Friday, July 15, 2011

Never Judge a Book by Its Cover!

 I'm reading a little book right now that my Man gave to me a few weeks ago called Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches. I didn't think I'd like the book AT ALL and even huffed a bit when he handed it to me. Even as he cited all of the good reviews the book had been receiving, I was internally rolling my eyes and wondering why he'd ordered it for ME.

The cover was troubling at best, it has a picture of a very young child who has spilled spaghetti all over himself (including on his eyelid!) and all over the rest of the book's lovely white cover for goodness sake!! It just made me want to run for a dishrag.  I tossed it on the shelf, confident that I had mastered "the little years" at this point in my life.
It wasn't until a week or so later that I grabbed "Loving the Little Years" and headed outside to read while the kids played.

The first sentence grabbed me:
"If there is anything I have learned in the course of my fast and furious mothering journey, it is that there is only one thing in my entire life that must be organized." 
Alrighty then, one thing, I can handle organizing ONE THING! Maybe this gal could teach me something, or at least that ONE THING!

I read on to learn that the author, Rachel Jankovic, is a mother to five kids under the age of six! OK, she must really need to have more organized than just that one thing right? I continued reading the first chapter and discovered that the one thing that the author needed to have  organized was her ATTITUDE. 
"The kids can be running like a bunch of hooligans through a house that appears to be at the bottom of a toaster, and yet, if organization and order can still be found in my attitude, we are doing well. But if my attitude falters, even in the midst of external order, so does everything else."
All I could think of was OUCH! I had been in an internal season of self-imposed "woe-is-me" and my attitude had defiantly suffered, creating a mountain out of EVERY conceivable mole hill.

Greeting my Man at the door each day as he arrived home with tales of bad listening, harsh heartedness, mental clutter and defeat. I was NOT tattling on the children, I was relating to him the internal condition of my heart! Oh how he must have loved coming home to me!

I dared to read further and finish the mere two page chapter that had snapped my pity-partying self to attention. The author finished her introductory chapter with these words,
"I didn't write this book because mothering little ones is easy for me. I wrote it because it isn't. I know that this is a hard job, because I am right here in the middle of it. I know you need encouragement every day, because I do too."
I continue to pick up this book that I'd earlier judged as "beneath me and my level of experience" each morning to read a word of encouragement and to get my game-face on for the day. 

The second short chapter begins with the most intriguing sentences: 
"I remember a time when I used to be much godlier. It was sometime in junior high and my room was clean..." 

The third chapter, "Picky Chickens" is fabulous and the fourth chapter, my favorite thus far, is called "The Fruit of the Spirit Speed Quiz" which I'm pretty sure I failed, but am excited to keep trying! 

Each day I enjoy a small chapter and a large dose of wisdom from this fellow "mom-in-the-trenches" who communicates with a winsome voice and with a realistic outlook the important calling of motherhood. 

My only wish is that the publishers would have chosen not to aim the book at such a narrow audience, mothers of very young children, with the book's title. I've been studying this art of mothering for over a decade, and I'm confident that mothers of preschoolers, school-aged children, and even pre-teenaged children and beyond will find great benefit in these pages!

Rachel Jankovic recently wrote an article entitled "Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)" which is every bit as wonderful as the content of her book. (Click here, or on the title of the article above to go to the article's website. To read more about the book, click anywhere you see the book's title to take you to the link for Loving the Little Years)

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

I just read that article yesterday and loved it--both convicting and encouraging! I'll have to get that book know the cover might be what's attracting me. Is there a chapter about keeping baby's face clean while eating the spaghetti?? HAHA!

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