I know what you’re thinking – yet another Amish book to read! But you will find, as I did, that this book has nothing to do with the Amish and more to do with the average mom.
Kathryn Cushman writes about two different types of moms – Julie Charlton is a stay-at-home mom who has lost herself in her kids’ and husband’s activities. Finding herself overwhelmed with all the “activity” in her life, Charlton finds herself dreaming of a simpler life and even considers leaving her family behind. Susan Reynolds is Julie’s sister-in-law, and the two could not be more opposite. Susan, whose husband has left her for another woman, finds her fulfillment in the accomplishments of her own career and her daughter’s academic success. Her obsession with order and control is making everyone around her miserable, including herself (although she doesn’t know it yet). When asked if she and her family will participate in a reality show that will make them live a life similar to the Amish, Susan begs her sister-in-law to bring her kids and take a summer “vacation” they will never forget.
I really enjoyed this book being a stay-at-home mom myself. I could completely relate to Julie, getting caught up in all of the activities and never truly finding time for myself or even realizing my own worth. Cushman uses Julie as a means to point out that God has given each of us a special gift, and we need to take the time to figure out what it is and eliminate some of the stuff that is hindering that gift. I especially loved finding out more about Stephen, the first martyr, who was a server – not a disciple.
I also enjoyed learning about Susan, with whom I also related. I can see myself at times getting caught up in the successes and failures of our family instead of looking deeper and making the right priorities. Cushman even finds a way to point out Susan’s gifts and gives her a focus that will glorify Christ.
If you are a mom of any sort, I highly recommend this book! I think all of us moms can relate to one or both of these women and need the encouragement found in this “simple” story to remind us that we are God’s children and are “fearfully and wonderfully made”!