My Cup of Tea

Musings of a Catholic Mom
Author(s): 
Danielle Bean
Copyright: 
2005
Publisher: 
Pauline Books and Media
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
178 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Danielle Bean is a Catholic homeschool mom with a bunch of kids, a great sense of humor and a very helpful sense of perspective. Her book is a collection of short reflections on events in her life that any mom-of-many can relate to. Somehow, in the midst of these engaging stories of noise and illness and chaos, great truths glimmer just below the surface. Truths about God and reality and what really matters. Encouraging truths that give us perspective when things don't go quite right and the world simply doesn't understand. Her great writing (and good thinking!) draws these out in gentle and encouraging ways.

The chapter titles say a lot about the content, so please forgive me for listing them in their entirety:

  • My Cup of Tea: Embracing the Mixed Blessings of Parenthood
  • My Hands are Full: The Many Blessings of Many Children
  • Time Flies: Gaining Perspective
  • Real Presence: The Importance of Friendship
  • Growing Pains: Coping with Our Children's Pain
  • Bear Instincts: With God All Things Are Possible
  • Shopping for Answers: Bearing Witness to Christ
  • A Dollar Between Us: Trusting in Divine Providence
  • Every Mother Works: Blooming Where You're Planted
  • Sweet Dreams: Serving God by Serving Our Children
  • Finding Our Wings: A Tangible Easter Message
  • Resurrection Triumph: Gratitude for the Sacraments
  • God's Tiny Messenger: Remembering What Matters Most
  • Something's Got to Give: Balancing Work and Family Life
  • What Little Girls Are Made Of: The Joy of the Unexpected
  • My Boy: Being a Faithful Child of God
  • Martha, Martha: Balancing Daily Obligations and Prayer
  • Mass Distraction: Worshipping with Babies
  • Less than Perfect: Praying as a Family
  • Nesting Is for the Birds: The Blessings of Maternal Instinct
  • Mom Olympics: All Mothers are Champions
  • A Winning Combination: Contrasting Perspectives on Competition
  • Baking Lessons: Letting Go of Perfectionism
  • For Better or For Worse: The Give and Take of Married Life
  • A Reluctant Messenger: Living Out Christian Duty
  • Continual Commitment: Daily Challenges of Teaching at Home
  • The Pumpkin Connection: Celebrating Oktoberfest
  • Fowl Trouble: Teaching Respect for God's Creation
  • Picture Perfect: Making Christmas Memories
  • Joyful Noise: The Boisterous Sounds of Family Life

This is a book ideally read for the first time by a mother in those early stages of raising a large family (who often seems to feel shunned by neighbors and overwhelmed by a sense of inadequacy at the same time). I remember at that sometimes all I wanted was a sense that the everyday chaos and challenges were "normal" or that other people understood.

And yet this book also works for those who have already "been there" to some extent and moved into the role of being supportive of others. It's a great pleasure to say a loud "yes!" inside at those things that I can SO relate to, and yet the ideas behind the stories are ones that I always need (and appreciate) to be reminded of once again.

Apparently the audience extends even beyond new moms and experienced moms. I had talked enough about fun and true and touching tidbits in this book since I first read it a year or so ago that my teenage daughter (who also loves Danielle's blog) decided to read it - and loved it too! I guess it's never too early to gain some perspective on great ideas of family life and motherhood!

Highly recommended!

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
1-8-2008
Reviewed by: 
Alicia Van Hecke