Using the book of Nehemiah as inspiration for the material in this book, I was definitely excited to pick up this book. "The Passionate Mom: Dare to Parent in Today's World" by Susan Merrill did not disappoint! The entire book is a treasure trove of fabulous principles that moms at all stages can implement to help parent confidently.
I loved the idea of creating a parenting book using the example of Nehemiah, a former cupbearer to the king of Babylon turned wall-builder for the city of Jerusalem. Just as Nehemiah's focus was on rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem for the protection of his people, Merrill likens the role of moms to be a wall builder for our families and our children. There are ten different "bricks" that we can use to build the wall for our kids, including perception, passion, prayer, planning, and preparation. She discusses each brick at length and includes some ideas for "mortar" that we can use to help hold those bricks firmly in place. She also includes a wonderful chapter about the different "gates" (opportunities for our children to be tested in independence) that we open and close as necessary. That chapter includes a number of Scripture prayers that moms can pray as we begin to open those gates. At the end of the book, she includes a number of resources which can be found on her website, iMOM.
Overall, this was a fantastic book that is well suited for moms at all stages. This would be a great book to go through as a women's Bible study or a book club. There are so many wonderful application points that discussion would really be helpful to fully process all that you learn through this book.
(I've received this complimentary book through the Book Sneeze program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
In this book, Susan Merrill goes through the book of Nehemiah and relates the process of how he rebuilt the wall in Jerusalem to how we as mothers should raise our children. From the start, this was an interesting parallel, and I enjoyed how each chapter in the book related to the steps Nehemiah took to rebuild the wall.
My favorite part of the book was how she used the gates in the wall as metaphors for things in the world that we need to be monitoring as we raise our kids. It painted such a good picture of what we as parents need to do and how we should be in control of when, how often, and how much each gate should be opened. Although there are many things that would correspond to gates in our kids' world, the ones that she mentioned were: Choices, School, Friends, Free Time, Technology, Cell Phones, Social Media, Driving, Dating, and College. There were some very practical points in this section that I will definitely be referring to in the future as my daughter gets older.
I felt that this book is mostly applicable to those with older children, but I am glad that I read it now so that I will be more prepared for the future. I also think that the author comes at parenting a little bit one-sided at times. She assumes that children will be away from their parents for great periods of time during the day. While we plan to send our daughter to school, I think some home-schooling parents might feel as if parts of the book don't apply to them. I also thought that the whole book was a little one-sided in that fact that it was only addressed to moms. I realize that I have an important role in my daughter's life, but I see my husband and myself as more of a team rather than me as the mom taking the major role in my raising my daughter. (And yes, I realize that the book is called The Passionate 'Mom,' but I just like to view things from a parenting team point of view rather than a Mom point of view).
Even though some aspects might have been one-sided the overall book was convicting, practical, and encouraging. One of the most convicting points for me was that as a parent I should fear God more than I fear what my child might think. This is so hard for a parent to do sometimes because we want to give everything to our child. But we should want what's best for them more than to just make the happy in the moment.
The Passionate Mom really gave me a lot to think about in my parenting, especially as my daughter gets older and encounters the world more and more. I'm sure I will be referring to this book often in the future.
Susan does a fabulous job of laying out a great foundation for being a passionate and deliberate mom! Taking cues from Nehemiah, she makes an old Bible story relevant for today's parenting! Even if you don't read the Bible, this book isn't preachy, it's passionate! Susan tells on herself and is very transparent, yet she also encourages you where you may be struggling. No matter where you are in the growing up of your children into productive adults in society, this book is for you! I have 12 year old twin daughters and I find this book a valuable resource in my day-to-day parenting challenges. You will not be disappointed at all in this book!!
Susan Merrill's book: The Passionate Mom, is one of those rare finds in the world of parenting advice books for mothers. It's not focused on being a particular kind of mom versus another. It's not going to please "helicopter moms" while annoying those with a more "hands-off" parental style. It's not pro-playful moms or organized moms, fun moms, creative moms, or intense moms. It's really one of those few books on mothering that can really connect with all of us moms who care about parenting our children well, regardless of our personality type or preferred Mom-style.
Using the Biblical book of Nehemiah as her inspiration and source, Merrill discusses the traits of what she terms a "passionate mom." She balances personal stories and examples with the study of God's Word and reminds us how we as moms are responsible for building our children just as Nehemiah rebuilt the Jerusalem walls. We help build who they are, as well as boundaries for their protection, gates that lead to freedom and personal responsibility, and a firm foundation for their faith.
Her writing style made this a quick, easy, and insightful read. There may have been times when I longed for more concrete examples or practical tips on how to put the principles in the book into action, but overall I was inspired, encouraged, and challenged along the way to be the foremost expert on my children, their advocate, teacher, defender, and corrector.
I enjoyed this book's Biblical foundation. Her use of Nehemiah as a guide for parenting wasn't a stretch and truly made sense since Nehemiah himself has served as an example for leaders and those in authority in many venues. So many parenting books hinge their entire philosophy and plan on one verse here or another there, but Merrill's principles all emerge from an entire book of the Bible, focusing on how Nehemiah led his people and how we as moms lead our children.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I was excited to read this book - a chance to read through Nehemiah and focus on parenting at the same time. I thought it sounded intriguing. The author looks at Nehemiah and how he helped the Israelites rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. She explains the steps that Nehemiah took to handle the task before him and related those to our task of parenting. There were 10 steps or P's that she pulled out for us to focus on: Perception, Pondering, Passion, Prayer, Patience, Preparation, Purpose, Planning, Problem Solving, and Perseverance. I appreciated each one - a great list to think about as we parent each of our children.
As each "P" is explained, she shares "bricks" in the wall that help us develop that area. She also describes "gates" in the wall that are places we open to give our children more freedom as they are ready. The author also refers to her website, imom, for more resources.
I would recommend this book.
(I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their booksneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)