Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman
Sadly, motherhood is no longer a popularly celebrated calling. We do everything that we can to delay it, ignore it, and/or be “limited” by it. Aside from it not being a particularly popular topic, the literature based around it is full of “how-tos” and “best ways” to raise your kids. I have found Missional Motherhood, to be exactly the opposite. Not only is it not a “how to” mother book, but it’s a reminder of our purpose in all things, to be like godly. In reclaiming the beauty of what it means to be a mother (biologically, adoptive-ly, spiritually. etc.), Furman goes through the narrative of the Old Testament to show us how mothering (and what she further defines as nurturing) is a God-like act. This book reminds all of its readers that motherhood is not a lifestyle of do’s and don’ts, but that it is constantly living out grace-by-faith. It has served as a reminder to me that I need to do is turn towards Christ and his Word, in all things.
To Read: Educated by Tara Westover
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Four Chinese immigrant women to the United States meet regularly to play mah jong, tell stories, and remember the past. Through a series of vignettes told from the perspectives of each woman, as well as their daughters, Amy Tan beautifully illustrates the immigrant experience. We glimpse their loss and their hope for the future, what they left behind, and what their American-born children can never understand. Tan is masterful in what she leaves unsaid, urging her reader to connect the dots by placing themselves her characters’ shoes.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
What a powerful book and a moving look into the lives of others. This book is framed as letters from a father to his son in a broken world. We are invited to step into the life of those that have been hated, enslaved, segregated, targeted, and overlooked for far too long. This narrative is tough, intellectual, and uncomfortable, but exactly what I needed to hear. There is some language in this book, but it highlights the fear and brokenness that so many brothers and sisters face in so many situations I had not thought about previously. As the book description states, this book is, “Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.”
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This was another read that I listened to on audio recently. The Hate U Give is a powerful novel that touches on different themes of systemic injustice. The main character, Starr, witnesses her childhood friend’s death, ultimately forcing her to find her voice and identity in the two worlds she’s been living in. An emotional and honest read that is thought-provoking and compelling.
To Read: China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
As someone who loves art, I am delighted to have gotten my hands on a copy of A Bouquet of Favorite Psalms to Inspire Your Soul! Not only am I drawn to the vivid colors and designs, but I personally hope to use it for ideas of Bible verses to memorize and weave into my own art. I find myself feeling inspired just by flipping through the pages. Plus, one of my favorite Psalms is featured on the back: “As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God” (42:1 NLT). If you’re like me and also looking for inspiration, you can head to this article here on the Arc to download your own free copies of some of the Bible verse art from the book!
To Read: Truth Plus Love: The Jesus Way to Influence by Matt Brown and Hinds’ Feet on High Places: An Engaging Visual Journey by Hannah Hurnard