About the book (from the publisher):
Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker (Thomas Nelson, 2017)
New York Times bestselling author Jen Hatmaker, with playful hilarity, shameless honesty, and refreshing insight, assures readers they have all the pluck they need for vibrant, courageous, grace-filled lives.
Jen Hatmaker believes backbone is the birthright of every woman. Women have been demonstrating resiliency and resolve since forever. They have incredibly strong shoulders to bear loss, hope, grief, and vision. She laughs at the days to come is how the ancient wisdom writings put it.
But somehow women have gotten the message that pain and failure mean they must be doing things wrong, that they messed up the rules or tricks for a seamless life. As it turns out, every last woman faces confusion and loss, missteps and catastrophic malfunctions, no matter how much she is doing “right.” Struggle doesn’t mean they’re weak; it means they’re alive.
Jen Hatmaker, beloved author, Big Sister Emeritus, and Chief BFF, offers another round of hilarious tales, frank honesty, and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie. Whether discussing the grapple with change (“Everyone, be into this thing I’m into! Except when I’m not. Then everyone be cool.”) or the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip (“Why are we in San Antonio?”), Jen parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere who, like her, sometimes hide in the car eating crackers but also want to get back up and get back out, to live undaunted “in the moment” no matter what the moments hold.
This is a delightful and insightful read!
True to her trademark conversational style, Jen Hatmaker had me taking turns tearing up at thoughtful parts and laughing harder than I’ve laughed in ages at others (some of the how-to lists!) and promptly reading sections of both types out to my husband and calling my mom to read parts to her. This book is written specifically for women, but men can enjoy quite a bit as well (especially husbands who are also parents who love to laugh with their wives who may or may not spontaneously read sections of this book out loud).
This book doesn’t flow from one chapter to another building upon a central theme, necessarily. Instead, it’s more like a collection of short stories/anecdotes. This doesn’t necessarily diminish the reading experience, but it’s helpful to have that understanding from the start.
Jen is honest with her questions about parenting, about faith, about community, and honest about her love and gratitude for community and growth. I marked multiple quotes to return to when I need a thoughtful take as well as when I need a smile or hearty laugh. My most favorite chapters were ones focusing on parenting, faith, suffering, home, marriage, and creativity. (Chapters 5, 7, 10, 11, 22, and 23, if you’re curious.)
One of my favorite aspects of Jen Hatmaker’s writings is that she doesn’t think she knows all the theological answers out there and she’s clear on that. But she’s willing to have those tough conversations and figure out how to love people.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher as a part of the BookLook bloggers program. All opinions expressed are my own, and this is my honest review.
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