parenting, reviews

Loving the Little Years

In spite of Facebook’s ho-hum appeal these days, occasionally a friend will recommend a link that’s bookmark-worthy. Like the link to Rachel Jankovic‘s article on DesiringGod.org entitled Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank) which led me to read her article, Motherhood as a Mission Field.

After discovering Jankovic has authored a book, Loving the Little Years, I added it to my Amazon wish list. Happily, my sister sent it to me for Christmas! Because the book is only about a hundred pages, it was a quick read, and I learned a few things in the process.

Because Jankovic’s online articles were so deep, I expected Loving the Little Years to be completely devotional. Instead, I found it to be highly practical and instructive as she depicted what biblical parenting looks like in her everyday training of four children 5 years old and younger.

Chapter 3 begins with an illustration she uses to curb sibling rivalry and ends with a reminder about a mother’s tongue. Her admonishment to correct in love looks a lot different from a mom who throws sarcastic retorts like grenades into the back seat of the car. You know what I mean!

Try thinking of discipline as a different kind of nourishment–a sweet means of grace to your children. Bring that to the table with a smile and a wink–a means of building up little people, not a means of bringing them down. Make a point of telling them all about how you love them–with a lot of good solid points. ~p.19

I love the poignant reminder given in chapter 10.

Prioritize your children far and away above the other work you need to get done. They are the only part of your work that really matters. ~p. 51

There’s even a chapter that addresses a topic moms tend to think about a lot–our post-partum bodies.

Our bodies are tools, not treasures.  You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want to have a dinged and dinted body. Motherhood uses your body in the way that God designed it to be used. Those are the right kind of damages. p.58

Of course, she balances this thought with an reminder to maintain our bodies, but it’s such an encouragement to know that…

Scars and stretch marks and muffin tops are all part of your kingdom work. One of the greatest testimonies Christian women can have in our world today is the testimony of joyfully giving your body to another. p.59

As a new mom with lots of learning needed and miles to go on my journey of motherhood, I found this book to be a great pep talk full of helpful ideas and biblical perspectives on this happy, but tough,  job I’ve been given.

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