The Flowering Cross by Beth Ryan {Review}

Not your average book about Easter and Jesus’ death and resurrection, The Flowering Cross by Beth Ryan is a book which demonstrates how we can show the love of Christ in our every day lives. The book is centered around a young girl named Katie who lives next door to an older gentleman known in the neighborhood as a mean man.

Though Jack is not very kind, Katie and her family (Mom, Dad and older brother) show him kindness on a daily basis- bringing him baked goods, helping to clean his yard and caring for him when he is sick. They basically “kill him with kindness” and their Christ-like love for him eventually leads him to have a change of heart.

The author included “Faith Imprints” on almost each page- questions for you to discuss with your child along with an accompanying bible verse.

The book is good, but does not really have anything to do with Easter in my opinion. It would have made a great story without claiming to be Easter-related. It is definitely a book that I will share with my daughter when she is older, though and I would recommend it to other parents as it provides a great teachable moment for kids.

Buy It!

You can purchase The Flowering Cross on Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: I received this book for review by being a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Sneeze.

Mommy Prayers by Tracy Mayor {Review}

About this book (taken from Hyperion Books website):

What if there were a whole volume of prayers just for the frustrations, absurdities, and joys that moms of little kids face every day? Now there is: Mommy Prayers, a wry and witty manual for young mothers. The prayers cover early mornings (“Please God, let the baby go back to sleep. Let her find her thumb. Give me just a half hour more.”) to noon and night, with entreaties for dozens of special occasions sprinkled in (Prayer for the Halloween Costume and Prayer Before the Plane Ride).

Whether seeking divine intervention for help with a biting toddler or a mother-in-law’s extended visit, frazzled moms will find comfort in this heartwarming and entertaining collection. It’s the perfectly heavenly gift.

My Experience:

This book is just what a Mom needs in her library, whether you are a new Mom or a more experienced Mom. I am all about adding a little humor to the slightly annoying things that our children do. And haven’t we all thrown up an impromptu prayer to God asking for His divine intervention? I know I have- I did it just this morning when I said something to the affect of:

“Dear God PLEASE come down and fill my daughter with the Holy Spirit. Lord may the Holy Spirit move her to sleep. I am not asking for much- ten, twenty minutes. She never feels so moved to sleep at night, at least, Lord, give me a nap. Please? Thanks. Amen.”

Tracy’s book is full of short prayers for a variety of day-to-day situations, broken down into the following sections:

  • Prayers for Crazy Days
  • Prayers for Sleepless Nights
  • Prayers for Meltdown Moments and Other Stressful Situations
  • Prayers for Special Days and Special People

Some of my favorites include:

Prayer at McDonald’s: “Dear God, I’m a responsible, eco-aware mama. I read Vegetable, Miracle. I know the dangers of Big Food. So why are we here? Because my kids are starving and I’m exhausted and we’re broke, and McDonald’s means cheap food and free entertainment for small children…Also, thanks for creating a world that includes McDonald’s fries. They are evidence that miracles truly exist.”

Prayer for Chardonnay in the Afternoon: “…Lord, I’m asking you to look the other way as I start on the evening libations a tad early. As drinkers all over the world love to point out, it’s five o’clock somewhere. Amen.”

Prayer upon Pre-Boarding the Aircraft: “Dear God, Did that guy in 24F just give me a dirty look?…Please, God, for his own protection, please don’t let him say a single syllable to us. I don’t want to have to break one of your commandments and commit murder. Thank you.

Prayer for My Old Boyfriend: “Dear God, Well, it happened. I knew that sooner or later I’d run into my ex, and today I did. I had my adorable baby and my hot husband with me, so thank you for that. I try to be virtuous, Lord, but I have not yet fully risen above a primal need for revenge…”

Look no further for that much-needed prayer to The Man upstairs. Tracy has covered it all in this book, just turn to the prayer that will work for you and send it up to Him. Through her prayers, Tracy makes the reader feel that she knows what you are going through- and she is clearly proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel. This book is funny and it is honest- it would make the perfect gift for a Mom looking for a good laugh, new Moms who think they are in over their heads or any Mom “hanging on to a prayer.”

About Tracy Mayor:

Mother and blogger Tracy Mayor, an editor at Brain, Child magazine, has written for a variety of websites and publications, including Salon.com, the Boston Globe Magazine and Child. She lives north of Boston with her husband and two sons.

Buy It:

Mommy Prayers is on shelves now and available for purchase through a number of retailers, including Amazon.com.