In Mommy Time, Sarah draws on her recent experience with motherhood and child-rearing. She and her husband Tom (a Methodist pastor) have a son named Micah. In between the diaper changes and nighttime feedings, Sarah had the presence of mind in her child’s early months to really reflect on the way in which motherhood and faith and the biblical witness are deeply intertwined.
I admit that I sometimes hesitate to pick up devotional books. They can tend to be overly-sentimental, almost like reading the Bible through the lens of a Hallmark card. But that ain’t Mommy Time. This is a remarkable set of reflections on Scripture that mixes together real biblical insight, reflections on church history and Christian literature, and the often earthy experience of parenting. It’s the first book of devos I’ve read that manages to draw on the martyrdoms of early Christian mothers Perpetua and Felicitas as models for contemporary life (yes, you read that sentence correctly). Sarah also writes in a deeply moving way about introducing her newborn son to her 100 year old grandfather, and about the profound experience of reading Psalm 139 in the light of being pregnant (“I was woven together in the dark of the womb…”).
What Mommy Time represents is the considered reflection of a gifted writer who has put her writing ability and theological insight into the service of daily life & faith. There’s a lot here to offer any parent. I’m not a new mommy (obviously), but my wife and I did manage to have three kids in the past 2 1/2 years. So I know a little something about recent Daddyhood. I found myself reading the devotionals and nodding, connecting over and over with Sarah’s often humorous and always relevant stories about trying to understand parenting in the light of Christian faith.
Check out this book. Now for some background:
Sarah has served in the past as a youth minister and she’s written a number of popular books, including Walking with Bilbo and The God-Hungry Imagination. I know Sarah and her husband, Tom, from our days at Duke Divinity School. A couple of years ago she collaborated with me on the project that resulted in Generation Rising: A Future with Hope for the United Methodist Church. Sarah wrote a chapter on youth ministry for the book where she argued for the need for a robust practice of confirmation in the life of the local church–a ministry that has the potential to be hugely formational for youth but which is often not treated seriously enough. For a review by me of Sarah’s book, At the Still Point, check out this link. You can find her personal website here.