The Artist’s Daughter {Book Review}

Spring 2013 007

Having to take some downtime at the end of this pregnancy has allowed me to finish reading Alexandra Kuykendall’s memoir, The Artist’s Daughter. It’s our new theme book for the upcoming 2013-2014 MOPS year.

I must admit, at first I wasn’t sure what to do with this book. Most of our MOPS theme books are non-fiction pieces that you can underline to your hearts content until the book is in tatters. They are full of treasured quotes and ideas to use for the upcoming year’s theme. But this…well, this book was a memoir. I started pen in hand and quickly found that this wasn’t going to be an underline-every-other-page style book. Instead it turned out to be a tapestry of stories. Mini vignettes that I read quickly, devouring each and eager to read the next.

When I finished it in two days time I sat and pondered. How do I use this book for our MOPS group?

Then it struck me. Life stories. We each have one. Alexandra’s was fascinating for sure, but that was not my life story. That being said, it made me hunger for other women’s stories…other mothers stories.  And I realized that even if this was not my story, I related to much of it. Snippets of seasons of life stood out for me as a mother. I could relate to her post-postpartum depression and not being able to hold her baby right away. I could relate to her judging and feeling judged by other moms. I could relate to her unrealistic expectations as a mother and how God humbly dealt with her in each of those flawed areas.

That’s what this Beautiful Mess theme is all about. We are a mess! Our lives as mothers are tangled up in the mundane messes of everyday life. Fingerprints on windows. Sinks full of dishes. Markers on walls. Toys littering floors. Junk piles on counters and desks. Brimming closets full of too much stuff. We, as moms, battle the daily mess in a very tangible way. But our souls…oh our souls. They are a mess too. Bad habits springing up like weeds trying to choke out the work God is doing in us.

This is where our stories reach hearts. As we talk about our very unique and different paths, we will share common threads of hope with one another. We will relate and rally and pick ourselves up again. We will not give in but instead revel in how our own beautiful mess is being shaped by The One who can turn it into His masterpiece.

This year’s MOPS will not be a neat series of topics in outline form but, instead, threads webbing out in all directions, connecting with one another. I’m excited to see where the year takes us as mothers and as growing disciples of Christ. I think Alexandra’s memoir is the perfect segue from last year’s MOPS theme: Plunge! Last year we explored on how to dig deeper, be more authentic, embrace vulnerability. Well, there is nothing more vulnerable and authentic than our own personal story and sharing that with someone else.

Thank you, Alexandra, for stepping out bravely and speaking words of truth even when they’re not so pretty! Thank you for being vulnerable and authentic with us, your dear readers.

{For those of you who don’t know, MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers and is a wonderful Christian support group for moms during those hardest transition years into motherhood. I would encourage any mother who has never checked it out to find a group in your area. Not only will you get connected to other moms in your own community – and how important is that when you feel like you haven’t had an adult conversation in forever! – but you will also reap the benefits of activities and speakers set up just for you specific to your season of life. Please click the MOPS button on my sidebar to find out more about this wonderful organization and find a MOPS group in your local area.}

For more on Alexandra Kuykendall, visit her blog and facebook page!

And in a moment of my own authentic vulnerability, while I was typing this post here is the beautiful mess my littles were making in the dining room with my bigs sitting right beside them obliviously playing DS games. So much for No Chore Day!

Ivy's Birthday 065

Ivy's Birthday 066

3 thoughts on “The Artist’s Daughter {Book Review}

    • Honestly, until I have this baby (in a few days) then I won’t be planning anything! Lots buzzing around in my head and I know while I’m in the hospital I will be perusing pinterest for ideas. Have a few already pinned to my MOPS Ideas board and will be doing a brainstorming session with my gals in June.

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