Feb 7, 2013

Desperate (Book Recommendation)

 When I look back on my nearly four years of mothering, I see a mom who struggles to always "get it right." And by "right" I mean "perfect." And by "perfect" I mean "by the book."
If you were looking at my bookshelf right now, you would probably be overwhelmed by the assortment of parenting titles on display. 
I'm not saying that books are wrong or that there isn't much wisdom to be gained from reading, but my default has become looking outside of myself for answers instead of looking at who God made me to be, the unique children He has placed in my care, and His divine plan for my family.
I have a hard time believing it, but I do believe that God has given me some strengths as a mother. 
I believe that God has given all moms unique strengths within their own families. 
But we're often so busy focusing on what we're getting wrong, that we fail to build on what we're getting right. 
A few weeks ago, I took a little time to write down some things that I felt were my strengths as a Mom. And while the strengths list was a lot shorter than the weaknesses list, I found it to be a good exercise in honoring who God made me to be.
And not only has God given me strengths, he has given me a unique personality and a specific set of talents that He desires me to use for His glory and the building up of others, especially my family.
Sally Clarkson asks in the book Desperate, "Do you think that with such a diverse family, as each of us is bound to have, that one single formula could possibly allow them to live in the grace and power God has meant for us?"
I'm so glad the answer is a resounding "no."
There is no formula. There are no rules that apply to all, except for the principles laid out in Scripture, of course (see Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
I'm very careful with the books I recommend because I dislike books that put heavy burdens on moms or books that offer a one-size-fits-all formula for all families. 
But Sally Clarkson's book, Desperate, has been a breath of fresh air to me. Aside from my own mom, I consider Sally to be my greatest mentor since becoming a mom myself. I've read several of her books, and each has been an instrument of grace in my life.
Sally co-authored Desperate with a young mom, Sarah Mae. I love how there are two points of view offered in the book- one from a mom in the thick of raising young children and one from a mom who has been there and can shed light on the bigger picture.
I would highly recommend picking up this book or sending a copy to a mom with little children. 
The book's subtitle is "hope for the mom who needs to breathe," and that's exactly what it offers.


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