Birthing Hope by Processing Fear

When author Rachel Marie Stone said she was on her way to Mali, Africa to live with her husband and her two sons, I was thrilled for her and her family and was looking forward to hearing how God would use them in that place. I didn’t hear much through social media about their experiences, so when I heard she was writing a book that in part shared about her time there, I was eager to read it.

I had already read Rachel Stone’s reflective book Eat With Joy which talked about Rachel’s journey from an unhealthy view of food to a celebratory view of food. I appreciate Rachel’s writing which is a mix of sharing her life experiences and sharing the facts and the thoughts that lead to her shift of mindset.

Birthing Hope was written with the same reflective voice with beautiful words that draw you into the scene. You are there with her in Africa, in the birthing room, when she helps a woman give birth only to find out later that the woman is HIV positive. Rachel had not worn gloves. You travel with her through the fear of that realization and through her contemplations of how much fear has gripped her life in general. She shares the thoughts that have brought her through fear and given her hope.

birthing hope

If you liked Katie Davis Majors’ books, you would love Birthing Hope, especially if, like me, you were disappointed in her latest book, Daring to Hope. This is not a reflection on Katie Davis Majors herself. I admire her courage and her obedience to the Lord. However, I was hoping the book would have much more detail about her continued ministry. Instead, Daring to Hope was an emotional roller coaster with some Scripture along the way. In contrast, Birthing Hope is deep. Rachel uses her head as well as her heart and invites the reader to do the same. I appreciated the variety of books Rachel quoted from to develop her reflections.

My favorite quote from the book is related to how Rachel changed how she looked at the people she was interacting with in her new overseas home.

Rachel said:

“Watch and learn. Suspend judgment and the impulse to intervene; meet people as people, as subjects of their own sovereign lives, not as objects and bit players in the drama of mine.

Convicting. Meet people as people. This is what Jesus did. This is what God wants whether we are in Mali or in the United States.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Countdown to Christmas with Children’s Books

This year we are counting down to Christmas with Christmas children’s books! The idea is that every day leading up to Christmas we unwrap one book and read it together.

We have a basket in our living room with the countdown-to-Christmas books. I wrapped the books simply. This year I wrapped them mostly in packing paper from Amazon boxes. Last time I used newspaper. Continue reading

Fewer Choices, Less Stress for the Holiday Season

When my youngest child, Molly, was 5 years old, an elderly friend took our family to the Dollar Store. For Christmas, she wanted to treat each of our children to five things from the store; five things of their choice.

The day we met at the store, it was crowded with people getting ready for Christmas. Everyone was trying to get in and out quickly, but we leisurely browsed up and down each aisle so the kids could see all the choices. In the first aisle, Molly saw some pretty wrapping paper and bows and picked them up. When she did, I said, “Are you sure? Maybe you will like the next aisle better.”

The second aisle was filled with toys! By the time we were two steps into the aisle, Molly had picked three more things. She was excited about the five things she had picked out.

A minute later one of her sisters found something fun on the shelf and said, “Look Molly! Look at this! You should pick this instead!” She reluctantly chose that toy instead of one of the items already in her arms.

This pattern continued up and down every aisle. Either I asked Molly if she was sure, or one of her sisters persuaded her to pick something else. Once we had finished browsing up and down every aisle, we checked out, and went home happy with our purchases –or so I thought.

Read the rest of the story at Pandora’s Box Gazette.

Rachel Schmoyer writes a regular Family Life Column for Pandora’s Box Gazette the fourth Monday of the month. Thanks for reading! 

Easy Thanksgiving Journal for the Whole Family

Packed away in my tote of fall decorations is a little brown blank book that came from the dollar store. Warmth spreads through my heart when I flip open the cover and see handprints, doodles, and scrawled words inside.

Each year for the past 11 years our family has taken some time on Thanksgiving Day to write or draw what we are thankful for. Each family member gets one page. Even the babies and toddlers participate by having their hand traced. Then either my husband or I jot down a few things the little one is really into at the moment.

 

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Let’s Eat! Giving Thanks with Jesus at Mealtimes

In an effort to get my heart ready for Thanksgiving I wanted to read about the times that Jesus had given thanks to God. I found that most of the time when the Bible says that Jesus was giving thanks it was in the context of mealtime. I can resonate with that! Our family already says a prayer out loud before our dinner time together.

I chose five of those Scripture passages to study and from that study, I put together a five-day devotional. My prayer is that the devotional helps you fine-tune your heart of thankfulness since that is something we think about in the fall as Thanksgiving Day draws near.

A FIVE-DAYDEVOTIONAL

Click here to get your copy of Let’s Eat! 

 

P.S. Receiving the devotional will also subscribe you to readthehardparts.com, a new online community of Christians who encourage each other to read the hard parts of Scripture. 

 

Review of Reading People by Anne Bogel

If you already are interested in personality tests and analyzing personality then you will love Reading People by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy fame.

I was initially drawn to this book because of the cover (yes, I do judge a book by its cover. Sorry, I can’t help it!). I was also drawn to it because it is by Anne Bogel. Although I haven’t read a lot on Modern Mrs. Darcy, the blog about all things books and reading, I have really liked what I have read. She is intelligent and treats her readers so. She has developed a book club community that is so different than any other blog out there. Her website design is so classy, too. Continue reading

Trick or Treat Gospel Tract

Halloween is coming soon! In our family, my husband, Tim, takes the kids around to Trick or Treat in the neighborhood. I gladly stay home and hand out candy. A lot of the kids know me since I stand at the school bus stop with my kids and try to be a friendly face for all the kids’ morning.

Every year, I hand out a gospel message of some kind along with a big handful of candy. I had success finding good Trick or Treat tracts the first couple years.

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