Letters from Home No. 6 – Books Posted on April 6th, 2013

Old Books

Dear Annie,

It was such a pleasure to meet you and your family over the holidays and get to discuss so many kingdom building ideas. Your children are darling and it is a blessing to see how thoughtful you are about teaching them about the Lord. I look forward to what the Lord has planned for our families as we come together to encourage each other.

You asked me what were some of the books that have influenced me the most? I have been thinking over that question and I have included in this letter some of the books that have stood out to me the most. This list is far from exhaustive, so know that I probably have forgotten some important titles and may have to write you more later to include those. And this list jumps around a bit on topics.

Without any question, the Bible would be the most influential book. I make every effort to read it daily, preferably in the morning. It is incorporated throughout our day in as many ways as possible, reading it aloud as a family, listening to sermons, singing it, making art with it, etc.

This first list is of books I have read and highly recommend and in no certain order:

“The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace
“Stepping Heavenward” by Elizabeth Prentiss
“Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp

“For the Children’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
“Family Driven Faith” by Voddie Baucham
“Charlotte Mason Companion” by Karen Andreola

“The Christian Home School” by Gregg Harris (his chapter on Delight Directed Studies is excellent)
“Health for Godly Generations” by Renee DeGroot
“Nutrition 101: Choose Life” by Rayburn, Johnson & Hopkins

“Practicing Hospitality: The Joy of Serving Others” by Pat Ennis & Lisa Tatlock
“Large Family Logistics” by  Kim Brennemen  (no large family required to glean from this wonderful book)
“Educating the Whole-Hearted Child” by Clay and Sally Clarkson

“What He Must Be” by Voddie Baucham
“It’s Not That Complicated” by Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin
“So Much More” by Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin

“The Hidden Art of Homemaking” by Edith Schaeffer
“Passionate Housewives Desperate for God” by Jenny Chancey & Stacy McDonald
“For the Family’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

The following list is of books I am currently reading (yes, I usually have a lot of books going) and/or other family members have read or are reading and tell me that I need to read it because it is so good.

“The Gospel’s Power & Message” by Paul Washer
“Building A Godly Family” by William Gouge (first book in a brand new three part series)
“The Sovereignty of God” by Arthur Pink

“The Attributes of God” by Arthur Pink
“Always Ready” by Greg Bahnsen
“By This Standard” by Greg Bahnsen

“Equipped to Love” by Norm Wakefield
“The Calvinistic Concept of Culture” by Henry Van Til
“The Institutes of Biblical Law” by R. J. Rushdoony

Matthew Henry’s Commentaries, 6 volume set
Calvin’s Commentaries, 22 volume set

The list of books could go on and on as I am sure your list could go on as well. I did just finish a book by Angie Smith called “I Will Carry You”. It is the story of Audrey Caroline, their precious little one who lived after birth for only 2 1/2 hours. The beauty of this book is about the willingness to accept God’s sovereignty and praise Him through it all.

I also like to keep a list of books that I want to add to our home library for future reading. It is a good thing to be always reading, but always pray for discernment and wisdom as you read.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.


P.S. I have a library board that has links to these books on Pinterest.

Letters from Home No. 4 Posted on March 30th, 2013

Old Books

Dear Sarah,

Today, being the second day of spring, is quite cold with a light sprinkling of snow on the ground. I can’t say I don’t long for warm sunshine, green grass, and flowers blooming, but the Lord is continuing to teach me to be content.

This past winter has been such a long, cold winter- the lack of warm sunshine can make things rather dreary. We were told by a friend that anyone living in colder regions should take extra Vitamin D through the winter months. We took that advice and believe it to be indeed helpful.

Something else that has helped through this winter is to keep busy, very busy with projects. Not only are the projects a delight to work on, it keeps us from dwelling on spring. We need to find joy and contentment in the Lord even when the sun is not warming us up.

I just finished rereading “Stepping Heavenward” by Elizabeth Prentiss. It’s the story is of the young Katy as she journals her life from the age of 16 throughout her adult life as a wife and mother. The lessons she learns as she grows from a self-centered young lady to a godly older woman are so precious. It continues to be one of my favorite books, and I am encouraged in my walk with the Lord every time I read it.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is about thinking rightly. Katy is exclaiming to her future husband how “she has to say what she thinks” and he replies “It is well to think rightly then”. Oh, yes, we must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. It is so easy to think wrong thoughts and to indulge ourselves in them. Mulling them over and over, changing the reality of a situation into our own made-up version. We have to tell ourselves “no!” Putting off bad thoughts and putting on biblical thoughts. We need to exercise this throughout our lives. Just like physical exercise, this does become easier with time, but we must be diligent in it.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)

You asked me for my recipe for freezer chocolate; I’d be happy to share it with you.

Freezer Chocolate

1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. honey, preferably raw
1/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla

Options for flavored chocolate: adding peppermint or orange extract or oil.

Mix well in blender. Pour into a pie dish and put in freezer, uncovered. Check after an hour or so. You can cover it up after it sets up. Once it sets up, slice and serve. It may need to set out for a few minutes before slicing. If there are any leftovers keep them in the freezer or refrigerator. If you need chocolate immediately you can enjoy it straight out of the blender. You may notice some of the coconut oil separating and turning white when it freezes, just make sure to blend it better next time.

I am looking forward to hearing from soon. May the Lord bless you and keep you.


Favorite Books on Parenting Posted on January 10th, 2009

Here is my favorite book list for teaching and training our children:

The Bible

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman

The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian

Proverbs for Parenting by Barbara Decker

Any books and studies by Doorposts

Biblical Parenting by Don Gilchrist

Homemaking by J. R. Miller

The Duties of Parents by J. C. Ryle (free pdf file)

This list is certainly not exhaustive but these are the ones I have piled on my desk right now.
They have all blessed us and given us vision and insight in our parenting.  With any book on this subject always go to scripture and see that it aligns with God’s word.

Do you have any others to recommend?  Please leave them in a comment.

Favorite Books for Women, Wives and Mothers Posted on January 7th, 2009

One of my favorite lines from a movie is from The Human Comedy.  The little nerdy neighbor boy and Ulysses go to the library and the neighbor boy says:

“See all them books, Ulysses, they’re all saying something; and someday I’m gonna read all them books”

Walking into the library or a homeschool convention just gives my a heart a thrill.  All those books, stories and information, oh my.  They are all saying something, we just need to pray for discernment.

Over the next few days I am going to list some of my favorite books in several different areas. Of course, these lists will not be an exhaustive list, just what I have read and liked.

Books to encourage and inspire women, wives and mothers:
Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss (my all time favorite book)

The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace

Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

Seasons of a Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald

Home-making by J. R. Miller

Marriage to a Difficult Man, The Uncommon Union of Jonathan & Sarah Edwards by Elisabeth Dodds

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

I heard it said that you are the same person a year from now except for the people you meet and the books your read.

Do you have any others to recommend? Feel free to leave them in a comment.