Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Reading for Moms

Yay! Summer has finally arrived and with it there is more leisure time. Or at least that's the theory. I have always found that after looking forward to lazy summer days they always tend to feel much more hectic than I had anticipated. It seems like summer can quickly slip away and before we know it we're pulling out the school supplies. Before we get buried in curriculum catalogs, let's spend some time reading books that will encourage, inspire, and inform us...and provide a bit of an escape. Today I'm going to be sharing a few titles that are on my summer to-read list as well as a couple I've recently enjoyed.

Found by Micha Boyett

This was one of the first books I read after giving birth to my son and it could not have been a more perfect read for that period in my life. It was grounding and encouraging. Here's the description of the book:
“My first year of motherhood I lost prayer.I lost early mornings of quiet, mornings in my pajamas with a Bible in my lap, mornings when I spoke my mind’s chaos into God’s ear and let the chaos come back ordered, holy sealed. I lost peace. I lost clarity and certitude. My faith was never perfect before my son was born, but somewhere in that first year, somewhere in my distraction and exhaustion, I lost the Spirit-life I had known. I blamed myself. . . .” 
Found is a story of nourishment for anyone who hungers for rich spirituality and has come up empty. It’s a story for anyone who is trying to reconcile great big dreams with the ordinariness of their days. It’s a story of discovering divine kindness and affection in the most mundane moments of life. With brilliant and moving prose, Micha Boyett invites us on a journey to discover the richness in the everyday—and it changes everything.

From Boyett's exploration of Benedictine prayer rituals to her honesty in relating the deep joys and unique challenges of parenthood, I enjoyed every sentence. For mothers seeking a book that will take them beyond the everyday chaos that rules so many of our lives, this is a perfect choice.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

One of the many things I love about my job is the opportunity it gives me to constantly explore what is new in the world of children's literature. Our representative Karyn recommended this book to me and it is excellent. Yes, this is a young adult book and some are a bit snarky about adults reading books directed toward teens, but this is one that I think the entire family could enjoy. Read this book with your pre-teens and I'm sure you'll be flooded with opportunities for discussion. I would encourage your to discuss the theme of courage when you chat about this book with your children. Courage takes many forms in this touching story and it will take a bit of sussing out to find each example.

I will be re-reading this one over the summer. I am constantly reading about new educational trends, the adoption of Common Core standards, the trend toward increasing racial segregation in public schools, and other less-than encouraging news from our school system so am feeling the need to reorient myself and I know this lovely book will do the trick. If you haven't read this treasure, add it to your reading list. It's encouraging and inspring. 

Gracious Christianity, Living the Love We Profess by Douglas Jacobsen & Rodney J. Sawatsky

I'm very much looking forward to spending some time with this book. The increased fracturing of our political system and social mores has resulted in a steep decline in graciousness. The online world seems to foster writing that is anything but kind and, unfortunately, this is as true on Christian websites as it is on secular ones. A guide to the Christian life, Gracious Christianity is a much needed antidote to the harsh dogma that shapes so much of public discourse. Written by two educators, I am excited to see what they have to say about rearing children in an atmosphere of grace.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen

I first heard about this book on Sara Clarkson's blog and cannot wait to delve into its pages. You can read her review here. This seems like a wonderful read for summer. This excerpt hooked me:

Books are bulky and inconvenient–like rocks, and trees, and rivers, and life. It occurs to me that everything that can be said agains the inconvenience of books can be said about the inconvenience of children. They too take up space, are of no immediate practical use, are of interest to only a few people, and present all kinds of problems. They too must be warehoused efficiently, and brought with as little resistance as possible into the Digital Age.
As a full-fledged member of the Digital Age (you are, after all reading this on a blog), I think quite a bit about how to raise my children to be savvy users of digital media, while still preserving the things I so value about growing up in a time with the internet was in its infancy. When I was a youngster my parents consciously made the decision to not have TV. Today, my husband and I have continued that tradition, only watching select shows on our computers but we also have smartphones and my six-month old is fascinated by them. The iPad is always within reach and I know he will need to have the skills needed to make wise choices in our online world. Thankfully he's already enamored with books and I  want to cultivate that attraction into a true appreciation of the joys of reading and building one's own library of real books. I think that Ten Ways will give me even more to think about on this front and I look forward to it!

What books are you going to be reading this summer? Share below! And if you would like to order any of these titles from Beautiful Feet Books, just give us a call at 800.889.1978.

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  1. This summer, I am continuing on my journey of reading through all of Marilyn Howshall's materials from Lifestyle of Learning. What she writes is so different than what most homeschool folks write. I'm also going to try to read Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.

    Thanks for sharing your list! There's a couple on there I'd love to read!

  2. One of my books for summer reading is "Desire" by John Eldredge. Finally, someone who speaks my heart language:) Thanks Becca!