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Favorite Non Fiction Reviewed Read of 2011

Posted by Julie on December 28, 2011 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Each year I like to blog about my favorite fiction and non fiction reads. Today is my favorite non fiction announcement and tomorrow I will do fiction. New this year will be my favorite Free Kindle read of 2011. Because most of my reads this year were books to review, that is what they will be based on today and tomorrow. Remember, my shelves are always up for view.

Most of my reviewed books this year were non fiction, so this wasn’t an easy choice.  I mean Made to Crave was a runaway bestseller and the tool I give credit for helping me for weight loss this year. Zombie Church was a great wake up call. Married Mom, Solo Parent met a need I don’t think existed otherwise and I’m so grateful Carla Anne Coroy wrote it. But there is one that has personal meaning to me, with a life affirming message and a marketing plan I haven’t seen before.

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to Leanne Stevenson and her gift book, Tiny Hands that Hold My Heart. I promoted it earlier this year in this post and Leanne and her husband, someone I went to high school with, were kind enough to send me a copy.

What sets this “baby book” of sorts apart is there are actually two books. One is the hard cover gift book, and the second is the same look but an outreach book for CareNet/Pregnancy Centers to use to help women realize when life truly begins. The pictures are gorgeous and Bible verses are woven throughout the book. It’s everything I would want to present to a newly-pregnant mom, especially one not sure about her intentions to preserve the baby’s life.

I personally used this book with my 8yo so we could keep track of my sister’s pregnancy. The pictures were breathtaking and reading not only bonded the two of us for some precious girl time, it gave us great conversation about God’s promises and life.

I hope you’ll take a look not just at Leanne Stevenson’s book, but also her business, Best Baby Shower.com.

Tiny Hands That Hold My Heart isn’t just a Godly gift book, it’s a promise.

 

Featured image from Facebook

 

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Surrendering Daddy’s Girl

Posted by Julie on May 9, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

So moms, are you back to the reality of getting up first making breakfast, finding socks and feeding the pets?  Yep, must be the day after Mother’s Day.

I try each year to write about the different facets of motherhood from honoring my own mom to encouraging women with infertility because I have been there.  Although I’m writing a little ahead of schedule I feel like I’m supposed to share something I don’t read too much about but is very real just the same.

When you aren’t daddy’s girl and/or when you’re the seemingly invisible parent raising a daddy’s girl.

Guilty on both counts but I think after a lot of time, prayer and tears, that doesn’t define me anymore.

As a child I was the oldest and wired to be a little ahead of my age and now that I really think about it, a bit of sass to me. If I saw injustice whether I understood it or not I was going to talk about it with a lot of negativity. It’s not a real popular place to be especially if you think there is injustice pretty close by.  I was angry and vocal and there was a lot of baggage. We all did the best we could.  But I knew back then I  was not daddy’s girl.

The praise is that before his death we reconciled and I had the absolute honor of being the last to speak with him. I was able to give him a tribute to send him to his eternal destination where I know I will see him again. I believe that was a God given gift for all the years we struggled and I know he never meant and hated that I came away feeling the things I felt. It truly ended all good.

Then I had a daughter.  As soon as she was placed in my husband’s arms he said, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to discipline her.”  Although that wasn’t quite true it was close. She was chronically sick as a baby and as any daddy would want, he wanted to meet every need she could possibly have…and then some.

It didn’t take long for her to realize this and take advantage. When she started talking she started wheeling and dealing. Everyone saw it but daddy. She would toddle off to him and ask for something I already said no to.  Then came a time when she was very verbal and made it clear she wished dad was a stay at home dad…and wished I would go to work…and take my sweet time coming home.

This crushed me. I definitely felt like a house divided and I didn’t handle it well.

This year things have improved. Oh she still brings artwork after artwork home for daddy and apologizes that she ran out of time before she could draw anything for me or her brother. When she draws pictures of the family I am finally not just in the picture, but drawn a lot closer to her and daddy.  There was a time she drew me way, way, way off the page.

We’re now at a place where she takes her time coming inside off the bus because she’s stopping to bring me dandelions. I always equate them as weeds taking over a lawn I just mowed or want to mow but this year I’m realizing this is a precious gift I enjoy receiving. Her class had a mother’s day brunch and she made sure I received an invitation but hoped I was recovering enough from surgery to attend. She gives me hugs, tells me she loves me and just this morning had a tude with her dad, something usually reserved for me.

I’m grateful that my dad and I reconciled and very happy that our daughter is embracing me as much as her dad. Thing is, I had to let go of that expectation and the minute I did, things improved.  I had to place myself in the truth that I AM a Daddy’s girl, my heavenly Father.  Just as it is with you, I am His favorite.  I love that He’s so Sovereign we can all be His favorite. If I waited and put all my hopes in being received that way in all my relationships on Earth I believe I would be a bitter unfullfilled person.

Life is too short for that.

If you are a rejected Daddy’s girl, surrender that today because it’s not true.  You are THE Daddy’s girl and He wants to lavish and brag on you for all of eternity. He’s not a far off God who crosses His arms and shakes His head at you in disgust–so far from it. His arms are open waiting to hug you with promises and truths.  You just aren’t in His picture, you are in His arms. As you receive that truth and draw closer to Him and His Son, it will change your life.

Take it from this Heavenly Daddy’s Girl.

 



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