Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Review: Graced and Gifted by Kimberly Hahn

The latest book I am reviewing for the The Catholic Company product reviewer program is Graced and Gifted - Biblical Wisdom for the Homemaker's Heart by Kimberly Hahn. It is a book that can be read on its own or used as a Bible study with a group or alone. I honestly have to say that I did not want to choose this book when I was given the list of available books to review. There were a few others that really peaked my interest. And then when I saw that this book was based on the Proverbs 31 woman and actually read about the magnificent woman in Proverbs 31, I had an even harder time deciding on this book! I knew I could never live up to this woman - no matter how great a writer Kimberly Hahn is...and she's good - Life Giving Love is one of the most amazing books I've ever read! But I decided to go with this book mostly because it fits in so well with my blog, the topics I write about and my calling to reach out to other married women with children. As usual though, the Lord knows what I need before I do - and I'm so glad or I would have missed out on a great book! He knew that this book would not only fit well into my blog, but that it would fit well into my life and into the way He's been working in my life lately.

You see, lately, every where I turn, I'm reminded of the fact that being a wife and a mother is my path to holiness and the sweet reward of Heaven. It is what God is calling me to do right now. I used to always really struggle with what God's will for me was until I read a book of Mother Angelica's sayings and teachings. She says that God's will for you is whatever you are doing at the time (wrote about it here). She says,
"What is God's Will for me?" Somebody asked me that not too long ago. Honey, if it's happening, it's God's Will; and you have to correspond to it in the Present Moment.
I am lucky as a wife and mother. I cannot question what God's will for me's to be a wife to my husband and a mother to my children. It is to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, wipe tears, deal with tantrums, and throw dinosaur birthday parties. It is to be a helpmate, friend and lover to my husband. I am a cleaner of the house, a cook, a nurse, and a taxi driver. All of these things are what I am called to do and Kimberly Hahn's book has really helped to drive home this idea that the Lord has been drilling into my head and adds depth to many of the tasks that I do each day.

Hahn covers many different topics such as clothing the family, cooking for the family, organizing and decluttering the home, and growing a garden. She gives such wonderful ideas, information, and resources about so many different things. Each chapter contains references to helpful books and websites. And then, every couple of chapters, the topic is related to a sacrament making it real to the reader just how important what we do is not only for our families but for our vocation as homemakers. For example, the chapters on feeding the family are related to the Eucharist. Just as we provide food for our families,
"God provides food that is needful. In the Old Tesatment there are three examples of God's provision of food for his people"
"The sacrifice of the Mass is our covenant meal, renewing our covenant with God in thanksgiving for all he has done for us".

I keep thinking about what our pastor said in his homily last week. He said that when we do not do what God is asking of us, it leaves the Kingdom of God lacking in some way. That was just huge to me. It's not just me that is affected, or my children or family, but the entire Kingdom of God! As he was saying this, I started thinking about this book and how this is what it has been telling me as I've been reading this. The way I parent my children, run my household, and minister to my husband affects the entire Kingdom of God. What a huge responsibility. I'm so glad to have the help of the wonderful women in my life - mother, mother in law, friends - as well as the guidance of my church and my faith and the Bible. I'm so glad to have read this wonderful book and plan to keep it close by to refer to the resources that have been provided. I'm even thinking that one of these days I'd like to do a book study with a group of women using this book. I would recommend any young wife/mother pick up Graced and Gifted and tap into the wisdom it provides. It will give you a great perspective on the life that God is calling you to live!

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Graced and Gifted - Biblical Wisdom for the Homemaker's Heart.

Specific to the BlogHer guidelines, I received this product free to review. It's value is less than $40.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Can you tell me the format for using this in a Bible Study. We are used to a certain format - reading at home and then answering the questions as a group and then watching a short video on what we read. Is this study anything like this? We are looking for a new study and this would help me to decide if it is right for our group.Thanks.