Friday, June 18, 2010

Jen Hatmaker-Out of the Spin Cycle

Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load

YES!  I got to review another one of Jen's books on my blog!  I not only reviewed her book but interviewed her for her previous book, Interrupted, way back in October.  Busy lady.

Now she's working on a project called Seven.  I cannot wait to read it.  (Don't forget me, Jen.)

Out of the Spin Cycle is a devotional for moms.  It's written in such a way that you can read it cover to cover, you know, like a book, or day by day, as a devotional. I know, this is deep stuff I'm telling you here.  I read it cover to cover over the course of several days.  It flows together.  VERY encouraging. 

She covers many topics but all of them are meant to lift us up in our jobs as moms.  Some of us are stay at homes, others are working away from home.  Some of us breastfeed, others bottle feed.  Some of us (crazy moms) have six kids and want more, others have two and that's all they can do.  She wants us all to come together to realize a commonality.  We are raising children for Christ's glory.  We don't have to be the same.

The most encouraging chapter to me was the one titled Garbage for Christmas.

In it she talked about the junk she got her kids for Christmas.  Okay, maybe she didn't call the stuff she bought junk.  But come on, haven't we all done it?  Like this past Christmas I tried to scrimp on the volleyball net and ended up with a broken pole AND a broken carrying bag, the minute Jeff picked it up.  Still have to return that silly thing.

She related it back to Matthew 7: 8-11:  "...If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

Then she went on to say:

"If you ask for patience, God won't give you exasperation. If you beg for strength, don't expect to receive more fatigue.

Once you request an extra dose of kindness, God won't hand out irritation."

It's so true.  And it's what I do each day before God in prayer.  He supplies my needs.  I'm so thankful.

Jen fits a need too.  She understands what I'm going through, because she has been there.  TRIPLE what I'm going through...okay not triple...I have six kids...but she's been there.  Just wait till you read the story of her thirteen month old, who opened the door and went for a walk down the street.  There is more to the story you don't want to miss.  I read it to Jeff and Ashlea and we were all cracking up.

Jen says she'll try to stop by blog, not my house.  (But Jen if you are ever in the area, I have coffee.  You have some coffee and I'll be right back.  Don't worry about the noise or the mess, you'll get used to it.)    Be sure to leave her some comments and any questions you have for her. 

Jen says about our struggles:

Well, let me tell you what mine were.  Because no one told me not to, I had a baby every two years, so at the height of my craziness, I had an infant, a toddler, and a preschooler (and a new found respect for a glass of wine).  Forgive me if this sounds too obvious, but my biggest struggle was the constancy of it all.  Every second of every day of every week of every month, these needy humans needed the crap out of me.  There was just no end of it.  There was never a day when the two-year-old said, "You know what, Mom?  You haven't had a shower in three days.  Go sit down and watch American Idol.  I'll make dinner tonight."

There are so many parts of early childhood that are downright magical, and believe me, I remember those too, but some of it was a little traumatizing for me if I'm being honest with you.  I'd never worked so hard in my life.  (But here's a little happiness for you, young moms:  It gets so much easier!  I swear.  I believe my fifth grade daughter could live independently in her own apartment right now if called upon.)

The physical and emotional energy young motherhood requires is like running a daily marathon and still being required to have sex that night.  It's just so much.  And it's wrought with fear and uncertainty; we just want to do this so well, and sometimes we feel like we're hitting the target and other times everything seems to be going to hell in a hand basket.  There aren't sick days, paid leave, or awards ceremonies for raising the next generation either.

Which is why we need Jesus.
Which is why we need to invest in our marriages.
Which is why we need each other.
Which is why we need to do the things that refill our tanks.
Which is why we need the Word.

Without making time for the above-mentioned soul-savers, we'll drown in the sea of early childhood.  So first of all, relax.  You're not alone if sometimes you eat a gallon of ice cream and cry in the dark.  Every mom has meltdowns and wonders if she can actually pull this off.  Every mom accidentally goes postal.  Every mom gets discouraged some days.

But you have all the tools you need, and except by your own choice, you have never to be alone.  God always has your back, your husband made half those babies so he's in, and girlfriends are the lifeline sent from heaven.

You can do this."

Yes you can...

And could someone get me some ice cream, please?


Kara said...

I could listen to Jen for days!!! I love her methods and adore the way she's so real. She says the things that we wouldn't dare because we think they are inappropriate. ...but come on... we all think it!! I want to read this book/devotional!!! Her teaching is a breath of fresh air.
Thank you for sharing, Michelle!

Yara said...

I'm gonna see if it's available as an ebook so I can read it.
And... I have ice cream- get over here!
(we won't tell Kelly)
(just kidding Kelly!)

Jen Hatmaker said...

"She says the things we wouldn't dare because we think they are inappropriate..." HA! You pretty much nailed me, Kara. Thank you, Michelle, for taking the time (again) to review a book when heaven knows you didn't have time. I appreciate you so much! And if I'm ever in town, I'll take you up on that coffee to you and all the Mamas!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Really want to read this book....Trying to catch up some blog reading...Love your blog..
Hope you will stop by for a visit. I have a guest post from my son this weekend...Happy Sunday

Your Eldest said...

Mom, I think I want to read it too. Can I borrow it?