Sunday, March 27, 2011

Just Moms

Just MomsThis week I finally received my copies of Barclay Press’ new book, Just Moms: Conveying Justice in an Unjust World, edited by Melanie Springer Mock and Rebekah D. Scheiter. Let me shamelessly quote the blurb on the back: “In this poignant, honest, and sometimes witty collection of stories, 27 women share their adventures and misadventures modeling social-justice principles for their children and communities. Just Moms is about moms bending their own rules and redefining success as they work to raise kids who value peace, equality, truth, simplicity, and love.”

Having previously read only my own story, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying reading through the other chapters, feeling more and more the privilege of being included among this group of creative, thoughtful women who all struggle with the complexities of bringing up children with strong kingdom values. One thing I like about the book is that no one attempts to tell us how to do it. No formulas here, but stories that flesh out struggles, failures and grace-filled moments of success. I also appreciate the good writing. And the variety of issues addressed.

For example, in “Cat on a Hot Ride’s Roof,” Willi Tranmer writes of the challenges of adopting two black children from backgrounds of mental illness and alcoholism. Amy Lutz’s story, “His Pink Shoes,” deals with passing on the values of gender equality and roles. (What do you do when your little boy loves Hello Kitty pink tennis shoes and want to wear them to school?). In “Gun Control,” Doreen Dodgen-Magee wrestles with the tensions of passing on pacifistic ideals while letting her son experiment and come to his own conclusions. (Do you let him buy the airsoft gun?) My story, “One Small Miracle,” tells of teaching children to pray and then working through the times when it doesn’t “work.”

Reading through these stories (and I’m not finished yet), I find myself renewed in courage. I’m not the only one to struggle in these areas. I am not alone. Neither are you. Please buy this book. Give it to your sisters and daughters and friends. Use it as a prod for discussion in small groups or parenting classes. Our children are worth it.


  1. Nancy, I feel privileged to have a byline alongside yours -- and so many others -- in this book!