No matter how great your mom is, mother-daughter relationships are complicated. Or, as Debbie Alsdorf and Joan Edwards Kay say, they are “momplicated.” Those ways you are anchored to your mom for life. The ways you rub each other the wrong way and hurt each other, sometimes completely unintentionally or even unknowingly.
(Be sure to read all the way to the bottom of this post for the giveaway!)
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It’s Momplicated walks through some of the ways our relationships are momplicated: the full spectrum from situations of abuse or neglect to innocent miscommunications or childhood misunderstandings. While reading this book, I was reminded of an incident with my little sister when we were 6 and 8 years old. I was reading the side of a cereal box, out loud to myself, and when I read the words “total fat,” she thought I was talking about her! (There was nothing fat about my sister, by the way!). She let me hear it – she called me a “meaniestatic” – and the name has jokingly stuck around since then. But just like my sister misunderstood, sometimes our little girl minds and hearts (or even our big girl minds and hearts) just don’t get it.
3 Things I Loved About It’s Momplicated
#1 No Mom-Bashing
Even while this book gave us all permission to examine our hearts and our memories to expose where we may have been hurt and need God’s healing touch, there was no mom-bashing here. This was surprisingly true even for situations that might have truly merited it. The authors were full of grace (not excuses) even for moms who had completely dropped the ball in big scary ways. There can be room in our hearts to have both grace and boundaries.
#2 The Fix is Less About Momplications and More about Me + Jesus
The authors recognized that regardless of “whose fault” it is that our relationships and perspectives get so tangled, we + God are in control of what happens next. Each chapter walked us from a place of understanding what might need God’s touch in our lives to inviting that touch, not blaming Mom. There was one chapter at the end about resolving issues with your mom. But most of the book discussed how God wants to heal and restore you. It’s Momplicated is less about you + Mom, and more about bringing your history with Mom into God’s safe, healing hands. It’s more about you + Jesus. That means that if these complications maybe took place in a different relationship, not a mother-daughter relationship, you can still apply the principles and journal reflections to invite God to restore you.
#3 God is the Only Perfect Parent
Our moms aren’t perfect – even great moms like mine! But each chapter of It’s Momplicated brought us face to face with how God fulfills our needs perfectly. He parents us the way mom or dad never could. This part of the chapter brought me to tears almost every time. I know this stuff. I grew up in church, I’m a licensed pastor…but sometimes we forget that that’s really how God feels about me.
Would I recommend this book?
Yes – if you are ready to grow, to take ownership, and to be challenged. Don’t read it in a few days. (I did, because I goofed up my dates on this review!). Take your time. I’m going to go back and spend some time on the journal prompts. It’s going to require some wrestling. You and Jesus will need to decide if this book is right for you in this season. You probably won’t want to read it with your mom, although I’m going to encourage my mom to read it. But you might want to have a close friend or mentor to talk things over with.
I’m still asking questions.
This book is a lot to process – in a good way. So don’t think you’re going to magically arrive at something different. That would be like buying a book on weight loss and then assuming you’ll just drop the pounds by reading it. I’ve been asking myself as I read..a lot of “why” questions. Why do I feel this way when…? Why do I overreact when…? I did wish for more help with the momplications in our relationships that are really my complications. But I think that by continuing to bring these questions to God in prayer, he will reveal what needs healing in my heart, and what I need to change.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”But I think that by continuing to bring these questions to God in prayer, he will reveal what needs healing in my heart, and what I need to change. – via @RealWorldBible” quote=”But I think that by continuing to bring these questions to God in prayer, he will reveal what needs healing in my heart, and what I need to change.”]
It’s Momplicated is on Tour with Celebrate Lit
About the Book
Book Title: It’s Momplicated
Author: Debbie Alsdorf & Joan Edwards Kay
Release date: September 4, 2018
Let’s face it: when it comes to mothers and their daughters, things can get a little . . . complicated. Momplicated, you might say.
Whether your relationship with your mom has been wonderful or stressful, redeemed or broken, close or nonexistent, it’s one of your life’s most important and defining connections. Its effects have probably followed you into adulthood.
If you have conflicting feelings toward mom—or if you wish you could get past some of the baggage that holds you back—this is your book. Combining spiritual disciplines and the best of current therapeutic practice, It’s Momplicated will help you discover
- How your early connection with your mother may have impacted your sense of self and your other important relationships—and what you can do to break the cycle
- Why you and your mother have the relationship you have—the underlying reasons that may be contributing to strain and unease
- Tools and exercises to help you cope with some of the most common effects of a broken relationship, including anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, and trust issues
- How to be the daughter and mother God wants you to be even if your mom wasn’t who you needed her to be.
It’s never too late to love, never too late to heal, and never too late to trust God to turn the pain in your story into a redemption song. As you read It’s Momplicated, you’ll realize that while God doesn’t promise to fix all your circumstances, He does promise to uphold you and lead you to a healing place of knowing you are truly precious and loved, no matter how your past has affected you
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Authors
Debbie Alsdorf: For the past twenty-five years, through her speaking and writing, Debbie Alsdorf’s mission has been to help women live a better story by leading them to the heart of God’s love and the truth of his Word. Debbie is a biblical lay counselor, a Christian life coach, and the founder of Design4Living Ministries. She and her husband, Ray, have raised a blended family of four adult children. Today Debbie’s favorite role is being a grandma to ten little ones.
Joan Edwards Kay is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the East Bay of San Francisco and has been an adjunct professor at Western Seminary. She received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and her master’s degree from Western Seminary. She is happily married with two adult daughters, four stepdaughters, and five grandchildren.
Guest Post from Debbie and Joan
Mom. Mother. Mommy.
What do those words evoke in you? Wonderful memories of home cooked meals? A longing for nurture that was never fully met? A sense of not being enough? Gratitude? Sadness and loss? Anger and resentment?
Most women have a complex reaction when asked to think about their mothers–a mix of positive and negative, gratitude and hurt, happy and sad memories. Our relationships with our mothers are unique, rich, and complicated.
Allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Debbie Alsdorf and Joan Edwards Kay, friends who have written a book together that explores the issue of moms and their profound effect on daughters. It’s Momplicated: Hope and Healing for Imperfect Daughters of Imperfect Mothers releases this September 4th, 2018. Since every woman is a daughter, this book is for every women.
Every daughter receives less-than-perfect programming from her mother. The messages may be about our value, or how to relate to others, or even about how we think about bodies. However, God is our perfect parent who wants to rewrite that imperfect programming with his truth. Many of us don’t realize the wrong messages that are deep in our souls.
I (Debbie) grew up with a mother who was cold, distant and unavailable. I have one sister who was in her teens when I was born and married by the time I started school, leaving me to be raised as an only child. I grew up wondering what was wrong with me, “Why didn’t mom want to spend time with me? Why didn’t she hug me and hold me close like other moms did? Why was nothing I did to earn her approval good enough?” I was deeply imprinted with wounds of rejection and carried them through most of my adult life, even though I pasted on a smile, kept trying to do better, and could be the life of any gathering. On the inside, I was sad for as long as I can remember. Through working on this book, I have experienced a phenomenal inner healing, the exposing of lies long held secretly in my heart, and the ability to see the way the enemy of my soul has tried to use the “not enough” belief against me. I am beyond excited for other women to have the courage to own their own story, inviting Jesus to meet them in any points of pain and any relationships that need healing.
I (Joan) had a stay-at-home mom who cooked dinner every night, took us to the library and the beach, did art projects with us, and made me feel safe and happy. However, when I was nine years old, my father and then my brother both died of cancer within a year and my relationship with my mother changed. Understandably, she struggled to just hold herself together, but in my young mind I felt abandoned by her. I didn’t have the capacity to deal with all the loss and she didn’t have the strength to help me. I felt emotionally lost and alone. I longed for my mother to comfort me and show me how to overcome my pain. In retrospect, I wish she had shown me faith in a God who could bring hope and meaning to the devastation that had hit our family. But she was not a believer and did her best to stuff away the feelings and soldier on. I was deeply imprinted with the belief, I’m alone and can only depend on myself. As I worked on this project, the root of many of my struggles became clear to me and God has been comforting those young, lonely parts of me with his presence and his love.
What is your story with your mother? What false beliefs has this important relationship imprinted on your heart, and how does God’s truth rewrite them? It is our hope that every woman, as God’s daughter, will learn the beauty of who she is and receive her own healing so she can leave a legacy of faith, hope and beauty to the generation of women that follow.
One thing we know for sure: there are no perfect moms, just women partnering with a perfect God.
A Baker’s Perspective, September 8
Texas Book-aholic, September 8
Carpe Diem, September 9
Lighthouse Academy, September 10
Luv’N Lambert Life, September 10
Life Faith & Health, September 11
Real World Bible Study, September 12
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 13
Multifarious, September 14
Reading is my Superpower, September 14 (Interview)
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 15
proud to be an autism mom, September 16
Bigreadersite, September 16
Bibliophile Reviews, September 17
All-of-a-kind Mom, September 18
For the Love of Books, September 19
Janices book reviews, September 19
Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 20
margaret kazmierczak, September 20 (Interview)
Living Life Free In Christ, September 21
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 21
To celebrate their tour, Debbie and Joan are giving away a grand prize of an “I’m Not Like a Regular Mom” T-Shirt!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d56c/it-s-momplicated-celebration-tour-giveaway
Thank you for your review! When I first saw it I thought it was for younger mom’s.
However, from your review, it sounds like any age mom could benefit.
Yes, Michelle, it’s more for daughters of imperfect moms (which is all of us ladies, right?!).
Thanks for this review, Joy. It sounds like an interesting read. Blessings to you.