“For the Love.” A Pep Talk and a Giveaway.


When I was a kid I often heard my mom refer to Erma Bombeck as her “matron saint of motherhood.” I didn’t know what any of that meant way back then, only that Ms. Bombeck was some sort of role model for my mom.

Recently I was at my parents’ house, perusing their bookshelf, when I came across my mom’s Erma Bombeck collection with titles like, Motherhood, The Second Oldest Profession. Can we all just pause for a moment and have a chuckle? That title is pure gold.

As I thumbed through the pages, I realized why my mom appreciated her so much. In a world before tell-all blogs and confessional tweets, Erma Bombeck was a rare and hilarious voice of grace and consolation, preaching the virtues of realistic standards and the importance of being true to ourselves and honest about life. Readily admitting her failures and foibles, she was particularly astute in her acknowledgments of the real-life chaos behind the veneer of domestic tranquility.

playmobil guy

I realized that every generation of women needs its humorists and truth-tellers. In a culture where getting it together feels like the 11th commandment, what woman doesn’t feel like she’s coming up short?

I’m grateful that we’re perhaps a bit more honest than previous generations. But if we only confess our shortcomings without a dash of hope and perspective, aren’t we stopping short?

Weeks ago I got an e-mail from my friend, Kindel. She made my blog and has all sorts of awesome skills. She asked if I might want to partner with her on a giveaway for this book and sent me the pdf version so that I could read it early and tell you all about it. Because I adore her and she’s the boss of me and I haven’t done a giveaway in ages, I said “sure!”

Well. It’s been a hurricane of chaos around here since then and I forgot to read it until this week. Let’s just say the timing was perfect.

Back to school season is the perfect storm of panic and renewed expectations to be awesome.

One minute I’m all: “Calendars! Organization! Let’s all get straight A’s on every assignment! I’m The World’s Most Intentional Mom!”

And the next minute I’m all: “This is hard. I need a maid. And a nanny. And a Starbucks drip. And a glass of wine. And a nap. And some motivation. ‘Feed yourselves, kids. Your mom has lost the will to live.'”

You too?

Thankfully, Jen Hatmaker wrote a book for us.

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards

Listen to what Jen says about those impossible standards:

We’ve been sold a bills of goods. Back in the day, women didn’t run themselves ragged trying to achieve some impressively developed life in eight different categories. No one constructed fairy-tale childhoods for their spawn, developed an innate set of personal talents, fostered a stimulating and world-changing career, created stunning homes and yardscapes, provided homemade food for every meal {locally sourced, of course}, kept all marriage fires burning, sustained meaningful relationships in various environments, carved out plenty of time for ‘self care,’ served neighbors / church / world, and maintained a fulfilling, active relationship with Jesus our Lord and Savior.

You can’t balance that job description.

Can I get an Amen?

This book is not about more stuff you need to do. There are no lists or steps or try-harder mantras. But be warned. You may find yourself laughing until your bladder betrays you and seeing the circus act known as your life through the lens of gratitude instead of guilt.

By the end, you’ll be inspired to focus on what matters most: loving your people well and authentically.

Mlo & CJ

Loving well doesn’t mean blog-worthy birthday parties or being your kid’s room mom every year. Unless pretty parties and room-momming happen to be your jam and if that’s the case, love on your people with all the festive gusto you’ve got. Jen reminds us that we get to pick and choose what is essential for us and for our families.

We’ll all do life differently. This is cause for celebration, not competition.

Along the way she’ll also guide you through the travails of what happens to your body after the age of 40, the fashion tragedy knows as LAP {Leggings-as-Pants}, speak a word of hope for “spicy” families {not to be confused with “sweet” families}, and so much more.

I know what you might be thinking. “Another book I should read?”

I’ll be honest. I felt the same way. My brain is tired right now.

But this book ended up being totally different than I expected.

Might I suggest keeping it in your minivan and reading a chapter in pick-up line if you just want a good laugh and a dose of perspective while you wait? It’s that kind of read. Or reading a chapter before bed because it’s delightful and I’d rather laugh out loud than go through my to-do list for the next month and break out in a rash from anxiety and be forced to bust out the Benedryl and slather my feet in essential oils. Hypothetically speaking of course.

My point. You don’t need a long “thought runway” to peacefully meditate and prepare your mind for more information. Each chapter stands alone as its own vignette. Consider it a gift for your brain and for your hypothetical anxiety disorder.



Now for the fun part. Kindel has graciously provided FOUR COPIES to give away.

It’s easy to enter through the Rafflecopter below. You get entries for things like following me on Twitter and liking my blog’s Facebook page. {Oh how I feel so awkward and sweaty about self-promotion.} If you already follow me in those places, I humbly thank you.

But that’s not all. Kindel is giving away four copies too! So scoot on over to her blog right now and enter. Double the chances to win, y’all.

Here’s the giveaway box. {I totally earned jewels in my technology crown for figuring out this one.} On the tweet option, just click on the blue box and it will automatically generate a tweet.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

By all means, let me know if you have any problems.

This giveaway will be open for a week! Come back on August 18th (the day Jen’s book releases) and I will randomly choose four names.


Guess what? This isn’t my last giveaway for the month. I’ve got more goodies coming your way.

Subscribe in the box below and you won’t miss a thing. And of course you may unsubscribe any time.


*amazon links are affiliates


  1. Susan says

    I am reading that Erma Bombeck book right now! I am about a fourth of the way through. My mom used to love reading her. We stayed at a beach house that had some framed Erma newspaper clippings that were funny, so I decided to pull that book off my mom’s shelf.

    • Marian says

      Susan, I wonder how many of us have mothers who adored Erma. Just goes to show that throughout the ages, we’re looking for voices of grace, consolation, {and humor.}

  2. says

    Marian, your mom and I are in the same camp. I loved Erma Bombeck and still quote her at times. She was ahead of herself in time – if she were alive today, she’d probably have the most popular blog and the greatest amount of followers! She was amazing and practical and hilariously funny! I’m going to enter your give-away!

    • Marian says

      Thank you Susan! Oh how I do wish Erma Bombeck could see how she paved the way for life lived real and with such grace and humor. : )

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