Monday, November 24, 2014

Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most (Review & Give-a-way)

"Sometimes God uses the smallest voices to teach the greatest truths..."
Friday night I finally sat down with this book I needed to read for review.  I really didn't have many pre-conceived notions about this particular book because it wasn't one I had heard of.  I just anticipated enjoying it just based on the information I was provided with the opportunity.

I totally enjoyed reading "Small Talk:  Learning from my Children What Matters Most".  It was a breath of fresh air after some stressful days.  It was nice to sit back and read something that was an excellent balance between "casual" and "deep".  Lately it seems that I've either been reading my favorite historical Christian fiction books or really deep Christian books on faith, parenting, and marriage.  Those tend to be a bit "heavy" and take awhile to soak in---leaving this introvert mind on fast forward mode for days!

What I loved about "Small Talk" is that it was a perfect balance.  The author is basically just stopping and narrating events and conversations with her children and how that little bit of "small talk" affects her heart...what she's learning about herself, the world around her, and faith.  I thoroughly enjoyed a glimpse into the heart of another mom that likes to see what her children can teach HER.  Isn't that VERY true of motherhood!  Many days I stop and wonder if I taught my children anything because in reality they seem to teach me more often.  (Sometimes what they teach and reveal about my own heart isn't always the shiny side!  Parenting has a way of revealing our deepest fears, weaknesses, and struggles.  Granted, it does occasionally also allow us to have moments that our strengths shine.) Though I do have some theological differences/different religious upbringing than the author, I still LOVED her spin on what she was learning from the little things----the little people in her life---that point her back to Christ.  Isn't that what many of us really want anyway---to see the world through our children's eyes and allow it to grow us in faith?!

Something I also enjoyed about "Small Talk" is that it's not one of those books you need to read through start to finish to "get" it.  The chapters are short and each one is independent of the others, meaning if you only have a few minutes each day to read or just have a few minutes while waiting to pick your kids up at piano lessons, ball practice, or the million other things....this is perfect.  Just a few minutes of a glimpse of her "Small Talk" is enough to open up your own thoughts and encourage you to see what God can teach you through your own children!

Though there were several snippets that really reached my own heart in the book, two REALLY sank in deeply.
  • "What I see as a failure she sees as an inconsequential oversight." (As moms we can easily make a mountain out of molehill when we make mistakes.)
  • "And I find myself wanting to see what my children see.  I want to learn how to see myself through the eyes of love."  (Pretty powerful words right there! Powerful indeed!)
I do have the opportunity to give-a-way one copy of the book to one of my readers.  Simply leave a comment (either directly on this post or on the Facebook link to this post) and I'll consider you "entered".  Be sure that I have an email to contact you if chosen as the winner.  Give-a-way will end on December 1 and winner will be chosen at random. 

From the publisher:

Every day, one of Amy Julie Becker’s children says something that prompts her to think about life in a new way. “Mom, does Santa love me?” William asks, after his mother explains the meaning of Christmas…In a chat with her dad about the children who died in the Sandy Hook shootings, Penny asks, “Did they go to heaven?” …”You was a jerk, Mommy?” asks Marilee one morning in the car.

These conversations deepen Amy Julia’s relationships with her children, but they also refine her understanding of what she believes and what God is doing in her own life.

In Small Talk, Amy Julia draws from the wisdom and curiosity of those young voices to reflect on beauty and kindness, tragedy and disability, prayer and miracles. As she moves through the basic questions her kids posed when they were very young to the more intellectual questions of later childhood, she invites us to learn from our own day-to-day conversations with the children in our lives.

This eloquent parenting memoir is about the big questions little hearts ask, the thoughts their words provoke, and the laughter and soul-searching their honesty brings—to adult and child alike.

About the author:

Amy Julia Becker writes about faith, family, and disability for, the New York Times Motherlode blog,, The Huffington Post parents page, Christianity Today, The Christian century, and numerous other publications. Her first book, A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Amy Julia lives in western Connecticut with her husband and three children.

Book Trailer:
Amy’s Website:

Fine print:

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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