(Today is the second of three book reviews and giveaways I’m doing this week! Check out the first one here. I’ve received these three books from publishers in exchange for my honest review. I have a copy of each to give away to one of my blog readers. Check out the review below, and then read the instructions for the giveaway that follow.)
Today I’m reviewing Hopes and Fears: Everyday Theology for New Parents and Other Tired, Anxious People by two women pastors, Bromleigh McCleneghan and Lee Hull Moses (of the United Methodist Church and the First Christian Church, respectively).
If you’re tired of “how to” books or traditional devotionals, but want to read something that will spiritually encourage you through the mundane day-to-day parenting of babies and small children, this one’s for you. The chapters are individual essays that could be read at any time, in any order – making it a light, easy read that is perfect for weary parents who only have a few minutes to pick up a book.
The 14 chapters alternate by author. Both authors are highly relatable, insightful and quite funny! I laughed out loud throughout the book. They make you feel as though you’re hanging out with one of those friends who makes you laugh, cry, and think a little more deeply about life. Their status as working moms/pastors is an encouragement especially for those who find the balance of work and parenthood challenging.
Here are a few chapter titles to give you a feel for the nature of the book:
Bedtime: On Ferber, and Freedom, and Faith
Cuddling, and Other Not-As-Precious Things about Incarnation: On Intimacy, and Being Human, and Assorted Bodily Fluids
Washing the Diapers: On Gratitude, and Justice, and Living in a Broken World
I’m the Mommy, That’s Why: On Authority, and Experts, and Looking for Truth
In almost every chapter, I found myself turning down a page corner to keep track of little nuggets of insight in the most unexpected places. I say “unexpected” because the book reads so easily that you don’t necessarily expect to stumble across something particularly enlightening. But you do. And that is the joy of this book.
I would recommend it to parents in the season of raising babies through, perhaps, preschoolers. While the insights apply to parents with kids of any age, you’ll find it much more relatable if you’re in the season the authors are writing about. There are two reservations I would mention:
- One of the authors is particularly liberal in her theology, and those leanings of course impact her worldview (and writing) significantly. As a more conservative Christian, I found the liberal theological underpinnings a bit distracting in her essays.
- I’m not sure I would have called his book “everyday theology.” Perhaps because I read a lot of in-depth theology books, I really didn’t find this “theological” at all. That could be a good or bad thing for you personally, but I wanted to mention what I felt was a disconnect between title and content.
If you want to learn more about this book, or order it for yourself, check it out here on Amazon (non-affiliate link).
I have one copy of this book to give away! To be entered into my random drawing, please do the following:
1) Sign up to receive my blog posts via email (there’s a subscription box right under this post). If you’re already a subscriber, you don’t need to do anything on this one. (If you’re a Facebook fan, that’s great! But most people don’t see every blog post announcement on Facebook because it depends when you’re on and how many other things are in your news feed that day. That’s why I want to encourage blog fans to sign up via email! That way you’ll always know when a new post is up.)
2) Enter a comment below and let me know of a topic you’d like to see me write about on this blog. If you did so already in the first giveaway, just add another topic you’d like to see. There are all kinds of Christian parenting issues. 🙂 If you really are scratching your head, just tell me the types of posts you most enjoy that you have found here.
To enter, do the above two things by 6 p.m. Sunday, March 17. I will do a random drawing of entrants that night. Good luck!