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Book Review: More Than A Bucket List by Toni Birdsong

More Than a Bucket List reviewI am a list person….I have long wanted to have a real bucket list of my own listing things I would like to do in my life.  The opportunity came to review More Than A Bucket List by Toni Birdsong (as an ebook from Book Sneeze) which encourages readers to incorporate dreams and spiritual development into bucket list items. This sounded like a noble goal and I read with interest. I started at the beginning of the book and read straight through.

I had the ebook version loaded on my phone but as I read I was wishing I had the print version so I could make lots of notes in the margins. This is the kind of book that begs for highlighting, dog-eared corners, and note taking.

Creating that Bucket List

A short way into the book I realized that many of the ideas presented are not really items to put on a bucket list but rather suggestions for a variety of ways to enhance your life, especially your spiritual life. The table of contents lists dozens of general list ideas and then within those general ideas there are specific tasks, scriptures, and challenges shared to help you go a little deeper.

  • Live with compassion.
  • Champion gratitude.
  • Live with strength.
  • Create a morning ritual.

See what I mean? They are lovely goals but they really were not what I had in mind as far as developing a real Bucket List. I wanted things I could cross off a list like going to the top of Eiffel Tower, visiting the Everglades, or hiking to the top of Half Dome.  But remember this book is called *More* Than a Bucket List.

It finally occurred to me after reading the book that the whole idea was to go beyond the usual bucket list idea….it was to encourage you to change things at your core: to live with compassion like the Good Samaritan in the Bible, to champion gratitude by realizing it should be a genuine expression of our daily worship, to live with strength but ask for help when needed, to create a morning spiritual ritual of meeting God each morning…watch the sun rise and sip coffee.

This book is not about the crossing of things off a list so much as it is about changing the rest of your life where it is most important. It won’t matter much if you never make it to the Eiffel Tower but it will matter a lot if you have lived with more intention, working more diligently on your spiritual qualities.

Of course every idea in the book is not heavy or deep…some of the ideas are just for fun.

  • Visit the location of some of your favorite movies.
  • Plant something to celebrate.
  • Invite wisdom to dinner.
  • Don’t let age be an excuse.

More Than a Bucket List reviewIf you are looking for some ideas and reminders to make your life more meaningful now and long into the future, this book just may be the spark you need to get your juices flowing. It is a quick read that you will think about long after you finish. In the print version of this book there are pages at the back for recording your own “bucket list” of ideas. I would consider giving this book as a gift to other women and to my children.

 

 

PS  To Tricia at Hodgepodge: One of the items listed in this book is to create a family cookbook….made me think of your family!

I review for BookSneeze®

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Book Review: Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

Once in a while I am intrigued by a new book’s title and Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe caught my eye. Sally Clarkson is the veteran homeschooling mom of four and Sarah Mae is the sometimes struggling younger mom seeking the friendship and advice of her older co-author. All moms can relate to at times feeling desperate and no matter what stage of motherhood we are in, we can all need the occasional encouragement that we are not alone in our struggles to be a good mom and still be a person. As a Book Sneeze reviewer, I was able to order up a copy of the ebook version of Desperate  and immediately started reading.

Desperate – Two Moms Sharing Their Hearts

Through a series of  letters back and forth between the two moms, you glimpse the truly remarkable way that nurturing friendships between women of varying ages can develop. The answers to Sarah Mae’s questions from Sally Clarkson spill out onto the pages in such a comforting way, reassuring Sarah  Mae that things may appear desperate at the time but as overwhelmed as she feels, there are better days ahead and she is not alone. Sally speaks from personal experience on topics any mom can relate to like building a home that is a place of refuge, steering clear of perfectionism, reaching out to other women in real life..moving beyond our own selfish ways.

There are many messages in the book but the one that  resonated with my life lately is the idea that mothers need other mothers, in the flesh, across the table with a cup of coffee, and a comforting hug. Younger mothers need to seek out older moms as mentors and friends. Older mothers need to be reaching out to younger mothers with the intent of offering a helping hand, sharing what helped them in their own times of desperation. These sorts of relationships do not just happen but are intentional acts where one mom reaches out to another.

Sharing Through Times of Desperation

I think this single idea would help so many moms that I know who are just starting out and are starting on the road to motherhood. There is no substitute…no book or internet website can give us the same support that comes with answered prayers through the women that we can fill our lives with.

  • If you find yourself in desperate times, this book will give you practical help on a variety of mothering, family, and parenting topics.
  • Video links at the end of each chapter share more from Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae
  • Personal insights from each of the women help us relate situations to our own lives
  • Includes scripture references at the end of each chapter with suggestions for practical things you can do to apply the lessons learned
  • Thoughts on perfectionism, guilt, discipline and training of children, motherhood, housework.

I review for BookSneeze®

I received my copy of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe through Book Sneeze but you can purchase your print or ebook versions from Amazon.com. This would be a terrific gift book for other moms in your life as well. You could even read as a book club and share your thoughts chapter by chapter. Start with the book and then reach out to other mothers who may be ready to join you in the journey of discussing marriage, parenting, and beyond.

 

 

Stronger Together - desperatemoms.com

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