Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Three Mother's Day Books

With Mother's Day coming up Sunday, I had planned to review Mother's Day books in my Meridian column this week, but since I review fiction and none of the books that came my way in honor of the day are fiction, I decided to talk about three non-fiction Mother's Day books here on my blog instead.  Any one or all three books will make great Mother's Day gifts or be a thoughtful token of remembrance for any woman.

The first is probably the most popular book in LDS bookstores at the moment, Forget Me Not by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. President Uchtdorf  uses the five petal forget-me-not flower to illustrate five areas women should remember for happier, more fulfilled lives.  They include being patient with ourselves, to distinguish between wise sacrifices and foolish ones, to be happy now, to focus on the "why" of the gospel, and to know that the Lord loves us infinitely.  As only he can, Uchtdorf charms, informs, and gently teaches women to value themselves.

Recently I did a booksigning with Connie Sokol.  She gave me a copy of her book, Motherhood Matters.  In a series of two and three page chapters she touches on three distinct areas that concern being a mother; The Divinity of Motherhood, The Reality of Motherhood, and the Rewards of Motherhood.  She quotes other well-known people, tells personal stories, and at times becomes deeply spiritual, and sometimes a note of humor creeps in.  She tells of loving a child when he/she is the least lovable, of those inevitable "mother moments" when mom's are less than perfect, of difficult choices between careers or wants and the demands of mothering, the workload shouldered by mothers, and the spiritual as well as physical responsibilities that go with being a mother.  Looking back over the years, Sokol says "I looked forward to a future date when I could actually get a full night's rest.  Then came teenagers.  At last I came to the conclusion that the underlying purpose of parenting is to ensure that we don't adequately sleep for the rest of our lives." She speaks of the intense spiritual rewards that come a woman's way as she struggles to teach and "train up" her children and the joy that a mother experiences when her child becomes a strong, competent adult with a testimony of spiritual truths. For anyone preparing a talk for Mother's Day this little book promises to be an incredible resource and will fuel memories and personal incidents to enrich any talk.  Since I'm one of those people assigned to talk in sacrament meeting this Sunday, I intend to make liberal use of this small gem.

Musings on Motherhood by Susan Corpany is only available so far for e-readers.  It's only.99 this week on Kindle.  This book is filled with humorous anecdotes and valuable lessons gleaned from her years as a young widow with an infant son, then her remarriage and divorce that landed her once again as a single mother, and the eventual successful marriage to a father with four children and her experiences as a stepmother.  And all this is followed by becoming a grandmother.  Corpany has a rare talent for turning every day happenings into humorous episodes and retelling the small tragedies that bring temporary pain and embarrassment  in a way that makes them funny, but often includes a significant lesson learned.  Most mothers need a laugh now and then; Corpany's book provides a lot of them.

I'll sign off by wishing all of the mothers  who read my blog a wonderful, satisfying Mother's Day.

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