Blog Book Tour | “A Mother’s Greatest Gift: Relying on the spirit as you raise your children by Heidi Poelman

Posted Sunday, 5 April, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “A Mother’s Greatest Gift” direct from the publisher CFI (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read | my original note to join the blog tour:

I’m a Prospective Adoptive Mum which is why I talk openly about my future role as a Mum throughout my blog, especially if I am reading a selection from Children’s Lit and/or a novel about adoption or foster care. I also have a special sidebar section about it too. I haven’t sought out a lot of books about parenting or on being a mother as I’m still a few years away from being in a position to bring this prayer forward into my life but this particular book interested me within my heart. I’d love to be able to read it & share my thoughts on motherhood from the perspective of a singleton who is going to adopt children out of foster care and who lives her life with spirituality and God at the center of it.

I’m a non-LDS book blogger who is a champion for Cedar Fort’s fiction & non-fiction! I love the INSPY* driven feel to the stories and I like the inspiring life affirming non-fiction offerings too. This one felt like I should read it due to where my path in the future is leading me to go. I’ve been wanting to adopt children for quite a long while now; but everything has a season, and right now mine is to be a book cheerleader and book blogger.

I openly talk about my spirituality and faith life, except I do not oft paint the picture specific to where my beliefs lie in Christianity, as I embrace and study World Religions, whilst keeping in mind that my blog is read around the world — I wanted to keep the relatablity factor open, whilst I try to keep everything in broad strokes which are transparent and accessible to all. I love pulling thoughts and affirmations from different sources that give such a positive light on how to live well whilst we live through the love and hope which nurtures our spirit as much as encourages our faith.

*INSPY by definition refers to “Inspirational Fiction” the main branch of Literature for ‘faith-based literature’ and is non-inclusive to one particular religion as it is accepting of all denominations and religions as a whole; wherein the stories are rooted in a faith-centered life. Faith is an individual walk and journey, thereby the stories under this umbrella of a genre ‘Inspirational Fiction’ is as diverse as the seven seas and the populace therein on the continents.
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Blog Book Tour | “A Mother’s Greatest Gift: Relying on the spirit as you raise your children by Heidi PoelmanA Mother's Greatest Gift: Relying on the Spirit as you Raise Your Children
by Heidi Poelman
Source: Direct from Publisher

Strengthen your connection to the spirit and learn to depend on the Lord for all your parenting questions.

This inspiring and insightful book shares personal stories, research, and interviews that will teach you how to seek out the Holy Ghost. Learn to keep the Spirit in your home so you can have help with whatever parenting problems come your way.

Harness the power of a mother's prayer.
Take refuge in the Comforter and stories of divine intervention
Strengthen your ability to hear the Holy Ghost
Heed the voice of warning when it comes.
Rely on faith, trust, and patience when the heavens seem silent.

Whether your children are tiny, teenaged, or grown, this book will keep you connected to the best gift you could have as a mother and the best one you can pass on to your children -- a legacy of listening to the Spirit's still, small voice.

Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Published by CFI (imprint) Cedar Fort Inc

on 10th March, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 176

Published By: CFI (imprint) of Cedar Fort Inc (@CedarFortBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #nonfiction, #motherhood, #mommyblogger

About Heidi Poelman

Heidi Poelman was born in Provo, Utah. She lived in North Carolina, San Diego, London, and Mexico before planting her roots firmly back in the Beehive State. Heidi received her degrees in communication from Brigham Young University (BA) and Wake Forest University (MA).

Her experience includes working in public relations for high-tech companies, helping college students fight global poverty, teaching families about nutritious food storage options, writing stories for children, and her favorite post as full-time Mom. Heidi is the author of A is for Abinadi: An Alphabet Book of Scripture Heroes as well as several stories published in The Friend magazine. Her biggest fans are her husband and three children.

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Happily this reads more like a personal diary on motherhood, not only for the way in which Poelman composed her thoughts and organised her knowledge she was partaking to give to a wide audience, but in the motif and ornamental touches she graced her book with in the typography choices for Chapter Headings and the little flourishes you find alongside the page numbers. Little touches, heaps of joy for the reader to notice as one turns the pages,…

One interesting bit of insight I can share, is I am not attracted to reading an en masse amount of ‘parenting or motherhood advice books’ as I am seeking to find the titles and books which speak to my mother’s heart and an internal sense of wisdom coming out of a desire to be a Mum who wants to not only stay a bit ahead of the curve prior to adoption (in regards to learning from those who’ve walked before her down this path) but to encourage my own spirit to seek out ways in which to inform myself of how to raise multiple children. I originally felt I might raise one child, as my Mum and Da raised me, however, the journey towards adoption is a story in of itself, where I went from focusing on raising one son to enlarging my heart to accept three.

Adoption for me is every inch a part of my spiritual path as the rest of my life, because it’s a complete leap of faith where you live on grace and seek hope during hours of ‘waiting’ whilst curiously eager to become a ‘Mum’ to a child who is seeking a home with a mother who will love them without condition and encourage them to seek out what nurtures their own spirit and passion. I knew if I had had natural bourne children I would not seek the ultrasound results as I wanted to be ‘surprised’ by what I was blessed to receive; however, as I’m going to become a Mum through adoption, an interesting thing happened to me whilst I was researching adoption from both a domestic (foster care) and international perspective (as I originally at age twenty-four sought out international adoption ‘only’; fast forward eleven years and I’ve selected domestic foster care) I noticed my heart was speaking to my spirit.

I mention this because within the pages of A Mother’s Greatest Gift Poelman is talking about becoming aware of our intuition being guided by the Holy Ghost. This was the first time as a Prospective Adoptive Mum I can honestly say I was given a precognitive insight into my path as a mother. I knew I was going to raise a son before a daughter, even the name which alighted into my mind’s eye was a boy’s name. I believe we all grow up knowing about ‘mother’s intuition’ and ‘female intuition’ as it’s called for singletons; however, what is remarkable is how no one (ministers or otherwise) attribute this gift we’re bestowed as a direct sensory extension of our being as given by one third of the Trinity.

I find this interesting because fundamentally it should have been obvious to all of us, but here’s the interesting bit to life — we live forward, and sometimes as we live, we miss the subtle things which are either staring us straight in the face or are standing just off to the side. A bit like how someone was quite surprised to find Christ inside the tomb but not as He was prior to being risen. Our sight is sometimes limited, but our faith helps expand our understanding, therefore it was not a hard leap for me to finally understand this particular insight given to Mums is spiritually-inclined to positively affect how we mother and how we interpret how best to raise our children.

I love how Poelman called ‘motherhood’ a calling — I believe this firmly with every inch of my being, as I too, knew I was going to be a Mum long before I reached adulthood. It’s something I could even seen reflected in my childhood, as maternal instincts on certain levels were always within me, as I looked after the needs of my friends (both in school and in the neighbourhood); sometimes even putting their needs ahead of my own. I liked wrangling the children into activities when my parents threw parties where families were encouraged to come and all of us kids could get together whilst the adults mingled and talked before we all ate together. Being a Mum is second nature, it’s as natural to me as breathing and I knew for a long time it was written by spirit to become reality on my path.

I recognise Poelman is writing this book from the point of view of a married couple who are raising children together, as I grew up in a two-parent home myself. Except to say, sometimes life affords us a path different from the one we envision and are prayfully active in seeing being realised; wherein at this point in time, I’ll be adopting as a singleton who hasn’t yet met the bloke she will marry. I think she might have referenced motherhood by adoption by mentioning mothers who are tied to their children through their hearts, but I am unsure if she meant this or if she were simply mentioning a reference to women who are integral to a child’s life but are not their mother (biologically or adoptive in placement).

I agree the role of being a mother is looked down upon in society when in direct relation to other people’s successful careers; as being a ‘stay at home mother’ my own Mum found herself betwixt how to relate to others, as for some reason I think society would place a mark on Mums to think they are not doing enough or have shortened their purpose by succumbing to motherhood. Whichever leads this to happen, even if negatively motivated by a force outside of man, the truth in the pudding is mothers have a hard road to carve for themselves because motherhood by itself is an out-of-the-box lifepath. It should be a natural progression for a woman’s life, but women who choose to raise children without a career are humbled by finding self-confidence in owning their choices.

We, the children who were raised by Mums like mine know the truth about what self-sacrifice is and how unselfish our mothers are for the greater good of our own well-being. The consistency to remain ahead of our own initiatives whilst encouraging us towards our own futures not yet known and giving us the courage to tackle the everyday ‘life moments’ arising out of our childhood years. Mothers teach their children something new every single day, by instilling us with attributes which will help guide us forevermore. Mothers very rarely have time for themselves or their own pursuits because they are also running the household and being the cheerleader or sounding board for their husbands or partners.

I think this is why for the first time in a long while, I appreciate watching episodes of a quirky yet realistic take on motherhood via the NBC series The Mysteries of Laura. Debra Messing plays the lead character and although she doesn’t quite have everything sorted, she’s a working divorced Mum whose trying to keep all the balls in the air whilst learning on the fly! Her ex-husband is her boss, her nanny for her twin boys gives her self-help advice on re-entering the life of a single woman and her co-workers buffer her from the anxiety of feeling she’s either letting her children down or the job which she’s an ace at doing. (she’s a police detective who has a gift for puzzles) No matter how motherhood enters our lives or where our lives alter from the moment we become mothers, it’s a process of living on faith and hoping you’ve managed to understand how to survive inasmuch as how to inspire the children your raising to be protective citizens who will contribute to society through the fields they choose to take-on. The hard part? Letting ‘go’ of the bits you cannot control, avoid, or effectively change from happening. On the opposite end, finding humour along the way is vital to a mother’s sanity!

Key elements being explored through explanations routed through LDS are honestly equally represented through a Unity Church who teaches (as whole) Practical Christianity; by giving the tools necessary to evoke a practical approach to finding guidance through spirituality during the hours of your everyday life. This is especially represented in the block quote on page 7, wherein there is a reference to manifesting a living spirit of divine intervention in the here and now. This is a good example on how inter-relatable all religions are and how light attracts light to be sought by those who seek enlightenment.

I admit, I started to skip over and seek out the passages (as short as they were) where other Mums were sharing their intuitive spirit-guided alerts as I had several issues in regards to continuity, pace, and the overall flow of how this book reads to a non-LDS reader. I realise it was written from the point-of-view of an LDS writer, however, the main context of this book is cross-relating to all of us who are spiritually grounded and walk a path of faith. It’s simply a difference in style, approach, and the way in which the information could be provided I took issue with rather than the heart of the message itself (of which I concur with the author).

Chapter 3 (page 21) was by far my favourite because it felt as though Poelman had hit her stride, where the chapter knitted together as a fusion of her own memories, stories she had been told by other mothers, and lightly referencing a validation to substantiate the moment. This newfound pace (the very kind I was hoping to have found as I blogged my frustrations below) carried through to the end and gave me a measure of renewed joy in reading the passages. I liked the real-life situations being openly shared and how those situations were guided to a clarity of how to best deal with those circumstances as they arose.

Motherhood is tricky because we all have our fallible moments where the best intentions are not always able to be seen in how we ‘react’ to what happens; to remain mindful of this and to accept our imperfections is one way towards seeking advice and help when we need it most. I appreciated seeing all the lovely glimpses of how spirit-led intuition not only eased tension but gave insight to the mothers who simply wanted to create a calmer home whilst providing what their children needed.

Fly in the Ointment | Continuity and Pace Issues:

As an aside, for others who are non-LDS Christians and/or belong to a different religion entirely, you might have been a bit non-plussed about the inclusion of references to “D&C with a numerical key”. A quick search via DuckDuckGo provided me with the answer! D&C = The Doctrines and Covenants of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints! For those who are interested I sourced a way for you to read (more online) about this religious text.

The quotations from D&C are in-line to the text Poelman is sharing; I think if there were separations between the context of her thoughts and the quotations themselves with a footnote on the page itself rather than a ‘numerical’ reference to the appendix (i.e. End Notes) it might have felt more ‘user-friendly’ for a non-LDS Christian such as I. I personally did not chase down every ‘end note’ reference point as to do so interrupted the joy of reading this book. I’m a science geek who loves ‘footnotes’ because like reading Shakespeare they are quite handy whilst keeping you in the throes of the text your consuming by the placement on the actual page your reading.

This affected the continuity and pace for me, as I was half at a loss to understand the cross-references as it was not always coherent by the structure of the paragraph. As words like ‘occupation’ would have a cross-reference number attached to them but that felt awkward to me without a footnote. When I looked up this particular reference I was given a last name and a book title. This brings me back to my main issue, if quotations are being used they should be set apart from the structure and flow of the narrative (borrowing from the world of fiction) to stand on their own merits.

As example:

| previous content – left align |

(center the text) word with numerical reference¹

*reference of whom or wherein the quotation is derived

provide more information if needed

| continue with your content – left align |

footnote¹ ( anchoured to bottom footer of page) include the pertinent info without re-direct to Appendix

Strangely on page 4, I found a ‘block text’ quotation based on what a person spoke about a particular subject or topic inter related to the context. This format works just as well, as it provides definitive separation and let’s you return back to the text without feeling as though you’ve become muddled. Strange how this was not down for scriptures or quotations of leaders within the #LDSFaith.

The muddling bits were when the author’s research started to overtake her recollections and reflections on motherhood as it felt as though she was trying to validate her point of view and the methodology of her approach to motherhood by quite literally referencing ‘everything’ back to a source. I think I would have liked to have seen a reduction in this repetitiveness to yield to more author-based ruminations. It’s one thing to have solid research to back up a non-fiction book, but when that research takes out the joy of seeking the ‘personal bits’ straight from the author herself, it becomes a burden to read because your trying to keep patient as you get through the validations.

I do understand needing to have ‘spiritual checks’ in our lives, but again, I feel there is a limit to these when reading a book which seeks to provide a point of reference on motherhood. The greatest gift is reflected through the author’s own path as a mother, the experiences she shares helps carry forward what she’s learnt and gives inspiration simply through what she shares from this part of her life.

Isn’t ‘motherhood’ the key focus?

I was a bit surprised to find antidotes from the author’s life and the life of her husband, but rather giving examples of being a Mum and Dad, they were using instances in their lives which did not involve children? I was surprised by this because I thought the purpose of the book was to keep a key focus on ‘motherhood’ rather than to serve as a primer for how to live a God-centered life as an individual and as a couple? Wouldn’t it be better to give examples of where your intuition guided you to intervene on your child’s welfare or when you were alerted to an emotional conflict on behalf of your child prior to the child revealing this themselves? I was a bit confused on the shifting topics and direct references of shared memories. I loved hearing about the revelation of their fourth child and had hoped more instances of this would have been threaded through the text.

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc.:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Virtual Road Map of “A Mother’s Greatest Gift” Blog Tour:
A Mother's Greatest Gift Blog Tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

I admit, I made a slight error in judgment to schedule my book review for this blog tour on *Easter Sunday* as in all honestly, sometimes I look for a ‘date’ on the tour route by ‘day’ rather than by specifics of what is ‘happening’ on that day from a wider perspective. I thought this would be a good time to welcome in Spring with a book on motherhood and spirituality, however, as said, perhaps ill timed. As it turnt out I was out more than I was in, as I was celebrating Easter Sunday as reflected upon in the comments for The Olive Tree review. I was also visiting a dear neighbour of mine who was taken to the hospital for the third time in twelve months; twice now in six. Regrettably, I was also missing the key Press Materials to spruce up this post and will remedy this as soon as I contact Cedar Fort directly.

I did not see traffic visiting my blog today routed through the blog tour, which encourages me a bit to realise, most of you who might have read this review were offline as well. May your visit encourage your thoughts in the comment threads as I welcome conversation on my blog when your inspired to share your reactions to the reviews I post. Thank you for your understanding in my delay.

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Find out which Cedar Fort new releases I am hosting in 2015!
Upcoming in May is my second non-fiction on parenthood (for Mums!):

Keep it Real and Grab a Plunger Blog Tour via Cedar Fort & Publishing Media

Visit with me again soon!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Mother’s Greatest Gift”, book synopsis, author photograph of Heidi Poelman, author biography, and the blog tour badges were all provided by Cedar Fort, Inc. and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 5 April, 2015 by jorielov in Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Christianity, Chronicles of a Prospective Adoptive Mum, Content Note, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Fly in the Ointment, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Journal, Lessons from Scripture, Memoir, Mormonism, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Religious History, Sociological Behavior, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Vignettes of Real Life, World Religions

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