This is not the first time Barbara has been generous with her books. From time to time she offers them in contests to readers of her blog. I have The Mommy Manual, Lord, Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room (my personal favorite), and The Mommy Survival Guide. I won the last one from the apron contest she held a while back.
"I'd been a believer for just a few weeks when I signed up for my first women's Bible study. It was there that I began to see my inadequacies on parade.
I hadn't grown up with the Bible and so was starting from scratch. That was bad enough. But worse, I suddenly found myself surrounded by a bunch of wonderful women with flawless hair and hands who made it look easy to look good. For me, it wasn't so easy. With seven children at home-six under 10-my morning had been pretty hectic just trying to detach. All I had to do was tilt my head a little to the left for a pungent reminder of my motherhood-the smell of spit-up on the shoulder of the T-shirt I'd had no time to change before dashing out, only to arrive late as usual anyway.
I kept my hands folded to hide my scruffy, half-bitten fingernails, but there was nothing I could do about the rose tattoo on my right hand-the most visible of three acquired during my 1960s and 1970s hippie days. In 1987 there just weren't many women sporting tattoos-especially in Bible studies."
"Their Bibles had quilted covers that unzipped to reveal well-worn pages, notated here, there, and everywhere with things they'd been learning during the years I'd wasted on things like rose tattoos. Things they'd learned in years of Bible
studies and hours of quiet time.
Oh, the concept of quiet time! It loomed over my life with the gravitas of a Goodyear blimp, a constant reminder of yet another something I needed to do. Another something on the crowded list of things I woke up every morning with every intention of accomplishing, then regretted not doing at the end of the day when life with my family left me too pooped to pop.
Another something to feel guilty about.
Long about the third week someone mentioned a prayer closet-as in "I fled to my prayer closet and poured my heart out to the Lord"-which I took to be a place where a believer could find solutions to the weightiest problems, a place that maybe if I had one I could make my quiet time come true."
Are you remembering that she has 7 children at home? Yeah, me too. She goes on.
"One day in the laundry room, while wrestling with the lights and darks, I wrestled with my dilemma. Oh, Lord, I thought, is there a prayer closet somewhere for me? And what about this thing called quiet time?"
I guess you can figure out how she resolved her dilemma of how to serve her family and spend time with the Lord. The title, Lord, Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room, gives it away. Just from the title alone, I knew I would be able to relate to the struggles she would be addressing, and I was right. I drew so much encouragement from her stories of triumph as well as her struggles.
All of these books are so encouraging. (How many times have I used that word so far? I can't help it! They are!) Any mom who has ever grown weary or wondered if she is making a difference will enjoy any of these. They would make great gifts, for yourself or someone else.