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Thursday, October 18, 2018

"Missionary Mom" (Shontell Brewer)

TITLE: Missionary Mom: Embracing the Mission Field Right Under Your Roof
AUTHOR: Shontell Brewer
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2018, (168 pages)

Parenting is a mission in disguise. The mission field is the home. The missionary is the mom. In a book that packs mission with mothering and parenting with spirituality, we see how faith informs the freedom to let the gospel fill the whole house. Instead of seeing missionary as some individual venturing to foreign lands faraway, we have a missionary who is up close and personal, living under the same roof of the family. Mothering is living with a purpose. Missionary mom is a mother who senses the call of God to the home, to serve the family with purpose, and to leave a legacy of Christ in the hearts of children. The author shares openly and honestly her "mom guilt" as a mother often threatened by lies and unwittingly attempting to fulfill them. Left unchecked, it could lead to anxiety and frustrations who rub off the rest of the family. She compares with other mothers who are exhausted by the need to make everything perfect. She targets the need to produce fruit which leads to chapters on prayer; on exemplary living; on purposeful discipline; on taking time to feed the soul; and on cultivating a village and the children's village. She is also conscious of the fact that there are unmarried moms out there as well as endless to-do lists that could unravel any determination.

My Thoughts
This book is written by a mom for moms struggling to make sense of what it means to live the gospel in the home. Borne out of a need for purpose and a desire to fulfill God's calling, this honest to life book reveals openly the struggles of modern parenting and the determined push to become the best mom one could possibly be to the young children living in the home. If you are looking for a systematic way to become a missionary mom, this book is not for you. If you are looking for a book that describes the meandering thoughts of a mom going through the ups and downs of parenting, this book fits the bill perfectly. For those who had previously been single and well established in their careers, moving back to a home may seem to be most restrictive. Brewer helps us see beyond the four walls of the house toward the four corners of God's purpose for all living in the house.

I feel like the book appears confusing at times, especially the part about comparing missionary with godly mothers. Trying to merge the two is the main goal of this book but it does confuses what a missionary is, what a godly person is, and what mission is all about. Like, isn't mission about proclaiming the Person of God? Perhaps, it is about the thought process of Brewer who is trying her best to do both the work of a missionary as well as being a godly mother. It would have been helpful to define some terms more accurately beforehand. Some questions I have include: What is the difference between a "missionary mom" and a Christian "tiger mom?" What about moms who had to work and parent at the same time? What about moms who had to struggle to make their ends meet? What about those foreign missionaries out in the field who are also moms?

Anyway, this book is a decent attempt to make sense of one's calling as a mother in the home. There are passages about "parental guidance suggested" which provide practical tips about parenting from a Christian perspective. Most useful of all are the chapters about cultivating a village for moms as well as for children. The idea of a missionary in the home can also be extrapolated to being missional in the neighbourhood. Given the way globalization, technology, and how connected the world is today, there is a sense that the mission field is much larger than the four walls of the house.

Shontell Brewer is wife to a fireman and five kids in Northern Nevada. She blogs at shontellbrewer.com in a website she calls "Nonsense at its finest!"

Rating: 3.75 stars of 5.


This book has been provided courtesy of Kregel Publications without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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