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I am so excited to be a part of the content tour for Jamie C. Martin’s newest book. For more on this book and about Jamie, please click here to visit her website.
Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy, by Jamie C. Martin, was a book I didn’t know I needed to read.
I never really classified myself as full out introvert. After all, in my life, I’ve been an actress on stage, danced on air (any other late 80s teen know what I am talking about?), sang both in the choir and in front of hundreds of folks at church, directed a drama group, been a school teacher, a 4-H leader, director of a 125-person staffed VBS and many other extroverted roles. I LOVE (really, really love) to visit New York and Philadelphia; the fast paced, bright lights and cultural delights and sights thrill me. They’re the two most happy places for me to visit.
I just always figured that I had some introverted tendencies or moments: I find one on one, close relationships outside of my immediate family really hard to do (they’re so taxing!), I hate parties (Small talk? No thanks, can I go now?), and, will admittedly, more often than not, grab my kids and sneak out the side door after a church service or other activity to avoid the peoplyness (yes, I made that word up) of the crowded lobby.
My idea of fun is reading for hours with a cup of coffee, writing, coloring or just hanging with my kids. However, after reading this book and utilizing the info found between the pages, I am confident that I am a full hearted, introverted mama.
It was refreshing to read that I am not alone! Jamie shares some statistics that I found really interesting: “…recent studies show that one third to one half of individuals are introverts…and according to a 2014 census, over 45 million mothers live in the United States…so there are somewhere between 14 and 22 million introverted mothers in the US alone…and millions more worldwide.” (pg. 144)
What I found by reading this book, is not that an introvert is a synonym for someone who is insanely shy, which, sure, sometimes they may be, but, that at a introvert’s core, even if they love people, high energy things and places, unlike an extrovert who takes that energy, refreshes with it, and keeps on moving, an introvert is someone who, when they, “…plug their selves into a highly charged current…it drains rather than restores.” (pg. 41) Basically, introverts, after high times of energy, really need to make the time to recharge, or they will burn out and become overwhelmed and even angry. Jamie points out, “…as introverted moms, we either fuel ourselves or drain ourselves with the choices we make…” (pg. 97)
Jamie shares her personal discovery of her own introversions, through three sections in the book, The True Way to Live, Governing It Well, and A Better Guide. Topics covered include Believing That You’re Enough, Freedom from Self-Acceptance, Raising Children & Marriage, Stretching Your Comfort Zone, Introverts and Anger, and More.
Jamie not only shares her own personal story, but also the stories of a few of my favorite childhood authors, who, it turns out, were introverts: L.M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott. She included takeaways at the end of those chapters from those authors lives, that were wonderfully relatable, even a century later. She also includes some extra sources on each author in case you want to study them more. (I do!)
She shares insights into how to identify your exact personality and how, once identified, you can use that insight to your advantage moving forward. At the end of each chapter there are two sections, Reflections from Introverted Moms (self-explanatory) and Reflections for Introverted Moms.
I particularly liked the things found in the Reflections for Introverted Moms. Passages such as Books Have Been My Counselors, “…They’ve infused joy into mundane hours, hard seasons I didn’t know if I could go on…Books showed value in being different, understood me when no one else could…” (pg. 136)
Or, the hilariously spot on 10 Ways To Avoid Awkward Church Greeting Times,”…When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go…My Goodness, I’ve Never Been So Thirsty In My Life…Use Your Family As A Human Shield…” (pg. 152)
Finally, and most importantly to me, she is constantly referencing scripture through out the book, including this gem about Jesus:
“…The needy and the curious continually sought him ought, and just like us as mothers, he was often surrounded by people who wanted something from him. He knew how to serve, sacrifice, meet their needs, yet also how and when to retreat. He even had instances when he planned to spend time alone and then faced interruptions, a situation moms understand all to well…How can we suggest time alone is wrong when he prioritized it in a healthy way? Jesus’s life on earth offers introverted mothers the best example of all: a pouring out of ourselves followed by a filling up so we can pour out again, yet never run dry.” (pg. 151)
The book is loaded with so many great quotes and takeaways, that my copy is highlighted, I have post its all over, and I have read it three times. Here is one more of my favorites:
“‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’
I had read this Scripture dozens of times, but now a new meaning
jumped out. If God’s power works best in weakness, it’s better
to have weaknesses! Better to be “not enough,” because then
he can work without me getting in the way. Suddenly, I saw this
verse as an equation that literally adds up to enough for those
in my home: God’s Grace + My Weakness = ENOUGH.” (pg. 38)
All these things that I have shared, woven together, help the reader to learn that it is okay to be how God created you to be without feeling guilty about it, or hiding it, or running from it.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Please note, I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from the publisher as part of the launch team. All opinions are my own.
To order your copy from Amazon, please click here.