Once again I am linking up with Quick Lit over on Modern Mrs Darcy to share with you some short and sweet reviews of the books I’ve been reading lately. Here are the notable.
The Sixty Minute Mother by Rob Parsons
The Husby read “The Sixty Minute Father” soon after we became parents and quickly declared he would re-read this book every year. So when I came across “The Sixty Minute Mother” on the church bookstall for a bargain price, I just had to give it a go. This book encouraged and challenged me in three very specific ways. Firstly, that as a mother I need to accept my children and not just love them, love and acceptance are two very different things. Two, that “if we do this, we can’t do that” and it’s as simple as that. Whether I work at home caring for my children or work outside the home serving others, I will be missing out on something and yet gaining something else. And thirdly, I learnt that parenting isn’t for cowards, my days with my girls safely tucked in my nest are numbered and one day I will need to let them go (and how I handle that is pretty key to our adult relationship). And did I read it in sixty minutes I hear you ask? Unfortunately it took me longer, but then I am a slow reader who also had to deal with a clingy toddler and cranky baby in between chapters.
Home for Good by Krish Kandiah
It is estimated that a child enters care in the UK every 22 minutes. In this book, Krish Kandiah challenges the church to better play it’s part in caring for the orphans in our midst, known better in todays context as vulnerable children. It’s a well balanced mix of Biblical teaching, insightful case studies and practical considerations that make it deeply challenging and truly gripping. This book left me feeling heart broken, convicted, daunted and inspired all at the same time, a very dangerous combination!
- Heartbroken – for the thousands of vulnerable children in the UK alone that are in need of a home for good.
- Convicted – that I very much have a part to play in this hard but rewarding mission.
- Daunted – at the responsibility and difficulties that would come with caring for such children.
- Inspired – by the difference the church could make it it chooses to support the care of vulnerable children in our own communities.
I ask that everyone read this book, but do so with caution, it will open your eyes, it will convict you and it will change you.
Continuing with the theme of vulnerable children, this book is a very brave attempt at redeeming international orphan care. The book focuses on the three main responses to the orphan crisis in the developing world: orphan care, short term missions and international adoption and highlights that despite many good intentions to help ‘our response to the orphan crisis runs the real risk of exploiting vulnerable families and children’. I have to admit as someone who has met orphans, been on several short term mission trips and who doesn’t rule out international adoption for my own family, this book thoroughly depressed me (as all books discussing the orphan crisis should do, I guess?) and yet, by the end it had also filled me with great hope. Hope that there is a way to help without hurting, a way to be obedient to our Biblical call to defend the fatherless. I recommend this book to anyone who supports orphan care ministries, to anyone planning on serving overseas and to anyone interested in international adoption. Despite being an emotionally challenging read, it is an important one that discusses the ethics and common misconceptions surrounding the care of orphans and vulnerable families.
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
Regular blog readers out there will have no doubt stumbled across popular blogger Myquillyn Smith, aka “The Nester” at some point. Her delightful blog, Nesting Place shares the secrets of decorating for real people and with some wonderful results. This book came out at just the right time for me, coordinating perfectly with our move into our new home earlier this year. As a recovering perfectionist and self-confessed neat freak, decorating can be somewhat trying but I can honestly say this book has been so freeing for me, enabling me to take on board the many practical tips Myquillyn has to share. This book has given me the courage to take risks, to get on with some projects and to ignore those well intentioned voices that say to go cream when in my gut I know I want to paint the walls white. It’s helped me to prioritise my spending and work out which items I feel are worth splurging on, like light fixtures and bed linen and which items I think I can make savings on, like cabinets and chests. This book has also encouraged me to define my own decorating style, thus knowing when to stay clear of the trends that just aren’t me – like cow hide rugs and wall antlers – and when to stick with the things I love, like hanging my wall gallery even if one off statement pieces are currently the in thing. ‘It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful’ has become my decorating mantra, which you will now often find me muttering under my breath as I nervously paint up another piece of furniture or sew some simple homemade curtains. As Myquillyn says, “Done is Better than Perfect” and I have to agree. It’s a perfect coffee table book full of beautiful photos and easy to read chapters that you can keep coming back to.