“I’m a regular mother who wanted to give her daughter a love of God. Yet with no special skills or theological background, and with as many questions about faith as answers, I felt ill equipped to be her guide.” – p. 4
I Love You to God and Back by Amanda Lamb is a sweet parenting memoir recording 100 bedtime prayers of the author’s 6-year-old daughter, Chloe. The book is separated into short entries or chapters chronicling these bedtime prayers and what the author learns through listening to her daughter’s love-filled heart. Each day’s “entry” begins with a few lines of Chloe’s prayers, then a short vignette from the author discussing what she learned from her daughter’s earnest prayers.
The author describes her daughter’s deep-dwelling faith and reveals: “[Chloe’s] strong faith has caused me to question the strength of my own beliefs and tested me in ways that I didn’t expect” (p. 6). I love how parenting challenges us to explore how real our lives are.
The author shares many lessons she learns from her daughter: learning to see joy in small moments, praise God for little daily blessings, love unabashedly, and live in the moment. As a mother myself, one of my favorite gifts from parenting my kids is learning to live joyfully and gratefully in the moment as they does.
“…God gives us the grace we need when we become parents to love with a depth greater than we ever imagined. There’s no other logical explanation for this phenomenon.” -p. 56
Some of the “chapters” end with a few sentences from Chloe on topics, like kindness, gifts from, God, friends, and prayer. These six-year-old thoughts wiser and more centered on love than many of my own.
Short, two- to four-page chapters separated into five larger sections make the book easy to pick up and put down (important for mothers of little ones). The writing between these chapters seems disjointed, but this style fits when the journal-like format of the book is thought of as a series of devotions. Some of the entries don’t offer deep theological truths, but rather beautiful reflections of the blessings our children give and how they remind us to live with love. Other devotions pack serious and needed truths within the author’s observations.
Through reflecting on Chloe’s prayers, the author tackles living faith out in small ways throughout the day, praising God over complaining, living with thanksgiving, and more.
“I keep hoping that if I hang out with Chloe and God long enough, some of this will rub off on me.” – p. 77
This book includes a “prayer primer” in the back of the book with ideas, starting questions, and Scripture for parents to begin bedtime prayers with their children. These discussion starters she offers as examples especially appealed to me since I prefer to base what little knowledge I can claim on God’s Word.
A relatively light read, I Love You to God and Back inspires parents to deeply observe their children and grow in faith together.
Questions for you: Have you read many parenting memoirs? What lessons have your kids been teaching you through their lives lately?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”