4 Great Books for Girl Moms

We leave for cheer camp today … the girl is equal parts excited, exhausted, and edgy. I can’t wait for lemonade at Toomer’s this evening! {Did I mention the two moms I’m sharing a hotel room with this week are both Alabama fans … and we’ll be in Auburn?? And tomorrow I get to see Aubie?? If you’ve never seen the campus of Auburn University, it is gorgeous! And the “loveliest village on the plains” is also a beautiful place to be.}

Anyway, this post isn’t really about my affection for Auburn {War Eagle!}. And it’s not about how parenting a teenage girl is both the most fun and the most difficult thing {though I imagine you can expect to read a few posts on that topic}.  I’ll also save my thoughts on how I am absolutely not old enough to have a daughter starting high school this fall … but how excited I am for the next four years. Nope, there will be lots of time for writing about all of that. {Well, maybe not lots of time — let’s face it, “lots of time” doesn’t seem to exist!}

Today I thought I’d share four great books I’ve read lately.  Four books I believe girl moms {especially moms of teenage girls!} will find encouraging and useful for engaging with their daughters.

4 great books for girl moms {especially moms of teenage girls!} || recommendations by Teri Lynne Underwood

Exploring Grace Together: 40 Devotions for the Family by Jessica Thompson

First a confession: We haven’t been using this as a family devotion book. Instead, I’ve used it to help me be intentional about sharing the message of grace with my girl. I’ve read the book and it has become a springboard to conversations about relationships, faith, and countless situations she faces in her life {and I face in mine}. For example, my daughter {like her mom} has people in her life she finds it difficult to love. One of the devotions is titled “I Can’t Be Nice” and it contains the story of a girl who struggles with being nice to another girl who is a “mean girl.” We’ve talked through the questions at the end of this devotion and looked at Romans 5:8 which reminds us that God loved us while we were still sinners … and what that means about how we should love others no matter what.  Seriously, this is a great resource for moms … no matter how old your children are!

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman

I love this little book! The short, easy-t0-read chapters are packed with encouragement and truth. In the Introduction, the author writes, “Our joy cannot be wrapped up in motherhood, but only in God” {p. 21}. Oh y’all! It’s so easy to let what is going on with my girl become the defining factor in my day. But that isn’t what God intends! From start to finish this book both challenged and inspired me. Near the end of the Conclusion, Gloria shares these words of wisdom,

The long view of motherhood sees far beyond the third trimester, potty training, and even high school graduation. The long view of motherhood scans the horizon of eternity. {p. 153}

I don’t know about you, but I need that reminder! This season of parenting, as much fun as it can be, isn’t all there is. These days of parenting, as exhausting as they can be, isn’t the final word. As my precious friend and mentor Kate always reminds me, “You’re raising a world changer!’ The long view of motherhood remembers that truth.

Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longs of a Woman’s Heart by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery

I haven’t read the Shades of Grey series nor will I see the movies. And, if I’d had any doubt about whether or not that was the right decision, reading Pulling Back the Shades would have confirmed my choice. Gresh and Slattery do an excellent job of dealing with the dangers of erotica. But what I most appreciated about this book is the honest and forthright manner in which the authors address sexuality for Christian women. This is not a book of pat answers and simplistic cliches. Instead, Pulling Back the Shades is a candid conversation about erotica and its appeal to women of all ages and demographics.  The authors explain,

This book is not meant to be merely a reaction to the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Ultimately it is about YOU — your longings, your questions, and your wholeness as a spiritual and sexual woman. {p. 13}

But here’s another truth … our daughters live in this hyper-sexualized culture and the lines between appropriate and inappropriate seem to blur more and more every day. And this book deals frankly with the ideas of romance and all the longings and desires we feel as women. When I read statistics like the following, I am reminded how important it is to be proactive in discussing topics like erotica and pornography with my daughter.

  • 25% of children have viewed pornography by the age of 12. Most of those first see the images accidentally. {source}
  • 1 in 3 children ages 11 to 14 have viewed pornography on a tablet or other mobile device. {source}

I don’t know about you but numbers like that make it clear how important it is to have frank conversations with my daughter about these issues. Erotica geared toward teenage girls is widely available for free online. It is absolutely necessary for me to bring up these topics no matter how awkward and uncomfortable the topics make me.

Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real World by Dennis Trittin and Arlynn Lawrence

My girl is four years away from high school graduation. Four. Years. More and more I understand why moms of older children warn how quickly time passes. As we prepare for this new season  in our girl’s life, I’m ever more aware that she will be leaving home … and that it will be sooner rather than later.  I’ve been asking myself lots of questions about how prepared she is for life outside our home. I want to make sure I’ve equipped her for the reality of life as an adult.

Parenting for the Launch came to me at just the right time! This book is practical and relevant … and filled with strategies and suggestions to help us guide our teenagers into adulthood with confidence. I received a free copy to review but I believe this book is absolutely one of the best investments parents can make into their children’s future. Responsible and successful adults don’t happen by accident — at least not in my experience. Parenting for the Launch is a powerful resource to help us ask ourselves the right questions as parents so we can equip and encourage our children to enter the world of adulthood prepared for the challenges they will face.

So, there you have it … four books I’ve read recently and found very useful in parenting.  And now, I’m off to spend the day driving cheerleaders to camp and looking forward to a week filled with stunting, dancing, and yelling.

Cheering you on!
Teri Lynne

What’s the best book on parenting you have read lately?

 

3 Replies to “4 Great Books for Girl Moms”

  1. Though my girls are grown and gone, I have two granddaughters. Thank you for the suggestions! Let me know if you are going to Auburn to visit anytime. I live about 45 minutes away and I’d love to have coffee with you!

  2. Hey Teri Lynne,
    These are some great recourses above. Thanks. We have and read Exploring Grace Together. I love it! But the others you mentioned sound good too, I’d heard of one but not the other two. I’ll be looking into them for sure. You’re right, the time is going faster & faster. It’s very bitter sweet. Currently reading Speak Love with the 13 yr old girl & Do Hard Things with the 14 yr old boy. Always good to have things waiting in the wings! Enjoy your summer! 🙂

    1. Speak Love is so good! Casiday’s Sunday School class read it last quarter and she loved it. I have Do Hard Things on my list of books to read with her. Have you all liked it?? {Also, it’s so good to “see” you here … I miss you! And loved all the carline pictures this year!!}

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