“Confident Moms, Confident Daughters,” by Maria Furlough

“Confident Moms, Confident Daughters,” by Maria Furlough, caught my attention in the author bio. As a fellow mom of an eleven-year-old daughter, I knew the words Maria wrote were meant to help equip my heart. A tough age, in fact one that now has it’s own, “tween” category, is difficult for this mom …and I’m sure many others …to process. Maria offers advice that is soothing and encouraging, Biblical, and relatable. (I normally follow standard procedure and reference the author by their last name in reviews, and I mean no disrespect to this author by not doing so. It’s the highest compliment. I truly felt, and believe all of her readers will as well, as if I was talking to another mom over coffee about the desires of our hearts to raise our daughters to be confident in who and Whose they are.)

“Our bodies carry a purpose, they carry importance, and each part is uniquely equipped with a certain set of skills. May be focus on this. May we rest here until the thoughts stop coming that our bodies are only for looking at and shaping up.” Maria Furlough, “Confident Moms, Confident Daughters.” 

In twelve chapters, Maria enlists the expertise of a pediatrician, a nutritionist, and a Christian counselor to come alongside her in breaking down the root of our insecurities. Each chapter has a “Confident Mom Challenge,” “Confident Daughter Discussion Questions,” and “A Mom’s Prayer.” The prayers are heartfelt and powerful, as we know all prayer is. I personally love when an author reserves page space to incorporate prayer into the word count. “My prayer is that you will do your own digging and soul searching with this question in mind: What do I want my daughter to learn from my outward adornment’ choices and philosophies?” Maria asks her readers in Chapter 4, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.” 

I highly recommend this book to moms and caregivers of tweens. Its convicting, caring, and confidence building. 

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

Click here to purchase a copy of “Confident Moms, Confident Daughters.”

“Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart,” by Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal

“Discovering the beauty and freedom of God-defined sexuality,” the subtitle read, and I immediately choose to read this book on account of my two tween daughters and the state of life they are fast approaching. Their questions on this topic deserve well throughout out, researched and educated answers …sprinkled with an immense amount of daily prayer. I read this book ahead of them, to put myself in their shoes. I hope they will read it one day. I will recommend it, but if not it’s been helpful for me to prepare meaningful discussions with them. 

“We’re tempted to believe the age-old lie that we know better than God.” 

I often pray for my daughter’s future husbands, but not specifically for their purity. The title of this book, alone, inspired me to work it into my prayer life. Broken into four main parts, “Broken Sexuality,” “God’s Spectacular Design,” “What Every Girl Needs to Know,” and “She is Made Whole,” Clark and Beal take a practical and compassionate approach to meet girls where they are at in the society they are living in. These sister authors speak truth in a relevant way. 

Chapter Four exposes “Four Cultural Lies About our Sexual Design: Sexual identity is determining by personal desires; marriage is a union between any two partners; sex should be embraced in whatever way seems right; femininity is about being seductive and powerful.” Clark and Beal speak truth right into every girl’s heart in say, “Sex won’t fix you problems.” A powerfully important statement in a world full of so many youths suffering from anxiety and depression. 

I highly recommend this book to moms and their daughters. 

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

Click here to purchase a copy of this book.

“Parenting Beyond the Rules,” Connie Albers.

“They remember the pictures your words paint.” Connie Albers, “Parenting Beyond the Rules”

Life is picking up speed as my husband and I begin to race through the pre-teen years with our two daughters. This book set me on track to stay ahead of the game. A lot of the topics Albers discussed in this book are in the beginning stages of development already. I see certain behaviors and feel equipped to peek around the corner in regards to how they may develop. Books like this one are essential to me, as I seek to learn more about myself and God as I parent the two beautiful lives He has entrusted me with. 

Albers takes us on a journey with our changing children, teaching us what to look for and how to understand and celebrate the life they are now beginning to live with more independence each passing day. When to let go is a struggle, and the information packed into these pages helped me attain a better perspective on what to let go of and what to hold onto.

I felt encouraged reading this book. I finished it in two days. It was a quick read, I believe, because it’s so applicable to “Raising teens with confidence and joy,” as the sub-title promises. I found myself looking back on my own life as a teen, and being able to pull from those experiences in order to grow as a parent who will need to help her teens through some inevitably hard seasons.

The book is broken up into twelve chapters, with a section in the back full of resources for parents who would like to continue learning and researching. The stories throughout the book help paint an accurate picture of the research and Biblically based advice. I particularly liked the chapter titled, “Monitor Your Mouth.” How easily it is to find myself slipping into an argument with one of my children. I felt convicted and equipped to speak life to my kids.

I highly recommend this book to parents of tweens and teens. I will keep it close by as a reference for the years to come.

“Your child might act as if what you say doesn’t matter, but don’t be fooled. Their confidence will be shaken-or increased-by what you say and how you say it.” Connie Albers, “Parenting Beyond the Rules.”

Click here to purchase your copy of “Parenting Beyond the Rules.”

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

“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.)

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF “GROWING WITH”