The ladies at Five Minutes for Books picked Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center as their June book club selection and I was able to get a copy at my local library. This book really resonated with me as Dawn predicted it would! Lanie, the main character, is a S@HM mom to three busy little boys. The book starts out as her family moves across the country so her husband can make some major steps in his musical career ... leaving behind the only home she's ever known as well as her family, friends, and life as she knew it. Suddenly thrust into a new environment she starts to see things about herself and that moves her towards making some changes.
Dawn posed some questions over at 5M4B for our review and I thought about several of them as I finished this book:
How did you relate to Lanie's character? Beyond just the mom/young children connections, did you feel any type of kinship with her?
Yes! this book resonated with me. :) The tired, out of shape, wornout mommy. The mommy that chose to stay at home with her little ones ... even though she/I chose that, and I truly believe it is the right decision, it's still hard at times. She was commited to her husband and supporting him in his career. I felt a connection with her as she made sacrifices for Peter's career - while her's involved a cross country move (which we haven't done), there are activities that I have stepped out of to support my husband's involvement and ministry in other areas. No matter how much you agree with or believe in the sacrifice that you are making, occasionally there are those moments where this mommy feels left behind a little bit. :)
What did you think about Lanie's pursuit of a new definition of herself, with her workout routine and photography interest? Is there something you'd love to pursue in your own life?
I think it is a good thing when a mom has something to recharge her from her day-to-dayness of maintaining her household and taking care of her family. I do believe that there are times and seasons for this ... when I have little tiny babies is not the time for me to sign up for extra projects and activities when I can barely get done what needs to be done because I'm running on so little sleep. :) Also, I think one thing that holds me back in this area is that I just don't stop to take the time to recharge until it's too late and I'm desperate for a little time away. I forget that my husband longs/works to/makes it his goal to provide for me and if I just ask him and it's in his ability, he will provide that outlet and time for me to recharge and pursue something. My tendency is to run myself to empty and then try and recharge instead of taking little bites here and there when I can.
How would you describe the message a reader takes away from Everyone is Beautiful?
When someone is passionate about something, living in the moment - that makes you beautiful. As a Christian, I believe our passion for Christ - regardless of whether we have skills in photogrphay, writing, singing, etc. - that alone can bring an unblievable beauty that can't be found in any earthly pursuit. That should be my first passion ... and if I only have time for one, that's the one I want to be at the top of the list! However, I think it is also important for stay-at-home-moms to have some sort of mental outlet for them to express their creativity. I look at my friends and their interests are so varied according to their likes and personalities and it adds something to the beauty of each woman.
I hope my notes make sense - I'm reading my scratchings from my journal as I type here. :) I did enjoy this book although I don't know that I will recommend it to many. Truthfully, I found the language (swearing) in the book to bother me. I'm sure the book was realistic to some, but that is not how I talk and I don't care to read others talk like that either. One of my favorite books that tackles this same theme (without the swearing) is SAHM I Am by Meredith Efken (and it's two follow-up books, @Home for the Holidays and Play It Again, SAHM). Those get two thumbs up from me.
*I won't be able to post this on Tuesday, so I've gone ahead and written this up to get my thoughts posted before I lose them forever! :)