Recently, Deseret Book has published three new "Time Out Classics". These are small books that you can read in a short period of time and they are excellent, inspiring, and fun to read (like a little mini Time Out for Women! :)
Deseret Book sent me a copy of these three books, so I'm here today to tell you a bit about each of them:
Everything I Need to Know I Learned at Home by John Bytheway
Clever little book that takes the practical phrases most of us heard our moms repeat a lot when we were kids (and now we hear ourselves saying them to our children) and makes the connection between them and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. While making these comparisons, he gives examples of simple things parents can do to influence our families in profound ways.
I really liked this little book (it's just 56 small pages long) and would definitely read it again with the purpose of paying close attention for specific ways to apply these ideas in my life and with my family. I think after the first quick read, I came away with an overall idea but not too many practical applications, so I want to read through it again with the goal of making some specific goals. :)
Some of the cute comparisons he makes are "Wash Your Hands" (repentance), "Help Your Sister" (give service to others), "Ask Your Dad" (pray to Heavenly Father for help), and "Come and Eat" (feasting upon the words of Christ - the scriptures). I think as moms we can sometimes feel like our job is to do (and teach our children to do) a lot of mundane tasks and it can be tiring both physically and mentally. It's refreshing to take a step back and think of those everyday things as relating to much larger and eternally significant principles (which in turn will hopefully remind us to get in as many teaching moments as we can for those spiritual lessons amid the more physical/mundane ones.
It's called Everything I Need to Know I Learned at Home: An Encouraging Message for Moms, and I did feel encouraged by it!
This is a great little book (this one's 53 pages) that focuses on getting through difficult times. I think we ALL experience these "middle" moments (well, they don't feel like moments when you're in them - sometimes they feel like forever!) in our lives, and probably a lot more than once ;).
At the time of reading the book, I didn't feel like I was in the middle of any particularly difficult challenge (thankfully!), but I think I will go back to this book when I find myself "in the middle" again. The book is split into 6 small chapters, each with a lesson (kind of like a tip or suggestion such as "Turn to the Scriptures", "Rely on the Atonement", and "Continue to Minister".
Often when we hear people share publicly about difficult trials they have been through, we hear more about the result (the "payoff"), and not too much about what happens in the middle. It's the middle that's really challenging and when you're right there in it, it's hard to know when or if it will ever end! In each chapter, Emily shares examples from her life and from the scriptures of what happens "in the middle" and how to handle that part of the trial that's most difficult.
I think this would be a lovely, thoughtful little gift for anyone you care about who is going through a hard time - when you just wish there was something you could do to show that you care (even when you know nothing you could do would solve their challenge).
Habits of Happiness by Wendy Ulrich
This book outlines seven unexpected habits of happiness. Ideas that sound a little off at first, but when you think about it, they make a lot of sense! Such as: Don’t worry about your weaknesses, Don’t try to get motivated to exercise, Stop hoping to find friends, etc.
I think we all have times when we are frustrated because life/people/things in general are just not making us happy! That's when we need to be reminded that we have the power to make ourselves happy! We've just got to stop waiting around for things to be just right and instead DO something to make ourselves happy.
For example, don't try to get motivated to exercise (if you wait to be motivated, you may NEVER exercise! ;) Instead, do something little that feels tackle-able (even if all you are doing is putting on your running shoes with no real intention to run in them. Perhaps you will find that once they're on, you'll feel like stepping outside to check the mail; while you're out there you might find that it's a nice day and before you know it, you're thinking, "Well, I've got my running shoes on, I guess I'll go for a small jog." :) Just take a small step in the right direction and it may be gradual, but you'll find you're making a difference in your own happiness!
My favourite chapter is Chapter 5: Celebrate Failure. Wendy says, "if something is worth doing, it's worth doing badly." Meaning that we shouldn't 'not try' just because we don't think we can do something perfectly. Things that are worth doing are usually complicated and difficult. We have to try while making mistakes for a while before we can do something well. That's an important lesson for me, and a lesson I hope I can teach my children. She also talks about celebrating the effort put in and not just the successes- praising our children for the work they put in, and not just for being smart.
I love this book and I love the points that it makes- we are totally in control of our own happiness, we just need to remember that!