How’s your December going so far? Mine is BUSY, all good and fun things, but yeah, busy. In the next 8 days, we have 2 dance recitals, 3 parties, and a preschool Christmas Program. And then it’s Winter Break. I am so excited to not have to wake the kids up for school for two weeks. Yay sleep!
How perfect is the title, Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life? That’s totally what Jen Hatmaker does. I love her, and she’s one of my best friends that I’ve never met. Yeah, of course there’s more than one. She is real and funny. She’s a pastor’s wife, but not an annoyingly perfect, I have no fun at all, I will look down my nose at you Christian. She is biblical yes, but her husband is a pastor with visible tattoos. They are both very philanthropic and involved with local and international causes. They have 5 children, 2 of which are adopted from Ethiopia. Their family is a beautiful, loving mess, and that’s what she candidly writes about in her books.
Here are a couple excerpts from this book that will show you why I love her:
“MTV hit the scene in 1981, but we couldn’t watch it because of the devil. Apparently we could watch a show starring two outlaw brothers, their half-naked cousin, and a car painted with the Confederate flag but couldn’t watch Madonna sing ‘Like a Virgin’ because we might get second hand pregnant.”
“If you hate blue cheese, you can substitute ranch dressing here, but in that case, perhaps you should give this recipe a new name because the only thing worse than serving your friends something called ‘Buffalo Chicken Dip’ without blue cheese is stocking your cooler with O’Doul’s. It’s un-American.
Jen is 100% here to be our encourager. She calls motherhood “humility training.” How freakin true is that?! Yes, I am aware my child is wearing a Halloween costume (or pajamas, a bike helmet, no coat when it’s cold out, the list could go on forever), but what you, dear judgy person do not know is how stubborn my child is. Sometimes you just have to say, whatever. I don’t want to have an argument about EVERYTHING. And while I do like to actually be the parent and in charge, I don’t want to crush their crazy little spirits.
Back to the book, I love all the recipes I have ever tried from Jen. So much so, that I was brave enough to make one and bring it to a bible study luncheon without even trying it first. Jen said the salad changed her life, I’m sure it will be good. And it was. There are a handful of recipes in this book, and “handful” is definitely a measurement term you’ll read.
She writes about marriage and her children. Some of it I could relate to, and other parts were good advice/warning for the future. She is a decade ahead of me in life, but for sure completely relatable. She wrote this book specifically to all the different ages, and all the different places in life. Other books of hers have been clearly for a certain group, like Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load is for mothers with younger children because that’s who she was then.
Before you read this one, though, you need to read her book that came out before this one, For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. The Jen Hatmaker who wrote that is the Jen Hatmaker you need to meet first. She is still there in Of Mess and Moxie, but some really big stuff happened for her in between the books.
I wish I had something more deep and meaningful to say, but I don’t today. If you like Jen Hatmaker, you will like this book. I think it’s her second best one, with For the Love being numero uno.