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My Favorite Marriage and Family Blogs

Want to nourish your marriage? You'll find a healthy dose of encouragement here: My Favorite Marriage & Family Blogs | lovinglifeathome.comIf there’s anything I’ve learned in 27+ years of marriage, it’s that “happily ever after” takes work.

Yes, it’s attainable, but not without liberal helpings of love and focus and commitment and intentionality and grace and forgiveness and discipline.

Marriage is wonderful. I love sharing life with my best friend.

But we are both human, and there is always room for improvement.

The secret for me has been to focus on the areas I need to improve rather than on what I think he needs to change.

One way I invest in my marriage is by reading good books and blogs on the topic of marriage and family.

I love the encouragement I receive from these candid, Christian writers.

I like the fact that reading their stories gives me the opportunity to learn from somebody else’s mistakes rather than repeating them myself.

There are lots of great books and blogs out there to choose from, but here is a list of my personal favorites: Click on each image to visit the blog and learn more about it.

Ashleigh Slater  Better Mom  Club 31 Women  Happy Wives Club  For the Family  Matt Jacobson  Revive Our Hearts  Time Warp Wife  To Love, Honor, and Vacuum  5 Love Languages

Incidentally, all but two of these authors/bloggers have books in the Ultimate Christian Living Bundle (only on sale through November 10, 2014). Among all the other great resources, you’ll find these treasures:

As well as a copy of my own book, which is also included…

Are there any books or blogs on marriage and motherhood you find yourself gravitating toward? Tell me about them in the comment section below so I can check them out, too!


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Messy Beautiful Love {Review and Giveaway}

No marriage is ever beyond God's redeeming grace...Is your marriage struggling? Does it feel one-sided? Do you long for it to be more than it is?

Marriages are under attack as never before. Unfortunately, those attacks sometimes come not from without, but from within.

In Messy Beautiful Love, bestselling author Darlene Schacht discusses just such an attack on her own marriage — one that surely would have torn it apart were it not for God’s redeeming grace.

The biggest marital problems rarely begin big. Seldom are we slammed with something that materializes out of thin air. Our problems usually start out small and grow.

“If I were to pinpoint the one thing that led me to almost destroy my marriage,” Darlene writes candidly, “it would be that I was keeping a record of wrongs…. I took count of [all my husband’s] faults and kept track of each one.”

Do you ever do that? Do you harbor grudges against your husband or nurse resentment toward him in your heart? Be forewarned: doing so will lead you down a path you do not wish to follow.

“I had forgotten what 1 Corinthians says about love,” Darlene continues. “It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

"Love is what is left in a relationship when the selfishness is taken out." - Nick Richardson

Love is unselfish. It puts the other’s interests ahead of its own. While love heals wounds, unforgiveness causes them to fester. When we keep a record of wrongs, we do so to our own detriment. When we give root to bitterness, our love gets choked out and our hearts grow cold, hard, and impenetrable.

“The problem here isn’t your husband,” Darlene explains. “It’s that your level of expectation for him is outshining his character. When you measure him against the weight of expectation, you are left with an unbalanced scale.

“Accepting a person for who he or she is doesn’t mean that you excuse sin. I’d never ask or want you to do that. What I am asking you to do is to look past the human frailty of a man to seek his beauty by removing the weight of expectation you hold. I’m asking that you walk in the grace of messy, beautiful love.”

Darlene opens the book with a prayer that her testimony would bring glory and honor to God, and that it does. Hers is a powerful story of hope and redemption that will powerfully impact the life of everyone who reads it.

Messy Beautiful Love

Messy Beautiful Love is a collection of important life-lessons learned — some of them the hard way — that you can take and apply to your own marriage. When you do, you will avoid many of the pitfalls the author points out along the way.

Want to read this book yourself? Darlene’s publisher has graciously offered to give a free paperback copy to one of my readers. Enter to win it here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Bundle Books I’m Reading First

Wonderful resources for healthy livingAnybody who has followed this blog for long knows that I love to read. I average about a book a week.

Although I like a variety of genres, I especially enjoy books that teach me something new. The more I read, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the more I want to learn.

That’s one reason I’m so excited about the titles included in this year’s Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle.

I used to think e-book bundles weren’t for me. I really prefer reading hard copies of books rather than digital, so I’d skip over bundle ads without much thought.

But then I noticed that last spring’s Ultimate Homemaking Bundle included four books I was already intending to read — and some quick calculations showed me that those four books, bought individually, were going to cost me more than the entire bundle put together.

So I took a chance and bought the whole thing.

And am I ever glad I did.

The quality of books included with the Ultimate Bundles far surpassed my expectations, and all the free bonus products made the deal even sweeter. (I am still using the Dizolve laundry detergent that was included with the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle — I liked the full-sized sample box so much, I bought two more when I finished the first.)

So is the current Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle for you? I’d encourage you to take a closer look to find out, especially if you are interested in making better health and lifestyle decisions, getting fit, losing weight, boosting energy, using greener products, creating nutritious and delicious meals for your family, and/or doing what you can to prevent serious diseases.

If some of the topics appeal to you, but others don’t, that’s okay. Nobody expects you to read them all. Feel free to pick and choose.

Personally, I’m planning to skip reading the books about cloth diapering and natural childbirth, because — as sad as it makes me to admit it — baby season seems to be behind me now. And since I’m not allergic to gluten, eggs, or dairy, I probably won’t take time to read the bundle books on those topics, either.

But there are several books in this bundle that are very applicable to where I am at this point in in my life.

These are the ones I’m focusing on first:


  • The Eczema Cure
  • The Eczema CureI had eczema as a child. Although I eventually outgrew it, I well remember the way it burned and itched and kept me awake at night. Although I haven’t personally been troubled by the condition for years, I have a little son who suffers terribly with it. He has cracked, crusty skin around both ankles that sometimes even breaks open and bleeds. It looks far worse than anything I ever had when I was little.

    We’ve tried lotions and cortisone creams galore, and although they’ve helped to some degree, nothing has been able to clear it up completely. That’s why I was so glad to get my hands on a copy of The Eczema Cure. The author gives detailed, step-by-step advice for treating eczema from the inside out.

    (Note: Just this title alone retails for $30. That’s like getting the rest of the bundle for free!)


  • Money Saving Mom’s Guide to Freezer Cooking
  • Freezer CookingI love every book I’ve ever read by Money-Saving Mom Crystal Paine (which is quite a few now) so when I noticed she had a book in this bundle, I downloaded that one first. Tried, true, and to-the-point, Crystal shares strategies for freezer cooking that will fit any mom’s schedule — whether you have a whole day to devote to preparing your family’s meals in advance, or just fifteen minutes at a time here and there.

    I did a little freezer cooking after buying the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle last spring, but grew discouraged when our freezer broke down (twice!) this summer, and all my hard work was lost. :-( The frig has been fixed now and has given us no further problems, so I ‘m ready to try again. Crystal’s book was just the motivation I needed.


  • Clean & Simple
  • Clean & Simple Stephanie Langford’s subtitle tells you exactly what you can expect out of this one: “7 Inexpensive Ingredients, 12 Green Cleaning Recipes That Work.”

    When I recently ran out of furniture polish, I searched this little volume for alternatives to what I’d been using. Although dusting spray was not one of the twelve recipes mentioned in the title, Stephanie did include a link in the back to exactly what I was looking for, and it works beautifully. What’s more, she provides in the dozen some simple, easy recipes for other things I use regularly but hadn’t thought of making myself, like foaming hand-soap and oven cleaner.

    Not only are the homemade varieties of each of these better for my family and better for the environment, but they can be made for a fraction of what their store-bought counterparts cost. And they work! It’s a win-win!


  • 42 Simple & Healthy Dinners
  • 42 Simple and Healthy DinnersWhen I learned that one of the authors of this book, Brandy Ferguson, is the mother of eight boys, I knew I had to read it. If she has discovered how to cook healthful, whole food meals that simultaneously satisfy a house full of growing boys, then I want in on her secrets! The book is filled luscious looking photographs for protein-rich dishes such as garlic lemon chicken and pasta, basil beef lettuce wraps, and tilapia tacos, plus a whole section of vegetarian recipes.

    This collection of recipes is meant to complement Brandy’s other book, 42 Days to Fit which contains, among other things, a custom-written exercise plan I’m eager to try designed specifically for mothers. Since that book’s also included in the Healthy Living Bundle, I’m planning to read both concurrently.


  • The Happy Housewife’s Guide to Dealing with Picky Eaters
  • Dealing with Picky EatersI haven’t started this one yet, but intend to do so right away, as I’m dealing with a couple of picky eaters at my house right now and getting a little frustrated.

    They aren’t picky in the usual sense of only wanting to eat junk food. Both are huge salad and veggie eaters, but they turn up their noses at anything with even a hint of meat in it. This their father, who is a diehard meat and potatoes man, can scarcely comprehend.

    Don’t get me wrong — I’m thrilled that my little ones love lettuce and spinach. I’m just hoping the Toni Anderson’s tips will give me fresh ideas for encouraging them to try some new dishes, as well.


  • Simply Salads by Season
  • Simply SaladsAnd if I can’t talk my little ones into eating anything but salad? Then at least Kristen Michaelis’ book Simply Salads by Season (also included in the bundle) will help me add some variety that way.

    Kristen offers a treasure trove of salad recipes, all filed and organized according to when the main components are most readily available: spring, summer, winter, fall, or year round.

    She also includes more than two dozen recipes for salad dressings and condiments using all-natural, whole foods ingredients, making this book a great resource you’ll want to refer back to again and again.


  • The Urban Chicken
  • The Urban ChickenGiven that I live in town in close proximity to my neighbors, the choice of this book may seem a little odd, but I’ve always been enamored with the idea of raising chickens and would like to learn more about how one goes about it.

    This summer, my children and I got to talk to some folks who raise quail, and they assured us those birds would be quiet enough to keep in our backyard without any fear of disturbing our neighbors. I’m thinking that much of the material in Heather Harris’s book, The Urban Chicken, would probably apply to raising quail, so I am planning to give it a look-see as I continue to contemplate the possibility of harvesting fresh eggs every morning from my own back porch.


  • The Nourished Metabolism
  • The Nourished MetabolismI have always had a low metabolism, but now that I am closing in on fifty, my metabolism seems to have sunk through the floor. There was a time (back in my twenties) when three months of breastfeeding was all it took to completely melt my baby fat away. I delivered my last baby the day before I turned forty-five, and — four years later — have still not dropped all the weight I gained during that pregnancy, despite daily workouts and meticulous calorie counting for months at a time.

    I’m hoping that Elizabeth Walling’s book, The Nourished Metabolism, will give me some good guidance as to what I might do to naturally combat this problem. And here again, this one book retails for $30, more than the price of the whole bundle.


  • Get Up & Go: Fun Ideas for Getting Fit as a Family
  • Get Up & Go  - Front CoverI don’t think I’ve mentioned it on this blog yet, but a few months ago, I finished writing my new book, Get Up & Go.

    And guess what?

    It’s included in this bundle, too!

    So if I were to list the bundle books in the order I’ve read them, this one should really come first, as I had to go through it cover to cover at least three or four times during the editing process.

    This book is full of great ideas for staying active as a family. Don’t be duped into thinking you need a gym membership and a babysitter to work in a good work out — it’s much more fun to get in shape alongside your husband and children, and you’ll make some wonderful memories in the process!

So… that’s my list of personal picks for this particular bundle. If you’d like to read them ,too, you’ll need to act fast: This bundle will only be available until Monday, September 15, or until 30K copies are sold. If you wait too long, you’ll miss it!


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Are You Up for a Challenge?

UPDATE: The 30-Day Respect Challenge is having some technical difficulties that Revive our Hearts will not be able to fix until after the TrueWoman Conference in October. I’ll be sure to let you know just as soon as it is up and running again!

Being Married is Like Riding a Bike

Twenty-seven years, two days, eleven hours, and thirty-nine minutes. That’s how long I’ve been married to my husband.

You might think that after more than a quarter of a century, we’d have this marriage thing down pat. That by now, the hard work would be behind us. That maybe we could just coast through the rest of our marriage with the wind on our faces, enjoying the view.

You might also think that writing books on love and respect would so cement those concepts in my mind that I’d no longer struggle with them myself.

But if you thought any of those things (like I sometimes do in my naiveté), you’d be wrong.

Marriage is like riding a bike. You can only coast for so long before losing your momentum and falling over. You’ve got to keep pedaling if you don’t want to crash.

That’s part of the reason I signed up for Revive Our Heart’s new 30-Day Respect Challenge over the weekend.

I’ve been waiting since February for this challenge to be released. That’s when Revive Our Hearts first contacted me about turning my book, 25 Ways to Communicate Respect, into a 30-day Challenge.

I enthusiastically agreed and provided the extra 5 days worth of material they requested, then waited eagerly for their design team to get everything else ready.

The process took several months, but last Friday, on my own 27th wedding anniversary, the project was finally completed and released.

I signed up for it immediately, wanting to experience the challenge myself and thinking it would be a nice review. At least on a subconscious level, I imagined myself being able to check, check, check off each day’s challenge. After all, I wrote the book. It should be old hat by now, right?

Well, the first day’s challenge was delivered to my inbox yesterday morning. It took all of sixty seconds to read, but brought with it something I wasn’t really expecting: Conviction.

Not initially, but within an hour of reading it.

I’d checked my email before church and found the first day’s challenge waiting for me: CHOOSE JOY. Been there. Done that. I’m a naturally happy person, so I marked that off my list and moved on.

Flash forward forty-five minutes, and I was sitting at a breakfast table in a bagel cafe listening to my husband recount how he’d fed the goldfish before we left for church that morning.

We have an unusually friendly goldfish who lives in a bowl on a ledge behind our kitchen sink. He swims to our side of the bowl every time anybody comes into the kitchen, wagging his tail like a puppy and begging for food. My husband, especially, finds this behavior impossible to resist.

But unbeknownst to Doug, I’d already fed the fish when I first got up. And I’d changed the water in his fishbowl, too.

And so I immediately began quizzing my husband on how many pellets he’d dropped into the bowl. And reminding him that if he gives the fish more than three or four at a time, they sink to the bottom faster than Gill can eat them. And explaining that when food sits in the bottom of the bowl, it turns the water murky, which means I have to change it every other day instead of once or twice a week.

Can you sense what’s happening here? I’m getting testy over four extra flakes of fish food! My husband’s been as generous with the fish as he is with all the people in his life, and I’m letting that fact threaten to steal my joy.

That’s how easily I’m tripped up at times.

But fortunately for all of us, that first day’s challenge was fresh on my mind, and it helped me to recognize this situation for what it truly was: An opportunity to CHOOSE JOY. A chance to practice what I preach. A moment that called for grace and love and respect and thankfulness.

And so, mid-way into my exasperated lecture on The Proper Way to Feed a Fish, I stopped and chose to laugh instead.

I smiled at my husband and told him how much I love him. Our family had an absolutely wonderful day worshipping together, sharing meals, and fellowshipping with dear friends.

And the fishbowl was still crystal clear when we got home.

I’m looking forward to the next 29 days of this free 30-Day Challenge. I think it’s going to be a great time of growth for me and of blessing for my husband. Want to join me? You can sign up here.

And if you’d like more than a 60-second synopsis of each chapter, I’d encourage you to get the book. When you order a print copy through Revive Our Hearts, you help support their wonderful ministry worldwide.

Or, if you’d prefer reading a digital copy, you can get it on your Kindle for just 99-cents through Wednesday of this week.

I Married a Sinner (and So Did He)

Nothing Else to Marry

What follows is an excerpt from my book, Love Your Husband/Love Yourself. I am posting here at the request of a blogging friend from Thankful Homemaker.

The letter quoted at the end of this passage is a personal one that Elisabeth Elliot sent me in response to a letter I mailed to her over a quarter century ago.

That was in the days before the Internet, when handwritten correspondence was still in fashion.

The ink on that correspondence has faded a bit and the stationery yellowed with age, but the advice Mrs. Elliot gave me therein is as timely today as it was then.

It deserves to be shared and taken to heart — for in a world filled with Hollywood chick-flicks and high expectations and Harlequin romances and (even) homeschool courtships, it is easy to lose sight of reality.

That reality is this: Your husband is human. He has flaws (as do you). And forgiveness will be essential if you ever hope to look beyond those flaws and build a happy, successful marriage.

~ Words of Wisdom ~

We know that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), but there is a difference between philosophically acknowledging your husband’s inherent sin nature, and experientially coming face to face with a particular offense which affects you. This is where the rubber meets the road, where forgiveness becomes more than a theoretical platitude.

I first grappled with this distinction back in 1986, the year I finished college. Doug and I had met two weeks before graduation and become fast friends. We held so many things in common — values, goals, beliefs, even mannerisms — that my own mother told me she would fear we were siblings had I been adopted as Doug was.

We were soon making plans for the future, determined that our life together should be built on trust and transparency. Against the advice of all his friends, Doug was completely candid with me about his past failings, and I am eternally grateful for his honesty.

Although the events he described had occurred in the distant past, his confession was difficult for me to bear; it consumed my thoughts by day and tormented my dreams by night.

Careworn and weary, I finally wrote to Elisabeth Elliot for counsel. With her permission, I close this chapter with her response, dated September 30, 1986.

Dear Jennifer:

How my heart went out to you last night as I read your letter, just received. I understand perfectly how you felt…. Even God, who forgives the sin and casts it into the depths of the sea, does not undo the effect of that sin, nor can you…. The tears, the nightmares, the unbidden imaginary pictures that torment you — how well I empathize with all of that, and pray for your comfort and healing.

First let me say that Doug is to be commended for not allowing himself to deceive you. He must have been in an agony over the decision to tell you, knowing at least a little bit how much it would hurt.

Second, you suffer not alone, but actually and redemptively with Christ (see Colossians 1:24, Philippians 1:29, 1 Peter 4:12-13, and many other passages). This aspect of suffering is a real life-changer. Study it for the rest of your life.

Third, you suffer quite literally because of another’s sin, which is exactly what Christ did. Because He paid the price for yours, you too must be willing to pay the price for Doug’s — the price of sorrow, heartbreak, the sense of irremediable loss…. Forgiveness means absolute relinquishment of all that. It is a laying down of your life. Your dream of the “perfect” man has to go — it is this man God has given you, another sinner (there isn’t anything else to marry!) — it is this gift you receive in thanksgiving, acknowledging the fact that in this fallen, broken world, there is no place where the heart may be perfectly at rest and wholly filled except at the Spring of Living Water. Drink there, dear Jennifer, and be at peace.

Doug’s admission will always be a reminder to you that he needs your sacrificial, self giving love. When you sin against him, as you certainly will, any wife does, you will then know, when you have to ask his forgiveness, that you are two human beings in need of the Amazing Grace that saves WRETCHES!! You are, as Peter wrote, “heirs together of the grace of life.”

So forgive him freely, utterly, joyfully — for that is how Christ has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32). Bring all those awful thoughts and imaginations under the Lordship of Christ (2 Corinthians 10), and receive this man as your God-given husband, promising to honor, which means, among other things, never to bring up again that which has been put under the Blood.

I know a young woman who steadfastly refused to forgive her husband…. She has, in spite of Christian profession, destroyed her marriage, destroyed her own life, and blighted the lives of others. Don’t refuse the grace of God for your own deep needs, nor refuse to Doug the grace He will give you to forgive him.

Lovingly,
Elisabeth Elliot

I’m not sure what I had expected Elisabeth Elliot to say to me, but — twenty-eight years and twelve children later — I am so very grateful that she gave me the advice she did… and that I had sense enough to take it.

If this is an area of struggle in your life, I pray God will give you the grace to take it, too.


Want to read more? You can find Love Your Husband/ Love Yourself at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and many other fine booksellers. It is also available for Kindle or the Nook.

Love Your Husband/ Love YourselfWhat readers are saying:

“This book is the talk your mom never had the nerve to have with you.”

“I wish I had read it years ago…”

“Don’t miss this one.”

“…a message openly opposed by our culture and sadly sidestepped by the church.”

“…one of the most candid, honest, beautiful books on marriage I have ever read.”

Kirsten Dunst: She’s Simply Stating the Obvious

Neurological research has demonstrated what any two-year-old could tell you: Men and women are not identical in either nature or function.

Equal? Yes. Identical? No.

Actress Kirsten Dunst made headline news last week for her comments concerning traditional gender roles.

“I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued,” she told Harper’s Bazaar UK. “We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mum created.”

The interview is published in the magazine’s May issue. As May is also the month most of the world celebrates Mother’s Day, these sweet comments about the choices her own mother made seem altogether fitting and appropriate.

But Dunst didn’t leave it at that. “Sometimes,” she continued, “you need your knight in shining armour. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work.”

That’s the part that really got feminists’ dander up. The most militant of this movement want us to believe that men and women are not only equal, but are also identical — or, at least, they would be if society didn’t keep imposing gender-based expectations upon them.

Anyone who dares suggest that sex-based differences do exist (and to our benefit, even) is ridiculed.

Despite all the so-called progress that has been made toward masking such differences, women have lost far more than they’ve gained in the sexual revolution. In attempting to style ourselves as men, we’ve squandered the power we have as women.

The more women behave like men, the less inclined men are to stick around (or to exhibit the more virtuous of masculine qualities when they do). Instead of being cherished and protected, girls are being used then dumped, in the wake of which they grow lonely, depressed, bitter, and/or angry.

Dunst may not realize it, but her comments underscore some important scientific findings. Cutting edge research has demonstrated that — lo and behold — men and women actually are different. They are different in the way their bodies are built (a fact that seems obvious to any two-year-old, but eludes elitist academicians), in the way their brains process information, and in the way they respond to stress, to name just a few.

Furthermore, relationships do work better, last longer, and provide greater satisfaction when traditional gender roles are embraced. The studies that support such notions are numerous, rigorous, and well-documented. You can read more about them in the following excellent books, all of which I highly recommend.

Four (More) Must-Read Books for Women Who Think:

TAKING SEX DIFFERENCES SERIOUSLYIf you’d like a better appreciation of just how different men and women really are, TAKING SEX DIFFERENCES SERIOUSLY provides a great starting place.

To be totally honest, I didn’t care much for Chapter 3 (in the section aptly named “Men Don’t Get Headaches”). It’s not that I questioned the validity of what is there written; it’s just that I felt a little uncomfortable with so graphic a glimpse at the way (many) men think. The rest of the book, however, is riveting, and the chapters on Fatherless Families, the Sexual Revolution, Day Care, and Title IX Sports are particularly enlightening.

EXCERPT: “There is a certain unworldly quality to the suggestions that a just world would be one in which men and women do all things equally. This understanding would require that parents who are trying to tease out their children’s natural abilities should instead do their part to help achieve a society in which a higher percentage of people do things they are not interested in and not very good at…. In the real world, any society will and should want to encourage people to do worthwhile things that they enjoy and do well. This means that natural inclinations will have policy and normative relevance, although they will not always be conclusive.”


Adam and Eve after the PillMary Eberstadt’s ADAM AND EVE AFTER THE PILL is a tightly written treatise which examines many of the devastating if not unanticipated consequences of the sexual revolution, including the erosion of the nuclear family, the rise in production and consumption of pornography, the disturbing social trends on college campuses across the continent, and society’s shifting ideologies concerning both food and sex.

As bleak as the subject matter may sound, Eberstadt ends every chapter on a hopeful note by presenting evidence, however scant it may be, that the tide is slowly beginning to turn.

EXCERPT: “In the postrevolutionary world, sex is easier had than ever before; but the opposite appears true for romance. This is perhaps the central enigma that modern men and women are up against: romantic want in a time of sexual plenty. Perhaps some of the modern misery of which so many women today so authentically speak is springing not from a sexual desert, but from a sexual flood — a torrent of poisonous imagery, beginning now for many in childhood, that has engulfed women and men, only to beach them eventually somewhere alone and apart, far from the reach of one another.”


The Female BrainLouann Brizendine tackles the topic of THE FEMALE BRAIN with a no-stone-unturned thoroughness one would rightly expect from a medical doctor such as herself. Almost a third of the book’s 279 pages are devoted to endnotes and reference citations. She tackles the topics of love, trust, sex, hormones, mothering, depression, and aging, all from a neurological standpoint that is both scientifically accurate and simultaneously easy to read and understand.

EXCERPT: Most women find biological comfort in one another’s company, and language is the glue that connects one female to another. No surprise, then, that some verbal areas of the brain are larger in women than in men and that women, on average, talk and listen a lot more than men. The numbers vary, but on average girls speak two to three times more words per day than boys. We know that young girls speak earlier and by the age of twenty months have double or triple the number of words in their vocabularies than do boys. Boys eventually catch up in their vocabulary but not in speed. Girls speak faster on average — 250 words per minute versus 125 for typical males…. Even among our primate cousins, there’s a big difference in the vocal communication of males and females. Female rhesus monkeys, for instance, learn to vocalize much earlier than do males and use every one of the seventeen vocal tones of their species all day long, every day, to communicate with one another. Male rhesus monkeys, by contrast, learn only three to six tones, and once they’re adults, they’ll go for days or even weeks without vocalizing at all. Sound familiar?”


The Male BrainDr. Brizendine’s THE MALE BRAIN is a fast and enjoyable read. This book is significantly shorter than its counterpart, THE FEMALE BRAIN — despite the use of a larger font and wider line spacing, it is only 132 pages (excluding appendices and footnotes) as opposed to 187. However, given the fact that a man’s brain apparently remains fixated on one consuming thought from puberty to the golden years and beyond, perhaps the book’s brevity should come as no surprise. Still, Brizendine draws upon numerous scientific studies to paint a fascinating picture of how a boy’s brain develops and changes, beginning in utero and continuing through every stage of his life. She includes chapters on The Boy Brain, The Teen Brain, The Mating Brain, The Daddy Brain, and the Mature Male Brain, with several others interspersed between. It would be a helpful read to anybody who must deal with boys or men on a regular basis.

EXCERPT: “By age five, according to researchers in Germany, boys are using different brain areas than girls to visually rotate an object in their mind’s eyes. The boys mentally rotated the pictures of the objects by using both sides of their brain’s spatial-movement area in the parietal lobe. Girls used only one side to do the task. While that in itself is revealing, what I found most intriguing is that this spatial-movement area in the male brain is locked in the ‘on’ position. That means it’s always working in the background on autopilot. But in the female brain, this parietal area is ‘off,’ waiting in standby mode, and not turned on until it’s needed.

“Curious to find out how this applies practically in the classroom setting, researchers studied students in a grade-school math class to see how girls and boys solved conceptual math problems and how long it took them. The boys solved the problems faster than the girls. But what was most surprising to the researchers was that most of the boys, when asked to explain how they got the answer, gave an explanation without using any words. Instead, they squirmed, twisted, turned, and gestured with their hands and arms to explain how they got the answer. The boys’ body movements WERE their explanations. Words, in this instance, were a hindrance.

“What also got my attention about this study was what the researchers did next with the girls. In the following six weeks of the experiment, they taught the girls to explain their answers with the same muscle movements the boys had made without using words. At the end of the six weeks, once the girls stopped talking and started twisting and turning, they solved the problems as quickly as the boys. The male and female brains have access to the same circuits but, without intervention, use them differently.”


If you think these titles look interesting, you’d probably enjoy the ones recommended in this post, as well: 5 Must-Read Books for Women Who Think

Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl {Giveaway}

"What do you believe is your ticket to love?" | book review and giveawayA few weeks ago, I was contacted by Paula Hendricks, the writing and editorial manager at Revive Our Hearts ministries. She wanted to discuss the possibility of turning my book 25 Ways to Communicate Respect into a 30-Day online challenge, to which I enthusiastically agreed.

During the course of our communication, Paula mentioned that she had recently published a book herself: Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl. Would I like a few signed copies to give away on my blog?

I told her sure, send them on. That would be great.

Although I had not heard of her book at the time, my daughters had — were they ever excited when Paula’s package arrived on our doorstep just a few days later! – and they were visibly disappointed when I told them they’d have to wait to read the book until after I had finished it.

Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl by Paula Hendricks As it happened, they didn’t need to wait long, as I devoured the book (my 12-year-old did, too, once she got her hands on it). Paula has such a transparent and engaging writing style, I felt like I was sitting right across the table from her. I could readily relate to many of the personal anecdotes she shared.

Although it’s been a few years, I was once the same boy-crazy girl she describes: stealing sidelong glances at myself in the mirror, going to desperate lengths to attract a guy’s attention, wondering distractedly whether any of my male classmates might be “the one” (a tendency exacerbated by the fact that I was frequently the only female student in many of the classes I was taking, beginning with wood and metal shop in junior high, right on up through differential equations, abstract algebra, hermeneutics, and New Testament Greek in college).

I might easily have penned Paula’s relationship-in-my-head chapter myself!

Human rejection can be God's divine protection.Paula uses her old journal entries as a starting place, which allows readers a candid but beautiful glimpse of how God has matured the thoughts and desires of her heart through the years as He has taken her “on her journey from neediness to freedom.” She weaves in lots of poignant Scriptures and personal insights to support her points.

The book was written with teen and tween girls girls in mind, but it is packed with wisdom that some twenty-somethings (and their moms!) may have missed… which is why I sent a copy to my twenty-something daughter in dental school and so enjoyed reading it myself.

Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl would be a great book for any mom to read and discuss with her daughters, as it touches on so many concepts that are vital to our contentment and maturity in Christ. Paula makes it easy to dig deeper by providing questions to ponder (and/or journal about) at the end of every chapter.

And thanks to Paula’s generosity, I have three signed copies of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl to give away this week. (I’m keeping the copy I read and marked up for my own library.) Follow the rafflecopter link below and enter for your chance to win one: