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Author: Nancy B. Kennedy
Miracles and Moments of Grace is a compilation of stories from women of all walks of life who all have something in common: they are all mothers. The author, Nancy Kennedy, has done a beautiful job at recording and collecting stories of hope, love, hardship, joy, worry, or as we could simply say, motherhood. The stories are written or told by each mother herself. As I read it I could imagine myself sitting in a discussion circle at a retreat asking, “So, what has been one of your defining moments of motherhood?” and getting some really beautiful responses. It is a book that is designed to be easy to read a story here and a story there, but they are all so wonderfully inspiring you will not want to put it down.
Parts I liked best:
I loved the introduction by Nancy and the story of her “perfect moment.” After giving birth to her son at age 41, she says she really had wondered if she had it in her to be a mother. While traveling abroad she and her husband took their son, then 4, to a local theme park. She tells how she does not like theme parks and on top of that it was a warm day and the park was crowded. Not expecting to have a great time they trudged on from long line to long line. One particular ride had their 4-year-old driving a mini car around a track, something he was very excited to do. They watched as he rode, quite impressed with his skills. Then, as he exited the ride he ran to her smiling and jumped up into her arms. She says, “This was it. My perfect moment. It was an electrifying moment of pure joy. In that moment, I suddenly and unexpectedly experienced that miraculous connection, that primal, not-to-be-denied clutch of love that claims a child as your own.” (pg. 16)
I loved the variety of stories throughout the book. I felt that there was a story for every mother, or one they could relate to. There were touching stories of infertility, premature babies, and adoption. Others talked about big life changes like going to school while raising a family, living a more health lifestyle, and moving out of state. Some spoke of the small day-to-day moments with their children, like watching them squish a bug, get into mischief, and the ode to the baby swing. There truly is something for everyone.
How this book made an impact in my life, especially as a mother (or why I just really liked it):
This book really inspired me as a mother. One thing that helped me as a mother was seeing I’m not alone! We have all been there. We all have the great joyous moments in motherhood and then we all have the moments where the child is sticking our car keys in the dryer. We can share our joys and our struggles and through that process we inspire and uplift other mothers.
There were so many themes interwoven through each mother’s story, but they all can be summed in one word: love. Even through the hard times, the messes, the tantrums, the struggles, all of these mothers are sharing their stories of love. Love for their families, love for other mothers, and most of all, love for their children.
I think Nancy summed up this wonderful journey of motherhood best when she said, “We know what a mom’s life is like—hectic, chaotic, challenging and sometimes, yes, mind-numbing. Yet somehow, in the end, all the inconveniences, the anxieties, the struggles, the uncertainties fade, until what we have left in our memories are those fleeting moments that leave us in awe of our children and of the job of motherhood.”(page 12)
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