Tag Archives: family

Review: More Hot Stuff to Help Kids Chill Out

More Hot Stuff to Help Kids Chill Out by Jerry Wilde

Non-Fiction. Published 2000.

Read: February 2013, 85 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

This is a follow up to the popular original Hot Stuff provides children and adolescents with new ideas to cope with anger and hostility. This book also contains ideas to help manage stress, which is an important component of any anger management program. More Hot Stuff is filled with more illustrations, more activities, and more ideas to help kids learn to handle their anger before their anger handles them.

Impressions:

I do not own the original Hot Stuff so I cannot speak to it’s comparison. This little book is packed of starting points for kids to grasp how anger and stress interact. It has an anger survey at the beginning and end to show your improvements in each area the book covers. I would recommend this primarily for late elementary or middle school ages. It is a workbook style and has illustrations to break up monotony.

Thoughts:

More Hot Stuff  points out that we are in control of our anger. It addresses our self-talk.. what are we telling ourselves about anger?

Importantly, the author added several facts and information on the seriousness of stress and ways to reduce stress- the always important positive coping skills such as calling a friend, exercising, listening to music, being artistic, mediating, playing a musical instrument, and reading. I really like this book and use the concepts regularly. It would be great for a take home assignment. Anger causing beliefs, errors in thinking, and managing anger are included as well.

Quotes:

You, and only you, control how you feel. -p24

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Review: The Five Love Languages

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Non-Fiction. Published 1992.

Read: January 2013, 203 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

Skillful communication is within your grasp. While love is a many splendored thing, it is sometimes a very confusing thing, too. And as people come in all varieties, shapes, and sizes, so do their choices of personal expressions of love. But more often than not, the giver and the receiver express love in two different ways. Dr. Chapman identifies these and guides you towards a better understanding of your unique languages of love. Learn to speak and understand your mate’s love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return.

Impressions:

The Five Love Languages was enjoyable and insightful. It offers a guide to specific and personal ways people express their love. Everyone has different needs and when they aren’t met it’s hard for others to reciprocate love. Dr. Chapman insists that speaking the love language of your mate will even rekindle a relationship that appears to be broken beyond repair. I recommend this book to all who are seeking to improve their relationships with others. At times the book is wordy and technical, but the author adds many relatable examples of real couples to illustrate his points.

Thoughts:

We all have unique preferences when it comes to expressing and receiving love. Dr. Chapman lays out what each love language is and how to identify which category a personal falls in to. Your love language is the way that you most feel loved and cared for. The problem is most people know how they want to be loved, but that doesn’t tend to align with how their partner wants to be loved. You have to learn to speak your partner’s love language. The five love languages are:

  1. Words Of Affirmation: Encouraging words, verbal compliments, kind words, appreciation, humble words, admiration
  2. Quality Time: Togetherness, focused attention, quality conversation, listening, expressing emotions, scheduled activities
  3. Gifts: Purchased gifts, physical presence, made gifts
  4. Acts Of Service: Doing something for your partner that you know they would like for you to do
  5. Physical Touch: Holding, intimacy

Quotes:

Requests give direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love. -p92

Love doesn’t erase the past, but it makes the future different. -p130

Is it possible to love someone whom you hate? -p147

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Review: Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After by Craig Groeschel

Non-Fiction. Published 2007.

Read: January 2013, 230 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

What do you do if you want a marriage that doesn’t just survive, but thrives? That doesn’t just begin romantically but ends magnificently? You do something different.
 
For today’s generation, “getting what you want” is often a substitute for love, and disillusionment about marriage is the new normal. But you can have a long-term, love-blessed marriage. Whether you’re still considering it, are about to be wed, or have been married for a while and want to make changes, Happily Ever After delivers an infusion of hope. Author Craig Groeschel clearly and honestly lays out the choices and commitments you can make now to change the way you think and act—to build the relationship you want for the rest of your life.

With an invigorating mix of personal story, practical guidance and biblical truth, Craig invites you into a candid conversation about first dates, intimacy, communication, integrity, forgiveness, and commitment. Along the way, he shows how you can build a soul-enriching, God-honoring relationship with the one you love. This book was previously released as Going All the Way.

Impressions:

Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor at LifeChurch.tv. Craig, his wife, and their six children live in Oklahoma  where LifeChurch.tv began in 1996. He speaks frequently at conferences and has written several books.

Happily Ever After is a quick read that doesn’t have a lot of depth to its’ points, but covers some good issues. His book addresses many of the big questions on finding the one, friendship, intimacy, how far is too far, cohabitation, responsibilities, and break ups. His philosophy- God is your number one and your spouse is your number two. So many times priorities get mixed up and leave marriages hurting. People place their children and wealth above their covenant to God. Craig wants you to be successful in marriage and work for it.

Thoughts:

The book misses a big opportunity as it lacked depth. Happily Ever After is still encouraging in ways. In the chapter Habits of the Heart, Craig discusses the habits which will nurture a godly marriage. The greatest thing you can do is invest in your relationship with God. The more you lead like Jesus, the better all your relationships will be. Spend time in solitude and prayer. Serve others.

Craig connects the book to his personal experiences. He seems genuine in having a passion to help others.

Quotes:

He will empower you to find His beauty dormant in her heart. Look for it. See what others overlook. Encourage her. Build her up. Lift her high. -p164

A covenant is serious business. -p208

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Review: The PTSD Workbook for Teens

The PTSD Workbook for Teens by Libbi Palmer

Non-Fiction. Published 2012.

Read: December 2012, 146 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

If you have traumatic memories from an extremely upsetting, stressful, or painful experience in your life, you are not alone. In fact, many young people have been exposed to traumatic events. As a result, you might have lingering flashbacks, trouble sleeping, or a constant feeling that you are in danger. These are common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Based in cognitive behavioral therapy, this user-friendly workbook for teens with PTSD and other trauma-related difficulties will help you work through your experience and make sense of your thoughts and feelings. The book includes worksheets and activities to help you reestablish a sense of safety, gain control over your emotions, make peace with your traumatic experience, and reconnect with a positive sense of self. If you are ready to start recovering from traumatic memories and take back your life, the PTSD Workbook for Teens will show you the way.

Impressions:

I would recommend this book be used primarily with girls or younger boys. The examples are geared towards sexual abuse. It is very specific to children who have experienced one trauma. It is informative -psychoeducational and functional.

Thoughts:

This workbook has many resources. One of my favorite chapters is Finding Meaning. If we are able to identify some meaning from the trauma that we experienced, it will help us heal more completely and protect us from negative results of future bad events in our lives. The topics in the book work well together and would be useful if the client is invested in the therapy process.

Topics included: What is Trauma, Healing from Trauma, Reacting to Trauma, Remembering Trauma, Avoiding Reminders, Being Jumpy and on Edge, PTSD, Building Support Systems, Asking for Help, Healthy Coping Skills, Crisis Plans, Breathing Skills, Calming Skills, Relaxation Skills, Soothing Skills, Taking Good Care of Your Body, Activating Helpful Parts of Your Brain, Finding a Safe Place, Making Good Decisions, Building a Container for Trauma, When Feelings Become Overwhelming, Spotting Unhelpful Thoughts, How Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions are Connected, Thought Records, Accomplishing things, Having Fun, Stop Avoiding, Telling Your Story, Adding to Your Story, Thinking Errors, Staying Safe, Finding Meaning, & Your Real Self.

Quotes:

The trauma you experienced is only a small part of who you are. There is much more to your life. -p146

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Review: Call of a Coward

Call of a Coward by Marcia Moston

Non-Fiction. Published 2012.

Read: September 2012, 184 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

Moses never wanted to be a leader. Jonah ran away from his missions call. And when Marcia Moston’s husband came home with a call to foreign missions, she was sure God had the wrong number. His call conflicted with her own dreams, demanded credentials she didn’t have, and required courage she couldn’t seem to find. She promised to follow where God led, but she never thought the road would lead to a Mayan village on a Guatemalan mountainside.

From the trecherous road trip to their new village home, to learning to navigate a new culture, to a stateside mission field in Vermont, Moston’s journey reveals that God leads just as clearly today as he did in biblical times. Her candid account tells a story of learning to trust and obey when faithfulness seems foolish.

Impressions:

This book is a sweet and humorous insight into Marcia’s relationship with God and pursuing his purposes. She shows courage and strength as she sets out to be a missionary with her husband and young daughter. I received Call of a Coward through booksneeze. I would recommend this book as a story of faith and God’s power to always provide. Some details are lacking as it seems more of a highlight of several years of her life rather than an in-depth experience.

Thoughts:

The goal behind this book is to show that God is always in control and can turn cowards and ordinary people into courageous servants. Marcia relies on signs from God to move her. Marcia’s faith is continually tested as she moves with her family to a village in Guatemala to oversee the orphans and widows home. They experience many difficulties on their trip including the dangers of traveling outside of the United States. This is eyeopening to remember how safe and comfortable we are in the states. She battles between conviction and logic as she forges forward. This book is conversational and light. It’s easy to envision the family on this marvelous trek. Certainly makes you wonder if you’ve got the faith to abandon all that you know and follow God.

Quotes:

At times my faith had the attention span of a four-year-old. I had to keep wrestling down the conviction that God was more in control of her life than I was. -p84

When this life doesn’t make sense, it’s good to remember you are just traveling through. -p129

Hope does not disappoint. -p153

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Review: Sins of a Father

Sins of a Father by Kitty Chappell

Non-Fiction. Published 2003.

Read: July 2012, 227 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

Kitty Chappell’s childhood was terrifying. She and her family suffered appalling abuse at the hands of her father, who eventually went to jail for attempting to murder her mother. She forgave him upon his release, and they were reconciled–a reconciliation that lasted until he killed his second wife and then himself. Chappell’s story is extraordinary not because of its anguish, but because she has emerged emotionally and spiritually whole. “While my book begins with the horrors of a child born into abuse, it ends with hope, for it is a book about overcoming.” Chappell’s book does not contain psychological theories, but credible, biblical hope for overcoming pain from one who has earned the right to speak on the subject. Her triumphant story is liberating for every woman, because ultimately the choice of forgiveness is before us all.

Impressions:

I dogeared so many pages of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the style of writing and Kitty’s openness. Her story is moving and powerful. If you’re interested in how to forgive, she brings many interesting points to the table. The best part is her connection to God.

Thoughts:

Kitty understands she was created for God. She trusted him and chose to forgive her earthly father. She talks about changing her self-image, building character, seeking God, and letting go. God will help us do what we need to do but he won’t do it for us. From survivor to over comer: 1) forgiveness, 2) accountability, 3) gratitude. Personally, I am constantly teaching these three principles to the kids I work with as a therapist. We cannot let our circumstances or our past define us.

Quotes:

What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God. -p143

It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on. It takes a lot of strength to let go. -p164

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Review: Heaven In Her Arms

Heaven In Her Arms by Catherine Hickem

Non-Fiction. Published 2012.

Read: July 2012, 216 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

Jesus is Mary’s son and Jesus is the Son of God. The God of the universe hand picked Mary to raise His Son. Mary was there the day Jesus was born and she was there the day he was crucified. Her story is deep and rich and has myriad lessons for any woman-mothers, daughters, sisters, friends. Mary’s story reveals that a woman’s heart is important to the Father. When God selected Mary,” Hickem says, “He was looking for heart. God set out to find the precise woman who would give her heart to Him, completely and wholly. He wanted a woman with whom He could entrust His perfect Son. This was going to be no ordinary woman.” Heaven in Her Arms will touch your heart if you are facing fear and uncertainty, wondering about leaving your plans behind, feeling a need for community and the support of other women, or wanting to deepen your life of faith. Hickem reflects on Mary’s story and offers practical applications, as well as inspiring real-life stories from contemporary women. With a six-week Bible study for individuals or small groups, Heaven in Her Arms shows the life of faith Mary exemplified and God’s tender heart for His daughters.

Impressions:

I was hoping that his book would be educational and inspirational. This book delivered a learning experience and warmth as I strive to deepen my faith. I received Heaven In Her Arms through booksneeze. This book is interesting and holds your interest. I recommend it to women in hopes of better understanding Mary’s story.

Thoughts:

Heaven In Her Arms hits on several topics that are under told and overlooked. Mary will always be a very inspirational Christian.  Mary was trusting and embraced her fears. She fully trusted in God and knew God as the Master Designer. It speaks about living life for God and His purpose rather than pursuing our own. It spotlights praise, connection to other Christians, reflection, obedience, trust, acceptance, and prayer. Mary doesn’t take on the task of parenting alone– something that I think many parents could begin to realize in their own lives. Children need to base their beliefs off of integrity not hypocrisy.

This book is a chance to closely examine Mary in her role in the greatest story ever told. It shows the intimacy with which God longs to participate in the life of a mother. It also connects Mary’s truths to stories of modern-day moms. Hickem hopes Mary’s life will remind Christians that there are no accidents in God’s divine plan for His daughters.

Quotes:

Every child needs to know that someone bigger is in charge. -p19

The more we are willing to be real and honest with God, the more we will see God  do the impossible in our lives. -p50

The sense of being all alone produced a deepening of the soul as well as a meaningful dependency on God. -p113

Mary teaches us that regardless of what we will face, we must do it with faith, dependency on God, and a commitment to enduring love. -p143

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