40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood by Sarah Humphrey (Abingdon Press, 2016)

A Coloring Devotional (Book Review – 40 Days to Joyful Motherhood)

It seems much of what I’m reading and reviewing lately has to do with living the creative life and self-care to take care of what God’s given us to subsequently be able to pour out to others.

This book continues the trend.

40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood by Sarah Humphrey (Abingdon Press, 2016)

40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood: Devotions and Coloring Book to Nourish Mom by Sarah Humphrey (Abingdon Press, 2016)

From the publisher:

Nourishment for a mother’s soul through 40 days of devotion and . . . doodling!

Wouldn’t it be marvelous if mothering came with a concrete set of instructions—an easy recipe we could follow? Instead, motherhood challenges women to find their faith, their true selves, and their family through daily doses of trial and error. It is a brilliant and healing time of life that is full of joy, pain, and beauty with a small side of crisis (and humor). What mothers do not know, they learn. And through this lifelong process of learning, they nurture and care for the most precious gifts on earth: children. In a modern society where moms often have a full and busy plate, these 10 minute daily devotions focus on six key topics of motherhood:

-Self-acceptance
-Self-care
-Reconciling with grief, hope and expectations
-Generosity
-Presence
-Forgiveness

In addition to the devotions, these beautiful pages are adorned with handmade illustrations to help you refresh from long days or even occasional sleepless nights. So, grab your colors and a little quiet time for yourself while doodling at the kitchen table. You will be grateful you did!

My Thoughts:

I love the concept of a doodling/coloring book combined with a devotional for moms. This book meets my expectations in some ways. Each devotion begins with a Scripture, followed by a 2-5 paragraph anecdote or reflection, and then wrapped up with a short prayer. The devotions sit on one side of the page, and the doodle to color waits on the opposite side. A two-page reflection offers breaks between every five devotions plus doodles that continue a topic (like identity in motherhood, self-care, peace, etc.) throughout the week.

The devotions are short enough for a 5-10 minute study period, which is very approachable for busy moms. The doodles are varied and fun to color alone or with your children. Some doodles incorporate Scripture related to that day’s devotion, some a repeating design, and some leave room for your own doodling or hand-lettering.

The devotions encourage reflection, yet never go deep, which left me sometimes wanting more depth. Self-care is a repetitive topic, which is important and needs repeated renewal, but also limited the scope of the devotions. I found many of the devotions to be much better suited for brand-new moms or moms of very young kids, so much so that I feel this particular book might better serve its readers by being marketed as towards new moms. That said, I particularly enjoyed the devotions in the seventh week that also featured memorizing Psalm 23 over the course of the week.

For more about this book, its author, and to read more reviews, please visit the Litfuse page for this book.

sample page of doodle coloring devotional

What are your favorite ways to relax in the Word?

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book via Litfuse. This is an honest review, and all opinions expressed are my own.

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