8/31/15

Through A Man's Eyes (A Review)

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If you are like a lot of women, you have heard for most of your life that "men are visual".  But do you really know what that means?  After reading Through A Man's Eyes by Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig  Gross, I suspect that most women have no idea the extent to which men and women's brains are wired differently.  There is no way we can actually know what our men go through as visual creatures since most women have no real frame of reference.

This book describes in scientific, practical, and emotional terms what it means for men to be visual.  I feel like I have read a lot on this subject in the past and had a pretty good idea of what "men are visual" meant for my husband and sons, but I learned so much through this book.  

The book opens with an example of a typical Christian man's day in this sex-saturated culture, and I really appreciated that.  It gave me a little peek into how my husband must process a lot of what he encounters from day to day, and it made me feel so much more compassionate and appreciative of the effort I know he has to make to keep his mind on things that are pure.  It also made me recognize things I need to do better to guard my sweet sons' eyes as they grow - because that visual nature of men?  It starts much earlier in life than you might think.

This book is written mainly for women, so we can understand what the men in our life have to deal with, and also so that we can figure out what we can do to make this task a little easier for them.  Because, ladies, sexual images are everywhere in this culture.  I don't think we realize how much men have to deal with it, because those images just don't affect us the same way.  

The book starts out saying that if you are in a particularly vulnerable place, or if the talk about what women can do to help men with this struggle annoys you, you may not be in a good place to read this book.  I thought that was a good point to make.  Some women, if they aren't truly open and ready to here the truth about the visual nature of men, can have an over-blown reaction, so I think self-evaluation is important before you jump into this.  I know there have been times in my life and marriage when this book would have been more hurtful than helpful, so if you aren't sure, pray about it and wait until you are ready.

Through A Man's Eyes made me think about modesty in a whole new way as well (and making sure I don't show too much skin was already important to me).  This is great information to have so I can make sure I am being vigilant with my own wardrobe.  I don't want to cause heartache in another girl's life by inadvertantly becoming a stumbling block through carelessness with my clothing - you just never know who is struggling.  It reminded me why it is important to be a help to my brothers in Christ (and by extension, my married sisters in Christ), instead of selfishly wearing what I want and adding more challenges for them.

I also appreciated that they included a mother's perspective, because it's weird to think of our innocent little boys as being affected by the images they see.  I usually default to thinking about my husband when reading this kind of thing, and I forget that this is something my boys will have to learn to deal with too.  The more we can prepare them, the better.

This book wasn't all doom and gloom - I thought some of this information was kind of fun, because I learned more about how my husband feels when he looks at me! Husbands in general love looking at their wives, which should be a nice boost of confidence to us married ladies - and they don't have to feel guilty about it, because their wives are exactly who God intended husbands to look at!  God gave men this visual nature in the first place to make their relationship with their wife better, which is a beautiful thing.  Through this book I gathered some ideas of things I can do to use my husband's visual nature to my advantage . . . if you know what I mean.  

I picked up this book after a great review by Alex, and I agree with her that this is a book that every woman should read at some point, when she is in a good place to learn.  Moms of boys - this book is especially important for you!  I definitely recommend it.

Note:  I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

8/24/15

The Hardest Thing About Being A SAHM

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It had been a fairly good day, and I was almost to the end of it.  The kids were eating their macaroni in the kitchen, and I went into their rooms to find their pajamas.  That’s when I saw that at some point during the day the kids had bunched the covers all up on Wyatt’s bed.

I sighed, because it was just one more piece of work to do, and I climbed onto his bed as I tugged and pulled the covers into submission.  Before I knew it, a wave of that pregnancy fatigue crashed over me (it has just been intense this time around), and I collapsed onto the half-made bed - literally too exhausted to move.

I just laid there for a few minutes, and without even consciously letting my mind go there, the words “I can’t do this anymore” flitted across my brain.

It’s been several months since I quit my job and officially became a full-time stay-at-home-mom.  I pretty much considered myself a SAHM before I quit, because I have only worked one day a week for the last three years anyway.  The majority of the week has been spent like this for years - waking up when one of the kids stumbled into my room in the mornings, getting the kids dressed, feeding them meals, wiping faces, and trying to keep the house as presentable as is reasonable when I have multiple little ones seeming to be working toward the opposite goal.  And I have always loved it.  I love every minute I get to spend with these munchkins.

But in a way, I underestimated what that one day of the week of working outside the home did for me.  It was more than just the chance to keep up my professional skill set, or spend some time talking to adults. 

It seemed the whole week almost revolved around that one day that I knew I wouldn’t be home.  I knew I wouldn’t have that day, so I made sure all my other to-do’s got done before.  I knew I wouldn’t get to hang out with my kids on that day, so I made sure to do all the fun stuff I had planned for them on the other days.  If I was having a crazier day or week, it didn’t seem as bad because I knew I would head out on that one day, and I would spend most of my time at work missing my kids despite the chaos that sometimes comes with having so many littles.

That one day of the week gave me an anchor for the rest of the days at home, because it was like a reset button.  Having a hard week?  At least you are home with your kids today, because you won’t be on Friday.  Having a great week?  Soak it up, because on Friday you have to leave these little people you love so much and go to work.

The hardest thing about being a full-time SAHM is keeping perspective.

I thought it would be nice to not have to let the rest of the week revolve around that one day, but I am finding that it is harder to have the days and weeks blur into each other, today looking much the same as yesterday and the day before.  

When your work seems never ending, and you are crawling under the table picking up soggy Fruit Loops (those things are like rubber cement when they are wet), and it occurs to you that you are probably going to be doing this every morning until that indefinite future date when your youngest is proficient enough at using a spoon that they do not drop cereal on the floor. . . it’s hard in those moments to remember that these years are fleeting, and that this work is important.  

It’s hard to remember that I am not just breaking up arguments, I am teaching my kids how to love others.  

It’s hard to remember that I am not just disciplining my child, I am teaching my children lessons about God, and why He came to save us, and how He loves us, all by how I handle their correction.  

It’s hard to remember when I am lying exhausted on top of my son’s mangled covers that I am not doing this for nothing - God gave me these sweet little people.  These people are my ministry.  These days don’t just stretch into each other with no end and no meaning - what I do with these solitary days will string into months and years, and what I do with them will last.  I’ll account for every action and word, and my children are watching.  These days are eternally important.

When I take a minute to think about it, and with Jesus giving me strength, I can keep that perspective even when it’s hard.  Sometimes those exhausted moments when our hearts murmer “I can’t” are the moments when Jesus reaches out and reminds us that even when we really can’t, He can.  When we are weak, He is strong.  He can be my anchor.  He can be my reset button.  And I like that better anyway.

For you SAHM's out there, what is the hardest thing for you?

8/22/15

For The Love Review - Disappointed

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It is rare that I actually end up reading a "trendy" book right at the height of it's trendiness - but somehow I heard about Jen Hatmaker's For the Love enough in advance that I am able to give a timely review of the "big book to read", for once!  You are welcome, my readers who like book reviews.  I will try to work this out more often.

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this book.  Let's start with the positive, shall we?


8/19/15

Almost Ready - 34 Weeks Baby #4

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Another two weeks have gone by already!  I took an un-intentional blog break over the last week and a half, and it was a good break - allowed me time to get things under control before this little girl arrives!



I am now 34 weeks in this pregnancy, and Baby Girl definitely seems to be growing.  Her kicks and movements are much stronger.  As far as I can tell, she has stayed head-down, and her movements are so much more fun now there her feet are higher!  I can feel little limbs and her bum through my belly, and she seems to have gotten a little braver and is interacting with my poking and prodding a little more.


8/15/15

End Of Discussion (A Review)

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I don't talk about it a lot on here, but I actually really enjoy following politics.  We gave TV up a few months ago, and the thing I most miss is watching the news (I'm pretty sure we will have to get our TV service back before the presidential debates start in earnest).  I like listening to political talk radio, and I like reading political books.


8/10/15

Watermelon Lemonade Spritzer | Non-Alcoholic Summer Drink Recipe

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I was under the impression that August was National Watermelon Month, or something like that.  It only seems appropriate, since August is the last month of summer, and hence the last month that watermelon will be available.

8/9/15

Crazy Little Thing Called Love Review

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Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt starts with Vanessa Hollister flying to Florida to start planning her destination to her fiancĂ©, but while she is there, she runs into her ex-husband, Logan.  The two are forced to spend time together by a hurricane, and their time together leaves Vanessa confused about who she should really marry.



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