“Gospel-Centered Mom” ~ A Review

Hello friends!

Do you ever have moments of #momfail?  We try to laugh about that here in our house (oh, there are so many!).  But below the silly mistakes or funny mis-speaks (you know, when you put in a syllable that doesn’t belong there or put in the wrong word here and there), I do have questions about my mom ability.

I try not to compare myself with my mom friends.  I have got friends who are AMAZING.  Who have gifts and abilities that, to be honest, I will never have.  And really, God does instruct us in Scripture not to compare ourselves with others.   We have the gifts, the abilities, the moments in time that we have and that He has given to US, not to others.

But how can I make sure that my core identity–the person I am under those gifts/abilities/personality–is healthy, and bringing health to my family?  And I’m not talking about healthy meals here (though I do think those are important).  I’m talking about being a woman who lives in the truth.  And that is a hard thing to do sometimes.  The media tells us their “truths” about a woman’s appearance, beauty, worth, importance.  We can accept as “truth” the actions that others have toward us, whether positive or negative.  We can even use our mirrors as truth-tellers.  But in every interaction we have with the people or things on that list, our minds and hearts are going to make interpretations.  And those are shaped by our own experiences, relationships, successes, and sadly, our hurts.

I have been on a journey recently where I have seen more and more the importance of living in and dwelling on the truth as God defines it.  I am trying to take my experiences and emotions and line them up with what the Bible says before I just take them on.  (It’s definitely a skill I am learning, and not always automatic.)  But, I’m also looking for other resources that will aid me in that journey.  And when I saw the title of Brooke McGlothlin’s new book, Gospel-Centered Mom, I was immediately interested.

 

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Gospel-Centered Mom

Author Brooke McGlothlin heads and cofounded Raising Boys Ministries.  She writes for an online boy mom community, on LifeWay’s ParentLife blog and on the Proverbs 31 Devotional website.  Perhaps most importantly in terms of this book, she is a  mother who wanted to be a great mom for her kids.  But how do we do that, when culture and media tell us how to be the “perfect” family, or our own hearts compare our families with others and we feel we come up short?

Instead of pursuing those unhealthy ideals, Brooke went back to God. She learned that just trying harder was not enough.  But turning to God first and foremost was.  I love the subtitle of this book, which reads:  “The freeing truth about what your kids really need.”  Because that’s really the bottom line, isn’t it?  Not what I am feeling forced by my culture to make, but what my child needs from me to become the amazing young man that God wants him to be.  That changes my focus pretty dramatically.

In Gospel-Centered Mom, Brooke discusses:

  • The difference between the ME Gospel and the True Gospel
  • Living my life as part of God’s enormous, amazing Story instead of my own, self-focused story
  • Living in the truth (I’ve mentioned already how important that is for me at this moment in time)
  • Practical things I can do every day to live in that truth
  • How God meets us in the wilderness, shows us Himself, and loves us…even while He’s showing us the truth about ourselves
  • And one topic that is so useful but is even hard for me to write down here:  Why is God letting me suffer?

My thoughts

Brooke McGlothlin is a woman who writes the truth.  When we live in a culture that is so focused on the newest amazing beauty product that will change your life; or shows you pictures of the “perfect” family life that you should be living; or tells you unrealistic ways that you can “be your best self”—we need people who will boil down truth to its essence and share that truth with us.

In Gospel-Centered Mom, Brooke shares honestly from her own struggles as a mom and a woman who believes in God…and shares hope with those of us who are in similar struggles.  Sometimes the answer really is as simple as coming to God.  But Brooke’s words also tell us how to come to God; how to work out our lives and relationships, and even our own weaknesses as mothers–by living in love with God and in His truth.

This book is worth reading.  Check it out.

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

Disclosure:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

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A Mother’s Day Giveaway for You…or Your Mom! (Ends 4/18/18)

Hello!

 

 

It’s a little early, but I wanted to get this giveaway up in time for both a winner to be selected and for some shipping time.  Today, FINCHNWREN is hosting a Mother’s Day Giveaway for you….OR for your mom!

There are three gifts in this Mother’s Day giveaway.  First, there’s a little shadow box with a sweet mom greeting!

 

The other two are some beauty goodies from Ulta:

  • Ulta Beauty Tinted Eye Primer Mini in Satin Blush.  This is a pinky shimmer eye primer that can also be used as eye shadow or a neutral-ish color for your other shadows or creams.  It contains no parabens and helps your eye shadow look great all day.
  • Ulta Beauty Lip Primer Color Enhancing Mini.  Both paraben- and sulfate-free, this lip primer helps your lipstick color to wear long and helps create a smooth foundation for your lipstick.

How to enter:

Just click on the “Enter Here!” pink link below.  That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you can enter to win in a variety of ways.  Giveaway closes on 4/18/18; one winner will be selected from all entries.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

Catching You Up~ Update from FINCHNWREN

Hi darlings!

You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately.  I apologize!  I am continuing to heal from the chemotherapy (for new readers, the short story is I had an ovarian cancer tumor removed and a summer/fall of chemo).  I am really feeling better each month as my body heals from everything.  But I haven’t done much on the blog in the past few weeks.  I haven’t forgotten it, though, or you!

So, since it’s spring break (yay!) and I have a moment to share with you, I wanted to update you on some happenings in our lives for the past couple of months.

 

Our weekend getaway

 

 

We don’t have a LEGO store near us (well, yes, we can shop for LEGO at Walmart/Target but we don’t have the full-blown experience of an actual LEGO store).  But earlier this month, we went on an overnight trip to a bigger city that does!  And of course we had to visit a mall that has a LEGO store.  We wandered around happily there for (seriously) about an hour, then my son spent some birthday money on some new sets.

 

 

 

I even got to do a little girly shopping at a cute boutique!  Even though it’s definitely still winter-ish here, I picked up this top for spring and summer.  I love empire waists in both dresses and shirts and I fell in love with this one.  Can’t wait to wear it with some jeans or shorts.

 

 

We also took our son to Dave & Buster’s.  I have to admit; I am not the huge gamer in the family.  So there wasn’t a lot that I did while we were there besides Skee-Ball.  The guys played Star Wars games, racing games, etc.  But!  I happened to discover a Donkey Kong game!  That was my favorite game to play in college.  So I got to play a few rounds on that.  Sadly my skills have hugely declined over the years.  But it was fun.  🙂

 

In homeschool

Homeschool in high school looks a lot different than it did during our elementary years.  We’re focusing on making sure that Jackson gets the courses completed for his high school transcript that he needs for college applications.  So this year we’re working on history, literature, grammar, foreign language, math, biology/lab, Bible, and some computer programming.

I am SO thankful that Jackson has been able to take his high school biology and lab from Bridgeway Academy.  His teacher is fantastic, we’re using the Apologia biology textbook and I love that he gets to interact online with fellow students.  We have gotten to the portion of the textbook that focuses on the animal kingdom (from microscopic on up).

And that means…dissection.

I have to tell you that my high school biology course (also in 10th grade, in public school in a great school system) did ONE dissection.  Jackson has already done THREE.  And there are at least 4 more to go; perch, cow eye, frog, fetal pig.  (I wish I could tell you that the last two didn’t horrify me…but they do.  But I’m not telling Jackson!  I’ll just be there standing by supportively while he does the dissecting while keeping my opinions to myself.)  He has already dissected the earthworm, the crayfish, and the grasshopper.  We are learning a LOT.

Here’s a picture of some of the tools from his dissection kit.  Check back in May for pictures of the actual dissections!

 

 

Jackson and I also participate in our local homeschool coop.  He takes a drama class and I teach an art class for elementary students.  It has been a good semester.  There have been some different types of challenges for me as a teacher but some wonderful experiences as well.

 

 

I was planning to share with you about what I’m eating these days; about my new drawing adventure; and about a neat blogging event I got to attend last week.  But I think that this post is already long enough.  So perhaps I’ll get to mention those a little later!  🙂

I hope you are all having a wonderful spring break/end of March.  Thank you for reading!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

Hair Care Goodies Giveaway! (Ends 3/21/18)

Hey, everyone!

I have a fun little giveaway to share with you today!

 

 

Is it spring where you are living?  This week we’re expecting temps in the 60-degree range!  It’s the perfect moment to take a few minutes to pamper your hair and get it ready for spring and summer.  Today, I have a set of 7 luxe beauty samples for you to try out on your hair!  (Many of these are 2-part samples with both shampoo and conditioner.)

My giveaway includes samples of:

  • Deva Curl No-Poo and One Condition
  • Surf Foam Wash Shampoo and Surf Creme Rinse Conditioner
  • Texas Tea Volumizing Shampoo and Volumizing Conditioner
  • Phyto Paris Phytokeratine Ultra-Repairing Mask
  • Alterna Haircare CC Caviar Creme Leave-In Hair Perfector
  • Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask
  • Marula Pure Beauty Oil Light Hair Treatment and Styling Oil

One winner will receive this entire sample collection.

 

How to enter

To enter, simply click on the pink link below.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.  Giveaway closes 3/21/18.  One winner will be selected from all entries.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

Have you seen “The Star” DVD?

When my son was younger, I was always looking for high quality video entertainment for him…especially around the holidays.  We loved having great cartoon DVDs to watch at home.  Some of our favorites were holiday features, for Christmas and Easter.  You may have heard that Sony Pictures and Affirm Films produced a wonderful movie for families to enjoy around Christmastime (or really, even the whole rest of the year) called The Star.  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions has offered me the chance to share more about this neat DVD with you!

 

What is The Star?

This animated feature tells the story of a donkey, Bo, who longs to escape his humdrum life at the village mill.  He sets off one day and experiences an adventure he never dreamed of!  Joined by a sheep (Ruth) and a dove (Dave), the group ends up inside the courtyard of a young couple, Joseph and Mary.  Bo has injured his hoof, which Mary treats as the animals and people get to know each other.  But as the new friends interact, more is going on in the world; a star has appeared in the heavens, prompting the travel of 3 wise men on camels to head to Israel.  King Herod has also heard about this star, and he is worried.  And a census is called for all of Israel, requiring Mary and Joseph…and their new animal friends…to head to Bethlehem.  Danger is ahead not only for the new parents-to-be, but also for the animals, as they head to a stable that will become famous for what will happen there.

 

 

Isn’t that an interesting way to tell the story of Jesus’ birth?  The Star includes not only amazing animation but spectacular voice talent as well.  You’ll get to enjoy the voice acting of:

  • Steven Yeun
  • Keegan-Michael Key
  • Tyler Perry
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Patricia Heaton
  • Gina Rodriguez
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Ving Rhames
  • Anthony Anderson
  • and many more!

In addition, viewers will get to enjoy Mariah Carey singing the movie’s theme song, “The Star.”  The film has a running time of 86 minutes and is rated PG.

 

 

The Star on DVD

The Star is now available on DVD, and it’s packed with tons of extras—in fact, an entire hour’s worth of bonus materials in addition to the movie itself!  Viewers can enjoy:

  • “Star-aoke: Sing Along with Bo & Friends”
  • Making a craft with “Star Votives”
  • Baking “Sweet and Sparkly Stars”
  • Behind-the-scene moments with the stars of the film
  • A lovely children’s sermon with DeVon Franklin in “Faith All Year Round”
  • “Life Is Good” dance-along
  • Lyric sing-along portions with the 5 songs in the show

 

There is also an online weekly Bible study to go along with The Star with Devon Franklin.  You can find more info about it on The Star‘s Facebook link.

More about The Star on social media:

Website (where you can purchase the DVD)

 

I just love the idea of this movie!  It is a fantastic idea and great for the entire family.  With an incredible voice cast and beautiful animation (not to mention music and DVD extras), this is definitely something you should check out!

Enjoy!  –Wren

From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

Try out MyFreezEasy this week free of charge with the Dump Dinner Challenge!

**Affiliate links included.**

As a busy homeschool mom, I am always looking for ways to make our home life run more smoothly, and weekly meal planning is one way that I can make sure that we have healthy & delicious food to eat each night.  I do so much better with meals every night when I have made a plan beforehand.  That’s one of the reasons I fell in love with MyFreezEasy; not only do they provide me with tasty, easy-to-prepare recipes each month…but they give me a plan to prepare all those meals beforehand.  Then, I just pop them into the freezer and each day, all I have to do is pull out the prepared recipes and either pop them into the crockpot or get them ready to go into the oven/on the stovetop.

I love this!  No stress meal-planning and prep for me and delicious, healthy meals for my family.

If this sounds appealing to you—fantastic!  You can try out MyFreezEasy free of charge this week with this month’s Dump Dinner ChallengeMyFreezEasyis offering two different meal plans with three different meals each.  All you have to do to get these meal plans is to sign up with your email address.  The meal plans will be emailed to you starting this Friday, February 23…just in time for you to add the recipes’ ingredients to your grocery list.  Then, you can pick up your groceries and start your meal prep.  The whole freezer meal process for me (once I start putting all the ingredients together in my ziploc freezer bags) takes from 30-40 minutes, and that’s with preparing 5-6 different meals.  For each recipe, I add all (or most) of the ingredients to labeled ziploc bags, seal them up, and pop them into the freezer til the day I cook and serve them.  So easy!  If you’ve never prepared freezer meals before, MyFreezEasy even includes some free instructional videos to show you how it’s done!

The Dump Dinner Challenge includes freezer meal directions for dinners like chicken lettuce wraps, pulled pork, buffalo chicken nachos, shredded beef sandwiches and more.  Does that sound delicious to you?  If so, you’ll be happy to hear that this is a prime time to join MyFreezEasy, because along with the challenge they’re offering a discount on subscriptions!

I truly adore MyFreezEasy.  They have made my life so much simpler and helped me to make healthy meals regularly.  I’m happy to recommend them to you!

 

 

Just click on Dump Dinner Challenge to try freezer meal planning for free.  The challenge runs from February 23-26.  And let me know what you think!

 

Stay warm, and enjoy!  –Wren