Valentines Special–Free Download of Children’s Book on Love

agape heartValentines Special–Free Download of my Children’s Book, “How to Love Like Jesus: a Guide for Children and Their Parents.” Now through January 20th.

One of my students came in yesterday and asked if I could read a definition paper she wrote on love. She chose to focus on what love is versus what love is not. I breathed in a sigh of relief when I read her quote from the Book of Corinthians where the Apostle Paul defines love. And I then knew for sure she had taken it to heart when she went on to explain that love was not a hormonal feeling but a committed action that someone does for the ones they love. She went on to bring up Romeo and Juliet and typical high school romances that more often fall in to other categories outside of real love, and it hit me–Valentines Day will be coming up soon and so many people will be speaking about love without really knowing what it is.

Wouldn’t it be appropriate then as a Valentines Gift to give our children a book that helps them understand what love is from a biblical standpoint so they too can start their lives off on a strong foot, as my student has? It is so rare. And the world bombards us with lies about what love is.

The front and back cover of the children's book How to Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents.

The front and back cover of How to Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents.

My children’s book “How to Love Like Jesus: a Guide for Children and Their Parents” has not only helped children, but many of their parents better understand what real love looks like in real life.

For this reason, I am starting a promotion. You can get a FREE DOWNLOAD of the kindle version of my book starting today from January 16th through January 20th. If you like it, I encourage you to read the book to your children on Valentines Day or as you approach the holiday. Even better, if you like it, I encourage you to Buy “How to Love Like Jesus” . At $9.99 with numerous, colored illustrations and engaging questions for your children to ponder, you will see from the free-download that is worth it.

The book is appropriate to read to children as young as 2 to as old as 12. You can use just the illustrations with your younger ones, but use the written text with the older ones. You can read one section at a time, or all at once if they have the attention span.

Don’t have a kindle? Don’t worry, the link HERE will give you a safe download of an app that will help your iPhone or computer be able to read the kindle file for free.

I hope you enjoy the book. Please leave any comments or suggestions below or on the Amazon page. I do use affiliate links on this blog to help support it. It does not cost anything extra for you, just allows Amazon to share a few pennies with me for linking the books they host.

 

Strategies for Letting Go and Forgiving Quickly in Marriage

Wife angry at husbandThe Problem

No matter how good your marriage is, chances are, you do get into fights with your spouse from time to time or they may say/do something to really irk you. And some of those times, you may struggle like I have with harboring bitterness in your heart toward your spouse.

My marriage to Owen is wonderful. Over the last 5 years we have been married, I have fallen more deeply in love with him, and as he has adjusted to deal with me and my shortcomings, and I have adjusted to deal with his–we have drawn closer together and I must say–he has become so often, very easy to love.

Regardless, we get into spats from time to time. And in those spats there have been times when I have been frankly, really pissed off at him. :/

For some people, when you are that angry–you just go into the room where they are at, yell at them and tell them how mad you are at them, they yell back, then somehow you both feel better in the end.

My struggle has gone through many changes as I’ve come to the better place I am at. When we were first married, I was very expressive. I just told him every time I was upset with him. The problem was, I was upset with him all the time. And he told me every time he was upset with me, which apparently was all the time as well. (oh the joys of first year). So we just fought all the time. It was not fun. It was not fruitful. It did not work.

The Solution

Then I read some Christian literature. Great books, by the way. If you haven’t read them, you should. 🙂

The Power of a Praying Wife

The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective

On the Other Side of the Garden: Biblical Womanhood

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs

I learned from these that often times, as a Christian, I needed to practice “dying to myself.” This is a “Christianese” word that basically means “let it go” and allow my spouse to have  his “way.” It is even advised that to make it clear you are  doing this–you should continue to speak to your spouse lovingly and respectfully and maybe even bless them with a loving act or service, etc. This is by no means advise or principle for only wives to apply. This very same principle is taught to husbands as well. In the end, if we all just got over it and let our spouses have their way all the time, were kind to them even when we did not agree with their words or actions, and blessed them instead– none of us would be fighting really. We’d probably be a lot happier too. It is based on these bible verses: Philippians 2:1-30Ephesians 5:22-33

Misapplication

Tweet: Your brain can tell you all it wants to just let it go. But if the heart doesn't want to forgive, you will only store up bitternessHere is the problem though. You can’t let anything go and not say anything disrespectful or unloving to your spouse or do something sweet for them when you are genuinely and perhaps even justifiably teed off at them. It sounds great on paper. Your brain can tell you all it wants to just let it go. But if the heart doesn’t want to forgive, you will only store up bitterness in your heart that will be released through passive aggression or aggression.

And that was what happened to me. Every time we fought or every time he said or did not something that really irked me, I’d seek to let it go by not saying anything–but it was only an outward act that did not help hide the unforgiveness in my heart.

Here is a picture of the previous me “Dying to Self”

Owen: blah blah blah [says something or does something that pisses me off]

Me: boo hoo hoo  [I something that may or may not have been disrespectful in my response depending on how good I was being]

Owen: blah blah blah [a response showing he is not sorry for what he just said or did

Me: “Ok” [monotone and robotic attempt to let it go while inside I instead want to scream at him].

Then walk away and clean. I always clean when I’m mad.

I don’t talk to him because if I say something to him it will be something awful, so I resort to just being quiet.

The problem is, as I rehearse in my mind all things I want to say to him and add it to my list of all the other things he has said and done to irk me,I do not get over it. I just continue to stay mad, so I continue to be quiet in order to be a good wife.

If I walk passed him, I don’t want him to see that I am mad at him because I am being the good wife who is dying to self, so I avoid eye  contact.

Oh and I better bless him. I’ll make him his favorite meal. But dang it, the passive aggressive came out and I slam the plate in front of him, instead of placing it gently.

Application

Then one day, God’s Holy Spirit got a hold of me. I was in the backroom one day after an episode like the one above had happened and I was folding laundry. The Spirit lead me through a series of questions and after I answered them all, my heart immediately softened and I was no longer angry or bitter at him. I still felt that what he had said or done was wrong, but I forgave him. And I was able to walk out of the room, and be pleasant the rest of the day.

Jesus talks to the woman by the well by Guercino

Guercino painting of Jesus talking to the Woman at the Well.

You can adjust these questions depending on what your spouse said or did. But for the sake of argument lets take a scenario when your spouse has snapped at you and you don’t feel you deserved it.

Spirit: Have you ever snapped at your husband?

Me: Yes. [heart begins to soften as I realize I too have done what he did].

Spirit: How did he react?

Me: He was angry at me. He even said blah blah blah blah blah.

Spirit: So he didn’t feel he deserved it then either.

Me: Yeah so, he should just be okay with me being upset with him for snapping at me because I’m not acting any different than him.

Spirit: When you did snap at him, how would you have preferred him to respond?

Me: He should have just gotten over it. I was irritable. He offended me. I still love him. It’s not like I hate him. I just needed him to stop. He should just let me be human sometimes and not take it so personally.

Spirit. …..??

Me: Oh…[heart completely soft now].

Tweet: Most of the time--you can admit to doing something similar to your spouse at some point. And when you face that, it's easier to forgive him.It’s so simple. Most of the time–you can admit to doing something similar to your spouse at some point. And when you come face to face with that, it becomes so much easier to forgive them. Even if they have said ugly words to you that you would have never said to them, you can admit to thinking those ugly words in your heart. That’s the beauty of Christ and how he has clarified the law. What you have said or done in your heart is no less ugly than what another has said or done in the open.

So the next time your spouse angers you, allow the spirit to walk you through questions like this. See what happens. Write back and let me know. For more biblical advice on how husbands and wives should act with one another check out this great free resource of All The Bible Verses  About Marriage. 

Hope this blesses you, wives. 🙂

Successful First Book Promotion for How to Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents

I had over 500 downloads this week during my free promotion of my book How to Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents.

I decided this week to put on a book promotion for my recent book. Kindle offers a couple of different types of promotions and I chose to go with the free book offer. I made the mistake of not making time to put a blog up here to promote it, but I did get an awesome and inspiring Mommy Blogger, Nikki Marie to read the book and she gave it a great review on her Mommy Blog called at www.TheMomIWantToBe.com/

In the end, I just want the book out there. There’s no book out there like it for kids. And I know I’m a new author and can’t expect people to just up and buy my books without seeing if they are worth it. So I have to say, I was super excited to see that even without my blog promotion that the book did really well this week. I got over 500 downloads! Thank you to all those out there who downloaded the book. I pray that blesses you and your children. Please leave a review! 🙂

I will be considering all of my readers’ thoughts and perspectives as I do the final drafting of my next couple of books. This summer I will be working on getting two done– The Roman Road to Salvation–which will give children the gospel message in a way they can understand. And another book on the Fruits of the Spirit vs The Fruits of the Flesh (a modified, child-friendly explanation!) Both will be illustrated as well in a similar style as the one I illustrated, although I think I’m just going to pay for an illustrator because that was so tedious! I don’t mind the drawing part, but getting it all colored and dealing with all the layers and color selection using Adobe, was just really stressful.

If you have not yet had a chance to read  How to Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents, do so today. 🙂 This great resource will help your children learn how to love in applicable ways to their lives, Its available on Amazon on Kindle for $2.99 and for around $8-10 in paperback (They change the pricing week to week). Please leave a review too!

Paperback Version of My Children’s Book on How to Love Like Jesus is Finally Ready for Order!

a sneak peak into the book

a sneak peak into the book

It is finally ready! I’m so excited. 🙂 How to Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents
is here!

If you have been needing like me, a resource to help you teach your child how to love in action, I encourage you to buy the book. I wrote it for my sons. I wrote it for your kids. Its needed. There’s nothing out there like it on the market. And I don’t know about you, but my kids need some life application to what they hear in Sunday school or what bible verses they may memorize from their midweek Awana or CKC program they may be in. And if you don’t have your kids in either, than I’m sure you’d agree that they need life application of the bible regardless.

buy how to love like jesus amazon linkMy children love the book and enjoy the questions it asks and the funny illustrations I added in order to relate to their lives. I think you will find the $9.99 price worth the book. It is rich with information–enough for an older child to read in one sitting and a younger child to read section by section over a few days, like a devotional.

Check out the book today on Amazon. At the above link or on this picture to my right. I will now be working on building some relationships with nearby Christian bookstores in my area to see if we can get some copies there as well. 🙂

Please leave a review on Amazon after you read it! This will help me when making my second edition and it will help get the word out there that this book is good and worthy of buying! 🙂

Would love comments here as well and on my FB about how you feel about the book and how your kids received it. 🙂 More books to come. They are written. I just need to illustrate and design the layout. The more feedback from you the better I can make them. I want to make books that are needed.

The ones to come: Roman Road to Salvation, The Fruit of the Spirit, The Body as Worship, and ABC’s of the Bible.

My Proof Copy is Here!

book proof 2I have been going back and forth with the book designer I hired to make sure the layout looked good in print when using Amazon’s self-publishing contractor called Create Space. But I finally got my proof and I am very happy with it. The skin shade of my darker-skinned characters is a bit darker than it looked on the digital pdf, so their facial features are a bit harder to see, but otherwise, my characters look mostly close to what I had intended. The picture of me at the back is slightly warmer in its color than the original but still looks like me so that is good. 🙂

But here is the most exciting part: The book is effective. 

How do I know?

I tested it out last night on my son, Kanan, for whom I originally wrote this book!

  • We sat down and read the book, making sure after each section to go over the questions and talk about it. He thoughtfully reflected on each one–thinking about how he could demonstrate patience, politeness, kindness, etc.
  • At the end of the book, I prompt the child to think about which areas of love they struggle on most. Kanan was able to go back and flip to 4 different areas where he struggles: jealousy, counting wrongs of others, delighting in wrongdoing, and losing hope in others.
  • Then I prompted him to pray to Jesus to help him in those areas, just like my book advises. We prayed together. It was so awesome watching my son become convicted by the Word of God.

No, my book is not the bible, but it takes a verse from the bible, and breaks it down word-by-word to help them understand. A child cannot be convicted by the Word of God if the child does not understand it. And if we only tell them what love is, but don’t show them, and give them time to think about their own actions, they won’t think about it long enough to become convicted and grow.

I love God’s word. His word convicts us of our sin, but thankfully, it reminds us as well that we have a savior who paid the price for us and with his spirit, can give us the power to change. And if we mess up and stumble, he is there to help us up to try again, washing every stumble away. We can then do well in our actions, not to save us, but because we are saved. It is a beautiful, harmonious, dichotomy. 

I’ll approve the proof tonight and keep you posted on it’s release.

UPDATE: The Book is now available for purchase! Check it out here or click on the link on the side bar to the right.

How to Love Like Jesus Children’s Book Now Available on Amazon Kindle!

chalkboard review of love no background

 

Having 4 children, the oldest being 7 and the younger three all under the age of 3, I am constantly working on teaching my children how to be more loving. Here is just a list off the top of my head of things I work on my children daily:

 

 

 

  1. saying please and thank you without being asked
  2. not having a selfish, me-first attitude
  3. not interrupting people when they are talking
  4. sharing joyfully
  5. not bragging
  6. not tattling
  7. helping each other without being told
  8. obedience to our rules and orders
  9. self control and not giving in to temper tantrums (our 2 middle boys).

Now there are books all over the place on each one of these issues, but none of those get to the heart of the matter.  In the end, all of these are the effects of not having a naturally loving heart. No, I don’t think its just my kids. No I don’t think this makes my kids and other kids any more “bad” then the next. I think it is natural to be selfish and unloving for the most part. I certainly think every kid has issues with it to some degree, (some more than others of course). But the truth is, truly having a loving heart is something that has to be nurtured and cultivated. And in my opinion, without the help of God’s spirit, it is impossible for mankind to be perfect at it. Even with the help of God, for many it takes a concious effort. I work on this with my children daily. And God is working on me in many of my adult versions of “temper tantrums” etc. And as I cultivate in my children a love and reverence for God as well, I can trust that God will work on them as well. And ideally, when they become adults, and no longer have my husband or myself to be consistently there to teach them, they will be just fine on their own with God as their teacher because their love for God will be authentic and real.

This is why I wrote the children’s book, How to Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents. It touches on the heart of what most of our children’s issues stem from (and lets face it, even ourselves for that matter). It goes through the famous letter to the Corinthians:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable, and does not count up wrongdoing. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (English Standard Version, I Cor 13:4-7)

Through out the book, I give examples that are applicable to kids in how they can be loving or unloving in their actions. Most of the images are appropriate for children ages 2-8. Although the written content is appropriate for children of all ages. Here is a chart I offer as well to help kids check themselves if they are behaving with a loving heart or not. This is good for us parents too!

 

Loving Unloving
Patient Impatient
Kind Unkind Or Mean
Not Jealous/Happy for Others Jealous
Boastful of God and Encouraging to others Boastful Of Self
Polite And Respectful Rude
Lets Others Have Their Way Insists Its Own Way
Not Irritable Irritable
Forgives Keeps Record Of Wrongs
Rejoices In The Truth Rejoices in Wrongdoing
Bears, Believes, and Hopes all Things Does Not Bear, Believe, Hope
Endures all Things Gives up When It’s Hard

 

So I encourage you to go to Amazon and check out the book!

How To Love Like Jesus: A Guide For Children And Their Parents

There is no other book like it available on the market. It is a non-fiction, life-application book for kids on how to love like Jesus. Right now it is available for Kindle only at Amazon for a special introductory offer of $2.99.The print book will be available soon for readers. I know my kids enjoy paper books best. This Kindle version is great for Kindle readers or for those who would like to test the book out before buying it. Don’t have a Kindle? Don’t worry, you can download the free Kindle Reader app  for your smartphone, PC, or tablet. 🙂

 

 

My Forecast for 2015 by Goal Setting the Smart Way

smart goal setting conceptOne reason why people don’t like to set New Years Resolutions is because they don’t achieve them. I was this way once as well and I’ve learned it’s because I make them too broad, immeasurable, make them pipe dreams that just can’t be achieved, not really important to my life, and with no due date other than “by the end of the year.” These are just recipes for disaster. So I’m doing it the smart way this year.

Unfortunately, it is day 1 and I’m bitterly behind my first goal so will have to modify it. I set to launch my children’s book How To Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents today. I was going to market it today with a great pitch toward parents whose goals this year are to teach their children to be more godly this year. And right when I attempted to add the back cover description onto the Amazon Kindle Description, I noticed a glaring typo. An entire verb missing from the very first sentence on the back cover. This is a mistake I can’t just look over. If the first sentence on a back cover has a typo, who on Earth would even attempt to read on? Not me, that’s for sure! So I just emailed the book designer, asked them to fix it ASAP and offered to pay whatever cost necessary. I just hope and pray they get it  back to me in the next day or so. So disappointing. I don’t know how I missed it during all of the draft checks.

But I’m not going to let this stop me from forecasting my goals for this year. I’m trying to hit a few different areas: professional, spiritual, family, and personal. I know many people don’t like to set New Year’s Resolutions, and that is fine for them. But as for me, I find the new year inspiring and no better time than to make goals. And thankfully, I just learned of this application called MindBloom which I plan on downloading as well. Also–Coach.Me is supposed to be good. Will play around with both and see which one works for me. Supposedly with MindBloom you can type in your goals, get alerts that ask you how you are doing with them, and also add inspirational photos and music that plays for you as you work on your goals.

So here they are, and feel free to hold me accountable by asking me throughout the year how I’m doing with them.

Professional Goal(s): 

1. Get my Resume Website Launched by Summer.

2. Get my Children’s Book launched on Amazon as soon as I get the revised draft from the book designer (hopefully this week!) and then begin marketing it on Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and my blog.

3. Get the 1st draft of my Marriage/Love app completed by Valentines Day. My good friend and blogger Nikki Marie at http://TheMomIWantToBe.com and I are excitedly drafting this. We cant wait to find an app programmer and get this launched on iphones and androids all across America. More on this later. Don’t want to reveal too much too soon. 😉

Spiritual Goals:

1. Pray on the way to Work Again, Listen to Worship music, and Listen to my Audio Bible (I got out of the habit of doing this the entire way to work. Started doing it just the last 10 minutes of my drive and not having enough time to do all three. I think all three are important and want my entire 45 minutes to work to be focused on worshiping and drawing close to my Lord and Savior.

2. To be a light more in other areas of my life, not just ministering to my kids. I talked about this a few blogs ago. I’m extremely busy, especially when working. So my light will most likely be limited to just encouraging texts and messages to my friends and family. But I also want to make a few meals this year for people, donating clothes, and above all else, be better at praying for people other than me and immediate family. There’s another great App out there that will help me remember to diligently pray for others more. Its called Prayer Notes. You can list people and groups, what to pray for them, and even get reminders.

Family Goals:

1. To be more consistent in disciplining my children and coupling it with giving them the gospel message when they show defiance or rebellion.

2. To be consistent in reading with my children and fostering a love of books. 

3. To watch less television with Owen and the kids. Owen and I are canceling our Netflix and Hulu Plus in order to ensure we replace that time with more reading, games, music, and talking for family and couple activities and downtime. I’ve always hated television anyway because I see what a time waster it is. Plus I actually get depressed if I watch it too much. Unfortunately, Owen loves television. So I often get sucked into it even when I don’t want to. This is going to be so helpful! I can’t wait to just sit and talk with him. Or listen to music together.

Health Goals:

1. To Lose 10 pounds of fat by October 27th. I’m 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. Usually I hold onto this weight until I finish breastfeeding. But I also use breastfeeding as an excuse to have extra treats. I don’t want to do this, this time. And I don’t want to do stupid things to lose 10 pounds which prevents one from losing actual fat. I want to work out twice a week (once at the gym doing the elliptical trainer and circuit workouts, and going to Fit Camp once a week at a nearby Dojo that holds them for free). I don’t just want to be thinner, but firmer. We don’t plan on having any more children so now is the time to get back into great shape.

2. To Cut out Bread/Wheat out of our regular diet. It isn’t good for us. It turns to sugar. We have an intolerance/allergy anyway, especially Owen. He immediately stuffs up when he has it and his breathing issues is actually hurting his red blood cell count, so out of love for him, we just need to stop. Gluten Free is expensive, so I’d rather just eliminate bread altogether. I’m not going to go Paleo, but I do want to lean towards Primal (which from what I understand is Paleo but with dairy). We don’t do a lot of dairy because we have allergies/intolerance to it, but in moderation, it doesn’t hurt us and I absolutely love cheese and sour cream so would probably be extremely depressed if I lost it. I just need to get inspired: lettuce wrap tacos, spaghetti squash pastas, veggies dipped in tuna salad instead of crackers…that sort of thing. There are a lot of great food bloggers out there who have yummy paleo/primal recipes and I want to regularly visit them to get inspired.

So those are my goals. What are yours? Any apps we should know about to help us reach ours? Feel free to comment to show you are out there! Happy 2015!