Friday, March 28, 2014

Tidbits From Help Meets' Hearts-A Review!

Tidbits From Help Meets' Hearts is a compilation of authors from Marriage Motherhood and Missions speaking on the topics of:

  • Making Time for God and Me
  • Loving Our Husbands
  • Raising Our Kids for Christ
  • Homemaking
  • Ministering Outside Our Homes
  • Finances
  • Encouragement for Your Hearts
Together, these seven writers share their unique perspectives on each subject. This method is interesting in that the reader gets to hear a topic from many different vantage points and experiences. 

The book opens with a bang by addressing an issue that many of us share: Making time for God and me. How many moms struggle with how to take a slice out of her busy day for being in the Word and for having some coveted "me" time? It's difficult, for sure, but these ladies offer practical solutions for balancing your day. I especially like Rosilind's suggestions and I plan to employ most of them. Her suggestions?: 

  • Play worship CDs
  • Find the Bible on CD or use You Version to listen to God's word
  • Write down or print out scripture verses and hang them in strategic places in your home
  • Memorize God's Word
  • Listen to quality Bible teachers on podcasts or youtube.
I also enjoyed Ren's method of praying without ceasing, which, at first blush sounds exhausting and labor-intensive, but it really means having an on-going conversation with God throughout the day and saying "Amen" that night. I like that idea of speaking with God like He's my friends...because He is. 

Moving on to the chapter called Loving Our Husbands, I'll admit, I blushed when I read Ren Simonitis's post entitled "Pleasure Him." If there is an area I am struggling in at this season of life, it is by far being attentive to my husband. With 12 grabby, precious, little hands pulling at me all day, and 6 demanding little personalities in my ear 10-12 hours or more a day, I am exhausted by the day's end. In truth, I just want to close myself in the closet and listen to silence. Being there for my husband *wink, wink* sadly is not typically at the top of my "To Do" list. And that's a shame because there was a time when we made time for that. We anticipated it and yearned for it and we made it happen. 

I know I am not alone in this department. I encounter women every day who struggle with switching hats from mom to wife to ministry leader to sister to daughter, to employee/employer, etc. And it seems extra difficult to switch from all of those things to temptress when the lights are out. After all, it's hard to feel sexy when I know I've had poop on my hand from a wriggling toddler, throw-up on my shirt from a sick baby, and who knows what on my pants. Channeling Angelina Jolie when I feel like Nick Nolte's mug shot all but kills the desire. The ladies of Tidbits from Help Meets' Hearts offer some great advice for keeping our husbands the priority in our lives and not losing the flame: being mindful of him, knowing the best way to communicate with him by knowing his love language, making an effort to look and feel my best (yes, that does include more than a token shower), praying for him, and by consciously making the decision to love him, respect him, and be there for him by making every minute with him count.

Raising Our Kids for Christ had a theme throughout from all the authors' perspectives: emulate what we want our children to be. If we want children grounded in the Word and actively pursuing a relationship with the Lord, we must live by example. Some families have different expectations for their children then others, but the key is in being consistent. There were some things that I don't hold to as stringently as some of the writers, but I see the common thread of being a living and active example and giving your children boundaries and guidelines...I also will offer my children the love and grace that I find so freely in Jesus. 

Homemaking is something I enjoy. I love making our house a home and a cozy, welcoming place for friends and family. I can pin decorating ideas for hours on end, if allowed (and I am never allowed, FYI), but sometimes the everyday tasks can be overwhelming. Dishes that pile up (even with a dishwasher), laundry for days, and that funk growing in the bathroom (C'mon, I have 4 boys using the of them being a 45 year-old boy) make me feel like I'm going under. Add to that the responsibilities of homeschooling and running ministries...well, something ends up suffering, and unfortunately that is often the home. All the ladies seem to be in consensus that homemaking is a way for us to show love and service to our families, but it can also be daunting. I like Roslind's practical suggestions, some of which include having a regular schedule and including the children. 

Ministering Outside Our Homes is also near and dear to my heart. I have really stepped up my boldness in ministering over the past few years. I have served in several different capacities over the past 12 years and I think I am finally finding my niche. The down side of that, is making sure that family is always the priority. For me, because I am so enjoying the ministries that I am a part of, it's easy to let other things slide (see homemaking above!) and then we have days where my husband is going to work commando because the laundry hasn't been done in days. God calls us to ministry, the ladies are clear about that, but I also like that they admit it is often difficult to balance being a wife and mom with being in outside ministry. 

Finances is a topic that makes me twitch. It's no secret that I have never been the financially strong one or particularly gifted in the area of crunching numbers and balancing my checkbook. Once again, the authors offer some great and practical advice on how to stretch finances. These suggestions are things that most everyone can do also. 

Encouragement for Your Heart: Grace is a theme throughout this chapter. I agree that as wives and moms we need to extend grace to our husbands and children, and also to ourselves. We will fail others and they will fail us. We need to be willing to model ourselves after Jesus and go to Him when we feel we are at the end of our rope. Heather Greutman offered some advice at the end of the book that I loved: 
  • Give yourself grace 
  • Spend time in God's Word getting filled up each day
  • Call a friend who you haven't talked to in a while and just encourage and strengthen one another in your roles as a wife and a mom
  • Give yourself grace
  • Spend quality time with your husband, away from computers, cell phones, and technology in general
  • make memories with your kids that will last a lifetime
  • Take time for yourself--a worn out and stressed mom is no good 
  • Prioritize
  • Sleep
  • Give yourself grace
These are all very valid, yet often difficult, things to remember and put into practice. 

Tidbits from Help Meets' Hearts is a book chalk full of advice from women who have not only been there, but who are still in the trenches. While methods and philosophies may vary, the core of the message is the same: it's all about Jesus. It's all about honoring God while we are in this season of life.

Good news! You can purchase this book when it comes out April 1, 2014! During that time (Launch Week April 1-5, 2014) the book will be offered at a special price of $2.99! After April 5, it will be available for $5.99. Click HERE for more information!

I was supplied with a Book Launch Team copy of Tidbits From help Meets' Hearts for review. All opinions are my own.

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