Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Discipline That Connects with Your Child's Heart" Book Review

Discipline that Connects with Your Child's Heart 

by Jim and Lynne Jackson


Ever feel stuck in a discipline rut? This book will help you develop a new "lens" for effective, caring discipline with your child. "Discipline that Connects" is a profound and deeply Biblical way of thinking about corrective discipline. In these pages you'll grow in insight about yourself and your child. You'll learn to: Prepare your heart and stay calm when your kids are not.Think on your feet and respond with confidence and wisdom.Turn behavior problems into opportunities.Help children learn to be responsible for their own actions and truly reconcile with others.Use creative consequences that build skills, values, and faith in your children.Get out of the discipline rut and into your children's hearts! 

MY REVIEW:  It would definitely have been useful if this had been available when I was raising my three daughters, but I wanted to read it to be a better grandparent to the precious little ones God has blessed me with.  I feel that I can also  be a resource to my stressed out daughters and stepchildren as they seek to raise their children with Christian principles.   The authors use scripture references to support the principles they address.   They encourage an approach to parenting that is sure to reach the soul of their children and be a balm to innocent little ones entrusted to their care by God.  Listening with love is a large part of the discipline plan they present in the pages of this book.   I would recommend this book to parents, grandparents, and those foster parents and others who are raising children.   I did feel that some of the book's discipline techniques could have been explained with fewer words.  Stressed out parents do not have much free time for reading.
     I give this book a 4 star rating.  I felt some principles could have been discussed in a shorty manner.  
    I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Bethany House Publishers.

Jim and Lynne Jackson:
Jim   Jackson

"Annie's Recipe" Book Review

Annie's Recipe Book Review

Hope Chest of Dreams #2

by Lisa Jones Baker


Three young Amish women, each gifted with a hand-carved hope chest, find that one by one, with patience and faith, their most blessed dreams for the future can come true... 

Annie Mast and Levi Miller were best friends until his father was shunned by the church. Now, ten years later, Levi has returned to Arthur, Illinois, for a brief visit, and he and Annie discover their bond is as strong as ever. Spending as much time together as possible, Annie finds herself dreaming of a future with Levi. And Levi is soon dreaming of building a home on a beautiful local hillside--to live in with Annie. Yet their longings are unlikely to become reality... 
Levi is part of the English world, and while Annie cannot see herself there, she knows she must reveal her heart's truth to him. And Levi, strongly reminded of his Amish roots, knows he must heal the bitterness of the past. And together, with love on their side, they just may find their way to an answered prayer...

MY REVIEW:  Hope chests are so special.  I never had the pleasure of owning own myself, except for a very small cedar one that a local furniture shop gifted to every senior girl upon our high school graduation.  I treasured that little chest and kept special things in it...the hand-tatted handkerchief that my grandmother made, love letters from my husband from our dating days, etc.  Sam makes hand-carved ones with special meaning for each recipient.  Annie and her sisters have made it their mission to minister to Sam after the death of his wife, and he has a unique bond with them.  He gives wise counsel to Annie as she renews a friendship with Levi from her school days in the Amish schoolhouse .  They were inseparable in their younger years and they find that the desire to spend time together is just as great if not even greater.  But he is now English and mamm and the Amish community disapprove of their relationship as they fear she will leave the Amish faith and become English.   Will their love for each other be realized?  He doesn't want to leave the English world and she doesn't want to leave the Amish.  Can God help them find a way to be together?  
        I loved reading this story and discovering new things about Annie and her sisters.  They share a special bond and this resonates with me as I feel the same way about my sister and four brothers.  Family is important to me, just as it is for Annie, Levi, and the Amish in general.  My faith in God drives my decisions and that is certainly true for the Amish.  Levi was once Amish himself so this is still vital to his life as well.  Lisa Jones Baker incorporates faith beautifully into the words of her writing.  This book would be appropriate for teenage readers as well as adults.  
      I am pleased to say this book deserves a rating of 5 stars.
      I received a gift copy of this book from netgalley and Kensington Publishing Corporation.

About the Author:
Lisa Jones Baker

Lisa Jones Baker grew up near a small Amish town in Illinois that she frequented with her family on weekends. She's also a dog lover and a fan of Scottsdale, Arizona, where she spent nearly two decades. Lisa graduated from Illinois State University with a French major, has been on 5 out of 7 continents, and considers her parents the best in the world. Raised in a Christian home, Lisa has always been blessed with love and support.

Monday, May 1, 2017

"More Than a Marriage" Book Review

Book Review of More Than a Marriage

Wells Landing Quilting Circle #3

by Amy Lillard


In the close-knit Amish community of Wells Landing, Oklahoma, a women’s quilting circle welcomes a new member who is struggling to keep her marriage together—or let it go . . .

Quiet and unassuming Tess Smiley is new to Wells Landing. She is also newly married to Jacob Smiley. But already she is finding that married life isn’t the gentle union of contented devotion she had envisioned. Rather, the old-fashioned qualities that had endeared her to Jacob have become a source of inner confusion. As his father did with his wife, Jacob has begun treating Tess like a servant, taking her for granted, no longer surprising her with little presents. And once he began his job at the Englisch shed company, he has become more interested in his company smartphone than in spending time with Tess . . .

Jacob can’t see what Tess is upset about and continues his boorish ways, ignoring her pleas to attend marriage classes. Tess loves Jacob with all her heart, but it’s her heart that tells her she must take a stand. With surprising determination, she asks for help from her new community and is welcomed into the home of her friend Clara Rose and her husband Obie. Only then does Jacob begin to see how deeply his behavior has hurt Tess. But is he too late? He may be contrite, but he will need to show much more than that to win her love all over again . . . 

Book Review:  What a different book this Amish romance is!  Amy Lillard has taken a huge step outside the typical Amish fiction work and I love it!  I appreciate the fact that she steps away and dares to risk acceptance of a different storyline than the norm.  This book is inviting and one I read with relish!  
Tess is upset when Jacob uses his cellphone that he received from his work boss to use for business. The Amish normally do not use cellphones except for business, but Jacob makes a facebook page and stays on it all the time.  Tess feels forgotten and disrespected.  Jacob just doesn't see that he is hurting Tess.

I can understand how Tess feels to want to be noticed and cherished by her husband.  In marriage, it is important for couples to do things together and feel happy to be with their spouse.  I would feel neglected as well, but I would continue to be faithful to my marriage and would not consider giving up.   I really love that this book veers from the works of Amish fiction.

My rating for this book is 5 stars *****
I received an ebook of this Amish fiction from netgalley.  No review was required. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:

Amy Lillard

(Taken from amazon's author page)
I'm a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I've retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I'm from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son-a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, nail polish, and romance novels-not necessarily in that order. I'm a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I'm shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that's why I love to write inspirational romances. The two go hand-in-hand for me.

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I'm a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that's me June Cleaver with a laptop.