Thursday, September 21, 2017

Family: How To Love Yours (And Help Them Like You Back) by Jessie Minassian

Family: How To Love Yours (And Help Them Like You Back!) is A Life, Love & God Book from Jessie Minassian, in which Jessie helps teenage girls learn how to get along better with (you guessed it) their families. This is the first book of Jessie's that I have had the privilege of reading, and it came straight on the heels of my teenage daughter announcing that she hates us and taking a "vacation" at my mom's house to take a break from us, her dreadful family.

When I first signed up to review this book, I was hoping that maybe it would somehow get through to my daughter and help her learn a few tips to get along better with herself (and the rest of us), so that maybe (just maybe) things would be a little calmer around here. I'll be the first to testify that I am not, by any means, a wonderful mom. I've made more mistakes and epic fails than could be sanely stored on the memory card in my cell phone. I'm human, it's what we do.

What I was not expecting, however, was a book that pulls the reader into a whole new line of thinking: parents are people too! Jessie starts by explaining a little about her own teenage years, in the hopes of your daughter realizing that maybe Jessie actually knows what she's going through. And, even more important, maybe she can be a trusted ally in the journey to getting along with the rest of the world just a little bit more.

Through her witty sense of humor and candid honesty, Jessie shows our girls that they're not alone, and that they will (eventually) get through whatever troubles they're going through right now. She also makes sure to point out that maybe the self-focused world our girls are used to isn't the world they should be focusing on after all. Getting closer to God and His plans for their lives also means getting closer to us, their imperfect (and sometimes annoyingly screwed up) families.

Filled with wonderful suggestions and tips to improve communication and repair relationships, as well as quizzes and application questions to encourage our girls to take an honest inventory of their own little worlds, Family is a precious gem for our daughters who feel like they should be trying harder or doing better, but don't have a clue as to where to start.

Jessie tackles not only your family as a whole, but she also has chapter devoted to improving personal relationships with moms, dads, older siblings, and younger siblings. The chapters on how to be a better big sister and how to be a better little sister are a must-read, even for the only child. Jessie also encourages our girls to look past the current obstacles and imagine what their future will be like, both with their current families and the families they choose to create when they grow up to be self-reliant and fully responsible adults.

As for my own daughter, she has yet to read this book. But I'm confident that if she works through it and sincerely gives the tips, questions and quizzes a thorough chance to settle in and help her understand herself more, then we'll all be better for it in the end. Highly recommended for anyone raising a teenage girl and, of course, for your daughters to read as well. If you're not having problems, think of this book as a good premarital counseling workbook (for our girls to tackle on their own or for families to go through together), in order to help everyone relate to each other better before problems arise. 5/5 stars.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary print copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*

About The Author (copied from back cover):
Jessie Minassian loves Jesus, sunshine, and sand between her toes. She's a speaker at churches and events across the country, an author of twelve books, including Unashamed: Overcoming the Sins No Girl Wants to Talk About, and the resident "big sis" at LifeLoveandGod.com, a popular website that helps teen girls find their identity, pleasure, and purpose in God. She lives in California with her husband and two daughters.
Purchase Links:
     Amazon
     Christian Book

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Here's Some Happy: A Coloring Journal To Lift The Soul by Gina Graham

Here's Some Happy: A Coloring Journal To Lift The Soul by Gina Graham is a unique combination of scripture (taken from various translations) and original artwork designed to brighten your mood and lift your spirits as you reflect upon your day. Like most coloring journals, the artwork and line format utilizes both sides of the page. However, Gina has done a wonderful job at alternating between full page drawings and journaling pages. This means that every place you open the book you'll find one full page drawing accompanied by a lined page with a smaller complimentary image skillfully placed along an edge or corner so as to add embellishment to your writing, rather than interfering with it.
 

The pages are thick and just slightly textured, so that I was able to use my Crayola adult fine line markers with no smearing, shadowing, or other adverse side effects. The journaling lines are spaced only slightly smaller than wide-ruled notebook paper, so there's little worry about writing too big or using wide tipped instruments.

I greatly appreciate the size of the book itself (10"x10") - making it too big to carry in a purse, but perfect for a lap desk or simply resting on your lap due to it being a very sturdy hardback design. I found the artwork itself to be very creative while still being realistic, giving me the option of sticking to realism or using colors appropriate to the mood or feelings I wished to convey. I also found it helpful that, unlike some coloring books, the picture on the front cover is a very good indicator of the artwork style found inside.


I would recommend this coloring journal to anyone looking to add a bit of coloring inspiration to their journaling time, or a bit of journaling to their coloring time. The scripture references are well chosen and suited to each picture, and each page will leave you with something positive to reflect on. 5/5 stars.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary print copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Purchase Links:
     Amazon
     Christian Book

Monday, September 18, 2017

Every Piece Of Me by Jerusha Clark

Every Piece Of Me: Shattering Toxic Beliefs And Discovering The Real You by Jerusha Clark is written for women who find themselves so caught up in their identity within society that they forget their identity within Christ. Yes, you are a mother or a daughter or a sister or a wife - but who are you under that mask that the rest of the world sees? Who are you behind closed doors, when it's just you and God left in the room?

Jerusha helps women come to terms with their feelings of not living up to society's expectations, so that they can enjoy the freedom of living under God's vision for their lives. Filled with personal anecdotes, scriptural lessons, and scientific research, Every Piece Of Me will help you to learn to let go of your own expectations for your life so that you can embrace God's purpose for your presence.

With lots of clear section breaks, questions for personal reflection or group discussion, and recommended reading at the end of every chapter - this book would serve well as an inspirational beginning for any woman starting on the journey to finding (or rediscovering) who she is in Christ. For those needing a deeper investigation, this book may leave you lacking. But for new Christians or those who feel as though they have strayed and would like to find their way back to Christ's warm embrace; It's perfect. 4/5 stars.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Baker Books for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*

About The Author (copied from back cover):
Jerusha Clark is the author or coauthor of several books, including the best-selling Every Thought Captive and Your Teenager Is Not Crazy (coauthored with her husband, Dr. Jeramy Clark). She also enjoys teaching at churches, retreats, schools, and conferences. She lives near San Diego, California.
Purchase Links:
     Amazon
     Christian Book