- Paperback: 230 pages
- Publisher: Civitas Press (March 28, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615619207
- ISBN-13: 978-0615619200
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year Paperback – March 28, 2012
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About the Author
Megan Tietz is the creator of sortacrunchy.net, a blogging community devoted to discussion and dialogue at the crossroads of the Christian faith and the practice of natural family living. Over a decade ago, she married her college sweetheart and now they are raising two of the sweetest girls you’ve ever met. They make their home on the windy plains of western Oklahoma. Laura Oyer met her husband, Mark, in preschool, married him sixteen years later, and now spends her days caring for their two children and pretending to keep the house clean. Mark and Laura serve in leadership at their church in northern Indiana, and she has served as part of her city’s Community Relations Commission. Laura blogs at InTheBackyard.net.
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I would like to note that this is not a book that pulls random Scriptural passages out to uphold the benefits of on-cue feeding,nighttime parenting, or co-sleeping. It does provide a sound basis of trust in God's wisdom. I have always wondered why these mainstream Christian practices seem to suggest that all infants thrive on the same routine and the same types of care. God, our father, does not treat us that way. He overflows with patience, grace, and creativity.
I loved the overall emphasis away from parenting out of fear. Fear of spoiled children, of a failed marriage, of a chaotic home. The authors point out that these trust in these mainstream parenting practices should not be our source of protection- we should be reliant on God for security and guidance. The authors emphasize that the way you parent may be different from them and reflect these mainstream practices and that's fine. The point is that we need to rely on God and not parenting books. They don't offer yet another how-to guide. Instead they let you explore the possibility of parenting as you are led to, without all the fears that come packaged up in other books or well-meaning bits of advice.
One of the most disheartening comments I've read on a parenting book(I don't remember which one) was that "someone is getting trained like Pavlov's dogs; it's either you or the baby." I think it is fantastic how the authors exposed two false dichotomies that are presented to new parents. The first is that either the parents are in charge or the baby is. The other is that either the marriage comes first or the baby does. As the authors explain, theses are not the only alternatives. There are many ways to honor God, our spouse, and our role as a parent without following "the rules" to the letter.
THE BEST PART ABOUT THIS BOOK IS THAT THEY DON'T PROPOSE TO KNOW EVERYTHING OR TELL YOU HOW TO RAISE YOUR CHILD!! Sounds odd, but true. You will learn to trust yourself regarding your children. These moms tell it as it is, and how they thought it would be, as new moms. As a new parent, you really need the insight of moms who have been there, done that. 'Expert advice' is so varied that it's hard to decide which way to choose because the 'right' way, for one contradicts another. You have all of these wonderful ideas and plans that sometimes just don't work out the way you want. This book will help release you from the frustration, anxiety and GUILT when you find yourself in such a place; that you aren't alone. My favorite part is where they describe the idea of instead of lamenting the losses of pre-baby and re-finding yourself; you instead give everything up and get so much back in return, including yourself. It's beautiful and freeing, and definitely spiritual!
I highly recommend this book and will be buying it as baby shower gifts in the future.
The authors haven't written the ultimate baby manual, but they do present a new, more radical idea: "the first year should be less about training our babies and more about God developing us as parents and human beings. If we let Him, God can use that first intense year of baby's life to train us how to live a life that is fully surrendered to Him. To cultivate in us a trust that follows His lead, seeks Him first, and understands His grace. "
The authors are gentle and vulnerable as they tell the stories of themselves and others, showing mistakes they've made and what they've done right, while following a radical approach apart from the typical "how to raise a baby" book. The suggestions they make and the information they give throughout the book are always with the attitude that it's OKAY if you feel led differently than the way they and others have been led, ultimately pointing to the freedom in following the one true parenting Guide.
This book is very inspiring and helpful to me as a new mother. It has made me laugh at times and has brought tears to my eyes at other times. My eyes have been opened to new ideas, but I have also been given a sense of freedom to trust in the Holy Spirit to guide me in the direction for our baby and family. I have also been given a sense of hope that the difficulties in raising a newborn and those sleepless nights with a wide-awake baby are not all in vain, but that God can use this time to make me more like Him. I think a great summary of the premise of the book and the quote that gives me tears of hope is the following: "But what if as that first year of babyhood winds down and a toddler stands where your baby once lay, what if you looked in the mirror and realized that the one who has grown by leaps and bounds in the past year is you? What if you could see that in most every situation you encounter, your first response is no longer selfish retreat, but rather selfless embrace? "
I highly recommend this book to parents who are just starting out and those who are still having babies.