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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: I Love You to God and Back

We all want to share the love of God with our children, and sometimes we use unique techniques to make sure they understand what loving God means. Amanda Lamb decided that she would record her daughter, Chloe’s, prayers for 100 nights.

203918: I Love You To God and Back: A Mother and Child Can Find Faith and Love Through Bedtime Prayers I Love You To God and Back: A Mother and Child Can Find Faith and Love Through Bedtime Prayers
By Amanda Lamb

Through the innocence of a child’s eyes, we spend evenings on the side of Chloe’s bed and listen to her unscripted thankful prayers she offers up to God (and Jesus).

As a mom, prompting Chloe to start her prayers (as most parents do—I know I do!), Amanda prompts, “Dear God, thank you for…” and Chloe cuts her off immediately:

“Whoa, whoa, whoa Mommy. You can’t just thank God. How do you think Jesus would feel? It’s not right to leave Him out.” (pg. 9)

So Chloe begins each night’s prayer with, “Dear God and Jesus…” and adds all the things she’s thankful for that happened during her busy days like swimming, entering first grade, “getting to read good books,” and playing with her friends.

As adults we tend to lose the innocent factor of each day. We end up straining our brain trying to muster up just one thing to be thankful for. As children, at the end of the day, we realized there were so many things to be thankful for we just couldn’t contain it. 

One of the most adorable aspects of the book is Chloe’s last thankful thought:

“She always thanked God for her family and then squealed ‘Ohhhhhhhhhhhh’ as if she forgot something. She would put her finger to her forehead like she was trying to remember what she forgot, and then scream, ‘Thank you for Mommy!’” (pg. 21)

I won’t deny that when I first received the book to review I was a bit disappointed. I had initially thought I would be reviewing a nightly prayer devotional to do with my son, Tavin. Although I was a bit saddened that it wasn’t what I thought it would be, as I began to read Chloe’s nightly prayers, I found myself enthralled by her innocence, and her mother’s ability to translate that innocence into her own life and prayers.

Although Amanda learns valuable lessons from her daughter, Chloe also learns how to visualize and understand certain aspects of praying from an adult’s perspective:

“I forget that their little brains don’t operate the way ours do and sometimes the words we use make no sense to them…Children are very literal creatures. We have to teach them about irony, sarcasm, and figures of speech…Why not describe the ending of a prayer as ‘closing the gate’? After all, gates are meant to be closed and then opened again. At night we close the gate to our conscious world. When day breaks, we open it again, letting the world and all of its experiences in…The gate opens, the gate closes.” (pg. 24, 25)

Along with Chloe’s prayers, and her mother’s insight, each page is filled with opportunities to laugh at yourself and reconnect with your inner child and lost innocence.

Jesus told us that we need to approach God as innocent children (Matthew 18:2-4). We often find that difficult to do, especially at the end of a day filled with trials and frustrations in our adult world.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see life again through the eyes of a child? I Love You to God and Back encourages us how to rediscover our child eyes and seek God the way he desires us to do: nothing holding us back and being thankful for the simple things in life.

Win the Book!

One lucky reader will win the book, I Love You to God and Back by Amanda Lamb. Just leave a comment below on how you make prayer time special with your children. If you don’t have children and would still like to be in the drawing to win the book, leave a comment describing what you miss most about being a child. The “best” comment wins!

One entry per reader. Contest is open from April 14-20. Winner will be announced on Saturday, April 21st, along with their winning comment, so make sure to check back then! If the chosen winner doesn’t respond back by April 23rd, a new winner will be chosen.

I received this book for free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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