Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer has been married for twenty-three years to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is the mother of three children, Paul IV (22), Samuel (6), and Grace (6). She also has six babies residing in heaven. It is those six tiny souls who have propelled her into women’s ministry. She is a conference speaker and author of the book Nothing to Hold but Hope (one woman's journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility). Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
My husband and I have had the privilege of sharing a lot of time with teenagers. We have not only raised one ourselves, but have led a youth group for almost eleven years. Hundreds of teens have come through the door of our ministry. We’ve laughed, cried, and, at times, though I hate to admit it, were glad we could send some of those kids home at the end of the night. Adolescence is tough. I wasn’t a fan when I went through it, and it’s difficult trying to figure it out from the other side when it’s time to parent.
I have three children. One has already graduated from the teen years. He was wonderful to raise. I can now sit back and breathe a sigh of relief as I check the “I survived” box off my parenting list. However, I have two more to go, and raising kids of any age is not for the faint of heart. It takes the love of a Savior who provides supernatural strength and hope to hold tight.
Recently, The Fedd Agency asked me to review a book for author Candy Gibbs entitled Rescue, Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture. I’m always looking for new perspective and I love opportunities to see what God is stirring up in the lives of other women, so I was happy to read it. I’m so glad I did!
Candy is the executive director of the CareNet Pregnancy Centers in Amarillo, Texas, and holds a degree in psychology from West Texas A&M University. She’s doing amazing work for the kingdom, but this book captured me for a different reason.
The structure of the book is unique. Candy takes the reader through the pages with a specific theme: she wants to help save parents from drowning in a wave-pounding ocean of raising teenagers. And, even more importantly, she wants to provide parents the life preservers they need to rescue their teens from sinking (And all the mamas shout, “Amen!”). She not only offers her professional opinion, but more importantly, she offers a godly perspective. She searches the scriptures and diligently weaves them throughout the text. “Life preservers” are added at the end of each chapter where one can easily find the verses she shares. And to take it a step further, she developed a focus group whom she calls “Lifeguards,” young adults who share their points of view on the topics brought to light in the book. It’s interesting to hear their outlook, starting from the manner in which they were raised, all the way to how they felt in times of peer pressure and adversity.
The book offers “treading tips” at the end of each chapter, which are ideas about how to handle the subject matter discussed. She tackles hard topics such as technology, sexting, homosexuality, abortion, and so much more. She’s encouraging, and she keeps the reader’s attention as she educates.
Friend, if you are raising a teenager and need some encouragement about where to turn and what to do, then I highly recommend this book. Candy tells a story about her own past that is gripping and emotional. It gives insight as to why she carries out the work she does. To Christ be the glory for all she is doing through her testimony and life in Him. If you have an opportunity I suggest stopping by Candy’s website for more encouragement. You won’t be sorry!
Have a great weekend!
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