Book Review: God Is In The Small Stuff For Your Family by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz, First Impressions

May 7, 2014

Book Reviews, Resources

A couple of mentors once told me that family counts as the most bloody, batty, insane, institution known to man. And yet, not a single one of us can escape it. We may attempt to live lives apart from our families, but those who do, find that they become disconnected and despondent. They experience a phenomenon known as “Anomie,” which is a feeling of disconnection because the individual no longer has norms or traditions to hold on to.

This is why, it is always good to strive to keep one’s family intact and connected. It is not a good idea to allow your family to go off in directions apart from each other. Rather, as long as you can, strive to keep the connections alive.

I didn’t have this in my nuclear family growing up. My parents are goal-oriented, success-oriented productivity fiends. They still are. They are all about “success” in terms of money and material comfort. And while I respect that, and the rest of the world esteems those kinds of values, that paradigm has led me to seek a different way of life.

Because that is how they view the world, I found myself in a church community where relationships are top priority. And today, I work on living that way: My relationships are valued over the pursuit of material comfort.

One of the books I discovered lately mentors me further on that point:

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God Is In The Small Stuff For Your Family by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz is light, easy reading, but packs a wallop of sense, centered on family. It has everthing from Family Heritage, to why the Dinner Table is a crucial part of the home, and even discusses the hard stuff like divorce and blended families. For a person who wants to start a family and needs all the help they can get, this is a great resource that’s easy-to-swallow.

This is even great for people who already have families. If you note that things are NOT going your way, then something has to change, definitely. You can read this book and APPLY it to your lives.

I am entering, if not already living, smack dab in the middle of a blended family. My boyfriend/fiance is a single dad, and I entered the relationship knowing full well the things I’ll be facing. Today, I’m helping him raise his youngest, an 18-year-old blossoming young lady, and I saw that this book punctuated the things I learned along the way:

  • Expect your teenagers to make mistakes. OUCH.
  • Expect your teenagers to LEARN from their mistakes. Okay, good point.
  • Expect that you WON’T be your teenager’s best friend. OUCHIES.

While I’m friends with, and have a vibrant, active mother/daughter/friend/whoop-ass relationship with the youngest, I’m only civil with the eldest, at best. The worst part is that I’m seen as an intrusive force in her life, simply because I would have wanted the eldest to grow up better.

But I deal, and I count my blessings. At best, the youngest and I are not just in communicating terms; we’re on sleepover terms. She sleeps over in my apartment whenever she feels like it, and her boyfriend treats my place as his hotel, since we’d rather have this as a way to keep them in check.

By the way, just so I make it clear, my boyfriend and I don’t live together. We’d rather get married first before we do anything of that sort.

But his daughter comes over for guidance, to take a break from her own home, and because sometimes, she needs a refuge away from the family home she’s been used to. She, her sister and her dad live with their uncle, her dad’s brother. In the past, she would sleep over at friends’ homes. But she’s grounded for a year, so my apartment, and churchmates’ homes, are her only refuge away from home, for this year.

But I digress.

The bottom line is that, if you seek to improve your family life, you shouldn’t hesitate to turn to resources that will help you make things better for your home. I highly recommend God Is In The Small Stuff For Your Family by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz because it’s a happy, light resource that speaks down-home truth with smiles, rainbows, and butterflies. 🙂

About Girl On A Live Wealthier Journey

I spend too much for comfort. That's why I love writing about budgets: because at one point, getting it right will open doors in my Live Wealthier journey!

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