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I vividly remember looking at the baby laying in the bassinet sleeping while I slowly rocked in the glider nearby. This baby I’d prayed for, not being able to stand the wait to becoming a mommy….and there she was, my daughter, our first child, and I wasn’t quite sure what was next – I had absolutely no idea what this beautiful little nugget of a baby would do to my life, because what I didn’t know was that her arrival was just a tiny blip of what her life would be about in the years leading up to a diamond. And a diamond was quite honestly the last thing on my mind that day.
When my friend Jessie said she had written a book about raising girls, I kind of thought, ‘well that’s nice, but my daughter is 17 so it’s a little late for me.’ I have a lot of admiration for Jessie. She has raised two daughters, through the diamond stage while battling an illness…so I decided I’d grab a copy because somewhere between her telling me about the book and deciding I was going to read it I realized that we were closer to the diamond stage than the diaper stage (which I believe I have down pretty well after having four babies) and to be honest it freaked me out a little. One message to my friend and she had the book in my hands two days later – and I am so thankful she did.
Jessie’s practical tips and encouragement lead you through this well written little gem on how to embrace being the momma to daughter. I loved how she wove scripture through the book with beautiful applications and explanations. You don’t have to be a biblical scholar to understand. She brings new light to a few passages for me like her breakdown of Proverbs 31. Such as this woman we usually deem as perfection was striving for excellence (unbelievable that both Jessie and I have both written about excellence over perfection, you can find my post HERE) and lives a life of intention not perfection. By hitting on such topics that most women, not just moms struggle with, she creates a place where we can get very real with ourselves, our mommy guilt, cultural lies and personal imperfections.
There are stories sprinkled throughout the book from other mothers and their daughters- what a fun way to get more insight! I’m a big advocate for sharing our stories and love each one shared. I really love the stories girls shared about their dads as well. What a sweet way to incorporate the importance of a father’s role in raising a daughter then to hear from women about their own experiences with their dad. One of the lessons Jessie touches on throughout the book is that we aren’t our daughter’s friend – not yet anyway. Depending on where you’re at in the diaper to diamond stage… I’m entering the de-parenting stage now, and am thankful for the wisdom she shares on how this stage is about making a shift from “controlling” to “influencing” and that with more freedom comes more responsibility – LOVE this SO much!
While I hung on the words offered in the chapter on dating, Jessie touches on topics such as modesty & beauty, mean girls & the middle school years, the influence of other women in your daughter’s life and even some marriage advice for moms! She also provides a checklist for dating guidelines full of powerful things you can start thinking about even if you have a baby at home right now. I like to think that in the last 17 years, by the grace of God we did a pretty decent job raising our daughter – however, I found encouragement in Jessie’s words, that like us, she didn’t always get it right, have a plan or know what was actually going to be the best thing to do. There are just circumstances that come up there are no books on!
Jessie beautifully concludes the book by talking about leaving a lasting legacy for your daughter – something money can’t buy – such as, how to suffer well and how to live a grace-filled life. I know as we continue into the de-parenting stage I will be picking this book up again and again to read the truths it contains which I know I will also use for our sons. The end of the book is filled with thought provoking questions pertaining to each chapter – you can answer them on your own, in a group, or with a friend. You know, that whole ‘it takes a village’ thing – what a wonderful way to build these girls into powerful women of God than to come together with other women of faith to learn, pray and intentionally grow in motherhood?
I pray you would be blessed by this book the way I have been. To look at your daughter and know she was chosen to be guided by you, influenced by you, loved by you…and as Jessie reminds us, don’t take the little things for granted, they are all fleeting moments….like never stop tucking her in bed at night while you have the opportunity.
While I have the privilege and honor of calling Jessie Seneca a friend and mentor, she is also the founder of More of Him Ministries, be sure to let her know I told you to stop by 🙂
This post is not an ad, it is an unsolicited book review, all opinions contained herein are my own.
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