Sunday, June 29, 2014

Snap Decision by Nathan Whitaker

I am the parent of an 11 year old sports nut!  My oldest son is constantly doing something sports-related whether it's playing the game, watching clips on ESPN, playing sports video games, or reading!  Sports fiction is mostly what he's been reading recently.  As his mother I sometimes get concerned what "additional content" he's getting exposed to in the books he reads.  What are the characters teaching him about values and life?  It is through this lens that I decided to read Snap Decision.

This fictional story centers around an 8th grade boy during a season of football.  The plot is fairly simple, containing issues that many boys will have to face.  It makes them think about balancing schoolwork and sports, maintaining integrity on and off the field, and navigating through tough spots in friendships.  I really like how one of the main characters, the varsity quarterback (who all the boys look up to), demonstrates great values and leadership.  There are boys out there who get good grades, play sports well, and make Godly decisions....these are the types of characters I want my son to aspire to be become.

I think my son will really enjoy this book because it contains so much football!  He can learn about practice techniques, get the play-by-play on several football games, get a glimpse into what scouting as a profession might be like, and learn about some of the dangers of playing the game.  I, as a parent, appreciated the respectful language, good role models, and proper respect for authority shown.   Bottom line: This is a book that boys will find interesting and that parents can feel good about them reading.  It is a book that encourages personal integrity and doing what's right in all areas of life. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 2, 2014

I Get To

Normally I am not one who likes change, but the summer months are an exception.  My days of substitute teaching are now filled with driving my boys around (keeping them active) and finally getting back into a routine of exercise and cleaning (which has been severely lacking the past several months!)  I get to watch lots of ball games, swim meets, and even some concerts (thanks to my husband's role in the Jimmy Warner Band).

I get to help take care of a garden - resulting in fresh veggies and canned goods for the winter months.  And of course prepare a year's worth of strawberry jam for my family and friends to enjoy (lots of work but totally worth it!).  I also look forward to a trip to Washington D.C. in July to visit my brother.  Lots of activities to enjoy and memories to make!
My prayer is that each day I can wake up with an "I get to" attitude, instead of "I have to".  Those few little words make a huge difference.   Even when I'm doing tasks that I don't enjoy, I want to remember that I "get to" do them.  My free taxi service can be a pain until I remember that because I have children who are healthy and active, I get to take them places to burn off their energy.  The constant need to keep up with housekeeping, laundry, and meal prep can be a chore until I remember that they come as a result of having a family I get to take care of.  Not everyone has that.  Some of you might get to work a job and earn needed income.  Or maybe you get to spend priceless time with loved ones who need your care.  Or maybe you get to volunteer and show God's love to those around you.  I challenge you to be thankful for all you get to do, no matter what your circumstances happen to be.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18