Well we survived a crazy weekend of travel (best part of any road trip – Bucees!!!)
which ended with a bout of explosive diaherrea for C in the car… I just kept telling myself “this will be funny someday”I’m not sure if it’s funny to me yet, but maybe it is funny to you… and if it is I will call it a win🤣 we went to Santa’s wonderland (think Disneyland but Christmas themed)
Then we hosted our Lifegroup Christmas party. 🎄❤️💚🎁
Whew… I am sure some of y’all can relate to the feeling of holiday fatigue… this phrase from a Christmas carol kept running through my mind this week “Let every heart prepare Him room”. Y’all, do whatever it takes to make ROOM to connect with Jesus and connect with eachother in the next few days before Christmas.
I am making ROOM for Him, by taking a blogging break. I’ll be sending the last 2 Advent Devo’s, Monday and Christmas Eve morning (sign up here if you want those).
But other than that things are going to be quiet around here because I realized I needed to make some more space to hear Jesus and spend time with my family this season. I encourage you to say no, take a break, delete your social media apps… whatever it takes this Christmas season to listen and seek Jesus, because He alone can bring the peace and joy your heart is longing for.
And speaking of the joy and peace only Jesus can bring….. Yesterday I shared over on the Fiercely His blog about How to Defeat the Lies of the Enemy! I even made a cute free printable, to help you focus on TRUTH! Check it out and feel free to share it with anyone you know could use some encouragement today!
And now for the main event!!!! Friday Faves (every week I hop on here to tell you something I am Loving, Liking, Laughing about and Lingering over)
This week for our final Friday Faves of the year I decided to do something a little different. I am going to share with you a fave book that I read this past year and a fave kids book, picked by my boys for each category!!! If you need some last minute gift ideas or are creating your reading list for Christmas break or 2019, hopefully this will help!
And please, please leave a comment, or send me a DM with your fave books that you read or you read to your kiddos this year- one of my fave things is to find other “book nerds” out there and swap reading recommendations.
*(Note: Clarity with Charity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. If you should decide to buy through them, I receive a tiny percentage, which allows me to continue creating amazing content for you!)
Everyday Holy by Melanie Shankle. Melanie is one of my fave authors, you really should check out her other books. I really enjoyed her devotional which was short, funny, encouraging and always left me with something important to ponder. I may have cheated and finished this in less than 100 days…gotta read something during those 2 a.m. feedings. This would be the perfect devo for a busy mom, student, for a professional who wants a quick encouragement during their lunch break or someone who is just beginning to develop a rhythm of spending time with Jesus. Also I thought I saw Melanie at Ninfa’s a few weeks ago….while I was balancing 3 containers of take out and directing some unruley toddlers…and I thought I missed my chance to meet one of my writing heroes – but thanks to the power of social media, I found out she was at an airport, not Ninfa’s…but as a native Texan I am sure Mel would have rather joined me for some good ol’ Tex Mex.. Melanie, if you’re reading this I would love to buy you some chips and queso next time you are in town!
Boys Pick: This has been Finn’s fave book all year. I love that its short…and all the parents just trying to get through story time so its bed time said Amen! But aside from its virtues of being short, its also a hit for a 2 year old and 4 year old and I think a kid as young as 18 months would love it!
Charity’s Pick: Y’all this book is absolutely hilarious and profound. Also I felt like Jennifer was living my life like 10 years ago. In this book she talks about pursuing a dream of writing while she just keeps having babies. She shares about the messy joy that comes when you say yes to follow the dreams God has given you and it really encouraged me to keep writing and keep saying yes to God even when it feels a little crazy with so many littles. I think any busy parent would be encouraged by this book, but particularly any stay at home parent that feels stretched by anything God is calling them to do.
Boys Pick: This book is so fun and interactive. Its great for all ages of toddlers…especially those that may have a hard time sitting still during storytime…not that I would have any experience with that. This is definitely unlike any other kids book I have ever seen! The boys got it last year at Christmas and it was still picked as a fave when I asked the boys for their favorite books today!
Charity’s Pick: I stumbled upon this book, when I was having a hard time knowing how to respond to some of C’s behaviors. The methods of discipline and training that we had been using successfully didn’t seem to be working that well anymore and instead of discipline and training bringing peace and resolution C just seemed to get more and more upset. This book has a ton of great info about how to help your child connect the rational and emotional parts of their brain. When I started using the methods in this book, I saw an immediate change in C’s ability to healthily manage his strong emotions. As with most parenting books, I can’t say I 100% agreed with everything, or it was all helpful to our situation, but I really, really was thankful for the practical wisdom this book provided. If you’re dealing with an emotional toddler…this book is for you.
Boys Pick: This is a new fave around here, that we bought for the boys before a long car trip. It has tons of pictures, think “Where’s waldo” but for toddlers. This keeps the boys engaged and entertained even when we can’t read to them and they just need some quiet time. Highly recommend if you are heading on a road trip or plane trip with a toddler and are looking for some screen free entertainment ideas.
Charity’s Pick: This was my favorite read of 2018! In it the founder of Noonday (a fair trade accessory and jewelry company) shares about her series of scary but simple Yes’ to God that led to the creation of one of the fastest growing fair trade companies. But its not just her companies story, its her story of overcoming fear and insecurity. I read this book right as I was praying about if I should re-launch my blog even though the timing seemed bananas (I was about to have a baby!), God used this book as one piece of many confirmations to re-launch and pursue a dream of writing even when it didn’t make “sense” to me. I really think this is a must read for anyone who feels called by God to do something that feels so much harder and greater than they can do in their own strength. It also includes their adoption story, so anyone interested in the topic of adoption will also love this.
Imperfect Courage, Jessica Honegger
Boy’s Pick: My boys love all the Otis books, but this one is a particular fave, especially at Christmas. If you’re not familiar with the adventures of Otis the tractor, I am confident your kiddo from age 2-6 will love him as well! This is just the sweetest story about a horse delivering her foal on Christmas Eve and how Otis saves the day so the healthy baby foal can be delivered. Its a powerful Christmas miracle story and I feel like an excellent springboard to talking about the miraculous birth of Jesus. Confession, this one makes me tear up just a little everytime I read it.
Just a reminder that I will see you again on Monday and Christmas Eve morn for the last 2 parts of the Advent Devotional series: Hope is Here. But other than that Friday Faves, Tuesday Talk and other encouraging content will return at the beginning of January!!!
Let every heart prepare Him room….