Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dispelling 10 myths about feeding children

An interesting article that made a lot of sense to me when I read it. This woman's blog has a lot of good info for moms with questions about health issues, parenting, etc. Check it out!

Dispelling 10 Myths About Feeding Children

Adventures in Mommy Land...

Ah, don't you love those days when you wake up, change your baby's leaky wet diaper, put her in a clean outfit, feed her, burp her, then hear a loud gurgly belch and the sounds of liquid splattering down the rocking chair cushions, curtains and floor? You sit for a few second thinking about about how nice a fast forward button would be ala "Click" but reality quickly sets in. Then you clean her up, change her outfit again, and try to figure out what part of the white exorcist-like vomit affected area needs the most attention while staggering around in a slight stooper (because you've only been "awake" for exactly 4.5 mins). Finally done, you inhale a sigh of relief and sit down to take a breather, forgetting that this very chair is the one you just scrubbed with religious fervor only seconds ago and is still quite wet.

But by then, you don't really care anymore and make no attempt to change your own clothes because you know they will probably be covered in some strange substance sooner rather than later so why add to the ever growing laundry count? There is exuberant babbling coming from the vicinity of the crib where your very clean baby is now talking to herself (probably about the craaaazy lady who is talking to HERself) and you realize being a mom isn't always easy-especially when you're not Mary Poppins. You can't just snap your fingers and sing your way through flying vomit, drink a spoonful of sugar to help the "medicine" of life go down, or pull out a big black bag with unlimited amounts of sanity inside. But you CAN wipe up the spit up with 0 magic required other than that of oxi clean, drink a very small amount of mountain dew or else you WILL be "jacked up" on it, and grab a brown paper bag for those moments when regular breathing just isn't enough. And of course, as Scarlett reminds us, "Tomorrow is another day..."

A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman

I LOVE this whole series-The Daughter's of Boston-and am dying to read the continuation of what happens to the rest of the O'Connors!!! I can't believe we have to wait until next summer to read Katie, Sean and Steven's stories...I want them now! Sigh. Anyhow, if you haven't already checked these books out, you're in for a real treat. Snuggle up in your favorite chair, grab some chocolate, (and maybe your comfy-est pjs) then prepare to spend all day reading because you won't be able to put these books down! They're super addicting like the creamiest chocolate but soul nourishing like a favorite comfort meal, and you'll fall in love with the whole family as if they were your own. You'll laugh, cry, swoon at the hunky men, giggle some more, and especially be moved by all the passion-both physical and spiritual. That's what I love the most is the passion, as the book titles already mention. There's real emotions going on-whether good, bad, ugly or anything in between.

Life is messy in general and being a Christian doesn't change that. If anything, I think it magnifies the struggle we all have between right and wrong, knowing what we should do but not always doing what we should. The pull to let our flesh take over can be so strong but as Julie reminds us in these books, we can make better choices, ones that honor God and honor the ones we love in the process. I think we need more of these kind of stories that shows life realistically but also filters it through the truth of God's word. Sugar coating problems, or overly "sanitizing" them for readers to "feel good" isn't going to help anyone grow in Christ so I find the honesty in these books refreshing and spiritually rejuvenating.

I've found the books that stick with me most and make a lasting impression are the ones that have something to say, that deal with issues I'm facing head on, and point me in the right direction. When I'm reading, I want to be thoroughly entertained but also replenished spiritually and these books do that perfectly. Thank you, Julie and please keep them coming! So anyhow, start reading and don't forget to start at the beginning with A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Redeemed. You won't regret it!

Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell

First off, I've always found the time period Love's Pursuit is set during to be very interesting so was instantly excited about that. Ever since the success of Beverly Lewis' books, most of the inspirational fiction that's been coming out lately is about the Amish so it's refreshing to read about another religious sect.

I had just read A Constant Heart-by Siri-thought it was excellent, and was looking for another great novel to follow in its footsteps. Well, I saw Love's Pursuit in the store and picked it up hoping it would be just as good as the previous book. I wasn't disappointed. I really love the way Siri got into the character's heads and brought out the emotions of how they could/would have felt during that era. Being able to hear the vivid thoughts of Susannah and Small Hope made the contrast of their simple lifestyles, plain dress, and expectations of "proper behavior" all the more stark. It made you feel their sense of confinement, frustration, and need to break free but without knowing how. They reminded me of caged birds, locked in prisons of self loathing and guilt wanting to be let out, yet afraid of the consequences. I thought the parallels of grace and Christ-like sacrifice were well emphasized and only added to the richness of the story. My heart ached for Susannah toward the end as she finally realizes her own efforts will never be enough to earn God's love and favor, nor do they need to be.

The physical and spiritual love story between Susannah, Daniel, and ultimately God brought me to was beautiful. I won't spoil the ending for anyone but it was truly thought provoking. Maybe not the conclusion readers were expecting-or hoping for-but it tied the story together amazingly well and left a lasting impact. As Susannah finds, we don't always get the things we want or think we need to be happy. That's how I felt when I read the last page and closed the book. I sat reflecting, feeling some sadness that the ending hadn't been the "happily ever after" I wanted. But it was realistic of how life really is and I appreciate that Siri was brave enough to challenge readers expectations and write honestly. It was quite refreshing to read something with a level of maturity and emotional authenticity rarely seen in most Christian novels to date. This story has some real "meat" to it, something that will stick to your heart long after wards. When I invest time in a book I want to come away more knowledgeable having learned something, having grown as a person. And after reading Love's Pursuit I know that I have. Thank you Siri Mitchell...I'm really looking forward to your next story. Hurry and write another one!

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

This book was a very interesting read if you like well researched historical fiction. I haven't read much Christian fiction set in this specific period with so many little details about it's era. I enjoyed learning along with Clara about all the certain etiquette, dances, dresses, corsettes, silverware, etc. that was expected of those in society. I felt included in Clara's world of balls, fancy dinners, operas and many such social gatherings of the elite. It made me tired just thinking about all that she endured, especially wearing those awful corsettes!
It's unbelievable what people will go through for beauty and social acceptance but, in a way, the parallel to today's world is not so far fetched. Now there is a cream or surgery or pill to cover up or alter just about anything we find displeasing about ourselves. But where does it end? Is it ever enough? When will we learn to accept ourselves "just the way we are" as Clara herself wonders?

She walks in beauty is a beautifully written story, made more so by the truth it reveals throughout. It challenges us to look at ourselves, not as others might, but through the eyes of our creator who loves us unconditionally.
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