One of the greatest gifts you can give a mom to be and her future little person is a book. This one simple gift will long outlive the diapers, the outfit, the wipes... basically anything else you give.
It will give mama a book to read to her little when she is trying to soothe him, put him to bed or they are just spending some quality time together. It is more than just something to do when you provide a book though. You are providing that mama the opportunity to open up the door to teach her little person
- about a world of imagination
- to help their cognitive growth
- and to build their language skills.
Reading is important! There is nothing that brings me more pleasure than when my little guy brings me a book and says "book mama". I treasure the moments that we get to spend cuddled up reading and learning together.
For my baby shower I asked that I receive books instead of cards with our gifts. It started us out with two and a halve shelves filled with books for our little guy. I'm going to share some of my favorites that I received for my shower and some I have purchased since then.
#1 - God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren
This book is about a little bear asking her mama where she came from. Mama bear tells her the story of how daddy and her prayed and prayed for a baby of their own and had to wait. Then that baby came and they knew that God had answered their prayers.
This is especially a great book if your friend has waited a long time for a baby or has had to go through fertility treatment for their little one.
P.S. This author has other books in a series of "God Gave Us..." that are all excellent books for your little ones.
#2 - On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
Honestly, there isn't a book by Nancy Tillman that I do not like, but this one is my favorite. She goes through how the night wind shared the news of the baby's birth and nature stops to celebrate in it's own way the miracle of your baby's birth. This is one of the books I can ready almost by heart. It is not just my favorite, but one of my sons as well.
#3 - Love You Hoo by Rachel Bright
Friends, if you do not have a friend that sells Usbourne books, then you should find one now. (I have several dealers. Let me know if you need the hook up) I've never been disappointed in any of their books and this books is top on my recommend list when asked which book someone should get.
This book is about a Mama Owl telling her little owl about something she must tell him. She goes on about how she enjoys teaching him things and how he teaches her. She talks about how one day he will grow and fly away. He will become someone, but regardless of who her little becomes, she will always love them.
#4 - The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
This book is a momma looking at who her baby is. She sees their heart that is enormous, wild and wise heart. Then she ponders what he will become. Will he be a super hero? Will he write songs? In the end, she encourages her little to become whoever they would like to be and that she will love them just the way they are.
As a side note, I have to say that I love the artwork in this book. I bought it initially because of it and then fell in love with the meaning of the book.
#5 - Family Begins With A Wish
This story makes me cry and is another one I would recommend for that momma and daddy that waited a very long time for their little person.
This story starts out about an elephant couple that knew from the beginning they wanted a baby. They make plans, they learn, build and journey. They get ready for that baby, but the baby doesn't come. They wait and wait and nothing. (I have to tell you I'm crying as I type this) Time passes and the elephant couple carry on and out of the blue they are surprised with the news that they are expecting. The book ends with a sweet celebration that their family is now complete because their wish had come true and their little person is now here.
#6 - What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada
I love, love, love this book. I have read this book a couple of times to my son and will read it to him for as long as he lets me. I think it's important to encourage my son now that he can try anything and that his dreams are his to do what he wants with them.
I'll side note this early and say that I think the art work in this book is cute as well.
This book is about a little boy who has an idea. At first he doesn't know what to do with the idea and he try tries to leave it, but it follows him around and grows. The little boy begins to like the idea, but is worried about what others will think. The book even explains that some people told the little boy that his idea was no good. At first, he almost believes them and accepts their opinions, but then he realizes it is HIS idea. So he grows with the idea and one day the idea takes wings and it impacts the world.
#7 - Snowflake In My Pocket by Rachel Bright
Here is another Usbourne book and by the same author as Love You Hoo.
The book is about the relationship between a bear and squirrel. Bear has lived for many seasons, but squirrel has only seen three. He is excited to see his first snowfall. The morning he wakes to see snow had come he is not able to enjoy it with his friend bear because bear is sick. So, squirrel ventures out on his own to play and explore in the snow. When he is done he thinks about what he can do to share this experience with bear. He catches a snowflake to put in his pocket to take home to bear. When he gets home to show bear, he puts his hand in his pocket and find the snowflake has melted. He gets very upset that he cannot share the experience with bear, but bear in his wisdom reminds squirrel that snow may come and go, but that their friendship will last forever.
#8 - I'll Never Let You Go by Smriti Prasadam-Halls
This very cute book is about a mama (or daddy) that sees all the things her little person does. When they are happy, sad, frustrated, being brave. She reminds that no matter where they are or what they are feeling or doing, that she is always there right by their side and she'll never let them go.
#9 - I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
I love this book. It is short and to the point. It is all about everything a parent wishes for their child.
#10 - Someday by Alison Mcghee
This is such a cute little book. This is about a parent that observes everything her little person is going through as he/she grows. Then the parent talks about watching their little person sleep and dream and wonders who they will be when they grow.
Go ahead and grab a book for your friends baby shower. It is the gift that keeps giving and will be treasured for years to come.
*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases when you click on and purchase one of the products linked in this blog.
Someone recently questioned the tactics her new church is using for a building fund campaign. This friend left their old church because they felt it was stagnant with no new growth. The new church they admitted had a lot of new growth in the church. There was some frustration expressed because there had been multiple sermons on giving and even a pledge drive where cards were handed out and those that were going to commit went up to the front. This was awkward for her and her husband because they did not feel comfortable committing at this time and felt rather put off by all the sermons on giving.
Having grown up in church, I have seen multiple church building fund campaigns. Some of them successful. Some of them not. I can tell you that a building fund campaign (in my opinion) is essential if your church has a sudden growth spurt. Your church may not have the means to handle the sudden growth. But I do understand that how a campaign is handled can also push some of that new growth out of the door. It can literally make or break a church.
Here is some of the advice I gave.
1. Money is the one thing that will divide friendships, family, destroy companies and yes, even churches. Money evokes a lot of emotion in us. If you are like my family, we have to budget and that budget is tight. I encourage you to not make an emotional decision on leaving your church, but to make an informed and prayerful decision. Emotional decisions leave room for regret and hurt. Informed and prayerful decisions rarely do.
2. Get to know the Pastor and his staff. (Informed decision) Meet with him, talk with the staff. Call and ask questions. This is your church, you have a right to get to know the Pastor and the administration. You may not always like what you hear, but building a relationship puts you in a position to be able to go to the administration when you do not see eye to eye with them.
3. Get involved in the church. You don't really know a church unless your involved. Teach Sunday School, be door greeters, offer to clean the church, usher, nursery, etc. Getting involved helps you to A. See leadership and how it does or doesn't work, B. Helps you see the true needs of the church and C. Puts you in a position to be an influencer.
4. Churches grow and that means new members. A lot of our recent new members in our church have not set foot inside a church since they were real young, if at all. Doing a yearly series on giving isn't terrible. I say this as gently as I can. Be careful of your heart, if you think teaching biblical giving is wrong.
5. Do not partner with other saints to get their feeling on this. This is like anything in life. If something is bothering you and you sit down to talk with other people that are bothered by the same thing you are it becomes dangerous territory. It only leads to gossip, strife and hurt relationships. Go to the source - the Pastor and administration.
6. I'll say it again. Be careful of making an emotional decision. Once done you will never find happiness in a church. You will always want to leave when something doesn't mesh well with you. I say this with experience of having walked away from my church. I thought moving to a new city and church would make me feel better, but it didn’t. I have been hurt a couple more times. I have walked away from church, but there is one thing I didn’t do after that first time. I didn't change churches. I knew that my problem was not the church, but my heart and the hearts of those that had offended me. I have handled it a couple of ways, but never again did I go search out other churches because I was offended.
Remember, churches are made up of people. Everyone is human, even the Pastor. Everyone makes mistakes. And not everything will be done the way we think it should be done. It's kind of like a work place. You cannot please 100% of the people 100% of the time.
If you are going through a church building campaign and you have any questions or would like an impartial ear let me know. I've been on both sides of these campaigns and I understand the need for one and I understand the feelings being on the "listening" end.