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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Postpartum Survival Guide (a review)

The Postpartum Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Postpartum Depression The Postpartum Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Postpartum Depression by Paul Meier

Eighty percent of all pregnant women struggle with depression during or after their child’s birth. But there is good news about postpartum mood disorders—they are almost 100% treatable. In the definitive guide to postpartum depression, written from a Christian perspective by a team of experts including best-selling author and popular psychologist Dr. Paul Meier (Happiness Is a Choice), The Postpartum Survival Guide explains why this depression occurs, who’s at risk, how to treat it, and where to find God in it all. Coauthor Lynne Johnson, RN, provides a woman’s perspective on the issues of motherhood and depression. Using real-life stories and practical advice from medical professionals, The Postpartum Survival Guide offers hope-filled solutions that will help new mothers enjoy this special time in their lives. Plus, it also contains helpful resource for fathers, family members, friends, pastors, counselors, and medical practitioners.

My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
What an incredible resource. This book is written to pregnancy soon to be mothers, fathers, other friends and family of pregnant mothers and more. Coming from so many different angles this is a book that shows that some postpartum depression can be completely normal and it is how you handle it (and not ignore it) that really matters. In my opinion there are some things that I am hesitant to agree with in manners of breast feeding and such, but I can understand where the authors are coming from in making their point. I have also found that where some things I was adamant about my decision, from reading their psychological medical point of view, I can now see how a different decision or an open minded scenario might be preferable to every one's health. I truly feel that reading this book has been a benefit to my pregnancy and suggest it to others to read as well.


View all my reviews.

Click on the label "The Postpartum Survival Guide" to see another post with a complete first chapter for you to read...

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (May 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414312830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414312835
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches


Monday, June 29, 2009

Blog Tour: Mom Needs Chocolate

Mom Needs Chocolate: Hugs, Humor and Hope for Surviving Motherhood


Debora M. Coty is a woman on a mission. Since answering God’s call to write six years ago, Debora has published over 80 articles in international magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, and signed 11 book contracts! Her latest, Mom NEEDS Chocolate, just released from Regal Books and is endorsed by legendary funny ladies Martha Bolton and Patsy Clairmont.

Mom NEEDS Chocolate: Hugs, Humor and Hope for Surviving Motherhood puts moms back in touch with rejuvenating joy and empowering faith. From outrageous coping tips to off-the-wall insights, Coty’s humorous book will have you laughing out loud. With witty frankness and wild abandon, she tackles the highs and lows of marriage, the horror of embarrassing children, and the defeat (and re-defeat) of depression. If you’ve been wondering lately why in the world you embarked on the journey of motherhood, then Debora Coty has the perfect reminder in this book.

You can learn more about Debora (and her other books) at www.deboracoty.com.

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Regal (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830745920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830745920
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches



CFBA: Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love's Pursuit

Bethany House (June 1, 2009)

by

Siri Mitchell



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

A Constant Heart was her sixth novel. Two of her novels, Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door were Christy Award finalists. She has been called one of the clearest, most original voices in the CBA.


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the small Puritan community of Stoneybrooke, Massachusetts, Susannah Phillips stands out both for her character and beauty. She wants only a simple life but soon finds herself pursued by the town's wealthiest bachelor and by a roguish military captain sent to protect them. One is not what he seems and one is more than he seems.

In trying to discover true love's path, Susannah is helped by the most unlikely of allies, a wounded woman who lives invisible and ignored in their town. As the depth, passion, and sacrifice of love is revealed to Susannah, she begins to question the rules and regulations of her childhood faith. In a community where grace is unknown, what price will she pay for embracing love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love's Pursuit, go HERE

FIRST: How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph by Linda Massey Weddle

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph

David C. Cook; New edition edition (June 1, 2009)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Linda Massey Weddle is a children’s author and regular contributor to publications including Women’s Day and Christian Parenting Today. She develops Bible-based curriculum for young people and has been involved in children’s and youth ministry for the past twenty years. She has two grown children and six grandchildren and resides in suburban Chicago.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $16.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition edition (June 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434765318
ISBN-13: 978-1434765314

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


I n t r o d u c t i o n

A Journey Worth Planning


For parents like you…in churches like yours…this book is practical guide for a child’s spiritual

development—a journey in which parents and churches work together to raise kids who know, love, and serve the Lord.


Much of the vision and purpose for such a journey is discussed in my friend Larry Fowler’s book, Raising a Modern-Day Joseph. The book you hold in your hands—How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph—focuses more on the practical side of that. It gives parents a workable plan for putting this vision and purpose to work in their everyday family life.


No Guarantees?


Like Larry’s book, this one is needed because we’re in the midst of a crisis. The statistics stagger us as we read about, hear about, and see young people walking away from their faith.


We surprised that this could be happening, since after all…

• our churches provide nurseries, Sunday school, vacation Bible School, Awana, youth ministries, and every other kind of kid or youth program imaginable.

• our children’s ministry curriculum is more entertaining, colorful, and professional looking than ever before.

• the market is flooded with “Christian” action figures, mugs, pencils, wallpaper, wallets, posters, linens, T-shirts, and toys, many decorated with clever “Christian” sayings.

• radio stations play Christian music twenty-four hours a day, and television channels broadcast a never-ending selection of messages from both local churches and polished, smooth-talking televangelists.


And here’s an even tougher dilemma: Why does a kid from one home walk away from the Lord while a kid in another home stays true to Him—yet the families in both homes have attended the same church, Sunday school, vacation Bible school, Awana clubs, etc.?


What happened? What’s the difference?


Before going further, I need to say this:

No plan,

no curriculum,

no humanly written book,

no pastor,

no teacher,

no parent…

can absolutely guarantee that a young person will not walk away from what they’ve been taught.


God works with His people individually, and each individual must make the choice to trust Christ as Savior. Each one chooses to walk with the Lord or to walk away from Him. After all, even with the first two kids we read about in the Bible, one had a criminal record.


The absence of such a guarantee is due to sin.


Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised,

being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

(Galatians 3:22)


So yes, unfortunately, children don’t come with guarantees.


But God’s Word does come with a guarantee: If we trust the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior,

believing that He died and rose again, we’re promised…

• the forgiveness of sin (bridging the separation between imperfect people and a perfect

God).

• eternal life.

• a future in an unimaginably perfect heaven.


That’s some guarantee!


No, we as parents don’t have guarantees, but we do know that children who grow up in strong, Christ-centered homes—where God’s Word is both taught and lived—are more likely to live godly lives as adults.


But lets take a glimpse at what’s typically going on in many families.


A Church and Pastor Problem?


I grew up as a preacher’s kid, and as an adult became a preacher’s wife—I know firsthand how often the preacher and the church get blamed for parental failures.


I remember one Sunday morning after the church service when my husband was shaking hands with people filing out of the auditorium. Suddenly a mother stormed into the lobby, yelling and visibly upset. She said her son had been knocked over by other boys in the parking lot.


My husband’s first reaction was to call an ambulance, but the mom said that wasn’t necessary; her son just scraped his knee. “But,” she shouted, pointing to my husband. “This was your fault.”


“Why?” he asked. He could see our own two kids talking with friends nearby, so it wasn’t them who had knocked down the woman’s son. So why was this his fault?


“Because it’s your church,” the lady screamed. “And so they’re your responsibility.” (Well, that wasn’t true either; the church belongs to the people.)


But that true story is a picture of what many people do spiritually.


Just as many parents leave the physical well-being of their children up to the church (the drop-them-off-in-the-parking-lot syndrome), so many parents do the same with their children’s spiritual well-being, training, and guidance: Drop them off in the parking lot and let the church do the nurturing (whether or not the parents are even in the same building).


Maybe you feel this way too—at least to some extent. After all, you make sure your children go to church for every kids’ activity possible, so you figure the church’s pastors, teachers, and leaders are covering that spiritual training part of your kids’ lives. You’re busy doing other things, like working long hours to provide for your family, which is your responsibility.


Deep inside, you hope those people at the church are doing it right. And if your kids walk

away from the Lord someday, you’ll certainly have something to say about the church’s failure,

since spiritually raising your kids is their job.


Right?


Well, no!


From the Start


Let’s review some essentials of what the Bible says about the family.


The Family Is the First Group God Created


The family came before towns or countries, and before churches, youth programs, basketball

teams, or Facebook. God immediately created the marriage partnership—in fact, by the second

chapter of Genesis, God had already established marriage:


For Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:20-22)


And already by the fourth chapter in Genesis, we learn about children.


The Family (Marriage Partnership) Is a Picture of Christ and the Church


Paul says it this way:


Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:21–27)


Family “Rules” Are Listed Throughout the Bible


Here’s an example:


Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. (Colossians 3:18-21)


Family Members Need to Encourage Each Other


Paul pointed to family encouragement as a model for the entire church:


But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:7, 11–12)


The family has the primary responsibility in the spiritual training of children. But families also

need the church to come alongside them to nurture their kids, to provide Christian friendships

from likeminded families, and to give complementary spiritual training. (We’ll look at all that

more closely later.)


Someone Who Knew, Loved, and Served God

The goal of Awana (the ministry I serve with) is to train children and youth to grow into adults who know, love and serve the Lord. We’ve come to see that this is also an outstanding goal for parents in training their children.


And as a biblical example of a young person who grew up to know, love, and serve the Lord, it’s hard to beat Joseph in the Old Testament. Not that he came from a perfect family.


Most children know about Joseph. They know he received a unique coat from his father—and our perception of that is a knee-length coat with rainbow-colored stripes. But why would grown men (his older step brothers—see Genesis 30:1-25) care about their little brother’s multicolored coat? The Hebrew word here for “coat” refers to a full-length tunic—sleeves to the wrist, the hem to the ankles. This was the style of coat worn by rich young men. They didn’t have to work (they had slaves or servants to do that), and they had a position of honor both in the home and in the community.


Joseph’s full-length coat was probably made of white linen, with bands of colorful embroidery as trim. By contrast, working men wore looser fitting, shorter garments so they could climb over rocks and take care of their sheep—they needed to move quickly and not be hindered by long clothing. So the brothers weren’t jealous of the colors of Joseph’s coat, but rather the implied position Joseph held in wearing such a garment.


Joseph lived in Hebron. The word Hebron means “community” or “fellowship.” Joseph had fellowship with his father, but this wasn’t a family who had a lot of fellowship with one another. I don’t think dinnertime conversations were leisurely discussions about the price of sheep feed or the Hebron weather.


The truth is, Joseph came from a dysfunctional family. This is obvious when you read in Genesis 30 about the intrigue involving his mother, his mother’s sister, their servants, and drugs (mandrakes—which were seen as narcotics or aphrodisiacs). Rachel and Leah were both jealous women who were willing to have their servants lie with Jacob so they could win the who-can have-the-most-sons race. And when Rueben brought home some mandrakes, Rachel desired them so much she was willing to “sell” Leah a night with Jacob to get her hands on them.


This of course isn’t part of the biography we read about in Sunday school, but these events are worth noting here. Out of this mess, the Lord brought Joseph, a young man who never wavered from the assurance that God was with him; a young man with a true heart-desire to know, love, and serve the Lord.


We know that Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, and he ended up in Egypt. We know he quickly gained power and influence in Potiphar’s house, then quickly lost it when fleeing the temptations of Mrs. Potiphar. Yet even when put in prison, Joseph knew God was with him, and he remained faithful. Later, because he interpreted the king’s dream, he was made a VIP and placed in charge of the entire land of Egypt. In that position, he was able years later to publicly forgive his brothers.


Through it all, Joseph concluded that it wasn’t his brothers who sent him to Egypt, but God. God had a plan for him, and Joseph listened to God and fulfilled His plan—something he was later able to testify about to his brothers: “God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Genesis 45:7).


Joseph’s life in particular reflected five godly character qualities—we’ll call them “master life threads”— that were woven into the very being of who he was and how he lived his life.

• Respect for the awesomeness and authority of God (Genesis 39:6-9.

• Wisdom for living life, based on a knowledge of God (40:5-8).

• Grace in relationships with others (41:51-52).

• A sense of destiny and purpose that came from God (45:4-10).

• A perspective for life based on the sovereignty of God (50:15-21).


These master life threads are also desired characteristics in the lives of our own children—as they learn to know, love, and serve the Lord.


We know that Joseph knew about the Lord. God was the God of his father, Jacob. As Joseph’s life continued in surprising new situations—as head of Potiphar’s household, as a prisoner, and finally as the man in charge of all of Egypt—he continued following the Lord. Over and over in the biblical account of Joseph’s life, we read that the Lord was with him, as in Genesis 39:21: “The LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.”


We know that Joseph loved the Lord because of the way he lived his life, refusing to be drawn into the temptations of a rich and powerful household, and because of his exemplary forgiveness toward the brothers who had wronged him: “But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them” (Genesis 50:19-21).


And we know that Joseph served the Lord—by making righteous choices, by administrating the seven years of plenty, and by giving food not only to the people of Egypt but to other countries as well. As the famine intensified, and “the people cried to Pharaoh for food,” Pharaoh responded, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you” (Genesis 41:55).


Modern-Day Josephs


What Christian parent wouldn’t want their child to grow up to be a modern-day Joseph—a young person who reflects those five master life threads, and who knows, loves, and serves the Lord?


For many parents (and maybe this includes you), their children are already becoming Josephs. They do excellent jobs spiritually nurturing their children. They daily teach their kids God’s Word by guiding them toward recognizing the need to trust Christ, praying with them, reading the Bible together, encouraging Scripture memorization, explaining difficult words and concepts and talking about the qualities of the Christian life. Then they live out God’s Word in everyday life. They take their responsibility seriously.


Then there are other parents simply don’t think about their child’s spiritual training. These parents flounder through life, not learning much themselves about what the Bible actually says, and they couldn’t begin to explain the difference between Genesis and Galatians. Yet they’re law abiding citizens and church-attending Christians. They figure their kids will turn out okay. After all, they get their kids to Sunday school and even sent them once to a Christian summer camp.


But the majority of Christian parents are somewhere in the middle. They desire to be spiritual nurturers of their children, but they don’t know how. They might be intimidated that they might not say the right words. (What if my child asks me to explain eschatology or something?) Or they don’t know where to find a plan that shows them how to be a spiritual nurturer. (They may not even realize they should have a plan).


Furthermore, you probably know some adults who grew up without any spiritual nurturing in the home, yet who are now pastors, missionaries, church leaders, or shining witnesses in the secular workplace. The Lord used someone besides a parent to mentor that child, or gave the child a desire for Bible study that transformed her into someone who truly wants to know, love, and serve the Lord.


Goal and Plan


If our destination for our children is having a child who develops Joseph-like characteristics—knowing, loving, and serving the Lord—what’s the itinerary or plan for that journey?


The lack of such a plan often becomes the roadblock in our children’s spiritual development—and getting past that roadblock is what this book is all about. This book is not a step-by-step itinerary, but more of an atlas where you pick and choose which stops to make in your own family journey—because we know all families are different, with different schedules, different interests, and different personalities.


Our desire is to give your family (and your church) ideas—lots of ideas for helping to spiritual nurture your children. But as the parent, you need to devise the route.


It’s a plan that involves both parents—and the church as well.


Dad


The father is the head of the house and the God-ordained leader of the home. Dads and moms need to work together to spiritually raise their children.


A spiritually strong dad will…

• pray with his children.

• lead the children in Bible study and worship.

• take an interest in what the child is learning at church.

• teach his children Bible verses, Bible concepts, and Bible truths.

• discuss challenging questions, cultural events and concepts with his children.

• model a Christlike attitude in his daily life.


Unfortunately in too many homes, Mom is by herself in doing all of this. Dad might drive the family to church, but he doesn’t take any real responsibility in the child’s spiritual development.


If you’re a father, know this: God has given you a job to do. Your responsibility is to do it. You can’t expect your child to grow into a God-honoring adult when he sees you ignore the Bible, find every excuse possible to avoid church, and live a life that’s inconsistent with what God says in His Word.


Mom


Children need both parents involved in their spiritual training, and that’s the basic scenario presented throughout this book. It’s a sad situation when Dad is faithfully living for the Lord, but Mom doesn’t want any part of it.


Mom needs to be an active part of the praying, teaching, discussing, and modeling too. For example, sometimes Mom’s the one who spends a half-hour before or after school helping her children work on a memory verse, and when Dad gets home, he can enthusiastically listen to the children recite the verse. This is a joint effort. Both parents are huge influencers.


You might be a single mom and already feel defeated because you don’t have a husband to help you out. You can still teach your children from God’s Word and live an exemplary life. In your situation, the partnership of the church may be more important than usual. Hopefully your church has good male role models teaching younger children, so your children can profit from a masculine influence.


A good example of one parent spiritually training a child is that of Eunice and her son Timothy (2 Timothy 1:4-5). Eunice did have the help of her own mother, Timothy’s grandmother, but she didn’t have any help from her unbelieving Gentile husband. Timothy’s mom and grandma taught him the Old Testament Scriptures and exemplified godly lives. When the apostle Paul came along and taught Timothy about the Son of God and His sacrifice on the cross, Timothy was ready to trust Christ as Savior. Timothy became Paul’s son in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2), and Paul recognized of the foundation which Timothy’s mom and grandma had laid.


Many single parents do great jobs in spiritually training their children. If you’re a single parent, or your spouse isn’t interested in God and His Word, you need to surround yourself with likeminded adults who can give you and your children support and encouragement.


Fitting into Your Schedule


When, where, and how do we spend time spiritually training our children?


The following verses from Deuteronomy give clear instruction that our entire daily lives should provide teaching opportunities to spiritually train our children:


Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)


In a real sense, spiritual training in the home is ongoing and never-ending. It’s really a part of everything you do.


But we also need to set aside specific times when we come together as a family to pray, honor, and worship the Lord and to study and memorize His Word. Some families enjoy singing or playing instruments together. Others read a page from a devotional book.


One teenager said, “Our family wasn’t musical, so that wasn’t part of our activities. But we did other things, such as making rebuses of Bible verses.”


You might set aside a time each day for spiritual focus—at the breakfast or supper table, or before bed. Or you could plan family nights when an entire evening is dedicated to a lesson, an activity, and a special treat. (Be careful you don’t present the activity as more important and fun than the lesson. Bible study can and should be a great experience.)


Maybe your family’s schedule is so complicated that you can’t have a regular set time for spiritual focus, but you can still conscientiously meet together as a family to pray, worship, and learn about the Lord.


A couple considerations in all this:

• Sometimes families are diligent in having family devotions, but that’s the only time their children hear about the Lord. Because Dad prays and reads a page from a devotional book, he feels he’s taken care of his spiritual leadership responsibilities. Five minutes later, the children hear him swear when opening the gas bill, or see him confront a neighbor because the neighbor’s dog messed up the lawn. What he verbally taught is negated by the way he lives his life.

• Families are different. One guy diligently teaches his kids from the Bible, helps them with their memory verses, and consistently lives a godly life, yet he feels guilty. He knows of another family that spends thirty minutes of concentrated training at the supper table each night, but his irregular work schedule doesn’t allow him to do that. He is, however, doing a great job. We need to focus on our own families, not on what someone else is doing.


We as parents need to work together to develop the itinerary for our own families, keeping

our eyes on the goal of raising children who know, love, and serve the Lord.


Your Church


Whether large or small, your church is your best partner in raising your children.


In fact, the size of the church doesn’t really matter. Mega churches have the money and staff to provide exciting programs for both parents and children, and those programs can be good. But smaller churches can be better at giving a child a sense of security, family, and nurturing that you don’t always find in a larger church.


So church size isn’t important. What is important is the attitude of the church and the pastor toward kids. Does your church leadership really care about kids? Do they see the value in children’s ministry, and provide necessary resources to spiritually disciple children? Do they occasionally visit children’s or youth ministry times to give the lesson, answer questions, or simply greet the children or youth? Do they make an effort to learn the names of the kids, or do they know your three teenagers (who have been attending the church since birth) only as the Hansen kids?


If your church doesn’t see the importance of encouraging families, maybe you could be the catalyst to begin the initiative.


After this book’s Part One (which focuses on giving parents specific age-appropriate suggestions for their child’s spiritual development), Part Two will focus especially on practical ways the church can partner with you in this task. Be sure to explore what’s presented in Part Two, and become familiar with ideas of how churches and families can work together.


Planning Your Family’s Spiritual Journey


The ideas in this book are suggestions. No parent can do everything, just as no church can do everything either. Our goal is to give you plenty of ideas to help get you started and keep you going.


So let me lay out what you’ll find in each chapter in Part One, which is especially geared for you as a parent. (Keeping the journey idea in mind, most of these components have travel-related labels.)


Life Threads


Each chapter targets a different stage of a child’s life, and will focus on an appropriate life thread

(reflecting a quality that Joseph displayed in his life).


Here are these life threads for each age category:


Preschoolers (ages 2-5) Respect


Early Elementary (ages 5-8—kindergarten to second grade) Wisdom


Older Elementary (ages 8-11—third through sixth grades) Grace


Middle School (ages 11-14—seventh and eighth grades) Destiny


High School (ages 14-18—ninth through twelfth grades) Perspective


At the beginning of each chapter, you’ll find listed again the life thread to focus on for that stage in your child’s life.


By the way, if you’re looking at this list and thinking, “Great, but my child is already twelve years old!”—that’s okay. Yes, you’ve missed some prime training opportunities, but you can catch up. Review the sections for preschoolers and elementary age children, and teach the principles to your child using explanations and activities appropriate for a twelve-year-old. Instead of regretting what you missed, focus on the present and look to the future. These concepts are good for all ages—including adults.


What They’re Like


Early in each chapter, this section lists ten characteristics about that particular age category. Understanding these characteristics will give you a great head start in helping your child grow spiritually.


What They’re Asking


This section in each chapter lists the kinds of questions that kids in this age group typically ask about God and the Bible. You’ll also find suggested answers to a few of the questions.


These questions came from a “Biggest Question Survey” sponsored by Awana. A few years back, we asked 4,000 children and teenagers, “What’s your biggest question about God and the Bible?” These children and teenagers all had some Bible background (though, after looking at their questions, we surmised that some didn’t remember much of it). Then we determined the most-asked questions for each age group.


But don’t stop with reading what other kids have asked; ask your own children for their biggest questions about God and the Bible.

What You Can Do


In this section of each chapter you’ll find a wealth of practical suggestions for what you as a parent can do to help in your child’s spiritual growth in each stage. This begins with a short section about helping your child make the all-important decision to trust Christ as Savior.


Bios and Verses


Here you’ll find appropriate Bible biographies and Scripture memory verses to explore and learn with your children.


(At Awana, we substitute the word “biography” for “story” to emphasize that what comes from the Bible is true and not fictional. We explain that a biography is a true story about someone.)


What Not to Do


Sometimes we hinder more than we help. Each chapter includes this section where you’ll find common errors to avoid in each stage of your child’s life.


Checklist


Each chapter also includes a checklist of basic attainments to look for in your child’s spiritual development.


Family Itinerary


Finally, the section in each chapter labeled “Family Itinerary” is a worksheet to help you develop your plan and goals for your child’s spiritual journey in each stage.


Here are a couple of samples of completed itineraries from two families, one with younger children and one with teenagers:


A Sample Itinerary for a Family with Young Children


Our spiritual goals for the year are:

1. Teach Emma and Jacob that God created the world.

2. Teach Emma and Jacob that God loves each one of us.

3. Teach Emma and Jacob that the Bible is God’s book.

4. Teach Emma and Jacob that Jesus is God’s Son.

5. Teach Emma and Jacob that we’re to obey God.


Our family verse for this year is:

Genesis 1:1


We’ll also study the following six additional verses (one every two months) about God and His character:

1. Psalm 33:4

2. Proverbs 3:5

3. Matthew 28:20

4. Romans 3:23

5. Ephesians 6:1

6. 1 John 4:14


We’ll also study the following six Bible biographies (one every two months):

1. Adam

2. Joseph

3. Heman

4. Josiah

5. David

6. Christ’s birth


We will also do a more extensive study on this person in the Bible:

Heman in 1 Chronicles 25:5–7. We’ll learn how he and his family sang in the temple. We’ll learn a song together and sing at church.


Here are other activities our family will do together to learn about Bible characters:

1. We’ll watch a series of DVDs on Bible characters (a set we were given that’s factual).

2. We’ll visit Grandma and Grandpa and look at their pictures they took in Israel.

3. We’ll study Josiah and other Bible characters who served God even though they were young.

4. We’ll do several crafts using natural materials from the outdoors as we talk about God’s creation. These will include leaf-tracings, pictures on sun-sensitive paper, and drying flowers.

5. We’ll teach Emma and Jacob to identify five birds and five flowers, explaining that

they were all created by God.


Here are some themes for family fun nights we would like to do this year:

1. We’ll build a birdhouse together and learn about ten birds in our area of the country, and we’ll talk about creating a wonderful variety of birds.

2. We’ll make a mural for the basement wall of David watching his sheep.

3. We’ll invite Grandpa and Grandma to family night so they can hear Jacob and Emma say their verses.

4. We’ll make a book of all the different Bible biographies Jacob and Emma have learned at church this year.

5. We’ll visit the zoo.

6. We’ll make cookies for the lady down the street who’s homebound.


Our family has completed this year’s family itinerary and met our spiritual goals.

(Signed by each family member)



A Sample Itinerary for a Family with Children in High School


Our spiritual goals for the year are:

1. Study the book of Ephesians together.

2. Encourage Andrew and Amanda to teach and mentor their younger siblings.

3. Discuss biblical worldview and what that means as Andrew and Amanda head off to college.

4. Have open, honest discussions about difficult cultural issues.

5. Encourage Andrew and Amanda to write down any questions they may have about God and the Bible and to work through those questions as a family.

6. For Andrew and Amanda to serve by singing and playing guitar at the rescue mission once a month.


Our family verse for this year is:

Joshua 24:15


This year we’ll do the following family research project:

On creation. The project will culminate with a week at creation camp this summer.


We’ll memorize this chapter from the Bible:

Ephesians 2


We’ll read (either as a family or individually) the following books:

1. Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell

2. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis


Our family service project this year will be:

Serving at the soup kitchen on Thanksgiving and Christmas


Our family has completed this year’s family itinerary and met our spiritual goals.

(Signed by each family member)



Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell (a review)

Love's Pursuit Love's Pursuit by Siri L. Mitchell

In the small Puritan community of Stoneybrooke, Massachusetts, Susannah Phillips stands out both for her character and beauty. She wants only a simple life but soon finds herself pursued by the town's wealthiest bachelor and by a roguish military captain sent to protect them. One is not what he seems and one is more than he seems. In trying to discover true love's path, Susannah is helped by the most unlikely of allies, a wounded woman who lives invisible and ignored in their town. As the depth, passion, and sacrifice of love is revealed to Susannah, she begins to question the rules and regulations of her childhood faith. In a community where grace is unknown, what price will she pay for embracing love?

My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is an uncomfortable read. It is fabulous story telling, and the themes are ones that need to be told. But it is not warm and fuzzy, and nor does it need to be to be told well. Siri Mitchell is an incredible author and her writing is good. She delves into the harder sides of characters lives and deals with stories that need to be told in a manner where many would just walk away from the pain and hardships. The structure took a bit to get used to and for a while was driving me crazy with jumping from one narrator to another with no hints as to which person's thoughts you were hearing as a reader.



However this book is not all prickles and stings, there are the shimmers of light one needs to grab onto to keep on going. One must grab them though and not let them pass on by. In my opinion, this is one of those stories where after reading it, you do not just get up and go back into a loud world, but you sit and contemplate and let what has been experienced soak in.



Love's Pursuit is a perfect title for this book. Through out you assume things to be one way, yet reading the back cover blurb another, and then as plot thickens and other things change you assume another. Yet to me, in reality, the title is meant in a different frame of view entirely. The first half of this book was a bit for me to trudge through, but I am so glad that I did and I do recommend the book. I recommend when you get to parts that you might want to put it down, that you keep on going, because the gift that you are given by accomplishing this read are well worth your effort.


View all my reviews.

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House; 1 edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764204327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764204326


Friday, June 26, 2009

#ClothDiapers Grand Opening!!!! The Natural Baby


I just wanted to drop a line today to let you know about the brand new brick and mortar Cloth Diaper shop that also sells through an online store, The Natural Baby!! Grand Opening is tomorrow, Saturday, June 27, 2009 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The shop is located in Watkinsville just outside of Athens, Georgia. I have been talking to one of the owners a couple times through email and she is a delight and I cannot wait to get in her store to look around! But even if you are not in GA, she carries everything online as well and her prices are quite as competitive as the other online CD shops out there! Go look 'em up!



Our store in Watkinsville, GA opened in June of 2009 and, like our son, is growing every day! We are conveniently located just 10 minutes from the University of Georgia in Athens. We have a large restroom/fitting room complete with changing table for your little ones and a pair of comfy chairs in our reading area are perfect for Mommy-meals on the go! Stop by for a visit!

Tuesday - Saturday
10 am - 6 pm
Open till 9 pm on First Fridays!

877.BABY.230
706.705.1309

Email us!

17 north main street
watkinsville, ga 30677






FIRST: Live Deeply & Live Relationally by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card authors are:


and the books:


Live Deeply: A Study in the Parables of Jesus

David C. Cook; New edition edition (June 1, 2009)

AND

Live Relationally: Lessons from the Women of Genesis

David C. Cook; New edition edition (June 1, 2009)


ABOUT THE AUTHORs:




Lenya Heitzig is an award-winning author and popular Bible teacher. After beginning her ministry as a single women’s counselor with Youth With a Mission, Lenya married Skip and together they started Calvary of Albuquerque, one of the fast growing churches in the country. The author of Holy Moments and coauthor of the Gold Medallion-winning, Pathways to God’s Treasures, Lenya currently serves as Director of Women at Calvary, overseeing weekly Bible studies and yearly retreats. Lenya and Skip live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Visit the author's website.


Penny Pierce Rose is the award-winning author/coauthor of several books and Bible studies, including the ECPA Gold Medallion winner, Pathways to God’s Treasures. She has served on the board of directors for the Southwest Women’s Festival and develops Bible study curriculum for the women’s programs at Calvary of Albuquerque. Penny, her husband, Kerry, and their three children, Erin, Kristian, and Ryan, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

Live Deeply:
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition edition (June 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434799867
ISBN-13: 978-1434799869

Live Relationally:
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition edition (June 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434767485
ISBN-13: 978-1434767486

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTERs:



LESSON ONE

Root Determines Fruit

Matthew 13:1–23

Lenya adored Mrs. Johnson, her elementary school teacher, because she had the ability to bring Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to life. Lenya’s sister would anxiously wait for her to arrive home to retell the story in every detail. Penny loved nothing more than spooky bedtime tales from her granddaddy. She’d lie awake at night, jumping at every sound, wondering whether the boogeyman was real. All our kids loved trips to the library for story hour.


Since ancient times, storytellers have enthralled audiences with tales both entertaining and instructive. In 300 BC, Aesop, the Greek storyteller, featured animals like the tortoise and the hare in his fables vividly illustrating how to solve problems. The Brothers Grimm gathered fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel in nineteenth-century Germany to teach children valuable moral lessons. Baby boomers were mesmerized when Walt Disney animated their favorite stories in amazing Technicolor.


However, throughout history no one has compared to Jesus Christ as a storyteller. Rather than telling fables or fairy tales, He told parables. A parable is a short, simple story designed to communicate a spiritual truth, religious principle, or moral lesson. It is a figure of speech in which truth is illustrated by a comparison or example drawn from everyday experiences. Warren Wiersbe simply says, “A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.”1 Throughout this study we’ll learn from the stories Jesus told, comparing them to our lives and putting His eternal truths into practice.


Day 1: Matthew 13:1–3 Floating Pulpit Day 2: Matthew 13:3–9 Fertile Parable Day 3: Matthew 13:10–13 Few Perceive Day 4: Matthew 13:14–17 Fulfilled Prophecy Day 5: Matthew 13:18–23 Four Possibilities



DAY 1

Floating Pulpit


Lift up…


Lord, I love to gather with Your people and listen to Your Word. Help me to be a faithful hearer, not only listening to what You say but obeying Your commands. Thank You for being in our midst. Amen.


Look at…


Jesus proved Himself to be the promised King—the Messiah of Israel—through His impeccable birthright, powerful words, and supernatural deeds. Despite His amazing miracles and the many ways He fulfilled prophecy, the religious leaders rejected His lordship. Knowing the religious leaders had turned on Him, Jesus directed His attention to the common people. Matthew 13 tells how Jesus stepped onto a floating pulpit on the Sea of Galilee and spoke in parables to explain how the gospel—the good news of salvation—would inaugurate the kingdom of heaven on earth.


The parable of the Sower is one of seven parables Jesus taught to describe what His kingdom would look like as a result of the religious establishment rejecting Him. This parable was a precursor to the Great Commission that Jesus would give His disciples after His death, burial, and resurrection: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). There is no evidence that the religious leaders stayed to listen to Jesus’ simple stories. Yet after this teaching session, the resentment of the religious leaders only deepened.


Read Matthew 13:1–3.


On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. Matthew 13:1


Explain what Jesus did on this day in His ministry.


Matthew 13:1 is the continuation of a critical day in Jesus’ ministry. Briefly scan Matthew 12; then answer the following questions to learn more about this “same day.”
What day of the week is referred to here?
What miracles did Jesus perform on this day?
Describe Jesus’ encounters with the religious leaders.
What did He teach about becoming a member of His family?


According to Mark 3:6, what did the Pharisees begin to do on this fateful day?


And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.” Matthew 13:2–3


Explain why Jesus got into the boat.
How many people stayed to hear Jesus’ message?
What method of teaching did Jesus use in speaking to the
multitudes?
What types of things did He teach in parables?
Galilee was an important region to Jesus. Fill in the following table to learn more.

Scripture Galilee’s Significance

Matthew 4:18–21
Matthew 17:22–23
Matthew 26:31–32
Luke 1:26–28
Luke 2:39–40
Acts 10:36–38


We’ve learned that many people came to know Jesus in Galilee. Journal about the place where you encountered Jesus and how meeting Him affected your feelings about that location.


Jesus was “moved with compassion” for the multitudes that followed Him. Circle below to indicate how you respond to the many people who are lost and looking for a shepherd.




Eager to share the gospel

Impatient with their ignorance

Anxious to get away

Concerned for their eternity

Frightened by their unruliness

Other __________________



Journal a prayer asking God to supernaturally fill you with compassion for the multitudes that don’t know Him.


The multitudes crowded around Jesus, so He turned a boat on the Sea of Galilee into a floating pulpit. In his book Fully Human, Fully Alive, John Powell tells about a friend vacationing in the Bahamas who was drawn to a noisy crowd gathered toward the end of a pier:


Upon investigation he discovered that the object of all the attention was a young man making the last-minute preparations for a solo journey around the world in a homemade boat. Without exception everyone on the pier was vocally pessimistic. All were actively volunteering to tell the ambitious sailor all the things that could possibly go wrong. “The sun will broil you! … You won’t have enough food! … That boat of yours won’t withstand the waves in a storm! … You’ll never make it!”


When my friend heard all these discouraging warnings to the adventurous young man, he felt an irresistible desire to offer some optimism and encouragement. As the little craft began drifting away from the pier towards the horizon, my friend went to the end of the pier, waving both arms wildly like semaphores spelling confidence. He kept shouting: “Bon Voyage! You’re really something! We’re with you! We’re proud of you!”2


If you had been there as the boat was leaving, which group on the pier would you have been among: the optimists or the pessimists? More importantly, if you had been in the crowds along the Sea of Galilee, would you have joined the Pharisees seeking to harm Jesus or the crowd eagerly listening to the stories Jesus told?



Listen to …

The best leaders … almost without exception and at every level, are master users of stories and symbols.

—Tom Peters


LESSON ONE

Eve--Trouble in Paradise

Genesis 2:18-3:24

The first trouble in paradise was man's aloneness. For six consecutive days--as God created light, the cosmos, the land and sea, the stars and planets, the creatures in the sea and sky, and every living thing that moves, including the ultimate creation of man--God declared, “It is good.” But there was one thing that wasn't good: Man did not have a companion. So God created the perfect mate for Adam. She would be the counterpart for him physically, spiritually, intellectually, and socially. She was intended to complete him. She was more than a mate--she was a soul mate.


We know this woman as Eve. Although the Bible does not describe her, there is no doubt that she was the most beautiful woman who ever lived. Why? She was God's masterpiece. The Divine dipped His paintbrush into the palette of dust and clay and breathed life from His wellspring of inspiration to form a portrait of perfection. Just imagine a woman with a face more beautiful than Helen of Troy, a body more statuesque than the Venus de Milo, a personality more captivating than Cleopatra, and a smile more mysterious than the Mona Lisa. She ate a perfect diet, so her figure was probably flawless. Because of an untainted gene pool, she was undoubtedly without physical defect. Due to the antediluvian atmosphere, her complexion was age-defying perfection. She was never a child, daughter, or sister. She was the first wife, the first mother, and the first woman to encounter evil incarnate. That's when real trouble in paradise began.


Day 1: Genesis 2:18-25 Paradise Found

Day 2: Genesis 3:1-6 Innocence Lost

Day 3: Genesis 3:7-13 Hiding Out

Day 4: Genesis 3:14-19 Judgment Pronounced

Day 5: Genesis 3:20-24 East of Eden



DAY 1

Paradise Found


Lift up …


Thank You, Lord, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You have created me in Your image to glorify Your name. May I fulfill Your will in my heart and home. Amen.


Look at …


We begin our study when God made man and woman. Though God created both humans and animals, this does not mean that they are on equal footing. People are made in God's image, setting us apart from animals in a profound way. We possess a soul. The soul refers to a person's inner life. It is the center of our emotions and personality. The word soul is first used in Genesis: “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [soul]” (Gen. 2:7). In other words, humans possess intellect, emotion, and will.


For instance, dogs aren't bright enough to realize they'll never catch their own tails; cows don't weep over the beauty of a sunset; and a female praying mantis can't keep herself from chewing her spouse's head off. People, on the other hand, have the ability to acquire knowledge and experience deep feelings. They also have the capacity for self-control. While animals act instinctively, we as humans should behave transcendently. We are God's special creation endowed with the gift of “soul-power.”

Read Genesis 2:18-25.


And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:18-25


Explain the problem and solution God first spoke about in this passage.


Describe in detail the task God assigned to Adam.


Compare and contrast Adam to the rest of the living beings.


In your own words describe how God created woman.


a. When Adam met his mate he made a proclamation. What do you think “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” signified for Adam?

b. What did he call his mate and why?


Here we find the first mention of marriage in Scripture. Explain God's intent for marriage.


a. What else do you learn about the man and wife in this passage?

b. Why do you think this is relevant?


Live out …

a. God declared that man needs companionship. Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and explain some of the reasons why it is better to have a mate to come alongside you.

Read the sidebar concerning “Threefold Strength” and talk about how you have experienced God's supernatural strength in your life and/or marriage.


Many women today struggle with the way they look, think, and feel. But when God made Eve from Adam's rib, this was not His intent. When He made you, He made you to be the person you are too. With this in mind, journal Psalm 139:13-14 into a personal psalm praising God for making you just as you are.


For You formed my inward parts;

You covered me in my mother's womb.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works. Ps. 139:13-14


Before the fall, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. It's probably difficult to imagine being unashamed about our looks, actions, or thoughts. But Jesus came to free us from condemnation (Rom. 8:1). Read the following Scriptures and talk about how we can either stand ashamed or unashamed before God.

Psalm 119:5-6

Isaiah 41:11

Isaiah 49:23

Jeremiah 8:9


It's safe to say that none of us is perfectly content with our frame. We all wish we were better, thinner, richer, healthier, smarter, or younger. We may think that if we were different in some way people would accept us, respect us, or love us more. Maybe we'd even love and respect ourselves more. Like Eve, we would walk in this world unashamed.


A recent University of Waterloo study determined that people's self-esteem is linked to such traits as physical appearance, social skills, and popularity. Research associate Danu Anthony noted that acceptance from others is strongly tied to appearances. Furthermore, the study found that self-esteem is connected to traits that earn acceptance from other people. “People state emphatically that it is 'what's inside' that counts and encourage their children not to judge others based on appearances, yet they revere attractive people to an astonishing degree,” Anthony says. “They say they value communal qualities such as kindness and understanding more than any other traits, but seem to be exceptionally interested in achieving good looks and popularity.” The bottom line is that people's looks and behavior are intimately linked to being accepted by others.3


As women of faith, we know that acceptance from others is not nearly as important as our acceptance of One Man--the God/Man Jesus Christ, the second Adam. Only by accepting Jesus Christ's sacrificial death will you be made whole: “You are complete in Him” (Col. 2:10).

Listen to…


The woman was formed out of man--not out of his head to rule over him; not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him; but out of his side to be his equal, from beneath his arm to be protected, and from near his heart to be loved.

--Matthew Henry


When it comes to devotions for me I am a pretty picky person. Usually you can find something that says that it is meant for group or individual use, but while reading through everything is directed at a group and that puts a spiritual burden on me for why I cannot seem to find an in person group for study and that deflates part of the purpose behind the devotional in the first place. That is not what I found with these two books. Another plus for these books is there size. They are slightly larger than a trade paperback, but not too much so, and really just the perfect size to sit down and hold with your Bible also open nearby.

I am quite a fan and although not completely through these devotionals, I plan to get the other two in the series as soon as I finish these. I really feel these books are an addition to my life and I'm really enjoying them, delving deeper into the Bible and learning a bit about Living.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

What did you do yesterday?

I woke up early, drove almost two hours to meet a woman I met on craigslist to buy some hardly used cloth diapers from. Ended up talking for over an hour and encouraging her that Christian Fiction was a lot more exciting these days than the "syrup" as she put it ten years ago.

Then, I drove a couple miles down the road to have lunch. Not too exciting right? Well, once I tell you that I was eating with Julie Lessman, Missy Tippens, CrittyJoy, and
Patty Smith Hall... that's a bit more exciting is it not?




So tell me, who did you eat lunch with yesterday?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cloth Diapers: A Guest Post and Introduction to CD Bummis




As I mentioned previously in a post, SisterL is one of my main influences for wanting to go cloth with diapering future with my baby girl (now blogging affectionately named AppleBlossom). I asked her advice on brands and types and the first thing out of her mouth was "Bummis". She said if I buy anything, I should definitely invest there. So I asked her to be a little more detailed for my readers here so that I could understand and help explain why Bummis is a fabulous choice for CD.




I started cloth diapering DD1 (second child) at 3 months with the medium sampler kit from Green Mountain Diapers (before I knew of www.JuliesStuff.com or www.NaturalBabies.com--Karen at GMD still has great things and her guide is great to pass on to new mamas but shipping was always a lot so items had to be on sale to entice me). It had bummis, a re uz em AIO, prefolds, and some pull-on covers, shortly thereafter I bought two medium FB (only color in my small stash). I was just using during the day and at home.

I slowly added 2-4 at a time and, other than the Mother-Ease one-size fitted/wool cover for night time after DD2 was born, the bummis/prefolds were the best investment by far. Over the past 5 years (of constant use but in different sizes on DD1, DD2, DS2, and DD3), only two have lost snaps and one the company replaced with the forethought of sending the next larger size up (was a small; they sent a medium). My first prefolds are finally wearing out before the bummis covers!

It is very quick to fold up and insert the prefold (with the premiums' extra folded in the back for night time/front for boys during the day--except in larges where they lay flat). They almost always wash clean, and if not, 30 minutes in the sun takes care of most all stains (I think I have a dark chocolate ice cream stain from a well enjoyed first birthday on one but it is on the outside). I've never used bleach on them--just bac-out and an oxy cleaner a handful of times.

The ease of washing them with the diapers is great. I've stopped using anything I have to wash separately. I have dried them a handful of times as recommended if they ever seem a little less than waterproof and because of this trick, making them the perfect diaper cover fabric in my opinion, I haven't felt like I need to cry if one slips into the dryer thanks to little hands helping with the laundry.



I do like the snaps best (one less step in washing) and early on got over having to always snap evenly when one less snap fit better around the waist. Always check the legs fit when doing this but it has never been a cause of leaks for us. Their rise up the back has never been a problem when using over other fitted diapers (sometimes if midsizes, you have to size up for a fitted diaper if not using a prefold). The elastic edging has a nicer feel than with other brands I've tried. While some children will have a blowout no matter what they are wearing, I've definitely had less trouble with the bummis than any other diaper making them even more attractive since they are less expensive, too.

Additional pros:
  • easier to clean up babe vs pull-on cover
  • more uses before washing vs AIO
  • quick to put on with just one row of snaps
  • can be pre-stuffed for babysitters (DH is now DC qualified for all diapers)
  • easy to dump either in the toilet for a toddler or just dumping the wet/bf prefold in the washer/diaper pail otherwise
  • top flap over diaper keeps cloths from wicking moisture

Only cons:
  • snaps don't come in prints or colors
  • they lasted so long the label with the size on it has worn off :). I can tell the difference and it is really only on the mediums but little laundry helpers need the "M"s, lol!



Anyone else use Bummis? What are your thoughts?? UPS just informed me that my Bummis Cloth Diaper Organic Starter Kit (infant size) is on it's way! So, as soon as AppleBlossom joins us, I will be able to provide you with my full opinion as well. We are fairly certain that the kit shall arrive, before she...



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cloth Diapers Adventures: My Beginning

During my pregnancy so far I have been doing a lot of thinking and researching. From gathering coupons to deliberating on the idea of homemade baby food for money savings, I have been in non stop research mode. Trying to eat fresh and sometimes organic when I can afford it to avoiding toxins and things in general that could be bad for me or my baby has kept me busy. Looking into toys that are more than just bright colors and provide some education or tactile stimulation and deciding on colors and furniture for my little one to come has been incredibly long winded.

One of the first set decisions that I made was that we are going to breastfeed only and use no formula. The second decision is to cloth diaper, and we will plan to do it full time. I will probably eventually go into detail on many of my various decisions and why, but first I wanted to touch on cloth diapering.

I know what some of you are thinking, cloth diapers?! Good luck! Well, things have come a very long way in the realm of cloth diapering in even the last five to ten years and I hope that I can give you a slight insight into some of that in the next few months or so...

First off, my leaning toward CD (cloth diapers) has a lot to do with my desire to stay away from disposables as much as possible.

  • Almost all "sposies" are made using bleach and other harsh chemicals in the plastics of their material.
  • Sposies are a huge and horrible contribution to landfills everywhere and can take more than 500 years to break down!
  • The long term savings of CD to sposies is unreal. One can save more than $1,500 in one year for one child and then if you take care of your CD you can save around $4,000 on a second child and imagine the savings on more!!
Another pull for me was that my sister is already involved in the CD world with her children. She has three now out and two currently in and other than a rare occasion will never go back to sposies. Other than that there are several reasons here and there. They are simplistic once you understand them. Different types are available to find what works best for you and your babe. The designs and colors are absolutely adorable and beyond better than any sposie you could ever dream about!

At this point, I have about 53 days left until my little gal is due to join us outside of the womb (She kicks in agreement as I type). I am trying to grow my cloth diaper stash and trying to get many different types so that I can try various ones and let you all know what works for me and why and how it might work for you or someone else you know with a baby in CD. I still have a bit to go, but if you know of specific brands that you have heard about and want to know more, LMK and I'll see what I can find and attempt to acquire some for review.

At this point my reviews will consist of the following types of diapers, but I hope to add more:
Bummis - prefolds, cloth diaper covers, disposible liners, and more
FuzziBunz - One Size (OS) and Perfect Size in Medium Pocket diapers
Kissaluvs - fitted cloth diapers (with a cover)
BambinoMio - newborn trial pack (cover with liner and insert)
Kushies - infant diaper and liners
Bamboo Baby - OS All in One (AIO)

Are you already involved in CD or know someone who is? What diapers do you use or want to try?






FIRST: The King's Legacy by Jim Stovall

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


The King’s Legacy

David C. Cook; New edition edition (June 1, 2009)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Jim Stovall is a national champion Olympic weightlifter, former president of the Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network, and a highly sought after author and platform speaker. Jim was honored as the International Humanitarian of the Year, joining previous recepients Mother Teresa and Nancy Reagan. He is the author of the best-selling book The Ultimate Gift, now a major motion picture.

Visit the author's website.




Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition edition (June 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434765938
ISBN-13: 978-1434765932

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Once upon a time, there was an enchanted kingdom in a land far, far away. The kingdom was ruled by a benevolent and much-loved king. He had led his people through many difficult times, and they had finally reached a golden age of peace, prosperity, and happiness.


The king summoned all of his wise men together and said, “Now that our land is enjoying a season of prosperity and peace, I wish to leave a permanent legacy of my reign as your ruler.”


The king went on to tell his wise men that he would like their best thoughts and ideas as to what he could do to create a fitting tribute to all the people of the kingdom and his reign as their leader. Each of the wise men left the Throne Room determined to come up with the best idea to present to the king, as they all knew that the king’s chosen action would be remembered for generations.


On the appointed day and hour, the wise men reconvened in the Throne Room.


The king said, “I want to hear your suggestions one at a time, so that I might determine what would be a fitting legacy for me to leave in honor of my reign as king.”


The first wise man approached the steps leading to the throne, bowed with dignity, and began. “Your Highness, since the beginning of recorded history, great rulers have left magnificent feats of architecture as tributes to their greatness. One need only look to the east and think of the great pyramids that have stood for generations and will remain throughout time, paying homage to the pharaohs.”


The wise man bowed again and backed away from the throne.


The king fell silent and was lost in deep thought, then said, “I am pleased with your suggestion as it has much merit. Indeed, a great edifice could stand for thousands of years to proclaim the greatness of our people and my reign as their king.”


The second wise man approached the throne and bowed reverently. He said, “Oh, great King, if I may humbly suggest that a gold coin be designed and minted bearing your image and in your honor. This coin could be distributed throughout the kingdom and, carried along the trade routes as if by friendly winds, it would literally be distributed around the world signifying your power and majesty.”


The king nodded and smiled. He seemed pleased with this suggestion also. He then beckoned the next wise man to approach. The wise man dutifully bowed and said, “Your highness, may I suggest that a monument of heretofore unknown proportion be erected in your image. Great reflecting pools and immense gardens would surround the statue. People would travel from the four corners of the earth to marvel at its splendor and pay respect and tribute to your greatness.”


The king smiled and stated, “Each of these suggestions has been well thought-out and presented. Before I go to deliberate my final decision, are there any other suggestions?”


After a long pause, the eldest wise man stepped forward. The king smiled and said, “My great and wise advisor, you have been with me from the beginning of my reign to this day, and you have always served me well. What say you in this matter?”


The elderly wise man replied quietly, “Your highness, may I suggest that each of my colleagues has proposed a fitting tribute to your greatness in the traditional sense; however, great buildings, gold coins, and monuments serve as tributes to other rulers from other days. May I humbly offer my suggestion? Something altogether different?”


The king nodded in assent.


“The one thing that could pay tribute to your greatness for thousands of years to come would be the proclamation of the Wisdom of the Ages. This would be an opportunity for you, oh great one, to communicate the greatest secret of the known world to benefit all humanity.


“Buildings and coins and statues will all pass away, but the Wisdom of the Ages would last forever. This would, indeed, be a fitting tribute to the king I humbly serve.”


The king fell into deep thought. Finally, he told all of his servants and the wise men to leave him so that he might choose the tribute most fitting to his reign as their king.

I'm behind, so forgive me. Apparently pregnancy takes over your life! (Imagine!!) I have started this book and from what I have read so far I already look forward to reading this aloud to my little girl later when she can listen to the story and maybe discuss it. I'm only a couple chapters in and I can already tell you that this book brings a valuable lesson in it's story. Full review to come, eventually I promise! (Just like this baby!)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Reading to Know Narnia Challenge


Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge

Come join me as I participate in the
Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge from Reading to Know.


Now what is required for this challenge? Very little. You decide how much or how little you want to read about the land of Narnia. All you need to do today is link your blog up to the Mr. Linky below so that people will know that you are participating. If you've written an introductory post on your blog talking about the challenge, all the better! Link up that specific post! As you read through The Chronicles of Narnia visit around and see what other people are reading and thinking about.



I realized upon finding this challenge, that I have never really read all of the books. I have read half of them, but that was only two years ago. Some how as a child I watched the BBC movies repeatedly, and listed to the stories on tape, but never read them. Well it's time that I try to! As if I'm not busy enough...

Remember, the challenge is hosting at Reading to Know, not here. So go there for the linky and such. But feel free to leave me a comment that you're in with us! Again over there...


Then come back on Friday, July 17th to link up all of your Narnia posts from this month. (Whether you write one post or a dozen! Come and link them all!)



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