Archive for the ‘book’ Category


Do you have a “different” child? Or just a child not quite like you? Or a child that you don’t really understand?
I’ve recently read “Different: The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him” by Sally & Nathan Clarkson.
LOVED IT! We don’t have the same battles she & Nathan faced (ADHD, OCD, anxiety), but I found their story to be very encouraging – particularly as it relates to parenting the child we actually have, not the child we think we have or the child we thought we’d have.
We’re at the stage of parenting where personalities are starting to develop.  Where correction seems constant.  Where it’s a more than just “keeping the baby nourished and well slept”.
Some quotes I really enjoyed:
“If Nathan had grown up in a home where he was constantly put down and corrected, I think the oxygen of God’s love would have been strangled from his heart, which needed a wide berth of unconditional acceptance.”
“As a family, we told our other children, our message was clear: “If it is God’s will for Daddy and me to have Nathan as our child (for you with your issues), it is God’s will for you to have Nathan as your brother.  All of you are what make up the design of our family.”
“Because Nathan did need to be trained, some correction was unavoidable.  But when I put myself in Nathan’s shoes, I realized that my constant correction could easily be a source of frustration, insecurity, and anger in my already-fragile child.  That constant feeling of just not measuring up can build a lifelong legacy of insecurity and even despair.  Feeling like a disappointment on a regular basis can actually shape the brain patterns of a growing child.  Failure and helplessness can become self-fulfilling prophecies.”

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Looking for a fun book to read?  Try this one!

It’s “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day”.  I can’t remember how it got recommended to me – it was through someone’s blog, I’m sure.  But it was just darn fun!  So easy to read.  Just a delight!

It was written in the 1930s and that was part of the fun – to see the language that they used then. The culture that they had then.  The morality that they had.  It was just great!

(Apparently, they turned it into a movie a few years ago, but I hadn’t ever heard of it and still haven’t seen it.)

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Books Read in 2014

In 2014, I kept a pinterest board dedicated to the books I read in 2014.  Looks like I read 115 books last year.  That’s about 1 every 3 days or so, so that seems about right.  I love to read and it’s what I spend any downtime doing.  (And with 2 kids who pretty much go to bed at 7:00 p.m., I have downtime!).

In the interest of keeping Pinterest practical, I’m going to delete the board eventually since I don’t really need to see all those pins.  Some of those were great, fabulous, want to read again books.  Some of them weren’t.  But I can see where having a list of books read would be handy, so I’ll consolidate those 115 books into 1 graphic.  This one!


I will eventually (I think) create a “Really Good Books” board for my absolute favorites, but for now, this seems good way to remember if I need to.

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I’ve been exposed to much literature lately about the church and missions and poverty and hunger and  disease prevention and sex trafficking.  All kinds of things.  It seems like it’s a hot topic lately as I’ve heard about it at church, read about it on blogs, see it in Christian magazines and new books.  So it’s been something that I’ve been thinking about lately.

What should the church be doing about so many of these issues?  Certainly, our track record hasn’t been super strong on assisting in these issues.  (Right?  Or is that just an assumption I’ve made?)  Books from authors like Jen Hatmaker make me think that I’m not doing enough.  Or, at least, the things that I’m doing aren’t the right things.

Some conclusions that I’ve come to:

Maybe the church’s track record is better than we think.  There are many ministries out there, formed by Christians, to help with homelessness and illiteracy.  Many a hospital has been built out of a Christian concern for people.  Many a medical missionary has gone to foreign countries to practice.

The church was established for equipping Christians, not really fixing all the world’s problems.  The world’s problems aren’t all going to get fixed.  It’s like the church is a school for doctor’s, not a hospital.  It’s the place where people are trained up and equipped to know Jesus better, love God more and to know the Bible more.

Helping others is a commandment.  And there are productive ways to help people and unproductive ways.  Sometimes, people really need money.  But other times, they think they need money, but they need Jesus to help them break the patterns of bad decisions that they’ve made or need people to give guidance.

You can’t (and shouldn’t) ignore the needs you know of – if you can meet those needs. If the person next to you says she is hungry, you feed her.  But if the person next to you say she is hungry, but only wants money (not food), then you can’t meet that need.  Being presented with someone that has a legitimate need that you can meet, seems to me to be a “holy hint” that it’s something you’re supposed to do.  I might be wrong, but I’d rather error on the side of caution.

One of the books that helped me come to these conclusions was Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert’s book named “What Is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission”.   I really recommend it.  It’s not a super easy read and I’m not in 100% agreement with all of it, but I think it provides a nice contrast to the line of thought that says “If your church isn’t more about poverty/sex trafficking/missions/drugs/homelessness/medical needs than it is about preaching/teaching/counseling/worshipping, then you’re doing something wrong.”


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I’ve recently realized how small my world is.  Wake up.  Spend time with the boys.  Drop them off at my sister’s.  Go to work.  Go get the boys.  Play, put down for naps, play.  Jeff comes home.  Do dinner, play, put to bed.  Relax.  Go to bed.

Most days are like that.  I was taking a personality test for work and it asked questions like “Do you have many friends?” and “Do you seek out social situations?”  Umm…no.  Not many friends.  (I didn’t think facebook friends counted.)  And I definitely don’t seek out social situations.

I can blame it on my stage of life.  And it’s true.  It’s just much easier to stay home when there’s 2 young ones involved.

I can blame it on going to a big church.  And it’s true.  Our church is big and it is difficult to meet people, much less make friends.

I can blame it on moving away from friends.  And it’s true. For the first year of marriage, many of my friend lived really physically close to us.  When we moved across town, it wasn’t as easy to just stop in and see them.

But I think it’s mostly my introverted-ness.  I just don’t yearn for lots of interaction like other people do. Every once in a while I do, but really, most often I just want to read and stay in a cocoon.  (By the way, I recently read a great book on being an Introvert – checked it out from the library — Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking.)

But I’m starting to notice its affect on me.

  • When I want parenting advice, I don’t have many people that I can ask “Is this normal?” or “How would you handle this?”.
  • When different discussions come up about financial troubles or hardships, I can’t contribute much to the conversation – I haven’t personally been exposed to many reasons about why life is difficult financially.  Nor talked to many people about what they’ve gone through.
  • When the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision was announced, I didn’t think it was any big deal.  But apparently lots of other people did – judging from facebook anyway.

It’s odd because this is not Work Jayme.  Work Jayme has a big personality.  And is personable. And is (usually) funny and (I think) witty.  And asks about others.  And is informed.  And is usually in the middle of most of the stuff going on, project-wise.  But Outside-of-Work-And-Home Jayme just clams up.  And panics.  And feels awkward.  (Which that introvert book talks about why that is.  Good book.)

So I stay in my bubble.  Which I prefer.  It’s safe here.

I read another book recently about the Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn, which I really liked.  It challenged me to think of ways that I can get out of my comfort zone.  Not big ways like move to Zambia.  But in “not related to work” ways that I can do.  Things that I have skills for.  Things that don’t have to take big efforts, but ways in which I could change.  So I’m starting to mull those ideas over.

Because as good as bubbles are, they can sometimes burst!

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One last thought from “Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs to Breathe” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  In a letter from Sally to Sarah, she writes:

“I always wanted to be a hero – to sacrifice my life in a big way at one time – and yet, God has required my sacrifice to be thousands of days, over many years, with one more kiss, one more story, one more meal. “

I’ve often wanted that.  I wished weight loss worked that way: one big effort (over the course of like 1 day), then you just coast.  Or financial success: one big effort (over the course of like 1 week) and all your past financial mistakes were fixed.  Or if you worked one really hard project at work, you wouldn’t have to work hard again (like ever!).  But life doesn’t usually work that way.

And mothering is one more kiss, one more story, one more meal.  When you don’t feel like being touched anymore.  When you feel like reading something meant for an adult.  When you feel like eating junk food.  It’s lots of little sacrifices.

The good news is that I can’t remember regretting a sacrifice.  I can’t remember climbing into bed at night and thinking “man, I really regret reading ‘I Love You Stinky Face’ 20 times today.” I can’t remember saying to myself “I really wish I wouldn’t have made vegetables at dinner.” I just don’t.  Sacrifices – even the small ones – have a way of reminding you how cool these people in your life really are.




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Another lesson learned from  “Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs to Breathe” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  The quote:

“Many voices in motherhood today want to make a law out of everything – the activities that are best for a child, how to spank or not to spank, and how to secure obedience; working outside the home or staying at home; what clothing is acceptable for our girls; what movies, music, or books are or are not acceptable; dating or courting; adopting; drinking; even eating – there is no place where the grasp of legalism cannot and will not reach.

And yet, Scripture clearly speaks to the opposite.  It tells us in Romans 14:22, “Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.”  The worry of what others are doing or are expecting us to do will indeed kill our souls.”

When I read this, I didn’t automatically think of the supposed “Mommy Wars”, but, instead, I thought of the tendencies inside me.  Oh yes!  This is me!  I want rules that pretty much guarantee good results – in my child(ren) and in me!

I have got to chill out when it comes to thinking that there are easy answers to be had.  I have got to chill out when it comes thinking that there is 1 way to raise a kid.  To have a good marriage.  To live a happy life.  Chill out Jayme!


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