- Paperback: 155 pages
- Publisher: Pauline Books & Media (March 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0819848557
- ISBN-13: 978-0819848550
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice and Support for Catholic Living Paperback – March 1, 2007
"Missional Motherhood" by Gloria Furman
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Top Customer Reviews
You might pick it up thinking, "Who is this woman to give me advice? Has she lived so long and so perfectly that she can dish up the goods on my life when she doesn't even know me?"
Then, you might open it, and read Danielle's preface, and find out that she is the kind of woman to pick up an advice book (you know the kind I mean: one with a rigid prescription for how to eat, drink, live, marry, parent, sleep, breathe and forego sugar) and think:
(from the preface):
"Who does this woman think she is? I find myself furiously thinking as I flip to the back cover to read the author's bio. Is her family really so perfect? Doesn't her husband ever leave his balled-up, smelly socks on the bedroom floor and she snaps at him about it? Don't her kids ever argue about who's looking at whom and who got the last cookie last time and who got it the time before that and ...."
And, you might next think, "Hey! I love her! She's just like me!"
And, you'd be right (unless you're the author of the aforementioned book that initially raised Danielle's ire, in which case, I don't even want to know you.)
Which is why you'll love this book and this author. She's so very real. I want her to live next door to me and come over for lots and lots of coffee while we ignore our children and catch up with each other. Because once in awhile, that's what real mothers do.
What's in this book? Let me start by telling you what's not in it.
Danielle Bean will not advise you to rise every morning at four a.m. in order to squeeze in that bit of extra prayer time that you need (but, she does have excellent advice on prayer and lovely prayers at the end of each section.) She will not try to convince you that you can whip up gourmet meals six nights out of seven without breaking a sweat (but, she does know how meal planning can keep you sane.) She will not tell you how to create the perfect craft, such as carving bath toys out of soap, thus saving money and mess (but she will offer twelve months' worth of real ideas for observing the liturgical calendar with your kids.)
In other words, what Danielle Bean will give you is a bunch of truths. Truths about how the little things can pile up and make even the best of moms yell at little people (but she'll remind you that you're not alone) ; about how marriage takes work (but is still the best thing we humans have got going) ; about how boring it can sometimes be to stay home (and yet how ultimately fulfilling and holy it is.) She will talk to you, as if you were having lots and lots of coffee together, about how to get the upper hand on the housework, how to live your faith with your kids, and about how prayer time really works at her house.
Because this is what Danielle Bean is about: striving for the very-real sacred in the midst of the very-real everyday. It's all connected: the yelling, the commitment, the smelly socks, the prayers, the boredom, the faith, the toilet-scrubbing, the journey to heaven. We moms don't get to travel a pristine path to holiness. Ours is peppered with dirty diapers, cranky kids, blown fuses and fishsticks. It's a path that evokes an "Eeewww!" from many. It's not pretty. And yet, it is the most exquisitely beautiful thing in the world.
Danielle Bean has seen that paradox, as genuine and strange as The Event it mirrors. Motherhood is a kind of crucifixion, a dying to self. From suffering and death come Resurrection. And from the struggles of motherhood joy, beauty and new life emerge.
That's what Danielle Bean knows, and it's what she'll tell you in this book: That it's hard. That there are ideas that will help you. Here they are. Take them and use them. And, along the way, let your vocation transform you.
This isn't "advice." This is friendship of the very best sort. Because that's what moms do. Mom to mom, we take care of each other.
Let this book take care of you for awhile.
The entire book with resource guide is only 153 pages long, so its size is not intimidating. Its beautiful cover is very inviting. I think I might even be able to convince our busy parish priest that this would be a wonderful book to buy and hand out at pre-Cana, or give to new mothers at baptisms. It's a very fast and enjoyable read. (I read the entire thing while manning the awards table at a swim meet!)
But don't let its size and appearance fool you. Mrs. Bean packs a lot of information and solid advice in those pages, with a dollop of wit and humor on the side. The target audience for this little book is young Catholic mothers with small children in the early part of their marriage. Those ladies will feel that Danielle Bean is right in the trenches with them, coping with the challenges, stress and fatigue that comes from dealing with little folks all day long. But even after almost 28 years of marriage on my resume, I felt that I too could benefit from much of what she was saying, particularly in how to relate and care for my spouse. Newlyweds will find a lot of practical advice in that area as well.
I think the fifth section of the book entitled, "How Can I Make our Faith an Integral Part of Family Life" would be particularly helpful to young women with or without-children-yet in making their faith a day-to-day living faith. There is a lot of concrete advice in that section of truly making a little domestic church and living the liturgical year! That section gives solid examples of how to develop a relationship with the Lord.
Danielle makes the book a very personal look at her own joys and struggles. The part about her non-Catholic brother-in-law coming to dinner and being questioned by her little boy about not saying grace had me chuckling out loud! She shares a lot about the joys of having a large family and the blessings they bring.
I am going to present this book to my own pastor and suggest he buy it for our church library and to give out at pre-Cana and at the baptism classes. I will point out that if nothing else, he should at least want to make sure that the list of resources in the back of the book get out to the young families our parish serves! I'm sure as time goes by this is going to be one of the must-have books for Catholic moms!