Since the year is nearly half over (ahem), I thought I’d give you my 2013 book list.
And in no particular order, we have:
A Praying Life by Paul Miller
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: an English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
(Pretty much anything by) Elyse Fitzpatrick
(Pretty much anything by) Gerald Morris
Now, here are some thoughts on books I have read or am currently reading this year:
Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic
Whew! There were several ways I found this book helpful. The chapters are short and easy for quick reference. Rachel Jankovic writes a mixture of helpful insights on children’s hearts, funny anecdotes, practical tidbits and encouragements for mom. When she wrote this book, she had 5 children 5 and under. That right there made me feel better. It’s full of great reminders for the mom of littles who is so busy she doesn’t have time or inclination to pour over parenting books.She’s real and a great example of a mother who puts her children first.
One thing I did not agree with in this book was a section in Chapter 12, “Me Time”. (She’s all for moms having alone time, by the way.) She’s addressing the idea of identity during motherhood. Mrs. Jankovic recognizes that motherhood changes us and in such a short amount of time (as is the case in many life changes) that suddenly we can wonder who we are now. She says, “We are like characters in a story. Our essential self is not back in the intro, waiting to be discovered. Who you are is where you are….(your children) are you. If you want to know yourself, concentrate on them (p. 61)”
What? I’ve been given the gift of motherhood in my children, not the gift of identity in them. My children are most definitely not me. My roles will fluctuate throughout life. As a Christian, my identity in Christ will never change. That is what really defines me, no matter where I am in life. I agree with Mrs. Jankovic that the world has a muddled perception of self and that God grows us where He leads us in life-I don’t have to get a new marriage or a corporate job in order to find myself and be secure. As a mom, my children are one of my top priorities and that means sacrifices in time, sleep, and energy. Moms, please don’t be confused! There’s a big difference between saying my identity is in other people and saying my identity is in Christ, therefore, as my Lord, He shows me how I am to use my unique giftings and abitlities to serve others in every stage of life. (What are some good Scripture references for this? I’m thinking Galations 2:20* for starters…)
Well (speaking of motherhood) I need to tackle some laundry before my kiddos wake up. Next time (Masterpiece Theater voice) look for some brief and not-so-brief thoughts on a few other books I’ve read this year!
*I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.