I received this book from booksneeze to read and provide a review on it. I loved it! Definitely one of my favorite parenting books. I finished the book feeling encouraged and empowered to be a better mom. 🙂 I read half of it on my flight to CA and the other half on the way home. The chapters are well organized and the material easy to read. It spoke to exactly what I have been feeling lately: a desire to be more intentional, to be a better steward of the time I spend with my kids. I did not feel beaten down after reading it. I did not feel like a failure as a mom like some books can make you feel. I felt the grace of God and the freedom He provides through their writing. One quotation that stood out to me was as follows: “He extends grace to us so that we can then extend grace and mercy to our children. Receive the grace and mercy that is available to you.” That was so good for my soul to hear. That God gives grace to me when I am mean and nasty to my little ones. He gives grace when I am short and impatient with my kids. He gives me grace when I make my kids cry with my words and or actions.
There was another quotation that stuck with me. The author quotes Anne Lamott saying, “I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish”. And then the author goes on to say,”Mine(thoughts) were worse; I promise you. I’ve never felt more angry, more entitled, hateful, spiteful, and ashamed than I have as a parent. Parenting really does ignite our capacity for the worst and the best, for good and for harm.” Amen to that.
The last chapter was the most encouraging. It is entitled Being a Free Parent. They are so many pressures on us as parents. It is easy to feel obligated to put your kids in a million activites or to have perfectly behaved kids and the list goes on and on. Living under those pressures is not living in the freedom Jesus provides. Parents are encouraged to enjoy their kids and trust God in the whole process. We have to give up the illusion that we have control on how our kids will turn out. We can mold and guide but ultimately they will have to choose Jesus for themselves.