The wierdest thing happened to me last year. I got one, singular, black hair on my chin. I am not even joking. I called my mom, in full blown panic mode (wondering, am I the only one? Please no! Is this 40? Really? They should stop saying 40 is fabulous if 40 is actually hairy…and scary! Talk about false advertising) and also full of resentment (because there HAS TO BE SOMEONE I can blame for this and she was my obvious choice!).
Thankfully that wasn’t the only weirdest thing that happened to me in 2018. The other thing was that a publisher called and asked if I would consider turning some of my blogs into a book on parenting. I laughed. I silently mouthed the word WHAT at no one in particular. Then I asked her if she was sure that she dialed the right number. Because the truth is that my parenting journey is more misses than hits, more mishaps than magical moments and more therapy worthy interactions than Pinterest worthy inspiration. And aren’t parenting books supposed to be written by like, experts? People who have studied to have an opinion?
But if you follow me on social media (i.e if you’ve seen me post pictures of my zits, my workouts and the notes my kids get in their lunchboxes!) then you will know that I said YES. Yes to writing a book. Yes to being honest with other moms and with myself. Yes to the open door that God in His grace deemed it to be time for in my life. So that is the reason my last blog was in January (said with no small amount of shame) and it’s the reason for this post. According to my dentist it’s also the reason why I now have very worn down teeth. Apparently late night typing and teeth grinding go hand in hand. Who knew?
So why did I write this book? Parenting is the one thing we all want to be good at. Or at least better at. But it’s also the one thing that is just flat out hard. Much harder than anyone ever tells you. Add to that the fact that our kids are growing up in a world that is vastly different than the one we grew up in (and changing fast), and you will quickly find yourself parenting in the defensive, constantly on the back foot as you face issues your parents never had to face and field questions you haven’t even figured out answers for. So how DO we equip them to face complex social issues in an ever-changing world in a way that grows them and instills in them the values that we hold dear, such as kindness, integrity, courage, gratitude, respect? Could we use the challenges they face on the playground or on the sports field to do that? (Spoiler: yes, we can and my book will show you how!) Secondly, considering the brief amount of time we have them with us, how do we lay a foundation in them that with strengthen them against the storms that will inevitably come into their lives, equipping them with everything good to do God’s will (Heb 12 v 21) and helping them make Jesus the cornerstone of their understanding of the world? (Spoiler: the book covers this also! I am nothing if not thorough!)
If you are like most moms I know, maybe you don’t have much time for reading. The parenting books you do own (that you may or may not have read, no judgement here!) were all written by experts. Now there is not a lot that I’m an expert on. But I am an expert on messing up as a mom, over analysing my mistakes, praying and pleading about my parenting with the Lord, and of course the gold standard skill of all moms: worrying. So if any of this sounds like you’re parenting journey, then this is the book for you. It’s not the kind of book you have to sit down and read. You don’t need a degree. You don’t even need a notebook or a big chunk of time. You can just open the table of contents and run your finger along a list of what is hopefully relevant/ useful topics, pop to the page that addresses the issue you are wondering about/ facing/ getting ready to face/ worrying over and dip in right there. Here is a list of the topics covered.
God’s directive to us as parents is clear:
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: Love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home, walking in the street, talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. (Deut 6 v 5 – 8 MSG).
And this directive was the blue print for this book, a parenting book written by an actual parent. Not an expert, not a psychologist, not a pastor but a parent. It was born out of real conversations, every day comings and goings and the very real conviction that the call of Deutoronomy 6 is a call of action and intention. It’s a book written by a real mom, with real struggles, wresting with what it means to raise kids, learning to rest in an awesome God. If this sounds like something you could use, you can head to the SHOP menu to order one (South African readers only – sorry) or get it on Kindle.