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Raising Up Mommy
Oldsmar, FL: Simon Peter Press, 2007
Reviewed by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
"Raising Up Mommy: Virtues for Difficult Mothering Moments" by Heidi Hess Saxton is the latest offering in the "Women of Grace LifeGuide Series." In it, Hess Saxton walks readers through the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, sloth, and greed) and some common ways that they tend to manifest themselves in mothers. She even provides a short list of true and false statements for each sin so that one may determine if that sin is a particularly strong pitfall for her.
Do you have a hard time letting anyone else run a program with which you are associated? Do you want people to know about your good deeds? If so, then pride might be an issue for you. Do you hesitate to invite people to your home because you are afraid of what they will think of it? Do you feel your life isn’t as interesting as other people’s? Perhaps it is time to put that envy in check. Have you ever lied about your eating or drinking habits in order to avoid embarrassment? When you are emotionally distraught, do you rely on certain comfort foods to help you feel better? Gluttony might be part of your problem. Do you daydream about former loves? Have you purposely kept part of your past from your husband? Maybe lust is at the heart of the matter. Do you have to apologize for angry outbursts on a regular basis? Do you resort to corporal punishment with your children as a means of venting your own anger? Anger could be poisoning your relationships. Do you spend more than you earn? Do you refuse to give to charity? Greed might be cluttering your life. Are your children always up before you? Do you always take the car even when you could walk to your destination? Sloth might be sucking up your energy.
Yes, it is safe to say that in the course of reading this LifeGuide, you will feel guilty. Don’t give up hope! Hess Saxton offers ways to combat these vices in your life. First, start with the sacrament of confession and a clean state. Then, work on practicing the antidote for each sin, the virtue that beats out the vice. Humility, trust, temperance, modesty, justice, generosity, and prudence are gifts given by God to help us deal with these demons that threaten our spiritual progress and the harmony of our homes. Hess Saxton describes how women can uniquely manifest each of these virtues in light of their own experience. For example, motherhood is a lesson in humility unto itself.
Hess Saxton’s writing style is conversational in tone. She freely shares her own shortcomings and offers humorous anecdotes about her own life. She acknowledges that she is on the journey with the rest of us and that “she has a long way to go.” This fact gives this work greater credibility. Hess Saxton invites us to do battle with the "mommy monsters" that plague our lives by taking advantage of the tools in our arsenal: prayer, the sacraments, and virtue. Following her instructions will help us on our spiritual journey and our journey of motherhood.
To purchase, visit the Women of Grace website at: http://womenofgrace.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=310
Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is editor of www.spiritualwoman.net. Visit her blog at spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com