Raising a Young Modern-Day Princess by Doreen Hanna & Karen Whiting

Raising a Young Modern-Day Princess was written to help parents and grandparents nurture young girls as they grow into a a child of the one true king.  Hanna and Whiting explore each aspect of the fruits of the Spirit as they apply to our daughters’ lives and our own lives.  This book was written from the perspectives of a mom and a grandmother, so it is directed more toward mothers.  However, each chapter includes “Dad and Daughter Activities” for dads to use as they build that crucial relationship with their princess(es).

Having three young daughters of my own, I am grateful for this wonderful resource that helps me understand my girls and offers me activities and ideas for developing their character and faith.  When I first started reading this book, I completed the personality profile for each of my girls and discovered how unique each one is.  I have four fiercely-independent, strong-willed children that test my patience multiple times a day.  I have often wondered how I got so lucky (insert sarcasm).  After reading this book, I realized how truly blessed I am to have each of these children that God has uniquely created.  Even though they share independence and a strong will, all of our children have vastly different personalities, and therefore, they need different things from me and their daddy.

Focus on the Family has provided this resource to equip parents to raise their young daughters according to biblical principals, while nurturing each daughter’s unique inner beauty.  Each chapter focuses on a different fruit of the Spirit and includes suggested “Fruitful Activities” to apply what you have read as you seek to nurture your daughter’s faith and grow her character.  The “Mom’s Tools” at the end of each chapter give insight into how to foster each of the fruits in your unique daughter.  Several suggestions are given for each personality type.  

Raising a Young Modern-Day Princess teaches a mother how to be nurturing, encouraging, inspiring and much more.  This isn’t your typical parenting book.  The authors have provided more of an in-depth study of young girls and encourage a mother to be introspective and examine their own parenting style, personality, and how they can relate to each of their daughters.  By focusing on each of the fruits of the Spirit, this book feels almost like a devotional with follow-up applications and activities.  

I received this book for free from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.  I have found this book insightful, and I hope you will too.  

The Uncommon Marriage Adventure by Tony & Lauren Dungy

The Uncommon Marriage Adventure: A Daily Journey to Draw You Closer to God and Each Other is an insightful devotional for couples. The book is designed to be read daily for 16 weeks with discussion between husband and wife. Tony and Lauren Dungy developed their “Core Principles for an Uncommon Marriage” in their book Uncommon Marriage. They expound upon those principles in this devotional book. There are eight core principles, and they spend two weeks on each one, offering advice, biblical perspective, specific practices, and “adventure applications”. Every seventh devotional offers the couple a chance to reflect more deeply on one of the previous day’s practices. More discussion questions and ideas for activities as well as focussed prayer prompts provide the couple with everything they need to grow closer to God and each other.

Each daily reading is just two to three pages, which makes this very practical for busy couples. The devotionals are all based on scripture and biblical advice. The Dungys do not hold up their marriage as the only example to follow. Instead, they point to scripture and true stories of other individuals and couples who lived out the practice being discussed.

I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
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365 Moments of Peace for a Woman’s Heart

This beautiful devotional book offers short devotions filled with hope, love, and the peace of God. Each dated devotional includes two scripture verses, a few paragraphs written to women, and a short prayer for peace, patience, comfort, etc. The scripture verses are taken from several different translations, prompting the reader to compare the scripture in the devotional to her favorite translation.

Each day’s reading can be completed in less than five minutes, but it can provide a springboard for further study of the scripture verses in another translation, a study of the passage from which the scripture came, or extended prayer time for the topic discussed. The short readings are light and reassuring–more like a book of God’s promises. The imitation leather-bound book would make an excellent gift for a friend or family member.

I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Promises for God’s Princesses by Katrina Cassel

This summer, my husband and eight year old son went through the devotional The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality together, and our six year old daughter wanted to have the same one-on-one time with Daddy, but we couldn’t find an age-appropriate devotional for her. Then I saw Promises for God’s Princesses from Tyndale available for me to review. I requested this book, and Tyndale House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

My husband is reading this book with our six year old daughter. I have looked through the book and read parts of it, and I discussed several things with my husband this evening to make sure his opinion meshed with mine. He feels that these devotions are age appropriate for our daughter, who is just outside the recommended age group of 7 to 11 year olds. My husband believes that it would be best for a girl to read these with a sister, friend, or parent because it helps to discuss them. Our daughter enjoys having these devotionals with her daddy that are specifically written for girls her age.

My husband and daughter are able to read and discuss each devotional (one of God’s promises) in five to ten minutes. Each promise is 1 1/2 to 2 pages long and includes a real-life situation followed by a verse or two from the Bible. There is usually a closing paragraph that encourages the reader to journal in response to a few questions. If they choose to journal, they could still be finished in about 15 minutes for each promise. There are 100 promises in the book. We would highly recommend this book as a beginning devotional for a young girl.

We would also highly recommend The Talk for boys or girls who are ready to discuss sex. My husband said the devotional was straightforward and didn’t require him to think. The authors have researched the topic and presented it in a way that highlights Biblical values and honors marital sex.

Don’t forget to like or comment on my first giveaway, or follow this blog to be entered in the drawing for Willie’s Redneck Time Machine.

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Colliding with Destiny by Sarah Jakes

I’m always looking for a good Bible study or devotional book to keep me in the Word and to help me apply it to my personal life. This book was offered by Bethany House and appealed to me because it is based on the book of Ruth from the Old Testament.

Colliding with Destiny: Finding Hope in the Legacy of Ruth was written by Sarah Jakes, the daughter of Bishop T. D. Jakes. The book consists of an introduction and 30 chapters, which makes it a great one-month devotional, or it could be offered as a small-group Bible study with several chapters read before each meeting.

Each chapter begins with a few verses from the book of Ruth, and then the author shares a personal application of the scripture. Each chapter ends with a “Journal” section followed by a “Prayer” section, which allow the reader to reflect on the scripture and apply it to their own life and then close by giving thanks or asking God for help.

Colliding with Destiny examines the life of Ruth and the struggles she endured as she remained faithful to her family and her Lord. She could have given up at any time, said it was too hard, and returned to her mother’s house, but she endured and overcame her disappointments. God redeemed her pain and restored her with blessings. Ruth went on to become the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus Christ.

Sarah Jakes writes with wisdom as she shares her own painful experiences and disappointments, which taught her about God’s love, redemption, and restoration. This book offers Biblical hope and encouragement for anyone struggling to overcome their past.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts and opinions are my own.

$10 Great Dates by Larson & Arp

$10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage, and Fun on a Budget by Peter and Heather Larson and David and Claudia Arp is a great resource for couples who would like to add a little fun to their marriage. The ideas range from at-home dates to adventure dates to romantic dates, and all are possible for $10 or less. The authors even include a section suggesting options for cheap child care to keep all excuses at bay.

Each date (chapter) includes a brief intro from one of the authors followed by the idea of the date, so within a minute you can determine if that idea will work for you and your spouse or not. Then the authors provide the details to tackle before the date and suggestions for carrying out the date. A few questions are included to get you and your spouse talking after the date to gauge how it went, learn about your spouse’s interests, and dream together. Each date (chapter) ends with a takeaway to tie everything together and help you remember what is important.

This book is fairly short–each date (chapter) takes about three pages–but it’s not meant to be read straight through like a novel. $10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage, and Fun on a Budget is intended for browsing and choosing dates that will encourage and inspire you and your spouse to have fun together and grow closer through dates that keep your marriage strong.

This book would be a great anniversary gift for any couple because the date ideas are so versatile and can be individualized by each couple. The ideas would work for newlyweds, couples with young children, and empty nesters. Many of the dates would be appropriate for engaged couples who have a tight budget but want to have meaningful dates and learn more about each other.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts and opinions are my own.

Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin

scan0001I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The full title is Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most. The author, Brooke McGlothlin, is the co-founder of the MOB (mothers of boys) Society, an online community where she encourages mothers of boys to pray more frequently and more effectively. This book would be great for a small group study, in person or online, and includes a 21-day prayer guide for this purpose.

McGlothlin states in the first chapter:

If you’re looking for a book to teach you how to raise godly men, Praying for Boys isn’t it. Neither is it a book that promises five easy ways to produce a boy to be proud of. In fact, it isn’t really a book about you at all. It’s a book about the God who loves your son more than you do and wants to work in his heart and life in spite of you as you pray and desperately seek Him.

This book is about prayer and how to specifically and effectively pray for your boy(s), using God’s word as the basis for those prayers. Each chapter contains a 2-3 page devotional, followed by several scripture-based prayers over each topic, including obedience, integrity, purity, anger, etc. As a mother of a boy, I believe the 21 topics included in the book are very appropriate for my son, and I find the prayers a useful tool in praying for him. I have plans to memorize at least one scripture from each chapter to be able to pray God’s word over him anytime. While doing the 21-day study, I think it would be useful to write out each prayer on an index card, putting all the cards on a ring to be able to refer to them throughout the day, but in all practicality, you could read one chapter a day as a devotional and pray the scriptures over your son, inserting his name in the blanks in each prayer.

I have enjoyed reading this book and praying for my son using the scriptures as a tool. I would recommend this book to any mother of boys.