Favorite Homemaking References

homecomforts A few weeks ago, I posted my review of The Lifegiving Home. As I touched on in the review, this wonderful book does have tips on how to implement the Clarksons’ ideas, but at its core, this book is really about the heart issues and goals of homemaking rather than a practical how-to manual. If you’re looking for encouragements and inspiration, this book is a great place to start.

However, after writing this review, I found myself thinking about the practical homemaking helps I’ve encountered over the years. For cleaning, I use the Flylady method and I’ve found a few other helpful sites out there as well.  However, many of my favorite home guides are books and I find myself returning to them again and again.  Here are some that I’ve liked:

  1. Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping HouseWeighing in at nearly 900 pages, this colossal guide isn’t the sort of book that I’d sit down to read cover to cover, but it’s a wonderful resource to have on hand for answering all of those home-based questions. I’ve consulted it for figuring out how to remove just about every kind of stain known to man, for example. There’s helpful information in here not just on cleaning, but on many facets of home maintenance in general.  Whether you own or rent, this one is a true must-have.

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Warm Hearts and Open Homes – Review of A Life That Says Welcome

welcomelife Book Information A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others

Author – Karen Ehman

Publisher – Revell (2006, $16.00 paperback, $9.99 digital)

Reading Challenge Book? Yes! This is my book about Christian living. For more on the reading challenge, there’s a Goodreads group going here.

I tend to be a tad introverted by nature. I love  interacting with folks online (still wishing I could find a great online discussion group!), but I’m best with smaller groups in person. And maybe I’m a little bit of an anxious entertainer. I have a toddler, and my house reflects that. So, it’s hard to open my home without worrying about how it looks.

For that reason, I could relate to Ehman’s book. I really appreciated how she first grounded her ideas about hospitality in Scripture. She makes it clear that hospitality isn’t just a good idea, but something that we’re told to extend to others. And since we’re commanded to show hospitality to others, how do we go about it?

The word “welcome” gets used in this book, and that makes sense. Hospitality shouldn’t be about showing off how great we are, but more about making our guests feel comfortable and at home with us. For myself, I know that when I’m thinking about what will make guests feel cozy and well cared for, that takes away some of the anxiety. After all, extending hospitality isn’t about showing off what we have; it’s about sharing it. Continue reading

Review – Heart Sisters: Be The Friend You Want to Have

heartsistersBook InformationHeart Sisters: Be The Friend You Want to Have

Author – Natalie Chambers Snapp

Publisher Information – Abingdon Press (2015, $8.63 digital, $15.99 print)

When I saw this book on a listing of upcoming Christian books, my interest was piqued.  It sounded like just the sort of book I would enjoy and find helpful  After all, who doesn’t want to be a good friend? I don’t have any blood sisters of my own, but good friendships do form a sisterhood of sorts.

There are some good nuggets of information in Snapp’s book. For instance, she reminds us that we cannot expect any person to fill all the holes in our lives. Friendships are important, but God comes first. If we are not in a right relationship with God, we cannot expect friends, no matter how wonderful, to take His place in our lives. In a world where the dominant culture urges us into misplaced priorities, this is a valuable reminder. Continue reading

A Helpful Read Indeed – Reviewing The Accidental Feminist

accidentalfemBook Information – The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design

Author – Courtney Reissig

Publisher – Crossway Books (June 2015, $11.99 digital, $14.99 print)

*Note: This book releases on May 31, 2015 but it’s available for pre-order NOW at a discounted price!*

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“Many women buy into the idea that equality means sameness – even if they do so in the slightest of ways.” – Courtney Reissig

It’s wisdom like that found in the quote above that kept me glued to this book, reading and rereading it before writing this review. In The Accidental Feminist, Courtney Reissig truly hits one out of the park. Her discussion of biblical womanhood cuts through the stereotypes that have grown up on both the complementarian and egalitarian sides, and she speaks biblical truth into an issue that has grown quite heated in recent years.

Though I have had much exposure to egalitarian circles within the greater church, I was raised in a complementarian home and church, and Reissig does an excellent job of explaining what that truly means in a discussion of biblical womanhood and also of defending her position. I happen to agree with her, but even so, I found her discussion of the topic more compelling then many others I have read. Continue reading