Monday, May 17, 2010

The Purpose Driven Life

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for? The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for? by Rick Warren

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my third time reading this book.  I read it the first time back in 2004.  We had been trying to conceive and it just wasn't happening.  I was frustrated and confused.  This book helped me to put my life in focus.  Shortly thereafter, I was pregnant.  Coincidence?  It's hard to say.

My husband and I read the book together this time around.  We were facing a "life decision" and needed some clarity.  One of the reasons I enjoy this book so much is because depending on where you are in your life, you can take what you are in need of from the book.  Some of my favorite snipets this time around were:

**If you can't get it all done, it means you're trying to do more than God intended for you to do.
**Worship is a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving him, and giving ourselves to be used for his purposes.
**Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God's wisdom and sovereignty in creating you.
**Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships.
**You are as close to God as you choose to be.
**Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.  Humility is thinking more of others.  Humble people are so focused on serving others, they don't think of themselves. 
**Life is supposed to be difficult!  It's what enables us to grow.
**We become whatever we are committed to.
**The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act.
**Spiritual growth is the process of replacing lies with truth.
**God is never in a hurry, but he is always on time.
**When you don't have a heart for what you're doing, you are easily discouraged.
**Small tasks often show a big heart.
**Become friends with God.

Even as I read through this list, it gives me hope.  This book lifted me up and gave me a sense of peace in my busy mom life.  This book is encouraging and uplifting.  Even if you don't generally read this type of book, it is easy to read and understand.  If you find that you are missing something in your life and can't quite put your finger on it, give this book a try.  It has certainly given me direction.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Irresistible Henry House

The Irresistible Henry House The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you looked at this blog, you'd think I fell off the face of the earth.  The problem is reading too many books at one time, and then there is that mothering thing and wife thing.  So little time for my favorite pass time!

This book was selected as our next book club book.  It was a fast read indeed for me.  Many of our book club selections this past year have been fiction based on real life events.  This happens to be one of them.  The book is based on the use of "practice babies" which began at Cornell University back in 1919.  Infants were loaned out to universities to be used as practice babies in practice houses (a.k.a. home economics) to be used to teach young women how to mother.  Can you believe it?  Gives you a whole new outlook on home ec, eh?  A set number of practice mothers would take turns caring for the baby throughout the year.  Believe it or not, this practice continued until 1969.  It draws the question of how this affected these young infants.  Did they grow up to have normal lives or disfunctional ones?

The book is definitely a fictional story, but follows the life of one practice baby, Henry.  Henry comes to the practice house as a young infant and ends up being raised in this environment his entire childhood.  He is loved by so many, yet lives a life desperately seeking love.  The author does a good job at allowing you to feel what he feels.  My heart ached for him.  I could only imagine how he must have felt.  Coming from a divorced family myself, I could relate to many aspects of this book.

What amazes me most about this book is that I had no idea practice houses even existed at one time.  How can this be?  How screwed up was this?  It is no wonder the women's liberty movement took place.  They were groomed to be mothers and nothing else.  It is hard for me to fathom that this was the only choice for women of this time period.  How far we have come!!!