Tag: girls

For Such a Time as This | Angie Smith

After reading a picture book that praised Eve for her courage in defying God, I almost quit my search. But the stories of so many women are sown quietly throughout Scripture, and I loved the idea of drawing those stories out. I loved the idea of reminding our daughters, in a time when Paul is derided as a misogynist and the question of women’s roles in church is hotly debated, that they have a treasured place in God’s Great Story.

For Such a Time as This, by Angie Smith | Little Book, Big Story

Moses went on to guide the Israelites out of Egypt, but his mother, sister, and midwife shielded the infant Moses from Pharoah’s wrath. Israel fell into fragments, yet one Moabite woman became the thread God used to sew redemption into Israel’s tapestry. Surely some author has told the stories of those women in an honest, yet beautiful way? Right? One that steers clear of the “bad girls of the Bible” motif?

Yes. Dear friends, the answer is yes. Angie Smith did it, and she did it well.

For Such a Time as This, by Angie Smith | Little Book, Big Story

For Such a Time as This is an anthology of stories about the women of Scripture, and there are more stories in it that I thought possible: Mary and Sarah and Esther are in here. Ruth, of course. But Gomer is in here, and Delilah and Jezebel and Sapphira, too. Smith did not shy away from the less savory characters of Scripture, but even in their stories found the beauty of the gospel pricking through the soot and grime. She approaches them all from a gracious angle, not asking “What does this tell me about me?” but “What does it say about God that he would graft this figure into his family tree, that he would use this figure to do mighty things despite her brokenness?”

For Such a Time as This, by Angie Smith | Little Book, Big Story

Breezy Brookshire’s illustrations get the tension of that question just right: her fluid, glowing watercolors are punctuated by understated pencil drawings. By mixing those two, she captures the tension of our sin and God’s grace in a luminous way.

For Such a Time as This, by Angie Smith | Little Book, Big Story

For Such a Time as This is, I suppose, a selective story Bible. It’s obviously not comprehensive, but focuses on the women of Scripture specifically. But it is also a devotional, as each story ends with a section for young girls to read alone or with parents, and for a prayer that families can pray together for their daughters. If your daughter has a birthday this summer and you invite us to her party, be warned: we’ll probably buy her this book.

For Such a Time as This, by Angie Smith | Little Book, Big Story

Update (Sept. 2017)

We are currently reading this aloud as a family and I love it more after each reading. We’ve read about Abigail and Bathsheba, Hagar and the Queen of Sheba, and Angie Smith does a beautiful job of connecting each story to the Big Story of Scripture, while drawing in details that bring their stories to life. My daughters are enthralled with all these women they had never met before, and I am a little obsessed with the illustrations.

I just wanted you to know that. I loved this book when I wrote about it, but we love it now, all of us. The girls each take sections from the devotional readings, I read the prayer, and even Phoebe repeats our “Word of the Day” and memory verse after me. This book is one of our favorites now.


For Such a Time as This
Angie Smith, Breezy Brookshire (2014)

Brave Girls: Beautiful You | Jennifer Gerelds

Nine. My eldest daughter just turned nine.

I thought this was momentous because it was her last single digit year, but no: a friend mentioned yesterday that she was halfway there, and the park around us got suddenly swimmy. It took me a minute to realize what my tear ducts understood instantly: “halfway there” meant halfway to adulthood, and the park looked swimmy because I was crying.

Yikes.

Brave Girls: Beautiful You (A 90-Day Devotional for Girls) | Little Book, Big Story

But this birthday called for a little something different, as birthday books go, and so I explored the “devotional Christian girl” shelves of Amazon. I found a cheap book, one that looked promising, and ordered it.

Brave  Girls: Beautiful You was (whew!) not a theological mess in pink and floral print. It is a collection of devotions that encourage girls with a growing awareness of their appearance and identity to measure these things by God’s metric and to weigh their beauty on his scales. As I flipped through it, I was impressed by the depth of the devotions and the simple way they illustrated, through the imagery of “putting off” our old selves and “putting on” Christ, how a young girl can best glorify God in whatever situation comes her way.

Brave Girls: Beautiful You (A 90-Day Devotional for Girls) | Little Book, Big Story

There are quizzes in here, too, which initially made me nervous, but again and again I saw that they were intended as an expedition through a girl’s heart and not as a measurement of her value or success.

So, this is a new sort of book for this blog, because we are in a new sort of season. Brave Girls: Beautiful You is sweet, yes. But it is also rich, and, I hope, it is the sort of fuel my young daughter needs as she begins to set her sights on becoming a young woman.

Brave Girls: Beautiful You (A 90-Day Devotional for Girls) | Little Book, Big Story

Footnote

I was not able to read this book from cover-to-cover before I needed to wrap it up, so though I recommend it, I can’t promise that there isn’t some murky spot in there somewhere. But every page I landed on was good and true.


Brave Girls: Beautiful You
Jennifer Gerelds (2016)

A Little Princess | Frances Hodgson Burnett

I love adventure stories. I love swashbuckling stories, and tales of the under dog, fighting against the odds. I love Treasure IslandRobinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson. I really do.

And yet, I can’t help but notice that my blog is heavy on books with interesting heroines, nestled into the sort of stories that do more to warm the heart than get the blood pumping. But that’s just life with small daughters, I suppose (especially when the eldest of the clan* is a sensitive soul with a love of language, old-fashioned things and characters with rich inner lives).

A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett | Little Book, Big Story

Rest assured, I do intend to broaden their horizons with all of the books listed above—eventually. For now, we’re content with Laura and Heidi and Sara Crewe, heroine of the classic book, A Little Princess.

Sara is a singular character: though wealthy and doted upon, she is not spoiled and does not consider herself set apart from the other students at her boarding school, despite the fact that the headmistress singles her out for display as a “model student” whenever visitors come to the school. But when the death of her darling father leaves her penniless and without a guardian, Sara suffers a dramatic fall in fortunes. The question at the heart of this book is one put to her by the snobbish Lavinia, who disparages the gift for storytelling and “supposing” that draw the other girls to Sara:

“It’s all very well to suppose things if you have everything,” said Lavinia. “Could you suppose and pretend things if you were a beggar and lived in a garret?”

Sara . . . looked thoughtful. “I believe I could,” she said. “If one was a beggar, one would have to suppose and pretend all the time. But it mightn’t be easy.”

This is a book rich in virtue, because—unlike the heroine of Hodgson’s better-known book, The Secret Garden—Sara is an admirable character from start to finish. Though not a literal princess, she is the sort of heroine that we are glad for our daughters to know.

A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett | Little Book, Big Story

A Little Princess
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)


A Little Princess | Little Book, Big STory

*This is a special edition post because “the eldest of our clan,” Lydia, turns six this weekend. Shocking! This will be an especially literary birthday for her, as her gifts from us are all book related: a copy of The Lost Princess by George MacDonald, as well as The Complete Flower Fairies, by Cicely Barker. To top off the literariness, Sarah and I framed the cover of an old copy of The Princess and the Goblin for Lydia to hang in her corner of their shared room (the love of that girl for Irene and Curdie knows no bounds).