Read Aloud Revival


We read books together as a family. This has been a great way to bond together. Otherwise, we may never gather together. Our group is made up of 12 very independent, distinct individuals. Can anybody relate?

As our children have gotten older, it has become more difficult to get everybody together.

At the time of this writing, I am actively homeschooling my youngest 6 children.

The oldest children are grown up. They are seeking their own paths for the future.

What a tough transition this has been for them and for me, their mother.

But I am still committed to reading aloud to my children.

I read three books to my six youngest children during Advent.

I Saw Three Ships by Elizabeth Goudge

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

Ishtar’s Odyssey by Arnold Ytreeide


We are also reading The Green Ember by S. D. Smith. The kids are really enjoying it. Even the boys!

And I found a new author, Elizabeth Goudge, and started reading The Bird in the Tree and Pilgrim’s Inn by her. I loved them! I knew Shawn, my oldest, would love them, too. So I asked him if he would like to read them with me, as in I would read them aloud to him. He agreed, and we have been reading them together. It is so enjoyable to both of us to enjoy these wonderful books together. What a heartwarming, pleasant way to spend time together, enjoying the characters, the words, the story, all of these things TOGETHER!

I found out about these last several books from my newest favorite source of good books to read aloud. The Read-Aloud Revival podcast by Sarah Mackenzie. She blogs at Amongst Lovely Things and you can find the podcast in the links at the top of her page.

Her purpose statement is to build your family culture around books.

I am in complete agreement with that purpose.

She has a membership site that is awesome! I highly recommend signing up for it. There is a fee of $9.95 until 1/6/16. After that, the price will go up.

But the podcast is free.

At least make sure you go listen to her podcasts. I’m sure it will cause a Read-Aloud Revival in your home, like it has in mine. I am excited about reading aloud again.

And that has made a difference in the unity of our family. It’s important. At least, give it a try.

If you only have young children, read picture books to them. She has a podcast about that.

If you have older kids, read something you can all sink your teeth into.

Try it! It’s fun! And it’s good for all of you.

Review and Giveaway of “Keep Your Love On” by Danny Silk

Keep Your Love On: Connection Communication And Boundaries

Relationships take a lot of work. More work than many people think. More work than many are willing to invest.

Whether it be the relationship between a husband and wife, mother and daughter, father and son, or any other combination you can permutate, there are dynamics, personalities, human foibles, differing viewpoints and mindsets that can make it difficult or impossible for some people to relate well to each other.

Misunderstandings are all too prevalent.

In his book, “Keep Your Love On”, Danny Silk identifies many of the dynamics that cause relationship problems.

With chapters like:

Powerful People, Powerful Relationships

Turn Your Love On

The Battle Between Fear and Love

Building Healthy Relationships

Communication: Exchanging the Truth Inside

Communicating in Conflict


Did You Learn to Love?

plus many more

You will learn about connection, communication and boundaries.

One thing we have to realize is that the goal of a relationship is either connection or disconnection.

We get to decide a lot of things. You’ve probably heard it said that love is a decision. We must practice unconditional acceptance and unconditional love. We learn not to control the other person while at the same time, we don’t accept their negative behavior.

We tell them, “No matter what you do, I am going to pursue the goal of connection with you.”

Danny observes that people who feel powerless will try to gain power by manipulating or controlling those around them.

All through the book, he presents scenarios that happen as people attempt to get their needs met by others instead of keeping the attitude that they should be powerful people who are here to help others. “A powerful person’s choice to love will stand no matter what the other person says or does.”

Another principle we all need to internalize is that the purpose of communication is to understand the other, not convince the other to agree with you.

These principles help us to realize that we are not at odds with each other, but we are on the same team.

1. The goal of a relationship is connection.

2. The purpose of communication is to understand each other, not convince the other to agree with us.

Danny has this to say about setting Boundaries:

“If you don’t prioritize your relationship with God, then your God Spot will end up with a human being in it.”

“Keeping God in your God Spot keeps you connected to the Holy Spirit’s incredible resources of wisdom and understanding to define your relational priorities and boundaries. He’s going to show you who you’re supposed to be, with whom you are supposed to be connecting, and how to build and protect those connections. He’s also the Spirit of power, love and self-control who enables you to follow through on your “yes” to these relationships.”

I have been putting many of these principles into practice since reading this book. I am reading it again to get it down deeper into my heart.

I feel that it has really helped me to improve my relationship and communication skills.

I feel so strongly about it that I have bought three more copies of this book, and I want to give these away to three of my readers. This giveaway will end November 28, 2014, the day after Thanksgiving.

How to win the giveaway:

Just leave a comment answering this question:

1. How do you keep your love light burning when your spouse is acting unloving?

Or this question:

2. Do you think a wife should confront her husband when his behavior is hurting his relationships?

I will read the comments, but I will just number the comments and choose a random number to give the books to. Please leave your email address so I can get a hold of the winners.

I wrote a similar post about marriage here based on things I gleaned from this book, KYLO.

Please read this post to get some more insights into ways to improve your marriage relationship.

The Giveaway is now closed. The winners are Nikki Landis and Kathleen Carroll! Congratulations to the winners. I pray that their lives and relationships will be extremely blessed by the principles in this book. I know that I have been changed by reading it.


I linked this post with the Wise Woman Builds Her Home link-up

Review of Jesus Daily Devotional

Tabor_JesusDaily_Hi Res-1

365 Interactive Devotions
by Aaron Tabor, MD

A devotional based on Facebook’s #1 Fan page with over 26 million Followers

This devotional goes beyond the Facebook page and creates a deeper experience for multi-million fans of the popular group Jesus Daily by using the author’s posts, fans’ comments and questions, and responses. The author will explore recurring themes found on the page such as:

• Jesus is our #1 friend
• Jesus is my relationship, not my religion
• Jesus is my hero
• Prayer is always the answer
• Jesus is coming back for me
• I’m proud to be a Christian
• With Jesus all things are possible

Creative design elements and interactive activities will make this devotional truly one-of-a-kind.

Today’s devotion says:

Priceless Inheritance

We’ve all heard stories about people who receive legacies left by
relatives whom they did not know they had. Maybe you’ve even received such an inheritance yourself. But for most of us, these kinds of stories remain the plot devices of fiction and fantasy. We may have received a legacy, but it came with the steep price of losing a loved one such as a parent, guardian, or partner.
However, the most valuable inheritance we have comes as a free gift. And as the saying goes, salvation is free but it is not cheap. Our inheritance was secured by the ransom paid when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We had an unfathomable debt we could not pay; God became man to fulfill our payment once and for all.
As a result, we are heirs in an eternal reward. We have a priceless inheritance that comes in the fullness of joy—evidence of our Father’s passionate pursuit and unconditional love for us.

It can be found here:

JesusDaily_Devotional October 20

Aaron Tabor, MD, is the CEO and Medical Research Director of Physicians Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a nationally recognized diet and nutrition company. He started the Jesus Daily Facebook page in 2009. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Tabor lives in Kernersville, N.C.


I was asked to feature this book on my blog today, and the subject for today just happened to be “Inheritance”. I recently received Dr. Dobson’s latest book for review, and it was all about “Legacy”.

Once again, God is reminding me to be thinking about the spiritual and natural implications of our inheritance and legacy.

My family received a surprise “inheritance” in October 2008. Our neighbors gave us a going-away present of $20,000 when we left Kansas City. They intended for it to be a downpayment on a house, knowing how badly we wanted a home of our own. Our journey has taken us to 3 different states since then, and we had to use the money for other things, but we know that it came straight from God. There were no strings attached, no questions asked, not even a follow-up to find out what we did with the money.

Fast forward to October 2014. We are very desirous to settle down now, weary of all the moving. The $20,000 may be gone, but my Father is telling me that it was only an earnest of the inheritance that He has for us.

He has a greater inheritance that He will pour out on us, both in the natural and in the spiritual.

He has gone to great lengths to show me how much He loves me and delights in me. He has brought Ephesians 1:17-18 to life for me. I am His beloved daughter. He delights in me. I am His and He is mine.

Dr. Tabor says in today’s devotion:

“As a result, we are heirs in an eternal reward. We have a priceless inheritance that comes in the fullness of joy — evidence of our Father’s passionate pursuit and unconditional love for us.”

I feel like God has chased me down and around and all over the place to catch me and hold me and tell me that He really loves me. The Holy Spirit came into my heart years ago and has been trying to open my eyes ever since to see how much my Father loves me.

He was an earnest to my inheritance. And now I’m walking in more fulness of the manifestation of His love for me. When I worship the Lord, I feel His presence so strongly and experience His passionate love for me in such a way that I just can’t help but cry.

This love I feel is worth it all – all of the pain and loss and confusion.

And I believe that He is speaking to me now that the natural inheritance is about to be poured out on us, too.

He is showing me that the $20,000 He gave us was an earnest (a guarantee or deposit) for the greater inheritance He is getting ready to give us.

Our spiritual legacy flows out of this. We are raising up godly seed who have seen God’s hand of provision move for our family over and over again. Miraculously. Our legacy will be children and grandchildren who know the Lord, love Him, do His will, keep Him on the throne of their lives, and teach their children to do the same.

Ask Him to speak to you about your inheritance. There is no greater inheritance than His love and peace. But He has other things for you, too. Ask Him to reveal more about the treasures He wants to give you as His child.

Fathers love to bless their children. Receive His blessings for you.

And teach your children to do the same.

I hope this meditation has blessed and inspired you like it has me!

Please check out Dr. Tabor’s devotional at:

It will bless you every day.

Review of “Your Legacy: The Greatest Gift” by Dr. James Dobson

Dr. Dobson starts this book with a genealogy of his mother’s family. He traces his lineage starting with his great grandfather and goes all the way through his family, including his own children, particularly focusing on their spiritual lives. He specifically highlights his mother’s family because God promised her grandfather that every member of his family for four generations would be Christians. He received this promise after devoting lots of time in the last decades of his life to praying for the spiritual welfare of his children and for those yet to come. What dedication that took! And it has come to pass!

Personally, after reading this, I feel very convicted and challenged to pray not only for our daily needs but also for the spiritual lives of my children and the grandchildren that are yet to come.

Dr. Dobson has a rich spiritual heritage from both sides of his family. Many of them were preachers and wives of preachers. They prayed about their needs and attended church as a family. In general, they lived godly lives of integrity and maintained high moral standards. They did what they could to spread the Gospel. And they prayed for their children. A lot.

Dr. Dobson’s ideas were greatly shaped and influenced by his father during the cultural revolution of the 60’s and 70’s. Even though he attended graduate school at the University of Southern California in the late 60’s when attitudes were moving toward the legalization of abortion, his father strongly warned him against this type of thinking. He was very alarmed when he heard his son express the idea that “inner-city children are raised in such squalid conditions that it would have been better if they had never been born”. He responded so strongly, with tears in his eyes exclaiming, “Please don’t believe it for a moment, Jim. It is wrong, and it is evil.” He said he would never cast a single vote for any politician who would kill one innocent baby. Dr. Dobson always remembered that phrase and has repeated it many times since. His father was his moral compass during that tempestuous time of changing cultural values. He wonders how his value system might have evolved without his godly father who guided him into his adult years.

His father stepped in at pivotal times in his life to help his son stay on the right track and do what was best for his family and children. He admonished Dr. Dobson and Shirley, “devote yourselves wholeheartedly to a deep travail of prayer on behalf of the children God gives to you”. From that moment on, they prayed and fasted for their children. They prayed for the spiritual welfare of their children and that their children and children’s children would spend eternity in heaven with them.

And Dr. Dobson’s father warned him that he needed to be home and spend time with his family even though his career was extremely successful and time-consuming. So Dr. Dobson changed his lifestyle and worked closer to home (starting a radio program), and God used him mightily and blessed his ministry so that he reached more than he would have if he had continued speaking around the country.

In the next part of the book he speaks about how to lead children to the Lord and how parents should raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He presents many scriptures about the responsibility of parents to pass on the teachings of scripture to their children.

One of the most clear scriptures on this subject is Malachi 2:15.

“Has not the Lord made (men and women) one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring.”

God instituted marriage and gave men and women the ability to reproduce so that He could have godly offspring.

Dr. Dobson then addresses how to deal with prodigals and how to reach unsaved parents.

And in the next part of the book, he stresses the importance of parents having a strong emotional bond with their children and a close, loving relationship, since the culture no longer supports good moral values. It puts more responsibility on parents and the homes to teach and enforce good values and character since the support system of the greater society has vanished.

He tells us that if our children know we care about them, they will be more likely to listen to us when we tell them what we believe.

Dr. Dobson then relates the stories of two men who learned to put family values above their careers and how God blessed them.

Then there’s a chapter about the spiritual training of children, which he believes should start as soon as they are born.

In the last chapter, he discusses the value of leaving a monetary inheritance versus the eternal importance of leaving a spiritual inheritance for your children. He makes it clear that the spiritual inheritance is by far the most important legacy we can leave.

Then the book closes with appendices that contain ideas for building our legacy. There are activities and stories to help us teach our children spiritual truths that build a strong foundation for them.

I found this a very inspiring, enlightening book. It pulled together all of Dr. Dobson’s teachings and efforts on behalf of preserving and strengthening the family during the course of his ministry. He considers this book the capstone of the dozens of books he has written in the past.

Of this book he says, “this ‘passing on’ of the Christian faith to one’s children first, and then to preserving it for future generations” is what all his other books have pointed to.

Here is a trailer for the book featuring Dr. Dobson talking about “passing the baton” of the Gospel to the next generation:

Passing on our faith to our children is our most important task as parents. And it takes dedicated prayer and living a faithful life in front of them to do this.

I’m really glad that this book came into my life “for such a time as this”. I’m thankful that Family Talk gave me this opportunity to read and review this book because it has made a big impact on my thinking and has given me direction in praying for my children. They sent me a copy to review, and it came at the perfect time in my life and the life of my family.


This is the end of my review of the book, but I have a few more thoughts on the subject of legacy that I would like to share here.

Another scripture that I feel is important for us to take into account when thinking about this subject is one that tells us why God chose Abraham to be the father of His chosen people.

As Genesis 18:19 says in the Darby translation:

“For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Jehovah, to do righteousness and justice, in order that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham what he hath spoken of him.”

He knew that Abraham would teach his children the ways of the Lord. He knew how strong his faith and dedication to the Lord were, and how faithful he would be to teach his children and make sure that they walked in the ways of the Lord, too.

And just look at the long-lasting legacy that Abraham has had!

There have been several songs that have spoken to me about this subject through the years. The first was one by Sara Groves called “Generations”. If you would like to listen to a song that illustrates the importance of living a godly life and affecting the generations after you, here is a great song:

I wrote a blog post about this some time ago. It includes two really good songs about legacy, too. Sometimes music can get a point across better than just reading about a subject.

You can find that post here:

What Do We Remember in November? The Pilgrims, Of Course!

During November, the days can be gray and things can seem kind of slow and draggy. Well, I have a solution for you! Do a unit study about Thanksgiving during the whole month of November.

There are many fun things you can do in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. You don’t have to wait until the week or the few days before Thanksgiving to start studying the Pilgrims. You can start studying them right now. There is a lot to learn about these amazing ancestors of ours.

If you want to integrate a study of the Pilgrims into your homeschool day, an easy, fun way to do it is to listen to audios of the stories of the Pilgrims. A wonderful way to do this would be to listen to a chapter or a couple of chapters each day from a book about the Pilgrims like the book from Yesterday’s Classics called “Stories of the Pilgrims”.

I just happen to know where you can get such a set of audios! Jim Hodges has recorded the book “Stories of the Pilgrims” and you can get it on sale for $15 during the month of November at Jim Hodges Audio Books.

We have been listening to “The Stories of the Pilgrims” for a couple of weeks now. The stories have children as the main characters, so children can relate to them well. They start all the way back at Scrooby, England when the Separatists were being persecuted by King James for not attending worship services at the Church of England. The stories are entertaining and poignant.

We experience with them the fear and frustrations of trying to escape from England and the tyranny of King James. Many details and small incidents are included to make the story come alive.

One personal connection for us was the part where the Pilgrim children saw the wheels on the roofs of the houses so that storks could build nests on them. This was during the leg of the journey when they went to Holland seeking religious freedom. We were reminded of “The Wheel on the School” which we just read a couple of weeks ago. We loved that story!

There are nice descriptions of people and places that the Pilgrims encountered along the way. Listening to these audios is a good way to learn about geography and other cultures as well as learning about the Pilgrims who came to America in 1620.

It is an excellent way to learn about the background of the search for religious freedom, the culture and geography of England and Holland, and the hardships that the Pilgrims suffered as they relocated to a whole new continent to settle where they could live as Englishmen but worship as they pleased.

Here is a great chance to get these audios at a great price – $15, plus a bonus study guide for only $5. Get both for $20! You can even sample the first chapter for free in an audio download.

Jim Hodges is offering his audio recordings of “The Stories of the Pilgrims” at a special price of $15 during the month of November.
See details of the sale here.

Plus, I have a great giveaway to tell you about!

You won’t believe how much is included in this giveaway!

This will keep you and your kids busy for more than just the month of November (happily busy, I might add!).

If you win this giveaway, I think you will be full of THANKSGIVING!



We are now offering a 2nd place prize. The 2nd place winner will receive all of the G. A. Henty audio downloads!!!

The stories by G. A. Henty are some of the best historical fiction you will ever hear. They are stories that feature a young hero during a certain era of time told by a fantastic storyteller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Jim Hodges has recorded 20 of them. This would be a delightful addition to your homeschool repertoire. You would be very blessed to win this!



The winner of this incredible homeschool giveaway will receive one of each download offered through Jim Hodges Audio Books! This is an amazing prize worth over $700 and featuring hundreds of hours of quality listening for your family.

This is what you could win:

Huge Giveaway of Jim Hodges’ audios

Use this Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway