Sunday, September 15, 2019

Book Review: Confident Moms, Confident Daughters by Maria Furlough

I've reviewed a number of parenting books in the past, including books specific to parenting boys, but I hadn't had the opportunity to review one specific to raising girls so when I heard about this new book by Maria Furlough, I looked forward to reading it.

In "Confident Moms, Confident Daughters: Helping your Daughter Live Free from Insecurity and Love How She Looks" author Maria Furlough walks moms through the likely causes of our own insecurities (now or in our own youth), how to tackle them through a biblical perspective so we can go on to model true confidence in who God created us to be, while our daughters are watching and learning from us.  Words are not enough, our daughters need our examples and this book helps you do just that.

She explains why we must start first in our own heart if we are to teach our daughters at the beginning of the book:
"We can't fake it anymore. Our daughters are keen and smart, and they will see right through our acts.  If we want to show them what a confident woman looks like, we have to be confident.  If we want our girls to know that beauty come from within and that the size of our jeans doesn't measure our worth, we have to believe it for ourselves too."

Drawing from her own life experiences as a daughter and mother of a daughter plus her work a youth leader, she provides unique information into challenges and insecurities we faced as youth and the increased issues facing girls today.  She covers biblical principles to help silence or work through insecurities with truth and work on becoming and raising godly women, She also draws in expert advice from a pediatrician, nutritionist and Christian counselor. The author covers so many important topics in an accessible heartfelt way, with multiple perspectives, example conversations, stories, thoughtful discussion questions (that can be done with your daughter) and challenges to be completed along the way.

This book is a great resource to mothers of daughters or anyone else raising or investing in girls and teens today.

* I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review but my opinion and words are my own. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

First Day of School 2019

Today is the first day of school for our three kids, here on the Gravelly Road... first days of 5th, 3rd and 2nd grades.  A day of new beginnings and new challenges for all of us.

Ike starts fifth grade today, the beginning of middle school so a big transition for him.  He is excited to seeing his friends, a new school, locker combinations, changing classes, new teachers and new routines.  I'm looking forward to see how God uses his 5th grade year to grow and challenge him.

Zman is starting 3rd grade today.  He was a little nervous this morning about learning a new schedule and some of the challenges of 3rd grade but he was in good spirits at drop off.  He has the same teacher as his brother had in 3rd grade which he is looking forward to and he can't wait to see his friends.  He has grown in so many ways this summer, I have a feeling God has some big things in store for him in 3rd grade and I can't wait to see him soar.

Peaches starts 2nd grade today.  She has been very excited for school to start plus her best friend is in her class this year.  She also has a teacher our family is already familiar with, the same second grade teacher her oldest brother had which is nice for this mama's heart.  I can't wait to see all she learns and to watch her take on the challenges of second grade.

I'm looking forward to hearing all about their first days when they return home to the gravelly road.

Dear Lord - 

We ask for an extra special blessing on the school year adventure ahead of each of our three children. Each adventure is unique and will be used fore your purposes in their lie, though all three start a new phase today.

Guide their teachers as they give instruction, encouragement, and build the tone of their classrooms.  Grant them wisdom for those moments when a child's tears or frustrated words are coming from a deeper hard place than just a tough morning.  May their classrooms be places of learning and inclusion, a safe place to try, fail and try again. 

Watch over our three as they start and strengthen friendships, handle challenges, try new hard things, work through conflict and learn the life lessons you have for them.  Guide their words and actions so that they are kind and compassionate to those around them.  Surround them with friends that bring out their best so that they can build each other up.  Help them to be part of the good and amazing things you are doing in their schools.

Thank you again and again for allowing us to parent these precious kiddos.  They are each growing and changing so fast it often takes my breath away.  Continue to grow them into the people you called them to be and help me to help them see how you are working in their lives.


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Book Review: Back Roads to Belonging by Kristen Strong

"Back Roads to Belonging: Unexpected Paths to Finding Your Place and Your People" by Kristen Strong is a book to savor and ponder. Faith-filled and refreshing Kristen dives deep into our desire to belong and the frequent feeling of being on the outside looking in. 

Throughout the book the author reminds her readers with scripture and truth that God is with us on the journey, sees and meets us just where we are, even when it feels like we are stuck on a back road to nowhere... in truth He is travelling alongside us and it is all used to His purpose. 

She gives practical advice to help and ways to adjust how you view your struggle to belong that can provide a new perspective or a new lens to view how God might be at work in this part of the journey.  Each chapter also includes a "traveling companion" story of someone today or in the Bible that had some sort of struggle with belonging that provides examples and encouragement.
This book has a powerful uplifting message for everyone in any life stage, whether in a season of loneliness or in a search for belonging or in a place of being able to include and see others who are searching for what God has given us to share. Beautifully written with a calming and peaceful tone, this book has been an honor to review.

* I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review but my opinion and words are my own. 

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