quite certain we didn't do everything right, I mean, we'd never been in this situation before, but I believe we did what the Lord had called us to do. This book helped open our eyes to specific directions in this fragile relationship that we needed to take. So I'd say, read with an open mind, but read none-the-less.
Desperate. Instead of telling you how awesome this book is and how much EVERY woman needs to read this book, no matter what stage of life she is in I'm just going to write down a few of my favorite quotables from the book.
"A wise woman is one who copies wise women."
"We need advocates, someone who goes to bat for you, who watches out for you and protects you. That person is on your side and wants the best for you...Going at it alone is, without a doubt, one of the most common and effective strategies that Satan uses to discourage moms. Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, 'But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.'"
"No matter how wonderful a man may be, he is not crafted by God to meet all of a woman's needs."
"Rules, laws and boxes tend to kill the soul when it comes to expectations of motherhood."
"Give yourself to them [your children] without rush...let them know that you are on their team; that you are for them and not against them; that you will forgive, always, just as the Father forgives."
"What other people think of our path is irrelevant."
"A happy mom, who is secure in herself and at ease in her life is a rare gift that children love and appreciate."
"Children do not thrive with authoritarian, perfectionistic parenting, because they can never live up to perfection. And neither can you."
"many have not understood that the home is a battlefield where sin and selfishness must be overcome, and that the taming, subduing, and civilizing of a home will be a woman's honor."
"I believe that if moms understood how strategic their roles were in this battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation, they would grow in excitement about the great job God created them to fulfill."
"Wrong expectations produce anger and depression."
And that's just within the first 4 chapters!
I've got another round of books going that I'll share with you when I complete.