Little One Lost
Summary: Our society has effectively silenced the cries of our littlest ones. Miscarriage is rarely mentioned, abortion is rampant and still borns are only briefly acknowledged. Every little soul has been created by God and thus bears His image. Every death, including the loss of our little ones, deserves acknowledgement and an appropriate time of grief. The loss of little ones is personified by the inclusion of personal stories of parents who have experienced the pain and grief through the death of their children. Mathes goes on to offer comfort to parents by enlarging God's covenant promises which are sure in Christ. Godly parents do grieve, but they do not grieve without hope, for He who creates also holds the power to keep and preserve.
Personal Thoughts: I was surprised at the thoroughness of this topic. At the outset I expected to read about miscarriage and still borns. Yes, these topic were wonderfully expounded, but so was abortion, infertility and adoption. And that's exactly what the author intended to do--to bring awareness to the many types of loss parents experience. I love how she pointed out that entire families grieve the loss of a little one, not just the mother. Part 6 is probably the most powerful section in the book which is entitled 'Healing our Pain.' Included in the final part of the book is chapter 26 which talks about compassionate care; there's a chapter that ought to be reprinted in many a church article and bulletin. Do you know how to comfort those who are grieving the loss of an infant? Do you know the words to offer that will begin a process of healing? Tolle lege--pick up and read!
Quote: "The littlest lambs are not lost. The Good Shepherd gathers them in His arms and gently leads their parents beside peaceful still waters into hopeful green pastures. Christians should not be afraid to call a baby a baby. Let's recognize that a child at any point in the pregnancy is a creation of God. Let's not fall prey to a pro-abortion mindset that minimizes pre-term loss. Let's reach out to dads, siblings and grandparents as well as moms in acknowledging their losses. Let's continue ministering to our hurting sisters and brothers long after the initial pain. And let's humbly realize the reason why God, in His infinite wisdom, chooses to end a life before it really begins is beyond our finite understanding." --pg, 133,134
Loving the Little Years
Summary: There are a pile of unflattering years when moms are literally in the trenches--knee deep in chaos, mess and relentless demands. This book is for moms enduring this incredible stage of life. The author gets it. She wrote this book while living it. She's got hundreds of hilarious anecdotes and crazy situations that prove it. She deals with almost every situation a home with littles creates; from the grabby fights ("I had it," "No, I had it first!") loud, hyper car rides, sleepy whininess, endless 'accidents', cranksters, toy hoarders...yes, it's all there. Joy can be found in the trenches. Order and perspective can be maintained in a mom's mind even though outward circumstances dictate otherwise.
Personal Thoughts: I would give this book to any mom with a host of little ones. It is so fitting, so realistic, so...funny! and perfect for busy moms as it sports short chapters in this short book. Easy to read, encouraging, and you'll even find yourself picking up a few strategies that just may change your perspective on a few things. If I could recommend just one chapter, read the one entitled "A Gracious Law." The author is so right as she talks about boundaries and discipline. So lock your self in the bathroom when you need 5 minutes, read a page or two, get a little perspective and enjoy your littles. Life is short.
Quote: "I didn't write this book because mothering little ones is easy for me. I wrote it because it isn't. I know this is a hard job because I'm right here in the middle of it. I know you need encouragement every day, because I need it too." --pg 12
"Sometimes parents can discipline behaviors over and over like we are playing whack-a-mole. There is a sin! Get it!" pg. 28
The Law of Kindness
Summary: Kindness. This virtue is so often absent from our lives--or at best sorely lacking. This immensely readable and practical book encourages Christians to show kindness in a host of life's situations. It gives practical insights on the kind husband and the kind wife. It talks about parenting with kindness. Teachers and bullies are also addressed--each in their own individual chapters. This book speaks of kindness in conversation, kindness in judgements and perceptions, kindness in practical acts of service to others. In a nutshell, Christians must exude kindness.
Personal Thoughts: At the time of writing this review, I've finished this book for the third time--and I can guarantee that I'll be devouring it yet again in the future. Yes, it's that good. Every time I read it I'm convicted of my lack of kindness and encouraged to show more kindness in my relationships with my husband and children. I am reminded to be kind in my conversations and in my dealings with others. With the Lord's help, I truly want to grow in this grace. I really do think that this book should be in every library and I find myself recommending it to many people with very good feedback.
Quote: Smiles travel the miles and bring cheer wherever they go. A kind smile acknowledges the value of someone and conveys, "Hello fellow human being," A smile can communicate, "You're special." A smile can provide a glimmer of hope, "It'll be okay; you don't have to be sad." A smile of encouragement can say, "Hang in there, you're doing well," or "I understand; I've been there." --pg. 196