books to warm a mama's heart

I know, I know. Books written to encourage moms are kind of a double-edged sword. We need the books because we’re all worn out, but that also means we don’t have time to read the books. (Let alone time to write about them. I started this post on June 11–ha!)

Moms of littles, don’t lose hope. I know you know this in your head, but try to know it in your heart: they won’t be little forever. My itty-bitty babies (who actually were never very little except in utero) are so huge now. 12, almost-11 (okay, now 11, since she had a birthday between June 11 and now), and 7.

And they are tall and gangly with big feet and developing woman parts.

Sigh. I love it though. And while I look back at their baby pictures with great fondness and a twinge of sad, I have enough brain cells left to remember how exhausting life was back then.

I love this stage of motherhood.


I’m still exhausted (but for different reasons) and have lots on my plate. So, I’m going to do a brief review of all these books in one post and not beat myself over the head for not doing each of them justice. They were all written by my friends (mostly online friends), and I’m excited to share them with you.

And be sure to read the end for a fun way you can get all the books for yourself AND bless a beautiful mama of 10 in Thailand. Woot!

Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms (Nancy Kennedy)

This book is so sweet and will especially touch you if you’re a mama of a special needs child. Nancy has compiled some heartwarming stories from moms who have a difficult job but love their kiddos with everything in them. There’s so much hope and joy in these pages, along with some things that will break your heart. If you find this mom thing harder more days than not, this book will reassure you that you’re not alone and that God has equipped you to be just what your child needs.

The Christian Mama’s Guide to Parenting a Toddler: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Your Child’s Terrible Two’s (Erin MacPherson)

I love Erin. I’ve never met her in real life, but it feels like I have. She has this amazing way of making you feel good about yourself and your mommy-ing, and no one needs to feel this more than a mom of a toddler (okay, maybe an exhausted mom of a newborn). If your angelic baby has suddenly turned terror-izer, this book will bring you comfort and hope of a brighter tomorrow.

The Christian Mama’s Guide to the Grade School Years: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Sending Your Kid Off into the Big, Wide World (Erin MacPherson)

I homeschool now, but that wasn’t always the case. My oldest did K-5th grade at a public school, my middle did K-3, and my youngest did K. Sending your sweet little baby away to big, bad school isn’t easy. Erin’s got some super-helpful tips for making this transition a lot easier on your kiddo and his/her mama. Things like preparing them for school, having difficult conversations about stuff that will inevitably come up, teaching them character qualities to help them become who God wants them to be. Good, good stuff.

Sparkly Green Earrings (Melanie Shankle)

I blogged about this sweet, funny book here. Melanie is an online-turned-real-life friend of mine and a brilliant (and very hilarious) writer. You’ll love this book.

Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? Doing Life Together in an All-About-Me Kind of World (Amelia Rhodes)

What mom doesn’t need a coffee break, right?? Amelia and Gabe went to high school together (small world, eh?), but I met her online before we met in real life. Her blog was one of the first I ever read back in the day, and I love the way she tells stories. On our zoo trip, we stayed with her and her husband Ked for three days (and nights) and had a wonderful time. I’m so happy for her. Her first published book is sweet and colorful and fun–and I’m sure it’s just the first of many, many more.

Prayer Warrior Mom: Covering Your Kids with God’s Blessings and Protection (Marla Alupoaicei)

Well, at least I can pronounce Marla’s first name. Marla and I met online quite a few years ago. Two Marlas who write books. So rare. So fun! I love the concept of this book. Having a mom who prayed (and prays) for me every day and then writing my own book about praying for kiddos + a bunch of other life stuff has made me a firm believer in the power of prayer. I was kind of thinking I’d already know everything Marla wrote about, but I was surprised and excited at some of the things God taught me as I read. If you’re wanting to pray (or pray more) for your kids but don’t know where to start, start here.

Okay, and here’s where that mama of 10 in Thailand comes in.

Many of you know of my friend, Faa. We met here at our house in August 2011, then we got to spend time with her in Chiang Mai in January 2012. Then we saw her again in Wooster, OH in August 2012, and in November of last year, she spent a couple days here with our family.

We. LOVE. Her.

She cares for 10 gorgeous kiddos in her home, kiddos who aren’t orphans but who were being abused by fathers, step-dads, or other relatives and needed a safe place to live. She’s amazing, and God is doing some crazy-awesome things through her. She could be doing even more if she just had the funds–but she’s a big, bold believer in God’s provision for her and her kids.

Anyway. For a gift of $50 to Faa’s ministry, I will send you all 6 of these books. (The first person to comment and take me up on the offer is the winner. I’ll e-mail you details/get your address, etc.)

And if you just want to donate to G.R.O.W. (Faa’s ministry) for fun, she (and I) will be so, so blessed.

p.s. All of the links are Amazon Associates links, so if you click on any of them and end up buying the book, I’ll get a small percentage of your purchase price. Thank you!

5 thoughts on “books to warm a mama's heart

  1. Sharon

    Am I really lucky enough to be the first commenter???? Let me know Marla and I will donate the $$ in the morning. Hope you are sleeping peacefully (and w/o any pain) tonight.

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