Monday, April 4, 2016

Book Review: Everyday MOMents - Jessica Poe

Some of you might remember seeing this posted on my Instagram a few months ago with the following text:

'I think God must look at my anxious scrambling in life like this. I'm freaking out about getting all of my proverbial stuffed animals into the pretend bathtub, and He's watching me like, "Aw! You're adorable. Now calm down - none of this is as big a deal as you're making it.'

I frequently find myself thinking similar things each day as I interact with my toddler - 'God must look at me this way...' 'I'm sure Heavenly Father feels similar frustration when I act out, the way she does.' 'I wonder if Heavenly Father feels this kind of love for me...' I'm not sure when I started having those thoughts, or's just been a natural part of my motherhood experience.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened Jessica Poe's new book - Everyday MOMents - and realized that the entire thing is an extension of (and expansion of) that same thought process!

Here's a candid (haha) photo of me reading the book. You can tell it's the end of a very real day of mothering because my hair is in an amazingly greasy ponytail and I've avoided including my tired, bleary-eyed face in it. (you're welcome.) 
Important: very annoying pomeranians love this book. (look at his intense little face!)
Also important: I recommend reading this book with a very large caffeinated beverage from Sodalicious and an equally large chocolate fudge cookie. (it is worth mentioning that I recommend most daily tasks be done with a very large caffeinated beverage from Sodalicious and an equally large chocolate fudge cookie.)
I digress. Back to reviewing things:

Jessica had my attention right from the Introduction where she addressed the struggle we all face as mothers everyday - finding the balance between what we know in our hearts is the most divine and incredible experience of our lives (mothering God's children on earth), staying spiritually connected to that perspective, and living real life. 

"Too often the daily goo and sticky fingerprints muck up my mind, so I'm not seeing the spiritual side of my mothering life...It's all about seeking symbols in His sight while experiencing the everyday mommy moments." Everyday MOMents - Introduction (p2)

I completely believe that my role as a mother is the most important calling I'll have during this lifetime. It's interesting to me, though, that as much as I believe that...I still find myself sighing in frustration, comparing my experiences to other peoples', rubbing my temples and longing for bedtime at least a half dozen times each day haha. Why is that?? 

I know I'm not alone among my mommy friends with those thoughts and struggles - and Jessica Poe suggests an awesome solution to the perspective problem: grab a spiral notebook and title it " Seeing the Divine Details in my Everyday Life." Sound a little too intense/time consuming to you..? It isn't! She outlines how to join her on the journey in simple, easy-to-follow steps at the end of each chapter.

Throughout the book, Jessica walks the reader through her daily experiences as a mom and gives real-life examples of finding God in all of the frustrating, wonderful, mundane, overwhelming, quiet, awesome moments that motherhood gives each of us. While I, personally, lack some of the extensive scriptural knowledge that she seems to draw upon naturally and easily in those moments - I found her perspective to be enlightening, helpful and motivating.

I love how real Jessica's writing reads - her voice in my head is familiar and friendly, her experiences relatable and dear. I can't tell you enough how encouraging I found her book to be. I love that it was concise enough that even a VERY tired and scatterbrained Mom like me could get through it and actually feel like I retained information from beginning to end (haha - that's a pretty huge accomplishment for me).

So...if YOU feel like you could use a little help with your daily mothering perspective, if you feel like you could use some help in 'discovering Christ in the details of motherhood', and if you like reading real-life (and real-encouraging) books about moms and for moms, then find yourself a copy of this book. You won't be sad about it. (plus it'll look great on your nightstand - please look at the adorable artwork and text on the cover of this thing!)

I loved reading this book, Jess! Thanks for writing it! And I'll close this review in the words of Jessica herself (at the end of each chapter she extends a short challenge  - mine to you is to read this!): YOUR TURN!

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