This book, then, is not about changing your life. It is about paying more attention to the life you already have, about taking your own life back as you protect your children from the pull of a world that is spinning too fast.Thirteen years ago, when I was 22 and not even thinking about having kids, Katrina Kenison wrote a book that has profoundly impacted my days.
Mitten Strings for God, Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry, was embraced by mothers then as a call to slow down. Of course those mother's kids have grown up, and now we are the ones rushing around.
"We mistake activity for happiness, and so we stuff our children's days with activities and their heads with information, when we ought to be feeding their souls instead."What I like about this book is that isn't just a call to slow down. It's an affirming guidebook for how and why. It isn't preachy, and you won't feel judged. She simply offers plenty of wisdom as to why creating a peaceful home is a worthy endeavor, and she shares what works (and doesn't work) for her family. I'm going to let her words speak for themselves:
"Other times I have to switch gears midway through - postponing the errands, canceling a play date, ordering pizza for dinner, skipping an evening meeting - so that I can pull my children out of the swift current of a day and guide them into a calm pool instead."
". . . children find contentment and strength not in the day's array of activities, but in consistency, and in the familiar, homely routines that give each day its shape. So I remind myself to fall back into a gentle step, to protect our routines, and to preserve our rhythm as a family."
"Preoccupied with managing their lives, and our own, it is so easy to lose sight of our children - their tenderness and innocence, their joyousness, their capacity for wonder, their hunger for enchantment."
"I needed to accept that in order to mother fully, I had to take time for myself, and that I could not meet my children's demands 100 percent of the time. But I also discovered just what it is that they need more than anything else: me. My full attention. . . My nurturing. My children are most at ease when I am at ease myself, when our days are not too busy, our activities not too ambitious. . . The same goes for my husband. Our lives are full, and we negotiate the details of each day's demands, but our relationship requires more than synchronized calendars and shared workloads. He, too, needs to be nurtured."
"I remind myself that I am not shirking my social obligations; I am protecting our family life."
"We want to know how other women manage, what they fight to protect, what they've decided to let go, where they draw the lines. The stories we hear may not tell us how to rearrange our own lives, how to raise our own children, how to find fulfillment. But they remind us that we do each have choices. And they may even inspire us to examine the choices we have made."As you might have guessed, I highlighted even more. And because I enjoyed Mitten Strings for God so much, I want to give one of you a copy. Consider it an early Christmas gift - one that will help you enjoy a hectic season.
To enter, share in the comments one way you manage - what you fight to protect, what you've decided to let go, and where you draw the lines.
This giveaway will be open until Sunday night, the 17th, at midnight Eastern time. I'll announce the winner on Monday morning.
**This giveaway is now closed. Winner announced here.**
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