Wow--finally a devotional that this homeschooling family loves!
So often, I look at devotional books for my kids and find that
they focus on traditional school scenarios to teach the lesson.
This one, finally, does not. The One Year Mother Daughter Devo focuses
on the gospel message and discipleship by using practical application
stories that cover a wide array of childhood experiences, including
friendships, family life, pets, personal choices, academics (but
not in a school-specific way), and many brief scenarios of ordinary
life. In fact, in many instances the devotion focuses on explaining
something directly related to the text, without requiring an application
story to relate to, indicating that the author saw fit to simply
explain the biblical concept and flesh it out. Even the author's
introductory page explains that the goal was to "put some fun and
unique elements together to help you study the Bible."
There are many layers to this book that add interest and variety
to a year-long devotional time, and it is clear that the authors
took the interests of young girls into consideration when creating
a format for the book.
For each devotional entry, you will see:
Bible Blast: This feature starts each devotion;
it includes a Scripture reference to look up on your own and
read along with your devotional. This is in addition to the focus
verse that is printed out in its entirety, so it is optional
to include in your day. I love the inclusion of actual Bible
reading to accompany the devotion itself, and I think it adds
an important element for children to be in their own Bibles with
Girl Gab: On the outside edge of each page, there
is a short activity suggestion for moms especially. These often
suggest that the mom share something relative to the lesson
and then ask the daughter to do likewise, encouraging discussion
and prayer on the topics. In some cases a fun recipe is suggested,
with full directions for these included in the appendix.
In addition to these regular items, there are also themes to several,
though not all, of the devotions, which adds a nice variety:
Language Lab: Some of the devotions delve into
the theological vocabulary of our faith, which I really appreciate.
A few Language Lab topics include the Great Commission, Discernment,
Blasphemy, Conviction, and Resurrection. After introducing
the key word(s), the entire devotion is dedicated to explaining
it in a way that doesn't water down the truth while staying true
to the biblical concept.
Amazing Animals: To appeal to the animal-loving
child, a few devotions are focused around animals, tying the
wonder of God's creation into the lesson. Chinchillas, woodpeckers,
and butterflies are just a few of the highlighted creatures.
Kickin' Kraft: Some devotions include an optional
craft project that might add to the study that day. Materials
are either readily available at home or inexpensive to purchase.
The details of the projects are included in an appendix, so the
devotional page of the day is not consumed by the instructions.
This also makes it easy for you to opt out of the craft of the
day if desired.
Meditation Moments: Several devotional entries
are dedicated to personal reflection and journal time, which
I am so pleased to see. A passage of Scripture is suggested for
this activity, followed by an especially brief devotion with
instruction for how to meditate on the Word. Space is provided
on the page for writing if desired. The author's goal with this
is to inspire independence in the child by guided practice. I
The quality content of the book appeals to me, but my daughters
also love the visual appeal of this book. The cover is a pretty
pink, with orange highlights and a cute font with delightful flower
highlights. Yet the design is not so cutesy that my oldest would
find it overkill. The sidebars of the pages are graced with a whimsical,
detailed flower pattern that has a hand-drawn look. Pages are all
black and white, but they remain pretty and feminine with the flower
motif, stitching, buttons, and a daisy in the top corner of each
Each devotion in this book is excellent and worth the cost of
the book. However, there is one feature that I found just a slight
bit irritating, and that is the alliteration of every single theme,
like Girl Gab and Kickin' Kraft. The former English teacher in
me just doesn't like the "K" in craft, and I think it belittles
the message in a way. Perhaps many girls would find this endearing,
but I personally didn't care for this rather contrived cuteness.
I'm not opposed to alliteration in general; I just don't care for
its overuse, nor do I appreciate the alternate, incorrect spellings.
All that aside, I am quite enamored with this devotional, and
we will be using it repeatedly as my girls grow up. While there
is no age range specified on the book itself, I think it is a little
young for my 12-year-old, and it is ideal for my 9 and 7-year-olds.
What sets this devotional apart more than anything else is the
Biblical focus. Each devotion focuses on what the key Bible verse
actually means and offers excellent explanations and discussion
topics for moms and daughters. I simply love that the lessons offer
a kind of mini-sermon designed to connect with a young girl, as
well as encouragement for personal reflection time, prayer, and
journal writing to document insights. Truly, this book has been
a gift to us, and I recommend it highly to families with daughters.