Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review/Giveaway: 52 Things Kids Need from a Mom

Title: 52 Things Kids Need From a Mom:  What Mothers Can Do to Make a Lifelong Difference 
Author: Angela Thomas 
Genre: Christian Family/Women
How to enter: Leave a comment! If you're a subscriber or a follower, leave a second comment for a second entry.
Entry deadline: September 25, 2011
Restrictions: Open internationally!

This is my review copy, so it has been gently read.


 It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Karri James | Marketing Assistant | Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Angela Thomas is a sought-after speaker, teacher, and bestselling author of Do You Think I’m Beautiful, My Single Mom Life, Prayers for My Baby Boy, and Prayers for My Baby Girl. She inspires thousands at national conferences, workshops, and through video studies that she filmed and wrote including When Wallflowers Dance.

Visit the author's website.



Bestselling author and mother of four Angela Thomas delivers a helpful, encouraging gathering of 52 inspiring ideas for moms who, in the whir of busyness, long to connect with their kids. Moms will learn to lead with God’s love in the small moments that make up an abundant, intentional life.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736943919
ISBN-13: 978-0736943918


Kids Need Their Mom…

To Pray in Secret
with the Door Open

In my first years as a mom, I desperately wanted to keep a passionate spiritual life with God. I wanted to read the Bible. Sit quietly and pray. Maybe even write a few things in my journal. It’s just that my little people would not cooperate. I had four babies in seven years, and not one of them was willing to go along with my plan. My heart kept longing to go back and have a spiritual life the way I’d always had. Alone. It took me a while to realize that being a mom means you might never be alone again.

Frustrated. Probably even mad sometimes. I remember shaking my head and just fussing on the inside about my crazy, chaotic predicament. I am trying to be with God so that I can be a better mom. Anybody with me here? As you can imagine, being alone rarely happened. And I’d feel guilty about my crumbling spiritual life. And the only ones I knew to blame were them, the ones I loved so dearly, who needed me every minute.

I’d love to tell you that the answer for my struggle came to me in a moment of brilliance. But I was too tired to be brilliant. There was just an afternoon. I think I put on a video for the kids to watch and went upstairs to my bedroom. For some reason I kept the door open and sat down on the floor to read my Bible for a minute, and then I stretched out, facedown, on my carpet to pray. I guess I had been praying for one whole minute, and then they came.

I could hear them coming down the hall, but that day, instead of stopping what I was doing, I just kept lying there, praying. Of course, they walked right in, and I’m sure you can guess what they did. They crawled on top of me. And they played with my hair. And they wiggled their little faces up to mine.

“Hey, mama,” one whispered.

“Hey, honey,” a gentle, not frustrated, voice spoke from inside of me.

“Watcha doin’?” they said in unison.


“Oh…it looked like you were sleeping,” an honest observer said.

It’s been known to happen, I admitted to myself.

Do you know what they did next? Those little toddling children lay down beside me and mostly of on top of me and prayed too. Oh, they prayed squirrelly prayers that lasted for only a couple of minutes, but they prayed. My babies were praying because they had seen their mama praying.

After a few minutes they were done, but I just kept lying there while they ran in and out. Back to the video. Then back to check on praying mom. And God settled something inside of me that afternoon. The days of being a college coed with lots of time to be alone to pray were over. That chapter was closed. And honestly, I didn’t want to go back. I just longed for the sweetness of how I used to spend time with God.

But lying on my bedroom floor that day, I knew I heard Him speaking to me:

This is how I want you to pray now. Pray in secret—with the door open. I want them to see you being with Me. I want them to catch you turning to your heavenly Father for guidance. I want them to learn from you how to walk with Me. No dramatic presentation needed. No fanfare required. Angela, this is a new season with a new way. And this new way for your heart pleases Me.

I remember being so very humbled. And grateful. My uptight, “everything must be right” personality could have kept me away from God for years. Trying to get it all together. Trying to be just right before I could spend time with Him. But that day God so tenderly walked me step-by-step through one of the most powerful lessons about grace I have ever known.

Come to Me messy.
Come when you’re tired.
Let the children lie on top of you.
Let them interrupt you.
You do not have to be perfect…just come to Me and let them see.

A woman stopped me last night. She said she’d heard me tell this story a few years ago and it completely changed her as a mom. She too had been trying to keep the rules and do things neatly, in order, the way she always had. She told me, “I do my Bible study sitting on the bathroom floor while my kids are in the tub. Most of the pages are warped by splashes of water, and some of my notes written in ink run, but those messy, imperfect books are treasures to me now.”

My kids are older now, but the lesson remains. They still need to catch me praying. They should walk past my room and know I’m reading my Bible. They need to find the notes I’ve taken lying on the counter in the kitchen. They need to overhear me praying with a friend on the phone.

I bet your kids do too.

It seems that the lessons we so want to teach our kids are transferred—and not because we sit them down in the living room, pass out ten pages about being spiritual, and then give them a long-winded lecture about how our family is going to follow God. The thing that shapes them more deeply is that you and I pursue God in the everyday of living—that our spiritual lives become the backdrop for their childhood. Bibles left open are normal. A kneeling, praying mom is an ordinary sight. Bibles studies done at bath time, routine.

Reaching Their Hearts

One afternoon I had gone to pray in secret, but God so beautifully taught me that my “secret” needed to be seen. Jesus said in Matthew 6 that we are supposed to keep a secret life. To give in secret, pray in secret, and fast in secret. But I think that when we become moms, for a season those sets of eyes sent from heaven to watch you need to see what you do with God in your “unseen” moments.

May it be so for you and me. And may the children who witness our prayers learn to pray more powerfully because they catch us being with God.

What Mom Liked:
  • Interest.  The author relays much of her own life experience as examples, which make for interesting, easy (though challenging) reading.
  • Organization.  Though the book is cohesive in theme, each chapter is a stand-alone.  If you’re busy and can barely cram in the time for a chapter a week, you’ve got everything you need in that chapter to inspire and motivate you into action for that week.
  • Practicality.  Some parenting books are full of great theory and even examples, but it’s hard to follow through in my unique setting.  This one gives practical advice that anyone can do, as well as the reasoning behind it so you CAN adapt it if you desire.  Things like turning the bedcovers down for your child before bed, or watching them go out of sight before you leave, or dressing groovy when it’s important to them.
  • Heart.  All the practicality in this book points in the right direction – the heart.  In fact, each chapter ends with a little section called “Reaching Their Hearts.”  This book is about caring for our children in a way that exemplifies Christ’s care for us, and ultimately modeling the grace and generosity we want them to show to others.
I highly recommend this book.  It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of motherhood without thinking about the little things than can make a world of difference to our children, and this book will shake you out of that.  I’m still feeling profoundly shaken – and inspired.
Remember to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for this book!


Marta said...

Hi! I’d love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway and for making it international Marta martaplayita at gmail dot com

Marta said...

Hi! I follow your blow via email subscription. Thank you! Marta martaplayita at gmail dot com

Susan said...

Ohhh, I love her ideas already! I struggle with finding that time, too. But sounds like she's right on!! Thanks for sharing, Jane! susan_prins at hotmail dot com

Pat said...

This sounds like a fantastic book!
pkildow at gmail dot com

apple blossom said...

I'd love to win this book thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

email subscriber and gfc follower

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

One thing she writes and I believe is probably the most important point of all... never stop touching your children. Love is a feeling after all, the feeling of a parent, but especially a mother's touch. I have reworded this some.

daysease said...

I love to learn better... but I am often hesistant that the writer will burden me with more info than I can handle in my busy life... I would love to have a chance with this one. Looks like a nice read. Thanks for the chance. Hope you are well... :-)

Valerie @ My-2-cents said...

I love reading and am a real book nerd as my books of choice are the how to books and such. I like to read and learn something while reading. As a mom to 4 this would be a great one! Thanks. I am a new GFC follower and would love it if you'd visit me back too at.
My 2 Cents *Just posted WW with Linky too.

Nicole C. said...

I would love to read this book.


Bluerose said...

I'd love to be entered!

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

Bluerose said...

I'm a follower.

Nickolay said...

My mom would love this book thanks for the chance


Nickolay said...




Misusedinnocence said...

I would love to read this! Thanks for the opportunity! :)

Misusedinnocence said...

I follow on gfc.

Simone said...

I would love to have this book.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Adrian Kirkwood said...

Would love this book for my mother.

suburban prep said...

Sounds like a great book for any mother.

bored2quickly said...

I follow your blog on GFC and subscribe to your email! I would love to win this for my mother! I know she would love this book! Thanks so much for the fantastic giveaway!
Renee Walters

Lauren said...

I'm a new Mommy of a beautiful little girl, and really hope to win this giveaway!!


Heidi said...

I'm not a mom yet, but I hope to be one day. This book would definitely help me out since I'm pretty clueless about motherhood.

artyblue at gmail dot com

damian said...

Watching my daughter grow up quickly over the last 4 years makes me realise that my wife and I need some guidance for the future.

Jeannette said...

My children are 28, 24 and 10 years of age...yes I said 10. How I wish I knew way back then just how fast the time would go. Even with my 10 year old the time is flying right on by. I am expecting a grandchild and I think this would be an awesome shower gift for the new mom. Goodness knows, I wish someone could have offered such good advice to me way back then. Thank you so much for offering such a great giveaway!


Donna said...

It sounds very interesting.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a great book.

astormer at comcast dot net

Erin Cook said...

I would love to read this fantastic book

Renee G said...

Would love to read through this one.