My Cup Of Tea: Musings Of A Catholic Mom by Danielle Bean
This book is a series of essays written by Mrs. Bean over the course of a few years. I have read a lot she's written on her blog and at Faith and Family, so I should have anticipated how much I would enjoy this book. There is no comparison between it and some other "mothering" essays I've read recently.
The essays are short and the book is small, small enough to keep in a guest room, a waiting room, the van, a diaper bag, a purse...you get the picture. You could easily keep this book handy to pick up and read an essay or two at a time while waiting for something. (Before I was a mom, I never went anywhere without a book. Now I go everywhere with a toddler so I don't usually get to read when we're out and about, unless it's a children's book, but there's always the possibility.)
All of these essays are uplifting. I like that; I have enough of trudging through the trenches in real life. If I'm reading a book like this I want encouragement and thoughts that remind me of the many blessings of family life. Mrs. Bean isn't recommending any specific way to parent or nurture or educate, either. She shares a little of their own choices, of course, but I didn't feel like she was trying to convert anyone. (To be fair, though, that our family already follows many of the same paths, being Catholic and homeschooling, even raising chickens.)
I don't think you need to be Catholic to enjoy this book, but you probably need to be Christian. Mrs. Bean finds solace and meaning in her faith. More importantly, in the essays themselves, she finds meaning in her vocation as a mother and wife, helping to guide her family to heaven.
I don't purchase very many books for myself (well, other than that short period of time when I was checking CathSwap way too often), but I'm glad I bought this one. I had some birthday money left and was making a purchase at Sacred Heart Books and Gifts anyway when I saw this book for $10. I couldn't resist (especially since they have free shipping if you spend $25). Or perhaps I could have, but I didn't want to and I don't regret it a bit.