Book Lists – Kindred Grace grace-filled conversations among kindred spirits Mon, 16 Jan 2017 02:14:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Book Lists – Kindred Grace 32 32 The Easiest Way to Build Traditions at Christmastime Fri, 02 Dec 2016 17:59:58 +0000 The Easiest Way to Build Traditions at Christmastime

It was the December I was ten years old. A family friend dropped the third volume of Christmas In My Heart in my lap a few days before Christmas.

I read it through three times that Christmas. And every year since, no matter what the weather is like or who I’m celebrating the season with, those Christmas stories are the thing I look forward to the most. When I unpack the Christmas things, I eagerly pull out each volume of Joe L. Wheeler’s Christmas books that I’ve collected since (I have five now!).

In a world where so much is uncertain from one year to the next, I cherish the continuity of reading from the same, familiar Christmas stories each year. I cherish them because Christmas stories seem to have an extra special dose of love and joy. Even during the dark days, they are there to remind us of that Christ still comes down to our humble homes as “God with Us”.

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Where to Start When You Want a Mentor (Or Want to Be One) Thu, 17 Nov 2016 22:40:10 +0000 Where to Start When You Want a Mentor (Or Want to Be One)

Her name was Lynne. She had shoulder-length, wavy hair that was a blend of red and brown hues which framed her soft, pale face and infectious smile. Her titles were many: pastor’s wife, mother, homeschool mama, Sunday school teacher, puppet team coach, friend, and more. But I called her Mama Hobbes.

She was part of my life before I can even remember. I never asked her to be my mentor and she never asked if I wanted a mentor; she was just there. I was friends with her daughters, I was in her Jr. High Sunday School class, and I was on her puppet team. I was watching every moment and she used every opportunity to pour into me. There were moments that I challenged her and times when we disagreed. But from Mama Hobbes, I learned what it meant to be a pastor’s wife, even though at that time it was something I didn’t yet know I would need.

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best parenting books hand-picked by moms like you Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:03:22 +0000 best parenting books hand-picked by moms like you

I gave up on parenting books years before I became a mother. While many of my friends were devouring them in stacks, I found myself wandering a maze of conflicting opinions and parenting style wars that ranged from mild eye-rolling to outright heated controversy between people in my circles. And the older I got, the less I wanted to do with any kind of mommy wars–or the books that inspired them.

And when I finally picked up a book on parenting, it was so formula based that I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. My heart told me that children don’t fit into neat little boxes of expectations any more than relationships do. So, like the marriage books that I’d been disillusioned by, I just didn’t read any more parenting books.

But parenting is complicated. From the moment they placed that squishy pink bundle of baby in my arms, I knew that nothing I could have read would make me ready to be a good mom.

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books on motherhood that have challenged me Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:20:51 +0000 books on motherhood that have challenged me

Now I know why my mom never really finished books when we were growing up. Because now I have those same stacks of half-finished books everywhere — by the bed, near the couch, on my desk beneath my Bible. Each one is supposed to inspire me just by sitting there, right?  Can I absorb traits of excellent motherhood via visual osmosis?

Maybe not quite.  But they are a reminder of the truths hidden inside the covers, even if I don’t get to stick my nose into one of them for a refreshing chapter as often as I’d like. (I mean, really — what mom ever gets to read an entire chapter all in one sitting?!)

But the books on motherhood that I do keep around?  That are earning permanent dust-collecting status so I can constantly be challenged at least by the sight of them, if not by re-reading the words?  

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books for when motherhood becomes a full-time job Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:30 +0000 books for when motherhood becomes a full-time job

Now I desire to encourage other young moms and moms-to-be to make the time to read certain titles before the squalls of full-time motherhood arrive. Get direction now, so that when the winds hit, you're not scrambling through the rigging trying to figure out which rope to tighten...

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Five Books I Wish I’d Read as a Young Mom Fri, 14 Oct 2016 01:00:01 +0000 Five Books I Wish I’d Read as a Young Mom

As a young mom, I would browse the parenting section of our local Christian bookstore only to become overwhelmed by all the choices. Brightly colored covers offered a new kid by the end of the week and tips on how to parent without going crazy. Other titles offered comfort with their claims to teach me how to be a calm and joy-filled mama. Some were written by experts and others were written by ordinary parents. Men, women, grandparents, teachers…they all were ready to share their advice. Quite often what had been meant to be a relaxing afternoon, away from the questions of my two-year-old and the cries of my newborn, turned into an exasperating outing. Still, I would buy one book at a time in hopes of finding answers to my questions from the trenches of motherhood.

As you can imagine, I have purchased many books over the past thirteen years in hope of learning to be a better mom and grow in my parenting wisdom.

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Devotionals for Busy Moms Thu, 06 Oct 2016 08:00:06 +0000 Devotionals for Busy Moms

I used to devour books by the dozens. I’d read theology, fiction, memoirs—whatever I could get my hands on.

Except one thing.

I didn’t ever read devotionals.

(Well, except that one time I picked up a Guideposts and read the whole years’ worth in one sitting.)

The problem was they only took like 2.3 seconds to read and if I was sitting down to read something, I sure enough wanted it to have some substance.

Enter a new season: my husband and I adopted two children.

This changes everything, my friends.

Suddenly, I didn’t have time to read whole long books. No more grabbing the latest theological book off the shelf and diving into it with my notebook and highlighter. No more picking up a novel on my way home and reading it before bed.

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