For the Love by Jen Hatmaker

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker
Published by Thomas Nelson on August 18, 2015
Source: Gift
Genres: Christian Life
Pages: 224
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The popular writer, blogger, and television personality reveals with humor and style how Jesus' extravagant grace is the key to dealing with life's biggest challenge: people.

The majority of our joys, struggles, thrills, and heartbreaks relate to people, beginning first with ourselves and then the people we came from, married, birthed, live by, live for, go to church with, don't like, don't understand, fear, struggle with, compare ourselves to, and judge. People are the best and worst thing about the human life.

Jen Hatmaker knows this all too well, and so she reveals how to practice kindness, grace, truthfulness, vision, and love to ourselves and those around us. By doing this, For the Love leads our generation to reimagine Jesus' grace as a way of life, and it does it in a funny yet profound manner that Christian readers will love. Along the way, Hatmaker shows readers how to reclaim their prophetic voices and become Good News again to a hurting, polarized world.

For the Love is more a collection of essays, and random funny bits, centered around loving ourselves and loving others, rather than a unified book. I wasn’t expecting that, so it kind of put me off at first, but once I got into the groove I found a lot it relatable and funny and occasionally inspirational.

I really enjoyed Hatmaker’s voice. For a Christian writer, she is hilarious and hits on some of the exact things I feel. The book is pretty light overall, in part because of the amusing tidbits and asides. It’s about loving others, near and far, but there isn’t really much new in it. At the same time, her love of Jesus, of the church, of people shines through.

Some things that stood out for me:

“We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise.” (7)

“If it isn’t also true for a poor single Christian mom in Haiti, it isn’t true.” (19)

Two of the later chapters were particularly thought-provoking, Poverty Tourism and Dear Church. They made me think about how our church handles mission trips and how much we rely on staff-led ministries.

And I’d really like to belong to a supper club like Hatmaker’s or hang out on front porch. She’s that kind of person, someone you feel like you could be friends with. I feel like she’d be supportive and non-judgemental, but also let you talk through issues. And she’d always have a funny story to tell.


About Jen Hatmaker

Jen Hatmaker is the author of the New York Times bestseller For the Love and happy hostess of a tightly knit online community where she reaches millions of people each week. She and her husband, Brandon, founded the Legacy Collective, a giving community that granted more than a million dollars in its first year. They also starred in the popular series My Big Family Renovation on HGTV. Jen is a mom to five, a sought-after speaker, and a delighted resident of Austin, Texas, where she and her family are helping keep Austin weird.

Thursday’s Tale: Little Chickies / Los Pollitos


I feel like nursery rhymes sort of fall into the same category as fairy tales and folktales. They’re part of a culture, something passed down over the years that most everyone connects to, which is why I’m including Little Chickies as a Thursday’s Tale. Little Chickies is based on a Spanish nursery rhyme, “Los Pollitos.”

Thursday’s Tale: Little Chickies / Los Pollitos Little Chickies by Susie Jaramillo
Published by Encantos on April 26, 2016
Genres: Board Book, Bilingual
Pages: 25
Format: Hardcover
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"Los Pollitos Dicen," or "Little Chickies Squeal" is one of the most popular songs in the Spanish speaking world, akin to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in English. This English adaptation of the song is as catchy and lyrical as the Spanish version and sure to engage new audiences not familiar with the original song. The song is an homage to the demanding nature of babies and the unconditional love, care, and warmth given to them by their mommies.

I found the nursery rhyme at, along with the translation.

Los pollitos dicen pío, pío, pío
cuando tienen hambre
cuando tienen frío.
La gallina busca el maíz y el trigo
les da la comida y les presta abrigo.
Bajo de sus alas, acurrucaditos
¡duermen los pollitos
hasta el otro día!

Translation :

The little chicks say pio pio pio
When they are hungry
And when they are cold.
The mother hen looks for corn and wheat.
She gives them food and grants them shelter.
Under mama’s wings, huddling up,
Sleep the little chicks
Until the next day!

Jamarillo has done a wonderful job in the adorable book telling the story of the chicks whose mom takes care of them. Her lyrics are simpler than the translation above and flow better. While I read the digital version, I’ve seen photos of the print and it looks like a nice sturdy board book for young children.  It’s accordian style with English on one side and Spanish on the other. The illustrations are bright, simple, and cheerful and it has flaps to open, which makes it even more fun for kids. The rhyming text is catchy and it would be a perfect book to read aloud.

There’s also an app you can download: Little Chickies / Los Pollitos app by Canticos–Encantos Media Studios, Inc. Children can sing along to the nursery rhyme in 8 languages. They can help the chickies hatch from their eggs, play musical notes on a keyboard and guitar, create bouquets of flowers and save their designs, decorate eggs, and more. The app, for ages 2-5 years, is $2.99 and available for Smartphones and tablets.

The video below is the rhyme sung in English with bits from the app.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

A Highland Christmas by M. C. Beaton


xmas spirit rc 2015

A Highland Christmas by M. C. Beaton A Highland Christmas by M.C. Beaton
Series: Hamish Macbeth
Published by Mysterious Press on March 6, 2001 (first publshed 1999)
Source: Won
Genres: Mystery, Christmas
Pages: 129
Format: Hardcover
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Hamish's toughest case to date - to bring some festive cheer to a town long dampened by the spirit of Scrooge. In dark, wintry Lochdubh, Christmas Cheer is about as welcome as a flat tyre on a deserted road. The Calvinist element in town has always resisted what they view as secular frivolity, so for most of the townsfolk there'll be no carols, feasting, gifts - or even whisky on Christmas Day!

And for PC Hamish Macbeth there's no holiday from crime - he finds himself hunting for a missing cat belonging to a lonely spinster. Curt and unfriendly, the woman is convinced her pet has been stolen but once behind her heavily-bolted door, Hamish can spot her true problem - she lives in fear, though of who or what he cannot guess.

Then someone steals a Christmas tree and lights from the nearby village of Cnothan. So it is up to Hamish to sort all these problems out - and he had better do it quickly, for the church bells will soon peal on the eve of Christmas.

This is the first Hamish Macbeth story I’ve read and I realize it’s not typical of the series – no murder for example, but I really liked Hamish. He seems like a truly good guy who actually cares about the people of his town. The towns are filled with quirky odd characters, most of whom are amusing. I also love how the locals treat Hamish. Even though he’s the police, he’s on their side. I don’t quite understand the conflict with his boss, but i’m sure it’s made clear in another of the installements.

This particular one is a feel-good light Christmas mystery. The mysteries involve a missing cat and some lights that have been stolen from another village.  It’s short and I don’t want to give much away, but it left me with a smile and wanting to visit Lochdubh again.

About M.C. Beaton

Marion Gibbons, née McChesney (born 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a British popular and prolific writer of romance and mystery novels since 1979. She has written numerous successful historical romance novels under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, including the Travelling Matchmaker and Daughters of Mannerling series. Using the pseudonym M. C. Beaton, she has also written many popular mystery novels, most notably the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth mystery series.

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