Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How God makes babies

How God makes Babies, Jim Burns

This is the next book in the same series by Jim Burns.  Again, it has great simple text and colourful fun photos.

Aimed at ages 6-9, it goes into a little more detail about boys and girls’ bodies and includes great section of personal safety talking about how no-one needs to see your private parts and no-one should get to touch them.* It talks in more detail about marriage, how husband and wife come together to make a baby and how a baby is born. Like the previous book, it also talks about how some children come into a family via adoption.

This is a great book to have on hand if you know someone who is pregnant, or you are about to welcome a little brother or sister into your home. It answers many of the ‘but how?’ questions.  It may give a bit more detail than you want, but it is all accurate and open and very well done.

* another great book which deals with personal safety is: Everyone’s Got a Bottom (reviewed here)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

God made your body

God Made Your Body, Jim Burns

This book is a great one to start with to explain to young children how God made them.  Aimed at ages 3-5, it uses simple, honest text and great, colourful photographs to explain how God created them. It talks about how God made each of us the way we are – how we look, and what we are good at doing, and the simple anatomical differences between boys and girls which are needed to make babies when they are grown up.  It briefly explains how mum & dad make the baby and how it grows. My kids all still remember that once they were the size of a cheerio!   It also has a brief description of adoption, which I thought was a wonderful inclusion.

It is a great beginner book to introduce kids to how they were made, that are loved and in a family, and it was all done by God.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The birds and the bees

Over the last few years we have been explaining the facts of life to our kids – how babies are made and all that jazz.

Our feeling is that we want to be open and honest from the very beginning with our children about sex, marriage, family and God’s plan in all of it.  We want them to find out the details from us first, even if they are a bit young when we tell them.  We are trying not to be squeamish about details, but to tell them what is appropriate to each of their ages.  So, obviously our 9 year old knows a lot more detail than his 5 year old sister.

Over that time we have found some good books that I want to share with you, for a number of different ages.  I have discovered that it is useful to have a couple of different books on hand, not just one.  I’ll show them to you in a series this week, so you have some resources available for when these topics come up in your house!

All the books are Christian, because we want our kids to know that God is in control, that he made families and people the way they are, and most of all – that sex takes place in the loving, committed relationship of marriage.  We don’t just want to give them the facts, we want to help them to make good choices and to be informed of what such choices mean.

Tomorrow: the first book - for little ones.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography

When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart, Vicki Tiede

Rarely do you read a book that speaks directly to a certain issue with openness, honesty, vulnerability, gentleness and directness all at the same time. This book is all of those things, as well as being solidly grounded in the truths of scripture and of our loving and powerful Father in heaven.

In writing from her own experience, Vicki Tiede has created a book that many Christian women will thank her for – a resource and guide for dealing with the emotions and upheaval created by discovering their husband has an addiction to pornography. And if the statistics she quotes are true (that 50% of men and 20% of women struggle with pornography addiction, p102) this is a resource needed by many.

It is a delicate and serious subject matter and she has handled it very well. She has structured it around 6 themes (hope, surrender, identity, trust, brokenness, forgiveness), which have been divided into weeks (rather than chapters). Each week has 5 days of material, dealing with different aspects of that theme by searching the scriptures, talking through the issues and inviting response. This is a book to read with a pen ready to write in it – it is almost a workbook.

It is not a book about how to ‘heal’ husbands or anyone who struggles with these issues themselves, but rather to spiritually help those who as a spouse have been betrayed and damaged by such a discovery. For couples who have come through this challenge together, it is possible that it will be helpful reading for the husband to explain some of the things his wife has had to work through.

What is clear and overwhelming as you read it, is that Vicki is keen a wife to see her value in God alone, not through the eyes of her husband or anyone else. She continues to bring the reader back to God and his word, reminding them of his goodness in all situations. She challenges the reader to see the sin in themselves, not just their husbands, and is always looking to find a way forward in growth and godliness, rather than in bitterness and resentment.

As I read it I found that I would readily recommend it to any woman who has found herself in this situation. If that is you, you can read the introduction and the first two days notes via here.

I would love this resource to get into the hands of women who need it. You can buy it here.  I also have two copies from New Growth Press to give away – either paper copies (if you are in the USA or Canada) or ebooks (for the rest of the world). Email me if you would like to go in the running for such a giveaway. (For this giveaway, considering the nature of the book, I will not announce the winners on this blog, I will just email you back to tell you will be receiving a copy and to get your details).  UPDATE: all giveaways gone - you'll have to buy a copy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Growth Press

I have started a bit of a partnership with New Growth Press.

They are having blog tours to promote their new titles. They send me a copy and those that I like and recommend, I will review here on musings.

I want to up front about this.  I receive a free copy of the ebook to review in advance and will sometimes receive a free paper copy.  At times I will be able to offer some free copies (either paper or ebook) to readers.  I am not in any way obliged to write positive reviews, although when I choose to review a book it will be because I think it is good.

I have been very encouraged by some of the material I have seen so far and am keen to share it with you.

Later this week I will be reviewing one of their new titles – an excellent book and a great resource, although it's a sign of our fallen world that such a resource needs to exist.  Come back later and see…

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fun in Melbourne

I just had the most wonderful weekend away.

A trip to Melbourne.  A sort of celebration of the end of the pre-school years.  I wandered around the city, took photos, caught up with an old friend and met Jean in person (from inallhonesty).  It was lovely.

However, it wasn't just a fun weekend away.

It was also the culmination of 12 months of hopes and 6 months of training for the Melbourne Half Marathon.

It was fantastic.  The day was perfect: clear, cold and sunny.  I had such a grin on my face as I walked to the start line I probably looked like the Cheshire cat.

Even the race itself was good, all 21.1 kms of it!   

The finish line was inside the MCG and as I ran in, through the stadium and around the ground, I will admit - there were a few tears of joy in my eyes.   I was absolutely thrilled with my time of 2:16:26. 

If you want to see a photo that really captures my emotion on finishing, try this link!

At the risk of repeating myself from previous posts - if you think you could never do this - read all my posts under the label 'running' and see how much my running has changed over 3 years. Believe me, if I can do it - so can you. 

And now, it's time to stop talking about me and get onto some other blogging!  Stay tuned, dear readers...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What to do?

My husband has been insisting for a long time that when the little one starts school that I will not say ‘yes’ to anything new for a year. He does not want me to overcommit (which admittedly is quite likely). He wants me to stop and think about this next stage. As I look at things, the last stage went for 10 years, this one will go for 8 (with all 3 at school). That’s a good chunk of time to think about.

So that’s what this term is for – thinking through the next stage.

I’ll let you know my thoughts as time progresses.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A new phase - school!

Our youngest child started school this week.

It comes almost exactly 10 years after I finished my 3rd year Bible College exams 20 weeks pregnant with our first child. Therefore I have been home as a mum with young kids for a decade. That’s a long time. It’s also the end of an era.

No more babies or pre-schoolers.
No more naps or nappies.
No more kindy (pre-school) run.
No more little people to take grocery shopping.
No-one to chat to during the day.
No helper as I clean.
Just one pick-up and drop-off each day.

I have found it an absolute privilege and (mostly) a joy to be a stay-at-home mum over the last 10 years. I wouldn’t have done it any other way and I know I will look back over these years with thanks for the freedom and ability to be at home.

However, all good things come to an end, and as far as I am concerned, often move on to better things!  My overwhelming thought on Monday (when she started school) was:

It’s the first day of the rest of my life!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Moving house

We moved in the last few months.*  We have not gone far and nothing has changed except the house (school, work, church all remain the same). Therefore it was a very easy move in that regard. All went well and we are now happily ensconced in our new home.

Yet for all the relative ease – it took almost every moment of time and every thought I had. Lots to organise, tradespeople to see, boxes to pack, belongings to sort out.

I found myself again and again pondering just how much we have. One night I was almost in tears trying to unpack the kitchen and found myself saying “we aren’t supposed to store up treasures on earth – and this isn’t treasure, it’s just more stuff!”

It’s another one of the balancing acts of life on earth when our home is in heaven. We are living on earth, and we need to have furniture, clothes, kitchen appliances to do so. Yet at the same time, we risk becoming awfully attached to them don’t we?

Just the process of moving again, and having to go through everything made me realise a few things:
  • We are incredibly blessed, particularly materially. We want for nothing.
  • I do feel uncomfortable about that. Why are we so blessed when others are not?
  • I need to remember to thank God for his generous provision to us.
  • I also need to remember to thank God for generous provision when things might not look so good

We are thankful for our new home. I wrote a prayer for us the night we moved in, you can see it here.

* which is somewhat ironic considering this post! (only written in February).

Monday, October 8, 2012

Back online

Well, it has been a while. Perhaps I have no more readers - you all have left to read from people who actually write – fair enough!

There has been a bit going on over here in the real world, which has left me no time for blogworld. I will fill you in with details over the new few days. But for now, I am back online. Hoping to read a bit more, blog a bit more and string some thoughts together along the way.