Monday, May 16, 2016

Review: Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson

I have nearly twenty-one years of parenting under my belt. Many more years than Becky Thompson has under her belt. When I started reading Hope Unfolding, I wondered if it was going to be written more for younger moms. I wondered if Becky would have anything to say to me - the imperfect Mom who still struggles to get it right most days, despite those twenty-one years of practicing.

A photo posted by April E (@elcloudapril) on

Fast forward to a couple weeks of scattered reading. I was sitting in the van, while three of my children attended a youth track night. Somehow, I had managed to escape the house without my youngest two. For one hour, I had quiet in that van. I felt guilty for not going down to watch their practice as many parents were doing ... but there was quiet. Who passes that up in a house with seven kids?

I was reading Hope Unfolding. I thought I'd make some progress on the book so I could check off that review from my never-ending to-do list. And right there in that van, I found that Becky did have something to say to this older mom. Instead of the older women teaching the younger, the younger woman was reminding and blessing this older woman. I sat there, fighting tears ... wiping a few away that managed to escape ... reading and praying. It was a blessed hour.

Becky writes in an engaging, story-telling manner. She lays out here thoughts in a very conversational way, then the chapter shifts and she tells you a story. Sometimes you aren't sure where that story is going, until she comes to the end of the story and suddenly she relates that story to her previous paragraphs and wraps up the chapter nicely. Most of the stories are from her own personal life, the lessons God has taught her, and the way she sees Him working in her life.

Each chapter ends with a few application questions, some lines where you can briefly record your thoughts about those questions, a prayer, and a closing thought. That last thought is like a benediction to carry you forward into life. A blessing to take with you as you clean up spilled chocolate milk, break up an argument, or clean the toilet. A reminder to mull over until you come back to read the next chapter.

These chapters are a little longer and meatier than some recent books I've read for moms. I often had to set the book aside without finishing a chapter, but it was easy to pick up later and keep reading. It wasn't so complicated that I had to backtrack to figure out what was being discussed in the chapter.

Hope Unfolding is a "you are not alone" book. It's a "been there, done that, let's do it together" book. It's a "let me give you a hand, or a hug" book. It's a "have you prayed about that?" book. In other words, it is encouraging for mothers. It lets us know we aren't alone in our struggles, reminds us of our purpose, and points us back to God - the author and perfecter of our faith.

Hope Unfolding would be an encouraging baby shower gift for the mom who has had her second or third child. It would be a good gift for a friend who is struggling, or a Mother's Day gift. If no one else buys it for you and you just need some encouragement in life, buy it for yourself. Hope Unfolding is "grace-filled truth for the Momma's heart".

April E.

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