Edited 09/15/15: Shortly after publishing this post, I became aware of some negative press from last year surrounding the author of this book. I was completely unaware of this at the time I decided to accept this book review. While I still stand behind what I wrote about the book itself, that in no way reflects my opinions & views on the negative press surrounding this author. I always say this: “there are always 3 sides to a story – the accuser, the accused, and the truth.” My place is not to judge what is or isn’t truth. I simply do my due diligence as best as I can and make a choice based on my personal opinions & views. Thank you guys for understanding!
The title of this book could not be more appropriate for the season of life I currently find myself living. When I was given the chance to read and review Mama Needs a Do-Over by Lisa Pennington, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.
I’m almost 6 months into the whole having two kids 21 months apart, so to say that I need a do-over with a lot of things is akin to saying I need air to breathe. It’s funny (in a haha, not so funny way) how much different having two kids is versus just one. I can only imagine how much that difference amplifies when there are even more kids in the mix.
One thing I absolutely loved about Mama Needs a Do-Over is that the author herself has 9(!) kids of her own. So, she totally gets it. Completely and utterly gets it. I’m able to take her written words for fact, as something that holds true because she has been down this road I’m on now, only she’s done it seven more times than I have.
“Our own attitudes have everything to do with getting that do-over we so desperately need.”
The first few chapters focus on how we as mothers can so easily lose our identities as women. Pennington writes about how to rediscover ourselves, build on our dreams and understand the problem(s) that keep us from this discovery. She focuses on asking questions such as, “what are you good at?” “what do you love?” and “what are your weaknesses?” Then she gives practical tips at the end of the chapters (she calls them ‘assignments’) that when done properly, will help you actually put it into practice.
“Not agreeing with your spouse is what makes marriage hard work.”
The next couple chapters focus on making the connection, having a plan, and making changes. She provides a helpful visual in the form of a chart, where there are three columns. These are labeled ‘gifts’, ‘dreams’ and ‘problems.’ and you’re supposed to write things in each column and then make a line connecting things that go together. It’s a great exercise in seeing how things are connected and then allows you to come up with a plan. Finally, the author talks about how important it is to reshape our expectations/expect the unexpected in order to actually make changes.
“Every time our expectations get derailed, we have a choice. To move forward with joy or go into a fuss and get mad.”
Choose joy. Find joy. Look for tiny slices of peace. Those are just a few key things that jumped out at me in the chapters that followed. She writes, “If you are dedicated to letting the Holy Spirit rain joy upon you, then you can take that joy a step further and turn even the most frustrating moments into a good time.” I can’t tell you how many frustrating moments I’ve had in just these past 5 months alone. It’s refreshing to be reaffirmed that so much of our days, usually just come down to choices we make as moms, and even if you’re not a mom. The author gives 5 easy steps to help you turn those frustrating moments into something that will create a joy-filled memory.
1. Breathe deeply
2. Pray and praise
3. Dig through your bag of tricks
4. Take a step of faith
5. Repeat if necessary
Then, she goes into detail with each of those 5 steps, and again I appreciate how practical and feasible the author lays things out for the reader. I especially love the scripture reference she adds at the end, from James 1:2-4. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be more mature and complete, not lacking in anything.
“Life isn’t about being at the end; it’s about getting there.”
In the last chapter aptly titled ‘wrapping it up with a bow’, Pennington recaps the entire book in an easy format. She lists out the bold ideas (there are 10 in total) with short descriptive paragraphs below each one, which I loved. I know that whenever I want to reference anything from the book, I can just glance at that chapter and pick out which one(s) I need to read again. And a fun, useful bonus also at the end of this book? Lisa’s very own recipe for black bean soup that even the busiest of moms can find time to make.
Want a chance to win your own copy of “Mama Needs a Do-Over”? Just click on the link below to enter.
For more information on Mama Needs a Do-Over visit the author’s website.
Disclosure: This book was kindly provided to me by Shelton Interactive for my honest review. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.