While the title doesn’t reveal that the book is specifically written to mothers, perhaps it goes without saying — as every mother, at some time or another, has longed for what is promised in “How to Have Peace Without Falling to Pieces.”
Written from a Mormon perspective by first-time author Rebecca Rode, the Utah mother of three creates an instant bond with readers. Her conversational tone and sheer openness makes other moms feel they have found someone who understands what it’s like to be in the trenches. Rode explains that the book was born out of her being “overwhelmed” to the point of a “near nervous breakdown.”
Flash forward to now, and Rode has written the book she could have used at those darkest moments. “How to Have Peace Without Falling to Pieces” is filled with Rode’s insight and a smattering of poetry, quotes and words of wisdom from general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A mother, of any age, could flip to virtually any page and find the words are soul stirring — providing some humor and some tearjerking stories — all with nonjudgmental, encouraging and straightforward direction and motivation.
The anecdotes and inspiration are provided as “pieces” or, as Rode puts it, “the main elements that make a mother” that can be brought together to create more-lasting peace and more satisfying experience. Rode explores the “pieces” of “purpose,” “skill,” “work,” “faith,” “wisdom” and “joy.”
The book becomes interactive as mothers see themselves in familiar situations and are led to try new approaches or apply new knowledge. Rode poses questions throughout and even ends with a “Motherhood Quiz.” Also helpful are the topic and source indexes.
Most useful, however, are the elements that foster mothers of peace. Such a mother, Rode said, is at peace with those around her and with the Lord, “and that peace makes her a powerful mother.”
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Cecily Markland is a freelance writer, book editor, publicist and author of "Hope: One Mile Ahead" and the children’s book "If I Made a Bug." She owns Inglestone Publishing and produces cecilymarkland.com, a calendar of LDS events in Arizona.