Fit to Burst Review and Giveaway!

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By Natalie, Editress of Visionary Womanhood

A couple of years ago I read Rachel’s first book, Loving the Little Years, and fell in love. It made me laugh AND cry. And isn’t that the best feeling in the whole wide world?

My niece, Christa Blakey, who lives in the same town and KNOWS Rachel, is working for Cannon Press this summer, and she asked me if I’d want to review Rachel’s second book, Fit to Burst, and give away a free copy to a reader.

Fit to burst?

I was.

What I Love

1. The length. It’s perfect for a busy mom who only has brief snippets of time in her life to read anything. ANY mom can read this entire book and feel a sense of accomplishment. Hey, this is important.

2. The chapters each pack a profound punch in a short amount of space. When I felt fit to burst, I could grab a 10 minute time out, run to the bathroom and pretend I had to go BAD, lock the door, and get a dose of super charged encouragement before facing the next toddler – or hormonal female teen – melt down.

3. Rachel is a gifted thinker and writer. She’s funny too. Her dad is Douglas Wilson who wrote one of the best books on writing I’ve ever read – and a lot of other good stuff I happen to love and agree with. Her brother is Nate Wilson who also thinks and writes in quirky, awesome ways. Her mom is Nancy Wilson who wrote lots of helpful books for women. It’s like the dream family. If you haven’t discovered the Femina blog – you really need to check that out. The whole female Wilson progeny participates over there.

4. Each chapter is a topic of its own. Nothing builds on anything else, so you can read one chapter in a sitting – even if that sitting is two months later than the last sitting – and not “miss” anything due to foggy mommy brain. And actually that’s an extra bonus too. You can probably read this book over and over again during the course of your mommyhood and always glean something new from it.

5. Her two little books combined would make a PERFECT and TASTEFUL baby gift for a mom who is expecting her second or third child and needs another baby sleeper like she needs a hole in her head. She’ll thank you – and remember your thoughtfulness for years to come.

What I Don’t Love

Nothing. You read that right. I don’t love nothing.

Favorite Quotes

The book has so many good thoughts smooshed between its pages, and here are a few to yank your jaw to the floor.

On the Story of Our Lives

“Our lives do not culminate in a moment. We should not be hoping for one great photo shoot, because that is not what God is doing with us. Our lives are a story—they are interwoven with the next generation in a way that is impossible for us to understand. Getting our sense of achievement and satisfaction out of cheerfully performing the tasks that are asked of us can do nothing but good in our lives.”

On Law and Grace

“Here is the thing: law and grace are friends. They were always meant to go together. If the law is the skeleton, grace is the flesh. Without the law in there, the grace is just a blob. And without the grace, the law can’t move. It can’t carry grace anywhere. If there is no law, there is no grace. And without grace, the law is dead. Your parenting needs to represent both the law and grace to your children.”

On Taking Action

“When we ignore the sins our children are caught up in, that is not giving them grace. That has a different name: judgment. Think of Romans 1:24, “Therefore God gave them over to their sins.” That was not an example of grace. Sin is like water. Children can drown in even a little bit. Looking away when your kid is stuck in some petty sin is like walking away from a kid who is floundering in really shallow water, and that is not giving grace. If you love your children, you grab them and haul them out of that danger. You get them all the way out. You don’t watch from the house to see if it gets a lot worse. You don’t decide that it is their problem, and wish them the best. You don’t decide that there will be more time another day to get them out of that water. You don’t sit beside the pool and chat to friends or post about it on Facebook. Grace is action.”

On Direction in Life

“One of the most beautiful things is how obedience and encouragement go hand in hand. Obey, and God will strengthen your steps. When you look to God for direction, He always provides. We have a compass. We know the way. Sometimes the way seems like an important scrabble on hands and knees, but that is not the same thing as being lost.”

On Gratitude

“Gratitude doesn’t transform just our moods. In a very real way, gratitude is a force of change in the world. When you thank God for the filthy laundry that is in front of you, you are not motivated to walk away. Getting your attitude straight equips you to deal with things in an effective way. Being thankful for the problem is often the first step of the solution.”

Want a copy?

Here are some ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment telling us which quote you loved above – and why.

2. Share the giveaway on Facebook. (It’s easy if you use the share buttons at the bottom of the post.) Leave a comment letting us know you did it!

3. Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment!

4. Pin the giveaway on Pinterest and leave a comment!

Then come back this weekend to see who won! (The winner will be contacted by email.)

UPDATE: Congratulations Juli! (smock********@*****.com) You win the free copy of Fit to Burst!

 

 

Natalie Klejwa is a Wemmick, loved by the Woodcarver, wife of 22 years to Joe, and mother to 9 Wemmicks ages 2-20. She is a business owner (Apple Valley Natural Soap), founder and administrator of the Visionary Womanhood blog, publisher and contributing author of Three Decades of Fertility, You Can Do it Too! 25 Families Share Their Stories, and The Heart of Simplicity: Foundations for Christian Homemaking.

You can hear her being interviewed on Kevin Swanson's Generations with Vision radio program.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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51 thoughts on “Fit to Burst Review and Giveaway!

  1. I loved the quote about grace and judgement in our discipline of our children. It’s wonderful reminder that little foxes can spoil the vine…and to not grow weary or make light of behaviors that need proactive correction.

  2. I love the first quote…particularly this: “Our lives are a story—they are interwoven with the next generation in a way that is impossible for us to understand.” Somehow, “interwoven with the next generation” gives me such vision above the mundane day-to-day. Sounds meaty, yet readable!

  3. I like the quote on gratitude. It’s such an important issue of the heart. Am I doing each daily task as unto men or unto the Lord? Being thankful to Him for everything- including the privilege of daily training little ones for Him, picking up messes, etc., transforms our perspective and more importantly our soul…truly His sanctification process.

  4. As a grandmother and leader in our children’s ministry, I have long said that one of the main problems in our churches today is the lack of gratitude. My favorite quote is: “Gratitude doesn’t transform just our moods. In a very real way, gratitude is a force of change in the world. When you thank God for the filthy laundry that is in front of you, you are not motivated to walk away. Getting your attitude straight equips you to deal with things in an effective way. Being thankful for the problem is often the first step of the solution.”

  5. “When you thank God for the filthy laundry that is in front of you, you are not motivated to walk away.” I think I need to write that on the walls of my laundry room. ☺ It is so easy to forget, but it applies to all areas of our lives. Thank you.

  6. I love the one about gratitude. I struggle, like so many moms, with discontent and ingratitude for these fantastic little blessings I’ve been given. That is a great reminder to stop and say thank you for even the “inconveniences”.

  7. “Here is the thing: law and grace are friends. They were always meant to go together. If the law is the skeleton, grace is the flesh. Without the law in there, the grace is just a blob. And without the grace, the law can’t move. It can’t carry grace anywhere. If there is no law, there is no grace. And without grace, the law is dead. Your parenting needs to represent both the law and grace to your children.”
    Wow! What an exciting word picture. Finding this balance in life will set me free as a Mama. Thank you so much. I will be pondering this for days to come. Can’t wait to share with my Sweetheart! As parents, we have struggled to apply these principles in the turbulence of everyday living…. Thank you again

  8. I loved Loving the Little Years, and I know I’ll love Fit to Burst. The apple didn’t fall very fall from the tree at all. She’s as good a thinker and writer as her dad and mom. :-)

  9. The gratitude quote….being thankful when I feel like complaining is a game changer for me even after 15 years of motherhood.

  10. I love the quote about gratitude because that is what God is showing me right now. I can either be irritated that my husband is watching TV again or I can be thankful he is safe and home with me. I can be irritated about the mud all over the bathroom or I can be thrilled that the kids are all healthy and adventurous to make the mud!

  11. My favorite was the quote on taking action. How easy it is to slip into apathy, especially while children are very young. Thank you for the encouragement to always deal with sin seriously for what it is!

  12. I loved the quote about Taking Action, because it’s so easy to let things slide by because I’m tired, or don’t want to make a big deal out of it, or don’t know what exactly to do. But, it’s unloving to see my children (especially young ones) sinning and let it go.

  13. Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying “Three Decades of Fertility” -thanks for putting this book together. Second, we know Christa too, although mainly just in passing. My son is a sophomore at New Saint Andrews College and Christa is always so friendly when we are there. Several years ago, my husband was looking at being deployed to Afghanistan for a year. We have 18 children, most of whom are emotional and behaviorally challenged adopted children. We fought the military regarding the deployment because of the further damage we knew would occur to our kids. We did not win the battle and my husband did have to go for a bit but I received the nicest note of encouragement from Christa’s Dad which I have always treasured…:-). Anyway, regarding “Fit to Burst” – all of the quotes are excellent but I like the one regarding the story of our lives because this is so true!

    • Nice to connect with you, Amy. The Blakeys are some of our favorite people on the planet. Your life sounds like it might be just a little bit interesting. ;) Have I read an article about your family somewhere?

  14. The quote about petty sin being like shallow water and pulling your child all the way out rather than seeing if things get worse really made me think. I want to be a proactive parent, but it sure isn’t easy!

    Book sounds great! I’d love to read it.

  15. I like the quote on taking action. Such a biblical way to think about dealing with sin in our children.

    Honestly, my favorite quote was when you said, “I don’t love nothing.” te he. :)

  16. In keeping with my extreme fondness for Jankovic and “Loving the Little Years,” I’m honestly not sure I could choose a favorite quote from the ones you cited above. I have often joked that I wish I could just memorize “LtLY” because there are so many wonderful nuggets in it. If you’re forcing me to choose, though, I think the quotes that most relate to where we are right now with our houseful are the ones about the story of our lives, and taking action (grace is action). WOW. Powerful, moving, convicting, empowering words.

  17. On Direction in Life

    “One of the most beautiful things is how obedience and encouragement go hand in hand. Obey, and God will strengthen your steps. When you look to God for direction, He always provides. We have a compass. We know the way. Sometimes the way seems like an important scrabble on hands and knees, but that is not the same thing as being lost.”

    I often feel so lost and helpless. I forget that God has a way, and I feel like I have been left behind/overlooked. But when I look to Christ, and stop looking at my surroundings, then and only then do I find strength and joy.
    I just love how this quote sums it all up.

  18. Love the quote on “Taking Action”. I’m so guilty of looking away and that was an excellent encouragement to do better.

  19. I have read “Loving the Little Years” and I loved it. There were so many helpful tips and thoughts to dwell on. I even made notes for myself to go back to – things to remind myself in the years to come as my children grow.

    This next book looks just as good. I was really struck by the quote regarding taking action. That we cannot ignore the little sins our children are floundering in. I find this challenging – as sometimes it is easier to let something go, rather than be consistent in training and discipline. And my son is only 15 months right now… I’m sure this is something that will continue to be a challenge. I love how she points to grace so much in her books – a reminder that God uses flawed parents – and an encouragement to press on.

  20. The quote about law and grace. Too many times we find ourselves on one side or the other, not realizing the two are intertwined from the beginning of the Bible! Want to read this book! Pick me!

  21. Oh those quotes…. wow.
    The very first one, on The Story of Our Lives, just resonates so much with me. I really needed the reminder that this life story is a continual thing, and that He is doing something beautiful even if I can’t always see it in the moment.

  22. Loved the gratitude quote. Really spoke to some things the Lord has been teaching me. And the action quote. So important for me to remember. Shared on FB and Pinned!

  23. Sounds great, especially that you can read it in little snippets with a Mommy brain fog.. :) I shared on my FB page.

  24. I loved ALL the quotes by Rachel but the one that encourages me most at this time in my life is the one On Direction in Life. I’m finding how amazing our faith can grow when we choose to obey and look to God as our compass. It’s so true, obedience leads to trust and ultimately, a deeper relationship with him. He will direct all our steps. For me, there is no better feeling in the world than to know I am walking in the right direction.

    I hope to win but regardless, this seems like a worthwhile read.

  25. GRATITUDE it a powerful and transforming word.
    I was a workaholic all my LIFE with a lot of things, and 5 years ago I got married then 4 years a go I had a child.
    Now I am unemployed with not a lot of things, but what I do have is a FAMILY.

  26. My favorite quote from the ones you shared was the last one on Gratitude. I always need to be reminded of gratitude and it’s real difference in our daily moments and lives. My meloncholic personality is not the best at jumping to gratitude and so that quote struck a chord with me.

  27. Rachel has so much insight and encouragement to share. I’d like the chance to read her book. Thanks for this book give-away! “GRACE IS ACTION” –to the point.

  28. I liked the one on taking action; it’s very applicable to my life as a teacher. Sometimes it seems like it’s much easier and kinder to just let my students do whatever foolish thing they’ve decided on, when in fact grace would pull them out of it.