Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: A Book to Hold

     In exchange for a review, BookSneeze on behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishing sent a complimentary copy of Catherine Hickem's latest Heaven in Her Arms: Why God Chose Mary to Raise His Son and What It Means for You. There have been many books written about Mary and motherhood. However, Hickem has a knack many authors don't for this subject. Verse by verse, she leads the reader not only into the journey of motherhood, but into its heart. The reader will learn how to apply Mary's virtues and insightful reflection to her very own mothering journey.
     In 17 chapters, Catherine Hickem peers into Mary's heart and unleashes a bigger picture than what one normally may gather from reading one verse in the Bible. I don't believe she reads too much into the Nativity Story, but that often we read in haste and are not equipped to delve into the emotions the characters of the Bible portray. Hickem who is a licensed family therapist, validates a mother's questions and also assures us that we will not always have the answers. Just as Mary did not know exactly what her role as Jesus' mother would entail, we must place our faith in God and rely on His sovereign purposes. Guiding from Gabriel's visit to the beginning of Acts, Hickem is a treasure trove of godly wisdom and guidance for every mother no matter what season of life she finds herself in. Most of all, she points women to seize the relationship they have with God. We were never meant to parent alone.
     As I read Heaven in Her Arms I found myself convicted, yet assured I am headed down the right path. The way in which Hickem writes is calming, yet clear. Even if it is a convicting thought, she pens it in such a way that is unobtrusive. It is never hostile. The greatest thing about her writing in general is her heart. One can sense her passion for encouraging and leading other mothers down the uncertain path of motherhood. She addresses the harder questions and validates some of the ambiguous feelings mothers do have.
     For some women the ideas presented may not be novel or new. However, we all need gentle reminders sometimes, so even the seasoned mother can gain a lot from this volume. If every younger mother could be handed  a copy of Heaven in Her Arms I would surmise it would save them many heart-wrenching, soul-questioning days. This book would be great for any woman who is either a mother or has influence on a younger person.  May you enjoy the journey of motherhood and reap all of its blessings!

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