You know we are into books big-time over here. I use books to teach lots of new ideas to my kids. It is what works for us and helps lead into all kinds of conversations. And of course I am always learning, exposing myself to new ideas, and holding everything I read up to Truth.
Here are some books that have been helpful to me over the past several months:
by Nancy Guthrie:
One Year Book of Hope
Holding on to Hope
Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow
Nancy and her husband, David, buried two babies who lived for about six months. They know this road that we are walking with our David, and Nancy's words often express exactly what is in my heart and mind. She has written several other books on grief and I'd recommend them all. We had a chance to hear her speak a few weeks ago and I think she is one of the most gifted speakers I've ever heard. Clearly, God gave her this message to share. She reminded us that God always loves us, there is nothing so broken that He cannot redeem it, He is powerful enough to take even horrible things and use them for good, and this life is not all there is. How incredibly grateful we are for those truths.
A Grief Observed, by C.S. Lewis. Lewis's journals after the death of his wife. Powerful to see one of the greatest Christian teachers wrestle with grief.
When God Doesn’t Fix It, by Laura Story. Singer/songwriter/worship leader who is living with brokenness but clinging to our Lord and praising Him through it all. Her song "Blessings" came on my playlist just as I was starting to push with David. You can't write a song like that without living through hard things.
Hope Heals, by Jay and Katherine Wolf. Precious young couple walking with Jesus through Katherine's stroke and recovery. A beautiful love story about holding to the hope that only comes from the Anchor we have for our soul.
Heaven, by Randy Alcorn. I've talked about this book before. A great book for taking away fears and misconceptions about heaven and focusing instead on perfect truth.
by Ann Voskamp:
One Thousand Gifts
The Broken Way
Love, love, love Ann's books. How do you live with your one broken heart? Read and find out.
For the kids, here are some of our favorites. We have read and talked A LOT about heaven and how thankful we are that David is there. We talk about how have an eternal soul, part of us that lives forever. For those who believe in Jesus, eternal life starts now.
Someday Heaven, questions and answers for kids about heaven
God Gave Us Heaven, a sweet storybook about a little cub learning about heaven
Tell Me About Heaven, a book for older children by Randy Alcorn (see above)
Someone I Love Died, a reassuring book about death, funerals, and eternal life that gives kids space to draw and journal, too
These are some storybooks we have enjoyed in which death plays a part. I would read these and God Gave Us Heaven to your kids, one at a time over several months, to introduce the idea of death if it is something your kids have not yet encountered. They are gentle and reassuring.
The Goodbye Boat
Blow Me a Kiss, Miss Lilly
Badger's Parting Gifts
My Grandson Lew
Don't be afraid: Jesus is coming. And He loves you, in the words of our favorite Jesus Storybook Bible, "with a never stopping, never giving up, un-breaking, always and forever love."
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.