Book Review: Jen Hatmaker’s “Out of the Spin Cycle”

Once in a while, an author comes along and I think, “All these years, I thought I was the “odd woman out” for thinking this way; yet, here is another Christian woman, who shares some of my thoughts, exasperations and experiences!”

The very first time I read a Jen Hatmaker book, I went out and bought every, single copy from the local Christian bookstore and passed them around to all my friends. Finally, I felt as if there was a voice in the Christian community that I, personally, could identify. Obviously, not on every topic, but the realness and authenticity of Jen’s writing, definitely drew me in and made me a fan.

These feelings of community and unity continue, as I read Jen’s latest book, Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load. In this latest book, which is a devotional, Jen reiterates “following Jesus shouldn’t be just one more thing we do.” Not only does this woman love her husband and family, this woman LOVES Jesus. I mean, she really loves Jesus and seeks to follow him in every area of her life. She is open, honest and to the point.

As a friend shared with me the other day, Jen’s wit and sense of humor catches folks off guard at times and they feel a bit uncomfortable with it. As a Southern girl, born and raised in Louisiana, sometimes I find myself floored by how open and real she is because, of course, she says (or writes) what she thinks/feels in her “outside voice” for everyone to hear (or read)!

Yet, I find Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load to be a great book, filled with practical and applicable words of wisdom in her down-to-earth writing style, which all of us can relate to, understand and implement into our own lives. Not to mention her funny and zany real-life scenarios that kept me laughing (and crying) all the way through.

It’s not a hardcore Bible study (Although, she has written a few. Check out http://www.jenhatmaker.com). Neither is it a devotional that should take place of in-depth time in the word. Yet, as I recall, in those early days of mothering, I didn’t have more than 10 minutes at a time (if that) to spare between nursing, changing diapers, changing clothes (the baby’s and mine), not to mention all the other wifely duties and responsibilities. (This was my “Brother Lawrence Moment”, who wrote “Practicing the Presence of God”. I was practicing the presence of God in all that I did as a young mom.)

In this book, the 40 chapters are around two pages in length and are insightful, funny and endearing. Most, if not all, mothers can relate to the thoughts, feelings and challenges Jen describes.  After each chapter, Jen has a few questions to allow moms to think about what they just read. As well, there is a section entitled “Step Out of the Spin Cycle,” which gives moms a chance to apply the concepts into their lives.

If you have longed to find someone who doesn’t claim to have it all together; who can laugh at her mistakes; as well as one who recognizes her weaknesses and the Source of Strength, then you should definitely check out Jen Hatmaker’s latest release Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load.

**I was not compensated for this book review, although I was sent a preview copy to read in preparation for writing this review.**

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