Half the Sky

Tonight PBS is showing a documentary based on the book Half the Sky.  Knowing that it is waiting for me on my DVR has me reflecting on my experience with the book.   I love books.  I love a good story and how it can draw you in, capturing your heart, your imagination, or your funny bone.  As much as I enjoy a good book, however, I can’t say that I’ve read one that has changed my life.  That is, until I read Half the Sky.  Once I started, I had a very hard time putting it down.  Emotionally, it was a very challenging experience.  Some of the stories are horrific, and left me sobbing on more than one occasion.  But there were also stories of hope and redemption, which kept me moving though the pages.  After I read the final page, I closed the book and put it on a shelf in my room.  The stories stuck with me though, they changed me.  I started to develop a passion for things I used to only think about in passing.  My outlook, my perspective on life shifted dramatically.  I was reminded that to be born a woman in this country is a blessing in in of itself, and that to truly enjoy those blessings I must open my eyes and my heart to suffering that is unimaginable to me.  Reading the book prompted me to become a sponsor for Women for Women International, an organization that I have come to respect greatly.  I highly recommend this book, and encourage you to find out more at the Half the Sky website.

Books mentioned in this post:

Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn



I’ve been crying for the past half hour thanks to this:

It took me a while to really get into it, but once I got to the halfway mark, I had a really hard time putting it down (my children needed to be fed and educated, so I had to put it down once in a while).  What a beautiful story!  The maturing of the main character, the vivid descriptions of nature, unforgettable characters, Miss Alice, the last page and a half!  I’m ready to start back at the beginning and experience it all over again! Basically, I loved it.

Books mentioned in this post:

Christy by Catherine Marshall

Worship Time With the Kids

We try to have a worship time with our kids on a daily bases (try is the key word there, I’m still working on that whole consistency thing), so I’m always on the look out for good, Bible themed children’s books.  These are some of our favorites!

This is a great book for teaching “memory verses”. Each letter of the alphabet has a corresponding Bible verse, and a story that illustrates the meaning of the verse. We’re on our second or third run through already. My kids really enjoy it!

This is another favorite around our house. The author uses examples from the animal kingdom to illustrate Biblical principles.

This is one of my all time favorite books! The illustrations beautifully capture the meaning of Psalm 23.

Books mentioned in this post:

My ABC Bible Verses:Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt

My Big Book of 5-Mintute Devotions by Pamela Kennedy with Douglas Kennedy

Psalm 23 illustrated by Tim Ladwig

I’ve been enjoying going through a Joyce Meyer devotional on my iPhone, so I decided to check out one of her books from the library.  I went with this one:

It took me a few chapters to get used to Mrs. Meyer’s tone and style, but I ended up really enjoying the book.  The book is full of insightful information, as well as, practical guidance for controlling one’s emotions (as opposed to letting emotions control you!).  I especially appreciated that she included a one or two sentence “decision and confession” at the end of each chapter that serves as an easy to remember summary of what was covered.  For example, “I will quickly and freely forgive those who hurt me.  I refuse to ruin my life with bitterness”.  I found the book to be very helpful, and would highly recommend it.

Books mentioned in this post:

Living Beyond Your Feelings by Joyce Meyer

Library Favorites

These are two of our favorite books to check out from the library.

Shows the true meaning of making pancakes from scratch!

A charming story with great illustrations.

Books mentioned in this post:

Pancakes Pancakes by Eric Carle

Fritz and the Beautiful Horses by Jan Brett

A Beautiful Book

While traveling in the Yosemite area this summer, I came across this book:

Lovely both in text and in illustrations, this book tells the story of a Sequoia tree as it grows through time in what is now Yosemite National Park.  In conjunction, the author tells the story of several important  world events that would have occurred during the trees different phases of development.  The bottom of each page has a timeline depicting a variety of interesting people and events.  My children enjoyed the book, and I  enjoyed reading it to them!

Books mentioned in this post:

The Tree of Time: A Story of a Special Sequoia by Kathy Baron

C.S. Lewis is not an unfamiliar name to me.  I’ve heard his name and the names of his books mentioned numerous times.  I’ve read his Chronicles of Narnia to my children, but up until recently, I hadn’t read any of his adult titles.  However, today, I can say that I began, digested, and finished Mere Christianity.

Originally meant as an introduction to Christianity, there is so much depth, that I, as someone who has been on the Christian walk for a while, got so much out of it.  Mr. Lewis had a great gift for illustrating difficult concepts, and I benefitted greatly from the vivid pictures he painted with his words.  Although I found his writing style to be difficult to follow at times, more often than not I was reaching for a pen to underline something that finally made sense to me.  It is definitely a book I will refer to again and again.

Books mentioned in this post:

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis