Far More Righteous

There’s something about November that shifts our focus to gratitude. A national holiday (in the US) does help. And it’s a great lead in to the major holiday of the next month. But why do we save our gratitude for one month — or even just one day?

There’s more to giving thanks than enjoying a turkey dinner with family, an afternoon nap, and then (maybe) a football game. It’s a token gesture if we give lip service to one day but the previous day mutter a few under-the-breath complaints as we prepare the meal or travel. Or grumble the next day when we don’t get the product we waited and watched for at 6 am.

It’s easy to default to grumbling. I certainly have done (and still do) my share of it. But learning to live with eyes wide open for the possibility of gratitude sure does have an effect on how you perceive difficulties.

This week I began to more fully realize how much my perspective has missed the mark. Thanks, C.S. Lewis, for wording it this way:

Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offences [sic]. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. (Mere Christianity, p. 52)

I look at those who have wronged me, or initiated the cause for my present circumstances, and I  take offense. I grumble. I mutter. I pout. And yet it never occurs to me that the person who sinned against me (intentionally or unintentionally) offended God in a way far greater than I can even experience. He sympathizes in an uncanny way (Heb. 4:15). Neither has it occurred to me that my  sin has the same effect.

“Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” says the Lord  (Rom. 12:19). Why have I never taken this seriously in relation to the “mundane” or “everyday” sins? God didn’t qualify His statement; He doesn’t overlook some sins and avenge others. Perhaps He is longsuffering toward us, but that doesn’t mean He tolerates sin or gives it a “pass.”

To offend a generous, faithful, vengeful, jealous God… The danger in such an action has been lost on me. Until now.

So, on this Thanksgiving day, I am –of course– grateful for family and for fellowship. But I am exceedingly grateful for a God who gives grace as I continue to learn. A God who is not slack in keeping His promise (2 Pet. 3:9). A God who exacts a far more righteous vengeance than I ever could.

Come join our New Every Morning link-up recounting God's mercies (Lam. 3:22-24)!

Wanna join us? It’s simple. Grab a journal and start writing. What are you thankful for in this moment? What have you overlooked that He has graciously given you? Then, each Thursday, join us as we revel in His mercies! If you have a blog, we’d love for you to leave your link. If you don’t, feel free to leave your list in the comments!

Mercies to date: 1292. Take a look at this week’s list:
1271. understanding what Buddy says –most of the time– when outsiders don’t
1272. my crockpot {chicken fajitas}
1273. coupons and giftcards
1274. a 3 hour nap for Buddy {improving his attitude}
1275. Pilot’s woodworking class at church being cancelled last minute
1276. being heard
1277. peanut butter fudge that got a “this tastes like my mom’s peanut butter pie!” response
1278. discussing biblical man/womanhood with Mom
1279. Buddy’s enthusiasm when we talked about 3 stories from Luke
1280. Buddy comforting a distressed Trooper. “I know, Trooper. I know.”
1281. an unexpected gift from our AWANA family
1282. a pleasant time at a new library while Pilot donated plasma
1283. Pilot cooking breakfast before he left for work
1285. surviving a full day with the boys…solo
1286. overhearing Buddy in his crib reenacting a current favorite book
1287. routine — getting into a new normal with the boys
1288. the cost of the craniosacral specialist being considerably less than I’d feared
1289. accomplishing as much as possible with an abnormally fussy baby
1290. a friend to chat with about allergies in babies
1291. the opportunity, yet again, to walk in someone else’s shoes
1292. Buddy helping me prepare sandwiches for our road trip
 
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Polarizing Opposites: Fair Trade

My grandmother is a Seeker of Bargains and of the Fun, Cute, and Slightly Unusual. Born in a time when most of today’s chains were still mom ‘n’ pop establishments, she shops where she’s always shopped and the occasional craft fair is as local as she gets. My mum inherited the quest, adding a willingness to venture outside of her own culture and into brick-and-mortar shops owned by people who looked nothing like us but always had interesting stories to tell.

po_fairtradeI joined them on their journey but boldly took off down a side path: working at a local boutique in the “arty” part of town. Before that, I saw small businesses as being filled with interesting but overpriced wares and thought that I could find something just as good or better at a big box chain… but as I came to know the shop owners and the shops themselves, my perspective shifted. Most of these shops are more than a business – they’re the actualization of a life-long dream or deep passion. The owners are people with a vested interest in their community, often eager to collaborate with each other, and most of the money they earn is put back into the local economy. I quickly became an enthusiastic “locavore” with a hearty appetite for local flavor.

Then, a few years ago, my eyes were opened to modern slavery and the 27 million souls that toil to feed insatiable Western consumerism. Especially over this past year, I’ve worked hard to add “slave free” to my “shop local” lifestyle. It was, and still is, a journey – one that many have yet to start, and many are miles ahead of me on.

But as worth-it as supporting fair trade can be, I certainly don’t have the budget to keep my favorite shops open single-handedly, and there are items we have to have (cars, cell phones…) that a slave almost assuredly worked to make.

Thankfully, there are steps that anyone can take. One that will cost you nothing but a few minutes of your time is to raise awareness; use your social media platform (whether you’re a simple Tweeter or a professional blogger) to inform others of modern slavery, and to promote your favorite local businesses.

Another step is to simply (ha!) buy less. Stepping back from the herd and refusing to be just another consumer breaks an essential link in the chain of slavery. When you do treat yourself, try to support a local artisan and/or shop whenever possible.

If your budget is already planned down to the penny and every line item is a bare necessity, another option is to buy second-hand whenever possible (clothing, furniture, vehicles, books, baby needs, electronics… there’s a reputable resale source for almost everything).

And if you’re already doing any or all of those things (whether intentionally or through necessity) then you’re already making a huge impact on a situation you may not have even been aware of – thank you!

Finally, we all have a passion, a gift, and purpose. Fair Trade (locally and globally) are definitely part of mine – but they may not be part of yours. Pursue the part of God’s redemptive story that you’ve been assigned, and don’t become distracted by all of the other equally worthy causes that turn up in your newsfeed. We’re all just drops in a bucket – but the God we serve is gracious to multiply those drops into a healing tide with a greater impact than we may ever know.

 

Head shotSarah Jo Burch lives in the South and is rediscovering her sense of adventure with her handsome and hardworking husband and inquisitive daughter, and blogs (usually over a cup of tea) about faith, the everyday life of a wife and mum, loving her neighbors, gratitude, and knitting – with pictures between. You’ll find her at Paper-Bark Burch, posting between dishes and rescuing a Small Person who just learned to climb.

A View from a Different Angle

Recounting His mercies has revealed a lot of simple things I’ve taken for granted — clean drinking water, hot showers, clean bedsheets, a comfy bed. There are so many small mercies I overlook daily. Each time I recognize one, somewhere within me settles, a bit more content with the “little” it appears I possess.

But that doesn’t mean I never complain. For several months I have bemoaned the fact that my Kindle is in disrepair. A charging port gone bad has translated to blog growth limitations and fewer free eBook deals. Now that I’m nursing a newborn again, I miss the book-reader-social-media all-in-one. And then I was disappointed to find that used Kindle Fires on eBay sell for the same as a refurbished one from Amazon — more than I’m currently willing to pay.

So I complained. And I gave up on the possibility of ever getting ahead on blog posts again. (I like to handwrite the rough draft, but handwriting is presently extremely limited.) And resigned myself to having a not-smartphone for the foreseeable future.

And then God. A couple nights ago, I was trying to fall asleep and couldn’t. So I picked up my phone to type out thoughts for a blog post. “I’ll save it to drafts,” I initially thought, “and then type it up sometime tomorrow.” But before I finished, I realized I could text it to my email, foregoing the “type it up later” step. Even though typing on my phone is less than ideal, it still gets the job done and helps me get ahead on blog posts.

Another mercy. One I overlooked. One I am now grateful for. And suddenly, a Kindle isn’t as needful as I once thought it was. It’s the little things, folks. It really is.

Come join our New Every Morning link-up recounting God's mercies (Lam. 3:22-24)!

Wanna join us? It’s simple. Grab a journal and start writing. What are you thankful for in this moment? What have you overlooked that He has graciously given you? Then, each Thursday, join us as we revel in His mercies! If you have a blog, we’d love for you to leave your link. If you don’t, feel free to leave your list in the comments!

Mercies to date: 1270. Take a look at this week’s list:
1240. an Amish Christmas cookbook at the library that encourages me to try some simple recipes {unlike Pinterest}
1241. figuring out which cloth diapers work with Trooper’s tiny legs
1242. a common/shared story with the lady who brought us supper. 2 homebirths, 2nd ending up in the NICU with breathing trouble
1243. a celebration care package from Sparkle — HOT CHOCOLATE!!
1244. Pilot coming home from his woodworking class and loading the dishwasher and helping get Trooper to sleep while I accomplished Things
1245. Buddy adapting well to Trooper
1246. books to read — for my sanity
1247. double duty dryer – dry the clothes, humidify the apartment
1248. pleasant bedtime routine & a content baby
1249. the most important task (writing thank you notes) being mostly accomplished before Trooper’s evening awake time
1251. disposable diapers for less than 15c each
1252. 5 1/2 hours of straight sleep
1253. lots of time to read {since Trooper isn’t conducive to writing right now}
1254. Buddy waking at 8:15; Trooper waking at 9:45
1255. leaving the house just a few minutes behind schedule
1256. Buddy communicating his need for a potty break while we were driving
1258. a laid back Sunday afternoon
1259. Trooper weighed in at 10lbs 2 oz!
1260. a package in the mail with warm jammies for Buddy and Trooper
1261. staying home to enjoy the snow from the INSIDE
1262. plastic for the windows and a husband with the know-how/drive to install it
1263. teaching Buddy “Go, Tell it on the Mountain”
1264. figuring out how to use my phone to aid in blogging
1266. hamburger soup in the freezer
1267. family read-your-own-books time
1268. Pilot saying, “Son of mine!” in a deep voice and Buddy cracking up attempting to copy Daddy
1269. last minute giggles (Buddy) before Pilot left for work
1270. finishing a book (on gratitude!) in 2 days!
 
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Multiplication Applied

Something’s missing. We’re barely managing to add, oftentimes subtracting, but definitely not experiencing God multiplying our time, efforts, or resources. How do we get from where we are to there? There’s gotta be a way.

Remember what delineates multiplication from prosperity gospel? Motivation. It must be about God’s glory…not yours, not mine. Shew, that can be a hard place to get to. Especially when you’re seeking God’s providence for basic needs, for making ends meet during a tough month.

Lord, teach me to be grateful for what You’ve already given so my heart and eyes are ready to witness Your might and not just take it for granted. Lord, multiply my efforts in order to magnify Your name. Lord, do whatever will bring You the most glory.

Sometimes, that’s the kind of prayer I have to pray. But it’s the kind of prayer where the answer is always yes. He will always do what brings Himself the most glory, whether that’s immediate or delayed multiplication. Maybe Usually my heart needs change to take place first.

Once we’ve experienced His multiplication, we can 1) remain the same or 2) become a multiplier. Continuing to receive His multiplication without becoming a conduit of it to others is like building a dam; it’s great if you’re trying to grow a pond into a lake… not so great if you’re attempting to create a steady flow of water.

In our family, we want to be careful where we invest our resources and our time.  We look for people and ministries that are multiplying — bringing glory to God in exponential ways — and then aid them. They don’t have to be huge ministries to be multipliers. They do have to be creating a ripple effect in their sphere of influence, and not for their own sake. For God’s glory.

Multiplication doesn’t have to be a hard concept to grasp. But as with any of the other ways of eternity, don’t look for change where you aren’t being intentional.

Your turn: What is your biggest hesitation with multiplication as one of God’s ways of eternity? Where are you already experiencing multiplication — that you hadn’t noticed before?

Ways of Eternity: Multiplication

We’ve looked at some interesting, often overlooked ancient paths that God set into motion. Many of us don’t even know they’re missing from our day-to-day lives. Blessing. Covenant. Rest. Order. Things that help life run more efficiently (if not smoothly) when we reintroduce the concepts. Perhaps the most misunderstood way of eternity is today’s topic: multiplication.

multiplication

When we hear a Christian talking about God multiplying resources or using the phrase “supernatural multiplication,” it’s easy to label him or her as a prosperity gospel follower instead of listening to where they’re coming from. Maybe too easy.

With the prosperity gospel message, you will always hear phrases like:

  • God wants you to be happy!
  • God is just waiting to give you your dream.
  • Give your [amount of $$] and God will multiply the blessings in your life.

But these statements aren’t 100% accurate. That’s how you know they promote the prosperity gospel agenda. So, how can “God multiplying resources” or “supernatural multiplication” ever NOT be related to the prosperity gospel?

It’s simple. It’s NOT prosperity gospel if
God’s glory is the primary motivator, the ultimate aim.
Because it’s not about you or me.

A quick (or not-so-quick) examination of Scripture reveals a plethora of ways God showcased the ancient path of multiplication:

God didn’t dabble in multiplication; it’s part of His character as El Shaddai, the all-sufficient God, the Total and Complete Provision. Multiplication miracles are not the “norm” for us because we cannot schedule them on a regular basis. They are  normal for God, because He does whatever will bring Himself the most glory.

 Your turn: How have you seen God’s multiplication in your own life?

Uncommon

Here it is, November, the month to be grateful, and I’m finally getting around to writing about two someones who hold a special place in my heart.

A little over six years ago, I met my best friend at camp. He’s a one-of-a-kind guy, totally unique.

Over the last 5 years or so, I’ve realized something… To raise this one-of-a-kind, totally unique guy was a pretty great undertaking. And God gave him the parents he needed to become the person he is today. For His glory.

Last week, my mom-in-love stayed with us. For the whole week. She got up with Buddy in the morning as Pilot and I recovered from ragged-and-worn NICU life. She put him to bed so I had another week before figuring out how to juggle 2 little people bedtimes. ;) And she read a whole lot of books in between. She did some laundry (including the folding part!) and kept our dishes from piling up. Basically, she kept the house from falling apart while I focused energies on the little guy nestled in my arms.

This is a big act of kindness, following up multiple smaller acts of kindness (and a couple other big ones) we’ve received from dad- and mom-in-love in the years since we entered covenant. And, at least from the way culture describes the maze of in-law relationships, I’m pretty sure ours fits into the “uncommon” category. Even if we eat our spaghetti differently or root for different college teams.

Family is our first opportunity to practice (and teach) community. It is sad that so many cannot practice it in this context these days. So rather than taking it for granted, I’m taking it for grateful. :)

Come join our New Every Morning link-up recounting God's mercies (Lam. 3:22-24)!

Wanna join us? It’s simple. Grab a journal and start writing. What are you thankful for in this moment? What have you overlooked that He has graciously given you? Then, each Thursday, join us as we revel in His mercies! If you have a blog, we’d love for you to leave your link. If you don’t, feel free to leave your list in the comments!

Mercies to date: 1239. Take a look at this week’s list:
1215. longer alert periods for Trooper
1217. potato soup Mom made while she was here and left in the fridge — a quick lunch
1218. seeing Trooper scrunch down and curl around my belly in a way similar to his breech position
1219. white chicken ranch chili for supper via the Tabors
1220. the Body of Christ
1221. finding Deut. 23:5 as I searched for verses about blessing
1222. Mrs. Betty calling to check on Trooper
1223. Nana reading LOTS of books with Buddy
1224. rescheduling an appointment for a better day — and getting a home visit out of the deal!
1225. Pilot’s brother coming with dad-in-love (unannounced) and having a dairy-free meal at the ready for him!
1226. friends Reed and Caitie coming to meet Trooper
1227. Mrs. Betty stopping by to meet Trooper and spend some time getting to hold him
1228. Pilot picking up eggs and bacon for breakfast on his way home from work
1229. arriving at church 30 mins early to show Trooper off
1230. audio working in the cry room!
1231. a church with a culture that children are a blessing
1232. Pilot’s parents taking us out to eat after church
1233. friends who ask for guest posts for their blogs
1234. friends who submit their guest post draft 10 days early
1237. that God protected Pilot’s maternal grandfather and my maternal grandfather during WWII so that we could bring Him glory in THIS generation
1238. leftovers…and a microwave
1239. that craniosacral specialists exist and that she was able to open more space in Trooper’s skull for growth & bring down his way-high palate
 
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Blessing Applied

Yesterday, we talked about how blessing is one of God’s ways of eternity. Scripture is laden with examples of both God blessing His people and of His people blessing each other. As His people today, incorporating blessing – spoken and written – into our mode of operation takes some practice. Most of us feel awkward the first few times we do it, unsure of what to say or how to go about it. But isn’t that true of any “skill”? It requires time, effort, intentionality, and practice.

Where do I begin?

Look at the blessings in Scripture. They are great models for what to speak into others’ lives. Are they based on current accomplishments? Present strengths? Future character qualities or promises?

Speaking Scripture is also a great, infallible way to bless others. Apostle Paul often wrote some kind of blessing in each of his letters. Turning Psalms into specific prayers can also accomplish “blessing” while avoiding the discomfort of having to figure out what exactly you would like to say.

Forming a new habit involves dedication to seeing it through… and sometimes that’s where we get hung up. The hardest part is often just starting. So keep it simple. Maybe find one specific phrase or paragraph you can repeat to your spouse, children, or other loved ones at a certain time of day. When Buddy was younger, we would regularly say, “Buddy, we are so thankful for you. God put you in our family at just the right time!” This communicated that he belonged and that he was not a mistake. The simplicity did not negate the intentionality of such a blessing.

Resources for Further Study

If my discussion of blessing as an intentional time to speak encouragement over others is the first you’ve heard of it, it won’t surprise you when I say that resources for learning about how to bless others aren’t plentiful. Here are a few I can easily recommend:

Empowering Generations– The book I wrote to spur on other believers to look at Scripture and learn how to bless. We read one blessing to Buddy at nap time and another at bed time.

Blessing Your Spirit – Pilot and I were given this book as a wedding gift. We don’t use it regularly, but it is a great resource for written blessings.

The Blessing Challenge – A combination effort from Dr. John Trent (co-author of The Blessing) and Focus on the Family plus tools for making the blessing a reality in your family

So, how ‘bout it? Who will you seek to intentionally bless this week?

Your turn: What is your biggest struggle with blessing others? Is this a foreign idea to you?

Ways of Eternity: Blessing

weblessingWe wander through life most of the time. Some of us struggle to understand who God created us to become. Others have difficulty ascertaining why we are here — What exactly is our purpose? It’s not really surprising when we come to the realization that words always have power. As parents, siblings, coworkers, friends, our words are never neutral; they either speak life or death.

God’s words are never neutral either. He doesn’t speak promises or judgment for the sake of information; His Word is powerful (Heb. 4:12). If “blessing” is an ancient path, we should see it throughout Scripture… and we do:

  • On Day 7 of creation, God rested and blessed creation. (Gen. 2:3)
  • God blesses Abraham. (Gen. 22:15-18, 24:1)
  • God blesses Samson. (Judg. 13:24)
  • God the Father blesses Jesus the Son. (Matt. 3:17)
  • Jesus blesses Peter. (Matt. 16:17-19)

He sets a choice before the children of Israel:

obey and reap the blessings of life
OR
disobey and reap the curses of death. (Deut. 28)

He doesn’t mince words.

As the people of God, He expects us to emulate the blessing by intentionally speaking words of life to others. He gave us examples of this in the Bible:

  • Melchizedek blesses Abraham. (Gen 14:18-20)
  • Isaac blesses Jacob. (Gen. 27:27-29)
  • Israel blesses 11 sons and 2 grandsons. (Gen. 49:1-28)
  • Boaz blesses Ruth. (Ruth 3:10)
  • Saul blesses David. (1 Sam. 26:25)
  • Elizabeth blesses Mary. (Luke 1:42-45)
  • Zacharias blesses John. (Luke 1:76-79)

But in our day, we settle for pats on the back and “good job” comments — positive remarks that are tied most often to our performance and accomplishments. This kind of counterfeit blessing distracts from the blessing God gives (and desires for His people to give) — one totally founded on our intrinsic worth as His image-bearers, created for His glory. How often we miss out on the thrill of giving and the joy of receiving words that speak life in a powerful, intentional way!

So, tell me… how have you experienced a time of blessing in your life? Can you recall a specific time where your parents/teachers/mentors/etc spoke life and hope to your spirit?

Ways to Minister to a NICU Family

The overwhelming nature of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can paralyze even the most organized families. Suddenly you are living a life you never planned, and since you didn’t plan to live this way, figuring out what you need becomes a daunting task in and of itself.

NICU

Friends and family may say this simple phrase: “Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.” (or the variation “Let us know how we can help.”)

In our experience, we wanted to be able to say, “This is how you can help!” — but we didn’t even know where to start. We didn’t spend a huge amount of time at the hospital until about day 4, and we didn’t really have an idea of how quickly Trooper would come home until then. It was hard to know what to ask for at the beginning.

As the week progressed, we became more aware of what would help us in our situation. If you’re looking for ways to help a NICU family, here are some ideas to consider. Note: Because each family has different dynamics, these will not all apply to everyone. If you aren’t sure whether one of these ideas would truly help the family you’re ministering to, be sure to ask them.

  • Journal and pen — I found out quickly how the days blended together in my memory, and I wanted to record the journey for recollection later. My sister also suggested using a journal to write down what doctors and nurses reported when, so you would have a written record if you were getting 2 or 3 differing opinions.
  • Gift cards — Sometimes you just need to get out of the hospital. Sometimes you need a bite to eat that isn’t cafeteria food. And sometimes you need “food” that will get you through the transition-to-home stage. Gift cards for grocery stores can also be helpful.
  • Gas cards — Particularly if the family has a decent commute to the hospital, gas cards can ease any budgetary concerns that might play into the frequency of their visits.
  • Bags of snacks — One family gifted us with 3 large sacks of snacks and breakfast foods. This was so helpful for us, especially on the days we forgot to eat a “real” meal because of logistics or meetings. Note: Be sure to check with the family to see about any food allergies.
  • In-home meals — It amazed me how one meal being brought in could free up so much mental power. Plus, if the meal was large enough, there could be leftovers for another meal or two!
  • Activity bags — Hospital waiting rooms can be rather difficult for older siblings. A new coloring book, play-dough, or a puzzle could be a welcome diversion from the mundane.
  • Visiting with, listening to, praying with them – We all have a story to tell… and sometimes, telling someone who’s “outside” of the emotion and doctors’ orders begins the process of renewal and recounting God’s goodness, even in the NICU world. Even if you can’t fully relate to where the family is experiencing, listening is a huge help.
  • Older child care – Is there an older sibling who’s stuck in the midst of back-and-forth? Spending an hour reading books or coloring can allow Mom and Dad to sit with the littlest child…together.
  • Fill their freezer — Figuring out what to cook after arriving home can be an unnecessary source of stress. Prepare (or buy) some casseroles to be frozen. This way, the family can use them as slowly or quickly as needed.

Are you long distance from the family in need? You can help, too!

  • Snacks from Amazon or Walmart.com — Let the technology of the Internet do some of the work for you! If there is a Walmart near the hospital, you can select snacks (or even microwaveable meals!), purchase them online, and have them “shipped” Site to Store. The family could then send someone to pick up those items, without paying a penny. Amazon, on the other hand, can be a bit more pricey, but you can have more obscure snacks or groceries sent straight to their home.
  • Practical needs – By the same token, paper goods can come in handy when the transition-to-home takes place. Paper plates, paper towels, toilet paper, and the list goes on… You can help keep the family well stocked so they don’t have to make a midnight run for toilet paper.

Send Scripture verses as encouragement and reminders of Truth. Pray. Tell them you’re praying. Ask how you can pray more specifically — especially for Mom and Dad individually as they pour themselves out for their little one. Ministry doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all for NICU families, and it probably shouldn’t be. Look at the gifts God has given you, the things you enjoy doing to help others, and start there. You may be just what that family needs “for such a time as this.”

Your turn: If you have experienced the NICU world, what was the best help you received? What would you suggest NICU families ask for when the “How can I help” question arises?

Lost in Translation {review}

I squealed when this book came in the mail. Of all the books I read in the days before Trooper was born, this was my favorite. It really is a simple read… nothing too complex or overwhelming. Some people might lump it into the “coffee table book” genre.

Lost in Translation is a book of more than 50 words from languages around the world that don’t directly translate into our English vernacular. Being the language-lover that I am, I found the explanations to be intriguing, and the complicated nature of other languages fascinating. It’s one of those gift-able books for people who are 1) hard to buy for and/or 2) love the intricacies of language.

I did have one hangup with the book. It’s great for me to see the word transliterated into English… but several of them were unpronounceable from my limited English knowledge. Sure, I could guess, but my guessing isn’t likely to be accurate with words from the Nguni Bantu language or even German! I would’ve enjoyed having a phonetic guide so I could at least attempt saying the word — and be able to butcher it less abusively. ;)

All in all, it’s a neat book to have on your shelf.

I received this book for free via WaterBrook Multnomah for this review. The perspectives above are entirely mine.