Saturday, December 13, 2014

His and Hers Gifts for Christmas

We depart from our regularly scheduled Saturday "Are You Serious?" Awards today to bring you two fabulous gift recommendations for the father or mother raising a child with special needs this Christmas.  If you are completely stumped as to what to get this parent, we have a stellar idea for you.

The first recommendation is for that hard-to-shop for man in your life.  Instead of another tie or tool he already has, why not change his life with a read that is rare!  NO MORE PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES:  A Father, A Son With Special Needs, and Their Journey With God is beautifully written by our popular blog contributor, Jeff Davidson.
So many books are written by and for mothers.  It seems to come naturally for women to share their feelings and struggles with one another.  Yet, Jeff's book is so unique in that it shares the emotional transparency of a father's point of view.  He easily walks readers through the raw emotions of anger, bitterness, and despair, but that is not where he leaves them.  Jeff then ushers us into the transformation that took place in the deepest places of his heart.  He shares intimate confrontational moments with God that changed him forever.

If you don't know Jeff personally, I would tell you that he is one of the funniest guys I know, so his book captures the heart by offering laughter in addition to the tears.  I would call NO MORE PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES a MUST READ, especially for every dad raising a child with special needs.

In addition, we are THRILLED to announce that we will be forming an online group study for this book along with Jeff's ministry, RISING ABOVE, in January, 2015.  Stay tuned for more details!

                                                                                                                                                                        

Speaking of online group studies, we have just concluded an excellent online study for our next, highly recommended Christmas purchase for HER.  SMALL TALK: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most is beautifully constructed by veteran writer, Amy Julia Becker.  It has proven to not only be an outstanding choice for our parents, but has also brought me to a place of personal epiphany.

One of the reasons that this book was chosen as a perfect read for our mothers is that it is written in manageable pieces.  While she honestly shares the details of her challenges as a mother, Amy Julia Becker does so in chapters that run, on average, 8 pages long.  Each chapter is focused on a specific topic related to family life, such as Birth, Christmas, Disability, Marriage, and Heaven.  This allows the reader to pick-up and put down the book as necessary without losing the value held by each theme.  What better way to fit a meaningful ready into the life of today's busy mom! 

From a personal standpoint, I would share with you that my children are older than the author's children in this book.  Nevertheless, it had a powerful impact on me as a mother.  In reading Amy Julia's personal revelations, I came to a crossroads where I found myself wanting to make the most of every single moment with each of my children.  I get so busy with the duty and work of motherhood that sometimes, I fail to look up and see the ways God is uniquely shaping each of us in this household.  SMALL TALK forced me to look up from the dedication and fighting necessary to get my children to adulthood, and savor the moments, the people each one of us is becoming in the community of family.  What a gift!

The book offers a brief discussion guide at the end.  However, we easily adapted one question to accompany each chapter, stretching this to a month long dialogue.  Zondervan also offers three 90 second video trailers to the book where Amy Julia Becker addresses some of the book's themes.

While SMALL TALK is a wonderful read for any parent, the dynamic of Penny Becker's diagnosis of Down Syndrome has made this a favorite, relevant read for the mothers in our online book group.

If you decide to purchase either of these wonderful volumes online for someone you love, we invite you to make your purchase at Amazon Smile, making Snappin' Ministries your charity of choice.  It costs you nothing extra, and 0.5% of your purchase will go towards supporting our ongoing "Special Care for Special Caregivers."

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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