If I were to review this book in just one sentence, it would be “Mommies-READ THIS BOOK!!!” From beginning to end, I loved this book. It was refreshing, easy to read and deeply challenging. Jean Fleming, wife, missionary and mother to three, doesn’t necessarily give deep, profoundly new teaching on motherhood, but she does give a fundamental look at what the heart of a godly mother should look like and some practical steps to achieving such values, vision and character (as the subtitle implies). I can certainly say that of all the parenting books I’ve read thus far, this one tops my list. I know I will re-read it often, trusting God to use it to refresh my heart and give me a right vision for motherhood, as I can be so forgetful at times!
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
You can be physically present and still not make a positive contribution to your children. You can be there, but not be all there. Your mind can be a million miles away, your energy and your ambitions drained by other pursuits. You can focus your attention your “do list,” the television, a good book, or decorating you home, and be oblivious to your child’s needs. You may be too busy or too preoccupied to make a significant difference. (p. 21)
Unless God works, my best efforts are in vain. God must do the real work in my home. I cannot accomplish anything of spiritual and eternal value in the lives of my children. (p.72)
The weaknesses themselves may be the vehicles God uses to bring glory to His name. Weaknesses often heighten your child’s consciousness of his need for God and provide natural opportunities for him to experience God’s help. The ability to view areas of weakness with the confidence that God wants to reveal Himself in your child’s life will alleviate anxiety and promote faith in both you and your child. (p.87-8)
In the same way, disciplining our children must reach beyond correcting undesirable behavior and punishing offenses. Discipline is positive. Discipline is training. Discipline helps our children become what God created them to be. Teaching and discipline are inseparable. (p. 153)
When I think of giving my children wings, I think of doing the “extras” beyond meeting their basic needs. I want to enrich and surprise them, stimulate and refresh them, delight and enchant them. I want them to see our home full of life because God is there. (p. 166)