I was given the the book Dear Mary: Lessons From the Mother of Jesus for the Modern Mom by Sarah Jakes for review from Bethany House Publishers, and I’m so glad I read it.
It’s a collection of letters to Mary, asking her questions about motherhood that still pertain to mothering in modern times.
I never thought of looking to Mary for mothering advice before, but as the “ultimate biblical mother figure,” she is definitely someone to look up to.
As Sarah Jakes outlines, “I assumed that because she didn’t have the same struggles I was familiar with, she didn’t struggle at all, ” when referring to a fellow mother. This is exactly how I view Mary now, along with all of the other mother’s in the world. Just because our struggles aren’t the same, doesn’t mean we aren’t struggling. “We miss the opportunity to be compassionate when we confine people to our own experiences.”
As a mom of a “difficult” or “different” child, this book also touched me. Reminding me that, “maybe our prayer shouldn’t be to change our children into people we can understand, but rather to have the patience to be still while we learn who they are.” Mary struggled through this with Jesus, understanding who her son was to grow up to be. And we struggle with it now, trying to let our children be who they are while still directing them and guiding them. “There is no way of guesstimating what discoveries we will unearth as we raise our children.”
Jakes reminds us to not let our past mistakes be a gauge in how we react to our children. “I believe we become so afraid that our children will reflect our mistakes and issues that we unknowingly push them in that direction. If the only mold we use to form our children has been shaped by the negativity we’ve experienced, we limit the possibilities that exist for them.” This is so true, and I see it in day to day life with so many- accidentally pushing them toward what we want them to stay the farthest from. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to direct our hand, as Mary did at the wedding at Cana- when Jesus did not think that his time had yet come, his mother knew because she trusted in God’s power in revealing his son.
As mothers we have to not let our fears take over. “We cheat on God when we choose to have an affair with our fear.” I’ve been reading a lot about fear lately, and how worry can be a sin. We have to be careful to not let that fear and worry enter into our lives and spill over into the little ones looking to us for guidance.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the author’s story- as she shares her struggles as a teen mother, and later a single mom. She truly has a lot of experience to pull from, and uses it as a tool to help other mothers instead of using it as an excuse. She helps the reader ask important questions and reminds us to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of our families. “The only way to successfully give others our time, attention, and dedication is from the overflow of what we give ourselves. Too often we give from our already depleted souls and then have nothing left for us, let alone our relationship with God.”
If you’re looking for a Bible based parenting book, with great stories and advice- pick up this book. I would definitely recommend it to my fellow Mommas or soon-to-be parents. Who better to receive advice from than the mother of Jesus?