This book actually started out as a series of Instagram posts. The Fredericks then turned them into a 30-day day devotional with the intent of helpingThis book actually started out as a series of Instagram posts. The Fredericks then turned them into a 30-day day devotional with the intent of helping couples connect daily with one another and Jesus. Each day consists of an inspirational image/quote, a few short paragraphs centered around that specific theme, and two relevant discussion questions, followed by a space for written prayers.
Some of the images are extremely powerful. The devotional thoughts are short and sweet, but not too “surface-y”. So often I find Christian marriage devotionals cheesy and irrelevant to couples living in the real world, but the Fredericks do a great job of addressing some real issues and connecting them to spiritual/heart issues in a few short sentences. My husband mentioned he would have liked them to dive deeper into many of these areas, and I agree. (But alas, Instagram has a word limit!) I think most of the discussion questions can actually lead to thoughtful conversation, but I find it unlikely that couples will write out their prayers in the same book. That aside, I really enjoyed this little devotional and have recommended it to several friends. ...more
This Young Adult fantasy novel is a cross between Hunger Games and Pirates of the Caribbean, and the result is an adventure that kept me reading page This Young Adult fantasy novel is a cross between Hunger Games and Pirates of the Caribbean, and the result is an adventure that kept me reading page after page. Fable is a strong, endearing protagonist in the same vein as Katniss (Hunger Games) and Tris (Divergent), and West drew me in from the beginning. As with most modern YA novels, two of the supporting characters are in a same-sex relationship, so this can open the door for great discussion if your teens are reading it. Otherwise, it ends with a cliffhanger, and I can’t wait for the sequel, which I believe releases next month!...more
This book is so rich! I wish I could give half-stars; I would give it a 4.5.
It is broken down into five sections: Learning to Pray Like a Child, LearnThis book is so rich! I wish I could give half-stars; I would give it a 4.5.
It is broken down into five sections: Learning to Pray Like a Child, Learning to Trust Again, Learning to Ask Your Father, Living in Your Father’s Story, and Praying in Real Life. The first section moved a little slow for me (perhaps because I don’t struggle so much in that area), so I feared I might be disappointed. I was not!
This book got better and better as it went along. On page 35, Miller says,
“You don’t create intimacy; you make room for it. This is true whether you are talking about your spouse, your friend, or God. You need space to be together. Efficiency, multitasking, and busyness all kill intimacy. In short, you can’t get to know God on the fly. If Jesus has to pull away from people and noise in order to pray, then it makes sense that we need to as well.”
The goal of this book is to help us create intimacy with God through our prayer life. In chapters 9-11, Miller discusses how cynicism has crept into our culture and into our spirit, often leaving us paralyzed and unable to live in faith. I found this whole concept fascinating, and appreciate his steps for recognizing this and moving forward. In chapter 18, “Surrender Completely,” he emphasizes our tendency to rely on ourselves, turning only to the Father out of desperation (which is the opposite of abiding). This was transformational for me.
My favorite part of this book, however, is his very practical concept of Prayer cards. I have written in a prayer journal almost daily since college (and sporadically before that), and have used several systems to help organize and encourage the act of praying for others. His prayer card system resonated with me so strongly, I quickly began making cards of my own. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to strengthen their prayer life and desiring a more intimate connection with God. ...more
I ordered this book after listening to an interview with McKeown in my hope*writer’s group. He told his personal story of what led him to focus on whaI ordered this book after listening to an interview with McKeown in my hope*writer’s group. He told his personal story of what led him to focus on what is most essential, and discussed the importance of not only knowing our true priorities, but making space to actually live them.
In this book, McKeown takes those ideals and breaks them down into bite-size applications, making it a bit simpler for the rest of us to follow along. It is filled with inspiring quotes, such as: “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will,” “If it isn’t a clear yes, it’s a clear no,” and “Less, but better.” I claimed that last one as one of my transformation themes this year!
I particularly enjoyed Part III (Eliminate: How can we cut out the trivial many) and Part IV (Execute: How can we make doing the vital few things almost effortless). While parts of the book seem repetitive, most of that repetition reinforces his main points and help to serve his purpose. It was a quick read for me, easy to pick up and put down in short spans of time, and I have a feeling I will return to it several times this year. If you read it and like it, McKeown just released a follow-up book, “Effortless,” which you might want to check out! ...more