Books – Kindred Grace grace-filled conversations among kindred spirits Mon, 16 Jan 2017 02:14:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Books – 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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Do You Need A Mentor-In-A-Box? Mon, 21 Nov 2016 06:04:39 +0000 Do You Need A Mentor-In-A-Box?

You will always hear me advocating for a real-life mentor: someone who knows you, who sees you on a regular basis, who can cheer you on in your struggles, and call you out on your sins. A mentorship is a relationship, and a good one takes time and trust to develop. I have been blessed to have several mentors in different life seasons, and I am deeply grateful for their investment in my life.

But what if you simply can’t find anyone who fills that role?

Order a Mentor-In-A-Box, of course! Did you know you can buy them on Amazon?

Okay, not exactly, but there are a number of wise women who can speak into your life by way of their writing. And like most friendships ebb and flow with the changing seasons of our lives, it’s likely that some writers will be more helpful than others at certain times.

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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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Where are the Spiritual Mothers? A Titus 2 Vision for Friendship Wed, 09 Nov 2016 01:00:41 +0000 Where are the Spiritual Mothers? A Titus 2 Vision for Friendship

“I just need some help.”

This wasn’t the first time total and utter exhaustion had settled in. Being pregnant with number three made for many challenges while chasing a toddler and spending countless hours on the city bus getting my bigger one to school.

“Can you call someone to come over?” my husband asked.

My mind went blank.

All of my close friends were in the trenches, just like me. Besides that, as much as an extra set of hands would have been helpful, I needed more than the lifting of physical loads. What I was craving was motherly love: the kind that offers the encouragement that it is all worth it; the caring, experience-ridden reminder that one day I would miss having small babies.

Living out a calling to serve the Lord in Israel has made my mom less available than either of us would like, and as I battled loneliness, even some despair, I could feel something rising in my spirit.

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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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