Books for Christmas, Middle School Parents, and Busy Mamas

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

I love to read.  It makes my list of things to do when I have down time.  It also makes my list of things to make time for.  Here are a few books I finished, started, or I am still reading this week.

The Max Lucado Christmas Collection

The Max Lucado Christmas Collection by Max Lucado (of course!) contains three Christmas stories to warm your heart in the rush of the Christmas season.  The first, An Angel’s Story, has become a Christmas read-aloud tradition at our house.  The girls get ready for bedtime with a little less fuss knowing that we will soon be drawn into the battle between Gabriel and Lucifer as the angel brings the message of Hope to the earth.  It is full of action and mystery while keeping the focus on the reason God sent his Son that first Christmas morning.  We started the other two stories (The Christmas Candle and The Christmas Child), but the girls (8 and 10) had a hard time following. They are just right for me–cozied up with some camomile tea, a fuzzy blanket, the soft glow of the Christmas tree <sigh>.  I love this time of year!

Middle School: The Inside Story

I have a daughter in fifth grade.  I thought the toddler years of “NO!” and stubborn kicking and screaming were bad.  Oh my!  Now I am faced with the same attitude only now she is more intelligent and much more articulate.  We are entering the uncharted waters of body change, friend drama, and just general surliness.  In Middle School:  The Inside Story,  Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna take you through those tumultuous years.  They provide insider information on what your child is experiencing and thinking.  The book is full of helpful tips for starting conversations, handling drama, and bringing out the best in your tweenager.  This one will stay on my nightstand for the next few years.  Make that the next decade.  Once I get one daughter through it, it will be time for the next one to start!

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

I am gearing up for 2015, getting ready to set those goals.  I am thinking about purpose, priorities, and patterns.  What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast examines powerful patterns for the early morning.  Laura Vanderkam provides interview, anecdotes, and helpful tips for anyone looking to add more meaning to their day.  It is applicable for mamas and managers alike.  Vanderkam says, “When you make over your mornings, you can make over your life.”  I have started capturing the morning hours in the last few weeks.  This book reinforced what I have started and encouraged me to keep it up.

 Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

I touted this book a few weeks ago during a special promotion.  I finished reading it and I still recommend it at full price.  It is a must read for anyone looking to calm the chaos and add purpose to their day.  Crystal Paine directs us through goal setting in areas such as finance, health, and your home.  There are thoughtful tips on creating your own routines for better time management.  She shares her own list of goals and routines to provide a helpful example.  I think I will read this book every year to help me reassess and plan.  (More on goal setting in a few weeks!)

Happy reading!

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