I have signed on for a dangerous assignment: Reviewing books.
I say dangerous because I honestly don't know what all will be sent my way to read. But, being the adventurous woman that I am, I have agreed to review one book a month for 2011. I received this product for honest review from TEACH Magazine as a part of The Gabby Moms blogging program. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
The first book, True Treasures, is a compilation of "the best" articles from ten years of TEACH Magazine. For those of you not familiar with TEACH Magazine, the acronym stands for "To Encourage And Challenge Homemakers". Well, I like the encouraging part! But I'll admit I had a tough time with the challenging part. TEACH Magazine was recently renamed "Eternal Encouragement" which I much prefer! The book is very lovely. Although I must point out that, unlike the picture below, the book is not hardcover, and it is not thick. But it is full of articles!
Two things came to mind as I was reading the 100 pages of articles. First, I was reminded how tiresome it is to be made to read something. Granted, no one was making me read it. I could have emailed and taken myself out of the group. But I feel that I made a commitment and I want to stick to it. It's been a long time since I have had "homework" and an "assignment". It was good for me to see how it feels to be on the receiving end of such work. Not great! I let myself feel overwhelmed and upset. (LOL!) This was a good reminder to me that I want to be helping my children to find things to read that they love and want to read. Reading something just because someone else says you need to can really zap the joy out of reading. And I find it is much more difficult to remember what I've read if I am not as interested in it. Having the deadline, I did not take my time and savor the great articles. Now that I am done with the review, I will enjoy reading it leisurely and getting more out of it. Once I got over my initial poor reaction, I did enjoy reading it very much. (Note to self: Start the next book much earlier!)
Secondly, I was struck by the language. As I've said before, I don't like shoulds. Here and there in various articles, there was a fair sprinkling of MSG. You know, Manipulation, Shame and Guilt. I love to be encouraged. I really dislike being told I should be like this, or a good wife (or mother, or friend, or Christian) is like so. I am thinking about how to apply that to my parenting.
Okay, now that I have utterly convinced you not to read this book, let me change my focus. There are plenty of wonderful, encouraging articles in "True Treasures". And it is truly worthwhile to read the whole book and glean those encouragements and tips and tricks. I admired the transparency of "Confessions of a Former Doormat" by Jennifer TeGrotenhuis. "Yippee, It's STILL Free!" by Mrs. Lorrie Flem gives a wonderful list of websites giving out free homemaking and homeschooling resources. I could really put the housekeeping suggestions to good use! And I will touch base with Sher Bear regarding "7 Ways to Break the Breakfast Blahs". There's even a recipe for granola!
There are sections on marriage, parenting, homemaking, homeschooling, and godly living. The tips, tricks and encouragement from Christian moms who have gone before us is invaluable. Older women are told to teach the younger (Titus 2). This is what this book is all about. Lastly, I was tickled to see authors whose names I recognized: Cindy Rushton, Cyndi Kinney, and Marilyn Boyer.
It will be interesting to see what book they send me to review for February. I hope you can tell from this review that I will give my most honest opinion, the good and the bad.
TEACH Magazine (now Eternal Encouragement) can be found at www.HomemakingWithTEACH.com . My readers can buy "True Treasures" and get $4 off with the coupon code "GabbyMom" through May 31, 2011.
Wish you were here!