It probably reveals way too much about me that, a chapter or two into Marge Fenelon's new book, Strengthening Your Family: A Catholic Approach to Holiness at Home, I was struggling with feelings of inadequacy and wondering if I could hire Marge to come and mother my children.
It speaks highly of this book, then, that I was able to feel pretty hopeful about myself and my future after I finished reading it.
I can do this, I thought to myself.
I credit this book for my new mommy policy: I will make something homemade once a week for after-school snacks (or end up at my mother-in-law’s, where she will make something homemade). The reason has to do with that warm feeling I get when my kids delight in eating freshly baked cookies and with the light in my seven-year-old’s eyes when she walks in the door and sees the goodies.
Much of what I read in Strengthening Your Family was not news to me, but it was refreshing and well-ordered. Fenelon speaks from experience, but she also commiserates with those of us still very much in the trenches of young motherhood. She offers suggestions, but she also offers prayer. She provides many ideas, but she also provides many caveats. Her foundation is not “being an awesome family,” but rather “getting your family to heaven.”
There’s a big difference between being awesome and getting to heaven, and I don’t know that I spent any time considering that before I picked up this book. It’s designed for Catholic families with kids, though I wouldn’t restrict it to kids of any age. If you have teens, you’re sure to find help within its covers, and if, like me, you have grade school and younger, you will get bolstered and emboldened.
Strengthening Your Family is a wonderful resource and guidebook for Catholic families. I’m glad to have read it, and plan to reference it in the coming years!
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Thanks to the generosity of Our Sunday Visitor for making this giveaway possible. That said, they did not in any way influence my review. I said what I said without them knowing what it was going to be!
Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard
About the Author
When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.