Happy Tuesday! I started something called “Table Talk Tuesday” here on Gal Meets Food a couple weeks ago, just to have a space where I can write about anything. This week… BOOKS!
See the quote above?? This is me!! I walk into a bookstore & it is very difficult for me to not buy a book. There’s just something about a new book… the look, the feel, the smell… the excitement for learning something new or diving into a different world that I pulls me in.
Whether or not I go home & read the book is another story.
Not that I don’t want to be the sort of person that is always reading but I just seem to be in a world of 20 page or less picture books right now. Not that I don’t love those too… but when you’ve read “Dear Zoo” (a family fave) a couple zillion times & “Goodnight Gorilla” is a close second… you’re ready for a change. Our girls are 5 & 4 years old so they can’t read yet, but we’ve started reading “Magic Tree House” books aloud to them so we are expanding our horizons on the picture book front a bit. We’ve also read Charlotte’s Web & I have a few other chapter books in the line up once we’ve come to the end of our tree house series.
This year my husband David and I made a goal to read 10 books (trying to keep things realistic!)… non-fiction or fiction. “Secretly” (but not so secretly) my goal is really to read one book per month, but life happens so the goal of 10 seemed doable when we wrote our 2016 Family Bucket List.
For January I was unsure of where I wanted to start… what book should I read??
Instead of going with a new book, I went with and old one: Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Hubbard. She does a wonderful job of keeping things light and funny while still getting to the heart of parenting. It focuses on disciplining and training your children based on God’s Word.
I am in what I would call “the trenches” with a 5, 4 and 2 year old at home with me every day. It’s a precious time that I know I’ll never get back but some days are just really really difficult. I need guidance, prayer and patience on a daily basis. This book had encouraged me greatly in the past, and as I had been feeling a bit frazzled and frustrated in the parenting department lately, I thought it would be good to go back to this book to refresh my memory and uplift my spirit.
Here’s what the book looks like for you visual people (me too!) out there:
So, clearly, I’m no avid book reader and certainly not a professional reviewer… but here are some thoughts on this book after reading it for the second time:
- Getting back to the heart of things: It is so easy for me to focus on my children’s behavior instead of their hearts. You know… that embarrassing feeling you get when you’re in public or with friends and your child throws the all-out sort of tantrum… and you just want the behavior to stop!! It was so good to be reminded by this book that the Bible teaches that behavior is not the basic issue…. the basic issue is always what’s going on in the heart. Obviously our children’s behavior alerts us to their need for correction, but it’s so easy to make the mistake of letting my desire for changed behavior replace my desire for their hearts to change. It definitely takes more time and patience to go about disciplining and training in this way, but I want them to behave not because I demand it, but because their hearts desire it.
- God does the heart changing: Seeing as “mom” is my main title these days and my primary occupation, I feel a lot of responsibility to take care of, teach & train my children. I have found myself in the mindset that if I just diligently train them in God’s Word, it will ensure them coming to Christ. Reading this book again this phrase stuck out at me: “Although we are responsible before God to point our children to the Savior, it is God who touches their hearts.” I can follow every parenting rule and take time for every discipline and training opportunity in their lives, but even then it is not me who will produce heart change. Something I’ve decided to focus on after reading the book this time is BEDTIME: I’m going to take time with each child alone in the evening… not in a hurry. Not training or teaching but listening to them…. letting them talk about whatever they wish. And then, after they are asleep, to go back into their rooms and pray over them: that God would touch their hearts.
- Rooting Myself in the Word & Prayer: There are a lot of ways to get your child to obey. It’s so easy to fall into using worldly methods. You know… bribing, threatening, making them feel bad for how they’re treating you, manipulating their environment and reasoning with them. Some of these methods don’t even seem so bad in the moment, but in the long run they produce children who obey to get what they want, to avoid something, to please you or only when they’re in the mood. NOT using these methods is more difficult than it seems though. It takes a lot of patience, planning, time and careful, thought use of words to discipline and train them in a Biblical way. If I am to teach them God’s Word, I myself must be rooted in it…. spending time reading it and praying through it for myself & for them. I feel a new burst of excitement for the Bible moving forward into the new year.
If you’re a parent I would definitely recommend this book!! I hope it will challenge you, encourage you and, above all, show you that God’s Word does have a lot to say to parents if we diligently read it, apply it and reap its fruits. God has given us all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
Have you read Don’t Make Me Count to Three!? Do you want to read it? What book(s) are on your “list” for this year?? ♥
My February book is “The Prodigal God” by Timothy Keller (which, so far, is amazing and thought-provoking!!) I’m excited to post about it next month! After that I haven’t decided what to read next actually. I’d love to hear your suggestions! What would you highly recommend I read?? Any “changed my life!” sort of book recommendations? 🙂