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"Grace Based Discipline" By: Karis Kimmel Murray

Book Review by Colette SanFelice

In this book the author discusses how to discipline our kids when our standard default mode is to "freak out". How to take a step back and handle things with grace instead. My biggest take away from the book was this, "His (God) decision to extend grace, undeserved favor, in order to have a relationship with us and therefore in terms of parenting, treating the people you are called to love the way God treats you-with grace". Another point in the book I found would be helpful in developing a stronger communication within the family was developing a Family Code with everyone's input. (Chapter 3)

In the author's words, "Parents face a crazy paradox. We love our kids exactly as they are, but we also love them too much to let them stay that way". 

The author then illustrates many concepts throughout the book to put our emotional reactions aside to better deal with our children. 

 As a working mom of three, I did find some suggestions in this book to appear a little far fetched and time consuming. The ideas are good though and I would say that as a parent you could take the concept and fit it to your needs. 

Final take away- More than anything, we've got to get out of our own way and let God parent our children through us. That's how faith will come alive in our kids.  

"Soundtracks - The Surprising Solution to Overthinking" by Jon Acuff

Book Review
by Heather Horn

 A self-help book that is actually helpful? 

Do you have goals in life but talk yourself right out of them? 

Do you allow a conversation to replay over and over in your mind?

Jon Acuff says he can help solve this problem. 

Honestly, at some points while reading I found myself saying, “This is too simple, even too silly, it can’t work.”  But Acuff’s stats and personal experience is undeniable.  I have been putting the advice into practice since I cracked open this book; not only for myself but also for those I supervise at work and even for my kids!  “Before you step on the pitcher’s mound say, ‘I am a good pitcher. I can throw strikes.’”

Acuff gives real life advice that you can apply today.  And without giving away too much of the book I will say if you do everything he says and it doesn’t work…the most you have to lose is becoming a more positive person who still hasn’t met your goals and well I’m ok with that. 

I wasn’t sure if Acuff’s suggestion to listen to the audiobook while reading the hardcopy was just a sales pitch but I have to say it was great.  It kept me engaged and focused.  If my mind wandered, either the words on the page or Jon’s voice in a story would bring me back.  I finished the book in no time and feel like I retained more…time will tell. 

This is a book that will actually change your mindset toward goals.  Plus, I love when an author makes me feel part of the inside joke…maybe it’s that we are the same age and stage of life but Acuff had me laughing out loud while reading.  Acuff has the keen ability to make you feel like you went to high school together and are laughing together about old times. “Start a new hobby. Learn to play guitar (start with “Wonderwall” by Oasis, obviously).” I highly recommend “Soundtracks” especially if you know your own thoughts get in the way of success and well who doesn’t?