Last year, I became part of a review panel for new books. The deal is, I occasionally receive emails containing the title and description of a book. It could be just about any kind of book… Christian fiction, parenting, homemaking, self-help, etc. If it looks like something I’d like to read, I respond to the email, and a few weeks later, my book arrives.
My third review came from iMOM, and is for a book called “The Passionate Mom: Dare to Parent in Today’s World” by Susan Merrill. The back of the book reads:
Motherhood is full of uncertainty. What do my children really need? Why are they doing that? Is this normal? What can I do to help them? How can I know for certain that I am doing this right?
The logistics are easy. Anybody can do laundry and carpool. But what makes a mother the best mom she can be?
It’s not better scheduling. Or more activities. Or less.
It is passion—the passion to teach, protect, study, and prepare her children for the future.
Great, but how?
Susan Merrill, the mother of five incredibly different children, has asked that question countless times. And she has read countless answers specific to a certain child’s temperament, age, or situation. But nothing she read offered an overall approach to parenting that would enable her to say with confidence, “I am doing this right.” She never guessed she would find a foundational plan—a reliable, universal parenting approach in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah.
In The Passionate Mom, Susan takes you on a journey through Nehemiah and into the heart of parenting. Her stories and confessions in every chapter reveal what she has learned: no mom can control her child’s future, but every mom can parent well. There is a plan—a roadmap for how a passionate mom can parent almost any child, confidently.
Logistically, this book is a quick, easy read and a very small financial investment. (Most retailers aren’t releasing this book until April 16th, but Amazon is ready to ship today!)
Emotionally, I was gifted with a wealth of encouragement for becoming the best parent God created me to be, and my children will reap benefits that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Merrill’s writing style made it feel as if I was sitting down with a girlfriend to chat over coffee – complete with her own personal mommy confessions. I didn’t feel any judgement or self-righteousness from this author. Instead, I was blessed by her honest anecdotes, and the “we’re-all-in-this-together” camaraderie moms so desperately need.
Everyone has a unique list of parenting strengths and weaknesses. But through Nehemiah’s example, I learned how to bolster my strengths and strengthen the areas where I fall short… and I discovered that I can personalize my parenting approach for each individual child in order to meet them where they are. Each child is different, and each stage of childhood is different. But by using my 10 P’s (perception, pondering, passion, prayer, patience, preparation, purpose, planning, problem solving and perseverance), I can be a flexible, loving, and effective gatekeeper until my children set out on their own.
I was especially blessed by the timing of this book in my personal life, since our church has just wrapped up a series on the characteristics of a good leader, based upon the book of Nehemiah.
This would be a great book for your book club or MOPs group or Bible study group to discuss, and would make an invaluable gift for moms (or dads!) at any stage of parenthood. There are even free printables (available here), that would be a perfect accompaniment. They include: 10 Ways to Pray for your Child, 10 Ways to Pray for your Teen, a 30-Day Passionate Mom Challenge, and a great bookmark with the 10 P’s.
If you’re looking for a concrete list of do’s and don’ts, this is not the book for you. This book is more of a soft place to land… a place to be uplifted… a place you’ll revisit over and over when you need some extra encouragement (so get your highlighter ready!).
Don’t miss out on this blessing of a book!