The Passionate Mom: Dare to Parent in Today’s World by Susan Merrill

This book caught my attention from reading the description of the book on the back cover – the author said that she found a “reliable, universal parenting approach in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah”.  I did a Bible study that went through the book of Nehemiah last year and felt like I couldn’t wait to hear what she got about parenting from that book!  Honestly, once I got into the book, I was really surprised by what she came up with and felt like it was spot on for challenges we face today as moms.  What a great resource for looking at things in a new way!

The author uses 10 P’s (perception, ponder, passion, prayer, patience, preparation, purpose, planning, problem solving, and perseverance) to talk about ways to handle situations with your children – but also with yourself as their parent.  She gave really great examples in each of these areas, both from her life and from the lives of friends/people she’s known.  You were able to completely relate throughout the book, even though there are circumstances that she brought up that I’m not even thinking about yet as the mom of a two year old (like being on the internet, going out with friends, dating, etc.).  I feel like the things that were mentioned are really great ones to think about at all stages of mothering.

While each of these “P’s” are good, I was really struck by the one for “Pondering”.  The author gave an example of a time when she noticed that her daughter was getting tan, when she had always been someone they referred to as “Snow White” because she just wouldn’t tan.  She was the only one who was concerned about it, her daughter thought it was great, her husband thought she was just being paranoid, and everyone around them thought that she was just worrying unnecessarily.  After doing some searching online, she found that her daughter could have a pretty rare disease, and went to the doctor – who also thought she was just overreacting.  A few days later, she got a call from the doctor saying that she had been right and her daughter had to see a specialist right away – she had the same thing her mother thought she could have.  It’s a good thing she didn’t give up, she followed through on the things that she had been thinking about and feeling just weren’t right.  If she hadn’t, it could have cost her daughter her life!  The reason this stands out for me is that I feel like so often, we moms have concerns or just inklings of a “worry” and we tend to think that if anyone else is telling us that it’s really not something we should be concerned about, that we should just “let it go”.  But there’s a lot to be said for taking the time to look into our concerns, and following through on getting them checked out.  It might not be anything big most of the time, but those times that it could have been something big that we caught early, it’s worth recognizing that we have an obligation to both ourselves and our children to follow through on our worries/fears.  There’s nothing wrong with “pondering” – it can lead to good things!  It’s good to ponder, but also good to have a good sense of perception – both of things going on around us, and of things going on with our kids.

Overall, I think this was an absolutely amazing book and I highly recommend it.  I believe that this is something that will help me for many years to come!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, and was asked to provide an honest review.  The thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

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