Thursday, March 15, 2007

Barbara's Books

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I just won another book from Barbara Curtis! This one, Small Beginnings, was her very first book. She generously offered to give it away, and I was the first to comment, so I won it!

This is not the first time Barbara has been generous with her books. From time to time she offers them in contests to readers of her blog. I have The Mommy Manual, Lord, Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room (my personal favorite), and The Mommy Survival Guide. I won the last one from the apron contest she held a while back.

Barbara is the mother of 12 children, 4 of whom have down syndrome. She is a self professed former drug and alcohol abusing feminist. She has overcome more in her lifetime than most of us will ever experience. Because of her past and the life she strives to live today, she is an incredible encourager.

All 3 of the books I have read, shown above, are wonderful encouragement for busy moms to stay the course, even when things get rocky. Barbara is quick to point out that there is always room for improvement. She humbles me with her honesty about her own mistakes and short comings. She offers a breath of fresh air with each exhortation to move past our mistakes and constantly strive to be our best.

Here is an excerpt from my favorite, Lord, Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room:

"I'd been a believer for just a few weeks when I signed up for my first women's Bible study. It was there that I began to see my inadequacies on parade.

I hadn't grown up with the Bible and so was starting from scratch. That was bad enough. But worse, I suddenly found myself surrounded by a bunch of wonderful women with flawless hair and hands who made it look easy to look good. For me, it wasn't so easy. With seven children at home-six under 10-my morning had been pretty hectic just trying to detach. All I had to do was tilt my head a little to the left for a pungent reminder of my motherhood-the smell of spit-up on the shoulder of the T-shirt I'd had no time to change before dashing out, only to arrive late as usual anyway.

I kept my hands folded to hide my scruffy, half-bitten fingernails, but there was nothing I could do about the rose tattoo on my right hand-the most visible of three acquired during my 1960s and 1970s hippie days. In 1987 there just weren't many women sporting tattoos-especially in Bible studies."


"Their Bibles had quilted covers that unzipped to reveal well-worn pages, notated here, there, and everywhere with things they'd been learning during the years I'd wasted on things like rose tattoos. Things they'd learned in years of Bible
studies and hours of quiet time.

Oh, the concept of quiet time! It loomed over my life with the gravitas of a Goodyear blimp, a constant reminder of yet another something I needed to do. Another something on the crowded list of things I woke up every morning with every intention of accomplishing, then regretted not doing at the end of the day when life with my family left me too pooped to pop.

Another something to feel guilty about.

Long about the third week someone mentioned a prayer closet-as in "I fled to my prayer closet and poured my heart out to the Lord"-which I took to be a place where a believer could find solutions to the weightiest problems, a place that maybe if I had one I could make my quiet time come true."

Are you remembering that she has 7 children at home? Yeah, me too. She goes on.

"One day in the laundry room, while wrestling with the lights and darks, I wrestled with my dilemma. Oh, Lord, I thought, is there a prayer closet somewhere for me? And what about this thing called quiet time?"

I guess you can figure out how she resolved her dilemma of how to serve her family and spend time with the Lord. The title, Lord, Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room, gives it away. Just from the title alone, I knew I would be able to relate to the struggles she would be addressing, and I was right. I drew so much encouragement from her stories of triumph as well as her struggles.

All of these books are so encouraging. (How many times have I used that word so far? I can't help it! They are!) Any mom who has ever grown weary or wondered if she is making a difference will enjoy any of these. They would make great gifts, for yourself or someone else.


Nikki said...

She sounds like my kind of mentor. I'd love to read these books. Great review! Congrats on winning.

Linsey said...

Hey! I'm just coming over to say CONRATS!!
You lucky girl! :-)

Holly said...

I LOVE Barbara's books, too. Lord, Please meet me in the laundry room is my favorite, ever! I knew that if someone else could make it thru - and prosper - so could I! That encouragement really made a difference for me! And the laundry room is the perfect prayer closet!

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