I am not at all exaggerating when I tell you I am so excited about sharing this book with you today, I actually have butterflies in my tummy. I'm so weird! I know! But this is great stuff.
Marla Taviano and I first crossed paths in December of last year via the wacky wild world of Twitter. I don't know how it happened that she found me, but I can tell you that she has been a huge blessing to me in the past few weeks. She has taken a loving and supportive interest in the message of our book, offered publishing advice and direction to Laura and I, and just generally made herself available as a huge source of encouragement.
(When she peeled back some layers with unflinching honesty in her recent post Don't Wanna Go Green, I could just swear she did a little mind-reading session on me for inspiration. I struggle mightily in the same way!)
Because I felt like Marla and I shared so many of the same perspectives, I was excited to check out her third book - Changing Your World One Diaper at a Time. When it arrived (autographed and everything!), I sat down with it and was immediately drawn in. Let me borrow Marla's own words to paint the big picture of the message she conveys:
This book isn't a how-to. It's not a developmental handbook. It's not a lecture, a guilt trip, or even an expert's opinion . . .
Think pep rally. Think fight song. Think "Go, team, go!" Encouragement and support are my bottom line. Heads nodding in understanding, belly laughs in all the right places -- that's what I'm going for.
And that's exactly the gift she gives to Moms and Not Yet Moms in these pages.
Marla never, ever shies away from telling funny stories on herself. Even better than sharing her own stories, she has invited many other moms to chime in with their own mothering highs and lows. It's like Marla organized a big ol' coffee klatch, and you know how your mother used to shoo you out the back door when she held them at your kitchen table? It was all stuff you would understand when you were older. Guess what, chica? You're older and now and you have a seat at the table.
Everything a new mom goes through in that first year - the trying to get pregnant part, the actually getting the baby here part, the good, bad, ugly, and ugly cries of those first few weeks, the amazingness and the stinkiness . . . She speaks with compassion and empathy about pregnancy loss and offers gentle encouragement for dealing with postpartum depression. There's a whole chapter on how to continue loving on your man as he makes the life-changing transition to Daddy, and another chapter to help you know how get along with your parents and in-laws now that they are the doting Grands.
My very, very, very favorite chapter of the book is right in the very middle. In "Be Still, My Heart," Marla rounds up all those emotions and fears and expectations and misgivings that all new moms feel so intensely in those first twelve months (oh, who I am kidding - these all swirl far beyond the first year, don't they?) and makes them all stand up to the Truth of God's Word. I LOVE THAT! Taking our mothering thoughts and surrendering them to the mind of Christ. Oh, I just can't get enough of it.
Oh wait! I just remembered another favorite part. Her take on all those mothering debates? You know - all the breast or bottle and co-sleep or crib stuff? Marla encourages "Nondenominational Motherhood" (a whole chapter on it!) and I could just hug her neck for that.
I know this book would be such a blessing in the hands of a new mama or mama-to-be. Sometimes all we really want is a Big Sister to say, "Hey girl! You're doing great! Just keep praying and praising and knowing this whole thing is gonna turn out just fine!" Marla and the moms she invited to join her in this effort speak glorious words of comfort and Oh-I-Am-So-There-You-Have-No-Idea.
I'm here to tell ya, like-minded mamas rallying to support one another most definitely works for me.
Want it to work for you? How about it, then! Marla kindly sent a copy my way for one of you lovely ladies. That's right - a giveaway! What I would love for you to do is go stroll through Marla's bookstore. You'll see her other books From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife, Is That All He Thinks About (How To Enjoy Great Sex With Your Husband), and hot off the press Expecting: Praying for Your Child's Development-Body and Soul there, and I do so hope you are inspired to add one (or more! because are you kidding me? Ten dollars shipped? A steal!) to the gift basket you are preparing for that lovely bride or glowing mom-to-be. Grab a second copy for for your own library at home!
To enter the giveaway for a copy of Changing Your World One Diaper at a Time, simply leave a comment on this post. Comments will close next Tuesday, February 17th at 10 PM Central Time. Winner announced Wednesday, February 18th.