Summer Reading: Circle Maker

There are many ways to experience the summer. We can experience a vacation, learn how to ride a bike, go swimming (everyday), go fishing, have a picnic, or build a fort at home.

One of our favorite ways to experience summer is through books. Reading, because you can and not because you have to, is a freeing experience. Several years ago while we were camping in Estes Park, Colorado, we read The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis together as a family. Inside our tent, inside our sleeping bags, we opened the first page and read…

This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child. It is a very important story because it shows how all the comings and goings between our own world and the land of Narnia first began.

Every time I hear someone talk about the book, I immediately go back to our tent in my mind in the beautiful mountains and remember that night together when we started reading. Memories are attached to summer books.

This month, we will share some summer reading suggestions for your family. We hope you will discover these books for yourself. Maybe you can read them together as a family or you can read them in your favorite comfy chair on a hot summer day.

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

Kick off the summer with this inspiring book, The Circle Maker.  When you open the cover of this book, you will quickly discover the power of prayer in a new way. Mark Batterson writes from pure experience. He has witnessed God working through prayer in big and small ways. Based on the legend of Honi the Circle Maker who ended a great drought through prayer, Batterson invites all of us to circle our prayers. In the pages of the book, he shares how to circle prayers and encourages readers to pray through our prayers until God answers.

This book will encourage you and your family to pray and show you ways God answers prayers everyday in everyday lives…just like yours and mine.

From our Happy It’s Summer Tent to yours,

Meredith Bell

Holidays: Another Option

A few great book suggestions to help prepare your heart for the real reason for the holidays.

Some of you have already decorated for Christmas.  I know because you have told me.  Some of you are dreading pulling out the boxes to decorate.  I know because that is me.  All of us approach this season differently and anyway we do it it really does work.  We celebrate the birth of Jesus, we make memories, we enjoy way too much good food.  This is a great time of the year for many reasons.

As we begin the holidays, I want to suggest some great books that have helped me to approach the spiritual side of holidays as well as the festive side.  So often, the work of the holidays falls on our shoulders.  It is a blessing that we have families that depend on us.  In my experience, it doesn’t take much for me to go from fun and festive to tired and frustrated.  I have found that if I focus on the spiritual side of the holidays, my family usually falls in right behind me.  We lead and they follow.  It is another blessing of being a wife and/or mother.

Here are some book suggestions that I would suggest you pick up and read in the next few weeks…before everything else begins.  Don’t over do it.  Just one will do for this year and you can read the other one next year.  I hope they will bless you.

Christmas Is Not Your Birthday by Mike Slaughter
The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren
Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright
The Journey:Walking the Road to Bethlehem by Adam Hamilton

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)