One of these days I’m going to ask God if I can write a book that has nothing to do with my life–so I won’t feel convicted with every little word I write. I mentioned in the last book that it was often easier to sit at my desk and write about sex than to go upstairs and have it. Well, this mothering book is presenting the same challenges. Easier to write about self-sacrifice and finding joy in motherhood. Much harder to actually make the sacrifice–put fun manuscript away and play “baby.”

I wasn’t going to do any “research” for this book. I didn’t want it to sound like I’d read a bunch of other people’s books and then regurgitated it with my own name on it. But then I caved. First of all, because I looooooove to read. And second, because I wanted to get a feel for what some other parenting books are like, in case there were some really important issues I hadn’t thought to address.

Anyway, one of the books I bought is Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas. I mentioned a few months ago that I sent him my other two books with a thank-you for his influence on them (Sacred Marriage). And I was shocked when he e-mailed back, complimented my books, and asked for postcards to pass out at his conferences.

But this is not about name-dropping. This is about an incredible book. If you haven’t read it, do! So many of us have blogged lately about finding significance in motherhood, and it is such a wake-up call. Fabulously written, makes you think long and hard about God’s call on our lives as parents. I’m going to plug it like crazy in my book. Wow.

Did I mention that Livi decided a few weeks ago that she’s going to get married after all? Ava convinced her of the merits of marriage and parenthood, so she caved. After 6+ years of insisting she’d be single and childless for life.

So, we’re driving in the van last week, and Ava pipes up, “If [not when] I grow up, I’m going to be a forcer.” Not sure what a forcer is, but it sounds like a good career path for strong-willed Ava.

Ava: Do you know what that means?
Me: (would’ve said “no” but her question was evidently rhetorical, because she kept going)
Ava: It means I’m going to force people to get married. Like her. (jerking her thumb in Livi’s direction)
Me: (hiding a smirk)
Ava: I like forcin’ people to do stuff.
Livi: (has had enough of Ava’s domineering) I’m going to force you to work at Target! (grabs Ava’s arm and shakes her repeatedly) Work at Target! Work at Target! Work at Target!

Have a great Tuesday! May the Force be with you! (It’ll be with me all day.)

25 thoughts on “convicting

  1. ClutzyButtercup

    Tonia forgets that we are some of the “older” bloggers so we don’t know some of the “newer” authors.  I would be afraid to read a parenting book right now (except for yours) because I would be afraid that God might decide to bless me in  my old age!  : )

  2. cherithpeters

    “Forcer” Hahaha! I think I would like to be a forcer too!  Maybe I could send Ava my resume and she could pass it on to the right people.  Oh that cracks me up!

  3. KmHunsberger

    I wish I could go buy that book right this very second. I LOVED his marriage book. Aside from yours, it was the best marriage book I ever read. I had no idea he wrote one for parenting…but I am so excited to get it.

    I love it that you have the nerve to write a book on parenting. I am going to be a counselor and sometimes I feel so inept bc in my own life, I don’t have everything figured out. I don’t always communicate correctly, or at all for that matter and I tend to stuff emotions down…all of which is unhealthy. But for the most part, I know what is healthy and choose to do something else becuase it feels better for the moment…or whatever. All of that to say, sometimes I wonder if I can be a counselor bc my own life seems so disheveled sometimes. But you wrote these books and admitted your weakness…so maybe I can too

    I think the people who make the most impact are those that DON”T have it all together and can come down to the human level and say, “I struggle too!”

  4. kkakwright

    I would find it extremely hard to write about joy in mothering.  For the reasons you mentioned. 

    But, I’m a wimp.  You are not.  Good for you for writing about the topics that we all face head on every single day.  I appreciate your transparency in your writing and cannot wait till my next one arrives in the mail! 🙂  love you 

    Oh!  No more teeth talk. I promise. 😉

  5. Howdytoya

    Does thou thinkst I’m fat?
    If I look pregnant, say so.
    Quietly sobbing.

    You think I’m crazy?
    Look who answered my haikus…
    Who’s the crazed one now?

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA  I need to write in haiku often–it’s therapeutic and provides much fun!

  6. terriwright

    I should have been a forcer!!!! That sounds like so much more fun than teaching sometimes was! LOL! That is awesome!!! Just imagine what I could have ‘forced’ my siblings to do!!!!!!! hehehehehehe.

  7. luvmynoah

    That is so funny!!  Ava and Noah would butt heads for sure!  He’s a forcer too.  I’m glad Livi is now considering marriage in the future.  So funny that kids think about that stuff when they are so young.  Noah is all about getting married.  Have a great one Marla!

  8. faithchick

    ^not unless she pees on the potty!!

    better, yet, maybe ava can force her to pee on the potty and THEN use her employee discount to buy her the Little People.

    Ava does all the work/spends all the money & I reap the benefits. I love it.

  9. tonialynn59

    Yes, you should write these things all into a book for each of your girls one day.  HILARIOUS!!  I loved it.  I’ve not read those books.  And, don’t hate me for this, but I don’t think I’ve heard of Gary Thomas except on your site.  Is that bad of me?  Enjoy the force being with you all day!  She’s a gem!

  10. ladymiss3739

    I’m always looking for good parenting books (waiting for yours, of course!), but I’ll have to check out Gary’s! 

    Maybe if Ava works at Target, she can use her employee discount to buy Faithchick’s poor little girl some Little People. 

  11. YoYoYoder

    Oh how I love and miss Livi and Ava! When they get older you’ll need to take all those conversations you’ve written down and make them into books for each of them! They crack me up!

  12. gsowell

    I think I told you I met Gary Thomas at our conference last January. Such a wonderful man and a needed ministry. Still haven’t read more than snippets of the book, but it’s on my list.

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