This Sunday, May 11 is Mother's Day, a day set aside to celebrate and recognize the work and self-sacrifice required of motherhood, something not usually realized until a child becomes an adult with children of their own. That's when they understand the real cost of motherhood, even though the rewards of being a mom far outweigh the benefits. Or as this Jewish Proverb says "God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers."
These two reviews feature aspects of motherhood everyone deal one. The first is how to find time for the Lord and spiritual growth when you're a new mother with an infant, The other is about perfectionism and unrealistic expectations many young mothers struggle with.
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.
Mom Seeks God: Practicing Grace in the Chaos, by Julia Roller, Abingdon Press, 2014, 208 Pages, 978-1426771026, $15.99
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.
No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life, by Jill Savage, Moody Press, 2013, 224 Pages, 978-0802406378, $13.99
Midwest Book Reviews: April 2014
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