What I've Been Reading: "Grace-Based Parenting," "Not Alone" and "Grace For the Good Girl"

Last week I flew out to New York City to join Anderson Cooper's daytime TV show and talk about the abusive child-training methods of Michael & Debi Pearl. During the flight, I read "Grace Based Parenting" and it was a divine antidote to the toxic parenting paradigm I had learned from the Pearls. As I read "Grace Based Parenting," I was literally weeping with relief, underlining entire paragraphs and copying quotes into my journal. I honestly CANNOT recommend this book highly enough. I only wish this book had been available when I was a new, young mother. This book will free you, relieve you and make you laugh aloud with the wonderful realization that you are free to cherish and unconditionally love your children. "Grace Based Parenting" was EXACTLY the book I needed to read before stepping on Anderson Cooper's stage to confront Michael Pearl (the show airs soon, I will keep you updated). In the meantime, read "Grace Based Parenting." Give it to a new mother. Share it with your friends. It's really that good. I was honored to write the Foreword to "Not Alone: Stories of Living with Depression." As someone who has struggled with post-partum depression, I know the darkness well. My friend, Alise Wright, did a great job curating these raw, starkly honest personal stories. When you're struggling with depression, you don't need platitudes, false hope or empty words--you need someone who walks with you through the darkness. That's what this book does. If you've ever struggled with depression or know someone who has, read and share "Not Alone" because stories have the power to save and heal us.

I read "Grace for the Good Girl: letting go of the try-hard life" two times. I've never self-identified as "good" and I think we all know I'm not particularly fond of calling myself a 'girl' either. On my first read-through, everything from the cover of the book to the message inside struck me as cutesy-cliche. The cover (with its wittle birdy freeeeeeed from its cage....wheeee!) to the book's message ("good girl" admits she is struggling and realizes she just needs to love Jesus more and/or let Jesus love her more) simply did not resonate with me. But I know myself well enough to know that if something really bothers me, I need to figure it out. So, I went back and read the book a second time. This is what I came away with: this book is not necessarily helpful for me but it could definitely help other women who identify as "good girls" and I can totally celebrate THAT. :)