Book Review: Out of the Spin Cycle

I love the title of Jen Hatmaker’s book, Out of the Spin Cycle:  Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load. Do you ever feel like you live in perpetual laundry and you need something a little different in your day?  This devotional will give you a way to connect with God about motherhood each day with 40 daily readings.

You’ll enjoy the clever chapter titles like “Chick-Fil-A, Group Baths, and Other Survival Techniques” and Jen’s conversational tone.  She is the mom you would enjoy meeting (at Chick-Fil-A) to chat about the latest things her kids are doing and her humorous take on it.

Jen writes with wisdom and warmth.  I was able to do a Q & A with her, so I hope you will enjoy these insights and the book, Out of the Spin Cycle.

What is the link between a mother’s spiritual health and her parenting?

It’s probably more accurate to ask, “What is the link between a mother’s spiritual health and everything else in the whole world?” Good grief! The more of a mess I am as a carrier of the Holy Spirit, the more of a mess I am as a mom, wife, friend, and – let me just say it – driver. (I have a road rage issue. Thank you for understanding.) I put it like this in Out of the Spin Cycle:

Motherhood is like a pitcher with a hole in the bottom; a constant drain on our energy, patience, and tolerance. Every mother who is telling the truth would attest to that. Add another layer like a child with autism, single motherhood, a financial crisis, or a crumbling marriage and it’s a wonder we have anything left to give.

Our only hope to speak with kindness, to lead with patience, to not threaten our children with homicide is to ensure our spiritual reserves are not bone dry. Moms are the middle of the flow chart; the arrows of exertion flow constantly out from us, but when no arrows of strength, grace, and peace are flowing in, the whole mechanism is in danger.

Goodness in = goodness out.

No goodness in = no goodness out.

This is the simplest truth, recognized by Jesus and every other parenting expert, but one most moms fail to take seriously. We’re too busy for the Word. We’re too tired to pray. We have too much going on for a small group. Under the banner of selflessness, we neglect our own spiritual health and sabotage the very service we wanted to render.

When God’s Word is flowing through my life, my baby can spill his fourth drink of the day, and I can say, “It’s just a drink.” When I’m dry, I could literally lie on the soggy floor and bawl over it. When Jesus has spoken peace into my life, I’m able to discipline consistently when my toddler pitches her third tantrum of the morning. If my pitcher is empty, I might lock myself in the bathroom and scream at the top of my lungs.

Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

I mean, obviously, none of us struggle with empty spiritual reserves or Mommy Meltdowns or an anemic relationship with the Word. But our friends do. Let’s pray for them.

Why do mothers need to make it an effort to keep up their friendships?

Because you’ll die without girlfriends.

I’m.

Dead.

Serious.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had a season of life where I needed other women more than young motherhood. Lord have mercy! Mamas, get very close to your computer screen and listen to me right this second: FRIENDSHIP IS NOT OPTIONAL RIGHT NOW. I don’t care what you have to do, but you get around your girls. If you don’t have any girls, go find you some. (Hint: just look for other crazy-eyed, sleep-deprived, manic looking women with toddlers and babies hanging off their limbs asking for juice and screaming in the middle of Target.)

Thank you Jen for sharing with us!

Enjoy more of Jen’s book by reading Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load. Thank you Baker Publishing group for a review copy of this great devotional for moms!

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