Sunday, September 24, 2017

Becoming MomStrong by Heidi St. John ~ A Tyndale book review

Heidi St. John, mom books,Christian parenting, Tyndale publishing

Finally, someone has put into words what I've been thinking about for so long: we need a clarion call to come back to God and His Word for all aspects of this beautifully deep and challenging journey called motherhood. We needed someone to speak the truth in love about guarding our families and our faith against the onslaught of the world, and Heidi St. John has unashamedly listened to God's calling to write a book of encouragement and challenge for moms. Real encouragement for every mom, not just new moms or old moms, birth moms or adoptive moms ~ all moms.

Last Tuesday, September 19th, 2017, Tyndale House Publishers released Heidi St John's newest book: Becoming MomStrong: How to fight with all that is in you for your family & your faith. As a part of the Tyndale Blog Network I was graciously sent one of the first copies off the press before the release date so I could read it and share with you just a little about the heart that Heidi has for other moms.

MomStrong moms know that authentic living doesn't need a platform; it is the platform. Our children see the real mom.  - pg. 132

If you have ever heard Heidi speak at a conference, or listened to one of her podcasts you will know that she is authentic: real. She is not afraid to share the good and the bad of motherhood. Even those days you thought would be perfect, but forgot to plug in the crock-pot! Heidi knows that God's grace is big enough to cover our failures and lead us to His paths of righteousness. 

Reading MomStrong I've laughed, and I've cried, but mostly I have been encouraged. Encouraged to continue to fight, with God's strength, for my faith, and my family.

I first heard Heidi speak at a homeschool conference in early 2014, and I've read two of her other books, both geared towards homeschooling moms, but this book is different. 

Becoming MomStrong is about the entire journey of motherhood, whether your children are educated at home, or at school down the street. Heidi is writing from her big heart full of God's grace and sharing with you things God has taught her along her own motherhood journey. 

When I first started reading Becoming MomStrong,  my husband Kurt leaned over to see what the book was and commented "Don't you think you should know all that by now, our youngest is 17 ?" 

Yes, and no. 

While there was no startling revelation in the book that I had not heard somewhere along this motherhood journey of my own, there was something here just for me. This book takes the best of the advice I have heard over the years from so many seasoned moms, adds Heidi's own quirky sense of humor, and wraps it all up in God's love and points us continually back to the source of our comfort, strength, and wisdom: God Himself. Whether you are a mother to a newborn, or even if your children have all left the nest for college or careers, you will find encouragement in these pages as Heidi shares from her own experiences, and reminds us that we are in this sisterhood of moms together, and together, God makes us strong. 

Heidi St John, MomStrong, Christian parenting

The rest of this review is going to be different from my usual style. This book is so much more than just a book on parenting, it is book on living an authentic, humble, God-focused life so our children can learn from us to trust God in all aspects of living that I want to give you a short summary, and then share a few of the quotes from Becoming MomStrong that I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to write down to remind myself of the truth of a mom focused on God.

The details: Becoming MomStrong is a 260 page paperback book from Tyndale House Publishers. It is also available as an E-book or as a hardcover book, depending on your preference. I always prefer a printed book to an E-book. Reading on a tablet is not relaxing or enjoyable for me long term, plus, it is easier to flip pages in a paperback to where you might have underlined something profound...says Carol as she whistles to herself ... LOL!

Becoming MomStrong is divided into 15 chapters that cover everything from Good News - Your Kids Came with a Manual to Big Girls Do Cry. Each chapter builds upon the themes that MomStrong moms go to God for forgiveness, peace, and strength - each and every day, that motherhood is a journey with seasons, and that nothing, NOTHING is too hard for God! If you are a Christian mom and cannot afford the $13 to buy yourself a copy, then ask your library to buy one, ask your church to buy a copy, or ask your own mom to get it for you for your birthday or Christmas. Moms need to hear these encouraging words, they need reminded that they are masterpieces made by God, that He has a plan, and that their dreams and their days DO matter to Him!

Now, just a few of the tidbits I gleaned from Becoming MomStrong. I cannot put them all, because it is Heidi's book, not mine. I can however say a big THANK YOU to Heidi St. John for making the sacrifices necessary to get this important message into print. It blessed me. It will bless you!

When you get down to it, new mothers and veteran mothers are basically the same. We all have the same struggles and insecurities. The only difference is that veteran moms have the gift of perspective. -pg. 56

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can refuse to let your past rob you and your family of the future God has for you. -pg. 116

Transformation happens when we allow God's truth to shine onto our suffering. It's what we do with suffering that ends up having an impact in this world. -pg. 126

God knows the hearts of tired mothers intimately because He works the night shift with us. -pg. 179

I wrestle to acknowledge my need for rest. - pg. 180

The bottom line, precious mom, is that your kids don't need you to be perfect. They need you to be present. -pg. 227

Don't let the enemy use your failure as a roadblock to the future God has planned for you... press on towards the prize of eternity. -pg. 253

God knew I needed to read Becoming MomStrong. He sent it at just the right time. He answered a prayer to pull me out of the pit I was in. It has been a hard year for me, one of my dearest friends lost her battle with cancer this summer, this thing called motherhood has entered a new season in my life, as our oldest began college, and our youngest started her senior year of high school, not to mention the everyday struggles that accompany life, but when I  look up - I see Him all around me, in every situation, leading me, and reminding me that I too can become MomStrong! So in answer to Kurt's question: Yes! I needed this book. You just might need it too. :)

I received a complimentary copy of Becoming MomStrong from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. I am disclosing this according to FTC regulations. No other compensation was provided.

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