Skip the flowers and handmade gifts this year - give the gift of reading for Mother’s Day instead! These books are sure to be a hit with the moms in your life. Throw in a gift card for their favorite coffee shop and you will have the best Mother’s Day gift of the year!
Can we acknowledge that sometimes a bouquet of flowers and another canvas of handprints for Mother’s Day while sweet, can get a little tired and overdone? I love my kids, and I love what they make for me, but I only have so much wall space.
Same goes for the grandmas. I know they adore our kids and want to keep everything they receive from them, but I’ve seen their walls - they don’t have anymore room for another art project turned gift. They can only wear so many necklaces, rings, or bracelets.
I vote for a new category in gifts for moms. Whether you need ideas to give your husband and kids, need ideas for your own mom, or want to get a gift for a special mom friend in your life, give a book.
Books have the opportunity to speak life into us. They open our eyes and ears to new ideas, perspectives, and people. We can discover new ways to approach a problem, hilarious stories, and how we are not so alone in our experiences.
I vote we gift more books. Print books, eBooks, audiobooks, doesn’t matter. Toss them around like confetti and let them inspire the moms around you.
I’ve pulled together some of my favorite books for gifting to moms. These books cover a variety of topics but any of them could be perfect for a mom in your life. I wish I could wrap up a stack and gift them to all my favorite moms - but unfortunately I need to feed my family ;)
Is life feeling a little dull, mundane, or less enjoyable than you want? Getting stuck in our normal routines means we often lose our spark for one of the best parts of life - FUN!
As adults we get so caught up in the humdrum parts of life - going to work, doing the housework, disciplining the kids, paying bills - that we forget to have FUN! Obviously we can’t skip out on those required parts of life, but what if there was a way to inject a lightness, a freeing feeling of laughter and joy into the ordinary parts of our day.
“We are running around at the pace of Chihuahuas on cocaine while simultaneously feeling like we are stuck, tired, and lonely. God is stirring our souls, but we can never get to them because we are too busy pinning recipes to our Pinterest boards, which we will never actually use because we don’t have time. We are generation of women who have forgotten what it feels like to be fully alive.” Have More Fun, page 28
Sound familiar? I related so much to this book. I want to do all the things but doing all the things leaves me feeling burnt out and wanting to hide in a whole. But instead, if I choose to do a few things and have fun while doing them, I feel so alive.
When I whisk the kids off for a surprise donut trip after school instead of going home and grumbling about jackets and boots on the floor, I’m reminded that parenting is fun. When I challenge Micah to a MarioKart race on the most difficult setting and we are both laughing because of how often we are both crashing and falling off the ledge, I’m reminded that marriage is fun.
And don’t worry - this book isn’t only about fun in motherhood. Mandy covers adding more fun to your marriage, your work, your friendships, and even your shhhhhh…. sex life. 😲 So make this the year you step out and have real fun, not fun that you will regret later, not fun that stresses you out, and not fun that isn’t satisfying, but real true fun that fills you up and leaves you better than before.
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This is topping my list for best books of 2019 so far. And yes, I know it’s only April, but I busted out my highlighter on just about every page in this book. If I could I would gift this book to every mom (or parent) with kids ages 8 and up. Even though the book is all about parenting teens, I believe we can arm ourselves for those years early and start laying the foundation for a good relationship earlier than that. Our oldest is going to be 11 this year and I’m thrilled that I read this now instead of later so I can start working on building trust, communication, and respect that will be so vital in the coming years.
Connie is a mom of five grown kids and has been working with teens for 20+ years so she is well versed on what works well with teens and what doesn’t. She shares openly about struggles she and her husband faced while raising teens and how they came out the other side. I could completely relate to her stories and saw my kids in many of her descriptions of her own children.
I really appreciate that not only does this book offer ideas for a multitude of areas from family goals to listening, school bullies to watching our own words, and the scary parts of the real world. Connie doesn’t shy away from the hard topics. She shares how she approached topics like responsible cell phone use, dating, sex, drugs, and terror attacks with the teens in her life. Unfortunately, this is all part of our reality and we’d be mistaken if we didn’t find a way to talk to our kids about these topics.
At its base, this book helps parents guide their children by discovering their strengths and personality type so they can thrive as they transition into adulthood. We can’t expect to parent each of our kids exactly the same because our kids are not exactly the same. It contains real-life advice and solutions for growing a strong relationship with your teen so you can help launch them into the world knowing who they are in Christ.
Not every one of us has a good relationship with our mom. Not all of us have a good relationship with our daughter. Or mother-in-law or daughter-in-law. We might want that close relationship that we see other mothers and daughters have but we simply aren’t there.
Mended is for you. Mended offers hope and ideas for healing the hurt that has built up between mothers and daughters as well as for protecting your relationship from potential issues that could harm the relationship. It requires a humble heart and a willingness to allow Jesus to work in you.
If you are in a place that you want to strengthen or even heal the relationship between yourself and your daughter or mom this book offers a way to start. If you aren’t ready to give it to your mom or daughter, get it for yourself for now. Start healing your own heart - it’s the only one you are responsible for, after all. If you are ready, gift it to your mom or daughter and let the Lord work.
Do you know your neighbor’s name? What about the elderly couple a few houses over? Or that new family at church?
We are surrounded by people all the time and most of us do not take the time to get to know them, or at the very least learn their names.
I’m completely guilty of this. Completely. I’ve got my own kids… I’ve got this other thing happening… The whosits need me to deal with the whatchamacalits….
But Jesus called us to love our neighbors. Not only the people in our family, not only the people we already know and have a relationship with, but our neighbors - the people we come in contact with every. single. day.
Loving My Actual Neighbor is not a guilt trip. It’s not here to tell us everything we are doing wrong. Alexandra Kuykendall instead is right there with us. She’s been that mom that didn’t go talk to her neighbors with the young child because she assumed they wouldn’t have anything in common. Then it was too late and the family was gone. But she’s also realized that we might be the only glimpse of Jesus someone might get.
In the book she shares seven practices from 2 Peter that show us where to begin reaching out and creating real connections, even connections as simple as letting the other person know we see them as a real person, and not simply a background character at the grocery store.
I love that each chapter contains questions for going deeper, practical action steps, scripture to meditate on, and real life stories. These aren’t simply words on a page - these are experiences she has had before and what she is doing now to do better.
I’ve shared about The Brave Art of Motherhood over and over, and I still can’t stop sharing about it with people. Rachel Martin weaves her story of leaving an abusive marriage and finding herself as a completely broke, single mother of seven with solid advice for how to quit leaning on excuses and find your bravery in motherhood.
I love that Rachel doesn’t claim that brave means big. It doesn’t mean starting your own company, traveling the world, or publishing a book. It could mean that, but it can also mean calling the credit card company to ask for a payment plan. It could mean going to the doctor for your annual physical that you’ve been avoiding. Brave can mean waking up and getting out of bed to face your real life.
This book is raw and honest but packed with hope. It is a solid reminder that no matter what God has put on your heart demands you to take action, not to passively stand by and think it will fall in your lap.
Hospitality has gotten a bad wrap over the years thanks to big named celebrities and Pinterest making us think that we need elaborate meals and matching decor to host people in our homes. Jen Schmidt wants to bring us back to the ground floor and show that hospitality is all about our hearts. It’s about simply opening the door and welcoming people exactly where we are and where they are.
Stop waiting for your home to be perfect and just open the door. Invite a friend over for coffee and don’t do the dishes first. Or at least leave the clean ones on the counter. Stop thinking hospitality ends at your front steps and instead open your door and go outside the walls of your home to practice hospitality. Extend the invitation and watch change happen.
Friendship among women is challenging. Unfortunately many of us never grow out of those middle school tendencies. Some cling to the cattiness and create cliques that exclude and others are still filled with the insecurities of being hurt or left out. Years of reaching out only to find rejection can leave lasting scars.
But there is hope. We can find healing when we turn to Jesus and learn to be a friend to others. Those thoughts we have about that woman at church being too cool to be our friend or the mom at playgroup not wanting to accept our invitation for a coffee date - but there is a good chance they are thinking the exact same thing!
Never Unfriended contains practical steps for discovering and growing real, authentic friendships in a world that is focused on filters and perfectly staged lives. It reminds us that what we scroll by on Facebook and Instagram is not all there is and that true friends are there for the messy moments as well as the sunshine and smiles.
I have loved each and every one of these books and while each one is aimed at women, they aren’t the same. Some might be more fitting for your current season than others. One might be a perfect fit for your mom while another is better suited for your mother in law. Each book is filled with encouragement and grounded advice that can help you move in the right direction this year.
Grab the one that fits your need, pour a cup of coffee, and snuggle in for some good reading. And don’t forget your highlighter! You won’t be able to leave a chapter untouched in any of these.