Liz Wann writes a book for mothers who are tired—no, exhausted—with daily life. It isn’t just that kids are difficult, but trying to raise them in a way where they will grow up as God-loving, people-caring, wise and responsible adults when it takes years to get to that point is taxing. Kid’s get sick, they’re rude, they fight, they need constant help, guidance, wisdom, and discipline. You talk to them over and over, answer every “Why?” ad nauseum, and pray something sticks. You will be doing the majority of this while tired, sometimes sick, and you have a husband to care for (and one who will help too), and a few kids clamoring for your attention. All. The. Time. That isn’t to forget about all the sweet parts of motherhood. They come a’plenty. But even still, parenthood is exhausting.
[I write this review as a husband and father who has been able to be a lot at home for the last four years of my two (now three) sons’ lives. There are ways I can relate to this, such as experiencing the chaos of day after day all day long, and other parts I cannot relate to—what it’s like to actually give birth, breastfeeding troubles, postpartum depression, and more.]
Wann writes that “motherhood felt as if I was coming to the end of me” (12). In the midst of her disappointment at how motherhood wasn’t going as she expected, she realized “this is how it is, and that’s ok.” It was right there in the daily “deaths” of motherhood where she would meet Jesus. Those deaths “were producing the life of Christ” in her (12).
Wann embraced her struggles as one of the means of growing in godliness. It drove her to Christ and the power he supplies in the midst of failure and weakness. Her book is meant to offer you life in the moments where you feel like you just lost yours (12).
Daily life is repetitive, which causes things to blur together. But we can easily underestimate the ordinary parts of our days. “The mundane beauties can be missed: cuddling on the couch to read a book together, having heart-to-heart talks, spotting an act of kindness between siblings, praying together, and talking about Jesus and the gospel… These are ordinary moments for eternity” (30). It may be boring to us, but God created repetition. The sun goes up and down. The moon rotates around the earth, the earth around the sun, over and over again. As we repeat the ordinary tasks (daily meals), even the dirty tasks (dirty dishes/clothes/diapers/kids), we give our children their first glimpses of our servant Savior.
This is what worship looks like to God. He has given us these children to raise and train. On Sunday mornings, Wann writes, “We sing praise with our mouths to God, while worshiping by tearing open cracker packets and tying loose laces” (44).
You don’t need to mother (or father) perfectly, especially not in an Instagram-worthy way. “We already have [God’s] stamp of approval in our lives through his Son Jesus” (45). Knowing we have that stamp means we can acknowledge our faults and imperfections—like anger and impatience—and bring them to Christ. Parenthood teaches us patience, grace, love, and dependence on Christ.
Each chapter ends with a written prayer and space for journaling. Wann includes stories of other mothers and the difficulties they go through (children with mental health issues, anxiety, etc.).
At seven chapters and 120 pages, this is a book that young moms could actually read through (and finish!) while their kids are asleep. Wann reminds her readers of Christ’s daily faithfulness and power to tired mothers who are trying to serve him as best they can.
- Author: Liz Wann
- Paperback: 124 pages
- Publisher: The Good Book Company (March 1, 2021)
- Read a sample
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Disclosure: I received this book free from The Good Book Company. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.
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