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"No More Perfect Mom's," by Jill Savage & "Mom Seeks God," by Julia Roller

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Mother's Day, Sunday, May 11,celebrates moms and recognizes the time, effort and self-sacrifice it takes to be a loving, caring, nurturing mom, something children don't realize until they become parents themselves. That's when they appreciate godly moms more than ever, summarized by this Jewish Proverb . "God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers."

These two reviews feature change, spiritual growth and moms caught in the perfectionism lie and the challenges of a young and growing family.

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No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life, by Jill Savage, Moody Press, 2013, 224 Pages, 978-0802406378, $13.99

Jill Savage, speaker founder and CEO of Hearts at Home writes about a "perfection infection" in No More Perfect Moms where she assures readers all moms struggle with and fall short of expectations of excellence. It's when moms strive for perfection that they set themselves up for failure due to unrealistic expectations and harsh self-judgment that causes insecurity.

Instead of wearing the mask of judgment and perfection "that pretends everything is okay," Jill suggests "leaving perfectionism behind and find freedom in authenticity." When we're authentic our lives become grace-filled and non-judgmental because we focus on realistic hopes and dreams instead of critical self-judgments and comparisons of ourselves to others.

Packed with personal stories, practical tips and biblical wisdom, "No More Perfect Moms" is an excellent choice for moms who struggle with insecurity and think everyone else is a better mom than they are.

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Mom Seeks God: Practicing Grace in the Chaos, by Julia Roller, Abingdon Press, 2014, 208 Pages, 978-1426771026, $15.99

In Mom Seeks God: Practicing Grace in the Chaos Julia Roller shares how she created time for her spiritual life when she was a first-time mom with a newborn and no time to read the Bible, journal and pray like she used to. Now she either pumped sore breasts for milk, washed doll-like clothes, changed diapers or monitored weight because her milk supply wasn't enough to make the new love-of-her-life thrive, which left little time for her husband, herself or her spiritual life.

Still, the moments of joy from seeing his first smile to watching him sleep in her arms, eyelashes resting on rosy pink cheeks, gave joy a new meaning. While lack of sleep and worry over little weight gain added fear and stress turned into exhaustion and an inability to read the Bible or pray without falling asleep.

Those months laid bare her own "weaknesses and selfishness in a way nothing else ever had," she writes. When, in spite of an intense love for her son, she lost patience with herself and had to "lock herself in the bathroom to calm down." Any mom with small children will identify with, smile and nod in appreciation when reading her book.

Soon Julia's need for intimacy with the Lord prompted her to make a one year commitment to "connect with God even when she didn't have the time or energy to do so." That's where she learned to practice the "ten essential spiritual disciplines" she writes about in this book.

Any mother of newborns or young children will find practical advice, biblical wisdom and easy-to-identify-with, often humorous situations in these pages, as well as the inspiration to find Gods grace in the chaos of a mom's life with young children.

"Mom Seeks God" would be an excellent gift choice for new mother's on Mother's day.

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Midwest Book Reviews: April 2014

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No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life, by Jill Savage
No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life, by Jill Savage Moody Press—2013

No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life, by Jill Savage

If you've ever forgotten to pick your kid up from soccer practice or accidentally worn two different shoes to the grocery store, this book is for you. Being a mother is not for those who display symptoms of the "Perfection Infection." There is simply no such thing as a perfect mom. And there are no such things as perfect kids, perfect bodies, perfect marriages, or even perfect meals.

With refreshing honesty, author Jill Savage exposes some of her own parental shortcomings with the goal of helping mothers everywhere shelve their desires for perfection along with their insecurities of not measuring up to other moms . Jill delivers some much-needed realism as she explains why we need to stop comparing our insides to other people's outsides.  She challenges every mom to exchange her vision of being a "perfect mother" for God's beautiful grace in order to learn to love her real, but imperfect, life.

Mom Seeks God: Practicing Grace in the Chaos, by Julia Roller
Mom Seeks God: Practicing Grace in the Chaos, by Julia Roller Abingdon Press—2014

Mom Seeks God: Practicing Grace in the Chaos, by Julia Roller

The first months and years of motherhood can be the most challenging and disorienting of your life—and faith. When you’re surrounded by the happy chaos of children, how do you spend quiet time with God if the only quiet time you get is while you sleep? How can you demonstrate a solid spiritual life to your children if you don’t have time to pursue one yourself?

When Julia Roller discovered that her spiritual growth had been stunted by the busyness of life with her toddler, she embarked on a yearlong journey through ten spiritual disciplines: prayer, fellowship, submission, study, simplicity, silence, worship, fasting, service, and celebration. As she focused on each discipline, she discovered practical ways to observe them—even in the chaos of her every day.

Mom Seeks God offers a highly relatable story and useful advice to help new moms grow in their faith as they address life changes with grace, patience, and prayer. As readers discover ten essential faith practices, they’ll learn that motherhood, itself, is a spiritual discipline, and may be God’s most effective technique for forming a more Christ-like life.

Related by Chance, Family by Choice, by Deb DeArmond
Related by Chance, Family by Choice, by Deb DeArmond Kregel Publications—2013

Related by Chance, Family by Choice, by Deb DeArmond

The caricatures are everywhere, the jokes are inexhaustible, and the stereotypes fill the screens. From Marie Barone (Everyone Loves Raymond) to Viola Fields (Monster-in-Law) to Internet sites and social media pages like "ihatemyinlaws.com and" a Facebook page for "ihatemymotherinlaw" there is no shortage of examples of the caustic relationships that can develop between the two women in a man’s life.


Deb DeArmond and her three daughters-in-law have conducted their own exhaustive research into the status of the women-in-law relationship. Their research, which incorporated online surveys, interviews, and discussions, included asking about the faith factor in the relationships they studied. Of the respondents, nearly 90 percent claimed they were Christians, and 79 percent said their faith was foundational and guided their actions and decisions. As discouraging as it may be, the numbers of those they surveyed who reported that their women-in-law relationships were “bad” were nearly identical to those in a survey conducted by a popular secular website that recorded no statistics on faith.
Beyond the statistics and their analysis, Deb brings to this book more than thirty years working with adults to improve communications and deal constructively with conflict. Aside from her research and her professional expertise, perhaps the most important asset Deb brings to this work is her own relationship with her three daughters-in-law that is so obviously and unusually positive that she—and they—are often asked to explain the secret of the relationships they share.


This practical and unapologetically scriptural book covers issues of personal perceptions, strained communication, the roles of sons and fathers in the relationship’s success, how to begin these relationships on the right foot, and the necessity of trust and love. Deb’s one motivating objective is to help women-in-law move from women who are simply related to strong and confident members of a truly spiritual family.

Journeys to Mother Love: Nine Women Tell Their Stories of Forgiveness & Healing, Compiled by Catherine Lawton
Journeys to Mother Love: Nine Women Tell Their Stories of Forgiveness & Healing, Compiled by Catherine Lawton Cladach Publishing—2012

Journeys to Mother Love: Nine Women Tell Their Stories of Forgiveness & Healing, Compiled by Catherine Lawton

Women readers are sure to find themselves in one or more of these stories filled with grit and grace. The courageous authors of Journeys to Mother Love aren't merely venting about their mother wounds. Neither are they giving pat answers. The hurts were real and the healing was real.
From manipulation to abandonment, from neglect to favoritism, from mental illness to emotional distance, from abortion to Alzheimer's, these nine women from several generations, tell their personal stories with heart-wrenching honesty. Each had hurts and conflicts in their mother/daughter relationship that left them wounded and affected their relationships with others. Each tells how, with God's help, they experienced healing and new freedom to give and receive love.
Begin your own healing journey as you read:
Take Care of Your Mother by Verna Simms
Walking My Mother Home by Ardis A. Nelson
Run, Run, as Fast as You Can by A.R. Cecil
White Knuckles by Loritta Slayton
Beauty from Barrenness by Kyleen Stevenson-Braxton
Finding the Blessings in my Mother's Alzheimer's Disease by Kerry Luksic
She Did Her Best by Treva Brown
When I Feel Forsaken by Catherine Lawton
Finishing Well by Ellen Cardwell

Mother's Day Ideals 2014 (Ideals Mother's Day), by Ideals Editors
Mother's Day Ideals 2014 (Ideals Mother's Day), by Ideals Editors Ideals Publications—2014

Mother's Day Ideals 2014 (Ideals Mother's Day), by Ideals Editors

A new Mother's Day edition of the beloved tradition, Ideals.

Loyal readers are drawn to Ideals magazine for its celebration of life's most treasured moments. Now in its 70th year in publication, the compilation of prose and poetry continues its legacy of inspiration and comfort for readers.

This new Mother's Day issue celebrates motherhood with heartwarming stories about and by mothers, poetry and quotations that will warm the hearts of mothers, and recipes to enjoy or share. The text is accompanied by beautiful, full-color photographs and fine art reproductions. Readers will love this Mother's Day issue of Ideals, a perfect gift for mothers and those who have been 'like a mother.'

Like My Mother Always Said: Wise Words, Witty Warnings, and Odd Advice We Never Forget, by Erin McHugh
Like My Mother Always Said: Wise Words, Witty Warnings, and Odd Advice We Never Forget, by Erin McHugh Harry N. Abrams—2014

Like My Mother Always Said: Wise Words, Witty Warnings, and Odd Advice We Never Forget, by Erin McHugh

During an afternoon of coffee and conversation, a friend of Erin McHugh’s pointed out that she frequently invoked quotations and memories from her mother. Then Erin started noticing how many other people did the same. It also became clear how humorous, moving, and unusual these gems were—so she decided to do something about it.

In Like My Mother Always Said, McHugh, author of the successful Abrams Image feel-good title One Good Deed, collects the wonderful and laugh-worthy words that our moms tell us in their attempts to be helpful and instructive. (Whether they succeed or not is another thing entirely!)

Offered up in quips and short anecdotes, all the kinds of nurturing and nutty information we glean from our mothers is divided into chapters such as “Questionable Wisdom,” “Unconditional Love,” “Good Manners & Bad Behavior,” and “Wise Words.”

Mother's Day Delights Cookbook, by Karen Jean Matsko Hood
Mother's Day Delights Cookbook, by Karen Jean Matsko Hood Whispering Pine Press International, Inc.—April 2011

Mother's Day Delights Cookbook, by Karen Jean Matsko Hood

Mother s Day Delights Cookbook is the perfect gift for Mom or anyone who wishes to make this Mother s Day unforgettable. These recipes are designed to help you honor and celebrate mothers everywhere on Mother s Day, but can also be used every day.

In Mother s Day Delights Cookbook, author Karen Jean Matsko Hood presents her collection of more than 250 exciting recipes that will be sure to please everyone. Inside, you will also find some fascinating reading regarding this special day for mothers, history, celebrations, cultivation, quotes, and much more. With recipes using readily available ingredients, Mother s Day Delights Cookbook will be a valued addition to any chef s bookshelf.

Real Moms...Real Jesus: Meet the Friend Who Understands, by Jill Savage
Real Moms...Real Jesus: Meet the Friend Who Understands, by Jill Savage Moody Pubishers–2009

Real Moms...Real Jesus: Meet the Friend Who Understands, by Jill Savage

What does Jesus know about the peanut-butter-and-jelly life of a mom? Plenty! Jill Savage, founder and director of Hearts at Home, introduces the real Jesus to real moms. In chapters that examine key behaviors and decisions Jesus made during His life on earth, Jill brings those lessons right down to the laundry-filled, sticky-fingered days every mother knows. Between the chapters are interactive vignettes that provide brief, refreshing glimpses into real, messy, busy lives. In Real Moms...Real Jesus, Savage continually reminds the reader that Jesus is not an unattainable deity, but a Friend who understands.

A Leader's Guide is available for mom's or small group study.

Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God: Encouragement to Refresh Your Soul, by Mary E. DeMuth
Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God: Encouragement to Refresh Your Soul, by Mary E. DeMuth Harvest House Publishers—2005

Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God: Encouragement to Refresh Your Soul, by Mary E. DeMuth

Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God is a devotional aimed at the deeper issues of the heart and one that will provide a soothing respite amid chaos. Think of it as Oswald Chambers meets Busy Housewife.
Writer, speaker, and stay-at-home mom Mary DeMuth creatively focuses on the gift of motherhood as she considers
• resting quietly in the Lord, even on crazy-busy days
• being thankful for the duties as well as the joys of being a mom
• offering God a heart to prune so that it can continue to bear good fruit
Personal stories integrated with scriptural truth and probing prayers will help everyday stay-at-home moms remain connected to the most amazing and extraordinary Parent of all parents.

Encouraging Words for Mothers, by Michelle Medlock Adams
Encouraging Words for Mothers, by Michelle Medlock Adams Barbour Publishing—2013

Encouraging Words for Mothers, by Michelle Medlock Adams

Where can moms find wisdom and support when they really need it? Right at their fingertips - with this encouraging 365-day devotional! You'll discover brief biblical reflections with monthly themes, including worry, unconditional love, discipline, and prayer; and be equipped to be the mother God intended you to be.

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