In 2020, the self-help book industry was valued at over $10.5 billion. This was the first year of Covid where everything was shut down and we all had far too much time to think, compare, lament, and reflect. The problem with the self-help industry is that we place too much energy on ourselves and our own ability to improve things. When we place ourselves at the top of the chain of command, we leave out the ability for God to mold us like only the Potter can (Romans 9:20-21). Each of the following books offers practical tips on parenting (which we all need), but offers a Biblical perspective that helps keep God at the center of our decision-making (which we all need). 

  1. If you remember nothing else, remember that God picked you out of all of the people on the planet to be the mom of your kids. No Better Mom for the Job, by Becky Keife, has many thoughtful, realistic, relatable pieces of advice for parenting your kids well, even when you feel like you are struggling. We are all humans, and the honesty that is laced throughout the words of this book is refreshing and encouraging. Mamas don’t need to see how picture-perfect someone else’s life is. We need to see that even in the deep dark dirty days, God has chosen us for the job and we are perfectly equipped. I read this book when I was just the mama of an only child, but it would be good for me to read it again with a new perspective. As my girls grow, my parenting needs change and old words of wisdom become new again. 
  2. Mama Bear Apologetics came recommended by my favorite husband and he gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago. This book is rapidly becoming my textbook for raising kids who will inevitably struggle to piece together the things that the world tells them with the things the Bible tells them. I have already seen it with my Big Love. Even at age 8, she hears lies in school and believes them more than she believes me. I need the guidance for how to steer her to Jesus above all of the noise, and this book has the practical advice to do that. I feel like this book is geared toward parenting children who are a little older. It discusses deep topics that relate to cultural trends. My Little Love isn’t super interested in the hot topic headlines, but Big Love hears things in her travels and has some big questions. My girls are growing fast, and revisiting this book frequently will be my best option for keeping up with endless questions about how Jesus fits into our world’s problems. They also have a podcast that is fascinating and goes a little deeper on certain topics than the book. I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts, but I am trying to get into them more. This one is worth it, even if podcasts aren’t your thing. 
  3. I was first introduced to It’s All Under Control by Jennifer Dukes Lee, from a friend’s Facebook story. I was mindlessly scrolling, hoping to find pictures of cute kids and fuzzy puppies. Instead, I stumbled upon some photos of the pages of this book with important parts highlighted to grab my attention. They did their job and I messaged her about how I needed to read this book. I was really just inquiring about the title, or maybe just making friendly social media banter. What I did not know at the time was that God was working like only He can, and my friend invited me to a Bible Study using this book. I was able to be in community with other mamas of littles where I learned about God’s great provision as well as learning that I am not alone on this motherhood journey. I have a great support system of friends who are often going through similar situations. This book helped show me that I don’t have to be in control of anything and God has to be in control of everything. I don’t have to micromanage the details and God will manage everything for me. There really isn’t room or reason for me to be in control of a lot and I need to trust that the God who created all of the things that are taking up my time (and therefore stressing me out), has everything worked out in His perfect timing. All I need to do is trust that truth. 
  4. The End of Me, by Liz Wann, has a little tagline that reads: Finding Resurrection Life in the Daily Sacrifices of Motherhood and I feel like that is a mic drop moment right there. I don’t have a lot to add – motherhood involves countless stressful or mundane sacrifices, and it can be easy to get burnt out. The beauty of this book is that it hits on real feelings that mamas have, especially directly after the birth of a child. It also offers Biblical insight about getting through the tough things. I highly recommend this book for mamas of little kids. If you are in the category of soon-to-have little kids, I would recommend reading this one once your kids are on this side of the womb. When you are deep in the struggles of motherhood, come to the end of yourself and give God the space to move right in. 

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