“Growing With,” by Kara Powell & Steven Argue, Book Review

“Currently in academic, philanthropic, and for-profit fields, there is a fresh awakening to the power of empathy. By empathy, we mean ‘feeling with’ young people.” -Growing With

“Growing With” is an invaluable resource to parents currently raising or preparing to raise teens and young adults. The research is diligent and applicable in equipping parents to come alongside their children during the tricky growth spurts they go through. 

As a parent of two tween girls, I drank in every spiritual sentiment and educated formula presented in this work. It will be a resource I go back to as they grow, and I am able to reapply the authors’ insights as my children enter different stages of young adulthood. I am appreciative of the warm and relatable tone which this book is written in, despite all of the research packed into it’s pages. 

The book is broken up into four sections, “Growing With Parenting,” “Thriving in Family: Withing,” “Thriving in Faith: Faithing,” and “Thriving in Future: Adulting.” It’s easy to read. Those that are raising or working with teens and young adults …even those in the preparatory tween stages …will get through the content quickly. 

It can be difficult to figure out how to talk about all of the awkward and hard topics with our teens and young adults. Powell and Argue take the guesswork out of “if” we can come alongside and parent young adults well, and faithfully guide parents in a relatable “how to” we can all employ in our everyday lives. 

I highly recommend this book to parents raising teens and young adults, and those that work with or volunteer their time in youth groups for kids these ages.

“Often, young people’s questions about God and current topics are their attempts to keep their spirituality relevant, not rebel against it.” -Growing With

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)



Afraid of All the Things, by Scarlet Hiltibidal, Book Review

Afraid of All the Things, by Scarlet Hiltibidal

“What prompts regular Joes to exhibit the kind of courage and soul peace that says ‘God, I trust WHATEVER you have more me, WHEREVER it is?’” -Scarlet Hiltibidal, “Afraid of All the Things.

Scarlet Hiltibidal wonderfully addresses the common fears of everyday that threaten to consume our minds and suck up our time. Her book isn’t short, but it’s a quick read because of the way she’s written it. In a conversational style, Hiltibidal layers Scripture beautifully and effortlessly into every chapter. 

This book met my desire for answers to questions about my fear of “all of the things.” Written in a language and a tone that fit right into my life, I appreciated the Biblical advice from another woman, wife, and mother’s perspective. Although, anyone can apply her sound wisdom to their fear of all of the things. 

Through her life experiences, which produce the opportunity for acquired wisdom, the author opens up her heart to reach out to those of her readers. I feel she did a sound job addressing the realities of living a Christ-led life in modern-day culture. It was not fully of butterfly promises, but rather practical advice and honest interpretations of how God meets us in those circumstances.

It was an easy read for me, delivered to my mailbox at a time when there was much to fear. The Scriptures comforted me and encouraged me during a time I never could have seen coming when I selected this book to review. 

Humor is laced throughout this book, giving it less of a research and educational feel and more of a “I”m plodding through this by your side” reliability. This book is refreshingly honest and hilarious at the same time …somehow despite the real mud and miring the author has walked through. 

I highly recommend this book for those who struggle with fear, and for those who just need some encouragement to cancel out the everyday wears and tears of life in this broken world.

“If we’re busy resting in God when the scary things in life happen to us, our knee-jerk fear responses will be replaced by a supernatural peace.” -Scarlet Hiltibidal, “Afraid of All the Things.”

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

Click here to purchase your copy of “Afraid of All the Things.”

“Sick of Me,” by Whitney Capps, Book Review

Sick of Me, by Whitney Capps

“When we willingly crash through the restraints of God’s protection, we put our lives in peril. When we submit to God’s law, we show that we are a people set apart for the sake of God’s glory.” -Whitney Capps, “Sick of Me.”

I could not wait to get my hands on this book, having ready Whitney Capps’ daily devotions in the First5 App for many years now. She was already one of my favorite authors. What could be a lot of pressure for an author to live up to simply confirmed her God-given gift to minister right into the hearts of the everyday woman.

Through her honesty, and knowledge of God’s Word, Capps humbly delivers an important message put on her heart. In a society that calls us to wave our flag of individuality high and unashamed, the concept of transparency is easily confused. “Sick of Me” diligently does the job of deciphering transparency and transformation. 

This book met me in a search for what the Bible says about authenticity, and answered it boldly with the Truth of the Word. I appreciate the author’s humor and everyday struggles, but respect her obedience to pursue the Truth and deliver it to those whose hearts need the encouragement. 

The message of this book is not a popular societal anthem. It will not resonate with everyone, but for those whose this book meets head on where they are searching, it will pivot something crucial in their faith. 

I quickly devoured the content of this book in mere days. It’s well organized and beautifully written. A good mix of everyday life and Biblical Truth …cemented with the love God has for all of us. “Sick of Me,” is a challenge and a call to action. It’s stark truth stands out from many other messages of the same grain. I believe this message will equip many to live truly radical lives of faith.

“To live counter to the culture rarely feels good. These notions were radical then and now. To read and understand what Jesus asks of us is entirely different than actually doing it. But this is the radical part of radical living- doing what Jesus calls us to do, not guys thinking about it.” -Whitney Capps, “Sick of Me.”

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

Click here to purchase your copy of “Sick of Me,” by Whitney Capps

“Breaking the Power of Negative Words,” by Mary Busha, Book Review

“Breaking the Power of Negative Words,” by Mary Busha

“In it’s purest form, supernatural is ‘something attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or laws of nature.’ It’s the supernatural transforming of our hearts and minds by God that allows us to forgive others the way He forgives us.” Mary Busha, “Breaking the Power of Negative Words.”

“Breaking the Power of Negative Words” addresses the damage we stand to do if we do not curb what comes out of our mouths. So many are suffering from words spoken to them in their formative years and beyond, with Busha brilliantly addresses and explains. With examples from her own life and many well-known people throughout history, she is able to paint a very clear picture of how words spoken by others …especially those close to us …can attach themselves to our self-image. 

Throughout the book, which is well-organized and intent on repeating the main principles in breaking the power negative words can have, the author replaces many commons lies we are tempted to absorb as truth with the actual truth God compliments us with in the Bible. Rooted in Scripture and other sound research, the author gives her readers many practical tools to take into their everyday lives. 

As a mother of two young daughters, I took all of the advice this book had to offer straight to heart and prayer over my life. Forgiving forward concerning our parents has become a motto of mine, and this book further cemented the virtue and value of forgiveness and compassion for hurt people who hurt people. 

Sometimes a bit too repetitive, the concept worked, because I remember and am able to practically apply so much of this book to my everyday life right away. The stories are easy to relate to and the advice is practical and Biblically bound.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been hurt by negative words. I urge all parents to read it, as further affirmation that what we say has a ripple effect …both good and bad.

“The problem is that the tongue is connected to the heart. Whatever is in the heart will eventually pour out of the mouth. So the words our tongues utter are a direct reflection of what’s goin on inside us.” Mary Busha, “Breaking the Power of Negative Words.”

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

Click here to purchase a copy of “Breaking the Power of Negative Words,” by Mary Busha.

“Priceless,” by Jen Barrick, Book Review

“Priceless,” by Jen Barrick

“When I feel afraid, I’m fearless because God is with me.” -Jen Barrick, “Priceless.”

A wonderful devotional through the Book of Psalms, Jen Barrick infuses her inspirational story and the lessons from it into this book. It’s an interactive journey and journal for teens, helping to sort through the myriad of feelings they have.

Each day of the devotional, there is a practical approach to a certain way all teens feel. Jen faithfully walks readers through each feeling, providing practical and godly solutions to learn how to embrace and guide them. 

The prayers throughout the book provide an excellent example, in themselves, of how to handle emotions and feelings. Jen’s strong faith is evident in each day she meets with her readers.

I like the quick and efficient way each day is laid out. Each message is to the point and very thoughtfully laid out, leaving readers feeling inspired and equipped. This devotional will be a very important stepping stone for many teens and the maturity of their faith. 

“When I feel betrayed …I’m giving my burdens to God.” -Jen Barrick, “Priceless.”


(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)