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Parenting Is Your Highest Calling: And Eight Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt Paperback – December 16, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (December 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400074207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400074204
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

LESLIE LEYLAND FIELDS is a writer, national speaker, workshop leader and professional editor who lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska in the winter and Harvester Island in the summer, where she works in commercial salmon fishing with her family. (Follow her weekly blogs from these islands at leslieleylandfields.com). She has written/edited 9 nonfiction books of memoir and essays on a variety of subjects: the spirituality of food, wilderness, forgiveness, commercial fishing, and parenting. Her forthcoming book is "Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers" (Jan. 2014, Thomas Nelson).
Leslie is also a contributing editor to Christianity Today magazine and writes for Books and Culture and other journals. She loves to travel, and spent several years trekking around the world. She still travels often, leaving Kodiak to speak at conferences, churches, retreats, and universities around the country. In September 2013, she is beginning a new venture, the Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop at her remote fish camp island off Kodiak Island. (leslieleylandfields.com/p/harvester-island.html

She holds three graduate degrees in Creative Nonfiction, English and Journalism, and has taught for many years in both undergraduate and graduate programs in Oregon, Alaska and Washington and now continues to teach through college visits, writer-in-residencies, frequent radio appearances, speaking, and her professional writing business, The Northern Pen. 

Leslie and her husband Duncan have 6 children, a daughter and 5 sons, all of whom work in salmon fishing every summer. She can be reached at leslieleylandfields@gmail.com

More About the Author

LESLIE LEYLAND FIELDS is a writer, editor, and national speaker who lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska in the winter and Harvester Island in the summer, where she joins her family in a commercial salmon fishing operation. She also leads the Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop, a week long writing workshop held each September on her remote fish camp island. She has written/edited 8 nonfiction books of memoir and essays on a variety of subjects, including the spirituality of food, forgiveness, wilderness, commercial fishing, and parenting. She is on the Editorial Board of Christianity Today magazine and writes for Books and Culture and other journals. She loves to travel, and spent several years trekking around the world, through Asia, S.E. Asia, Africa, Europe, and Central America. She still travels often, leaving Kodiak to speak at conferences, churches, retreats, and universities around the country. In 2013, she began the Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop, a week long writing workshop and retreat at her remote fishcamp island.

Leslie has written for many publications including The Atlantic, Orion, Books and Culture, Beliefnet, Christianity Today and many others. Her essays have appeared in On Nature: Great Writers on the Great Outdoors; It's a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters; A Mile in Her Boots: Women Who Work in the Wild, and many others.

She has three graduate degrees, in Creative Nonfiction, English and Journalism.
Leslie has taught for many years in both undergraduate and graduate programs in Oregon, Alaska and Washington and now continues to teach through college visits, frequent radio appearances, speaking, and her professional writing business, The Northern Pen.

Leslie and her husband Duncan have 6 children, a daughter and 5 sons, most of whom work in salmon fishing every summer. She blogs at leslieleylandfields.com. You can reach her at leslieleylandfields@gmail.com

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Thank you for this book, Leslie, and being so transparent!!
Sherry in NH
As parents we do the best that we can do, then we prayerfully leave the rest to God--the One Who loves our kids even more than we do.
Janet Reeves
It has freed me, changed my perspective on life and encouraged me...yes, this book is REAL!!
L. Holm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By KH on January 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is by far the best parenting book I've ever read--and believe me, I've read more than my share!

If you are someone who gets caught in the anxiety/guilt cycle of constantly questioning whether or not you are making the right (or perfect!) decisions for your children, this book is for you. I'll let it speak for itself:

"We want so badly to get it all right--our marriages, our parenting, our family dynamics. We want to meet all the requirements of a good Christian family. But God takes every hour of our home life, as well as every hour outside of it, and he uses the mistakes, the flaws, the pain as much, if not more, than he uses the good" (from Chapter 9, pg. 203).

This quote epitomizes much of what I love about the book--it keeps pointing back to God, and to God's authority in our lives. While in no way abdicating parents of their responsibilies, the book releases them from the perfectionism that can steal the joy from parenting. It reminds parents that we are, in fact, not God, but fallible human beings who will mess up sometimes--even when we're trying so hard to do our best. How freeing to know that we can trust God to be God, and to use even our mistakes to His good purpose! For the perfectionist who gets paralyzed with all the "what ifs" and "if onlys" of parenting, this message is good news, indeed.

I have a master's degree in pastoral care and counseling, so I am always reading books like this with an eye to their underlying theology. Having said that, I truly feel that the Biblical work in this book is excellent and spot on. Ms. Fields clearly has done her homework, and is neither legalistic nor sloppy in her interpretation of Biblical texts. As a parent, I felt the gospel coming through loud and clear on every page.

Do yourself a favor and buy this book. You won't regret it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robin Shaw on February 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. It gave me a renewed confidence in God's mission for me as a parent. It is the most Biblically sound parenting book I have ever read.
I am an information junkie, and have spent most of my parenting years devouring information on the best way to raise my children. What ultimately happens to someone who reads and tried to apply information is that much parenting advice is someone's opinion or experience, particular to their child or someone they know. It is impossible to combine those opinions about other children into a parenting philosophy for mine!
"Parenting is Your Highest Calling" is unique for one reason: Ms Fields seeks to honor and glorify the first Father in her own life, which in turn leads her to trust Him fully in parenting her children. It sounds so simple, but we baby boomers grew up in a culture of self-sufficiency, and we want so much to be the best parents WE can be, as we forget that we are called to be the best parents God can MAKE us. That can only happen as we lean completely on Him.
The book does not rely on Ms Fields' expertise: she refers us to God's holy and inerrant Word over and over! What she does so beautifully is to integrate what God says into personal stories of her own and others as we all struggle to parent well. Every page of this book has something Biblical to offer a parent, whether you are successful or struggling. Because if you are currently successful, get ready: there's a struggle coming.
This book will free you from doubting yourself and your decisions to parent as God intends: at peace in knowing the HE is sovereign, and will guide us as we parent. It has freed me to love my children more completely, as I prayerfully commit them (and me) each day to His wisdom.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sherry in NH on January 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Leslie has written a book that encourages me. I totally agree with Ken Canfield in the recommendations, who says "Chapter 8 [Myth 8: Successful Parents Produce Godly Children] is worth the price of the book alone. I heartily recommend it."

Things that struck me:

"...Yet not many of us have examined our own parenting assumptions and expectations, holding them up to the unsparing light of the Scriptures. In the absence of biblical truth, we quietly absorb the 'truths' our culture offers us: Children are here for our happiness. We're born with a natural instinct to love sacrifically. And if we simply devote ourselves to our parenting, our children will turn out as we want."

"...This book is not a manual to change your child: it is a deep gaze into the parenting heart of God our Father."

As a longtime homeschooling mom and member of moms' groups and a local church, I've seen it over and over. Parents often give sacrificially, and this sometimes happens (quote from Pastor Bradley):

"...I have heard from too many parents who feel like failures and they are especially baffled as they list all that they did or didn't do: no TV, no videos, no video games, no dating, no bad music, no youth group, no institutional church, no neighborhood friends; they homeschooled, dressed modestly, groomed conservatively, memorized Scriptures, and baked their own bread. They were intensely dedicated to rearing their children for God, but their trust was not really in God alone -- it was in what they did for God."

Thank you for this book, Leslie, and being so transparent!!
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