I love books! What can I say? When I was in elementary school, I loved library day. I will share this. In early elementary my family moved often. I was in 2-3 schools each year until 4th grade. I had many gaps in so many areas as I would miss certain ways of doing things when I would get to a new school. Since I was extremely shy I was easily overlooked by teachers. I also didn’t ask questions as I didn’t want to bring any attention to myself. So, the library was always so fun for me, but, I didn’t have a clue how to look up certain books etc. I would just glean the shelves and choose my books. I would always check out as many as was aloud. I loved when it was time for the Weekly Reader to come out. SRA’s were always fun. I loved going up and picking the next story to read. Oh, and when it was time to order your very own books was very exciting. (I’m dating myself, aren’t I) The only problem was there was never any money in the budget at home for anything like ordering books. One very rare time was in third grade. I bought a book about Abraham Lincoln. I loved that book! For years the library was always exciting for me to go to. When I was about 16 I discovered a Christian book store one day. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Well, not really, but, it was so exciting. I had no idea there were Christian book stores. I was then a regular customer. I think the name of the store was, Sonshine Corner. When My Jim and I were serving in full-time ministry, we both loved books. Our budget was always very tight and books would be the last thing we would purchase. I love it when I hear about churches that give their pastors a book budget in order to buy books that would only help their teaching, etc. I especially love it when I hear they do the same for the pastor’s wife. Unfortunately, we never had that luxury. All that to say, I must be making up for lost time as books are my weakness! I have enough books now that should last me til the end of time.
I heard someone say when I was a teen that we should always be starting a book, in the middle of a book or ending a book. I’ve always tried to keep up with that idea. I’ll be sharing some books over time that I have finished that I think would be an encouragement to you.
This past week I finished two books that I think you would love:
Pink Satin Sashes, My Life in Sketches, Swatches and Paper Dolls by Debra Mack Larson
I saw this book advertise in my favorite magazine, Southern Lady. The word” paper dolls” caught my eye. I was a huge paper doll collector when I was little. I still love them today. Yes, I’ve even purchased some as an adult that I just couldn’t resist as they looked so cute! But, back to the book…what a sweet, inspiring and fun book this is.
Debra Mack Larson grew up in the 50’s and 60’s. Her mother made all of her clothes from toddler to teen and even her wedding dress. She was an excellent seamstress as you can imagine. As she described her childhood it reminded me of the shows like Father Knows Best and The Donna Reed Show. After her mother passed, Debra discovered that her mother had kept journals of all the clothing that she had made for her throughout her childhood. She had sketches of the outfit with a sample of the fabric and if that wasn’t enough, she made a paper doll out of most of the designs. As someone who loves the 50’s and 60’s fashion styles and even the fabric and then throw in the love of paper dolls, I can’t even imagine what a special find this would have been. The book is filled with photos of her journal drawings and fabrics.
My favorite story she shared was after her father had passed, Debra made a shadow box of his WW2 memorabilia. When she shared it with her aging mother, her mom loved it and then said, “I wish I would have done something wonderful with my life to have it in a shadow box.” Yes, that made me tear up when I read that. I have a feeling if her mom could see this beautiful book that shows her talent and most of all her care and love that she had for her home and family, she would be very happy. What a beautiful tribute this book is for Debra’s beautiful mom.
I love this book and if you think you would want your own copy, go to www.larsondesign.net to order.
This book made me think of the Proverbs 31 Woman. Proverbs 31:10-31. There isn’t a shadow box to hold all that this precious lady did with her life in making a safe, secure and loving home for her husband and daughter. I just love it!
Rocking It Grand, 18 Ways To Be A Game-Changing Grandma by Chrys Howard and Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
I have a couple other books on the issue of being a grandmother who makes a difference in their grandchildren’s life. While raising my kids, my constant prayer was, “Lord, help me to be the mom that each of my kids need.” I knew my two children were different from each other and had different needs, so I worked hard at knowing my kids to the core and then being the mom that they each needed. We can talk about that on another post, because now we are talking about being a grandmother. My name is Mimi and I have 6 amazing grandchildren and another one on the way this coming fall. How exciting is that! So, now my prayer is still not only to be a mom that my kids need even as adults, but, to be the Mimi each one of my grands need. They are all different and unique in each way just as their parents are.
This book was an easy read and three main things popped out at me that were an affirmation of things that I’ve been thinking on and have witnessed myself with other grandmothers that I glean from or have been watching. Just as we were never moms before our kids were born, we’ve never been Mimi’s before either. Always learning new things never gets old. We should always be learning, regardless how old we get.
Chapter 3 – They Don’t Want to Entertain Us
This was such a good chapter, I wish I could type the entire thing out, but, you may need to get the book. I’ll highlight it. This is a concept that I have noticed lately in watching some other grandmas in action. I’ll try to sum it up in my words….We need to have a life that is full. A fulfilling life. If you don’t, then maybe you need to figure it out. Find those things that you love doing. Just because you are older doesn’t mean you forget about yourself. Enjoy life. Let your kids and grandkids see that you have a full exciting life. Your grandkids are a special part of that. If all you do is live and breath your grandchildren and have nothing to offer them from your life, then something is missing and it becomes a hardship on your grandkids and kids for that matter. They are living full exciting lives and if they have this constant pressure to make sure you are not just sitting idly by waiting for someone to make you feel fulfilled, then it can put pressure on the relationship. Life should be full and living a fulfilled life all together, not just one sided. I so hope that makes sense. You might need to read the book to get the full picture!
Chapter 7 – Little Ones Understand More Than We Think
So much is going on in our world that is a bit scary. Our grandkids will have questions and want to talk about things. When we talk to them, we should always offer hope as well. Let them know they were created for such a time as this and we all have a purpose and life isn’t all doom and gloom, but we are to have wisdom and discernment and we as adults can share our wisdom with them and teach them how to not be fearful. If we are fearful, our kids will be. We need to always offer hope and let them know who is really in charge. We can also teach them how to make a difference either now or in the future. *I’m going to share my own thought here. I’ve heard so many people say their kids are missionaries and they are expected to stand strong against the world even as little ones. Well, I don’t exactly go along with that….we train, teach and encourage our kids and to expect them to face the culture as it is today and stand strong when most adults can’t, is beyond me. We as adults need to have wisdom and discernment of how much to allow our children to partake of as far as the culture. To say children are invincible and resilient is like saying we are…..and I don’t think we are. Even as adults, we are learning and growing each and every day. Our job is to help our kids grow and learn each and every day, too.
Chapter 17 – Living in the Present Is a Gift
This chapter covers several things, but one main thing was respecting your grandchildren’s boundaries. Also, we are to encourage their boundaries. Some kids don’t like to be hugged that much. We shouldn’t force a hug on anyone at anytime. One of the authors told about a granddaughter that didn’t like to be hugged and when she realized this, she respected that and didn’t force her to hug. In time as the girl grew out of a stage, she went to her grandmother and always had a hug for her. It was then on her terms and she was more comfortable with that. Kids go through seasons and they are dealing with all types of emotions We are to be the grandmother that is wise and senses things and respects their space.
Those are just a few highlights from a book that is filled with lot’s of wisdom. They also share grandma cookie recipes throughout the book which is fun! If you can’t find this book at your local Christian Book Store, there is always Amazon *this is an affiliate link….it helps with my book issue.
Until next time….Happy Reading!