The “Sandwich” Parent

The "Sandwich" Parent - Parenting Like HannahFor a time in our lives, we were raising and homeschooling our young daughter while also helping my father-in-law who was suffering from dementia. It was a difficult time in our lives, with lots of stress and quite a few tears. My husband especially became interested in avoiding that same dementia in his older years.

And we are not alone. As many are marrying and having children later in life, they are caring both for their own children and their parents. Such a high percentage of older people seem to have some sort of dementia, that it will touch most of our families at some point.

So I was interested when offered the chance to review The Aging Brain by Timothy Jennings, M.D. Jennings gives a little background on aging – particularly in the brain. The majority of the book, however, breaks down the many factors that contribute to an aging brain and possibly dementia. He provides lots of suggestions for how to slow aging in our brains in each factor.

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Becoming Gertrude

Becoming Gertrude - Parenting Like HannahYou probably had lots of friends at one time. Or maybe you had one or two really close friends. Then in the flurry of dating, marriage, pregnancy and kids, you just didn’t have the time to put into those friendships like you used to do. Suddenly, you look up and your definition of a close friend is another parent you exchange pleasantries with at school events.

Yet to grow as people and as Christians, we really need a different kind of friend. One who will care about us, accept us, serve us when we need it, open her home to us and encourage us. In Becoming Gertrude, author Janice Peterson tells us not just how to find our “Gertrude”, but to be that sort of friend for others.

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Made For a Missionary Journey

Made For a Missionary Journey - Parenting Like HannahOne of the things we rarely talk about as Christian parents is how to know if God is calling your child to live in a mission field. Granted, the entire world is a mission field, but I am talking about ministering to others in another country.

Short term mission work is a part of many youth ministries. Some teens and young adults feel drawn to the drama and excitement living in another country might provide. For those who have ever gone for several weeks without clean drinking water and avoiding insect bites which most likely carry horrible diseases, you know life in the mission field can be anything but glamorous.

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Sacred Ground Sticky Floors

Sacred Ground Sticky Floors - Parenting Like HannahSo many parents believe the years when their kids are home are somehow “wasted”. That the world outside of their home is more interesting, more fulfilling and just better in general. What if though, we realized our homes are a sacred ground of sorts as God entrusts to raise the next generation?

That’s the premise of the book Sacred Ground Sticky Floors by Jami Amermine. The author focuses more though on the idea that we should embrace our failures, because God loves us “royally”. Actually, this is just another in what is becoming a parenting sub-genre – the “let’s not worry about being better parents, or how we can help our kids grow deep spiritual roots, let’s just celebrate we are all a hot mess and…God love us.”

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Struggling Christian Parents

Struggling Christian Parents - Parenting Like HannahIf parenting is hard, Christian parenting can take it to even higher levels of difficulty. The stakes are understood better, which means parenting decisions have possibly greater consequences. And being a Christian doesn’t mean you are spared from the difficulties of living in a fallen world. Your kids still get sick, things break down and on and on.

What if though, you could “trust that God offers you a path to grow stronger, smarter and more like Jesus through it all”? In The Struggle is Real, author Nicole Unice attempts to help you do just that.

Unice breaks the book into two main sections. The first is about the struggle between life the way most of us are living it and life the way God wanted it to be for us. She covers some topics we don’t often discuss, like the need to accept struggle and hardships as a way to spiritual growth. She also tackles the idea of how the things that have happened to us in our lives can change the way we view God and life.

The second half of the book is about how to live life more as God intended us to live it. She spends a lot of time explaining what she calls the “freedom cycle”. In her mind, this illustrates the life God calls us to live. Doing things that interrupt this cycle, she believes, is what throws us off balance.

Perhaps, it was my frame of mind when reading the book, but I felt like it was a slow read. It’s not that it is poorly written, but more that it reads like a textbook to an extent. There is a lot of theory, some story telling and some scripture. There wasn’t anything I particularly objected to as much as there wasn’t anything that grabbed my interest. Perhaps if I felt stuck in my life, I would have read it with more enthusiasm.

I will say that one point she made about sarcasm being thinly veiled contempt, really is something we all need to be more aware of as Christians. There is an idea that sarcasm equates to intelligence and is therefore valued as a type of humor everyone should strive to make a part of their conversations. I believe, for most of us though, the author is correct – sarcasm shows the exact opposite of love towards others. There is a fine line between sarcasm and mean humor and the vast majority of people end up just sounding cruel.

As for the rest of the book, I think it could help you if you are living a Christian life that is more secular than truly the life God meant for us. I’m just not sure how much it will energize you to make needed changes.

 

 

 

This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.