BOOK REVIEW: Priceless by Jen Barrick

38749523Title & Author: Priceless, Jen Barrick
Publication Date & Publisher: October 2, 2018, Moody Publishers
Genre(s): Christian, Religion & Spirituality
My Rating: 3.5/5.0

Description (from Goodreads):

What if your daughter’s propensity for “feeling all the feels” is actually a good thing?

Teens and tweens have a reputation for letting their emotions get the best of them, so much so that we often wonder if our families (and the world) wouldn’t be better off if these young women we love could feel just a little less. But as Linda Barrick discovered, these emotions play an important role in the spiritual lives of young women, and, when they learn to direct them rightly, their feelings can be a powerful force for good in their lives, homes, and schools.

That’s why Linda and her daughter Jen wrote this devotional for teen girls. After Linda’s daughter, Jen, was in a traumatic car accident, Jen was in many ways “frozen” at age fifteen and completely uninhibited. That means Jen still says what she’s thinking and feeling almost all the time. Because of this Jen’s mom, Linda, got a unique glimpse into the inner world of young women, and she realized that the emotions young teen girls feel are a beautiful gift. It gives them the ability, like Jen, to have an unhindered, best-friend relationship with their Heavenly Father.

In this 30-day devotional for young teen girls, author Linda Barrick combines her daughter Jen’s real-life prayers with passages from Psalms in order to speak directly to the heart of young women. It will teach these teens and tweens how to cultivate a deep, emotional relationship with the God who loves them. Each day will:

address a different feeling and examine it in light of God’s truth from a short passage of Psalms
affirm young women’s feelings as a gift of God
demonstrate how their emotions are meant to lead them closer to God
show them how to make their faith stronger when they use God’s Word to navigate their emotions

My review:

My hopes were set pretty high for this title. Overall, this was a good devotional for teen girls. I went through the first part with my 13 year old daughter and she really enjoyed it. It’s definitely written to a much younger audience than my 38 year old self and it does a good job at talking at their level.

However, I feel that I need to get my biggest concern with this title out of the way before I go on:

At the end of Day 1, Priceless has something very similar to the much recognized “sinner’s prayer.” I really think I would’ve enjoyed this book much more if this part wasn’t in there, since I personally don’t believe in the sinner’s prayer. It takes more than simply saying a prayer to be transformed in Christ and to live your life as His disciple. There’s a lot more I could say here, but it’s not appropriate in this review as it’s not about the book. (Please feel free to Contact Me to discuss further.)

I liked the layout of Priceless and how it addresses so much of what every teenage girl goes through and feels. It lets them know that those feelings are normal, but feelings aren’t necessarily true. And then it shows them the truth in God’s word and helps them to shift their thinking into more positivity.

I loved that it had so many activities to do! My daughter and I wrote prayers together, and it really opened up a lot of discussions about how she feels and the best ways to deal with those feelings. I definitely recommend going through this book with your daughter! It was pretty eye opening.

Overall, I would recommend this book with the one concern noted above. Let me know you’re thoughts in the comments section below!

Thanks to NetGalley and Moody Publishers for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

You can pre-order Priceless on Amazon:

 

 

Advertisements

When God Made You – a review

Now that my girls are older, I rarely get the opportunity to read children’s books.

Okay, that’s a lie…

5987326059_67794e6ba2_m
Image found on Flickr, Linda Jordon

On occasion (aka not so occasionally), you can find me sitting in my library/sewing/writing/soon-to-be-bed room reading Dr. Seuss — out loud.  (Not sure what it says about me that there’s a room in my house with an identity crisis) (Also, in case you weren’t aware…  out loud is the ONLY acceptable way to read a Dr. Seuss book!)

Since my girls are now 17 and 12, there aren’t many children’s books that I’m even willing to read, let alone take the time to re-read over and over again.  (Other than Seuss, obviously.)

For a book to achieve such an honor in my currently WAY overloaded schedule, it has got to be phenomenal.  To be honest, I would have told you such a book did not exist.

Turns out, I was wrong (again). Continue reading → When God Made You – a review

So much hate.

One of the advantages to not having cable or regular television is that I don’t have a single news channel.  (To be completely honest, I seldom watched the news when I had access to it because it was generally depressing and made me feel small and powerless. )

Unfortunately, my not watching the news doesn’t mean that horrible things don’t still happen in the world or that I get to just ignore it.

I was saddened when the alert came over my phone to tell me about the shooting  that occurred in Orlando on June 12th. My heart broke for the families of those dead and injured and I immediately began praying for them and the family of the shooter before I even read the article.

While the shooting upset me, I was more horrified by what I learned yesterday evening.  After the attack, a pastor actually preached in his sermon that the only tragedy that had occurred was that more people weren’t killed in the attack.  He called those in the night club perverts and pedophiles.

My first thought when my cousin told me about the sermon was that it must’ve been those Westboro people and I kind of shrugged it off.  When he told me it wasn’t them, I didn’t really believe him.  So, of course, I asked the Google fairies…

My eyes were so full of tears I couldn’t even read the whole article.  Google had confirmed that not only did a pastor in Sacramento preach this hate-filled sermon, but that he continued to defend it and called for the government to murder a large portion of our population.

No matter what your personal beliefs are, that night club was filled with people.  They were/are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles… and I believe God loves each and every one of them.

I wish this was just an isolated incident, but there seems to be so much hate growing in the hearts of people.  It’s beyond my understanding and I struggle to control the anger that it ignites in me, but I refuse to let it get the better of me or harden my heart against humanity.

Some of the worst moments of my life ended up bringing me some of my biggest blessings.  That wouldn’t have been possible had I let my rage and hatred continue to fester and take over my thoughts and actions.   It would have tainted everything.

In the same way, if I let the words and actions of those who have chosen to let their hatred rule them affect the way that I look at the world,  I would do a disservice to myself and everyone around me.  I can’t help but wonder, how disappointed would the God I claim to love be with me then?

Instead, I choose to not only continue to pray for those who are persecuted against, but for their persecutors.  May God soften and change their hearts.  And I ask that others join me in consciously fighting against the instinct to hate the hateful and instead, show love to those we feel are undeserving of it.

 

Note to Self: You’re failing miserably at…

So I basically suck at blogging.

If you found this blog when I started it last summer, then you may have noticed that I went from posting almost daily to  being almost eerily silent.  You may have also noticed that I’ve occasionally changed a background or something, but haven’t bothered to even post a quick “hey y’all, how’s it goin’?” since November .

Of course, it’s more likely that you barely noticed I’ve been gone at all – much like the tabs on my page that I just discovered disappeared at some point during my tinkering.

Oh, before I forget…

Hey y’all!  How’s it goin’?  

And now back to our regularly scheduled blog post…

No excuses, no reason, I’m just failing at being a blogger.

It’s not for lack of trying, or for lack of something to say.  (I’ve always got something to say!)   It’s just that I can’t stay focused on writing a post.  I start, then stop to browse other themes, then start on a completely different post, then move on to whatever in my real life requires me.

The number of unfinished drafts I have saved on my laptop is actually a little embarrassing.

But it’s not just blogging.  I’m really starting to think I may be failing at life in general.  (Yep, that’s right — you get a grade for this life thing.)

So let’s start with the last thing I posted about…  NaNoWriMo.

I won!  YAY!  I didn’t fail at writing a novel in 30 days!  I’m so amazing…

After finishing the first draft of my novel in November, I tucked it safely away in it’s little Scrivener folder and moved on to my next unfinished project.

Much like this blog, I’ve visited my NaNo novel many times and even done some editing here and there…  but that’s as far as it’s gone.  At this rate, it might be ready for a first reader somewhere around the year 2040.

So “F” number #1 goes to…  failing miserably as a novelist.

Let’s move on to “F” number #2, shall we… Continue reading → Note to Self: You’re failing miserably at…

When a Runner Can’t Run

I’m a runner.  

Or, I was a runner.

Sometimes, I forget I’m not a runner anymore.  And when it hits me that I can no longer call myself a runner, a wave of depression comes over me that has, on occasion, actually knocked me down.  Thankfully, it’s a short lived fit of self-pity (usually) and is often shoved aside quickly by a quick trip up or down some stairs.

The pain in my knee is a pretty good reminder that, once the pain is gone, I will be a runner again.  (Sometimes, it sends me into a downward spiral where I’m convinced I’ll never even be able to walk up and down the stairs again, but that’s not really important right now.)

I had no idea how much I associated being a runner with who I am until I couldn’t run.  There was only one other time in my life that I had such an identity crisis…

During the first date I was on with my husband, he interrupted me to exclaim (with a rather terrified look on his face), “Oh, God!  You’re a Christian!”  He actually backed away from me when he said it, as if I might somehow infect him with my Christian filth.  We had already been surprised by his being 7 years younger than me… and he had already told me that he hated kids.  To which, I responded that I had two. He didn’t so much as flinch.  (Not even when I went out of my way to try to make him. hehehe)  But when something escaped from my lips that made him realize I was a Christian, he looked a little disgusted.

Now, you might think that I would be upset about his reaction…  I wasn’t.

I was more upset that he wasn’t able to tell before our date, before I confirmed his accusation, before whatever the words were that had escaped my lips at that moment, what my beliefs were.

All I could think was, “I’m a Christian.  I’m supposed to be shining Christ’s light in this world.  Every action and reaction I have is supposed to exude love.”  Obviously, if he was that shocked by my being a Christian, then I wasn’t shining a light in the world.  He had seen me many times before our first date.  We had even gone to lunch a couple of times before that night.  If I was bringing light to the dark, it would have been obvious at this point…  but it wasn’t.

And I had to really search myself.  I had to redefine my role in this world.  I questioned whether I really was a Christian.  Did I have any business calling myself that if it was THAT big of a shock for someone to find out?

That’s pretty much how I feel now when I let the words escape my lips…  “I’m a runner.”

Writer’s write.  If I wasn’t writing, I couldn’t call myself a writer.

Runner’s run.  If I haven’t ran in months can I really call myself a runner?

It’s a pretty simple concept.  Let the identity crisis begin…

About a year ago, I fell during a race.  I sprained my shoulder and had a little pain in my knee.  I figured the knee was just scraped and once the scabs went away, it’d be fine.  That wasn’t the case.  The doctor said I’d probably torn my meniscus.  Without an MRI they couldn’t tell for sure.  I needed to have an x-ray, which they said wouldn’t be able to tell them anything really if it was a tear, but the insurance won’t pay for the MRI without an x-ray first.

I’m stubborn.

The knee pain wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t run on it, so I decided not to worry about it.  I iced it after every run and, except for the post-run swelling, it was fine.

In January, my husband and I ran a half-marathon in Arizona for our anniversary.  After the race, a pain in my stomach that I had been experiencing on and off for a few months became nearly unbearable.  It grew worse as the months wore on.  I couldn’t run.  Some days, I could barely walk. The pain eventually led to me having surgery in May.

That race was my last long run.

Once healed from my surgery, I was excited to get back out on the road.  But it wasn’t quite the homecoming I had expected.

Over the months of inactivity, my knee had gotten weaker.  It’s no longer able to absorb the shock of running.  Stairs cause me to grit my teeth.

Yes, I should probably go have the stupid x-ray.

But I’d rather build the strength back up in my knee. I don’t want to end up out for another year because I had to have another surgery (which is what the doc is pretty sure I’ll need).

The problem?

I’m a runner.

I’m a runner who cannot run.

Building myself back up to where I was is going to take time.  And a lot of patience and determination…  and I have to get over the fact that I cannot run.  Before I can run, I’m going to have to walk.

To me, running is fun.  The world just looks and feels different when I’m running.  The time passes almost too quickly.

But walking???  Walking is boring.  Time passes way too slowly.  Everything looks and feels exactly the same as if I was sitting on my front porch.

Basically, the problem is that I cannot get myself motivated to walk.  I’ve tried listening to a book while I walk on the treadmill (I hate treadmills).  I’ve tried listening to music, but it just doesn’t help.

Today, with the help of a new friend, I think I’m finally ready to say “I’m a walker.”

I woke up this morning and had no desire to go for a walk.  I gritted my teeth and grimaced at the crackling and pain as I walked up the stairs.  I was NOT in the mood for a slow, boring, walk up and down the hills I know I need to walk to get my knee stronger.

But I had someone waiting for me.  I couldn’t cancel, I was the one who asked her to go with me.  And so, I went.

And I had a great time!

She didn’t mind that I had to take it easy as we made our way not just up, but down the hills (down is a killer for me right now).  We talked and laughed, and the time just flew by…  I went much farther than what I thought I would be able to!

Without her, I honestly wouldn’t have made it there today.  I wouldn’t feel as accomplished as I do now… I’d be sitting here sulking in the fact that I can’t run, instead of joyously proclaiming that I walked today!

And eventually, I WILL run again!