Encouragement Worth Sharing

Fist off, I've been humbled at the response to the Fashion Theology series thus far.  Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.  Each and every note and personal conversation was so uplifting and really affirmed the importance of this topic.  When I sat down to write several of these posts, I was tempted to fear how they might come across, especially since it required me to be venerable and honest about my own struggles.  Thank you for handling them so graciously, and for being eager to read more.  There are several more posts in the works for this series, so be on the look out for them in the coming weeks!

19 months old, and already pretty sure he doesn't need mommy as much as he used to...
Has Failure Become a Virtue? - Jen Wilkin
I thought this was a good follow-up to some posts I shared previously...Again, touching on the trend among Christians of "ecstatic failureism" and wearing our sin as a proud badge to bask in grace.  I don't know how to do this perfectly, but somehow I think it's important to strike a balance between genuinely confessing and owning our sin while also not flaunting or making light of it.  Let's hold fast to what is good and encourage one another, stirring each other up to good works and looking first and Christ instead of bonding over conversations about how bad we all are.

10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12
Make sure you aren't having an "anxiety mom" type of day before you read this article.  Take several deep breaths, and go in telling yourself, "my child will not be ruined forever if I let them use handheld devices".  With this mindset, go forth and read this post.  I had to talk myself down from the "all devices are now banned" cliff after reading this for the first time.  While I think that there is truth in each of these ten reasons, I do not think that the implications are quite as "doomsday" as this article asserts.  With that being said, I needed a little kick in the pants like this to help remind me that boundaries and wisdom related to screen time is important and it's definitely not the BEST thing for my child's development to fall back on the iPad and TV consistently.  My parenting needs to be intentional, especially in this area.

Crazy Busy - A book by Kevin DeYoung
I've only read a few chapters of this book (in fact, I don't even own it), but the three that I read were extremely convicting and practical.  Mr. DeYoung has a critically important outlook on parenting, using the internet 24/7, and just generally feeling pressure to always have a full schedule.  If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with your to-do list and your responsibilities, this is probably a book for you.  Sometime, I would like to add this to my bookshelf (...when I'm less busy).

Making the "Terrible" Twos Terrific! - A book by John Rosemond
The first two books my pediatrician recommended, we loved.  They completely altered the course of our parenting styles when it came to babies (see - Happiest Baby on the Block and Healthy Sleep, Happy Twins).  So when she recommended a book for getting through the next 12-18 months, I immediately downloaded it to my Kindle app.  Within a few hours of being home from the doctor's office, I was through 34 pages and was taking vigorous notes.  This book, while not written from a directly Christian perspective, is really following biblical principles for children and family.  It takes a practical look at what to expect behaviorally from a 2-3 year old, why they are acting the way they are, and some ideas of how to handle it.  It's a fast read, and I've already made changes in the way I'm speaking to Lewis, picking out his toys, childproofing our house, and choosing discipline.  God is using this book to give me the confidence I need to make it through this season and move from Lew's "take care of my every need" mommy to his authority figure and superior.  A change that needs to happen so he can learn to obey us and develop many of the character traits we want him to have as a man.

5 Reasons I Fear Standing Up to my Kids
And finally, this blog post pierced me to the core.  I can relate to every single reason on this list, and I'm prayerfully pushing past the temptation to be controlled by my toddler and his behavior.  I want to place high value on training him up in the Lord and not letting fear of man (or fear of a 19 month old) dictate my parenting.

What good stuff have you been reading lately?

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