Thursday, May 3, 2018

Of Mess and Moxie - Jen Hatmaker

Of Mess and Moxie
Title: Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life
Author: Jen Hatmaker
Publication Date: 8/8/17
Pages: 224
Genre: Faith / Memoir / Nonfiction
How I Found It: I'm a Jen Hatmaker fan.
Date Completed: 4/28/18

Summary: Hatmaker broaches motherhood, faith, and the messiness of life in her new memoir. As always, she does it with grace and heart. 

What I Thought: Hatmaker delivered exactly what I expected her to here. She's funny and witty and so real. She's not afraid to engage with hard issues and lay her vulnerabilities out on the table. 

She does it in a way, however, that still protects others in her life. I love that she's clearly only sharing stories that she's received permission to share or aspects of vulnerability that are hers alone to reveal. It has to be such a hard balance and she walks it well. 

One of my favorite parts of the book was Hatmaker's real talk about motherhood. Now, I'm not a parent, but I love reading about the Hatmaker family. I regularly read her Facebook posts about her kids to Kevin and we laugh and laugh. The book is no different. It just adds in a layer of depth that is not always present in the sound bites on social media. She talks about what it's like being a working mom and how she doesn't let her kids - or anyone - make her feel guilty about that. Loved that section! See the second quote below for a perfect example of Hatmaker blending humor with real talk. It was a encouragement to me, someone who has no intention of giving up work if and when I ever have kids. Mostly because I would lose my mind. 

As with previous books she's written, Hatmaker sort of alternates between more serious chapters and more comedic content. There's plenty to laugh about here, but there's also plenty that will tug at your heartstrings and maybe your tear ducts. She talks about rejection and love and balance. 

This book is part of my 2018 TBR Challenge!
It's no surprise to me that this is one of Hatmaker's best yet. Her process of growth and self-awareness is evident on the page and lends so much to her work. I definitely recommend the book. Or, if you're looking for Hatmaker in audio form, she is absolutely killing it in the podcast world lately. She recently had Lisa Sharon Harper on her own podcast, For the Love, to talk about race and the gospel. It was SO GOOD. One of the most powerful conversations I've heard in ages. Then, earlier this very week, she was on my favorite podcast, Pantsuit Politics, talking about the intersection of faith and politics. Also amazing and deep and meaningful. Seriously, go listen to both of those episodes. After you do, when you're hungry for more of Jen's wisdom and thoughtful questions, you'll know exactly what book to pick up. 

Quotes I Loved:

  • "What is right for us may not be right for everyone, and we don’t have to burn down the house simply because we’ve moved our things out."
  • "“It’s all right, Mom. I forgive you.” No. Nope. No, ma’am. Forgiveness is offered to someone who has wronged you, not a mother who has a job during your 11:10 a.m. lunch slot at Buda Elementary School. My work is not a sin against you, Child of Sorrow."
  • "It’s so weird to live in this world. What a bizarre tension to care deeply about the refugee crisis in Syria and also about Gilmore Girls."
  • "Love means saying to someone else’s story or pain or anger or experience: “I’m listening. Tell me more.” Love refuses to deny or dismantle another’s perspective simply because I don’t share it."

Rating: ★★★★☆
Will I Re-Read: Yeah, quite possibly.
If You Liked This, Try: Bread and Wine / Love Does / Out of Sorts
Other Books By Jen Hatmaker: For the Love

A Reduced Review: Funny, vulnerable, and real - Jen Hatmaker's latest memoir is exactly what we've come to expect from her. Chances are, she'll make you laugh and cry as you read this one!

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