The Love Dare for Parents Book Review

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Icon Media Group, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Love Dare for Parents

The Love Dare Book Review Part 2

Check out Part 1 HERE.

Book Author: Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick
Book Genre: Parent Devotional
Number of Pages:  256 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (July 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1433668521
My Rating:   5 /5

This book is written by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, authors of the original, The Love Dare.  They are the creators of movies such as Fireproof and Courageous and Alex has starred in those movies as well as Flywheel and Facing the Giants.

Some of the interesting features of this book include FAQ’s in the author’s preface.  There is an online assessment that you can take at www.lovedaretest.com for both parenting and marriage which show your strengths and areas for improvement.  You can take it numerous times to see your progress.  One issue I had with this site was that it was supposed to give you the option of adding in your childrens’ names and birthdates, but it never worked for me.  It is supposed to show you how many days your children have been alive and how long until their next birthday.  The marriage one tells how long you have been married and how long until your anniversary and it worked just fine.  I tried to email customer support and clicking on the link took me nowhere.  The test was great.  It shows your scores and specific days that will help you grow in those areas.  I think this would be helpful in re-reading the book.  Go through it all the first time, then go back and work on specific days that address areas that need the most work.  Also, it gives Scripture to help with these areas.  At the end, there are appendix articles: a section about what the Bible says about spanking, “12 daring ideas to maximize family time” such as turning off electronics or playing hooky by picking up your child from school to do something fun, ways to pray for your children, things that block prayer and things that make prayer effective, a section with a salvation message for parents to see what following Christ is all about if they are not already Christians, verses for your children to memorize, questions to ask your child for conversation starters, and an inspiring proclamation of what the Word of God is.  I like the journaling part of this book so that years later, the children can come back and see how I, as a parent, thought about them and what I did to show them that I love them specifically.

There are 40 days in this challenge.  Rather than listing each and every day’s challenges, I’ll share a few that really spoke to me:

Day two (Love is Patient) is something that has been on my heart for a long time from my dad to my ex-husband to my current husband. But I also realize that it is not only about fathers. I often say things in the heat of anger that I wish I hadn’t said. Or lose my temper. I recall things that my dad has said that left an indelible mark on me. I don’t always do a good job with the patience part. But I suppose every parent struggles with that. My son requires an extreme amount of patience. Most of the time, I am able to remove myself from the situation emotionally because it will just escalate. But sometimes I fail because I am tired or hormonal or just have had a bad day and I can’t quite keep my patience as long as I normally can.  When I was a younger parent, still with my ex-husband (taking my anger at him out on the children), a single parent, many stressful situations, I was a more angry frustrated parent. Now I have a little more experience under my belt, more support, more knowledge, more wisdom, I have been able to be a more patient parent even though I still fail miserably at times.  Sometimes, we get the most angry at things our children do that are also our weakness. It is more helpful to confess that you struggle in the same area. To show your children that you are human and to suggest some ways that you both can grow.

The book talks about patience and kindness being two sides of the coin. Patience diffuses negativity and kindness is an action of positivity. Can you imagine what a family would look like if each member were proficient in patience and kindness?

In the section on kindness, I found an interesting and tough statement, that fathers should display more kindness than other men their children are around. That should be extremely convicting. I can think of many men that I was around as a child that were more kind to me than my father. And many men who have been more kind to my children then their father.

Day 4 (love values) discusses how the world sends the message that children are a burden and an inconvenience. Then after you have children, the world eagerly wants their attention, constantly advertising for them and wanting them to buy their products and serve in their causes and vote for their candidates.

“Children are also given to us to help us personally mature as parents. They teach us how to stop being so selfish and to give sacrificially. They pull us out of our comfort zones and stretch our abilities. They repeat our words and test our integrity. They expose our pride and deepen our humility. They help us learn to love more willingly. They enter this world as if to say, ‘here I am, a mirror to reveal you, ready clay for you to mold. I am given to bear your name and reflect your likeness. I am more valuable than anything you own, and I could become your greatest investment in the world.’ ”   I have often been shown the mirror, having the children parrot back to me words that I have said. It causes you to stop and think before you speak.

Day five (love is wonderful): “Our children do not just grow up different; they show up different.” I know this to be only too true as all of my children are extremely different and each one was born in a very different way. My dad often joked that if I had had a zipper installed it wouldn’t have done any good because each one made their entrance into this world in their own way. Arrena was an unplanned C-section baby. Kimberly was a VBAC. Billy was transverse and a planned C-section, however since he had never dropped they had to do a vertical cut for his entrance into the world. As they each left their own scars and marks on my body, as a mother they also are unique in how I feel about them and how they affect my heart. “He personally gets involved forming and weaving the systems of a child’s body into a tapestry of life (Psalm 139:13–14). He draws the blueprints for every little boy and owns the copyright on every little girl….  Every birthmark is a trademark. Every special feature is the signature of divine design.”

Day seven (love is not irritable). Their definition of being irritable means “to be near the point of a knife”. It talks about irritability flowing from two bitter springs stress and selfishness. Wow can I relate to that. It seems like my life is always fraught with stress and it makes me very, very irritable and my patience goes out the window.

Date 10 (love is not rude): “Parents who do not enjoy being around their own children need to seriously ask themselves if they have really taken the time to train them how to be considerate, gracious, and likable. Manners, at the very heart, are a way of expressing love and showing respect for the intrinsic value in other people, each made in the image of God.”

Day 13 (love disciplines). Love is teaching our children a fundamental respect for God because that is the foundation for their moral decision-making. This chapter describes levels of God’s discipline for us. First He exhorts and instructs us clearly while sharing with us the consequences of disobedience beforehand. If we resist then He moves on to level two where He warns or rebukes us. Then the third level is lovingly chastening or scourging us with painful and appropriate consequences when we rebel. Pictures that He is patient but not a pushover. [Read more...]

Asking for Help

Missed a few days of the BE Society August Writing Challenge, but for a very good reason. I am a Dolphin Tale 2 blogger and I spent my weekend touring the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, previewing the movie, and meeting some of the stars including Harry Conic Jr.! I had the best weekend ever!! Now it is back to reality though.

Here is today’s prompt:

Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?

Asking for help is something I don’t do very often. I have always had an independent, stubborn streak. I remember not letting my parents teach me how to ride my bike. I didn’t ride my bike for a year because I didn’t want their help. Then one day, I got on my bike and rode it by myself. In school, when I couldn’t figure something out I rarely asked for help. I figured I could get in it on my own eventually. I would sit down and read and do until I got it right. Now as a married woman, I still rarely ask for help except for jobs I don’t want to do.   I am starting to realize that it is because of a control issue I have. I have to be the one in control. I have to be the one making decisions. In reality, I can’t control anything. God controls everything. I can only control my reaction to what happens.

god-is-in-control

Do find it easy to ask for help?

 

Not Promised 18 Summers

The Love Dare Book Review Part 1

robin new york

When I took on reviewing The Love Dare for Parents book I was really looking forward to it. After my last book review of Just 18 Summers, I was really excited about delving into being a purposeful parent. All of the summer was ahead of me and I had great plans for us to spend time together and learn things and make memories and go on vacation. When April offered for me to review The Love Dare for Parents, I felt that this fit into exactly what I was already planning.

When I received the book, I had high hopes to combine this book into my already laid plans for the summer of fun. However, as I have learned, we are not promised tomorrow. 18 Summers is a wonderful reminder, but we are not guaranteed 18 summers. I have a friend who’s daughter recently died of a brain tumor at age 4. They did not get 18 summers with her. Another woman at our church died of cancer, leaving a five-year-old son behind.  She didn’t get 18 summers with him. And as it turns out, I didn’t get my summer with my kids, either. I knew that they were going to be attending summer school and church summer camp this year.  Following those, we had about a week together. I hurt my back. My son is nine years old and he has ADHD, bipolar, and possibly some high-functioning autism as well as some learning disabilities. We’ve had a lot of struggles with him recently. A couple of months ago, he was playing on his bunkbed and I was on all fours on the ground when he carelessly jumped off the top bunk and landed feet first on my lower back. I had begun to feel better and life got extremely overwhelming around here, so I stopped going to my chiropractor for a while.  I don’t know what I did, but it got worse and I was in excruciating pain. I have a high pain tolerance and this was number three on my pain scale, only topped by passing a kidney stone and my epidural wearing off during my C-section, if that gives you any indication of how bad the pain was.  So for the next week or so I was laid up in bed with this back pain. That probably would have been a great time to read, but the medication I was on made me so sleepy I could not get out of bed.

During that week there was a hearing for the custody court case that I am currently involved in.  The unwelcome temporary decision was to send my kids to their dad’s for the rest of the summer, excepting our already-planned vacation, thus ending my plans (and my kids’ plans) for a fun summer.  It was also during this week that I received my copy of The Love Dare for Parents in the mail. It’s kind of hard to start when you are laid up in bed, sending your children off for the rest of the summer, trying to plan for your brief vacation, and dealing with a legal case and much more.  Prior to the children leaving, I was able to read the only the first chapter. When I got the children back for our vacation, I packed the book, intending to read, but we did twelve states and the district of Columbia in 12 days. I never took the book out of my suitcase.

If you are thinking that this is a lengthy excuse for why I didn’t do my homework, you would be wrong. I read through the book but I did not yet complete the dares as I had previously planned. After the children get back and school starts, my husband and I are going to do the dares.  Therefore, for the review, my experience is academic and not practical.

Please check out the review of the Love Dare for Parents Book Part Two HERE.

Vacation Spot

I missed yesterday’s BE Society August Writing Challenge prompt, so I am doing it today along with the current prompt, because they do mesh together quite well. I wasn’t online at all the past couple days because God is working in my family. I can’t disclose how right now, but I know He is.

Here is Wednesday’s Prompt:

Show us your favorite Vacation Spot

Here is Today’s Prompt:

 Your favorite picture of yourself

My favorite vacation spot is Disney, of course! It is the happiest place on Earth!!

Favorite-Vacation-Spot-Disney

disney-2

disney1

This is my most recent favorite pic of me, even though you really can’t see me. I love kisses from my husband!!

 

 

A Little Help from My Friends

help-from-friends

Image Source

Almost half way through the BE August Writing Challenge!

Today’s Prompt is:

How has having a website and being involved in an online community (like BE) helped your blog?

I am fortunate enough to have a couple different blogging groups I am in that I really feel I benefit from. I don’t think I could of made it as a blogger at all without the support of the community. I had quite a few bloggers in the beginning help me so much! I am in a great group of local bloggers.

I think the biggest way I have gotten help from my blogger friends is encouragement. Many days, I want to throw in the towel. I mean you pour your heart and soul into a post and no one reads it (or at least  you think because no one comments). You pitch companies and get no so many times. You feel lost sometimes when it comes to social media strategy. Without my blogging friends I would of have given up way before now. I love writing, but can really say my online groups (and offline ones) are my blog’s life support! My blogging friends encourage me, listen to my rants, give me tips and so much more!

I think the biggest hurdle is find the right group of friends. Some bloggers are just plain mean and stuck up. Everybody at one time was at the bottom. I have met some really big bloggers that refuse to talk with or help a fellow blogger. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I actually end up not reading their site anymore.

I want to throw out a couple big thank yous to the following bloggers that have been a great help! Kristen and Bonny from Coupon Friendly, Liza from Addicted to Saving, Kim from Everyday Coupon Queen, Karen from Creative Couponing. Kristen from Couponing to Disney, Deb from Focused on the Magic, BE Society, Inspired Bloggers Network, Saving Said Simply, and many more!