Every time I’ve read a blog post from Hands Free Mama, tears have pooled in my eyes. Seriously. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t begun to cry.
As soon as I saw I had the chance to review Rachel Macy Stafford’s new book, Hands Free Mama (Zondervan, 2014), I knew I wouldn’t pass up that opportunity.
Rachel is a storyteller. Her writing pulls you in to every story she tells and helps you look for the same situation in your life and look for the same lessons and opportunities she is.
That’s the other part of her writing: you don’t feel excluded at all. Rachel needs renewal in her hands-free journey just like the rest of us do.
Hands free sounds like what it is – a journey to keep our hands available to help, hold, love, and be present in the gift of now. And our eyes open to all these grace-given opportunities.
Rachel writes specifically to mothers, but I think any parent should read this. And even any spouse or anyone who has someone they love so drastically and don’t want to miss precious time together. Though Rachel’s stories center on parenting, anyone can learn from living with open eyes and intentional focus on creating love and channeling our energies to what’s really valuable (not “things”).
The back copy explains the essence of the book (as it should):
“[Hands free] doesn’t mean giving up all technology forever. It doesn’t mean forgoing our jobs and responsibilities. What it does mean is…living a present, authentic, and intentional life despite a world full of distractions.”
This book is not unrealistic, but instead focuses on putting distractions and the urgent (but not important) in their proper place rather than letting them control us. This book also expands on what’s on her blog. She talked more about personal forgiveness to be able to see now more than I thought she would – and I needed that.
“Letting go of past mistakes is an integral part of the Hands Free journey because it allows the gifts of the present day to become more apparent.” – p. 172
Some of what I learned in this book:
- “Someday” is a dangerous word, especially when talking about what matters.
- I’ve been very intentional about being present for my children, and that focus continues to increase. Partially because of my son’s many special needs, my children are a constant reminder that they are gifts and any time we have together is a blessing. But I can always grow, and I always need renewal. I’m thankful they serve as such strong, beautiful, amazing reminders.
- It’s easy to not be as intentional about time with my husband, especially when we’re exhausted at the end of the day. But I loved him first, and I’ll love him after the kids are grown. Intentional time with him matters, too. (I knew this, but I needed the reminder.)
- Sometimes I get stuck on my own lack of personal progress. But, as Rachel reminds, small everyday choices impact your path to a hands free life and increase progress.
Rachel shares her setbacks and her successes in beautiful, heart-connecting ways.
“The truth hurts, but the truth heals – and brings me closer to the person I aspire to be.” – p. 38
A main message: Rachel recommends accepting time as a gift and treating it as such with loving purpose rather than fighting it or lamenting it. I highly recommend this read.
“Time does not wait. Therefore, I chose to stop wasting time.” – p. 143
How do you keep your mind on time with your kids as a blessing?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.