The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim: I really enjoyed this modern day retelling of The Scarlet Letter. It was so easy to get lost in this book that I found it difficult to put down. I usually don't enjoy re-reading fiction books for at least 10 years but I could definitely see myself reading this one again in a year. Such a lovely book about love and forgiveness set in the Amish/Mennonite world. Want to know something neat? I actually know the author (and that isn't why I liked the book)! We went to college together and let me tell you when I think of Jolina I just think sweetheart. I am not a bit surprised that she wrote such a beautiful story.
Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman. When this book arrived I thought this was exactly what I need for this season of life! This small book includes 11 chapters which help the reader to think about motherhood in a Gospel centered way. I was SO encouraged throughout each chapter of this book. Furman challenged the reader to stop getting frustrated when one of your children wakes up during your quiet time. Instead she says to look at all of a mother's tasks throughout the day as worship.
When I became a mother I had been warned about the sleepless nights, what it might be like to become a parent, feedings, scheduling, cloth diapers, etc. I was completely unprepared for how my "quiet time" life would change. For years I had been incredibly blessed to spend long periods of time (think 1/2 hour to 1 hour) daily uninterrupted each morning learning about God, spending time in deep prayer, journaling, and believing that I was really growing in my walk with the Lord. When I had my first child Eli it turned my whole quiet time world upside down. He seemed to have (and still does have) a special gift for waking up before I was finished no matter what time of day (or night) I woke up.
Gloria Furman understands that which is what I found so refreshing about this book! She doesn't provide a step by step plan for helping the reader to make life all about them. What Furman does is point the reader to what they really need which is Christ. No mother is ever going to be perfect but thankfully we have a Savior whose grace is sufficient to cover all of our sins and the "mommy guilt" that we all carry. I cannot commend this book enough for those of you who long for Jesus while your hands are filled with little ones. (Please note that I did receive a free copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review which did not have to be favorable.)
Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships by Jana, Jill, Jessa, & Jinger Duggar: This book written by the four oldest Duggar girls is an interesting glimpse into their lives and what it is like to grow up in the Duggar family. Honestly I felt like the book is really geared towards single ladies who are in their late teens/early twenties but I did enjoy the book. I loved hearing more stories about their lives and it really made me think about how I hope to raise my own daughter.
The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk: Foreword by Martha Sears, RN by Lisa West and Lisa Marasco: I haven't had serious trouble with my milk supply but I do have friends that have. I picked this book up out of sheer curiosity and a desire to encourage others. I did have some issues with Evangeline the first week or so when she wasn't gaining weight as quickly as they would have liked so I am familiar with pumping and supplementation. (If you have seen any pictures of Eva from the past 5 months you know she is gaining like a champ!) This book was very thorough and seemed to address every issue that might be hindering one from making more milk. If you are struggling with low milk I would recommend this book AND a visit to a lactation consultant or La Leche League Leader.
Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson: This book was all about the home and lifestyle of the Johnson who family who accumulates only 1 quart of garbage every 6 months. I was intrigued after watching this video about their family. While I don't believe that my family will ever completely embrace Zero Waste living, I was encouraged to do our part to: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot. What do you think? Could you ever see your family living a zero waste lifestyle?
Have you read any great books lately that you would like to recommend?