I started reading this book and my first reaction was “My personality is the opposite of Jessica Kastner!” I mean, she never wanted kids, but ended up with 3. I was so excited to have kids! I wasn’t certain if I should even go past the first page after seeing the huge difference, but I am so glad I did! I laughed a lot in this book. There were some heavy parts in this book because if we’re honest, parenting isn’t always easy. There’s hard things and hard topics. There were some parts where I was a little skeptical of how she was going to tie things into the Gospel, but she did. She did an excellent job of bringing moms together with what matters, instead of dividing moms on issues.
I’ll also admit that the title left me trying to figure out what this book was about when I first saw the book. After completing the book, though, it makes complete sense and it is the perfect title!
I don’t match the author’s personality, and you may not either. But give this book a try. It’s written in short chapters, so it was really easy to read a chapter in between tasks or running kids where they needed to be. It was refreshing to be able to finish a chapter so quickly!
Jessica Kastner is very transparent and hides nothing. But it was that transparency that kept me reading. You could see her heart poured out onto each page. She does a great job tying in the bigger picture of raising kids in light of the Gospel. Usually she does that at the end of each chapter. I found that I loved her stories, but she did a beautiful job reminding her readers of what really matters.
One of my favorite quotes from the book (believe me, there were so many good ones), was:
“When sitting on the carpet with baby for hours, or roaming the yard bent over with my ‘new walker’ for hours, I became more mindful of my thoughts. What am I thinking about this whole time? Are my thoughts filled with gratitude and appreciation of the moment–the fact that I’m even able to be home, my child is healthy, I have a husband who loves me and whom I’ll eventually see in six hours? ‘Twasn’t always so. I began praying and worshipping more during these times, which eventually transformed lots of my loneliness into fulfilling times of intimacy with the Lord.”
Wow. That convicted me right then. Many times, if I’m honest, I’m thinking about dinner or work or how I can’t wait for bed so I can read. After reading this statement, I have now started using my time with them to pray and worship. Being a homeschooling mom, I’m with my kids a lot and it’s easy for us all to get a little tired of each other. If my attitude gets ugly, the whole house falls down. I’ve thought of this quote so often and it has helped remind me that I can, in fact, give God the glory in all things.
Read more reviews of this book at http://litfusegroup.com/author/JKastner.
Hiding from the Kids in My Prayer Closet (David C Cook, July 2017)
Finding grace and laughter when motherhood gets real
Soon after Jessica Kastner became a mother, she wondered if she was the only mom who found pretend play more boring than watching playdough harden and who dreaded yet another friend’s Instagram post of homemade deliciousness.
In Hiding from My Kids in the Prayer Closet, Kastner shares her experience as an “unmom”—a mom who loves her kids more than she loves the daily experience of mothering. She helps readers laugh at the ridiculous, delight in the unpredictable, and enjoy being the mothers God made them to be.
Jessica Kastner is an award-winning journalist and a contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network’s CBN.com, Beliefnet.com, and the Huffington Post’s Christianity blog. As Connecticut’s coordinator for Straight Ahead Ministries, she shares God’s message of hope by leading Bible studies in juvenile detention centers. When she’s not on the trampoline with her three boys in Connecticut, Jessica shares her unapologetically “real” commentary on the Christian life at www.JessicaKastner.com.
I received this book free from David C. Cook in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.