Book Review – Refresh: Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs

51s1knwpjtl-_sx321_bo1204203200_Title: Refresh:  Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs
Author: Kimberly M. Drew and Jocelyn Green
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publishing Year: 2016
Pages: 280
My Rating: 5 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)

In recent years, I have been encouraged to see the church growing in its awareness of problems previously swept under the rug or ignored altogether.  Families with special needs children, I believe, have fit into that category.  Growing up with a severely autistic brother made me painfully aware that many within the church have no idea how to encourage these struggling families.  It has never been that no one cared, it’s just that no one knew how to handle it.  It was awkward.  What do you even say?  How could you really help?  It’s been my joy to see that beginning to change.

Refresh:  Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs is a daily devotional that will be a benefit to people you know. I wasn’t sure what to think when I first signed up to review this book.  Sometimes books of this nature can just be corny – filled with happy thoughts twisted away from simplistic understandings of commonly misapplied Scripture.  I am overjoyed to say that is not the case with this book.  The authors use Scripture to encourage the soul, rebuke sin, and point weary parents to the Cross of Jesus – just what a devotional ought to do.  Frequent quotations from authors I trust such Gillian Marchenko and Ellen Stumbo give this book an extra dose of weight and credibility in my mind.

What families with special needs children are going to see as they open this book is much they can identify with.  Page after page will detail stories, events, feelings and admissions that you will shout a hearty “amen” at.  This book is intensely relatable.  At the same time, this book will speak truth to your life, even when you may be tempted to wallow in self-pity.  Yet, they will not leave you down as they encourage you with the Word and the knowledge that others are traveling this road with you.  This book would serve as a good, daily dose of inspiration that will help you through the day.

Yet, this book would also benefit the friends, loved ones and pastors of families with children with special needs.  There’s much that just goes uncommunicated.  That’s by design.  Many parents in this situation find themselves frustrated and even embarrassed.  There’s much they just don’t want to say, but wish you could know.  This book will guide you into a world you never knew existed.  It will give you insight into how to minister and love more effectively.  This book would be well worth the cost just for that alone.

Purchase the book for yourself here.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.


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