Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bonhoeffer Student Edition by Eric Metaxas

Bonhoeffer Student Edition is about the life of a German pastor before and during World War II.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a courageous Christian pastor, who objected to Hitler and his reign and turned spy and eventually became a martyr.  This book, "abridged and adapted in student-friendly language," follows Dietrich through childhood and adulthood, highlighting his faith and the historical impact he had.  Included are text boxes with interesting sidenotes and a few definitions, and each chapter has a time line of itself.  There is a map and family tree in the front, and a list of key words and people in the back, as well as an extensive Notes section (bibliography).

As a Charlotte Mason styled home educator, yes, I cringed when I saw that it was abridged.  I chose to review this particular book because the unabridged version is recommended in my chosen homeschool curriculum (AmblesideOnline), so I knew even an abridged version would likely be good.  It was very good, indeed.  I learned things about the Nazis, Germany, and that time period that I had never heard before, and was riveted in a way I have not been by a biography in a while.  Hitler and his generals gained a dimension I had not seen before.

Bonhoeffer's family and childhood were interesting, and I could see where his courage came from, and I was impressed on all accounts by this man as he moved through adulthood and faced his end with love still in his heart for even his guards.  I felt the pain of persecution for the Jews and Christians during the 1930-40's, but Metaxes never made the story graphic or sensationalist.  I think this is a well done adaption, with the caveat that I have not read the original.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 29, 2016

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

Uninvited - Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely is the newest book by Lysa TerKeurst.  
Uninvited is about overcoming rejection with the power of God's love.  The author shares very personal stories from childhood and adulthood, showing that she has been there - rejected time and again.  She shares the lows and how God brought her through it, and includes specific verses and prayers to help you get through hard times, too.
I had previously read Terkeurst's Unglued, and admit that at this point in my life, Unglued had more personal meaning to me than Uninvited.  That said, there is much good about this  volume.  I would recommend it to any woman or man who is struggling with the hurt feelings of rejection, being set aside and not thought of.  Her thoughts on God are woven throughout, and I highlighted many truths she brought forward about God and life itself.  
Here a few of my favorites - there are many more, so I do recommend you give this book a try:
There is an abundant need in this world for your exact brand of beautiful. 
Self-rejection paves the landing strip for the rejection of others to arrive and pull on up to the gates of our hearts.   
When a man is physically present but emotionally absent, a girl's heart can feel quite hollow and helpless. 
The mind feasts on what it focuses on.  What consumes my thinking will be the making or the breaking of my identity. 
Jesus knew what being rejected felt like.  Jesus knew.  He knew the feelings.  He knew the struggles.  Ad in an earth-shattering moment, Jesus exposed the way of escape for us.  He matched every feeling - the emptiness, the deprivation, and the rejection - with truths straight from God's Word. 
We run at a breakneck pace to try and achieve what God simply wants us to slow down enough to receive. 
If we become enamored with something in this world we think offers better fullness than God, we will make room for it.  We leak out His fullness to make room for something else we want to chase. 
God's love isn't based on me.  It's simply placed on me.  And it's the place from which I should live...loved.


I review for BookLook Bloggers
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Out of Therapy, Into Holistic Play

My son is officially finished with OT and speech!  They were ready to release him several months ago, but I felt there was more to be done, so kept him in rather than take a break and fight to get back in.  Then we all got to the point of dreading the trip and wondering if it was time to stop, so we did.

The long-awaited social skills group did materialize, and he had 4 sessions of that before quitting.  He wasn't a fan, feeling that they focused too much on giving out rules and not any time letting the kids talk to each other.  I found that odd, as they can't improve social skills without speaking to others, but I wasn't in the room to be able to verify his observation.  It was an hour long session on Friday afternoons, and they tried to give a little homework each week- things like filling out a form, coming up with a way to self-advocate, or finishing the key chain they had started.  He liked the keychain handicraft, and hated having to write, which were both predictable reactions.

Since July saw the end of a solid year of OT and speech, but only the beginning of social skills, we switched to a holistic therapy in a different city (an hour instead of 40 minutes away) in order to continue the social aspect and the interactive metronome, which he has improved on but not mastered.  It's also on Fridays, but in the evening, so my husband can join us on occasion.  It's nice that we don't have to commit to every week, so our lives don't need to revolve around therapy anymore.  He acts like he doesn't like holistic therapy when I ask, but tells me it's better than any of the other therapies.  Let me tell you why.
Wearing the tie-dye shirt from last week's project time and the jellyfish from this week.
It's truly a holistic therapy playplace.  They begin with yoga and deep breathing and massage (complete with magnesium lotion and essential oils), with the aim of brain regulation.  The next block is a craft time, where they practice fine motor skills and get exposed to more textures and smells while making something useful, for the most part.  He has scented play dough and worked small beads into it, that can be worked out and back in as a calming activity.  This went into his sensory bin (shoebox), which was decorated another week.  They have done tie-dye tees, made party decorations, and more.  Those first two time blocks are done in a group of 2-6 children, within a certain age range.  (The younger group has their own time on Saturday morning.). If the group is large that night, they groups switch rooms instead of staying together.  After crafts comes Interactive Metronome time and social skills/gross motor.  They have to take turns on the computer for the metronome therapy, so the others do things like ball games, hula hoops, cooperative play in a nearby room while waiting their turn.  

The entire rotation takes about 2 hours, and parents are encouraged to participate or observe for the first half, so you basically get free yoga and massage and meditation for 30 minutes, then watch your child make a craft, then go to the parents room for a nice chat and break until the end.  Win-win, I'd say!  This program hasn't got insurance figured out yet, so there is a cost, but it's reasonable.


In the above picture, they are having a "beach party" for back-to-school night.

I think Holistic Therapy Playplace has the right idea, and am pleased with our experience so far.  I'm sharing in hopes that others might follow this example in what kids really need- mind-body-soul connections.  


Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop -- a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it's like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo! Want to join in on next month's Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!




SaveSave