Full-time FindingJoy.net blogger, speaker, marketer, podcaster, and single mom of seven, Rachel Marie Martin presents a rallying cry to anyone who believes the lie that she is "just a mom."
Over the years, you willingly pour everything you have into your family, but in the process, you lose the essence of who you are. In her characteristic raw and visceral style, Rachel teaches you how to rewrite the pages of your story, follow your passion, and discover the beauty of who you are.
Drawing on lessons from her own incredible journeytogether with insight from conversations with thousands of other womenRachel encourages moms to break cycles, take off masks, and prevent fear from taking control. She balances her "no excuses" approach with breathing room and grace for those messy moments in life and mothering.
Rachel reminds you there is always a reason to hope, to move forward, and to dare the impossible. You can make changes. You can pursue dreams, find yourself, and live a life of deep happiness and boundless joy. Stop waiting for "someday." Take hold of the moment, and say yes to your dreams.
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
RACHEL MARIE MARTIN, having pulled herself up from poverty to being named one of Inc. magazine's top 40 entrepreneurs, has been writing Finding Joy full time for several years and writing online for over a decade. She has always had a passion for a daring, adventure-filled life and is often requested to speak and motivate others with her vivacious energy and deep belief that life is a gift. Rachel is also a partner in Blogging Concentrated, the world's largest training and development company for bloggers, authors, and entrepreneurs. She travels worldwide teaching marketing, voice, messaging, social media strategy and more. Rachel is a single mom of seven and lives in Tennessee.
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: Time Keeps On Ticking
I grew up in the eighties. My kids think it’s epic how I lived during the generation they now deem retro. In fact, several years ago I flew cross-country to Seattle to visit my oldest daughter, Hannah, who was a sophomore in college. We hung out in her trendy local bakery, and as we ate crumbly gluten-free pastries topped with dollops of fresh whipped cream and sipped our overpriced espressos, she asked, “Hey, Mom, do you want to go to this cool vintage shop with me? I know you’ll love it.”
I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I pushed my chair back and grabbed my coffee, and together we walked across the leaf-covered street to Hannah’s favorite store, while she rapidly talked about how much I would adore this place and all the amazing objects inside.
As we wandered around the dusty shop, I observed something unexpected. In fact, I started to laugh as the reality became clearer. You see, her “vintage” store with collectible items that withstood time was not filled with the antiques I was expecting but was, in fact, filled with relics from my own childhood.
I was now vintage.
I spotted orange and lime-green Tupperware, the same as my mother once sold. Fisher-Price toys, the same ones I used to play with, now fetched a premium price. Cabbage Patch Kids, Atari game consoles, and other games I thought had disappeared lined the shelves. A wall of posters of artists I loved hung by bins of vinyl records, cassette tapes, and CDs. I flipped through them, past Huey Lewis and the News and Tears for Fears, and then saw one of my favorite tapes by the Steve Miller Band tucked in a stack. As I looked at the cover, the now poignant lyrics filled my mind:
“Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking into the future.”
While I hummed the melody, I looked up at Hannah meandering through rows of my childhood now for sale. She was looking at neon shirts, and as she thumbed through the rack, her face scrunched up just a bit. I’d seen that face before. It was long, long ago, on the hot summer night when she was born. Her tiny six-pound-thirteen-ounce self came into this world with that same scrunchy face. She was a feisty newborn, completely dependent on me, her rookie mom.
I sighed heavily—the type of sigh reserved just for moms—and as she decided which eighties shirt was the best I wondered, Where in the world did the time go?
She didn’t know I stared at her, but there she was just a couple of years younger than I was when I’d first held her.
I remember that me. I was feisty, full of dreams, full of hopes.
Now there I stood, twenty years later, a divorced mom of seven kids, watching her and, in a way, watching myself. That sigh wasn’t just about how quickly she grew up, but it was also because of the clear image of my own passage of time.
There is an unspoken tension in life. When we are young, we’re oblivious to it, unaware of the movement of time. But the older we get, the more we become aware of its constant ticking.
Then one day in the middle of our life’s moving timeline, we become mothers, and that timeline that was once ours alone we now share.
As moms, our time is fragmented, and we focus on our children. We stop documenting our own accomplishments and instead document theirs: a week old, a month old, a birthday, the start of school, the move to middle school, prom, graduation.
With each new milestone, we have more to do, more to keep up with, more expectations to manage. And time keeps moving, keeps ticking by. It doesn’t slow down for hard times or for blissful moments or for times when we just need a break. Yet I cried when my Hannah turned one, because I felt as though I’d already lost a year of her childhood due to time’s tick.
“Slow down, time, slow down,” I’d pleaded.
But life gets busy, so busy that the appreciation of time’s movement gradually shifts to those days when we quietly chant under our breath, “I just want to make it through.” There are times when we can’t wait for the day to end, when the burdens and expectations keep piling up and there doesn’t seem to be enough of us to go around. There are days of slammed doors, cranky kids, and “I hate you! You’re the worst mom ever!” when we’re just trying to be the “good” mom. Next thing we know we’re another mom in a march of moms who are going through the motions of motherhood, joking about the moments of peace we might get at the end of the day, cursing the homework our kids whine about, and telling one another we’ll join that kickboxing class when our schedules get less busy.
We become so focused on getting through motherhood and doing for our kids that somehow we lose sight of all the mothering our mothers did during our own childhoods. Think of all the piano lessons, recitals, and orchestra concerts our moms went to for us. The soccer practices and cheerleading competitions. The constant shuttling to and from our high school jobs. They spent their precious time helping us grow and achieve our goals and skills and loves.
The world was at our feet, and our moms helped and encouraged us to discover our passions. Yet when we become mothers, the focus of priorities shifts. Instead of continuing to pursue our dreams, we abandon them and copy what our moms did before us. We put ourselves on the back burner to help our children achieve their dreams, knowing the whole time that we’re only helping them achieve the dreams they have before they, too, become parents.
What if you broke that cycle in your family? What if you decided to teach your children that those skills and dreams you fostered as a child are just as important for improving your entire life, and in so doing, you take moments out of your schedule to focus on you? I’m not suggesting that you no longer help your kids achieve their dreams; I’m suggesting that you do it alongside continuing to pursue yours. What if seeing you do that means that they, too, will pursue their dreams their entire lives?
Just as Steve Miller sang, “Time keeps on ticking,” we don’t have unending amounts of time to someday get back to doing what we dreamed of. Every tick of the clock is a minute further in our lives. When I first held Hannah in my arms, I felt as if I had an infinite number of ticks. Twenty-one years of the clock flipping over and over have since happened. And when I stood in that Seattle vintage store, I realized that the art of life, of motherhood, happens when we exhale and cherish today while we also seize the moment, the inch of time today, and move ourselves forward to reclaim who we are meant to be.
For so many years I went through the motions. I got busy with motherhood, learned to accept reality as unchangeable, and existed. I didn’t have a fire to appreciate that inch of today. Instead I took it for granted. You probably do that too.
At a certain point, the inches will run out. Time will pass and the urgency to change will either shrink or disappear into lives where we settle. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my college-aged kids to be sitting in their hip coffee shop, chatting with their friends about their mom, and saying, “Yeah, my mom, she was a good mom, but she settled.” Nor do I want to sit with my friends when my home is an empty nest and say, “I just don’t know who I am anymore.”
You are worth not settling.
But you have to decide not to assume that you always have tomorrow to do what you need to do today. I know you didn’t intend to forget yourself. I know you want to be happy. I know you want to fight for your heart. I know you want to rightly order your life. I know you want to have that deep bravery and sense of purpose. I know you want to rediscover your passions from your childhood.
It’s not that we’re trying to forget ourselves. We just get busy.
And it’s so easy to lose track of time in motherhood. It’s even easier to overlook the importance of our own hearts.
I know I did.
Stop saying, “I’ll get to that tomorrow.” That’s our first task for ourselves.
You owe it to yourself, your family, your friends to live without fear and with wild abandon. You owe it to yourself to get to everything on your tomorrow list today.
I am passionate about helping you ignite the fire of urgency in your life. I believe in you, I really do, and know that whether you have one child or fifteen, are married or divorced, are wealthy or poor, have direction or none, you can recapture time’s inches in life.
You are worth fighting for each inch today.
Excerpted from "The Brave Art of Motherhood"
Copyright © 2018 Rachel Marie Martin.
Excerpted by permission of The Crown Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
The Guide 1
Part 1 Stuck In The Great Tension 3
1 Time Keeps On Ticking 5
2 Pay No Attention to the Mom Behind the Curtain 11
3 Sticks and Stones 23
4 Will the Real You Please Stand Up? 33
5 Survivor 41
6 The Future of Your Present Reality 51
7 One, Two, Three … Jump! 63
Part 2 Exposing Excuses 75
8 The Denials 79
9 The Baggage 95
10 The Agendas 109
Part 3 Building A New Reality 119
11 Break the Cycle 123
12 Look Back and Rediscover You 131
13 Take It One Step, One Inch, at a Time 139
14 Choose the Right Mental Targets 151
15 It's Okay to Freak Out 167
16 Don't Do Life and Dreams Alone-Armor Up! 177
17 It's Your Story-Own It 193
18 Cross to the Other Side 199
My Visual Journey 203
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was a great read from the first page to the last! It is part story, part best friend, part counselor, part motivational speaker and part kick in the pants.... This book is everything you didn't know you needed to hear. Rachel's story is so raw and real, but the way she writes it out and tells you about it is so moving and gentle. The journey she takes you on builds momentum as you read. You begin by nodding in agreement as you read through her tales because you can completely relate and it continues to pick up the pace until by the end you want to shout "YES!" and then realize you have this renewed faith in yourself and your journey. You also realize that you want to reread the book again! I highly recommend this book to anyone (not just mom's) because I think the lessons Rachel talks about can apply to anyone. Thank you Rachel for being brave enough to share your story and for undoubtedly changing the lives of many others through your encouraging and motivating words! If you want to make a life change this book helps encourage you to take the steps you need to make your life everything you want it to be, to put yourself and your ambitions first sometimes, however.... you have to be brave enough to take the leap!
You have probably seen her. The woman. The mom. The warrior. The one who suffers but does not quit. The one who works hard every single day. We all know one, and some of us are one of that kind. If you have been following Rachel you have seen working so hard through the years. Bleeding through her keyboard. Sharing. Hoping. Daring. Nothing comes easy or free. I bet you know that. She knows that. I've cried while reading her journey through the years, her raw emotions and shared vulnerability. Not all of us would do that. I've prayed for her. Today is a great day because I saw her baby, it is her birthday, her book was born today. And we are thrilled about it. Celebrating and seeing her first days through the world. As you read the pages you can see her soul. More than anything I celebrate the grace of God helping her while she fights fear. Launching books may be a scary thing, but she did. And I'm glad. I want to remind and to remind you every day, that motherhood is an art and that it requires to be brave. If God entrusted me with this lovely bundles of joy, He will walk with us through the battle. Join the fun, the bravery & the tribe! order today #TheBraveArtOfMotherhood
In "The Brave Art of Motherhood," the author shares her story of overcoming life's challenges by eliminating excuses and recognizing her strength and power. She is honest and open about her struggles, while maintaining a positive and encouraging voice throughout the book. I appreciated the practical steps she provided to making dreams a reality. It gave me the gentle (yet loving) kick in the pants that I needed to move forward with achieving a few goals I have set for myself. She took the fear out of taking that first step. I found her to be very inspiring! I took so much away from this book. I was amazed at how connected I felt to her story, despite the fact that my challenges in no way resemble hers. More times than I can count, I felt as though she was speaking directly to me. She did a wonderful job of rallying readers together simply because we share the role of "mother." I would definitely recommend this to any mother who could use a little encouragement. It would be great for a book club or a mom's group! I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher.
When I picked up The Brave Art of Motherhood for the first time I wasn't sure what to expect but was gripped from the first few pages. Rachel is so down to earth that it feels like I am listening to a friend tell me about her life and trials. When you read this book make sure you have a pen and highlighter handy. My copy is filled with colors, little nuggets of wisdom shining from the pages. The personal stories that Rachel includes throughout the book are relatable in so many ways and is comforting to know that we moms are not alone in this crazy thing called motherhood. It's so easy for us women to lose sight of who we are as a person because we give so much of ourselves to our children but The Brave Art of Motherhood is a call to action! To face your fears and find yourself again while still being the best mom you can be. While it is helpful in so many ways it is also easy to read. You can fly through this book but there is so much wisdom within these pages I suggest taking your time. It is a wonderful read and an incredible resource! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Publishing in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own.
The Brave Art of Motherhood is a great read, offering encouragement and pushing the reader to grow, to move forward, to pursue their dreams. The author certainly has been through a lot and she offers the reader understanding and compassion. What the author offers isn't easy, it involves digging deep and making changes ( sometimes hard ones), but she leads you to find confidence in yourself. The author's approach can be applied to many things, not just motherhood. Because of that, the title can be misleading. Anyone, even if not a Mom, can greatly benefit from what is contained within these pages. As such, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to become more of who they are meant to be! I received a galley copy of this book from the publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah, for an honest review. I definitely recommend this book to everyone.
So many assume that to be brave, you must have no fear. Not true. Being brave can be, instead, moving forward despite the fears that crowd your thinking. Rachel Martin shares her stories of overcoming through determination to move forward, not hindered by the voices in her own mind or otherwise saying that is was okay to just accept her less-than-abundant lot. Through honest, transparent details of the hardships in life she faced while maintaining the duties of motherhood, Martin inspires with specific steps to discover your own “what-ifs” right now. She encourages us to not put off the dreams, big or small, but to make a concrete plan and make calculated steps to reaching them. The book was not quite the type of motherhood book I expected, but it was a reminder “to live my days with intentionality and vivacious exuberance”. A reminder we all need whatever life stage we are currently living. I received an uncorrected proof of the book for an honest review.
I received a free advanced copy of "The Brave Art of Motherhood" in exchange for writing a honest review. Upon reading the first chapter, I wondered if I should review this book, being I am a grandmother. By chapter 3, I did not want to stop reading the book; found myself cheering for Rachel, and by chapter 5 wishing this book was around 30 years ago when I needed it most. This book encourages the reader to remove their own mask along with giving helpful ideas for handling situations we find ourselves in as young mothers. I recommend this book to all young mothers. If you can not find the time to read, keep a copy on the back of the toilet. Do not laugh, there were years that that was the only way I found a little time and peace to read.
I have been working on this book for a few weeks. Filled with wisdom for stressed out, downtrodden moms everywhere, this book is a lifeline. Where I typically read my books as fast as possible, this one I purposely slowed down and read it a little at a time to digest the truths Rachel is trying to teach us. This is one I will chew on for weeks and months to come, trying to make the changes my life needs to become the best mom and person I can be. Not only for my kids, my husband and those around me, but most importantly for ME! I love my kids but life gets hard and messy. I am in that space right now and it's not the funnest. BUT I have hope that it will get better again, and I know what I need to do in part by reading this book. If you are a mama, or have a friend that is a mama, read this book! I received this book from the author and publisher for my honest review. I was not required to post a positive review.