Mother to Son by Jasmine Holmes

I’ve been following Jasmine Holmes’ work for a while via Instagram (lots of great history content), her blog, and her Sweet Tea podcast. Her perspective is one I always appreciate so I was recommending this book before I got around to reading it myself.

Mother to Son was a long read for me because there was so much to absorb. In these letters to her young son, Holmes addresses issues facing us today, including racism within the church, political tribalism, and even how to behave on Twitter. She acknowledges the complexity of our history and current issues, but never apologizes for the truth. “It’s okay that it’s complex. Because we have a Savior who sits with us in that complexity. And your identity in him supersedes that red, white, and blue flag every single time.” (52)

This book is worth the read just for the interlude chapter, “How to Study and How to Talk” which has a great list of do’s and don’ts. (Do: Learn enough to have a nuanced conversation. Don’t: Learn enough just to give a hot take.) There is a keen awareness running throughout that calls out hypocrisy and flawed thinking yet never feels unjust or unkind. In a religious world that has become increasingly polarized, voices like this are more needed than ever. No matter which side you fall on, Jasmine’s voice will challenge you to “…see hurting people before you see ideological adversaries.” (100)

Jasmine has a new book coming out this November that I’m also very excited about. Carved in Ebony is available for pre-order and the paperback is 40% right now if you order it from Baker Books! Here’s the cover (which I think is gorgeous) and the summary.

Elizabeth Freeman, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Maria Fearing, Charlotte Forten Grimké, Sarah Mapps Douglass, Sara Griffith Stanley, Amanda Berry Smith, Lucy Craft Laney, Maria Stewart, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

These names may not be familiar, but each one of these women was a shining beacon of devotion in a world that did not value their lives. These women changed laws, built schools, spoke to thousands, shared the Gospel all around the world. And while history books may have forgotten them, their stories can teach us so much about what it means to be modern women of faith.

Through the research and reflections of author Jasmine Holmes, you will be inspired by what each of these exceptional women can teach us about the intersections of faith and education, birth, privilege, opportunity, and so much more. Carved in Ebony will take you past the predominately white, male contributions that seemingly dominate history books and Church history to discover how Black women have been some of the main figures in defining the landscape of American history and faith.

Join Jasmine on this journey of illuminating these women–God’s image bearers, carved in ebony.

Posted in Adult, Book Review | Tagged | Leave a comment

New Resources!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone else’s reading resolutions are as overwhelming as mine! I’ve found a couple of great resources to share with you. The first is a blog dedicated to diversity in Christian fiction. It can be hard to find diverse characters or authors in Christian fiction so I was excited to find Diversity Between the Pages!

Fiction Aficionado has created this Biblical Fiction Finder that sorts Biblical fiction by time period (Creation to Flood, Flood to Abraham, etc.) HOW COOL IS THAT? Want to study the Bible? You could read a novel instead!*

*I in no way mean to suggest that reading novels should replace actual Bible study. But reading one in addition to whatever section you’re studying surely couldn’t hurt, amiright?

Posted in Book Review | Leave a comment

New Sharon Hinck Cover Reveal!!!

I love, love, love Sharon Hinck. Book 1 in her Sword of Lyric series is on Claire’s 12 Favorite Books of All Time list. She also make my top 5 fantasy list. So I’m INCREDIBLY EXCITED to tell everyone that she has a NEW fantasy title coming out from Enclave Publishing in January 2020! It’s the first book in the new Dancing Realms trilogy and you can pre-order a Limited Edition hardcover copy now. I’m feeling so honored to be part of the cover reveal as well because I think this cover rocks! Check it and the synopsis out below!

Hidden_CurrentThe dancers of the Order direct their floating world of Meriel with their movements, but are they steering it toward destruction?

Calara spent her life learning dance patterns and seeking to become the perfect servant to her people. When she discovers the work of the Order is built on lies, she flees with a rough-edged herder, Brantley of Windswell. Pursued by soldiers, her journey through the suffering villages of the rim leads her to a forgotten truth that sends ripples through her world-and through her soul.

Calara seeks clues to her forgotten family and discovers newfound courage in the face of danger, while her quest awakens a growing but forbidden affection for Brantley. Yet even his support can’t fully be trusted, since he’d rather destroy the Order than bring reform.

She is a lone woman facing opposition from rim villages and treachery from the all-powerful Order. Can she restore the dance to its true purpose and bring freedom and hope to her people?

Posted in Coming Soon!, Must. Buy. Now. | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

To Medicate or Not to Medicate?

This blog is mainly about books and reading, but it’s also about ADHD (see blog title if confused) so today I’m going to talk about that. To medicate or not to medicate? That is the question…that all parents of kids with ADHD have to navigate at some point. Also, EVERYONE has an opinion about the answer. How’s a parent to decide what to do? I have a lot of thoughts about this, so below are several things to consider if you’re facing this decision.

Disclaimer: this post does not intend to advocate for medication over other alternative treatments. Different things work for different people, by all means explore every available option. 

1. Is your child stressed about school?
Are assignments and homework a constant source of frustration? If it’s not that important, okay. But consider that your child may not understand why they can’t finish something when they’re trying so hard. I remember being incredibly frustrated with myself because I’d been sitting there TRYING for an hour and I was only half done. (Ever see those T-rex Trying cartoons? Yes, like that, only not funny.)

2. Is your child’s social life suffering?
Are they missing social cues and losing friends because they’re not paying attention or they blurt out whatever comes into their head? Many ADHD children are actually very sensitive and are often aware that others are frustrated with them even if they don’t understand why and can’t figure out how to fix it.

3. Could things be easier?
If your child is keeping up pretty well, could it be easier for them? Often kids with ADHD who keep up pretty well are working twice as hard as everyone else. My psychiatrist put it this way. “We wouldn’t give someone a 50 pound weight and then expect them to run track and keep up with everyone else. That’s just not fair.” Is your kid running the race with an extra 5o pounds?

4. Does your child feel there’s something wrong with them?
Kids are very perceptive. They know when something isn’t right. If they don’t know why it can lead to anxiety. If they don’t realize that their ADHD makes things harder for them than it does for their peers, they’ll think of other reasons to account for the difference that they feel. Reasons like, I’m stupid, dumb, lazy, etc. Acknowledging the real effects of ADHD can be a very liberating.

And finally the most important question.

5. Does your kid know that it’s okay if they need medication?
If we celebrate a kid stopping meds, (Yay, they don’t need the medication anymore!) that can send the message that they’re somehow “better” if they don’t need it. (Hello, far-reaching mental health implications!) After all, you want your child to feel that they are good enough regardless of whether or not they need medication right? Are you okay if they need medication? You’ll still love them right? You’ll still think they’re smart and funny and awesome regardless right? By all means, take them off the medication, but don’t throw a party. Leave that door open in case it’s needed at some future time.

Consider this. In elementary school the workload isn’t bad. Middle school is harder. High school is tougher still. And College can be a whole different ball game. What if they need medication later to reach their full potential? What if they don’t want to ask for help/medication because they feel they shouldn’t need it? What if they can’t handle the pressure, but taking medication holds such a stigma for them that they won’t consider it? I’ll tell you what will happen. (Well it’s a strong possibility anyway) They’ll self-medicate. Smoking, drugs, drinking. If you think I’m exaggerating go do a quick search on ADHD and substance abuse and then come back. I’ll wait. Remember, stimulants work the opposite way on an ADHD brain. Smoking may genuinely help them think more clearly.

The most important thing is that your child knows that they are good enough. With or without medication. With or without ADHD. They can be successful. They’re not stupid. They can be good friends. They are smart. They are capable of keeping up with others around them. If they need help that’s okay. It’s okay for them to be different. It’s okay for them to need help. It’s okay for them to take longer. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.

Posted in ADHD | Leave a comment

Turtles in the Road Review

Lately my library has been buying more inspirational titles from smaller publishing houses so I’ve been trying to read more of them, and I’m so glad because I probably wouldn’t have picked this up otherwise! (The title and cover are a little kitschy for my taste…) Anyway, don’t let them deter you, Turtles in the Road is charming. Light-hearted, engaging, and hysterically funny!

Turtles in the Road: A Novel by [Rhea, Kaley, Rhea, Rhonda]

Sometimes a detour takes you exactly where you need to be.

Piper Cope was so sure the Lord called her to be a pastor’s wife. So when her pastor/fiancé breaks it off, she’s every kind of puzzled. Does God even have a purpose for her anymore? On the road halfway between the bridges she’s burned and some kind of new start, she encounters the most unexpected detour. She swerves on a rainy road to miss a turtle and ends up in a ditch with an airbag to the face. Now stuck in this little town, she wonders how in the world she could’ve gotten her God-signals so very crossed. And how in the world is she supposed to know what He wants her to do now? In the meantime, at least the community center guy, Jay Marler, has her working a temporary job there. Problem is, somehow she’s coaching a children’s basketball team. She does not…basketball. And she certainly does not children.


Posted in Book Review | Leave a comment