Disclaimer: I was given this book for free to read and review on the Poon blog. I was not compensated monetarily, nor did I promise to write a favorable review.
I was first introduced to Jen Hatmaker when we used her book, A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study, last summer on the Hawaii Summer Project. As someone who appreciates a deep study of Scripture, I must admit that when I saw the cover, I was suspicious. I was fully prepared to dismiss it as too “light” and not up to my lofty intellectual standards. (Insert sarcasm.)
I was extremely and pleasantly surprised by the book, and instantly became a fan of Mrs. Hatmaker. In fact, she’s a fellow Austinite and when I saw that we had a mutual friend on Facebook, I did the unthinkable – I friended her. I’m almost ashamed to admit that since that is NOT something I do. I do not friend people I don’t know. However, it was a very good decision, as her status updates provide many moments of hilarity in the Poon household. This is commonly heard: “Jason, come here… listen to what Jen says!” It’s usually followed by me relaying something hilarious that has happened in an exchange between Mama Hatmaker and her kids. Hee-larious.
Anyway, on to the real reason for this blog post – a review of her latest book, Out of the Spin Cycle.
This book is filled with “devotions to lighten your mother load.” It is definitely written toward a specific audience, which is moms of young children. Having said that, the following statement should be common sense – this is not an overly deep or “heavy” book. I mean that in the sense that each day’s devotions are not filled with heavy exegesis of Scripture nor do they require more than a few minutes.
This is obviously a credit to the book, as few mothers of pre-schoolers have the time or mental energy for such an endeavor. Each devotional is rather short, and contains an anecdote – usually from Jen’s own household and almost always hysterical. Luckily (this is a devotional book, after all) her writing isn’t all grins-and-giggles. Despite the light tone, the content is significant and valuable. Every story is designed to speak to the young mother where she is and give her an avenue for connecting with God during her harried day.
The end of each day’s reading features reflection questions and a suggested application point. These seemed significant, yet easy enough to work into a busy day. More importantly, this section is designed to help Mom look up, past the mound of dirty clothes and toddler meltdowns long enough to reconnect with God and receive strength for her day.
I still have the time, energy and quiet house for a more in-depth Bible study, so this will not be my go-to book for the next couple of months. However, after reading it once, I’m looking forward to picking it back up and reading it again once Baby Girl is born. Even at my current stage of life, I found plenty on love and service to challenge me and help me see that people that don’t need me every second are already sometimes difficult for me to love.
Eeesh… this motherhood thing could be tricky.