Have you ever had a realisation that the book that you're reading is going to change something in your life forever? I don't mean the Bible, because that changes us with each fresh reading, but other books.
I have. I my case, I have found that the books concurred with my husband's and my extant views on the topic, and the book really served to flesh out the bones of our existing idea, serving as an instruction book for how we were going to get ourselves to where we already knew we wanted to go.
These are mine. Would you like to see them?
The Ezzo's philosophies on child-rearing are controversial, I know that, but when my dear sister gave me this book when I was pregnant with Jemimah I realised that we were speaking the same language. To my husband and me, a child is valuable member of a loving family, not the centre of it. So often we had seen children whose parents' whole lives revolved around them and who grew up self-centred and shallow. With Preparation for Parenting we found a way to ensure that the same thing didn't happen with us.
With the help of this book, Jemimah, who was not an easy baby, slept through the night at 8 1/2 weeks of age, and was doing so every night by 12 weeks. That's no mean effort!
The beauty of a book, you know, is that you can pick and choose what parts of it you want to use. If you don't agree with everything written, you have every right to just ignore it. Some of you won't like this book. For us the book fitted what we already believed like a glove, and we loved it!
I suppose that it comes as no surprise to you to find Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's For the Children's Sake on this list, but at the time it was given to me by my friend Kaylene I had had no plans at all for educating my then three year old daughter at home. We had a great State school just down the road, I was working full time and loving it, and life was good.
Then whoosh! Along came Charlotte Mason and life as I knew it was changed forever. This Victorian educator was offering exactly what I wanted for my child's education, and I was hooked from almost the first page. Here I found a Christian liberal education full of music, art, languages, geography, nature, walks in the country and books!! Lots and lots of books!
Later I found the Ambleside Online website offering a Charlotte Mason online. A little bit of Australianising and our homeschooling adventure began. This is the book that started it all.
My husband and I have always had fairly fixed ideas about what we wanted our home to look and feel like. We used to call our style 'earthy minimalism' because we didn't know how else to describe it.
We discovered Wabi Sabi Style in Keibunsya in Kyoto - my absolute favourite bookshop anywhere, by the way, and this book has done more to influence our home and the way our environment looks than any other.
Wabi sabi has become trendy since this book was published in 2001, and with its new found fashion has come a considerable layer of Zen Buddhist overtones that play no part in our Christian life. This original book had none of this, just lots of tips to help us make our home into the Peaceful Home that it is today, a home embodying the essence of Japanese design in country Australia.
Sorry the pic is smaller than the rest, but I don't own this book, so I can't scan it for you. What the previous book did for the inside of our home, Susan Irvine's Garden of a Thousand Roses did for the outside. This story of how Susan established her beautiful garden in Malmsbury, just an hour or so from where we live, inspired much of the garden that I see outside my window as I write. Copiously illustrated, I still turn to Irvine's books for inspiration, names, ideas and advice.
I am interested to see that Garden of a Thousand Roses is back in print. It's now on my wishlist!!! The local library will be glad to have their copy back, I am sure!
I have never felt so humbled, so inadequate as a parent, as when I read this book for the first time. Written from a uniquely Reformed and Biblical perspective, Bringing the Gospel to Covenant Children in Dependency on the Spirit by Joel Beeke is about caring for the souls of our children and the benefits that result from doing so.
More than any other, this book encouraged me to evangelise my children and to plead for their salvation, never giving God rest until they are brought safely into his fold. It taught me to teach my covenant children to plead with God on the basis of his promises to baptise them with the Spirit of grace and to grant them regeneration, repentance, and faith.
This wonderful book is available as a free e-book here if you would like to be inspired as I am. I think I'd best reread my copy today as well!
So that's it then - a potpourri of my old friends. These books have gone a considerable way to defining who we are as a family. I hope you've enjoyed your journey through the bookshelves of our life.
Do you have any life changing books of your own?
Care to share?