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Listening with two mothers

11 July 2014

By Rachel Harden

THE book Ordinary Mum, Extraordinary Mission (IVP, £8.99 (CT Bookshop £8.10 - Use code CT954 ); 978-1-78359-024-7) is penned from the depths of domesticity by two Christian women (and mothers to boot), Anna France-Williams and Joy French, working alongside their husbands' ordained ministry in urban areas.

The authors, who alternate writing each chapter, make it clear from the introduction that "this book is all about living as a missional mum." There is much sharing from their personal, family, and spiritual lives, peppered with advice given on the assumption that, whatever situation the reader may be in, "you are a busy mum who wants to follow God."

Read on with that assumption in mind, and you get immersed in the personal lives of the authors - both with professional backgrounds - who manage to weave in the messiness of life looking after a family while finding direction in their spiritual lives, which, they believe, may help others.

One of the strengths of the book is the case studies at the end of each chapter: an ME sufferer; a survivor of the Rwandan genocide; a single parent who divorced and then her ex-husband committed suicide; and the mother who set up baby basics, to support vulnerable asylum-seekers. The touch of reality in these stories, combined with the authors' honesty on marriage, childrearing, friendships, and so on, make the book a genuinely good read, and a possible choice for group study, as each chapter ends with questions. But a shame about the title.

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