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Today we have a guest post from Laura’s friend, Dollie Blackley. With a compassionate heart, humble wisdom, and a ready listening ear, Dollie is a blessing to all she encounters.
Reading is a great gift. It educates us, allows us to express ourselves through literature and opens the door to many possibilities. As a busy mom to 3, soon to be 4, boys I have found that making time for myself to read has been a challenge. If there is a spare moment amidst the chaos I generally choose to do the dishes, or shower. I have found some freedom in allowing myself to read, whether for leisure or for educational purposes. In the end, taking that time has been one thing that helps me be the best mom that I can be. I have really thrived from having a few encouraging books for the Christian mom to read.
Here are a few of my favorites. Please know that these are almost completely from a Christian perspective. My hope is in Christ, not my ability to mother my children.
Encouraging Books for the Christian Mom
Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper
This book is short, yet rich in content. Noel (and her husband John) weighs in on what it means to make traditions that matter, have meaning, and minister to the hearts of our children in deep, yet practical ways. This book, for example, motivated me to pick a song to sing to each of our children when they were infants. When they request their special song to be sung to them at bedtime it confirms in my heart how we are given routines and traditions to instill value into our beings, and that young hearts need them more than we know.
Parenting with Scripture- A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments by Kara Duribin
This book is a fantastic go-to when those sticky situations come up in parenting and you just aren’t sure how to handle it. It is laid out by topic: anger, lying, jealousy, etc. Each topic has a definition of the topic, followed by scripture and prompting questions to ask your child as you discuss what they are struggling with. I love that is by topic, it makes those tense moments more teachable for your child and for you. I highly recommend this book for any Christian mother.
Do you ever just need someone to validate that the struggle is real? Both of these books accomplish that in a quick and productive fashion. Rachel touches on the exhaustion that comes from being in what I refer to as ‘the trenches’, but brings it back in a way that feels less like whining and more like a pep talk. One thing I love about these books is that the chapters are short; we’re talking 2-3 pages. Sometimes as a worn out mama, knowing that you read a chapter of a book in one sitting means that deep down you’ve still got it, and that this is indeed just a season.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
This book is not exclusively for mothers, in fact it’s not geared toward mothers one bit, but it is my all time favorite fiction novel. This book is based around the book of Hosea, but set in the more ‘modern’ era of 1850. While this book is fiction, Francine draws out the heart issues that keep us from experiencing true intimacy with the One who loves us most. As a mother, we need to make sure we are taking care of our hearts if we want to be able to love the little hearts that surround us. If you haven’t read this book, you should.
Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Women by Patricia Miller
I received this book as a gift from our church as my husband began training to become a Biblical counselor. Let me just tell you that I’ve referenced this book to minister to my heart more than anyone else. I often use it during my quiet time, when I can barely find the coffee pot, let alone the Bible study I started 2 months ago.
This is a reference book categorized by topic, but unlike the Parenting with Scripture book, this book is almost exclusively scripture. Paul Tripp says that “No one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one talks to you as much as you talk to yourself.” This is so true. If we are not feeding ourselves with Truth, plain and simple scripture, on a daily basis, we will preach all kinds of lies to ourselves. No author can out teach the ultimate Author of our lives.
These are just a few encouraging books for the Christian mom that have spoken to my heart on my journey of motherhood. I would like to caution that you could read 10 different books on parenting or motherhood and come away with 10, maybe even 12 different, views. As you read, filter it through your personal and family values. Don’t put too much stock into any opinion or theory unless it is based on a firm foundation, and live life with a lot of grace.
Wife, work at home mom, and bassoonist, Laura Ankrum lives in Iowa City, Iowa. Prior to the arrival of her two children Laura taught elementary music and band in the Boston area. Now her home is her classroom and music studio. Laura is passionate about education, encouraging other moms, and eco-friendly living. She is the social media coordinator at Thirsties Inc and regularly contributes to First Time Mom.