Editor’s Note: The Power of Moms is a website for mothers of all religious preferences. On Sundays we like to feature posts that have some religious undertones (or overtones). This book is centered around a Bible story but is applicable to all mothers.
Author: Susan Merrill
Basic Overview: Using the story of Nehemiah from the Bible, author Susan Merrill lays out a template to aid mothers as they “dare to parent in today’s world.”
Nehemiah was a fearless leader in the Old Testament who returned to Jerusalem to help his people rebuild a protective wall around the city. It took great planning and insight to execute such a project and Nehemiah encountered many difficulties along the way.
In The Passionate Mom, we see that as mothers we have much in common with Nehemiah. We are the wall that surrounds and protect our children. Merrill takes nine attributes displayed by Nehemiah and likens them to bricks that make up our mothering wall: perception, pondering, passion, prayer, preparation, purpose, planning and perseverance. Just as the wall around Jerusalem had gates, so should our mothering “wall”. These gates allow our children to experience life outside the home in a safe manner that will help prepare them when for when they are grown and on their own. Such gates include things like the use of free time, cell phones, and driving.
Parts I Liked Best: The “brick in the wall” that hit home the most to me was that of pondering. It is so easy in today’s world to be distracted and lose sight of our purpose as mothers and what we need to teach our children.
The book discusses how alertness, availability and attentiveness will help increase our perception. The more aware we are of the needs of our children, the better able we are to ponder, pray and then plan for ways to strengthen them.
Because we cannot always be everywhere, Merrill encourages the formation of your own “Mommy Mafia”. I thought this was such a cute idea; we all need to have other adults who can be our eyes and ears. Coaches, teachers, and friends’ mothers can give us valuable perspectives on our child and we should use them. One of the cardinal rules of the “Mommy Mafia”? Never reveal your sources.
I found the discussion of “gates” to be very helpful as well. Gates are not to limit or control our children, they are to give them positive experiences in the “real world.” Opening a gate, however, is not a right but a privilege and the gate can always be closed if our children do not prove that they are ready for the added responsibility.
How This Book Made an Impact In My Life, Especially as a Mother (or why I just really liked it): I think one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book is because it never claims to have all the answers. Instead, it provides mothers with tools and skills that will help each of us approach and solve our individual problems with confidence.
It was refreshing to have spiritual matters addressed alongside more temporal matters and to be reminded that we often need a higher power to be effective mothers. One question from the book that has really stuck with me is: If Christ stopped by your house and asked, “What do you want for your child?” would you know what to say?
I realized that I need to take more time to perceive, ponder and pray so that I can deliberately mother my children in the way that they need best.
*** Five lucky readers will have the chance to win a hard copy of The Passionate Mom plus a t-shirt! Simply enter a comment below to enter this giveaway. Winners will be chosen and announced on Friday, May 17th.