Blue stained wood with crimson carnations

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Book Review: Bedtime Prayers That End With a Hug!

This book arrived in my mailbox about two weeks ago and I was so excited that it had finally (after a delay with the publisher) arrived!! "Bedtime Prayers That End With a Hug" was created by Stephen Elkins and looked great in the previews from the publisher so I was eager to get a copy to share with my niece!

This is a really nicely bound hardback book with softly padded covers appropriate for a little persons book. Included in it are 52 entries with a Scripture, special thought, and prayer for bedtime reading with your child. The publisher recommends this book for 3-5 years old but I have been reading it with my almost 2 year old niece with good results, she loves the pictures and the readings are short enough that she will sit still and attentive while we read them. Although she may not understand everything I am reading I feel that it is important to be talking Scripture to little ones from the youngest ages- this book lets me do that. I know that in time she will grow into the book as a whole and I am really happy that this book is essentially a child's devotional book. I have never seen something geared for an age group that young and I had my doubts about how 'fluffy' the content might be but I have been pleasantly surprised by the depth of the writing. Topics covered in the book range from the first entry that intros the theme of 'The Lord is my Shepherd' to ones on being content, working for the Lord, thunderstorms, safe travel, showing kindness, pets, doctors visits, and even one on praying for our countries leaders!

Originally I thought I would read this book on my own and share a few entries with my little niece but since its arrival there have been many moments where she and I have sat down and read it together. In fact it has become a real favorite of hers and she insists each time we read it to flip through all the pages on her own as she chatters away 'telling me the story' and pointing out all the little details in the drawings. The illustrations for this book were done by the obviously talented Ruth Zeglin and are done in a pen and colored pencil style with rich colors that hold a nice softness to them making reading a children's book a treat not a chore. Each one of the drawings has a theme of a cuddly lamb included (perfect for my families love of lambs!) and other cool things like how the animals are giving hugs, or the sprinkling of ladybugs on each entry. This makes for engaging talk time with your little one on what is happening in the pictures and before I knew it my niece was pointing things out to me too!

Having a little one in the house now has made this book a double delight to read and review- and make no doubt about it this book is a real delight- a hands down winner! If you don't have kiddos at your house go pick up a copy (or two) anyway and keep it for when they visit or give one to the friend or relative that has the kids- you won't regret it!

Final Rating: 5

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Book Review: Take Flight: A Sisterchicks Devotional

A number of years ago I read through and became a big fan of the 'Sisterchicks' books by Robin Jones Gunn. The books chronicled the mid-life travel adventures of different sets of best friends. They were a lot of fun to read and I enjoyed the colorful descriptions as well as the main Spiritual thrust of each book. A few years later Gunn paired with real life best friend Cindy Hannan to create a woman's devotional based around the Sisterchicks books.

I have read this book through twice now, once when it originally came out and once for this review. The first time I read it one of my favorite entries was the one on 'January Madness' that tells about Gunn's yearly ritual of having an all out day with God where she takes time to journal and pray and meditate on what God has done in the past year and on the possibilities for the new one. One particular January however, Gunn realizes that item by item on her review list is not just a blessing- but a double blessing which sends her scrambling for her Bible looking for 'the woman who was doubly blessed'- Hannah. In scripture, Hannah receives a double portion from her husband because she is loved. In this observation is the simple but touching reminder that God loves us- and brings blessings on us because of His love. Gunn encourages readers to invest in that love and devote time to being with God. It is a lovely entry and I loved hearing it again! My second time around in this book the entry that struck my heart was about a elderly woman Gunn visits during a speaking engagement in Russia. Though ill and having suffered a tragic past this woman radiates light. Learning her secret brought me again to tears with both the beauty of it and how closely I currently identify with it. Despite all the trials she had faced when she reached her breaking point she asked God not 'why?' but 'what?' and from that point on both accepted and embraced God's new plan for her. It is a beautiful story that was an important reminder for me.

This devotional is a lovely hardbound book that at about 6 x 8 inches and 140 pages is compact but substantial. The book is divided into four sections each with a different theme walking you through "A Birds Eye View", "On a Wing and a Prayer", "Take a Flying Leap", and "Under the Shadow of His Wing". Each section has 3-4 devotional entries so this isn't going to take you a month to complete but is surely a treat to keep by your bedside and read when you need a special kind of boost. I really like how in this book with each entry you have something to read, some verses to look up, and some space to write down your own thoughts. I also enjoyed the quotes that are sprinkled throughout each entry, they always gave me some other insight or nugget of thought to ponder!

Having enjoyed reading this now more than once I can heartily recommend it! Any woman in your life from the collage student to the mom should have some fantastic times of reflection in this charming book.

As I now find myself in possession of two copies of this book I thought it was high time that I do my first give away! All who leave me a comment here on this page between now and New Year's Eve will be entered to win their very own copy of Take Flight! On New Year's Day I will put you all into a hat and have my pint sized niece pluck out a name! Please be willing to correspond with me via email in order to get your shipping details- thanks!

Final rating: 5

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.